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Blog 11

Hello fellow bloggers! Alright, now I feel like one of the guys we were talking about who lives in his mom’s basement and writes fantasy novels. Anyway, about Kindred…I read this novel over Spring Break while I was visiting a friend in San Antonio. I was a little weary throughout the beginning for a few reasons, some of which I found out were moot. But one thing I could not shake for a while was that when I thought, “modern day black woman,” I pictured 2011, so when she talked so much of racism and slavery in present day, I was unable to fully connect. Racism just isn’t something I am faced with on an at-all-regular basis. Then I put my book down and went to the River Walk to do some shopping and couldn’t help but notice the overwhelming number of Mexicans at the mall. And a few of my friends, as soon as we walked in, said, “Yeah, I forgot to tell you that there are just a ton of Mexicans here.” While they were not trying to be blatantly discriminatory, apologizing for the Mexicans as though there was something to be ashamed of was racist. And then I felt terrible, thinking back to all of the time in my life I have witnessed other statements such as these without even noticing the underlying tones. This class, if nothing else, has taught be to be hyper-aware. I analyze everything. I ask myself if a group of people would be offended by certain statements, or if statements are supporting or arguing against different beliefs.

And that brings me to what we talked about a little in class today when I asked whether we thought slaves would be offended my Butler’s novel in that it attempts to viscerally depict something she herself had never experienced. While I cannot be certain one way or the other, I would think not, because it seems as though she conducted a lot of research on the matter and had close relationships with others who experienced slavery. Her depictions, for me, are very much a blessing, because, as we discussed, many narratives leave out the gruesome details due to an inability to describe the horrors fully. Because Butler is separated from the gruesome nature of it all, she is able to get down to the ugly side that I think needs to be portrayed. One thing, however, that would make it less offensive, would have been to have reflected more at the end on what the experience meant for her and how she might go about fighting for the rights of blacks in her world of 1975.

What interested me most, though, out of all of the things we discussed in class, was the reasoning behind writing this novel and others like it. And we came to the conclusion that many authors are exploring the programming of people and how they think. While reading the book, I found myself thinking about the nature/nurture debate and ultimately leaning toward nurture. I don’t think Rufus came out of the womb hating blacks. Ah! So much to talk about. My next posts may still be about Kindred…but have good nights, everyone!


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