Race & Racism at the University of Richmond

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The author of this poem claims that she is "an Asian who wants to be white" and begins the poem with the choice, "I want to be more American." When asked what's stopping her, though, she responds, "That's not who I am." The root of her desire to be…

This poem, narrated by "the slave's dream and hope," attacks the idea of "good hair" as a superior, more acceptable alternative to natural black hair. It asserts that good hair should have been left on the plantations, and compares it to the song…

The narrator of this poem expresses his identity as part of a "colossal being" of black people, preferring the collective 'we' to the singular 'I.' He explores slavery as "the torture that was endured for years and still / Silently exists today"…

This poem by a white student tells of the race dynamics of a public bus. It contrasts young students from St. Catherine's with black riders as the bus enters a poorer section of the city. The narrator claims that she is the only one who acknowledges…

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.

This poem by a white student describes two "bums," one black and one white, who ultimately realize that, despite their differences and the oppressive attitudes of the white person towards the black person, each is the only friend that the other has.

In this poem, freshman J. Isaiah Bailey expresses his deep frustrations with being Black and attending the University of Richmond. He describes it as “being imprisoned with rich kids in a system.” He goes on to list numerous aspects about…

In this article, the author discusses how the fall 1991 issue of the University’s literary magazine, The Messenger, prompted University officials to consider withdrawing the magazine from the admissions office due to the use of profanity.…

The narrator of this poem claims that, if he were black, he wouldn't mind being turned away from a white cemetery. The poem finishes by arguing that "it's white of them to give what tantamounts to [an integrated world], and makes us all, for what…

This "Old Piedmont Negro dialect" poem was written by a white male student masquerading as a black storyteller. Its title refers to the fictional central character, Nias, an enslaved black man who is characterized as an unintelligent, unhygenic, yet…
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