The writers in this issue have recognized this evolution and are expanding the scope of their achievements by crossing genres, which is, as I have noted in my essay, a hallmark of creative nonfiction. Throughout her distinguished career, Diana Hume George has written poetry, criticism, and creative nonfiction. And finally, in the spirit of creative nonfiction, two of our contributors give behind-the-scenes, first-person accounts of two very different worlds:
If they do not give up on the past, there will be no future for blacks in America. She opens her book, The End of Blackness: Returning the Souls of Black Folks to Their Rightful Owners, by saying "this book will both prove and promote the idea that the concept of 'blackness,' as it has come to be understood, is rapidly losing its ability to describe, let alone predict or manipulate, the political and social behavior of African Americans" p.
My first thought after finishing this book was that she did not prove anything. Dickerson's goal in this book, I gather, is to criticize contemporary approaches to race.
She does this without leaving anything or anyone untouched. She questions the civil rights establishment, which sets the current tone of black politics to white apologists who continue to minimize the affects of slavery.
One of her main arguments is that as long as blacks define themselves in terms of inherited blackness the civil rights movement will never be complete.
Not only do blacks need to stop identifying with the past, they must surrender. According to Dickerson, "blacks must consciously give up on achieving racial justice" p 16is this a possibility?
I do give credit to Dickerson for noting that blacks in America still face structural barriers to equality, among them poor scholastic achievement, crime, family breakdown and infant mortality; however, she argues that these problems need to be examined within the black community and not in comparison to whites.
She bases this on two assumptions; first, whites also face social problems and should not be the standard. Second, seeking the help of whites in order to solve black problems is based on outdated notions. Furthermore, by always using the "outdated" racist argument, blacks are stripped of all aspects of individual agency, choice, and responsibility.
Another area of the book that I take issue with is that Dickerson argues that it is important for blacks to surrender their past and their racial identity if they are ever going to get anywhere in this country, yet at the same time she writes a chapter "white intransigence" where she lumps all whites together.
If this is what she is saying should not happen to blacks, then how does she justify doing it in the case of whites? If whites still make bigoted remarks and spin statistics as she says then she is defeating her own argument that the civil rights movement brought revolutionary change.
Again I question, if she is urging blacks to surrender and give up old patterns of rhetoric and complaint in favor of civic participation then why does she present white supremacy as such an overwhelming external force that can not be overcome?
These questions bring me back to my opening statement. She says she will "prove" and "promote" the fact that "blackness" as we know it is losing power in its ability to explain political and social behavior.
At the end of the day, I walk away feeling as though nothing has been proven. Actually, her writing and her arguments are constantly flopping from side to sideSearch Results. The Hawk Essay fearful attitudes that humans and other animals show towards the hawk in ¡§Hurt Hawk¡¨ also indicate that the hawk was ¡§chosen¡¨ by God to be the ruling creature.
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