NYU Black Renaissance Noire Winter 2014 - Page 69

Well that may be true for college professors but for the millions of black people the most painful consequences of racism are starvation, homelessness, and death, sterilization, predatory lenders, the lack of access to nutrition, and a criminal justice system that treats them differently from whites. Institutions headed by white men are responsible for more pain suffered by these millions than the personal behavior of black men. Yes, when it comes to the ways in which black men treat black women, the brothers can be dogs and many pay for it. Of all groups of American men, black men are those who are most likely to be murdered by women!! 12 Next to the behavior of men in some other American ethnic groups, black men are amateurs when it comes to the ill-treatment of women. Moreover, it was white men who voted to end an extension of unemployment insurance. BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE The interracial conflicts at the heart of narratives by black male writers from Frederick Douglass to Ralph Ellison to Amiri Baraka did not take center stage. Racism remained a major concern. But for these writers, the most painful consequences of racism were played out in the most intimate relationships. It’s white men who want to eliminate school lunch programs and food stamps. Those who have denied Medicaid to millions of the poor, an action that will lead to the death of hundreds of thousands — are white men. Those who run a criminal justice system that sends thousands of black women to prison where they are subjected to medical malpractice leading to death and sterilization are white men.13 Those who run Bank of America and Wells Fargo which issued toxic loans to blacks and Hispanics causing blacks to lose fifty percent of their wealth are white men. Those who are attempting to deprive millions of blacks and Hispanics of the right to vote are white men. The president who gained office by scapegoating blacks reduced housing subsidies by 70% was a white man — Ronald Reagan. This policy coincided with the advent of widespread homelessness. 67 Here’s the pull quote from Norton 3, Vol.2. written by Cheryl A. Wall (board of governors Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English Rutgers University). She writes of some black women writers: Maybe those members of the Skip Machine, The Harvard and Princeton Talented Tenth, a phrase used by their leader, W.E.B DuBois, who was cozy with the Eugenics movement, don’t care about these facts because the line promoted by their leader is that the black poor are poor because of their personal behavior. You can understand why institutions as varied as Comcast, Lions Gate, Broadway, and Columbia University and other Blue Chip corporations are eager to invest in black bogeyman projects and the ousting of black male writers who have vilified the one percent since the time of David Walker. No wonder J.P. Morgan recently sponsored a show by black male hater Eve Ensler at the Apollo theater, a theater that has never sponsored a play by Amiri Baraka, Ed Bullins or Aishah Rahman, who isn’t even mentioned in Kimberley Benston’s weak section on the Black Arts movement printed in Norton 3, Vol.2 (maybe because his real interest is Shakespeare and black lit for him is kind of like a hobby). When the late Amiri Baraka read my comment about the Apollo, he sent me a note that merely read “bullseye.” The other charge made by Ms. Wall is that black male writers from Douglass have spent all of their energy on “interracial conflicts” or as a well known and admirable literary diva said, “hating whitey.” She says that she likes books in which a man compliments a woman about her hair style. Another diva says she wants her novels to go down like a “hot fudge sundae.” Forget about what black male writers would make of such comments, but what would Jayne Cortez or Gwendolyn Brooks say? Did Richard Wright, Chester Himes and Ralph Ellison play gender favorites? All about hating whitey? Unlike feminist novels in which all of the women are saintly and all of the men are cads or brutes or buffoons, some of the harshest portrayals in novels by black males, who have been targets of feminist