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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in reading about race's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, November 11th, 2004
11:55 am
um... yes. so. i'm sorry that i'm a flake and haven't posted yet.

i'm about halfway through, and first off, i was thinking about race and people talking about race in books. like... when is the race of a person left out? if a person is white, when will they mention when other people are white? when a person is black, when will they mention when other people are black? what causes people to talk about the race of their characters? can one assume anything about the race of the writer by what they choose to say about the race of the characters?

i was also thinking, after the narrator changed for the second part, about how nonwhiteness/mystery/femininity/nature were all sort of linked in people's minds for a long time, and how it's interesting that antoinette/jamaica has them all, as opposed to white city boy rochester.

also mr. mason's accusing of antoinette imagining enmity is interesting...
Thursday, October 21st, 2004
11:46 am
so it looks like all the people who were planning to read the wide sargasso sea have it... so... um... start your engines?
Wednesday, October 20th, 2004
9:54 pm
Discussion Questions for Wide Sargasso Sea
Hi guys,

I know that we're going to discuss this book soon. In the back of my copy of Wide Sargasso Sea, there were some discussion questions which were SO good, that I thought that I'd post them here. I think that they'll help us to discuss this book properly.

1. As a child, Antoinette Cosway wonders why the nuns at the convent do not pray for happiness. When Antoinette and Mr. Rochester arrive at their house after their wedding and journey, they drink a toast with two tumblers of rum punch. Antoinette says, "to happiness". Why does happiness elude her? When is she happy and what happens to those moments of happiness?

2. Antoinette's childhood is heavily overcast by threat. What are the threats from outside her household? what are the threats from within? To whom and to what does she turn for protection?

3. What is the racial situation as Antoinette is growing up? What does it mean that she gets called "white" cockroach" and "white nigger"? how ell do Antoinette and her mother understand the mindset of recently liberated slaves? What about the outsiders like Mr. Mason and Mr. Rochester?

Read more...Collapse )
Saturday, October 9th, 2004
3:45 pm
i have a copy of the wide sargasso sea now, so other people should let me know when they want to start reading it.
Thursday, October 7th, 2004
9:26 am
so... dustbath responded and we seem to have come to an agreement that the wide sargasso sea would be good for this month...

anyone really don't like that plan?

meanwhile... are we reading it by the end of the month, or extending it through november?
Wednesday, October 6th, 2004
4:50 pm
there was also the suggestion of the wide sargasso sea. would anyone else want to read that??

thoughts? comments? questions? concerns??
Tuesday, October 5th, 2004
12:48 pm
so we've got one vote for white women, race matters and one for america is in the heart. anyone else want to vote??
Thursday, September 30th, 2004
8:10 am
the last poll narrowed things down to these 4...


White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness by Ruth Frankenberg
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
America Is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

other thoughts? (more than welcome in the comment section)

obviously, we won't be starting tomorrow. when we figure out the book, i'll find it and tell you guys about chapters and we can figure out how to divide it up?

reviews & suchCollapse )
Tuesday, September 28th, 2004
4:06 pm
finished the book!

ch. 13

this chapter is about housework and whether women should be paid to do it. mostly it works as a socialist critique of the idea, but it does bring up the sheltered ideas of white women, that if housework becomes something they get paid for, it will be more freeing, while forgetting that women of color have been drudges of the paid-housework system for a long time.

an interesting thought that's also introduced is that the black women heroes of the previous chapters are not extraordinary black women, but just women who use the strength and fortitude that they've gained from their history of slavery. which makes me wonder again about the lack of heroes now and if under harsher circumstances there would be more people strong and tired enough to stand up.
2:23 pm

october book?

The Social Construction of Whiteness by Ruth Frankenberg
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Beloved by Toni Morrison
America Is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan
Becoming Mexican American by George Sanchez
Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldua
Loving in the War Years by Cherrie Moraga
Dragon Ladies: Asian Americans Breathe Fire" edited by Sonia Shah
The Contemporary Asian American Experience by Timothy Fong
something else.

something else entirely?

and i want to read:

the whole book in the next month
a few chapters next month and then more the next month.

general suggestions

1:58 pm
ch 12.

again with the, "hi we're blind to your problems/the problems you've had with our group in the past/our own friggin' history!" stuff, as well as the "we were kind of sort of on your side for a second, but now we hate you and you suck. sorry. game over. try again later."

white women come off as such hypocritical jerks in this book. which, they've been in many cases. there's one chapter left, and i'm not seeing any kind of brilliant resolution coming up. any big (or small... or any) thoughts on combatting white hypocrisy??
Thursday, September 23rd, 2004
4:53 pm
and by chapter 10, i obviously meant chapter 11.

which is entitled "rape, racism, and the myth of the black racist"-- so not easy reading in any way. i think it's a really really important chapter, and i want to suggest that you read it if you have access to the book?

though, first off, the first paragraph is kind of confusing. davis in some ways makes it sound like rape is only "now" becoming a big problem... which i don't think is true. she claims it is a dysfunction of capitalist society-- which seems too simple.

since the book has been primarily a history, not a lot has appeared dated, but then she started reminding me that "now" is the 70's. i wish i had a more current critique of race and rape. anyone know of one?

do many activist white women rely on the police and judges... and have they ever?

