Note from the editor.Two pieces in this issue attempt to rake the measure of two very different men whose work are both responses to the complexity and contradictions of America's racial dilemmas. One is a businessman and conservative crusader trying to get rid of racial classification and "racial preferences." The other is a writer tackling the largest themes of freedom and survival in African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. life.
In no way are Ward Connerly Wardell Connerly (born June 15, 1939) is a political activist, businessman, and former University of California Regent. He is also the founder and the chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute, a national non-profit organization in opposition to racial and gender preferences. and John Edgar Wideman John Edgar Wideman (born June 14, 1941, in Washington, DC) is an American writer. Early life
Wideman grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA and much of his writing is set there, especially in the Homewood neighborhood of the East End. comparable, but the contrast is interesting to consider. Connerly has been called a sell-out, a traitor TRAITOR, crimes. One guilty of treason.
2. The punishment of a traitor is death. to the race, and an enemy of black progress. Yet Jesse Douglas Jesse Douglas (3 July, 1897–7 September, 1965) was an American mathematician. He was born in New York and attended Columbia College from 1920–1924. Douglas was one of two winners of the first Fields Medals, awarded in 1936. Allen-Taylor's profile makes an intriguing assertion: the man hardly considers himself African American to begin with. The curious way Connerly comes by his racial identity, and how much it may drive his political actions, is revealing--and relevant for what it tells us about the political ground we have yet to cover on the issue of multiracial mul·ti·ra·cial
1. Made up of, involving, or acting on behalf of various races: a multiracial society.
2. Having ancestors of several or various races. identity.
Once at a meeting I attended, an academic, observing the hybridity and fluid improvisation improvisation
Creation of music in real time. Improvisation usually involves some preparation beforehand, particularly when there is more than one performer. Despite the central place of notated music in the Western tradition, improvisation has often played a role, from the of youth culture, concluded that young people today were "post-race." That young people, or any of us, should be able to cross and blur the lines of difference isn't the point of contention. But the danger is losing sight of the way power and privilege arrange racial difference into racial hierarchy.
In Christopher Weber's interview, Wideman brings up the concept of "creole" identity in a different context while discussing the game and art of basketball, subject of his latest book Hoop Roots. "A creole in general means improvisation. It means resistance. These pockets of creole creativity can be places for resistance, places where political movements are born, where values are preserved."
Race presents an enduring dilemma-- at its most basic, that of having part of our identity defined by categories and social realities not of our making. What are the choices we do have? While Wideman chooses to play to the depths of that dilemma, Connerly wants to turn a blind eye.