Continuing Ferguson’s Literary History

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[by Meredith Wiggins] After the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014, staff and contributors of Avidly put together a list of texts that they called “Ferguson’s Literary History” – books, essays, and poems that offer context for the continuing climate of racism and racial violence in the United States. The list received renewed […]

Black Men Must Be Bionic

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[by Kevin L. Reeves]  Editor’s Note: Warning: This piece contains a link to a video of an officer shooting an unarmed black man.     In any situation, if a white police officer is moved to kill me, he knows he could do so with impunity. He knows this. He’s known it for many years. His socialization in these United States taught him the ways of […]

Flashback, Fast Forward: Michael Brown as America’s Brute Negro*

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[by Maryemma Graham] Initial thoughts . . . Like many people, I have been hard pressed to make sense of the senseless, to believe the unbelievable. Darren Wilson shot again and again and ultimately killed unarmed college-bound Michael Brown. Wilson, due to the opinion of the Ferguson grand jury, will not face criminal charges. There was no probable cause to indict Wilson, they concluded. The […]

Reflections on #Ferguson: Baldwin’s “The American Dream and the American Negro”

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Today, in the wake of the grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, the HBW Blog turns, as so many have done, to the words of the prophet James Baldwin:  “It comes as a great shock to discover that the country which is your birthplace…has not, in its whole system of reality, evolved any place for […]

#HandsUpWalkOut

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On Monday, August 25, students, faculty and staff from KU took part in a #HandsUpWalkOut Demonstration in honor of Michael Brown.  Megan Kaminski, assistant professor in the English department, organized the event.  Kaminski read an excerpt from Audre Lorde’s poem “For Each of You,” published in Lorde’s collection From a Land Where Other People Live (1973). For Each of You Be who you are and […]

Ferguson, Missouri

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From the notebook of a visitor to Earth Dreams of harmony and peace or absurd visions of the end of time are legitimate constructions of human imagination. If you are dealing with pure cinema, they are effective. Such spectacles appear to confirm the implacable universality of violence, the murky origins of terrorism, and the marriage of reason with insanity. They are primary features of life on planet […]