"Black women as promiscuous and immoral"-- in "portrait of the artist as a young trannie issue #6: trannies and sex harmony" which i can't find right this second (and am sold out of on my distro), there's a really interesting critique of race and the sex positive movement. a little bit of "what is the class of people who make your sex toys, sweeties?" and a little bit of "with all the myths about black people's sexualities, can this be at all a welcoming movement?" and so the paragraphs about that got me thinking about the privileges of sexual freedom.

i think the myth of the black rapist is still in lots of white people's minds. i was embarassed when i was combing my own thoughts for where it lies and stuff. and while i "know" that there's SOOOO much "excuseable" weird upper-class work-environment powerpowerpower cases of sexual harassment, in thinking about where i feel physically safe and where i don't, i'm not liking what i'm figuring out. so... i'm wondering... how do we stop that? *laughs* simple question, eh? but really-- what methods are there to get rid of those kinds of deep myths in ourselves and in our culture? anyone have their handy myth dispelling handbook to help me out here? (ps. as far as i know there is no such book. which is my point.)

i was surprised by the fact that davis cited that frederick douglass claimed that there were no reported rapes of white women by black men in slavery. again with the feeling that that's related to big myths... and wondering if there are any sorts of statistics to back that up, where one would find that out, and if it's just me or if there are novels/films that say that this isn't the case.

and then, the other big question... "why are there so many anonymous rapists in the first place?" davis really uses power/class/race in her answer... what are your thoughts??
4:36 pm
i had to read ch. 10 twice for a couple of reasons (it's long and intense), but i have some things i will talk about here in a bit.

meanwhile, not a lot of response about next month. someone suggested doing less than a book a month. would that help get more people reading?

(i hope i'm not too pressurey/pestery, i'm just trying to figure out if there's some big reason people aren't reading, that i'm missing. busy-ness and even disinterest is fine, but if this is going in a way you don't want, please tell me.)

meanwhile, as far as next month... books that have been suggested in the past are: Read more...Collapse )

so there's lots of things to choose from. or you can suggest more things. anything sound exciting?
Tuesday, September 21st, 2004
3:07 pm
also... i'm interested in soon reading things about race as something other than black and white...
12:15 pm
i just updated the memories (for the first time) and also put up some interests. i'd love it if someone could poke around in the memories or the interests to see if there's anything missing or wrong or anything like that.
10:03 am

books for next month? anything that will definitely get any of you reading? anything that should be read, even if you can't?

of the books we were talking about maybe doing last month, i'm most interested in white women, race matters: the social construction of whiteness by ruth frankenberg, myself.
9:12 am
ch 10
this chapter is basically profiles of various (primarily white) heroic communist women. there is discussion about them learning about race issues (have any of you read any of elizabeth gurley flynn's books?) but it actually mostly got me thinking about heroes and the dirth of them. it got me wondering about that-- and where it comes from. what kind of history and privilege one has to have to be recognized as a hero. if it has to do with the way that there are more people in the world, so people's actions feel like a drop in the bucket-- or if these people's actions felt the same way, but they weren't-- or if they maybe were-- or if it's better government control that makes it harder to do grand actions. then... is it because of these heroes that people are complacent-- "it's already been done" or "i can't do anything that grand"-- or what? is it because of some sort of post-modern hyper-awareness that stops us before we get started because all actions could get nipped in the bud, or even that all actions are fundamentally theoretically wrong-headed. i'm surrounded mostly by thinkers, and most actions get thought out so much, and even after they are performed they are critically reviewed. that makes it scary. would the naivete of the past keep us going more?

and that's what i have to say about that.
Monday, September 20th, 2004
10:46 am
ch 7
anti-working class and anti-black sentiments in the women's movement are interesting-- especially how davis ties them together as explicitly related.

expediency-- interesting that it moved from "women get the vote quicker if we forget about black people" to "white upperclass women are just more capable to vote than... well... anyone else."

ch 8
"Not nearly as many Black women were confronted with the domestic voif which plagued their white middle-class sisters. Even so, the leadership of the Black club movement did not come from the masses of working women. What set such women apart from the white club leaders was their consciousness of the need to challenge racism. Indeed, their own familiarity with the routine racism of U.S. society linked them far more intimately to their working-class sisters than did the experience of sexism for white women of the middle class."

have any of you read any good books or anything about ida b. wells?

ch. 9
black males as supporters, or at least polite observers of the 1913 suffrage parade-- as opposed to white men. can't be because they are saintly (like how one of the white women suffragists said that women should vote because they are pure), so why?

working women's disinterest in the ballot-- exhaustion or something else?
9:40 am
i'm going through my lj memories, and i found where i posted adulthood by nikki giovanni, which seemed appropriate for this group.

what should we do about next month's book?
Friday, September 17th, 2004
9:29 am
ch 6
um... yayyyyyyyyyy, education!

mostly this chapter is factual data or anecdotal quotes, and so there's not a whole lot to say. the only thing that it really gets me wondering about is if the education that the people mentioned were working and hoping for was any better than emancipation or suffrage. which is kind of a stretch at a question. i guess, it's just like... "this was just a pipe dream, and this wasn't as great as they expected it to be, but education was really great... it could have been revolutionary, and the struggle for it brought people together... okay now to another chapter." i guess there's not really much critique one can do on the quest for education. i'm curious what kinds of educations black people got. it seems to mostly focus on their quests to learn how to read, and the reading was generally focussed on webster's spelling book and the bible... and so what was gotten out of it?
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