Shaquille O’Neil did not get that name in the Congo if you know what I’m talking about.
This past monday at the 92nd Street Y, I watched a great conversation unfold between Henry Louis Gates, Jr and Ilan Stavans.
Salient facts learned:
- ‘Only’ 450,000 of 11.2 million Africans stolen over to the New World actually came to the present-day United States.
- Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is 56% white.
- The island of Hispaniola is fucked up, and all the racial hemming and hawing in the MLB about the rise of Dominican players (vis-a-vis the diminishment of black players) is entirely wrong in a weird way.
- Really nobody, white or black, is descended very much from Cherokee princesses.
- The average African American is 20% white.
- “Deconstructing” race doesn’t have to be terrible or tedious.
- Ilan Stavans and Gates are tenacious, wonderful educators.