READING 2015, PART ONE
Having abandoned the bad faith of making New Year’s Resolutions, I am determined in 2015 to pursue three priorities:
CULTURAL WORK IN NEW ORLEANS
RESEARCH, THINKING AND WRITING
The trio demands specialized kinds of reading. 2014 produced increased awareness of Cosmic Evil, of the international insanity that Cosmic Evil makes its primary work, and of the domestic insanity in European genocide, rape, and dispersal of indigenous peoples that is the origin of what is now called the United States of America. Using the bodies of Africans as objects of commerce is a nasty feature of American history; nastier still is the complicity of certain Africans, educated by an Arab slave trade, in supporting demeaning trafficking with human lives. The vulgar outcome is that Americans in 2014 are enslaved by custom, rancid ideologies, criminal passions, Darwinian penchants, and law.
America’s history is stamped SNAFU. Its contemporary chapters are written by people of no-color. They are fully aware that theirs is a dying race in the global scheme of things. Inspired by Cosmic Evil, they work feverishly to lay the groundwork of World War III and the near-total end of human and animal life on this planet and the dawn of post-whatever everything. People of no-color may indeed succeed with generous help from a minority of Islamic demons and other beings who dance the militarized police foxtrot and procreate with Satan. One must be prepared for anything.
I have not abandoned hope that the story can end differently, but I have profound reservations about the efficacy of hope as an abstraction. Some narcotics are not worth ingesting.
The reading plan for the first months of 2015 includes rereading W. Keorapetse Kgositsile’s essay “I Know My Name” [The Black Position, No. 3 (1973): 60-69], Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Henry Giroux’s Border Crossings: Cultural Workers and the Politics of Education, Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, Antony Easthope’s Literary Into Cultural Studies, Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy, Richard Wright’s The Color Curtain, Lucien Goldmann’s The Human Sciences and Philosophy, Origins of Terrorism, edited by Walter Reich, Karl R. Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies, Aimé Césaire’s Return to My Native Land, and Floyd W. Hayes’s “The Paradox of the Ethical Criminal in Richard Wright’s Novel The Outsider: A Philosophical Investigation,” Black Renaissance Noire 13.1 (2013): 162-171.
Such revisiting, as it were, of old friends will strengthen me to grapple with such works as the Dao De Jing, In the Wake of Hurricane Katrina: New Paradigms and Social Visions (2010), edited by Clyde Woods, Thomas Brothers’s Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans (2006) and Black Gold: An Anthology of Black Poetry (2014), edited by Ja A. Jahannes. All of this is reading to inform my writing of READING RACE READING AMERICA: SOCIAL AND LITERARY ESSAYS, a book I may finish and publish before my burial. Wish me luck.
Jerry W. Ward, Jr. December 18, 2014