“Apartheid South Africa, in fact, offers a rubric for understanding the stratification of race in the US (RFK famously drew this parallel in his 1966 visit to the University of Cape Town). To be Black in America is to live in a cruel and dangerous parallel existence, one mostly invisible to those of other races.
This moment is one that could only have happened now, with the proliferation of cell phone cameras and social media. It was fitting that, for comment, I would seek the voices of the younger generation, those most capable of understanding the current moment. The following authors are some of the sharpest I have encountered, and they are all beginning to make their mark on the world. Some you may already know, and others you will soon. Their talent and promise is an answer to the assertion, made by guns and handcuffs, that black lives are worth nothing.”
Zinzi Clemmons Young Black Writers: After Michael Brown Reflections on One Year of #BlackLivesMatter (via Lithub)
“Who doesn’t quest for a vision? I think all of us want sudden illuminations and hard, clear evidence. Even if you’re an atheist, you want moments when the world is with you—or when something substantive arrives out of a huge apparent nihilism.”
Barry Hannah (via Bomb Magazine)
“Writers have always been in love with the visual arts. Just think of Frank O’Hara’s sly poem “Why I Am Not a Painter,” which is actually all about the creative entanglement of the two forms—tinged with yearning and a wry bit of envy:
I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,
…That’s why it is such a pleasure to walk up the Guggenheim’s white spiral and look at the work on view in “Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim.” “Storylines” is about the resurgence of narrative in the visual arts, but it is also about how writers still love to write about the things artists make. In a moment of inspiration, the exhibition’s curators got thirty novelists and poets, from John Ashbery to Jeanette Winterson, to write creative responses to the works in the show.”
At the Guggenheim, writers and artists cross-pollinate. (via Paris Review)
“I want our dead to live, to write their own stories, to laugh and travel and love and fight. I want to live for just a moment in a country where my life and the lives of my sisters and brothers — straight and gay, transgender and cisgender, black and brown — are not imperiled at every moment, even in the homes we make for ourselves as a refuge. This summer has taught me both the limits and the necessity of my faith in these dark times.”
Every Day Something Has Tried To Kill Me
Naomi Jackson author of The Star Side of Bird Hill (via Buzzfeed)