Reading with my Father: Slim’s Table (Part II Cont.)

Slim and his sitting buddies want to live in accordance with notions of appropriate or correct behavior. The idea of ‘respectability’–defined as a mode of life conforming to and embodying notions of moral worth–has great significance for them. They are people with definite opinions about the kinds of conduct appropriate to their level of moralContinue reading “Reading with my Father: Slim’s Table (Part II Cont.)”

Reading with my Father: Slim’s Table (Part II)

I had to learn that where I lived was shameful. I had always been proud of my family’s home on Ferris Avenue with a basement full of beautiful family photographs and a kitchen that always turned out sumptuous meals. My grandmother could cook. I don’t know that anything she made was a favorite of mine;Continue reading “Reading with my Father: Slim’s Table (Part II)”

Models Monday: The End of Charismatic Leadership

I have been reading articles about contemporary protest movements like Occupy Wall Street and the Next Up Young Workers Summit and have relished thinking about the stories people have shared. In much of what I have read, people have reflected on their experiences and decided what the Memphis sanitation workers decided in 1968: that theyContinue reading “Models Monday: The End of Charismatic Leadership”

Reading with My Father: Slim’s Table (Part I cont.)

My father would have recognized the poor and working class men Duneier describes as having values that run counter to popular depictions of them in sociological data characterizing their type. Grouped among the numbers of incarcerated, high school drop-outs, divorced, unhealthy, volatile, angry masses are black poor and working class men who value their responsibilityContinue reading “Reading with My Father: Slim’s Table (Part I cont.)”

Models Monday: Residing in an Ownership Society

Once again I’m turning to Chris Gardner to reflect on an alternative model for living. In this “Mentoring Minutes” video Gardner shares another memory of his mother but this time it is her analysis of the fate of a lone Hollywood cowboy faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges: When all seems hopeless and lost, remember this:Continue reading “Models Monday: Residing in an Ownership Society”

Reading with My Father: Slim’s Table (Part I)

It is appropriate that Mitch Duneier begins Slim’s Table: Race, Respectability, and Masculinity with a race story and that Ovie Carter’s photograph of Bart accompanies the opening chapter. For a generation who came of age when race was literally written on the landscape and was the blueprint for organizing civic relations, examining how a blackContinue reading “Reading with My Father: Slim’s Table (Part I)”