The success of such a lengthy book of literary fiction by a relatively unknown author is surprising. The backlash has been commensurately severe.
We get it! A lot of you are Berts. That’s great. Berts make the world go round. Nicole’s a Bert. Mike’s is like the Bert. (His response: “Um,
Ross Gay, who teaches creative writing at Indiana University in Bloomington, has a really good essay about racism and identity in the current issue of The Sun Magazine. It’s especially worth reading in light of the Trayvon Martin case.
Gay grew up in a largely white, working class neighborhood in Philadelphia where he often heard the N-word thrown his way. He became so used to being perceived as a criminal, that it has even affected his shopping habits.