Racism is an existential crisis of orientation

Balance and Order: European Map Depicting Jerusalem at the Center of the World
Balance and Order: European Map Depicting Jerusalem at the Center of the World
Balance and Order: European Map Depicting Jerusalem at the Center of the World | Henrich Bünting [Public Domain]

No event in recorded history has tilted the fortunes of humanity more than Christopher Columbus’s infamous voyage in 1492. “Discovery” of these presumed-to-be virgin lands signified an inflexion point of existential proportions for the Europeans. The first explorers thought they had been transported to the fabled Garden of Eden, describing the Caribbean as lands that were devised to meet man’s needs, where most of the trees were loaded with edible fruit. Later expeditions, however, woke European minds to a sobering new reality.

Hernan Cortes landed on the shores of what is modern-day Mexico in 1519. He was taken to what…

3 négritude poems that capture black consciousness.

Poems for the Soul | Photo by Eduardo Gorghetto on Unsplash

The black French intellectual movement commonly known as “négritude” has its place in the bedrock of countless intellectual circles. French-speaking black intellectuals first began receiving widespread acclaim in France as early as the Depression Era when the French Guianese poet, philosopher, and parliamentarian, Léon Damas was celebrated by the white French surrealist Robert Desnos in 1937.¹ Damas, along with the Martiniquan Aimé Césaire, and the Senegalese Léopold Senghor, are widely regarded to be the founders of the négritude movement. …

Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison shows us how toxic America can be.

At Least It Isn’t Home | Photo by Stijn Swinnen on Unsplash

Toni Morrison’s penultimate novel Home begins with a scene depicting two black children watching a group of white men burying a body that has presumably been lynched. Home is a novel that explores the concept of “place”, both as a physical location and as a perception of the mind located in the depths of human consciousness. Physically, Morrison’s novel tells the story of Frank Money and his journey home after fighting in the Korean War. Home for young Frank is the fictional town of Lotus, Georgia. It is a place, Morrison reasons, that is not very pleasant. Lotus is where…

How a mythical creature from medieval Europe haunts the 21st Century.

The Mythical Wild Man
The Mythical Wild Man
The Medieval Wild Man | Photo by Denis Oliveira on Unsplash

Power, dominion, and control over others have been a central theme for people since the birth of consciousness. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, it only takes three chapters of Genesis before God proclaims that men shall rule over women. The ninth chapter of Genesis discusses the existence of slavery when God curses Ham and his descendants to be “the lowest of slaves”.¹ Current events, particularly in the United States, demonstrate that these themes of inequality are structured into everyday life in the 21st Century, and they are categorically based on race. Modern forms of racial domination in America actually trace their…

Sunha Paul Kim

I’m a product of the Department of Comparative Studies at Ohio State and Harvard Divinity School. My book, “Harvard Wisdom” will be released in 2020.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store