Saturday, 23 August 2014

Teju Cole on James Baldwin’s Stranger In The Village

English: James Baldwin, Distinguished Visiting...

English: James Baldwin, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Miami Dade College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The rage of the disesteemed is personally fruitless…but it is also absolutely inevitable.”

The above quote is James Baldwin’s and part of the sentences in the last paragraph written by Teju Cole in The New Yorker this week. He noted that:

“There are glances all over Europe and in India, and anywhere I go outside Africa. The test is how long the glances last, whether they become stares, with what intent they occur, whether they contain any degree of hostility or mockery, and to what extent connections, money, or mode of dress shield me in these situations. To be a stranger is to be looked at, but to be black is to be looked at especially.”

Teju also wrote about the inner turmoil older generation of blacks faced when it came to the appreciation of art as it relates to their own culture and inner leanings. He perceived that the present generation isn’t shackled by that; he wrote:

There’s no world in which I would surrender the intimidating beauty of Yoruba-language poetry for, say, Shakespeare’s sonnets, nor one in which I’d prefer the chamber orchestras of Brandenburg to the koras of Mali. I’m happy to own all of it. This carefree confidence is, in part, the gift of time. It is a dividend of the struggle of people from earlier generations.

The essay is one of the best I have read this year. It is subtle, sharp, and clear as it captures the inner turmoil of identification, belonging, and the indignity racism brings upon us all, regardless of colour.

 




Every Day is for the Thief: Teju Cole: Books

ISBN: 0571307922
ISBN-13: 9780571307920


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Saturday, 16 August 2014

What I’m Reading – A Time to Kill by John Grisham

An old classic. Still impresses me a lot with savvy character development, lively descriptions, and plots that hold you by the throat. Superb work.

The book was released in 1989 but the issues it describes still  exists today. Sad. Recent real life events (shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri) makes you wonder how some things haven’t really changed.

 

 

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Revelation TV Declares Its Stance on Israel and Gaza

image “Israel & Gaza: Does God takes ‘sides’?” was the title of the Revelation TV blog that came into my inbox this week. In it they lamented about the decision of some of their listeners to unsubscribe to Revelation TV because of its recent declarations on the conflict between Israel and Gaza.

They wrote that they believe God should be the judge of wrongdoing, Christians should pray for peace, be watchful, and not be manipulated by the media. More significantly, they urged believers to recognise the importance of standing with Israel due to their historical and prophetical significance to Christians.

To be honest, I do support a lot of these sentiments, however I think the nation of Israel had behaved badly on some few issues and standing with them doesn’t mean we should not have the boldness to call them out on some of the bad decisions they took. It is like siding with a fellow Christian, even when he or she has not done well, because they hold a spiritual office.

I do hope and pray peace reign in the Middle-East in general, that criminals behaving like politicians be put away permanently and innocents prosper in health and security.

 

 

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