Posted by: amartinmhc | December 10, 2014

Kiese Laymon and the college ID

Following Kay’s post and Bella’s followup on language, narrative, and racist violence, I remembered that I wanted to share with the class this essay by the brilliant writer Kiese Laymon. There are several reasons that I share it. First, it is perhaps the most devastating analysis of racism in (and out) of the academy that I have read. Second, at the start of the semester, we talked about early identification documents as apparatuses of surveillance and biopower, as ways of archiving bodies seen as deviant, particularly those of the working class. This piece nuances that in very important ways, exploring how for people of color, ID can provide certain kinds of protection while at the same time exacting enormous costs. I urge all of you to read it.

My Vassar College Faculty ID Makes Everything OK


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