Create a picture that illustrates the unique resilience of black Americans in the face of a culture of profound prejudice and that has the characteristics of neo-expressionism, with a focus on grotesque, simplistic figures featuring expressive gestures and emotive colors.

Kiese Laymon’s “Long Division” is a complex novel that addresses a variety of social and political issues related to race and inequality in contemporary America. The novel tells two parallel stories, one set in the late 1980s and the other in 2013, both in a small town in Mississippi. The stories are connected by a time-traveling plot device that allows Laymon to explore the relationship between past and present, memory and history, and the persistence of racial injustice.

One of the main themes of the novel is the legacy of slavery and its ongoing impact on American society. Through the character of City Coldson, a young black boy in the 1980s, Laymon shows how the history of slavery and segregation continues to shape the lives and identities of black Americans. City’s experiences of racism and discrimination, both subtle and overt, highlight the persistence of racial inequality and the challenges faced by black Americans in their pursuit of equal rights and opportunities.

The novel also addresses issues of class and economic inequality, particularly in the contemporary storyline set in 2013. Laymon portrays a society that is deeply divided along economic lines, where the wealthy and powerful hold most of the resources and opportunities, while the poor and marginalized struggle to survive. The character of Baize Shephard, a poor white boy, represents this side of American society, as he struggles to escape poverty and achieve success in a system that seems rigged against him.

In addition to these themes, Laymon also explores the role of media and technology in shaping our understanding of the world.

Kiese Laymon’s “Long Division” is a complex and thought-provoking novel that addresses a variety of social and political issues related to race and inequality in contemporary America. Through its two parallel stories set in the late 1980s and 2013 in a small town in Mississippi, Laymon takes readers on a journey through time, exploring the relationship between past and present, memory and history, and the persistence of racial injustice.

At the heart of the novel is the legacy of slavery and its ongoing impact on American society. Through the character of City Coldson, a young black boy in the 1980s, Laymon paints a vivid picture of the racism and discrimination faced by black Americans in their pursuit of equal rights and opportunities. As City navigates a society full of subtle and overt racism, Laymon forces readers to confront the difficult truths about the systemic racism that continues to shape the lives and identities of black Americans.

In addition to racism and inequality, Laymon also explores the issue of class and economic disparity in the contemporary storyline set in 2013. Through the character of Baize Shephard, a poor white boy, Laymon sheds light on the realities faced by those on the margins of society, and the struggles they face in their pursuit of success in a system that seems rigged against them. Laymon paints a vivid picture of a society that is deeply divided along economic lines, where the wealthy and powerful hold most of the resources and opportunities, while the poor and marginalized fight to survive.

Finally, Laymon critiques the role of media and technology in shaping our understanding of the world around us. Through the character of YouTube sensation, Kamila, Laymon highlights how media and entertainment can distort reality and perpetuate stereotypes and prejudice.

Ultimately, “Long Division” is an important and powerful novel that offers a nuanced and complex commentary on contemporary social and political issues related to race and inequality. Through its multiple storylines and characters, the novel highlights the persistence of systemic racism and the challenges faced by marginalized communities in their pursuit of justice and equality. But at its core, the novel also offers a message of hope and resilience, suggesting that change is possible through collective action and a commitment to social justice around us. Through the character of YouTube sensation, Kamila, Laymon critiques the ways in which media and entertainment can distort reality and perpetuate stereotypes and prejudice.

Overall, “Long Division” offers a nuanced and complex commentary on contemporary social and political issues related to race and inequality. Through its multiple storylines and characters, the novel highlights the persistence of systemic racism and the challenges faced by marginalized communities in their pursuit of justice and equality. At the same time, the novel also offers a message of hope and resilience, suggesting that change is possible through collective action and a commitment to social justice.

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Maya
May 2, 2023 2:00 pm

I like that you picked out that Long Division touches upon the impacts of slavery and Jim Crow and how the effects of racism still influence people today. I’m curious about your views on how technology is depicted and used throughout the novel? I think readers would benefit more if you would have elaborated on the role of technology in racial stereotyping. But overall, I think that your post was well written, and I think that vocalized on the topic of systems being rigged based upon race, such as the spelling bee in the book.

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