Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"God's Bits of Wood" and structural racism

Mari J. Matsuda, Professor of Law at Georgetown University, wrote in with a suggestion, which she "read and loved," for the blog's series on structural racism in fiction:
God's Bits of Wood by Ousmane Sembène
Here is the Wikipedia entry for the book:
God's Bits of Wood is a 1960 novel by Ousmane Sembène that concerns a railroad strike in colonial Senegal of the 1940s. The book deals with several ways that the Senegalese responded to colonialism. There are elements that tend toward accommodation, collaboration, or even idealization of the French colonials. At the same time the story details the strikers who work against the mistreatment the Senegalese face. It was written in French under the title Les Bouts de Bois de Dieu. The novel was translated in to English in 1962 and published by William Heinemann. [read more]
The series on structural racism in fiction started last year with an inquiry from Andrew Grant-Thomas, who offered a working definiton of the phenomenon.

Index: structural racism in fiction

--Marshal Zeringue