Murder in the Cathedral, part 2
by Douglas Mercer
KERRY James Marshall is a Black artist and he’ll never let you forget it. His subject matter is black black black black. All he ever talks about is black black black black.
Did he mention that he is Black?
Kerry James Marshall grew up near Watts where their idea of art was taking garbage and using gorilla glue to hold the garbage together and taking rebar to construct some towers. For some reason this pile of trash was named a National Historical Landmark, but don’t go try to see it — you’ll probably get shot.
Kerry James Marshall has said the home he grew up in was next to the Black Panther Party headquarters, and that being exposed to this criminal enterprise from an early age left him with a sense of social responsibility, social responsibility being a Jewish euphemism for a long-standing and deep and abiding hatred of White people.
In his childhood, time spent in the Watts Neighborhood of Los Angeles where the Black Power and Civil Rights movements happened, had a significant impact on his paintings.
This hatred of White people shows up always in his “art” which is all about black black black black. They claim that he paints “extremely dark, essentially black figures” and these figures are said to depict Blacks as they confront the off-the-charts “racism of American society,” though the fact that this inept charlatan has thrived and prospered in that very society makes one thing clear — the racism needs to really get going.
For instance, Marshall was once considered by Time magazine to be one of the 100 most influential people in the world, but that can’t be true because until now you were lucky enough to never have heard of him. He was also named a MacArthur Fellow in 1997, which is more than enough evidence to convict the MacArthur people of running what was once probably a decent place into the ground and sending it on a one-way bender to the the dogs.
Black people occupy a space, even mundane spaces, in the most fascinating ways. Style is such an integral part of what black people do that just walking is not a simple thing. You’ve got to walk with style. You’ve got to talk with a certain rhythm; you’ve got to do things with some flair. And so in the paintings I try to enact that same tendency toward the theatrical that seems to be so integral a part of the black cultural body.
So says Kerry James Marshall in what is surely a tribute to the fact that Negroes like to shuck and jive, give you toothy grins, and spend most of their time shuffling. Time was when we’d just pat them on their nappy little heads and toss them a quarter and they’d keep to their inferior place in the social system.
Marshall incorporated the issue of race into their [sic] work.
No kidding, Sherlock — black black black black black.
His work is steeped in black history and black popular culture embracing blackness as a signifier of difference to critically address the marginalization of blacks in the visual sphere.
One such “Black issue” Marshall takes up is that of beauty. He stated that since most figures in advertising are White, he wanted to produce images of Black bodies to “offset the impression that beauty is synonymous with whiteness.”
Whiteness is beauty. He can paint ten thousand pictures of the Negress as Venus, but in reality they are not rising from that shell — rather they have the faces that sank a thousand ships.
Whiteness is beauty — everyone knows that.
“Black is beautiful” was one of the Black Arts movement’s slogans to counter the prevailing view that it was inherently unattractive.
They failed. The bloated lips like inner tubes startle the horses and send small children running in panic and fright.
Most of his work’s subject matter relates to the iniquities of colonial regimes. Marshall’s work also explores race in context with the Civil Rights Movement, Black Power Movement, housing projects, black beauty, and the political and social invisibility of blacks.
Man, a lot of people wish that Blacks were invisible, but alas….
He was one of the many African American artists who tried to incorporate themes of race and being black into his works, hoping to diversify the art historical canon.
Did they mention that he is Black?
Black black black black.
For me, the only way to really come to terms with that is to introduce images that contain Black figures and not Black figures [that] were marginal in terms of their position in the narrative but central to the narrative. I committed myself to only making Black figures in my paintings because there are not enough paintings in museums anywhere, really, that have black figures as the central subject of those pictures.
That paragraph sure packs in a lot of black.
All of which is to say that Kerry James Marshall is an Affirmative Action Jackson case who is a grievance and race hustler who has used the talisman of White guilt among our upper echelons and parlayed it into a nice living on our backs. Being Black is no barrier to success in the elite salons of our society, in fact it may be a prerequisite. The Blacker the better, the better to kill the White man.
Because he’s Black, don’t you know.
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Elizabeth Alexander is a Black poet and that she’s Black she’ll never let you forget. (Really semi-Black, and this semi-presentable, like her friend former President Fetchit.) She’s also a bruiser, big and fat and looks like one of those NFL linebackers who’s always getting caught up in assault cases on White women. She went to the uber-prestigious Sidwell Friends school in the Jewish capital, she was to the Black manor born, her father was an Affirmative Action case who was a Black bigwig in American politics, she hobnobs with famous Black poet and terminal nonentity Derek Walcott, she went to the “best” schools America has on offer, she really is part of a privileged caste — and yet she whines, moans, and bitches that about “oppression.”
