Reflections on “The Other”

There is some fantastic writing in the two NYRB articles highlighted in the “Snippets” section, one by Joyce Carol Oates, who has written often and written very well about boxing, on Jack Johnson. The other, is by Gordon Wood, and is a review of two new and seemingly indispensible books about the experience of chattel slavery in the “New World.”
I’ve been on a bit of a Jack Johnson bend lately, first mentioning the Miles Davis album named for the boxing champion, then reprising, at length, a 1910 Los Angles Times editorial about Jack Johnson whose plain and open racism is a valuable reminder for those who forget just how “respectable” such attitudes have been in the mainstream of American society.
Both articles deserve a close reading. Wood’s slavery book review has some tantalizing hints of possible answers to the question of why gaps in socioeconomic performance persist between African Americans and West Indian immigrants are common.

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