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Medium 9780253018632

The Problem of Citizenship, the Question of Crime, and the Origins of the Civil Rights Movement

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

a review of Khalil Gibran Muhammad’s Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America (2011)

Michael Ralph

RUTHIE GILMORE, THE geographer and social theorist, once began a public lecture by noting, “There is one black man serving a term in the White House, and about one million black men serving terms in the big house . . .” Gilmore’s clever quip partly serves to deter the facile notion that the election of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the United States in 2008 was a uniform triumph for all African Americans. But Gilmore is likewise suggesting that statistics on race and crime have become a way to avoid engaging with the economic and political conditions that have given rise to what many now call the “prison boom” during the latter part of the twentieth century. Several scholars have noted that, relative to white Americans, African Americans are now incarcerated at nearly twice the rate during the era of legalized segregation. Fewer have explored the technologies of social differentiation that support these disparities. For these and other reasons, Khalil Gibran Muhammad’s Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime and the Making of Modern Urban America [hereafter Condemnation] is a welcome addition to the fields of criminology and the history of race in the United States, but also to American and African American histories more broadly, as well as the history of science. In taking seriously the crucial role that statistics have played in shaping protocols of social differentiation and inscribing economic and political hierarchies, Muhammad enriches several fields of inquiry simultaneously. Perhaps most notably, Condemnation of Blackness yields original scholarly conclusions about the problem of citizenship, the question of crime, and the origin of the Civil Rights Movement in U.S. history.

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Medium 9781552452585

No One Else Really Wants to Listen

Heather Birrell Coach House Books ePub
Women in an online chat group share (and overshare) their anxieties and personal histories.
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Medium 9781743603604

Wonder Train

Berendt, John Lonely Planet Publications ePub

‘Nothing I understand haunts me. Only the things I do not understand have that power over me.’

– Mary Ruefle, Madness, Rack and Honey

There was one street and one kind of car cruised down it: pick-up trucks with full-tint windows, norteña music blaring behind their sealed blackness. Everywhere, men we could not see were scoping us, and at the same slow float, as though making sure we knew: nobody wanted us in Batopilas.

A poet from Mexico City and a gringa writing a travel story: in no way did we belong. I was tackling my first big assignment, to report on the thirteen-hour rail journey through the canyons of northern Mexico, a wild backcountry of red rock gorges that rendered the Grand Canyon a shorty. I’d scanned the map for towns to decamp and spend the night along the Copper Canyon rail route, but got easily distracted by a lone dot of a town, off in the mountains, a full day’s journey from the train tracks.

Reaching Batopilas required a true detour, horizontal and vertical, cutting through four of the Sierra Madre’s major canyons, and plunging, in the process, some 6000 feet.

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Medium 9781771870801


Forrie, Allan Thistledown Press ePub
While picking chokecherries from a bush growing over an infant’s grave in “The Bush on the Grave”, Lloyd Ratzlaff reflects on the interconnectedness of everything, invoking a God he had left behind with his fundamentalist childhood.
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Medium 9781771870849

The Salvation of Harvey Nicotine

Ratzlaff, Lloyd Thistledown Press ePub


HARVEY NICOTINE WAS IN TROUBLE because he didn’t want to attend Mass. The vice-principal had heard him out and said he’d be allowed to skip this time, but would have to undergo counselling for his problem, and would be expected at Mass next time, as usual.

Harvey came to my office and repeated his story. A terrible thing had happened at his reserve during the summer holidays, just shortly after his fourteenth birthday. He’d been out riding his bicycle near a large pasture, when he saw two men in a far corner standing over the carcass of a cow. It made him curious, and he left his bike in the ditch and headed over to see what had happened. But as he arrived, the men whirled around, and he saw inverted crosses on their foreheads and cultish emblems on their clothes. He was terrified — he knew they had just sacrificed this animal and he’d caught them by surprise; and they seized him and threw him headlong onto the body, and as he fell, he passed out.

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Medium 9780253018595

Negotiating Africa Now

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

IN 1957 LONDON, a young Nigerian broadcaster named Chinua Achebe, on the advice of friends, showed a manuscript for a novel chronicling the saga of three families in precolonial Nigeria to an instructor at his BBC training course. The manuscript, overhauled, revised, and rescued from consignment to the dustbin of an unscrupulous typewriting service, would eventually make its way to Alan Hill who, working for William Heinemann, would publish it first in hardback and later in paperback as the inaugural offering of the Heinemann African Writers Series. The publication of that novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), has come to mark the founding of modern African fiction, the first foray of a new body of work which has since been hailed for its revitalization of English-language writing and its centrality in the consecration of world literatures. Outstripping all publisher expectations, Things Fall Apart has since become the most widely-read work of African fiction, selling over ten million copies, translated into nearly fifty languages, and enabling Achebe’s legacy as the father of African writing. Described in its initial publishers’ reports as “a very exciting discovery” chronicling “the breakup of tribal life in one part of Nigeria,” the novel was rapidly lauded for its simplicity and feted for its ethnographic inquiries, finding its way into discussions of literary value, anthropology, and colonial discourse. “Writing back” to the vision of Africa as a land of savagery and darkness, the distorted reflection of the continent depicted in the work of writers like Joseph Conrad and Joyce Cary, Achebe’s novel became a cornerstone in the project of recuperating a positive notion of African culture and heritage. Proving, definitively, that the privilege of literary voice and aesthetic representation in imaginative writing were no longer the sole property of the colonial powers, Achebe’s novel marked the first occasion on which the continent’s cry back to its masters might be heard, enlivening anti-colonial sentiment and humanizing, for the first time on a global scale, a distinctly African story of colonialism.

