Love in the Time of Coronavirus

“Let not man glory in this that he loveth his country, let him rather glory in this that he loveth his kind.”[i]

A little over ninety years ago, in the fall of 1929, the U.S stock market crashed. The world at the time was far less interconnected than it is now, but ties of mutual dependence were already so tight that, like a string of pearls sliding down a drain, once one country went over the edge, the rest were doomed to follow. Over the next ten years, the nations of the world tried every remedy they could think of—raising tariffs on imported goods, creating welfare states, nationalizing industries, putting fascist dictators into power. None of it helped. The Great Depression lingered on. Why? Because the Great Depression was a global crisis—perhaps the first in human history—and the solutions put forward were, one and all, national solutions.

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Zora Neale Hurston on Being Black in America: Ninety Years Later

Hurston-Zora-Neale-LOC[UPDATE: I’m pleased to let you know that this essay has been published on The Columbia Review‘s website.] Commencement season at Barnard College this year will mark the ninetieth anniversary of Zora Neale Hurston’s graduation with a BA in anthropology. As a graduate of Barnard’s sister institution, Columbia University, I feel the time is more than ripe to reflect on some of Hurston’s contributions. Continue reading

Child on the Train

A little girl in a pink cardigan, no more than four, was running up and down the hallway. Each time she passed their compartment she slowed down and craned her head sideways to look inside. She had done this three times already, and showed no sign of losing interest. He couldn’t help but laugh as she careened past a fourth time and made a screeching halt to flash them a peace sign. Continue reading