Debra Dickerson

I heard Debra Dickerson for the first time on a summer replay of a Counterpoint program I’d not heard during the year.  She wrote a book published in 2004 or thereabouts entitled The end of blackness. I wondered if Noel Pearson might have forgotten to acknowledge her in an essay that I praised to the skies.

I certainly plan to get a hold of her book, but in the meantime I Googled her and have had a good old read around.  In the process I came upon this knockout of an essay.  I’d say you should go read it.  And before you do, you might like to read an essay she wrote about the same events a couple of years before. 

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observa
observa
13 years ago

Hmmm…perhaps we Anglo males owe more to the culture of our womenfolk than we really know, but I wouldn’t drop that line in Women’s Studies.

casey
casey
13 years ago

I found this very interesting. I had not heard of Debra Dickerson. I would be interested to know what those inheritors of Dubois’s civil rights traditions make of her views, ie, Jesse Jackson etc. I read Pearson’s article in the griffith review, where he drew on the differing platforms of WEB Dubois and Booker T Washington, to illustrate his case for his responsibility agenda. I don’t agree with him. The African American experience does not, IMO, translate to Australian Indigenous experience, unless, of course you have a barrow to push and then Booker T’s writings fall straight into Pearson’s world view. (Which I tend not to agree with, but acknowledge Pearson would know his people’s plight far better than me). I would look to other Indigenous experiences to find parralels and then African Americans themselves would say their experience is unique.

Which leads me to her comments on Barack Obama where she clearly outlined how Obama is a white man’s dream, a way for white people to embrace blacks without really doing it. And I found it compelling, the idea that his east African looks also make him acceptable. And the notion that if he married a white woman, that would (still) not have been acceptable. Black for Dickerson, comes out of that unique slave history and in this sense Obama cannot be black. quite riveting stuff and it will be interesting to see, as she says, the intra racial politics play out between African Americans and African immigrants over the coming years, particularly if Obama gets anywhere near the white house.

observa
observa
13 years ago

“Well that was over my head observa.”
Comparing behaviour of the womenfolk, I was thinking of Anglo womenfolk- ‘No sex before you’ve discovered new lands, put out the garbage, I’ve attended Womens Studies class, etc’ Perhaps a bit of a caricature, but it may have some relevance to broader outcomes.

observa
observa
13 years ago

Well perhaps only Freud would be nodding knowingly here.

Geoff Robinson
13 years ago

More ‘feeling’ journalism, speaking from the heart yadda yadda etc. What we actually need is scientific surveys of Australian indigenous and non-indigenous public opinion.

Laura
13 years ago

I could understand Casey’s comment perfectly well.

casey
casey
13 years ago

Thanks Laura.