It was an incorrect idea when first posited and looks absurd in this moment, given the events of this year: we were never living in a post-racial America. The entire concept was meant as misdirection, put forth by those in this country who would choose to halt progress by announcing that there was no more inequity to address. “We’ve conceded enough privilege,” was the actual message lying beneath “post-racial,” and as we’ve seen in this election, that message has morphed from subtext to a full-throated proclamation.
We are headed for a strange time, one in which writing will be crucial, even beyond all the journalistic handwringing about a free press in peril. We need other writers—novelists, poets, essayists, the kinds making literature—to confront this era head on. And we need this literature to reach the places it hasn’t reached in a very long time; the hardest conversations people in this country must have are with other people we don’t ordinarily converse with. Literature, as has always been the case, must be at the forefront of bridging that divide.
Some Rain Taxi’s reviews related to race:
Review by Spencer Dew of Big Enough to be Inconsistent by George Fredrickson (Summer 2008, Online)
Review by Scott F. Parker of From Jim Crow to Jay-Z by Miles White (Spring 2012, Online)
Review by Edward A. Dougherty of Admit One by Martha Collins (Fall 2016, Online)