the line, in light of Steve Prince’s Art & the Baby Dolls

Prior to this class, my perception of the line was focused on that in poetry, having taken three poetry workshops almost consecutively within the past two years. What this class offered was a broadening of that focus, to consider different realities and possibilities of the word, both literally and figuratively. Continue reading “the line, in light of Steve Prince’s Art & the Baby Dolls”

Segregation & Progress

LaKisha Michelle Simmons writes in “Geographies of Pain, Geographies of Pleasure” that “segregation was tied to progress, not simply to tradition” (Walking Raddy 32). When the Supreme Court legalized segregation in the South through Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, segregation was institutionalized, through the guise of progress and the phrase “separate but equal,” as its definition suggests, to separate, to demarcate the black person. These words show just but one instance in which language has been euphemized or manipulated to justify, and veil, injustice. The newly developed urban space was an open space only to certain people. New public restrooms only served “the white people of New Orleans” (32). In 1902, progress in New Orleans and its modernization project was created in part by black people, the exploitation of their labor, but this “progress” and wealth was of and for only certain white people. Continue reading “Segregation & Progress”

the line & consciousness

I found myself thinking both figuratively and literally about the line last class.

In one of my sociology classes last semester, my professor mentioned race consciousness and progress, specifically Obama’s statement of “stepping backward.” My professor drew two “lines” parallel to each other to demonstrate his point, though technically they existed in distinct planes, one line being history and the other progress. However, the lines do not move backward or forward in a linear fashion but waver, sometimes meeting, when they would effect change, and diverge again to continue forward in their separate ways. History is not a “straight line,” although often depicted, for purposes, perhaps, of visual streamlining, in a “timeline,” but moves in cycles, circles (which recalls “Urban Mixtape”) and trends. We are often taught about history in a linear fashion, so it was interesting and relevant that we began reading The Souls of Black Folk from the final chapter.

Continue reading “the line & consciousness”