The crowd rose to its feet, cheering as Douglass delivered a soaring address. Despite not standing as tall as he used to, his voice was still strong.
A year earlier he wrote in an inscription in the front of a copy of Life and Times: “Not a Negro Problem, not a race problem, but a national problem.”
It was uncanny that on the day that I read Roxane Gay’s essay on journalism about Texas state senator Wendy Davis’s 13-hour filibuster nine years ago for reproductive choice, Row v. Wade was reversed. Davis’s filibuster was covered on June 25, 2013, and the Supreme Court decision announced last week on June 24. Gay’s point was she learned about Hurricane Sandy, shootings in Aurora, CO, and Sandy Hook Elementary; the Arab Spring, the Occupy movements and other big events on Twitter, not from major news media.
In the midst of all the arguing, is anyone asking how come so many women seek to end pregnancies? How about paying all workers a living wage and having full health care?
Gay’s essay on respectability was painful. She referred to Bill Cosby’s telling young Black people how to behave better, including for young Black men to pull up their saggy pants. Sickening in hindsight. It did my heart good that she disliked “Orange Is the New Black, as setting a shallow bar for diversity. Thank you. One crude episode was all I could handle.
She liked the book but disliked the movie, “Twelve Years a Slave” for keeping alive painful stories, instead of moving on to Black joys and triumphs. She reprimanded Tyler Perry, for put-down humor at the expense of working class Blacks and Black women who were his core supporters and ardent fans.
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