The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Ibram X. Kendi, Wesley Morris, James Baldwin, Betsy Morais and Alexandria Neason, and Josina Guess.

This week, we’re sharing stories from Ibram X. Kendi, Wesley Morris, James Baldwin,Betsy Morais and Alexandria Neason, and Josina Guess.

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1. The American Nightmare

Ibram X. Kendi | The Atlantic | June 1, 2020 | 10 minutes (2,595 words)

“Either there is something superior or inferior about the races, something dangerous and deathly about black people, and black people are the American nightmare; or there is something wrong with society, something dangerous and deathly about racist policy, and black people are experiencing the American nightmare.” One is a racist myth; the other, antiracist truth.

2. The Videos That Rocked America. The Song That Knows Our Rage.

Wesley Morris | The New York Times | June 3, 2020 | 6 minutes (1,700 words)

“Awash in the ghastly video mosaic shot by black people’s cameraphones, I found myself doubled over the kitchen sink. Then a lyric gave me strength.”

3. How to Cool It

James Baldwin | Esquire | July 4, 1971 | 32 minutes (8,214 words)

“I’m questioning the values on which this country thinks of itself as being based.” James Baldwin’s landmark 1968 interview about race relations in America.

4. The Story Has Gotten Away from Us

Betsy Morais, Alexandria Neason | Columbia Journalism Review | June 3, 2020 | 22 minutes (5,600 words)

“Six months of life and death in America.”

5. The Sound and The Fury of Jericho Brown

Josina Guess | The Bitter Southerner | June 2, 2020 | 18 minutes (4,712 words)

“His poetry deftly names the forces — be it cop, disease, or addiction — that would have him dead, while he celebrates the beauty, be it in a flower, in a lover’s embrace, or in anything that helps him thrive in this burning world.”