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Medium 9781927068304


Lloyd Ratzlaff Thistledown Press ePub


The first time I invoked the Grandfathers was the day my first grandson was born. The message came from Winnipeg just before I left for a bush a few hours north of Saskatoon, where an initiate of the Bear clan had offered to help me through my first ceremonial sweat in his lodge. Ramsy said Tommy was fine, my daughter Shannon was fine; it was a bright and melodious spring day, and it seemed to me everybody should have such a drive to the bush as I had.

Others had been invited, but when the time came, only the Bear and I were on hand. He invited me to join in the preparations, and explained the clan’s traditional ways as we went. Together we built the fire, together we transported stones, in concert we circled the lodge — he outside, I from the inside — to seal it against the light. I fretted at my clumsiness, but this was of no concern to the Bear. Nor did it matter that I had no aboriginal blood in me, or that he was the director of an institute where I worked, and so, in the strict sense, was my chief. He cared only that we sweat together in the old way, take an aboriginal remedy for the ancient ill: You shall give birth to your children in pain; with sweat on your brow shall you eat bread till you return to the soil — the joy of Tommy’s life, and ours, attended by the pain.

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Medium 9780253019059

World War II

Edited and with an Introduction by Owen Indiana University Press ePub

Machine-gunner Pyle goes riding in a five-ton tank

INDIANAPOLIS—Time was heavy on my hands today, so I appointed myself a corporal in the Panzer division and went out and rode around the country in a tank.

I sat in the machine-gunner’s seat, and mowed down trees and weeds and fence posts, and also killed a man on a dirt scraper driving two mules. His last words were, “Hey, what’s comin’ off here?”

The tank I rode in was a five-ton baby one, out at the Marmon Herrington Co. The ride lasted about half an hour, and was really only a small part of my afternoon’s education.

For Marmon-Herrington is deep in expansion for defense orders, as are most concerns of their type, and what they are doing was thrilling to me. But I’ll tell the rest tomorrow.

My little tank was built for two men, and was painted brown. You climb over the caterpillar tread mechanism, and step down into it from the top, like stepping into a box. Then you pull the steel roof down over you and lock it. And there you are, for better or worse.

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Medium 9781574412086

5. Barbara “Barney” Nelson, “That One-Eyed Hereford Muley” from The Wild and the Domestic

Edited by David Taylor University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter 5

Barbara “Barney” Nelson

That One-Eyed

Hereford Muley

Barbara “Barney” Nelson has published six books, the most recent is

God’s Country or Devil’s Playground: The Best Nature Writing from the Big

Bend of Texas. In addition, her scholarly essays appear in three recent collections about Henry David Thoreau, Mary Austin, and Edward Abbey. She has also published numerous popular press essays, photographs, and poetry— the most recent is “My First Daughter was an Antelope” in Heart Shots: Women

Write About Hunting (edited by Mary Stange, Stackpole, 2003). Nelson is an associate professor of English at Sul Ross State University in Alpine. Nelson’s work mixes the rural, agricultural voice with nature writing.

“I am interested in exploring my personal ecology.

I live from deer; this voice has been fed from deer.

I appreciate the fact that I am made out of the animal

I love.”

— Richard Nelson

I was sitting in a boring literature class one day, a shiny-faced, idealistic undergraduate, thinking about boys—only I had started calling them men. I was an Animal Science major, studying to become a ranch manager, or a cowboy’s wife, whichever came first.

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Medium 9781574412086

7. Gary Clark, “Memories of a Prairie Chicken Dance”

Edited by David Taylor University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter 7

Gary Clark

Memories of a Prairie

Chicken Dance

Gary Clark is a dean at North Harris College and author of “Wonders of Nature,” a weekly column in the Houston Chronicle. His writing has been published in a variety of state and national magazines including AAA

Journeys, Birds & Blooms, Birder’s World, Living Bird, Rivers, Texas Highways,

Texas Parks & Wildlife, Texas Wildlife, and Women in the Outdoors. Gary’s

first book, Texas Wildlife Portfolio (Farcountry Press, 2004) is available through major booksellers.

