Reading Recommendations: Zong!, by M. NourbeSe Philip

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Zong! is an indictment and an exploration of language itself – an examination of the manner in which the true weight of a racial tragedy and injustice can be erased by erasing the bodies, the individuals, the name and humanity of those lost. It resists the ordinary conventions of poetry and language, because those very systems only further the violence of the past – and removing them, revealing the depth of what has been left unsaid, unspoken, and unmourned, is to truly resist exploitation. Philip may be speaking about a historical injustice but she does so to unearth the past and wrest control of her narrative, and her history, from a society that reduced men, women, and children to capital – and continues to do so. Find out more about Zong! and M. NourbeSe Philip’s additional work here.

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