Tag Archives: Friendship

More than Just a Novel: Nic Stone’s Dear Martin

By Sabrina Völz

It’s been near­ly 52 years since Dr. Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. was assas­si­nat­ed on April 4, 1968. With­out a doubt, he con­tin­ues to inspire new gen­er­a­tions and serve as a role mod­el for non-vio­lent protest and change. In hon­or of Black His­to­ry Month in Feb­ru­ary, I’d like to review a young adult nov­el that brings the con­ver­sa­tion on racism and grow­ing up Black in the Unit­ed States to a new lev­el. It inves­ti­gates whether King’s teach­ings are still rel­e­vant today and whether they can help Jys­tice, a 17-year-old, promis­ing high school stu­dent. His life is turned upside down when he tries to help his intox­i­cat­ed ex-girl­friend get home safe­ly one night. In a con­fronta­tion with two police offi­cers, Jys­tice ends up on the ground in hand­cuffs – an all-too-famil­iar sight. The prob­lem: She’s White and he’s Black. As a result of the assault, Jys­tice will nev­er be the per­son he once was.

Nic Stone’s debut nov­el, Dear Mar­tin (2017), inter­weaves the top­ics of racial pro­fil­ing, police bru­tal­i­ty, black­face, col­or­blind racism, micro-aggres­sions, and act­ing ‘White’ with ques­tions of iden­ti­ty, friend­ship, and inter­ra­cial rela­tion­ships. With that list, you might just ask your­self how the author still man­ages to tell a good sto­ry with­out get­ting too dis­tract­ed and preachy. Well, she does. But before explor­ing the top­ic fur­ther, I’ll let Nic Stone intro­duce the book in her own words.

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Unusual Friendships: Interspecies Relationships

By Maria Moss

Pho­to Cred­it: “Inter­species Bond­ing” by Sen­thi Aathavan

One not so com­mon top­ic in the broad field of ani­mal stud­ies is the inter­ac­tion between dif­fer­ent ani­mal species. Until recent­ly, any sug­ges­tion that inter­species rela­tion­ships might be based on com­pan­ion­ship would have prob­a­bly met with deri­sion and been dis­missed as anthro­po­mor­phic illu­sions. These atti­tudes, how­ev­er, are bound to change as research is grad­u­al­ly begin­ning to erode some bound­aries sep­a­rat­ing Homo sapi­ens and oth­er ani­mals. If you’re inter­est­ed (or like your stu­dents to get inter­est­ed in) inter­species com­mu­ni­ca­tion, these five videos might be the right ones to start out with:

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