Midterm Online Portfolio

15 / 20

VERY GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! Clearly told story. Great attribution!!!

Just review punctuating a quote – because these are key basics

 

Halie Keith

Fh5597@wayne.edu

(313) 410-9959

Outsider Experience

9/13/2016

~ ERROR KEY CODE ~

 

PLAGARISM Not your words

 

GRAMMAR / AP STYLE / FACT ERROR

 

WIND-UP / DOING TOO MUCH   Ask yourself: “Says who?”

You are posing hypotheticals/trying to make/get to/talk around

a point w/o stating opinion, when a quote from a source would do!

 

UNATTRIBUTED FACT / OPINION / POINT OF VIEW   =

ASK YOURSELF: SAYS WHO?  HOW DO I KNOW THAT?

You state a fact that is not common knowledge.

Your wording expresses or adopts a point of view.

Your wording shows agreement/disagreement with the source.

You employ creative writing style and/or modifying adjectives.

You include your HOPES & DREAMS FOR A BETTER WORLD.

 

YOUR VOICE – HIGHLIGHTING YOU  Ask yourself: “Says who?”

You are “showing up in the article” by narrating the action

or speaking directly to the reader.

You present your own facts/ thoughts/analysis/conclusions = essay style.

 

              MIND READING WWW  pg. 187 & 329

How do you know what your source thinks? Believes?

 

AWKWARD PHRASING

Stiff or confusing wording you would never use in conversation

 

Vague / Unclear / Confusing / Wordy

 

Confusing / Wordy

 

ORGANIZATION

Problem with ordering of information

 

 

As a women of African descent, Wayne State University Journalism student Tisha Long says, she sometimes feels like an outsider at her job.

Long said she became a meat department manager at Walmart in early 2016, and has worked there for a couple of years. [since 20–]

“As a female, it’s a tough position to be in considering that I work with all men, sometimes it can even be intimidating.” Long said.

even be intimidating,” Long said.
“I remember one time in particular that really stands out to me.” Long said.

“I was standing with one of my associates, who just happened to be a white male, and we were speaking about a new product we had gotten in. I noticed a customer approaching us, he looked at me, looked at my associate, looked back at me and then directed his question towards my associate.” Long said.

“I knew exactly what he was doing, and unfortunately my associate did not know the answer to his question, so I turned to the customer and gave him the correct answer, and he seemed very surprised that I was correct.” Long said.

Long said that sometimes it bothers her when she does not get taken seriously as a manager because she is a woman.

“I felt like I was being stereotyped. He chose to speak to my male associate instead of reading our name tags and seeing that I was the department manager. It was not a good feeling.” Long said.

Long said that she still wears her department manager badge proudly, and that she will not let a little bit of stereotyping get in the way of her job at Walmart, or any future endeavors that she may have.

 

Halie Keith                                        14 / 20 Needed a bit more time and attention . . .

Fh5597@wayne.edu

(313)410-9959

Diverse & Alike

9/20/16

 

~ ERROR KEY CODE ~

 

PLAGARISM

 

GRAMMAR / AP STYLE / FACT ERROR

 

WIND-UP / DOING TOO MUCH = SAYS WHO

You are posing hypotheticals or trying to make/get to a point,

without stating an opinion, when a quote from a source is required to do so.

 

UNATTRIBUTED OPINION OR POINT OF VIEW   = SAYS WHO

Your wording expresses or adopts a point of view.

Your wording shows agreement/disagreement with source.

You are employing creative writing style which includes modifying adjectives.

 

YOUR VOICE = SAYS WHO

You are narrating / speaking directly to the reader.

You are drawing conclusions the reader must decide = essay/analysis style.

 

MIND READING

How do you know what your source thinks? Believes?

 

AWKWARD PHRASING

Stiff or confusing wording you would never use in conversation

 

Vague / Unclear / Confusing / Wordy

 

ORGANIZATION

 

 

Wayne State University journalism student Ali Al-Khazaali says that being from another country makes him feel similar to others in his Reporting Race Gender & Culture class because _______ [complete the thought].

