Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts

Sharifa-Rhodes-Pitts-200Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts is a writer whose work has appeared in Transition, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe. She has received awards from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Originally from Houston, Texas, she graduated in 2000 from Harvard University and was a Fulbright Scholar in the United Kingdom. Sharifa is writing a trilogy on African-Americans and utopia; her first book, Harlem is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America, was published in 2011 by Little, Brown & Company.

The Worth of Black Men, From Slavery to Ferguson

he paper, stained in spots, has yellowed, its black ink faded to a dull brown, but the horizontal lines printed on the page are still a fine blue. Some scribe took great care preparing this page, first dragging a piece of graphite along a straight edge to make two pairs of twin columns. Sometimes the pencil marks skip, disconnecting from the line before joining the page again. Once ordered, the table received its data: numbers rendered by hand but with a machinelike uniformity. One column is … [Read more...]