Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Why Dorothy Counts? – radical eyes for equity

 Why Dorothy Counts? – radical eyes for equity

Why Dorothy Counts? 

“I must admit this is a strange book,” Eddie S. Glaude Jr. explains in the “Introduction” to Begin Again, explaining:

It isn’t biography, although there are moments when it feels biographical; it is not literary criticism, although I read Baldwin’s nonfiction writings closely; and it is not straightforward history, even though the book, like Baldwin, is obsessed with history. Instead, Begin Again is some combination of all three in an effort to say something meaningful about our current times. (p. xviii)

One such “something meaningful” is quite large: “A moral reckoning is upon us, and we have to decide, once and for all, whether or not we will truly be a multiracial democracy” (p. xix).

Addressing that large scope for the book, Glaude navigates James Baldwin witnessing and confronting “the lie“:

The lie is more properly several sets of lies with a single purpose. If what I have called the “value gap” is the idea that in America white lives have always mattered more than the lives of others, then the lie is a broad and powerful architecture of false assumptions by which the value gap is maintained. These are the narrative assumptions that support the everyday order of American life, which means we breathe them like air. We count them as truths. We absorb them into our character. (p. 7; see Chapter One excerpt for a full explication of “the lie”)

But as Glaude notes about his own transition form Ralph Ellison to Baldwin CONTINUE READING:  Why Dorothy Counts? – radical eyes for equity