 

Al-Khazaali says he and his family fled Iraq during the war while his father stayed behind to continue reporting on the conflict.

They moved to ________ before he came to the U.S. to complete his education. [WE NEED DETAILS]

 

He said that he has been in the United States for 2 years now, and he feels that he finally has a place to call home, and that he feels like because this is where he belongs.

 

“My family and I left everything behind in Iraq, I don’t even have contact with my childhood friends, because we had to leave in the dark of the night,” Al-Khazaali said. < WE NEEDED DETAILS TO tell his story properly – AND to understand this]

 

Al-Khazaali said that certain experiences he had as a child have made him appreciate life more.

 

“I remember my father being a war reporter, where he had to go back and forth from home to the Palestine hotel where the reporters were stationed. The commute for him to reach the hotel was only 30 minutes, but in that time anything could happen to him. The cellular networks were down in Iraq, so there would be no way for us to know,” Al-Khazaali said.

 

“My father would basically say “goodbye” to us every day, because we never knew if he would come back home or not,” Al-Khazaali said.

 

 

Al-Khazaali said that he feels diverse from those in the class because of the combination of his native language being Arabic, and living through his father’s experiences of being a war reporter in Iraq.

 

“I find other cultures and religions very interesting, and have even got to know more about Christianity, which makes me feel similar to others as well,” Al-Khazaali said

 

Al-Khazaali said that he will always try to remain humble, and that being diverse and alike to others is a good thing to be.

 

Halie Keith

Fh5597@wayne.edu

(313)410-9959

10/11/16

Multi-sourced article

See syllabus on naming ATTACHMENT                    0 / 100

 

Surprising and disappointing . . . I REALLY hope you earn at least 701 points this term . . .

  • fact error unless you can shoot me a link to article/quote below from the Huffington Post
  • Erin says “I” but it’s not in a quote . . .
  • Doesn’t adhere to required sentence/code format detailed in the syllabus to prevent point loss
  • Basic punctuation problems
  • Reliance on super long quotes is inartful “writing” – more “fit the puzzle piece”

 

 

~ ERROR KEY CODE ~

 

PLAGARISM Not your words

 

GRAMMAR / AP STYLE / FACT ERROR

 

WIND-UP / DOING TOO MUCH  Says who?

You are posing hypotheticals/trying to make/get to/talk around

a point w/o stating opinion, when a quote from a source would do!

 

UNATTRIBUTED FACT / OPINION / POINT OF VIEW   =

ASK YOURSELF: SAYS WHO?  HOW DO I KNOW THAT?

You state a fact that is not common knowledge.

Your wording expresses or adopts a point of view.

Your wording shows agreement/disagreement with the source.

You employ creative writing style and/or modifying adjectives.

You include your HOPES & DREAMS FOR A BETTER WORLD.

 

YOUR VOICE – HIGHLIGHTING YOU  Says who?

You are narrating the action OR speaking directly to the reader.

Your facts/ thoughts/analysis/conclusions = essay style.

 

              MIND READING WWW  pg. 187 & 329

How do you know what your source thinks? Believes?

 

AWKWARD PHRASING

Stiff or confusing wording you would never use in conversation

 

Vague / Unclear / Confusing / Wordy

 

Confusing / Wordy

 

ORGANIZATION

Problem with ordering of information

 

 

 

Experts from planned parenthood defined gender roles as, “The way people act, what they do and say, to express being a girl or boy, a woman or man. These characteristics are shaped by society. Gender roles vary greatly from one culture to the next, from one ethnic group to the next, and from one social class to another. Children learn these roles from an early age – from their parents and family, their religion, and their culture, as well as the outside world, including television, magazines, and other media. By age three, children have usually learned to prefer toys and clothes that are “appropriate” to their gender,”

This 98 word quote is much too long – especially as a lede

 

Elizabeth Sweet, a writer at the Huffington post I find this in the highly respected pub The Atlantic – not in the HP. So this is a fact error unless you can shoot me a link to this article/quote in the HP

says, “In my research on toy advertisements, I found that even when gendered marketing was most pronounced in the 20th century, roughly half of toys were still being advertised in a gender-neutral manner. YOU BREAK YOUR CONTRACT WITH THE READER AND THE RULES OF JOURNALISM HERE.

