In the wake of yet another set of police killings of black men, Michael Eric Dyson wrote a tell-it-straight, no holds barred piece for the NYT on Sunday July 7: "Death in Black and White" (It was updated within a day to acknowledge the killing of police officers in Dallas). The response has been overwhelming. Beyonce and Isabel Wilkerson tweeted it, JJ Abrams, among many other prominent people, wrote him a long fan letter. The NYT closed the comments section after 2,500 responses, and Dyson has been on NPR, BBC, and CNN non-stop since then.
Fifty years ago Malcolm X told a white woman who asked what she could do for the cause, "Nothing." Dyson believes he was wrong. In Tears We Cannot Stop, he responds to that question. If we are to make real racial progress, we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed or discounted. As Dyson writes "At birth you are given a pair of binoculars that see black life from a distance, never with the texture of intimacy. Those binoculars are privilege; they are status, regardless of your class. In fact the greatest privilege that exists is for white folk to get stopped by a cop and not end up dead...The problem is you do not want to know anything different from what you think you know...You think we have been handed everything because we fought your selfish insistence that the world, all of it all its resources, all its riches, all its bounty, all its grace should be yours first and foremost, and if there's anything left, why then we can have some, but only if we ask politely and behave gratefully."
In the tradition of THE FIRE NEXT TIME (Baldwin), short, emotional, literary, powerful, this is the book that ALL Americans who care about the current and long burning crisis in race relations need to read.
Local author, Ron Rhody has written a new novel "Concerning the Matter of the King of Craw" about the infamous John Fallis.
Ron is author of the "Theo" books about Frankfort.
Ron Rhody was in the store to sign copies of his new book recently.
So we have a limited quantity of signed copies of King of Craw that would make great presents.
Kentucky author C. E. Morgan is drawing a lot of attention with her book "The Sport of Kings."
From the New York Times:
In 1955, Sports Illustrated sent William Faulkner to cover the Kentucky Derby. The article that resulted didn’t have much in common with sports journalism. It was a prose poem, a sensorium. Its thesis statement, which I have located with the aid of bloodhounds, is probably this: “What the horse supplies to man is something deep and profound in his emotional nature and need.”
C. E. Morgan’s ravishing and ambitious new horse-world novel, “The Sport of Kings,” taps into that nature and need. It’s a mud-flecked epic, replete with fertile symbolism, that hurtles through generations of Kentucky history.
On its surface, “The Sport of Kings” has enough incident (arson, incest, a lynching, miscegenation, murder) to sustain a 1980s-era television mini-series. You might title that mini-series “Lexington!” Michael Landon would play a dynastic horse breeder, tanked up on destiny, with a whip in one hand and a mint julep in the other.
But Ms. Morgan is not especially interested in surfaces, or in conventional plot migrations. She’s an interior writer, with deep verbal and intellectual resources. She fills your head with all that exists in hers, and that is quite a lot — she has a special and almost Darwinian interest in consanguinity, in the barbed things that are passed on in the blood of people and of horses, like curses, from generation to generation.
The NewYorker Magazine had this to say:
“The Sport of Kings” hovers between fiction, history, and myth, its characters sometimes like the ancient ones bound to their tales by fate, its horses distant kin to those who drew the chariot of time across the sky. One of Morgan’s remarkable achievements in this novel is to wind all the clocks at once: a mortal one, which stops too soon (“time is a horse you never have to whip”); a historical one, which stops when memory runs down; and a cosmological one, which never stops at all.
Come in an pick a copy to see what the talk is all about.