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A Black Man's View of Daniel Handler's Racist Remarks @ National Book Awards


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A Black man's view of Daniel Handler's Racist Remarks During the National Book Awards.




The idea that when I search for Jacqueline Woodson and National Book Awards I don't get information about her accomplishment first, I get news about the "Racist" comments made by the night's MC Daniel Handler (of Lemony Snicket fame).


I was at the event it was a sea of white folks. All of the people who were so bent out of shape about the stupid joke could care less that there were virtually no Black people in the audience, at arguably the most prominent book event of the year.


Of course the media could care less about us and utilized tremendous energy talking about Daniel's joke rather than coveraging the finalists like Fred Moten and Claudia Rankine.  The Black media was just missing in action.


And of course social media colludes by serving up the dirt rather than the substance.


Meanwhile Black people, clueless, obediently go right to work in service of the corporate machine, feeding into the social media frenzy by commenting and sharing information that is factually incorrect with the requisite faux outrage.  All of this results in enriching the social media platforms while diminishing our collective profile.


My video of Woodson in two days received 264 views, while a video of Handlers watermelon joke bootlegged from another source gets 10K views in one day.


If I was smart I would have just promote the watermelon joke and not the award recipients.   


Actually if I were smart I'd stop trying to promote books and Black culture altogether.  But just when I'm ready to throw in the towel I get an encouraging message from someone who lets me know there are still people who find value in what I'm trying to do.  In reaction, to my list of Black National Book Award finalists, someone emailed me saying:


Hi Troy,

I think serious readers, book groups and literary people, especially those that embrace black literature, want and need these kind of data to keep them hopeful and encouraged. As an avid reader, writer, reviewer, book club member, and researcher, I and others appreciate your contributions and attention to our literature. Our literature matters, is a vital part of American and international history and culture. Keep up the good work.


We can't mount a defense, much less and offensive if we don't even recognize when we are being stomped into the ground.





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