Lauren Michele Jackson

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Lauren Michele Jackson

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Lauren Michele Jackson's writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Buzzfeed, Eater, Essence, New York magazine, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue, and The Best American Food Writing 2018, among other places. Her first book, White Negroes, is a collection of critical essays on race and appropriation, forthcoming from Beacon Press in November 2019. She holds a PhD from the University of Chicago and teaches in the departments of English and African American Studies at Northwestern University. ...more

Average rating: 4.16 · 1,481 ratings · 238 reviews · 2 distinct worksSimilar authors
White Negroes: When Cornrow...

4.16 avg rating — 1,481 ratings — published 2019
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An American Tale

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Fathers and Sons
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“America fears anger from black people, has always feared anger from black people, considers black people angry even when something more like “despaired” or “fatigued” better suits the mood.”
Lauren Michele Jackson, White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue ... and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation

“It feels bad to wade in the repercussions of our behavior, it feels good to apologize and disavow and consider oneself exempt moving forward. But being online, being white, being online as a white person, means never being exempt. Antiracist as a noun does not exist. There's only people doing the work, or not. The person genuinely invested in the work doesn't run from discomfort but accepts it as the price of personhood taken for granted.”
Lauren Michele Jackson, White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue ... and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation

“Everyone has a bit of “Tumblr teen” in them, self-reflexively announcing their social positions as a buffer against the now-cartoonish refrain to “check your privilege.” But while plenty of white people will flag their own whiteness, eagerly so in some cases, these admissions are curiously conditional. When the news broke that several high-profile parents were implicated in a conspiracy to illegally finesse their children into prestigious universities, publications (from Refinery29 to the Atlantic to Vox to, somewhat ironically, U.S. News and World Report) took care to name the collaboration of class and race that enabled such entitlement. On these particular bad actors, my Twitter feed was mostly on the same page. However, once people began reporting their own stories of educational fortitude, the material value of whiteness was suddenly less germane to the conversation. Unlike the children of celebrities, the people I followed implied, they had worked hard and earned it wholesale. It seemed the whiteness of celebrity children worked according to the rule, while everyone else’s whiteness was the exception. The gap between knowing and naming, let alone reckoning, remains vast.”
Lauren Michele Jackson

“[W]e've been adjudicating inequality through cultural criticism. We have taught people who don't even care about feminism how to do this—how to analyze women and analyze the way people react to women, how to endlessly read and interpret the signs.”
Jia Tolentino, Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion

“The freedom I want is located in a world where we wouldn't need to love women, or even monitor our feelings about women as meaningful—in which we wouldn't need to parse the contours of female worth and liberation by paying meticulous personal attention to any of this at all.”
Jia Tolentino, Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion

“There's a limit, I think, to the utility of reading celebrity lives like tea leaves.”
Jia Tolentino, Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion

“White people wanted to be white just as much as we did. They worked just as hard at it. They failed more often. But they could pass, so no one objected.”
Margo Jefferson, Negroland

“I hate when I'm supposed to be having fun and Race singles me out for special chores and duties.”
Margo Jefferson, Negroland




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