Race & Racism at the University of Richmond

Browse Items (23 total)

This sketch (a brief, abstract descriptive poem) begins with the "fear of a black" that is then related to the prevention of typhoid, which "results in the American Army." The three words of "Negro / Mister / Coffee" follow the words "They mystify."…

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 from the Spring 1990 issue of the Messenger features an assumedly French female student who corrects a classmate's pronunciation of the word 'femme fatale.' Another classmate then reminds her that they aren't in France. The narrator then…

In this poem, the narrator claims that Jewish people always live in sukkot (plural form of sukkah), defined at the end of the piece as "a small tent built for a week of meals and prayer to celebrate the Jewish harvest holiday of Succoth." It…

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.
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