23 July 2009

Really don't know any of the "Harvard Prof Arrested" facts...

...so I won't weigh in on whether the Cambridge police officer acted appropriately (although my gut tells me both sides acted badly, albeit with cause), but, if I were going to charge Henry Louis "Skip" Gates, Jr. with something, it'd be for letting his The Trials of Phillis Wheatley: America's First Black Poet and Her Encounters with the Founding Fathers (Basic Civitas Books, 2003) -- that should have been insightful and telling and groundbreaking -- be published when it was still only some loosely connected thoughts about an important writer.

Yes, granted, the book grew from from the Thomas Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities he delivered at the Library of Congress in March 2002, but, hey, if you're going to publish an expanded version (that's still short by any definition of a book), make the expansion worthwhile and truly telling. If not, publish a videotape of the lecture with, I'm sure, a quite valuable and enlightening post-talk Q &A with Professor Gates as a bonus track.

PS: Always wanted a nickname that I could put in quotation marks in the midst of my legal name...maybe not "Skip," but I'm flexible.

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