Questions tagged [race-issues]

Questions related to race, including both racism and its condemnation.

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How can we approach analyzing Singer's treatment of race in his works?

While reading A Friend of Kafka (1970), a book of short stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer, a few passages struck me as odd, especially concering race (and the use of the word "Negro" in ...
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17 votes
2 answers
3k views

What was the ethnicity of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights?

Though he was brought home by Mr. Earnshaw following a journey to Liverpool, there is no definitive answer to his ethnicity. Liverpool by 1740 had surpassed Bristol and London as the slave-trading ...
4 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why is "The Vanishing Half" set in Louisiana?

Author Brit Bennett's new novel has hit and stayed on The New York Times fiction best-seller list for months as of now. I have not been able to get a copy. Reading the reviews and synopsis makes me ...
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2 votes
1 answer
869 views

Was Mark Twain a racist?

The question had come to my mind after reading Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; I knew he more often had put Indians as his story villains, but I wasn't paying attention to it till I read that ...
2 votes
1 answer
75 views

Where and to whom did Toni Morrison give this speech?

Afua Hirsch in her book, Brit(ish) writes that Toni Morrison gave a speech in 1975 saying: 'It's important to know ... the very serious distraction of racism, which is distraction. It keeps you ...
3 votes
1 answer
65 views

What is Baldwin referring to by the "magnificent twenties"?

In his Many Thousands Gone, James Baldwin wrote We cannot, to begin with, divorce this book from the specific social climate of that time; it was one of the last of all through the thirties, ...
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8 votes
2 answers
462 views

Why is the colour of Caliban's girls important?

I recently read Nalo Hopkinson's short story "Shift", which is freely available online. The central character is a reimagining of Shakespeare's Caliban, a Caribbean black man who finds white women to ...
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4 votes
2 answers
780 views

Is it whitewashing to depict Blaise Zabini as white?

I was reading about a little kerfuckle in the Harry Potter community over the character of Blaise Zabini, who was revealed in The Half Blood Prince (more than half way through the series, despite ...
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17 votes
4 answers
2k views

Understanding the use of the word "Negress" in the Kilmartin and Cox translation of Solaris

I just finished reading Kilmartin and Cox's translation of Stanislaw Lem's Solaris, and one particular passage stood out to me. I'm hesitant to ask a question about the Kilmartin and Cox translation, ...
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11 votes
3 answers
762 views

Why are there so many references to Moneylenders and Jews in 19th century fiction?

In 19th century fiction, there are a lot of references to moneylenders as "Jews". For example, in "Framley Parsonage", by Anthony Trollope, Lord Lufton says "the pocket-books of the Jews are stuffed ...
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why does Modesta Gómez demand payment from the indigenous girl?

In Rosario Castellanos's short story "Modesta Gómez," we see how a girl named Modesta with bright dreams for the future has them destroyed first by a wealthy family and then by her working-...