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"william gardner smith" Discussed on Fresh Air

Fresh Air

07:22 min | 1 year ago

"william gardner smith" Discussed on Fresh Air

"Emmys are scheduled for september nineteenth support for npr and the following message. Come from american express. When's the last time you took a day off or had a meal changed your clothes. Yup sounds like it's definitely time for that break. Luckily amex is here to help you. Get some meantime with offers dining shopping and travel some of the many things you can expect when you're with amex learn more at american express dot com slash with amex terms apply. The stone face is a nineteen sixty three novel by the black reporter and fiction. Writer william gardner smith. It's just been released in a new edition by new york review books and it tells the story of a writer who like smith himself moves to paris in hopes of finding a freedom he couldn't find in america are critic at large. John powers says that this book addresses issues. That could hardly feel more timely today. In recent years many americans have been attempting to reckon with this country's harsh racial history. One happy offshoot of this often unhappy reckoning is that we're discovering glories of black culture that have been undervalued or simply nord and just the last couple of weeks we've had quest- loved summer of soul above the utopian one thousand nine hundred sixty nine harlem cultural festival and the one and only dick gregory about the suave groundbreaking comedian who justices career began to soar. Would skip five thousand dollars night. Gigs in order to head south to fight for civil rights at one point gregory son says his father used to tell him that. You can't really understand any aspect of life until you see the other side. You can't understand happiness and mess you've been unhappy. Can't understand good health. Unless you've been ill. I thought about this as i read the stone face. A nineteen sixty three novel by william gardner smith a black journalist and novelist. I'd never heard of until. I came across this brand new reprint which includes an elegant and useful introduction by adam schatz in one of literature's most romanticized realms the world of americans hanging out in paris. The stone starts out offering a vision of paradise then reveals the other side. The hero siemian brown is a philadelphia journalist. Who wears a piratical. I patch after losing an eye in a racist attack. Following in the tradition of josephine. Baker james baldwin. He moves too late fifties. Paris and enters. Ex-pat bohemia well there's acquaintances are largely for pleasure and the good exchange rate. His african american comrades have come to breathe air. That's free you've racism. Siemian hefty pal babes. Is i came over to get out from under them. People in their prejudice was on the verge of making me thin at first. Paris is heaven. Assuming bob stern clubs and eat food greens and mart the french treaty. With respect he's never known. He gets romantically entangled with a beautiful polish emigre. Maria an aspiring actress who turns her what she calls the froth of life then one night he tussled with algerian guy whom the cops arresting simeon go the next day the algerians friends yellowed him. He how does it feel to be a white man as he comes to know them. Better and learns about algeria bitter struggle for independence from france. He discovers it in paris. Arabs especially algerians. Suffer the same views that black people do in america now. Lots of famous american writers have written about life and expect paris. Well smith doesn't read the memorable prosecco baldwin ernest hemingway janet flannel few do. He's a skillful writer who saw beyond his own circle to capture a social rupture in france. The persists in today's racial conflicts. The stone face explores the shifting nature of cultural identity and social oppression. Nobody is holy innocent well. Simeon suffered racism in america in france. The algerians the pariahs as a polish jew. Maria survived the nazi staggering cruelty only to encounter the virulent anti-jewishness of simians algerian friends smith bills to a harrowing account of the infamous slaughter on october seventeenth nineteen sixty one when police murdered scores. Maybe hundreds of peaceful algerian demonstrators tossing many of their bodies into the sane all of this confronts him in his own privilege and being treated properly his black friends. All know what's going on but having found a safe haven in paris. Choose not to risk being deported. For interfering in french politics ashamed by his own self protective instincts simeon must answer the gnawing question faced by many white people today when you know that your own comfort is violently denied to others of a different color or ethnishity. What part of that comfort will you sacrifice to fight for justice. Dick gregory used to joke. That african americans like football because the one time in american life that a black guy white guy and forty thousand people. Would you just as that line feels a slightly witty today as it did in nineteen sixty one so the issue smith raises in his novel resonate at least as much now as they did six decades ago. Smith may not be hemingway but next to the stone faces portrait of the frothy. But risk torn paris a moveable feast seems as ancient and fanciful as a midsummer night's dream. John powers reviewed the stone. Face by william gardner smith first published in nineteen sixty. Three coming up. We remember civil rights. Activist bob moses. Who died sunday at age eighty six. This is fresh air. This message comes from. Npr sponsor fx presenting the new original series reservation dogs from sterling harjo. And tyco not reservation. Dogs is a comedy that follows the adventures of four indigenous teens in rural oklahoma as they steal rob and save to get to the faraway land of california reservation. Dogs is a breakthrough in indigenous representation on television both in front of and behind the camera reservation dogs streaming august ninth exclusively fx on hulu. We're going to remember one of the pioneers of the civil rights movement bob moses. He died sunday at the age of eighty six. The quiet spoken self-effacing activist helped lead the effort in mississippi to organize in register rural black residents to vote in one thousand nine hundred sixty after watching news footage of lunch counter citizens in the south. He left his job teaching math in new york city to help in the civil rights movement when he arrived in mississippi he was one of only a few activists there he joined the staff of the student. Nonviolent coordinating committee and in nineteen sixty four. He helped organize freedom. Summer which recruited college students mostly white students from the north to come down to mississippi to help in the effort to register. African americans to vote and to bring the country's attention to mississippi's entrenched white supremacy here. He is at a news conference announcing.

william gardner smith paris new york review gregory son John powers Dick gregory adam schatz smith siemian brown Baker james baldwin pat bohemia bob stern Emmys america baldwin ernest hemingway janet flannel france simeon npr