Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review: "The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America" by Ray Suarez

The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America by Ray Suarez is a good introduction to policy discussions with religious claims in the United States in 2006, the time of the book's publication. Some of those issues have waned and new ones have arisen, and, if you've read other books I've reviewed on this blog under the tag Establishment Clause, you may not find these chapters exciting.

Mr. Suarez's style, in this age of bombastic partisanship, is frustratingly documentarian. He includes lengthy quotes from people whose positions he opposes. He avoids snarky rejoinders. Maybe his long years at the United States Public Broadcasting System, which depends on funding from the government and thus must garner support from many diverse sectors of our nation, have increased his ability to listen respectfully to others beyond that of those who publish in ideological Internet news sites, corporate media and crazy, egotistical bloggers like myself!

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Quotes from Ralph Ellison's "The Invisible Man"

Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man is the best English language novel I've read, IMO. How I've considered myself well-read this long without having read it is to my shame. I consider it a decolonization novel for the black people of the United States. The unnamed narrator goes through a Ulysses-like odyssey in search of personal power and individual and collective liberation, growing and learning through each betrayal and cul-de-sac.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review: "Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business" by Neil Postman

This review is based on the 1st edition of Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. There is a 20th Anniversary Edition with an introduction by Professor Postman's son.

Professor Postman's book claims that electronic media, characterized by immediacy, compels our discourse to be decontextualized and trivial, i.e. entertaining. Even worse, their dominance has shaped consumers' expectations of all other media so that they must also become decontextualized and trivial to gain acceptance.

Man, this guy is a buzzkill!

Monday, August 08, 2016

Zurayk’s “War Diary: Lebanon 2006”: Get your free download!

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Film "Wilmington on Fire" by Christopher Everett Reveals Important Chapter in U.S. History

Next time you hear somebody say, "Lincoln freed the slaves in 1865. If black people have problems today, it's their own fault," please get them a copy of Wilmington on Fire by Christopher Everett. This 89 minute documentary describes events in 1898 in Wilmington, North Carolina. There, whites, through the vehicle of the Democratic Party, militias and a sympathetic judiciary, removed from office blacks and whites uncommitted to white supremacy. Black business owners and professionals were ordered to leave with the property they could carry, and the rest of Wilmington's blacks fled into nearby swamps to avoid murderous crowds. Subsequent to these events, the North Carolina legislature passed Jim Crow legislation,which continued to restrict opportunities for its black residents. White supremacist leaders, whose statues adorn Wilmington's public spaces and for whom its main streets are named, acquired the properties of the blacks who fled and even used them to defraud shareholders of the banks they managed through fraudulent mortgages. See the movie.

The DVD and digital download of "Wilmington on Fire" are scheduled to be available for purchase on November 10, 2016 the 118th anniversary of the massacre.

Find more information on the film's website, Facebook page, Twitter account, Soundcloud and Instagram. Dennis Leroy Kangalee has a more extensive review.

Listen to music and poetry inspired by the movie.

Director and producer Christopher Everett gave an interview on North Carolina Public TV's Black Issues Forum.
Wilmington on Fire (trailer) from Wilmington on Fire on Vimeo.