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Race




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Race: A discussion in 10 parts plus a few moments of unsubstantiated theory and one inarguable fact…

Posted on 4 December 2012

1.    Race is bullshit. A meaningless line drawn in sand by men bent on world domination and oppression. It was introduced as a fixed notion, an unchangeable, undeniable fact of world order. Yet from the moment of race’s conception, the amazing diversity of body types, cultures, and traditions on the African continent alone complicated race’s… »

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“There’s No Racism Here?” A Black Woman in the Dominican Republic

Posted on 4 December 2012

When I first returned home from studying abroad, everyone wanted to know, “How was the Dominican Republic?” I was reluctant to respond. Masking the truth behind “fine’s” and “good’s,” I skirted my real feelings. “Did you like it?” is such a loaded question that it can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” For… »

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Vol. 60, Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans

Posted on 19 June 2008

Tribeca Film Festival New York, NY There are certain elements of the human experience that define our awareness. These “accidents” of birth hold immense power over our beliefs, understandings, and interests. Some of the factors that define us, like gender, are genetically determined. Others, like poverty, are determined by sociology and family membership. Still others,… »

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Vol. 51, New Orleans Underwater

Posted on 20 September 2005

Oaxaca, Mexico It is 4 in the morning and it is rainy season in Oaxaca. Everyday around 5 p.m. the sky opens up and it pours. Sometimes it stops. Sometimes it goes on and on until at some point in the morning you are awakened by the sound of water on your roof and you… »

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Vol. 50, Surrendering the Ego

Posted on 15 August 2005

Brooklyn, NY I’ve been tricked, had, hoodwinked, bamboozled. After years—10 to be exact—of working on the same high-concept novel, I have somehow been convinced to start working on a whole new novel. That’s right, completely new—from scratch! I remember when I was at Clarion West, one of our teachers—Jack Womack, told us that learning how… »

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Vol. 47, In Mexico: Vera Cruz

Posted on 10 March 2005

Vera Cruz, Mexico I am on my first writing trip ever since my daughter’s birth two years ago. I am proud to say I have been able to maintain my “schedule” of leaving NYC for the winter every other year even as a mom. I will be in Mexico for three months, but I am… »

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Vol. 40, How Old Are You?

Posted on 6 February 2004

Brooklyn, NY Recently, I was reading over a statement I wrote for admission into graduate school and I noticed a mistake that revealed a larger issue of faulty artist self-definition. The first three lines of the statement read: “My writer self is 12 years old. I emerged as a writer in 1991 when I wrote… »

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Vol. 23, In Brazil: Being a Tourist

Posted on 9 April 2002

Salvador, Bahia Brazil There are elements of being a tourist that—assuming you feel comfortable with the country and the language—can be fun. I don’t mind being ignorant, asking questions, getting lost. But there’s a certain type of tourist I’m not. I don’t like prepackaged tours. I’m not that deep into seeing the sights. After while,… »

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Vol. 19, In Brazil: Carnival Time

Posted on 14 February 2002

Salvador, Bahia Brazil [The doorbell just rang. Went to the balcony and a woman was below with her child. She asked about the woman—the rasta, as she calls her—who used to live here. The rasta used to give her food for her and her family. I told her she wasn’t here, she asked me for… »

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