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Ebony Reads
Posted by: StephenFryer (
Date: October 19, 2004 03:18AM

Not poetry, but this new site is of interest:
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Re: Ebony Reads
Posted by: ilza (
Date: October 19, 2004 06:31AM

do you wonder how many, of the 100 mentioned, have we read ?
I do.

Re: Ebony Reads
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: October 19, 2004 10:36AM

I got number 5:

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If someone did a site like this on white authors, though, wouldn't they be accused of racism? Just wondering.

Re: Ebony Reads
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: October 19, 2004 04:36PM

I've only read four, though I own several more (intending to read) and have seen dramatizations of a few more. I must do better!


Hugh, I can't think why anyone would bother compiling a list of white-authored books. They are not an under-appreciated literary segment, so there's no need to call attention to them. So if someone showed me a list of the however-many best white-authored books, I'd try to figure out the PURPOSE first, and I would suspect racism, or maybe a strange sense of humor.

Re: Ebony Reads
Posted by: peternsz (
Date: October 20, 2004 03:59AM

I guess the question of racism always has to be asked in an historical context and in the context of likely prospective effects. How many black authors have been excluded from reading lists because of their race. How amny whites have thus been excluded. I find grouping by race pernicious, but the only time I've ever been thus excluded was when someone misstook me for a Jew. I think the question legitimate, but the range of possible answers is full of live mines.


p.s. Can we ever legitimately distinguish between races when anthropologically no two homo sapiens sapiens belong to difference races. Scientifically, we are all of one kind.

Re: Ebony Reads
Posted by: Pam Adams (
Date: October 20, 2004 02:23PM

Since in judging race, we're looking at people, not DNA samples, I would say yes, we can. Now whether we should..........


Re: Ebony Reads
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: October 20, 2004 04:57PM

Going by DNA alone, you'd probably say that male and female were two species.

But back to the point -- if the point is that publishing lists is a way of attracting attention to worthy but neglected bodies of work or genres or types of authors:

With regard to discrimination, current case law says that it doesn't matter whether a GROUP is defined by race, religion, age, sexual orientation... or for that matter hair color. If it can be demonstrated that individuals are being persecuted or denied rights on the basis of belonging to a perceived category, then they are eligible for protection AS a group.

The same principle applies here, I think. If you perceive that a certain category of authors or works (Native American women, villanelles) deserve better readership than they are getting, it's reasonable to promote them AS A CATEGORY.

Re: Ebony Reads
Posted by: peternsz (
Date: October 20, 2004 07:13PM

I'm still looking for a good collection of Romulon translations of Klingon love poetry, especially sestinas with off rimes.

My favorite is "malornit trarkine samlin tarker" or "the wings are best in tartar sauce, flapping."

Re: Ebony Reads
Posted by: Henry_C (
Date: October 24, 2004 05:42AM

Hi Guys.

I am involved in the Ebony Reads project. Whilst I agree that the issue of group distinguished reading lists does have potential 'live mines' littering any discussion, I am very much in favour of the initiative as one of the main aims is to increase the exposure of quality literature to black teenagers and children. I see this as a good thing. I'd love for my younger teen sisters tp pick up any of these books! :>)


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