Pop music provides not just the soundtrack to our lives, as the cliche goes; it releases our emotions and helps us to articulate them. This is why music is so important to adolescents, who are struggling with questions of identity and self-expression.
In one sense, Obama’s point couldn’t be clearer: race is a distraction from class-based inequities. And if we dismiss working-class resentment as camouflaged racism, we will continue to be distracted by the spectre of race.
History resembles a guest list in that sense of the invited and the gatecrashers: the people for whom we have been waiting, and those whose presence takes us unawares.
There is nothing that ‘Sesame Street’ can’t teach you, if you let it.
History is prone to mistakes in identity, and facts are not always solid things.
Music – not just the lyrics, but the music itself – expresses confused or illicit passions: rage, lust, envy, frustration, channeling these energies and creating an outlet for them.
Racism is an effect of slavery, not the other way around. Once slavery was abolished, not only did racism not disappear, neither did the economic system it upheld.
Textbooks are no longer given to schoolchildren; they’re too expensive. So they’re given to the teachers, who probably need them more.
Expression and thought are inextricably linked: crude language permits only crude thinking.
People who are given whatever they want soon develop a sense of entitlement and rapidly lose their sense of proportion.