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Bailey Mead
Managing Editor
Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership
bailey.mead@kzoo.edu
269-337-7398

Love and Theft: Why Get Out Matters

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

By Mary F. Corey

A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND ASTONISHMENTS” —Kendrick Lamar, The Heart Part 4

In 1962, James Baldwin hurled a smart bomb into the liberal white community when the New Yorker published his incendiary “Letter from a Region in My Mind.” In this essay, he let white people know some hard truths about Black rage and white oppression. Jordan Peele’s Get Out is a smart bomb of a different sort hurled into the theaters of America to deliver some troubling news.

Since 1619 when the first slave ship touched land in Virginia, the relationship of white people to Black folks has been a complex amalgam of what the scholar Eric Lott has called love and theft. Sometimes it is the body itself that is stolen; sometimes the gift of song and story. From slavery to Blackface performance all the way up to Mackelmore, this sometimes violent, sometimes reverent form of appropriation continues to be played out in American culture. Get Out, a kick-ass genre film that begins with love and ends in theft (and mayhem), is a smart, dark exploration of just how inseparable love and theft really are. Continue reading →

Neutrality Silences Marginalized People

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

By Lewis Wallace

In March 2016, I covered a Donald Trump rally in Vandalia, Ohio, for local radio station WYSO and NPR’s Weekend Edition. It was both familiar and eerie: Comfortable suburbanites, old people who’d driven hours from rural places, and children in red hats who cheered, then chanted, then jeered in unison, “Build the wall!” Trump told an apocryphal story about a U.S. general dipping bullets in pig’s blood before executing 49 Muslim prisoners of war. Protesters were dragged out one by one, and someone in the crowd shouted, “Off with their heads” as Trump mocked them from the podium. At the end of the rally, I ran into someone I knew: a man from a trailer park that had been facing frequent water shutoffs. I’d knocked on his door when I was reporting the first national story about that struggle. Continue reading →

Hidden Figures: Reflections from a Latina Engineer

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

By Patricia Valoy, Science and Social Justice Contributing Editor

The movie Hidden Figures was one of the most realistic depictions of mathematicians and engineers I have ever seen. I grew up learning about John Glenn, the first man who orbited the earth, and Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, but it wasn’t until recently that I even knew there were women mathematicians who had a hand in the space race, and it wasn’t until I read the book and saw the film that I even knew they were Black. Continue reading →

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