By HENRY LOUIS GATES JR. © The New York Times Archives
April 21, 1985


DUST TRACKS ON A ROAD An Autobiography. By Zora Neale Hurston. Edited and introduced by Robert Hemenway. 348 pp. Urbana: University of Illinois. Cloth, $22.95. Paper, $8.95.

MOSES Man of the Mountain. By Zora Neale Hurston. Introduced by Blyden Jackson. 351 pp. Urbana: University of Illinois. Paper, $6.95.

ZORA NEALE HURSTON’S last encounter with her dying mother, as described in ”Dust Tracks on a Road” (1942), is one of the most moving passages in autobiography. ”As I crowded in, they lifted up the bed and turned it around so that Mama’s eyes would face east,” Hurston writes. ”I thought that she looked to me as the head of the bed reversed. Her mouth was slightly open, but her breathing took up so much of her strength that she could not talk. But she looked up at me, or so I felt, to speak for her. She depended on me for a voice.” We can begin to understand the rhetorical distance that separated Hurston from her fellow writers if we compare this passage to a similar scene depicted just three years later by Richard Wright, who was dominant among Hurston’s black male contemporaries and her chief rival. In ”Black Boy,” a memoir of his childhood, Wright wrote: ”Once, in the night, my mother called me to her bed and told me that she could not endure the pain, and she wanted to die. I held her hand and begged her to be quiet. That night I ceased to react to my mother; my feelings were frozen.”

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"A state of shock is what results when a gap opens up between events and our initial ability to explain them. When we find ourselves in that position, without a story, without our moorings, a great many people become vulnerable to authority figures telling us to fear one another and relinquish our rights for the greater good."
––Naomi Klein

Your Tax Dollars Help Starve Children
Nicholas Kristof, © The New York Times
December 10, 2018

ADEN, Yemen — He is an 8-year-old boy who is starving and has limbs like sticks, but Yaqoob Walid doesn’t cry or complain. He gazes stolidly ahead, tuning out everything, for in late stages of starvation the human body focuses every calorie simply on keeping the organs functioning.

Yaqoob arrived unconscious at Al Sadaqa Hospital here, weighing just over 30 pounds. He has suffered complications, and doctors say that it is unclear he will survive and that if he does he may suffer permanent brain damage.

Some 85,000 children may have already died here in Yemen, and 12 million more people may be on the brink of starvation, casualties in part of the three-year-old American-backed Saudi war in Yemen. United Nations officials and aid experts warn that this could become the worst famine the world has seen in a generation.

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"I covered the Vietnam War. I remember the lies that were told, the lives that were lost - and the shock when, twenty years after the war ended, former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara admitted he knew it was a mistake all along."
––Walter Cronkite

Public Pressure Could Halt US Support of Yemen War
Marjorie Cohn, © Truthout
December 10, 2018

US tax dollars are supporting Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, which has already claimed the lives of some 85,000 children, and 12 million more people are likely on the brink of starvation. As Nicholas Kristof wrote in The New York Times, “the starvation does not seem to be an accidental byproduct of war, but rather a weapon in it.”

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"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."
––Arthur Ashe

Den 3. verdens nye koloniherrer afviser menneskerettighederne som et vestligt koncept
Martin Burcharth, © Information.dk
December 10, 2018

Amnesty Internationals generalsekretær gennem de sidste otte år, inderen Salil Shetty, ynder at fortælle en instruktiv anekdote, når han bliver bedt om at belyse, hvad menneskerettighederne egentlig står for halvfjerds år efter vedtagelsen af FN’s verdenserklæring i 1948.

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"Always desire to learn something useful."