Gary has been active in the birding and environmental community for over 25 years. He founded the Piney Woods Wildlife Society in 1982 and founded the Texas Coast Rare Bird Alert in1983. He served as president of the Houston Audubon Society from 1989 to 1991 and purchased the North

American Rare Bird Alert (NARBA) for Houston Audubon in 1990. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory.

During his collegiate career, Gary has been a professor of marketing, a faculty senate president, a Teacher Excellence Award recipient, and the

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Medium 9780253001818

Part 2 The Personal and the Political

William O'Rourke Indiana University Press ePub







In the mid-1980s, I was sitting in the living room of the first house I ever owned, watching the television show, This Old House, on PBS. Bob Vila was doing a rehab project on Cape Cod. As he would, on occasion, he took a side trip to view other real estate (Vila more often went to factories to see how house products, windows, etc., were made). He went to a home in Hyannis, on the Cape, with a view of the bay. In front of it was one of the last beach-front properties for sale in the town.

Vila pulled up behind the house, because there was no garage, and not much of a front “yard,” since the house was built on what was still dune, but a fairly beat-down one, where the land was becoming solid earth, not shifting sand.

There was bright, blinding light all around, the sun glancing off the water of Cape Cod bay and my black and white TV seemed luminous, dream-like, as Vila approached the home’s back door, which, more or less, functioned as a front door.

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Medium 9781847772114

A Battalion History

Blunden, Edmund Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF


(with apologies)


he Southdown Battalions’ Association dines annually at the Brighton Aquarium, doubtless startling the regular inhabitants with its boisterous cheerfulness. At the last dinner something occurred which also startled me. It was publicly proposed, and so far as I could observe it was generally demanded, that I should write the history of one at least of these Southdown Battalions. In a spirit of mingled cowardice and devotion to duty I found myself rising to accept this ‘onerous honour’ (the evening was far advanced); and I now present my old friends with something which nominally tallies with their request.

Unfortunately it is shorter than they expected, but the war was also shorter than they expected.

The 11th Royal Sussex Regiment, otherwise the First

Southdowns, otherwise Lowther’s Lambs (and of course the Iron Regiment), being composed principally of Sussex men, was formed at the outset of the war, but was not sent overseas until March, 1916. On March 5th the battalion landed at Havre. A week later, in the usual fashion of that period, it left billets in Morbecque for trenches at Fleurbaix, in which it received instruction from the Yorks and

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Medium 9781771870801


Forrie, Allan Thistledown Press ePub
“Che Among the Cotoneasters” is a call to arms to bring landscape architecture to the masses. Though Don Gayton muses that “building a garden is a bit like building your own house while you live in it,” he encourages the reader to recognize the delicate balance struck between biology, geology, climate, and culture that is found in gardening.
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Medium 9781771870849


Ratzlaff, Lloyd Thistledown Press ePub


WHEN I WAS NINE, I filled out the lines on a cereal boxtop with a Shaeffer fountain pen, sealed the envelope and licked the stamp, and carried my letter to the Laird post office. And began waiting. Two days later the train from Saskatoon came to collect it, and took it to the city where sorters and baggers (I had heard) would put it on the Supercontinental to Toronto. And six or eight weeks later — it seemed a taste of the evangelists’ eternity — my coveted Roy Rogers button arrived.

When I was eleven, a mail-order book on kite-making was advertised through the Gem radio on top of our fridge; and I sent off the letter, and waited the long wait again.

At fourteen I contacted a penpal on Cape Breton Island, praying she was the girlfriend I couldn’t seem to find in my prairie world; counted days on the calendar, and dreamt of her at night, until her snapshot came, looking more desperate even than I felt.

At eighteen, I spent a day in Springfield’s dust, circling forty acres as gulls squawked overhead and splattered me and my Massey-Harris 30; but in the evening I stopped at the post office, and from Box 16 pulled out a fat letter from the Melfort girl I hoped to marry, and went home and closed my bedroom door. This was a letter you could feel.

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Medium 9780253019059

Hoosiers outside Indiana

Edited and with an Introduction by Owen Indiana University Press ePub

MILES CITY, Mont. . . .

We saw Mr. Denien, who came to South Dakota five years ago from La Porte, Ind., to share the farm with a widowed uncle.

Mr. Denien and his wife and children packed up everything in the old Cadillac and drove out to the land of opportunity. The Cadillac has moved not an inch since they arrived. It is still there in the shed. Some of these days, when Mr. Denien gets up his courage, and enough money to buy a license, it may carry them away again.

I have never seen anybody so bewildered and discouraged as Mr. Denien. Here five years. A good crop the first year, but no money for it. No crop at all the last four years. He has five little children. “We came west all right,” says Mrs. Denien. “But we didn’t come far enough. They say things are good in Idaho.”

Mr. Denien was a janitor in the La Porte Y.M.C.A. for many years. He said he remembered me from the time I lived there on my first newspaper job. I don’t see how he could, but he had no other way of knowing I’d ever been there.

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