Black black black black black.
As has been said.
Why, if a White poet talked as much about being White as she does about being Black they’d run him out of town on a rail; Joy Reid would warn her audience that somewhere nooses were being prepared.
Because, as they say, there is no White experience in America.
In these essays Alexander discusses the lives and works of famous African American artists, including writers Langston Hughes and Anna Cooper, poets Gwendolyn Brooks and Michael Harper, and actor Denzel Washington, and attempts to explain the cultural role that such artists play and have played in both the African American and wider American communities. Alexander also branches out to discuss, among other things, the stereotype of the African American male, the murder trial of O.J. Simpson. Her concluding piece on the Rodney King case is a tour de force.
Those televisions that you saw those Negroes carting off? Those were for Rodney!
Alexander taught for 15 years at the once-White Yale University, where where she chaired (drum roll please…) the African American Studies Department.
Some nerd poetry organization says, if you want, you can “explore the rich history of African American poetry with a particular focus on Elizabeth Alexander.”
No thanks, we’re White and we retain our sense of decency.
Poet Elizabeth Alexander celebrates the power of a people’s voice as part of a commemorative Washington Post issue on the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
A museum? Yes, you get to walk past the simulacra of burnt-out cities with dummies of winos passed out on the lawns in front of the cars with knocked-out windows that have been rotting there for a decade, probably with corpses inside. No pictures, please.
Her true claim to fame is that she has the stink of the Obamas all over her, which for a Black is like having touched the face of God. And even better for her, she met the Gay Mulatto back in the 1990s when he was still but a gleam in the Jews’ eyes. But then, after a not-hard-fought campaign where warmonger and elite swell John McCain all but rolled over for the arc of history, we had the final abomination of desolation — a Black man in the White House. And Elizabeth Alexander became one in a long line of incompetent Black poets to read a “poem” at an inaugural, after that frog-faced Maya Angelou and before the latest abomination, Amanda Gorman.
Somewhere Robert Frost is retching in the corner.
Her poem bombed. One critic said it was “bureaucratic verse” and he was being kind. Witness:
Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,
picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.
For some reason, the Negroes are always building things in America, and working hard –but never in Africa; must be that magic dirt.
Of course this incompetence has not stopped her from picking up all the accolades that a society can bestow on such a time-server. Just remember, when she was but a toddler her parents took her to see that “I Have a Dream” speech on the Washington Mall. Which means she imbibed an implacable hatred of White people along with her mother’s milk.
I have a dream too, that America would be Jew-free, Black-free, and Mestizo-free, but there’s yet to be a statue of me.
Elizabeth Alexander was born in Harlem; her father was the Secretary of the Army; her mother taught African American History at George Washington University; her brother worked for Barack Obama.
She is President of the Mellon Foundation; her books are Pulitzer Prize finalists; she is the Wun Tsun Tam Mellon Professor at Columbia; she won a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts; she was the Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets; she has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; she was elected to the American Philosophical Society; Yale gave her an honorary Doctor of Letters; she received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award Lifetime Achievement Award in Poetry; and she won the Jackson Poetry Prize.
This is straight up patronage, All because she is a borderline competent member of the group to which the state religion is ostensibly devoted — a group of which only a minuscule fraction rises to competence.
She is often recognized as a pivotal figure in African American poetry.
Alexander is also a scholar of African American Literature and culture. She recently published a collection of essays entitled The Black Interior.
In the poem Amistad Alexander recounts the famous 1839 slave-ship rebellion from the points of view of several of the participants.
All of which is to say that Elizabeth Alexander is reaping the ill-gotten rewards of White Abdication; she is a grievance- and race-hustler who has shamelessly brandished the talisman of White guilt among our upper echelons and parlayed it into a nice sinecure in the tonier precincts of this rotten and hollowed-out country.
Because she’s Black, don’t you know.
At this time, she would publish her first work, The Venus Hottentot.
Hottentot is a Dutch term for the non-Bantu blacks of Africa, connoting savagery and primitivism. To exalt such racial trash to the level of Venus shows that White beauty has gotten totally under her skin. But given that she looks like a beluga who never shied away from the buffet table, that’s no surprise.
Being big and Black and bruising and ugly is no barrier to saying the highly improbable, that Black is beautiful.
To be continued.
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