For example, a recent study by sociologists Carol Auster and Claire Mansbach found that all toys sold on the Disney Store’s website were explicitly categorized as being “for boys” or “for girls”—there was no “for boys and girls” option, even though a handful of toys could be found on both lists,”

In my research on toy advertisements, I found that even when gendered marketing was most pronounced in the 20th century, roughly half of toys were still being advertised in a gender-neutral manner. This is a stark difference from what we see today, as businesses categorize toys in a way that more narrowly forces kids into boxes. For example, a recent study by sociologists Carol Auster and Claire Mansbach found that all toys sold on the Disney Store’s website were explicitly categorized as being “for boys” or “for girls”—there was no “for boys and girls” option, even though a handful of toys could be found on both lists.”

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/12/toys-are-more-divided -by-gender-now-than-they-were-50-years-ago/383556/

 

Erin Wolfe defines herself as a female ?, she is 22 and a student at U of M Dearborn.  _____

SPACE

Wolfe says that as a young child she played with all [she played with every single one?] toys that are generally advertised for boys.

SPACE

She climbed trees, played catch, she even had a Tonka dump truck, that was advertised for little boys, I was ???basically a boy growing up.  [See the power of using the “separate sentence” tool required for this assignment – and of proofreading ?]

SPACE

Typically, little girls like to play with makeup, they like to play dress up and Barbies. Says who?

SPACE

That just wasn’t my thing, I was more interested in sports and playing with “boy” toys. ???

 

Wolfe also says that her parents giving her the choice to not have a specific gender role impacted her greatly.

“I think that if they forced me to play with girl toys, and make up and dress up, and things like that, that maybe I wouldn’t be as girly as I am now. I say that because, if I felt forced to be one thing, and not be able to express myself, how would I really know who I am?” Wolfe says.

 

 

According to a press release from Target, in 2015, they announced that they will be producing gender neutral toys and bedding, getting rid of the boys and girl’s sections, and combining them to be neutral.

 

According to CNN, “Stores across the country have removed references to “boys” and “girls” in toy, home and entertainment aisles and traded in pink and blue shelves for a neutral, wood-grain look. Instead, toys are sorted by categories — dolls, action figures, building sets, etc. — while books and movies are sorted by genre and bedding is just… bedding.”

 

“I believe that stores getting rid of gender appropriate toys, and making them gender neutral is a great idea. I know that as a kid, I would have loved it, and I know it would have made my parents a lot happier.”  Wolfe says.

 

(edited)

Halie Keith

Fh5597@wayne.edu

(313)410-9959

10/11/16

Multi-sourced article

 

Experts from Planned Parenthood define gender roles as, “The way people act, what they do and say, to express being a girl or boy, a woman or man. These characteristics are shaped by society. Gender roles vary greatly from one culture to the next, from one ethnic group to the next, and from one social class to another,”

 

 

Erin Wolfe is a 22-year-old student at University of Michigan Dearborn. Wolfe says that as a young child she played with toys that are generally advertised for boys. She climbed trees, played catch, she even had a Tonka dump truck that was advertised for little boys.

 

 

Elizabeth Sweet, writer at The Atlantic says, “In my research on toy advertisements, I found that even when gendered marketing was most pronounced in the 20th century, roughly half of toys were still being advertised in a gender-neutral manner, for example, a recent study by sociologists Carol Auster and Claire Mansbach found that all toys sold on the Disney Store’s website were explicitly categorized as being for boys or for girls—there was no for boys and girls option, even though a handful of toys could be found on both lists,”

 

 

“I was basically a boy growing up. Typically, little girls like to play with makeup, they like to play dress up and Barbies. That just wasn’t my thing, I was more interested in sports and playing with boy toys,” Wolfe says.

