Cooling Down


You’ll begin to question whether my telling of this journey is one that merely repeats the tale of every other passionate, black scholar’s revelations when seeing that the wall at the end (beginning?) of the dark tunnel goes further back than they’ve been taught. I ask that you keep reading nonetheless. My story is one that questions whether the tunnel is, in fact, dark, if that wall exists, if it’s creators—in whatever shape, color or form that they existed—wanted it to be used as a ‘tunnel’ at all. You might be confused and quite frankly I am too…well just a little but I promise to explain as much as I have come to know myself.  

This structure of writing and the motivation for sharing myself with you in the way that I am was inspired by N.K. Jemisin and her Broken Earth Trilogy. She made me question how my interactions with you were reflective of my own internalized perceptions of my ancestry—an ancestry that society taught me. An incomplete one. One that (supposedly) started playing in the grass…just before the ships docked on the coasts.  

~~~ Continue reading “Cooling Down”

The Onyx: Life of the Niess

The poem “Facing It” by Yosef Komunyakaa has taken precedence in my mind since we were asked to recite it a couple class periods ago. The power struggle that is described between the viewer and the memorial was one that unnerved me despite the complete rationality of its presence. After all, was that not the purpose of a memorial? To make you remember? To initiate the process of reflecting? To remind us of how we got to where we are now?

(WARNING: Analyzing poetry is not my strong suit so proceed with caution)

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Becoming Alabaster: A Call to Blankness

Following the plot of N.K Jemisin’s trilogy has been a task I was only able to cope with by writing things down. Being aware of my forgetful habits, I realized  very early on the semester that I needed to find a method of staying organized. Well…at least that was my intention. What was to be a structured arsenal of literary evidence quickly became a playground for whimsical cartoons and occasional freakouts. The more I wrote, the less it became about hoping I didn’t forget and instead focused on replicating my emotions on paper. So when I read The Stone Sky and came across Alabaster’s own record-keeping, I started making some connections with my own, and I wrote them down.

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The Type of Love that Writes A Trilogy

In the Acknowledgements of The Stone Sky, N.K. Jemisin leaves readers with insight on the journey that she has endured in writing this trilogy. Of all the moving things she said I was most impacted by the assertion she makes on page 416:

“Where there is pain in this book, it is real pain; where there is anger, it is real anger; where there is love, it is real love.”

Without realizing it, I began creating a mental checklist on these emotions and how they revealed themselves throughout the trilogy. It was easy to pinpoint instances that enticed rage or pain, but I seemed to stumble when I considered love.  Then finally (finally) it hit me.

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Weighing Father Earth’s Heart

The presence of Father Earth—over the commonly known Greek-originated Mother Earth—is one of the most pressing reminders of the influence of Ancient Egyptian mythology in the Broken Earth trilogy. I soon realized that other influences did exist but just required a bit more digging. I accepted this challenge and found evidence that links one of the core (pun intended) decisions made by Jemisin’s Father Earth to the role of the Egyptian parallel, the god Geb.

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Heavy Names

Do you know that awkward (maybe infuriating based on frequency) moment when someone mispronounces your name? Or when the Starbucks employee spells “Sabrina” “Sabreena”, “Dominique” becomes “Domanic” or “Melisha” is ‘corrected’ to say “Melissa”? Though these instances are not intentional Jemisin has taught me that misplaced intention should never excuse closer investigation. In The Stone Sky—and throughout Jemisin’s trilogy—where we are reminded that “Names have power” (239) and it is here that Jemisin challenges me to think about the processes of renaming.

(Sorry folks, this is a lengthy one)

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Sankofa and Regwo

Ever since my first introduction to Sankofa —both as a symbol and a term—roughly 2 years ago, the implications behind its meaning has always taken precedence in my mind. Reading Jemisin has allowed me to revisit this belief and presented a different outlook on how it can be applied. By creating a world that struggles with confronting the truth of their histories, Jemisin tells a story of the ease in forgetting parts of the past. One way to address the (hauntingly familiar) effects of this neglect is through considering the Regwo race, otherwise known as lorists.  Continue reading “Sankofa and Regwo”

Say Cheese!

Despite my playful title, the topic I want to discuss is rooted in a deeply woven sense of fear, derived from my understanding—or lack thereof— of Guardians. When I first learned about the twisted nature of the Guardians I remember asking myself, “Why am I so bothered ?” (especially after the peak of my disturbance in The Fifth Season relating to the Guardian Timay).  After some reflection—and constantly revisiting the novel—I was able to narrow my unrest resulting from two key behaviors that Guardians demonstrate: constantly smiling and expressing their love for orogenes. In this blog post I’ll explore the act of smiling.

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Marvel and Jemisin: The 10 Rings

A couple classes ago when Professor McCoy made mention of Jemisin’s interest in Marvel Comics and the influence that this interest might have had in the creation of the Ring system within the Fulcrum—as a Marvel fan—I couldn’t help but do my research. My discoveries about Marvel’s installment of the ten-ring system only fueled my growing need to better understand the world that Jemisin has created, considering the intentional decisions she makes. So to get things going let’s start with some Marvel History! Continue reading “Marvel and Jemisin: The 10 Rings”

The Earth is Living

During our class this past Friday, while Dr. Giorgis was providing a response to a question, he made mention that there exists a powerlessness in admitting the influence that the earth has on society.  I began to question why this was. Why was it difficult to acknowledge that the earth is a living thing separate from us as human beings?

When I say the earth is living, I mean that (as morbid as this may sound) without the influence of human beings, the planet Earth would still exist. Continue reading “The Earth is Living”