“I lost an arm on my last trip home.
My left arm.”
The iconic first line of Octavia Butler’s novel, Kindred, puts the reader right there. The gravity of the legacy of slavery is there in the face. Who has lost an arm? How? Why?
Listen as host Jeffery Jenkins and guests Ange-Marie Alfaro, Caroline Bhalla, and Aubrey Hicks as they think about this classic work of American fiction.
To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of the “Kindred” episode click the arrow in the player on this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, Google Play, Stitcher or your favorite podcasting app!
In Colson Whitehead’s award winning novel The Underground Railroad, Cora, daughter and granddaughter of slaves, flees her plantation after a horrific punishment. She heads out with a fellow slave Caesar, who takes her to the underground railroad – in this novel, a real RR. She is passionately pursued by Ridgeway, a slave catcher while she experiences the horrors of American racism and the courage of the RR personnel. The book compares a mythological Southern narrative of slavery with Cora’s truths and Ridgeway’s version of the “American imperative.” Beautifully written, full of horrific incidents, the book reminds us of the power of racism, the government’s complicity in its implementation and persistence, and reminds us freed African Americans carried with them the legacy of violence, oppression, suppression, and more violence whether from the police, physicians, or any other institution.
To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of The Underground Railroad click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player here – or you can download it and subscribe through iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play