The Body of White Space

  • James W. Perkinson
Part of the Black Religion / Womanist Thought / Social Justice book series (BRWT)

Abstract

“So, we have had more than thirty contact hours of discussion about race, class and gender, in this course. Now I want to know what you think. Do you guys think we still have a problem with racism today?” The mocha-skinned woman’s challenge was as much a matter of eyes punctuating the bob of her head as of her tongue forming syllables. The two other African American women in class sat eager to the question, eyes on alert, “reading” through every pore. Every one of the four white males addressed by their fellow student’s “throw down” squirmed his response. Not one could speak to it; all four spoke away from it, discharging their nervousness in long dissembling rambles about not-quite-related subjects. As subjects of speech, their speaking exceeded their own subjectivity. The dis-ease was almost literal, an affliction of a dis-articulate body, unable to find voice, performing its awkwardness with all the eloquence of an infection. The classroom suddenly became clinic for a virus1 that is ubiquitous in this country. More than mere surface appearance gestured here like a symptom. White male embodiment spoke its speechless code like a fever.

Keywords

Europe Flare Expense Product Line Excavation 

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Copyright information

© James W. Perkinson 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. Perkinson

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