 

 

Wolfe also says that not having a specific gender role pushed on her, helped her become who she is today.

 

 

“I think that if they forced me to play with girl toys, and make up and dress up, and things like that, that maybe I wouldn’t be as girly as I am now. I say that because, if I felt forced to be one thing, and not be able to express myself, how would I really know who I am?” Wolfe says.

 

 

According to a press release from Target, they announced that they will be producing gender

neutral toys and bedding, getting rid of the boys and girl’s sections, and combining them to be

neutral.   O

 

 

According to CNN, “Stores across the country have removed references to boys and girls in toy, home and entertainment aisles and traded in pink and blue shelves for a neutral, wood-grain look. Instead, toys are sorted by categories — dolls, action figures, building sets, etc. — while books and movies are sorted by genre and bedding is just… bedding.”

 

 

“I believe that stores getting rid of gender appropriate toys, and making them gender neutral is a great idea. I know that as a kid, I would have loved it, and I know it would have made my parents a lot happier,” Wolfe says.

 

70 / 100

This is not badly written at all –flow, etc. Could be more detail.

However, there’s stiff, static attribution language – and there’s no way to score high without a command of basic punctuation . . .

Halie Keith

Fh5597@wayne.edu

(313)410-9959

10/25/16

 

 

~ ERROR KEY CODE ~

 

PLAGARISM Not your words

 

GRAMMAR / AP STYLE / FACT ERROR

 

WIND-UP / DOING TOO MUCH  Says who?

You are posing hypotheticals/trying to make/get to/talk around

a point w/o stating opinion, when a quote from a source would do!

 

UNATTRIBUTED FACT / OPINION / POINT OF VIEW   =

ASK YOURSELF: SAYS WHO?  HOW DO I KNOW THAT?

You state a fact that is not common knowledge.

Your wording expresses or adopts a point of view.

Your wording shows agreement/disagreement with the source.

You employ creative writing style and/or modifying adjectives.

You include your HOPES & DREAMS FOR A BETTER WORLD.

 

YOUR VOICE – HIGHLIGHTING YOU  Says who?

You are narrating the action OR speaking directly to the reader.

Your facts/ thoughts/analysis/conclusions = essay style.

 

              MIND READING WWW  pg. 187 & 329

How do you know what your source thinks? Believes?

 

AWKWARD PHRASING

Stiff or confusing wording you would never use in conversation

 

Vague / Unclear / Confusing / Wordy

 

Confusing / Wordy

 

ORGANIZATION

Problem with ordering of information

 

 

 

 

Tisha Long, a 22 year old [news feature – not news report], journalism student at Wayne State University says,” This exercise was a very valuable lesson, it gave us the chance to see how people who actually need wheelchairs or motorized scooters to get around,” <Seriously?  ^ how they what ______________??? Sentence fragment.

 

Long went to the Target at Fairlane Green, in Allen Park, Michigan and shopped around in a motorized scooter used by people with mobility issues, to see how people would react. ____

 

According to Long, <we doubt her story?] “The class was assigned to do this project so that we can become more sensitive to the topic, and understand what it’s like to rely on a motorized scooter,” <Mind. Boggling.

 

“Getting on the scooters in Target was very simple, they were right up front with no one checking them out. I began shopping in the apparel section, and couldn’t even get around the racks of clothing, I became upset very quickly,” said Long.

Long said, “Just when I was starting to get around decently, my scooter died. I had to walk all the way up to the front and get a new one. The whole time I was grateful that I was actually able to walk,”

 

Long was then able to get a fully charged scooter, and begin her route to the grocery section. code

 

 

“One customer looked at me and said that she should call the manager on me because there is nothing wrong with me. I looked back at her and then drove away,” said Long.

