Saturday, July 10, 2010
whiteface is and whiteface isn't
From Kander and Ebb's musical version of The Scottsboro Boys
If the South is many places and many times running together, I wonder if my desire to defend it isn't is also the desire to mutilate it or mythify it. I can't criticize it until I can live in all those places and times. Would that cause me to internally combust? This is why I need Cornejo Polar.
Richard Wright and William Faulkner were Mississippi born contemporaries, and yet are shelved in different sections of U.S. literary history. They both make walls visible and immobility hurt. Faulkner's walls taste like molasses, and Wright's just taste like concrete with your teeth dug in. But the molasses and the dust come from underneath my tongue. Their books are stacks of ink stained pages. The way we choose to read or look or retell is what gives meaning to history and fiction.
Who sees the murals in the county courtroom? Who needs the obelisk in Linn Part to honor the obelisk in Linn Park? How much was Charles Linn's iron worth? Bibb Graves congratulated Jay Sandlin for shooting Ozie Powell in the head in 1946. Will someone someday write a vampy neo poco minstrel number for Oscar Grant?
article about Oscar Grant: http://www.democracynow.org/2010/7/9/outrage_in_oakland_transit_officer_convicted