How could I not respond to a tag from one of my favorite people in blogverse? (And it's about books, too!)

1. Pick up the nearest book.
The nearest book was sitting next to my foot on the bottom shelf of my computer desk, and I'm sure it reveals absolutely nothing about my seriously nerdy nature.

Wesley, Marilyn C. VIOLENT ADVENTURE: Contemporary Fiction by American Men. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2003.

2. Open to page 123.
The 6th section of the book which falls into Part Three: Interrogation of Community. Page 123 is several pages into "Detecting Power: Ernest Gaine's A Gathering of Old Men and Walter Mosley's Devil in a Blue Dress.

3. Find the fifth sentence.
This lesson takes shape, first, through a series of mentors who teach Easy about the levels and types of violent power and, finally, through an enigmatic woman whose mystery abrogates the conventional categories of his experience.

4. Post the next three sentences.
His process of detection does not result in a unitary moral code; rather, the acts of violence Easy encounters call forth a bewildering variety of ethical responses. Through the adventures and the ambivalence of the black detective, Devil in a Blue Dress and subsequent works in Rawlins series enact a principle Michel Foucault would recognize: that power, like law, is not an order to be retrieved but the contingent result of specific circumstances that black men may understand through violence and adapt to their own needs for respect and freedom.

If, as the saying goes, "Knowledge is power," it makes sense that the race and class in charge has sought to curtail its access.

I remember reading this section of the text the last time I was on a flight to London. And that makes me smile. References to Foucualt doesn't. I do like the point that Wesley makes here as this section wraps up about black detective fiction and the way it repositions the concept of "knowledge" to put black figures and sometimes communities into positions of power. Although, I prefer Chester Himes to Mosley any day of the week. (In fact, now that I think about it, I was also reading a Chester Himes novel on that same flight.)

5. Tag five people.
darling doodling andre
Goddam Right, you should be reading this blog
Colin (the most boring person I've ever not met)
The sweetest person ever: Mermatriarch
and last but not least, the Super Suburban Hen


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