 

Long said, “Shopping in the grocery section was a nightmare. I couldn’t reach anything, and I had to ask employees to help me, it was embarrassing.”

 

“I kept thinking of people who actually need to use motorized scooters, and felt bad just based on my experience. I’m sure that they don’t want to have to ask other people to help them shop, they don’t have enough room in their baskets and the aisles just are not scooter friendly,” said Long.

 

“In the aisles, they have poles directly down the middle, which makes it very hard for a scooter to get around. The corners were always very narrow, and hard to turn into the next aisle. I definitely think that Target needs to make their store a little more accessible,” said Long.

 

Long said, “When I was driving the scooter, I had to hold the lever down the whole time, which was inconvenient, and when I would have to back up in my scooter, it made this awful, loud noise. It drew even more attention to me, I did not like that,”

 

“I believe that this assignment gave me a new perspective on life,” said Long, adding that it reminded her and “to not take things for granted. It was incredibly hard to maneuver my way through Target on a motorized scooter, and I would not want to do it again,” said Long.

Long said, “This exercise showed me how others with a disability ??? does she have a disability???] that need to use a motorized scooter to shop, feel. This was an excellent assignment,”

(edited)

Halie Keith

Fh5597@wayne.edu

(313)410-9959

10/25/16

Tisha Long, a 22-year-old journalism student at Wayne State University says, “This exercise was a very valuable lesson, it gave us the chance to see how people with mobility issues get around,”

 

 

Long went to the Target at Fairlane Green, in Allen Park, Michigan, and went shopping a motorized scooter, to see how people would react. O

 

 

Long says, “The class was assigned to do this project so that we can become more sensitive to the topic, and understand what it’s like to rely on a motorized scooter,”

 

 

“Getting on the scooters in Target was very simple, they were right up front with no one checking them out. I began shopping in the apparel section, and couldn’t even get around the racks of clothing, I became upset very quickly,” Long says.

 

 

“Just when I was starting to get around decently, my scooter died. I had to walk all the way up to the front and get a new one. The whole time I was grateful that I could walk,” Long says.

 

 

Long was then able to get a fully charged scooter, and begin her route to the grocery section.

 

 

“One customer looked at me and said that she should call the manager on me because there is nothing wrong with me. I looked back at her and then drove away,” Long says.

 

 

Long says, “Shopping in the grocery section was a nightmare. I couldn’t reach anything, and I had to ask employees to help me, it was embarrassing.”

 

 

“I kept thinking of people who actually need to use motorized scooters, and felt bad just based on my experience. I’m sure that they don’t want to have to ask other people to help them shop, they don’t have enough room in their baskets and the aisles just are not scooter friendly,” Long says.

 

 

“In the aisles, they have poles directly down the middle, which makes it very hard for a scooter to get around. The corners were always very narrow, and hard to turn into the next aisle. I definitely think that Target needs to make their store a little more accessible,” Long says.

 

 

Long says, “When I was driving the scooter, I had to hold the lever down the whole time, which was inconvenient, and when I would have to back up in my scooter, it made this awful, loud noise. It drew even more attention to me, I did not like that,”

 

 

“I believe that this assignment gave me a new perspective on life,” says long, adding that it reminded her “to not take things for granted. It was incredibly hard to maneuver my way through Target on a motorized scooter, and I would not want to do it again,” Long says.

 

 

Long says, “This exercise showed me how people with a disability, that need to use a motorized scooter to shop, feel. This was an excellent assignment,”

↑ see syllabus @ naming attachment

Halie Keith

Fh5597@wayne.edu

(313)410-9959

Objective book review article

10/18/16

 

Who is Charles Blow? What does he do for a living? How did he get there? At what age?

There’s no writing here. This is instead a stack-o-quotes about the book and it is a skeleton.

There are no illuminating transitions written by you. That’s the work. That’s the meat . . .                                 70 / 100

~ ERROR KEY CODE ~

 

PLAGARISM Not your words

 

GRAMMAR / AP STYLE / FACT ERROR

 

WIND-UP / DOING TOO MUCH  Says who?

