Race & Racism at the University of Richmond

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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…

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 reinforces ideas of hopelessness and permanence, repeating many lines and ultimately lamenting, "but you are trapped, hung in one spot / dangling over water, lost / to one world, lost in the other[.]" "Bugger" is a homophobic slang term.…

This poem contrasts the longings of two Mexican men. The first, "born into Gayety Hall," feels out of place during a visit to Mexico and wishes to be back home in busy Manhattan. The second, born in Mexico, is in the setting that the first dreams of,…
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