Imagine being James Baldwin in 1957. You crack open a fresh issue of Dissent Magazine to stare down the barrel of an essay called “The White Negro” by noted white person, Norman Mailer.
Exactly how deep is your eye roll?
No matter how annoyed you might be at this, and how stupidly tone-deaf it might appear to you, it’s not exactly a novelty. You’re used to being discussed in offensive terms by the media. You always hope that something will change—or that (god forbid!) you’ll read something actually written by a Black person.