You are posing hypotheticals/trying to make/get to/talk around

a point w/o stating opinion, when a quote from a source would do!

 

UNATTRIBUTED FACT / OPINION / POINT OF VIEW   =

ASK YOURSELF: SAYS WHO?  HOW DO I KNOW THAT?

You state a fact that is not common knowledge.

Your wording expresses or adopts a point of view.

Your wording shows agreement/disagreement with the source.

You employ creative writing style and/or modifying adjectives.

You include your HOPES & DREAMS FOR A BETTER WORLD.

 

YOUR VOICE – HIGHLIGHTING YOU  Says who?

You are narrating the action OR speaking directly to the reader.

Your facts/ thoughts/analysis/conclusions = essay style.

 

              MIND READING WWW  pg. 187 & 329

How do you know what your source thinks? Believes?

 

AWKWARD PHRASING

Stiff or confusing wording you would never use in conversation

 

Vague / Unclear / Confusing / Wordy

 

Confusing / Wordy

 

ORGANIZATION

Problem with ordering of information

 

 

Charles M. Blow, Author of Fire Shut Up In My Bones, writes, “The first memory I have in the world is of death and tears. That is how I would mark the beginning of my life: the way people mark the end of one,”

TRANSITION SENTENCE THAT YOU WRITE  - THAT ADDS INFO & CONTEXT

“His memoir, Fire Shut Up In My Bones, is about the abuse Blow says he suffered, from the cousin and an uncle. He also writes about a period in which he says he was bullied into keeping the abuse a secret, a period that left Blow confused about his sexual orientation,” according to NPR.

TRANSITION SENTENCE THAT YOU WRITE  - THAT ADDS INFO & CONTEXT

“The memoir by Charles Blow, begins with him in his car on his way to shoot and kill a man. That man is Blow's older cousin, who allegedly sexually abused Blow, when Blow was 7 years old,” according to NPR.

 

TRANSITION SENTENCE THAT YOU WRITE  - THAT ADDS INFO & CONTEXT

 

According to Kirkus reviews, “This memoir isn’t about his professional development as much as the psychosexual and emotional roller-coaster ride of his upbringing. Especially in the first half, Blow masterfully evokes the sights, sounds and smells of rough-and-tumble, backwater Louisiana. His portrait of his tough-as-nails mother, who raised five children on the wages from her poultry-plucking job and, at one point, shot her husband for cheating, is almost larger than life.” But eventually we get to the crux of the memoir and the event in his young life that would understandably have serious psychological repercussions for years to come: being sexually molested by his cousin,”

TRANSITION SENTENCE THAT YOU WRITE  - THAT ADDS INFO & CONTEXT

 

__Writer at the New York Times, Columbia Law School Professor Patricia Williams, wrote in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, “Blow’s crisis is an existential one, about cultures of masculinity. He marries. He divorces. He entertains the possibility that he is bi sexual, an issue that refuses neat resolution.” More clearly, however, his confusion about his sexuality operates as a symbolic middle ground between all the other dualities presented in this book: murder and suicide, mind and matter, right and wrong, traumatized silence and voluble confession,”

TRANSITION SENTENCE THAT YOU WRITE  - THAT ADDS INFO & CONTEXT

 

“Blow's attachment to his mother, a fiercely driven woman with five sons, brass knuckles in her glove box, a job plucking poultry at a nearby factory, a soon-to-be-ex-husband, and a love of newspapers and learning, cannot protect him from secret abuse at the hands of an older cousin. It's damage that triggers years of anger and searing self-questioning. Finally, Blow escapes to a nearby state university, where he joins a black fraternity after a passage of brutal hazing, and then enters a world of racial and sexual privilege that feels like everything he's ever needed and wanted, until he's called upon, himself, to become the one perpetuating the shocking abuse,” according to barnesandnoble.com.

