Race & Racism at the University of Richmond

Browse Items (55 total)

In this play by the Messenger’s then-editor-in-chief, Louise Dinwiddie, two Englishmen are traveling in “the Orient” in a search for collectables. One, Jade, sees China as a beautiful and mysterious location, while the other, Michael, complains…

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"…

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 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…

The title of this poem uses a derogatory racial slur to describe its main character. The narrator of this poem relays the time he saw a black man in heaven. This black man is dressed in "crimson satin things" with "golden teeth" and with "jeweled…

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…

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 from the 1954 Messenger addresses a bumpy city bus that the narrator rides, urging it to pay attention to the people that ride it. This narrator speculates about the lives and personalities of some assumedly white riders before listing off…

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.
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