for whatever reason, my path keeps crossing d. a. adebe’s on stage (we’re performing the same night for diaspora dialogues’ offering to the library’s keep toronto reading month on the 29th). this past february, she shared the stage with christian campbell, and somebody brought up wayde compton’s latest work, so i had to follow up.
“The problem he put into print persists, though; all I knew to do then was to take, keep, possess, and repossess those words, in the way a reader does when a reader is in need.” (149)
“Of course, in cases where someone does consciously pose as some racial or cultural group to which he or she has no connection, then the word “passing” should be used as the term. But only then, when the individual is being deliberately deceptive or subversive and intentionally adopts another ancestry. It is important to note, though, that such deception or subversion is not necessarily morally wrong. Whether or not one has the right to transgress one’s racial designation surely depends upon the perniciousness of the regime that is policing the designations.” (24)
“We need Hogan’s Alley because Motown songs and Martin Luther King are from another, different place. They come through the TV. They come through books. Hogan’s Alley, however, ran between this and that side of right here.” (109-10)