I Am Not Your Negro

I Am Not Your Negro. I liked it a lot. Just the premise – a movie rendition of an unfinished book – is such an interesting way to start. I’ve heard similar formulations before, but two ideas in here really stuck with me. One, his comments during an interview that, while he may not know what whites believe, he can see the state of our institutions (church, work, real estate, etc.). They tell you something you cannot deny. Second, his prompt to ask ourselves why the negro was invented. Black people didn’t come up with it. It’s a white invention to fill some need – one worth examining. Recommended. Filed under: documentaries.

A Professor Explains Why He’s Teaching College Kids About Kanye

Just down the road from me, Georgia State professor Scott Heath doing work that needs to be done.

“He’s aware of the criticism and the critiques that come his way, and he then critiques those critiques. This is a guy who gives interviews where the entire interview is about another interview that he gave earlier,” says Heath, pointing to conversations with Jimmy Kimmel and Ricky Smiley as examples. “That, to me, is very keenly discursive.”

And also:

“He’s having to process or deal with other people’s interpretation of what he’s saying and who he happens to be,” says Heath, alluding to Du Bois’ assessment that black people in America are tasked with the emotionally arduous task of filtering their own identities through the lens of dominant white culture. “An exciting moment for me was the students reading Du Bois and the lightbulb going off and them making the connection to Kanye.”

Filed under: Kanye West.

A Professor Explains Why He’s Teaching College Kids About Kanye

Minority Report: The Real Problem of the Atlanta Hawks Implosion

Minority Report: The Real Problem of the Atlanta Hawks Implosion

Write Flight: When White Hoops Writers Run Away from White Players

Most journalists have gotten over using the archaic terms of past generations. Every once in a while that coded language will flare up again (as it did during Jeremy Lin’s emergence a couple of years ago, and when Richard Sherman went off a couple of months ago) but for the most part we know better. We don’t connect ability to chromosomal sequences anymore. Well, except for white basketball players.

Not looking for pity for the white man here, but it’s something I’ve noticed, too. Thoughtful writing on race, sports journalism, and lazy thinking.

Write Flight: When White Hoops Writers Run Away from White Players

Noahpinion: Django Unchained: A white revenge fantasy

With a bit of cartoonish violence, Quentin Tarantino was able to do what a thousand reasonable op-eds and preachy biopics have been unable to do: reverse white people’s affinity for the South. I see Django as a white revenge fantasy – whites, whose ancestors (like Tarantino’s) had no part in the institution of slavery, saying “No. The South does not get to represent my racial group. If I was alive in the 1800s, I would have shot those assholes right in the head!”

Noahpinion: Django Unchained: A white revenge fantasy

Django, the N-Word, and How We Talk About Race in 2013 – Grantland

While not the same, because it’s much more complex, this “Django Moment” is an evolutionary advancement to my own personal “Jay-Z Moment,” in which the decision has to be made, going into one of his shows, of how to attack the N-word. While most certainly not just tied to Mr. Carter, the overall sentiment of “I’m not black, but I want to say the N-word at this concert, because the rapper onstage is practically begging me to say it along with him” has long been something to note among his ever growing, ever more mainstream fan base. What’s happening in Django is simply taking that premise to the next, more intense level.

Really good stuff from Rembert Browne (@rembert).

Django, the N-Word, and How We Talk About Race in 2013 – Grantland