Emotional Trauma in the Jim Crow South: Truth in Fiction Through Richard Wright’s ‘Uncle Tom’s Children’

The most difficult part of tragedy is, arguably, the aftermath. Coping takes different forms, music, artwork, writing, dialogues, and many others. Each is equally valid, yet nuances in these expressions can create confusion as to what life post-tragedy truly entails. Historian Kidada E. Williams calls for scholars to further investigate analyze the expressions of experiences […]

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Strange Resistance

Southern trees bear a strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swingin’ in the Southern breeze Strange fruit hangin’ from the poplar trees – “Strange Fruit” [1] The first time I heard “Strange Fruit”, a song popularized by legendary jazz songstress Billie Holiday, I was transfixed.  Lulled by the […]

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Born Into Doom

Richard Wright has to be by far one of my favorite writers, for many reasons.  I particularly admire how, through his writing, he captures the African American experience by bringing out notions of political factors, social conditions and of course that he is not afraid to ‘take it there’.  I often find myself in awe […]

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Mann vs. Nature

Uncle Tom’s Children is a collection of short stories written by Richard Wright and published in 1938.  Wright was born in Mississippi during the first decade of the 20th century, and as a result, lived to experience the immense racial injustices that Africans Americans still faced even after the passing of the 13th,14th , and […]

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The Unexpected Nature of it All: The Legacy of Lynching in America

Before relocating from Brooklyn to upstate New York, I read and studied lots about Sanford Biggers’ upcoming exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. I read reviews about his works, and I explored interviews and videos about his methodologies, travels, and inspirations. Biggers’ exhibition was highly anticipated, and I must admit that I was disappointed to learn […]

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Brutality on Display

Throughout my life, my mother has often said to me that she “won’t allow someone to cry alone in her presence.” With such a role model in my life, it’s no surprise that I grew up being a person who is acutely sensitive to the pain of those around him. It is very easy for […]

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Cora’s Choice

I keep thinking about the discussion we had over Langston Hughes’s character Cora in the short story “Father and Son,” found in Hughes’s novel, The Way of White Folks. In it, Cora, a black servant, seemingly willingly becomes the black mistress to her white owner, Colonel Norwood. Not only does Colonel Norwood seem to care […]

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As Texas goes, so goes the Nation?

After reading the selections for this week’s class (Wright, “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow,” “Big Boy Leaves Home,” “Down by the Riverside,” and “Long Black Song” in Uncle Tom’s Children; Selections from Langston Hughes, The Ways of White Folks, “Home” and “Father and Son”; and, Gretchen Sorin and Mary Aimonovitch, Through the Eyes of […]

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