The Cost of Demonization

Perhaps you are familiar with one of Shakespeare’s more famous sonnets, “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun.” In that sonnet, he repeatedly violates our expectations of love poetry by rejecting traditional–and exaggerated–claims of loveliness in describing his beloved: “If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; if hairs be wires, black…… Continue reading The Cost of Demonization

Dig into Black History Month

You probably know that February is Black History Month; have you ever thought about why we do that—you know, declare a month to be about something? The reality is, of course, that every month should be Black History Month—if that means learning something about and caring about black history. But, the fact is that in…… Continue reading Dig into Black History Month

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

  Monday was a holiday–of sorts.  When I was young, it was unambiguously Columbus Day:  we celebrated the day Columbus “discovered” America and most of us had off from school.  Now, in many places–though not everywhere–the day is commemorated as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” but somewhat uneasily, I think, depending on where you live. I asked…… Continue reading Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Reflections on a Topography of Terror

  I’m trying to get my thoughts together here in the first week of Trump’s presidency.  It’s hard, because I am feeling so rattled, so apprehensive, and frankly, so sick to my stomach.  I live and operate out of a place of deep optimism and hope, always, but I am finding that place hard to…… Continue reading Reflections on a Topography of Terror