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THE WHITMAN THING (1819-1892)
Afaa Michael Weaver 蔚雅風 June 8, 2010
Memorial Day on www.democracynow. org was celebrated with the posting of a video of a speech Noam Chomsky gave several weeks earlier on the subject of the need to revitalize radical reform energies in this country, and he made a comment that crystalized a few things I often toss around. For the last few years I have been working on a scholarly article about cultural intersections in the blues poetry of Marilyn Chin, and so I have been focusing on the latter nineteenth century, a fascinating and important time in American history. Chomsky said the deliberate criminalization of African Americans at that time was central to the rise in the American industrial revolution.
Leaves of Grass appeared in its first edition in 1855, and ninety-nine years later, the Supreme Court issued the Brown decision, the most far-reaching and effective civil rights legislation in a history of the same going back into the nineteenth century. Sla…