Issue 53

The Learning To Hate Hate edition

A weekly dispatch from What We Seee. Part of an ongoing mission to fulfil the cultural promise of the internet. An enriching and eclectic collection of music, art, film and stories. Think of it as your digital 5-a-day.

George the Poet give us a learning moment

In this interview on BBC Newsnight, George the Poet calmly explain the similarities between the Black British and African American experience; how change everywhere is necessary not just solidarity with Americans and shows us the power of listening and thoughtful conversation.

There should be more hate for hate

After Ahmaud Arbery was chased down and killed while he was jogging in Glynn County, Georgia., investigators say, one of the white men accused of shooting him used a racial slur. In this video, Wanda Cooper-Jones, Mr. Arbery’s mother, demands that these men be prosecuted not just on charges of killing her son but also for targeting him because of his skin colour. Yet as it now stands, that can’t happen: Georgia is one of just four States in the country without a hate crime law.

Shedding light on the troubled soulscape of America

This scene from Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever epitomises a film film about the racial, gender, class, and social tensions in urban America. Lee sets before our eyes a cast of characters and situations that illustrate the divisiveness of a society consumed with fear, bigotry, misunderstanding, envy, and despair. Love, family life, work, and religion are all ravaged by this divisiveness.

Our most valuable time and energy will not be wasted fighting each other

The words of Ossie Davis and his eulogy are read to us in the final scenes of the film Malcolm X.
Consigning these mortal remains to earth, the common mother of all, secure in the knowledge that what we place in the ground is no more now a man—but a seed—which, after the winter of our discontent, will come forth again to meet us.

“Is the American dream at the expense of the American negro?”

The truly extraordinary debate between James Baldwin v. William F. Buckley Jr. at Cambridge University in 1965 on the question: “Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?”. It has been said that as a work of rhetoric, Baldwin’s performance surpasses even the best of Martin Luther King or JFK. Take time to watch the full debate, but at the risk of spoiling the finale, Baldwin wins 540 votes to 160.

Cover photo

Misan Harriman, June 2020

Get WWS Weekly sent directly to your inbox each week: