Essays 2021 : sharing homework

The Best American Essays, edited by Kathryn Schulz

First up: The Trayvon Generation, by Elizabeth Alexander, from The New Yorker. In a long, elegiac essay about violence against Blacks, particularly Black males, Alexander also looks at Black grace and creative expression.

Black creativity emerges from long lines of innovative responses to the death and violence that plague our communities. ‘Not a house in the country ain’t packed to its rafters with some dead Negro’s grief,’ wrote Toni Morrison in Beloved, and I am interested in creative emergences from that fact.

Below are two of the videos that Alexander explores.

I am reminded of something Wesley Morris wrote about music.

What you’re hearing [in Black music] that’s so appealing to so many people across all races across time is possibility, struggle, it is strife, it is humor, it is sex, it is confidence.


That joy you’re experiencing? is not only contagious, it’s necessary and urgent and irresistible.

Both quotes from the NYTimes podcast, The 1619 Project, Episode 3.

I’m just gonna post these notes on reading here perhaps more for my benefit than yours . . .

4 thoughts on “Essays 2021 : sharing homework

  1. Liz A

    there are so many amazing writers … singer/songwriters … artists (pick a medium, any medium) … creators all … this gives me so much hope

  2. RainSluice

    my god Dee. I’m still absorbing this post. Just watched those videos (“Alright” and “Until the Quiet Comes”. Phenomenal Art – so many arts, all pulled together, to say what can’t be said by people I do not know and will probably never know and never understand totally – except as an artist myself. thank you, again. xx


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