Monday, 10 June 2013

He wanted to effect a change in society

Presented by the American National Council of Teachers of English, children's writer, Arnold Adoff, won the Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 1988.

He is on record as having said:
"I began writing for kids because I wanted to effect a change in American society. I continue in that spirit. By the time we reach adulthood, we are closed and set in our attitudes.”
Here’s an edition of ‘Flavors,’ one of the poems found in his book, ‘All the Colors of the Race.’
“Mama is chocolate: you must be swirls of dark fudge and ripples through your cocoa curls… 
Daddy is vanilla: you must be mean, old bean in the morning, cherry chunks by afternoon and sweet peach sometimes. But mostly you are vanilla up your arms. 
Me is better butter: I must be pecans roasted, toasted; almond walnut three scoop combination cone: Melting under kisses. 
It is a new color. It is a new flavor for love. 
Sometimes blackness seems too black for me and whiteness is too sickly pale and I wish everyone were golden. 
Remember: long ago before people moved and migrated, and mixed and matched… there was one people: one color, one race. 
The colors are flowing from what was before me to what will be after. All the colors.”
Can anyone out there guess what old Arnold might be up to here? What kind of 'change' he might be wanting to 'effect?'

Here’s the Amazon blurb for another of his books:
“Brown-skinned momma, the color of chocolate milk and coffee pumpkin pie, whose face gets ginger red when she puffs and yells the children into bed. 
White-skinned daddy, not white like milk or snow, lighter than brown, With pinks and tiny tans, whose face gets tomato red when he puffs and yells their children into bed. 
Children who are all the colors of the race, growing up happy in a house full of love.”
New Yorker Adoff, the son of Polish Jews, is married to a black woman. She is represented by the mother character in the image.

If one was unaware of Adoff’s appearance, one might be forgiven for presuming that he looked like the fair-haired Nordic daddy of the dust jacket.

Mightn't one?

Nowadays the desire, in certain quarters, to be rid of us is up close and in your face. Check out the front cover of 'Breeding Between The Lines,' by Alon Ziv.

'Why interracial people are healthier and more attractive?' Yeah right. Here are a few non-racist (Jews, just like black people, can't be racist) gems from Ziv's masterpiece:

"After 18 holes, Tiger Woods probably smells better than Phil Mickelson."

"Julia Roberts was more likely to have an orgasm with with Benjamin Bratt than with Lyle Lovett."

“Odds are, Lenny Kravitz lost his virginity earlier than Justin Timberlake.”

See what I mean about being 'up close and in your face?'

Ziv's work seems to have inspired Channel 4's, 'Is it better to be Mixed-Race?' 

Some of the things that were said in Arathi Prasad's documentary can be seen here.

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