Web: Whiteness

Some black authors of the 1800s available free online, and exploration of whiteness and color in modern art.

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After reading Nell Irvin Painter’s The History of White People (which I highly recommend), I have a long reading list.

David Walker’s Appeal: in four articles, together with a preamble, to the coloured citizens of the world, but in particular, and very expressly, to those of the United States of America, a 1829 tract by a free black man who also wrote for Freedom’s Journal and delivered addresses on Haitian independence and other topics.

Hosea Easton was another activist, who wrote A Treatise on the Intellectual Character and Civil and Political Condition of the Colored People of the U. States; and the Prejudice Exercised towards Them: with a Sermon on the Duty of the Church to Them.  (Also found here.)  Interestingly, his father was descended from Wampanoag and Narragansett peoples, but he disavowed any Native blood to ensure his citizenship.

William Wells Brown is an author with prolific and varied output.  He’s written a novel, collection of hymns, memoir, travelogue, and the 1874 book Painter cites, titled The Rising Son; or, the Antecedents and Achievements of the Colored Race.  I have yet to find that one online but am sure it must exist.

Aside from those new-to-me reads, this book also got me thinking about the concept of whiteness.  Not just racially, but also in art (since race and art can intersect beyond literature).

Vox has an interesting take on all white art found in museums (warning for swears):

The Art Assignment has a conversation with Odili Donald Odita about whitescapes and the use and meaning of color, ending with an assignment to try:

 

Review: Rickshaw Girl

“Most of the homes in the village looked the same, with smooth clay walls, thatched roofs, dirt paths, and large stone thresholds. They only looked different on holidays, when girls decorated their family’s paths and thresholds with painted patterns called alpanas, just as their ancestors had done for generations.” p. 8

Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins, illustrated by Jamie Hogan.
Charlesbridge, Watertown, MA, 2007.
Elementary chapter book, 91 pages.
Lexile: 730L
AR Level: 4.3 (worth 1.0 points)

Bangladeshi girl Naima is a gifted painter and a free spirit who spends every moment thinking about her next alpana pattern, until her family experiences a turn of fortune and she desperately wants to help drive her father’s rickshaw, like her best friend Saleem does for his family.  But as a girl she can’t even speak to Saleem now that they are older.

rickshaw-girl

This is a library book which I am hoping to use as a read-aloud at school.  It crossed my path very randomly but I am starting to get in the habit of noting (and trying to read) any book with clearly non-white characters on the cover.  This sometimes pays real dividends as I find new treasures to read and discover new-to-me authors!

Continue reading “Review: Rickshaw Girl”