I had this all typed out

...and then my browser closed and got rid of it. I guess that's what I get for not saving. This was better before than it probably will be this time.

Okay, so per Jenny's suggestion, an attempted summary of our concluding discussion tonight. She asked us why we thought this book was the last one we read, and we discussed our other books, noting that the first few (written longer ago) had more of a progress narrative, plus a "we just need to be AWESOME, and eventually white people will notice how sparkly we are and reward us with dollars and privilege" kind of theme. Then...we moved away from that theme as we kept reading other stuff. Bell's "racism will never go" bit is pretty much the opposite of that. We don't come to a definitive conclusion on why this one's last.

other topics discussed:
- the narrative structure/style/approach Bell took, with the stories and the magical Negress Geneva and so forth; Jess hates it (obviously, per earlier post); Don suggests that it's a deliberate attempt to break up/deconstruct/avoid producing a linear/progress narrative; Emily & Stephanie suggest that part of what he's doing is very deliberately guiding (steering) the reader to think like him

- the Grant Hill/Jalen Rose/Fab 5 hot mess in connection to Bell's "don't talk bad about other black folks, except for Clarence Thomas, who is a giant sucking hole of traitorous fail"

- talked about his black/white binary in this book; Jess suggests that this kind of attitude makes it difficult to form alliances or have any kind of solidarity; Stephanie says that there's never been much alliance going on anyway

- discussed who Bell's likely audience is; concluded that it might be black men? but then is it really necessary to assure people that racism isn't gone? Shannon & Jenny point out people who say that now that we have Obama in the White House, everything's awesome; Don asks the interesting question of "What would be a symbol that racism is really gone?" we are unable to answer this; Jenny brings up po-mo and people's propensity for categorizing--is it just human nature to categorize and judge?

- interracial marriage, relationships, etc., with regard to Bell's chapter on that one guy and the white woman and the black woman and how Bell pretty much blames black women for not dating white men; discuss the okcupid blog post/stats that indicate that black women get the least messages and responses

And some other stuff. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?