TRANSITION SENTENCE THAT YOU WRITE  - THAT ADDS INFO & CONTEXT

“Blow’s memoir is an unconventional jeremiad, in that it resists the exclusions of ‘either-or.’ The conflicts central to humanity are reconfigured here as fields of simple possibility: of compromise, of forgiveness, of eternal incompletion, of the fire unleashed, at long last from our bones,” wrote Patricia Williams.

Blow’s memoir is an unconventional jeremiad, in that it resists the exclusions of “either-or.” The conflicts central to humanity are reconfigured here as fields of simple possibility: of compromise, of forgiveness, of eternal incompletion, of the fire unleashed at long last from our bones.

(edited)

Halie Keith

Fh5597@wayne.edu

(313)410-9959

Objective book review

10/18/16

 

Charles M. Blow, author of Fire Shut Up In My Bones, writes, “The first memory I have in the world is of death and tears. That is how I would mark the beginning of my life: the way people mark the end of one,”

 

 

Blow was born in 1970, and grew up in Gibsland, Louisiana.

 

 

When he was 7 years old, Blow’s parents got a divorce, his mother moved out of the house with

 

 

Blow and his brother, and moved into his great grandfather’s house, where his great uncle still

 

 

lived.

 

 

 

“His memoir, Fire Shut Up In My Bones, is about the abuse Blow says he suffered, from the cousin and an uncle. He also writes about a period in which he says he was bullied into keeping the abuse a secret, a period that left Blow confused about his sexual orientation,” according to NPR.

 

 

“The memoir by Charles Blow, begins with him in his car on his way to shoot and kill a man. That man is Blow's older cousin, who allegedly sexually abused Blow, when Blow was 7 years old,” according to NPR.

 

 

In an interview with NPR, Blow says, “In that moment of turning off the road, I had to decide, what are you doing? You can't keep living your life through the eyes of a 7-year-old boy. Yes, this person has done a bad thing. They don't deserve to die for what they've done and you deserve to live in spite of it. I had to make that choice. I turned around and went home,”

 

 

According to Kirkus reviews, “This memoir isn’t about his professional development as much as the psychosexual and emotional roller-coaster ride of his upbringing. Especially in the first half, Blow masterfully evokes the sights, sounds and smells of rough-and-tumble, backwater Louisiana. His portrait of his tough-as-nails mother, who raised five children on the wages from her poultry-plucking job and, at one point, shot her husband for cheating, is almost larger than life,”

 

 

Blow graduated from Grambling University in 1991, then went on to the Detroit News, where he

 

was hired as a Graphic Design artist. O

 

 

After the Detroit News, Blow went to the New York Times, then to National Geographic, and

 

 

ended up back at the New York Times, where he was named the first visual op-ed columnist. O

 

 

Blow has also appeared on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News.  O

 

 

Columbia Law School Professor, Patricia Williams, wrote in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, “Blow’s crisis is an existential one, about cultures of masculinity. He marries. He divorces. He entertains the possibility that he is bi sexual, an issue that refuses neat resolution. More clearly, however, his confusion about his sexuality operates as a symbolic middle ground between all the other dualities presented in this book: murder and suicide, mind and matter, right and wrong, traumatized silence and voluble confession,”

 

 

In 2014, Blow came out publicly as bisexual.

 

 

“Blow's attachment to his mother, and a love of newspapers and learning, cannot protect him from secret abuse at the hands of an older cousin. It's damage that triggers years of anger and searing self-questioning. Finally, Blow escapes to a nearby state university, where he joins a black fraternity after a passage of brutal hazing, and then enters a world of racial and sexual privilege that feels like everything he's ever needed and wanted, until he's called upon, himself, to become the one perpetuating the shocking abuse,” according to barnesandnoble.com.

 

 

“Blow’s memoir is an unconventional jeremiad, in that it resists the exclusions of either-or. The conflicts central to humanity are reconfigured here as fields of simple possibility: of compromise, of forgiveness, of eternal incompletion, of the fire unleashed, at long last from our bones,” wrote Williams.

 

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