Now that I’ve made a huge title for this entry, I will make the entry very small.  A week and a half after seeing Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, a wildly fantastic and grimly realistic—somehow, at the same time—story about a slave in the American south (a retelling of the story of Siegfried and Brunhilde, really), I read Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, an old (published I think in 1688) story/biography about an African prince who became enslaved in a South American colony.  If you haven’t seen Django Unchained, you’d not in a position to appreciate its depiction of the horrible violence dealt to African slaves.  I didn’t watch several parts.  And if you haven’t read Oroonoko, you’re also not in a position to appreciate its depiction of horrible violence to African slaves.  Even though Behn is kind-of resistant to the cruelty, she’s also pretty unflinching in her descriptions.

Every once in a while I remember what the experience of Africans in “the New World” has been: nightmarish, for hundreds and hundreds of years.  I wonder when we’ll be done remembering these crimes?  We should remember them (as Tarantino has certainly partly done) for another few hundred years at least.  It bothers me when people act like the remnants—sometimes very virulent, still—of racism aren’t important, or like they have just spring up from the ground.

Gar.

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