Friday, April 30, 2010

New pubs for 2010!

Yay for me! Two new books out from Gale Group's Greenhaven Press. I'm the third editor, which means I wrote some of the intros, found articles, cut them--even learned to do some paste-up stuff.

Of course, all this was done last summer, so having copies of the finished books delivered to me was a Very Nice Surprise. But also--none of the work looks familiar. Did I really write any of this? Skimming through, I found one phrase (in the Middle Class book) that stuck: Love Jones Cohort.

Professor Kris Marsh at UNC coined the term to refer to "a new kind of middle-class black: young, never-married, urban professionals living alone."

Love Jones Cohort. OK, now I remember! My immediate reaction had been "Love Jones? Was that some Pam Grier movie?" Hey, I'm a boomer--that's my cultural reference point!

But Love Jones was a 1997 movie about a Chicago poet...a young (in 97) Chicago poet. A yuppie in the 2000s, then, and Marsh's symbol for a new stereotype.

But isn't it funny how quickly we forget our work, once it's finished and we must move on to other articles/studies/books? Two months ago I finished a piece on important Supreme Court decisions. Do I remember any of the new facts I encountered while writing that? Beyond what I already knew--Miranda v. AZ, Roe v. Wade, Brown v. Topeka Board of Education?

Nah. Maybe one thing: What Happened to Mr. Ernesto Miranda.

Miranda's case, Miranda v. AZ, established that a suspect must be read his/her rights before being questioned by police.

Miranda confessed to a rape without being told of his legal rights, so when the Supreme Court decided his case in his favor, Miranda won a new trial--and was convicted again! Turns out, the police didn't even need his confession because they found a witness to his crime. Yup, the whole reason for the famous Miranda case turned out to be moot for Mr. Miranda!

The hapless Miranda got killed in a bar fight a few years later, after serving his sentence for the rape. And--irony of ironies--while his killer escaped, the police picked up an accomplice and read the guy his Miranda rights while Miranda lay dying or dead.

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