The Recoil

I’ve always been an ambitious person and I’m still ambitious even though I’m 67 and retired from teaching at Morehead State.

But I also punish myself for any progress toward those ambitions and really for any good idea that I have. That’s much of what makes writing so hard.

That’s the case even after writing something as short as the last post. I want to cry, have a pain rolling from the back of my head into my eyes, and want to throw up.

This has been the case with my writing since I was 23 back in 1977.

But writing about blackface makes the usual situation of my writing worse because of the disgust and shame I feel as an ambitious white person writing about the topic. The shame was visceral when I was doing research in 2010 at the Library Company of Philadelphia. Blackface materials were not only disgustingly racist, they had a polluting quality that made me want to take a shower after every day at the archives.

Anyway, I have to stop here.

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