Apr 28, 2008

Good Monday Everybody!!

It's Monday, the first day of the week. Some say the way you start things off is the way they will end up. In many cases that's true, while in others it just depends on the circumstances. When I think about that concept, it brings to mind the issue of race in America. The history of black folks in this country has been a precarious one from the start.

We were brought over to these shores as indentured servants, were made into slaves, then eventually set free. We started out as the "N" word, then went on to become Negros. Next we transitioned into being Colored, then proudly stepped up to embrace our Blackness, before finally graduating to become African-Americans...ain't that somethin'? Yes, black folks' history in America has been a dicey one, and if you look at what's going on now in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, "race" has taken us back to some deep rooted pathos that were planted centuries ago...have we ever really left that place?

In my debut novel, Unexpected Interruptions, the main character, a savvy young sister named Victoria Small, becomes involved with two men--one black, one white, both determined in their pursuit for her affections. As Victoria's relationship builds with each man, issues of race and class come bubbling to the surface. When I look at what's happening in the contest between the Democratic presidential candidates; Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), race and class are bubbling to the surface there too, and is dividing many voters. As much as America prides herself on her diversity, opportunities and progressiveness, there is a shameful legacy that has never fully been dealt with that is now resurfacing.

Gwen Ifill stated it well Sunday morning on Meet The Press, when she made the comment that many people acknowledge race, but don't want to address racism. Racism is a practice. It's a machine that is exercised on an economic and social level. It's something that America, particularly white America, doesn't want to have a frank and honest discussion about. But it's coming up in the campaign and can't be avoided. What message will North Carolina and Indiana send on May 6th? Do you think that America is ready for a black president? I don't think that we'll end up like we started off, but where are we going? Let me know your thoughts....

Trice Hickman, author of Unexpected Interruptions


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