Literature affords the opportunity to consider the racial fear, hatred and hostility that can flare in moments when the otherness in the human face occludes the common bonds that join us together. Richard Powers’ (2003) compelling novel, The Time of Our Singing, highlights ways in which racial tensions continue to haunt us, impeding the efforts of successive generations to heal the wounds and move forward. In the novel, the parents’ efforts to move “beyond race” leave their children utterly unprepared for the ways in which race informs and obstruct their experience, as what has been denied returns to haunt them.
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1Marilyn Charles, Ph.D., ABPP, is a staff psychologist at the Austen Riggs Center and a psychoanalyst in private practice in Stockbridge, MA.
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Charles, M. RACE AND RECOGNITION: THE TIME OF OUR SINGING. Am J Psychoanal 76, 140–160 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1057/ajp.2016.7
- intergenerational transmission
- narrative memory