458 Slices
Medium 9780253018571

“Is Viola Davis in it?”

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

2013 WAS LAUDED as a “Renaissance Year” for black films within the Hollywood movie industry. Notably, the films 42, Fruitvale, The Butler, 12 Years a Slave, and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom shared the quality of having an extraordinary black male character at the center of their stories. With characters ranging from an athlete, a victim of police brutality, a butler, a slave, and a political leader, the diversity of black male roles is telling. Each film set out to represent a real person: each opened with that most powerful of filmic premises, “Based on a True Story.” Each of these historical and male-dominated or male-centered stories is the kind of film that—for better or worse—informs audiences about important African American topics in place of classroom lectures, lesson plans, and, most importantly, books.

Each film also subtly sent the message that black men can play great and complex roles, while black women can continue to play marginalized roles as their girlfriends or wives. It is rarely, if ever, that we see a film in which a black woman is the central character and her husband or partner plays the sidekick or emotional supporter to her goals. Even in the imaginary world, there is no black Katniss Everdeen of the Hunger Games trilogy, who would heroically lead all of the men around her. We continue to only “see” black women in film when their images are peripheral—which is another way of saying that black women are barely seen in historical films.

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Medium 9781847772114

Fall In, Ghosts

Blunden, Edmund Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF


An Essay on a Battalion Reunion

Alonzo. Captain!


I am glad to kiss

Your valiant hand, and yours; but pray you, take notice,

My title’s changed, I am a colonel.

Pisano. A Colonel! where’s your regiment?


Not raised yet;

All the old ones are cashier’d, and we are now

To have a new militia: all is peace here,

Yet I hold my title still, as many do,

That never saw an enemy.

Massinger’s Bashful Lover


he battalion had halted in the light shade of the line of poplars, which began to look a little unkempt aloft.

Rifles had been piled into the usual little pyramids, men had seated themselves on their heavy packs, except the cooks and others with immediate duties. The cooks had lost no time. Their fires already breathed blue spires of smoke into the calm but subtle sky. Beneath that sky, two empires were at war. One village further to the east, and you would have seen the furrowings and burnings of that dismay on the face of the land. Here there was not such obvious evidence. The big grey house with deep white window-sills at the turn of the field path, the farm with its square-set sheds and stalls among other poplars, the crucifix surmounting the steps of granite in the middle of the rootfields, the clean causeway, the trickling land-drain under the culvert did not report the imminence of an enemy. On a closer inspection, it would have occurred to you that some

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LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka and Me

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

THE TENSIONS BETWEEN Amiri Baraka and me began when the late Calvin Hernton, Amiri (then LeRoi Jones), and I were standing at the bar at The Five Spot in 1964 and I told him that his poetry was weak. I had a hard time getting through a poem called “The New Sheriff,” which had been published in The Evergreen Review. Obviously angry, he left the bar in a huff. It was then that I understood the power that Amiri had in downtown Bohemia. Having overheard my remark, the owner of The Five Spot barred me from the club. Amiri was good for their business. His jazz columns brought customers to the club. Later, Baraka dismissed these early poems himself. Blamed them on his being under the sway of “a white aesthetic.”

Amiri (then LeRoi Jones), and I were standing at the bar at The Five Spot in 1964 and I told him that his poetry was weak.

In 1964, some members of the Umbra Poetry Workshop read at Columbia University with Amiri and Allen Ginsberg. After the reading, Amiri approached me and brought up The Five Spot encounter. I still have a newspaper photo of Amiri bawling me out. At that time, he was still LeRoi Jones. He could have remained LeRoi Jones and continued to be “The Emperor of the Lower East Side,” the title given to him by The Herald Tribune as a result of his connections to the Beat publicity machine. These were poets who were featured in mass magazines like Life and Time.

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Medium 9781780491929

Afterword: Reflections from Trainee Therapists

Sue McNab Karnac Books ePub

Shona Reed-Purvis and Paul Flecknoe

We worked for eighteen months in specialist psychological services in an adult mental health (AMH) context as part of the MSc in Systemic Psychotherapy that we studied together at the Tavistock Clinic in London. We wanted to share, in conversation together, some of our thoughts about this experience.

Shona:  I was wondering, Paul, what your reaction was when you heard you were going to be in an AMH placement?

Paul:  I was pleased because this related well to my context at the time, working as a clinical psychologist with adults experiencing distressing psychoses. However, I was less familiar with thinking about their problems systemically and I felt that AMH would be a valuable context to develop my systemic skills. While I would have also welcomed the opportunity to work in a CAMHS [Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service] setting, one of my concerns on starting the course was that the training might tend to be a bit CAMHS-centric, so I welcomed the AMH opportunity.

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Amiri Baraka and the Music of Life

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

UNFORTUNATELY, THE NEW York Times neglected most of the materials that I provided their reporter for the Amiri Baraka obituary. Fortunately, they included Maya Angelou’s assessment that Amiri Baraka was the world’s greatest living poet. However, it is difficult to account for the newspaper of record that neglected to mention that, by 1995, Amiri Baraka was officially inducted into this country’s most prestigious cultural assembly, the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Was that a case of criminal neglect or a case of tragic blindness?

He advised that students imaginatively learn the art of maneuver in the Black Revolt; then he referred students to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.

A few years ago, Baraka invited me to his sunny breakfast nook; that is the room that housed his portrait standing amidst an overwhelmingly white crowd of the 250 men and women honored in the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1995. He pointed to the few dark dots in the group portrait, indicating where he and Toni Morrison were standing as a token gesture to racial diversity in the constellation of American genius represented in that esteemed academy.

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