In his farewell address, President Obama invoked the glorified version of To Kill a Mockingbird's Atticus Finch who has been incorrectly read as a civil rights hero for decades.
“On November 10 The New York Times reported that nearly seven in ten Republicans prefer America as it was in the 1950s,” Smith said, “A nostalgia of course entirely unavailable to a person like me, for in that period I could not vote, marry my husband, have my children, work in the university I work in, or live in my neighborhood.”
After a year and a half of unemployment, E.R. Braithwaite decided to try teaching and is posted to one of the worst schools in London’s East End -- and even there was confronted by the specter of racism. The experience became the subject of his novel, To Sir, With Love.
The election that declared Republican Donald Trump president-elect on Tuesday has been the most divisive in recent history. Here are four poems that cut across some of the main issues that have emerged in the face off between he and Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton.
Like the rising demogogue at the heart of Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, All The King's Men, Trump understands that he is liberated from the burden of fact just so long as he continues to depict a reality that renders as True.
The Winter of Our Discontent is marked by the same sort of nationalism that has been given pride of place on the electoral stage. At the close of the first black president’s tenure, there has been a heightening of hate. The staggering reinvigoration of white supremacy--let’s call it like it is--is a response what some commentators have observed as a pushback against President Obama as a symbol for racial advancement. The racist underpinnings of presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign are, for some, a way to set back the “rightful” order of this country -- you know, to “make America great again.”
As outrage over the killings of unarmed black men by white police hours plays again rattles the nation, Langston Hughes’ poetry of protest has become only more prescient.
Margaret Atwood's 30-year-old novel sheds a dark light on today's attacks against women from how rape cases are handled to allegations against Planned Parenthood.
Dunya Mikhail returned to her home country of Iraq after 20 years in the United States to understand the lives of women who were held captive by ISIS. Their stories are the subject of her latest book.
With so much focused on the time between the opening ceremony and the podium, how could becoming a regular person again feel like anything but failure?
Given the prevalence of queer perspectives and homosexual references in Islamic poetry, it’s hugely ironic that LGBTQ Muslims around the world struggle to live out their sexual and gender identities.
Although every National Park was once inhabited or used by Native people, their stories are glaringly absent in this year's centennial celebrations of the National Parks Service as “America’s best idea.” Poet, musician, and member of the Mvskoke Nation, Joy Harjo takes the United States' limited account for tribal histories to task in her poem, "Someone Talking."
The attack on the Orlando, Florida gay club Pulse was not just a violation of a safe space, but a desecration of a place of celebration for a community still engaged in very real battles against marginalization, discrimination, and all out violence. These five novels show the importance of such venues to the LGBT community and offer a glimpse of just what was lost along with 49 lives in the most deadly mass shooting in U.S. history.
Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco, who read an original work at President Obama’s second inauguration ceremony in 2013, was asked to write and share a poem for the historic re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Havana in August. THE ALIGNIST’s Beenish Ahmed spoke to him about the challenges of composing a poem for such a personally and politically significant occasion, and about Cuba – and America – have changed for him since amid renewed ties between the two countries.
Although a new film and documentary about Violette Leduc’s life have added to her popularity in recent years, the groundbreaking writer remains largely unread outside of France. THE ALIGNIST’s Beenish Ahmed called up New York University professor Elisabeth Ladenson to talk about Leduc’s troubled life and unsung legacy -- but mostly, about her unsparing prose.
"I forgot to tell you...that in the practical sense of the word/ I've grown used to your absence/ and that my wishes have lost their way to your desires/ and my memory has begun to corrode/ And that I still chase the light, not because I want to see...the dark always frightens/ even when we're used to it."
Rarely is sexism considered to be a menace akin to that of sectarianism in Pakistan. It's even rarer that the omission of the country's most marginalized from their place within classrooms and within textbooks is called into question. In her book, The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan, Rafia Zakaria does both.
2015 saw more than a million migrants land on the shores of Europe, the launch of a reconfigured campaign against terror, a shocking array of mass killings, and far more. Here are five books which shed light on some of those events and more.
"And when the woman with the multiple degrees says, I didn't know black women could get cancer, instinctively you take two steps back though all urgency leaves the possibility of any kind of relationship as you realize nowhere is where you will get from here."
Writer and lawyer Gowri Koneswaran spoke with Tamil poet R. Cheran for THE ALIGNIST about his writing, the current human rights situation in Sri Lanka, and an Amnesty International poetry contest on enforced disappearances in the country.