Racist Imagery from Coon Chicken Inn

Friday, April 6, 2012

Review of Race, Rage, & Redemption in "The Day"

We woke up this morning to this lovely review in The Day. 

Here's what writer Rick Koster had to say:

"Depending on one's Twain scholarship, the material in "Heart & Conscience" can be enlightening and reassuring - or there might be an aspect to it where it can a bit defensive. This is the Twain House & Museum, though, so it's expected that such an exhibition would want to go to every length to explain the author's early-life prejudices and point out the expansive nature of his eventual beliefs and efforts.

In any scenario, though, "Rage, Race & Redemption" is a dramatically effective installation that serves as a cautionary reminder from another substantial American writer, William Fauklner: "The past isn't dead and buried. It isn't even past."

And Mr. Koster also found Chris Rock's meditations on racial slurs to be fascinating:

"Another wall is devoted to modern African American writers and artists, each attesting to Twain's contributions to race relations. Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, Richard Pryor and Toni Morrison are all represented with quotes - including one of the most intriguing N-word comments I've ever seen, from Chris Rock:"We took this word and made it into poetry ... in the wrong hands it can hurt ... if you give it to the right scientist (Dave Chappelle, Ice Cube, Eddie Murphy) ... what they did ... what NWA and Richard Pryor did, it's art, it's Mark Twain.""

Thank you for the thoughtful review, Rick!

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