"Memories are killing. So you must not think of certain things, or those that are dear to you, or rather you must think of them, for if you don’t there is the danger of finding them, in your mind, little by little. That is to say, you must think of them for a while, a good while, every day several times a day, until they sink for ever in the mud. That’s an order."
Dear American Non-Black, if an American Black person is telling you about an experience about being black, please do not eagerly bring up examples from your own life. Don’t say “It’s just like when I…” You have suffered. Everyone in the world has suffered. But you have not suffered precisely because you are an American Black. Don’t be quick to find alternative explanations for what happened.
Don’t say “We’re tired of talking about race” or “The only race is the human race.” American Blacks, too, are tired of talking about race. They wish they didn’t have to. But shit keeps happening. Don’t preface your response with “One of my best friends is black” because it makes no difference and nobody cares and you can have a black best friend and still do racist shit and it’s probably not true anyway, the “best” part, not the “friend” part. Don’t say your grandfather was Mexican so you can’t be racist. Don’t bring up your Irish grandparents’ suffering. Of course they got a lot of shit from established America. So did the Italians. So did the Eastern Europeans. But there was a hierarchy. A hundred years ago, the white ethnics hated being hated, but it was sort of tolerable because at least black people were below them on the ladder. Don’t say your grandfather was a serf in Russia when slavery happened because what matters is you are American now and being American means you take the whole shebang, America’s assets and America’s debts, and Jim Crow is a big-ass debt.
Finally, don’t put on a Let’s Be Fair tone and say “But black people are racist too.” Because of course we’re all prejudiced…but racism is about the power of a group and in America it’s white folks who have that power. How? Well, white folks don’t get treated like shit in upper-class African American communities and white folks don’t get denied bank loans or mortgages precisely because they are white and black juries don’t give white criminals worse sentences than black criminals for the same crime and black police officers don’t stop white folk for driving while white and black companies don’t choose not to hire somebody because their name sounds white and black teachers don’t tell white kids that they’re not smart enough to be doctors and black politicians don’t try some tricks to reduce the voting power of white folks through gerrymandering and advertising agencies don’t say they can’t use white models to advertise glamorous products because they are not considered “aspirational” by the “mainstream”.
And remember that it’s not about you. American Blacks are not telling you that you are to blame. They are just telling you what is.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah (via mahakavi
#chimamanda ngozi adichie
Happy Birthday, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, born 15 September 1977
- I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.
- I have been writing since I was old enough to spell. I have never considered not writing.
- The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.
- Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.
- Racism should never have happened and so you don’t get a cookie for reducing it.
- Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.
- If you don’t understand, ask questions. If you’re uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway.
- Because of writers like Chinua Achebe and Camara Laye … I realized that people like me, girls with skin the colour of chocolate, whose kinky hair could not form ponytails, could also exist in literature.
- You can’t write a script in your mind and then force yourself to follow it. You have to let yourself be.
- The best novels are those that are important without being like medicine; they have something to say, are expansive and intelligent but never forget to be entertaining and to have character and emotion at their centre.
- I write from real life. I am an unrepentant eavesdropper and a collector of stories. I record bits of overheard dialogue.
- Our histories cling to us. We are shaped by where we come from.
Adichie is a Nigerian writer. Her best known novels are Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, and Americanah.
Source for image
by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write
#chimamanda ngozi adichie
Happy Birthday, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
15th September 1977
"The novels I love, the ones I remember, the ones I re-read, have an empathetic human quality, or ‘emotional truth’. This quality is difficult to fully define, but I always recognise it when I see it: it is different from honesty and more resilient than fact, something that exists not in the kind of fiction that explains but in the kind that shows."
Two unidentified young women read.
And at least one of them is fighting mightily her urge to launch yet again into her sadly well worn diatribe about the sorry state of copy editing and how it reflects the general decline in the belief in the value and importance of expression.
Literacy, a right for all! Happy Literacy Day!
Most Native English adult speakers who have taken the test fall in the range 20,000–35,000 words. And for foreign learners of English, we’ve found that the most common vocabulary size is from 2,500–9,000 words.
I scored 21,500 FUCK YES
30,400. Solidly average. Sounds about right.
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
(Source: strydering, via droo216)
Reading Women (2012 - 2013), Carrie Schneider
- Rena reading Zadie Smith, Megha reading Edith Wharton.
- Flávia reading Clarice Lispector, Bianca reading Sylvia Plath.
- Evan reading Anne Lamott, Aura reading Maarit Verronen.
- Sara reading Miranda July, Sheree reading Angela Carter.
- Hsiao-Jou reading Fang-Yi Sheu, Heather reading Chris Kraus.
- Cauleen reading Gwendolyn Brooks, Molly reading Roseanne Barr.
- Sarah reading Zora Neale Hurston, Vicky reading Gloria Fuertes.
- Alyssa reading Patti Smith, Yala reading Susan Sontag.
- Whitney reading Terry Tempest Williams, Naomi reading Adrian Piper.
- Kelly reading Gabrielle Hamilton, Amy reading Michelle Cliff.
(Source: carrieschneider.net, via tea-and-bookishness)