And We Are Not Saved: Remembering Derrick Bell

October 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Funny: another death, another memory of college. This time, my friend Carter and I get to talking, and we realize that Carter’s father was holding a sit-in on my father’s behalf. Weird, right? (Carter’s father, Derrick Bell, and my father, David Trubek, were then both professsors at Harvard Law)

Derrick Bell died last night. He was brilliant and wrote beautifully. He acted upon moral convictions, and he explained those convictions, and more, to readers inside and out of Harvard Yard. I read his book And We Are Not Saved when it was first published, and I think rereading itwould be a fine way to remember and mourn.

Here is the NYT obituary for Derrick Bell

Here is the NYT on the sit-in in 1987. 





Are You Sure You Want To Shut Down?

September 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

It was 1988. I was a senior in college. My parents offered to buy me a computer as a graduation present. I ordered a white box with a tiny screen, and when it arrived I put in on the floor. There on the floor I plugged it in, and about 5 minutes later the happy mac face came on (though I didn’t know to call it that then). I think it was a Mac Classic.  I bought the thing days before I received my diploma.. And then I started my “real life.”

I don’t have a great memory. I don’t remember lots of “firsts,” or some people I once called friend, or to take out the garbage some Wednesdays (ahem, today). But those few minutes– sitting on the floor, hearing that boot up sound, watching the screen go blue–have stayed with me.

You get it, right? This is the night Steve Jobs died.

I have thought about doing one of these blog doo hickeys for a long time, but felt I should wait until I had a theme, a focus, a book to promote (I sort of have that for a book at the more sensibly named, and I’ll keep that site up for now), more discipline, a plan. But earlier today I realized–that just ain’t style: I start things half-assed. I leave typos everywhere. I change my mind so much I don’t really think the phrase “my mind” obtains. So, I decided, just frigging start a  half-asssed, unfocused, typo-strewn, underdesigned and unthemed blog. And while staring at the wordpress screen I figured I’d call it Uncategorized while I was at it.

Also  a piece I published today ran without a byline. Just A.T.|Cleveland.

That’s it. For now. I am going to Sleep.