Race & Racism at the University of Richmond

Browse Items (60 total)

The two characters in this story, an unnamed woman and unnamed man, argue over the man's desire to move to Africa. The man claims that everyone who visits the continent "wish[es] they had come before the white man, or before colonization" and…

In this short story, a woman named Rebecca reflects on her new life in Africa while hitchhiking with a man named Jeff, who is described as "weather-tanned." His race is not identified. After he stops on the side of the road, he begins to make…

This short story follows an unnamed American narrator and his peers traveling to Africa for writing inspiration. It points out and pokes fun at the tendency of European and American authors to use contrasting epithets to describe the continent, such…

This short story takes place in Guatemala and explains the folktale of esperanza, or hope. A boy named Miguelito first discovers an esperanza bug, then accidentally kills it while fighting his older brother. However, nobody seems to care as much as…

This short story is a retelling of the myth of Perseus and Medusa, written in black American dialect by a white student. The young women in the tale are oversexualized and the narrator exhibits colorism by referring to Polydectes's "high yaller"…

This short story from the February 1941 Messenger details the passing of a black woman named Bess. Bess's dress is described as being scant and attention-grabbing, and an unnamed man urges her to marry someone who is "her own kind" and criticizes her…

In this short story, an American soldier named Taylor is shot and killed after enduring torture in an unspecified Asian POW camp. Taylor is reincarnated multiple times before the story of his shooting is told, in which a military commander named…

In this short story, a law student named Winston Kingstone Manners the Fourth does cocaine and finds a book that contains his life story. Moments in his past are described as, "The beaten black boy, the date-raped freshman, and the threatened…

This poem is narrated by someone who feels left behind by a charismatic politician. References are made to the politician's constituents as being "scraps of self" and asking too much by expecting the politician to make their burdens his or her own,…

This poem is a celebration of the narrator's "angel," a black woman with "coca skin" and "dark softness." It was the only poem by a black student in the 1984 Messenger.
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