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the futility of defining a community according to nation and race


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The Current Issue of "The Crisis Magazine" features an article about Cave Canem: A Home for Black Poets written by Eisa Ulen Richardson.


In the pece poet Gregory Pardlo is quoted as saying, "...the futility of defining a community according to nation and race -- constructs the global intellectual community increasingly recognizes as irrational at best, counterproductive at worst."


I agree completely with the spirit of Gregory's statement, as some may surmise given my recent rants on our preoccupation with the artifical construct of race.  I don't know Gregory personality, but he must reside in a particularly rareified world where organizations like Cave Canem would be considered futile.


In the world I encounter each day, the vast majority of people -- including educated ones (at least ones with college degrees) are particularily tied to the concept of race.  As as far as nationality is concerned the hold might even be tigher than the one race exerts.


I wish this were not the case and I wish a Cave Cane, or an AALBC.com where not necessary, but from my vantage point these entities will be needed more, not less, in the coming years.


The one glimmer of hope I see is that as nations like the US continue to screw the population,taking away jobs, homes, access to education, a healthy and safe enviorment, so that rich people can get richer, people with wake up and see that our fixation on race amoung others is a complete waste of time. 


As far as a truly global community emerging, I suspect mankind will destroy itself before that happens.




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I find this a germaine subject, Troy, as I engage in an ongoing debate on another thread with poster Pioneer, a self-appointed arbitrator who has categorized black men by a set of racial phenotypes he has devised which, in my opinion, create more problems than they solve. 


When there is a common enemy, then the victims of it, congeal to form a united front.  When all us calling ourselves "people of color"  are confronted with racism, we gravitate toward those who we share this common bond with. Race may be an artificial concept but it has evolved into a team mentality which  espouses a scenario that pits "us" against "them". 


There are certain aesthetic areas where  talent and ability transcend color but as you say, this is a rarified  realm. The recent collaboration between LL Cool J and C&W singer Brad Paisley stirred up a controversy in its attempt at showing brotherhood by recording a CD entitled "Accidental Racist".  Their good intentions were soundly criticized and ridiculed because of the song's racist overtones. 


Also, in Chicago, black talk radio is blowing up with cynicism about all of the hoopla devoted to the Boston Marathon bombings, with call-ins voicing the usual discourse about had  the bombing occurred during the big annual Bud Billikin Day parade  that has been going on for 80 years every August in Chicago's inner city, there would not be all of this media attention.  I recently went to see the play "The Book of Mormon" which used racism to condemn racism.  I only saw 3 other blacks in the sold-out theater.  The white audience  loved this highly acclaimed production whose Broadway cast won a bunch of Tonys.  Me, I found it silly and mildly entertaining.  And racist.


In the Utopian world that thrives in the delusions of Idealists, we are all one big happy family.  In reality, race rules. 


Incidentally, if I recall my Latin from 65 years ago.  "Cave Canem" means beware the dog.???????

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You nailed Cave Canem.  You also reveal how good your education was in stark contrast to the justices being perputrated against our young people today. 


Good to see Chicago still has Black talk radio.  WHat are the call letter and program name, I'll listen on tunein radio.  In NY City we really not such thing.


Thanks for the tip about The Book of Mormon.  The Boradway ticket prices are outrageous and it is sold out until forever...  I thought about buying tickets for the family but it seemed more like a tourist attraction than serious theater -- display the numerous awards...

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Yes, as we used to say back in my high school days, "Latin is a language, dead as it can be.  First it killed the Romans, now it's killing me."  I don't know why I chose Latin as the foreign language requirement in the college prep curriculum I was enrolled in, when all of my friends took either Spanish or French.  I guess it was the same reason I took a music appreciation  which introduced me to classical music instead of trying out for the various choruses  which just focused on singing.  I fancied myself being an old soul and decided this was what influenced my making choices that could enable my becoming a Renaissiance Woman. -_-  


The call letters of the black talk radio station in Chicago are WVON AM "1360 on the dial", a small outlet with not much wattage.   


I should also mention that the language in "the Book of Mormon" is quite X- rated.  Not surprising since it is the brainchild of the creators of the TV show, South Park. It was a very well-staged and well choreographed  musical and, yes,  entertaining as I said, but one thing I found distracting was that in the Chicago cast, all of the natives in Uganda where the Mormon missionaries were sent to serve, were played by light-skinned yellow, African Americans. Maybe it's just me...   :huh:  

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