Notes on Your Black Friend…

When I first read YOUR BLACK FRIEND by Ben Passmore…I saw myself. The experience of the protagonist mirrored many of my own experiences navigating the worlds of whitenes and blackness. It named the particular nuances of walking the border between these two worlds. It also featured the interior monologue of a black person’s perspective on his own racialized interactions with the world. Much like Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric, Richard Wright’s Native Son, and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Ben Passmore provides the reader with rare access to the character’s uncensored intellectual and emotional spectrum of thoughts. The comic book was a catalyst to host of responses from me. I knew that it represented culmination of the ideas I wanted to discuss in the workshop. Yet, I decided to flip its place and use it at the beginning of the workshop. At the top of the agenda, I felt the animated video of the comic would set the tone and help participants focus on the specific types of comics and conversations we would be engaging with throughout the day.

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