The Quotable Black Scholar: Houston Baker on the Gates Arrest
Houston A. Baker, Jr. (b. 1943)
Ironically, no black public intellectual in the US has been more complicit in publicizing the myth of “post racialism” as an American reality than Professor Gates. The police spokeswoman from Cambridge said something like: “It is our position that the incident had nothing to do with race.” All I could hear were whisper tones of QVC: “And when you all buy into the Gates/Cambridge ‘race had nothing to do with it,’ we have some fine swamp land in Florida at a great discount. Or, maybe you’d like a bridge?”
– Houston Baker, writing for cupblog.com, the official blog of Columbia University Press
Biographical Notes: Born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1943, Houston A. Baker, Jr. holds a B.A. from Howard University (English), where he was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. (also in English) from the University of California — Los Angeles (UCLA). Baker is a Distinguished University Professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He has also taught at Yale, the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, and Duke University.
Baker is the author of several books, including: Turning South Again: Re-Thinking Modernism, Re-Reading Booker T; I Don’t Hate the South: Reflections on Faulkner, Family, and the South; Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era;
Afro-American Poetics: Revisions of Harlem and the Black Aesthetic; Black Studies, Rap, and the Academy, Blues, Ideology, and African American Literature: A Vernacular Theory; Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, and others. An accomplished poet, Baker’s most recent collection is titled Passing Over.
Posted by Ajuan Mance