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Showing posts from July, 2020

More Memories of 1971: Translated Excerpts

For South Asian Heritage Month I'm sharing more translated extracts from Jahanara Imam's memoirs of the 1971 Bangladesh Independence War, Ekattorer Dinguli. The translation is my own.I chose these excerpts because I love the way Imam has captured the personalities of Niranjan and Chaitanya - the Hindu handymen she is sheltering and employing in her house.It alsoalludes to the perils of living in a country under occupation and at war, and the particular fear felt by the Hindu population of Dhaka at the time. I like the way these two entries show how the independence struggle united Bangladeshis across class and creed, while also showing the conflicts with other ethnic groups; it's worth remembering that East Pakistan / Bangladesh is often the forgotten casualty of the 1947 Partition, being left with its own legacy of religious and ethnic conflict. NB: a 'Sten' is a type of rifle.'Muktijuddha', referred to here as 'Mukti' for short - freedom fighterTu…

Racism & Reconciliation in 'Your House Will Pay': Review

A tautly woven story of the racial tensions between black and Korean communities in LA in the early '90s and up to the present day. Based on the true story of the killing of 15 year-old Latasha Harlins.


Author Steph Cha tells a balanced, nuanced story about growing up with racial prejudice and how we reconcile our relationships with the people we love, when they hold problematic beliefs. Reading this book in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests this year gave it an added urgency for me as I felt so much of it was still relevant. Anti-black racism within other non-white communities isn't often discussed or acknowledged, but people have begun having those conversations recently, and so I thought this book was particularly timely. The descriptions in the book of people chanting 'I can't breathe' and 'say their names', at vigils and protests for victims of police shootings, might have felt prescient if it weren't for the fact that it just highlighted …