How the Other Third Lives

How3rd2There’s much more on the so-called “Third World” today, though it’s still mostly out of sight, out of mind for most Americans, except for its association with terrorism and, currently, as a place where all those “sh*t hole countries” are.  In 1979, when I wrote the following “Briefer Comment”  for The Virginia Quarterly Review, there was far, far less available, and the “Third World” was further out of sight.  I’m perhaps harder on the book than I should be, but even then I sensed that How the Other Third Lives—an anthology of “Third World” prayers, songs, and literature edited by Margaret B. White and Robert N. Quigley—was one of the first attempts to bring that area of the world into the popular imagination and connect it to our “First World” history.

Here’s what I wrote on June 19, 1979:  “The poetry and prayers section of this anthology of Third World Literature is good and surprisingly ‘warm’ and ‘pleasant’ at times.  The stories, essays, journal extracts, and novella are of very uneven quality, and though one can see some point to it, one sometimes wishes America’s ‘Declaration of Independence’ and Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech hadn’t been included.  The editors stretch the term “Third World” quite a bit, and by their own admission have presented a ‘personal offering’ that is neither scholarly nor very representative.  Though it includes some fine, standard material and provides short biographies of some very fine writers, the anthology gives an insufficient view of the best literature the Third World offers.  If one keeps this in mind, however, this book, with all its shortcomings, will benefit us by providing a fair, general feeling for a literature about which most of us know very little.”

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As a regular part of my teaching load, I’ve now taught “Third World” literature, culture, politics and economics for over 40 years.  For more about the “Third World” on this site—including why I persist in using that term—go to “The Third World,” and to “The ‘Third World:’ A Course Overview,” which contains, at the end, a VIDEO overview of an interdisciplinary graduate course I have taught for many years.

My first big articles, those that established me as a writer and scholar, were on the “Third World” writers N.V.M. Gonzalez and Raja Rao.  These two essays form the foundation of a developing page on WORLD WRITERS on this site, a page devoted mostly to “Third World” writers, but also to the enormous area of World Writing itself, an area—whether “Third World,” French, Australian, Canadian, etc.—we also need to know more about.

Despite current politics, globalization isn’t going away.  On this World Writers page you’ll find this link: POST-COLONIAL WRITING IN ENGLISH: A WRITER’S LIST.  This post reports on The Arnold Anthology of Post-Colonial Literatures in English and provides a pdf of the Table of Contents, so you can at least catch a glimpse of the richness of just the names themselves.  It’s a much, much bigger book than How the Other Third Lives, and much more inclusive and scholarly, too, even though it confines itself to “just” writing in English.  One reason globalization isn’t going away is the English language itself.

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There’s No Place Like A Home

The VIDEO below shows a few moments from the December 30th Paramount Theater/Neighbor Project Wizard of Oz fund raiser, where The Neighbor Project’s friends, staff, and program families got to see the smash Paramount Theater show, have dinner and hot chocolate afterwards, and meet-greet-and take pictures with the show’s stars.  It was, as Rick Guzman—The Neighbor Project’s executive director—said, “A magical ending to 2018.”

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In an email message the following morning, Rick Guzman added: “The merger of Emmanuel House & Joseph Corporation has resulted in a lot of positive impact in 2018—including helping almost one family per week save their home & avoid foreclosure while helping dozens more buy their very first homes. But last night’s performance of the Wizard of Oz  with about 15 of our program families (including dozens of kids) seeing their very first Paramount show was truly something special!”

OzActors1Our thanks to everyone who has supported The Neighbor Project, an organization created in April of this year when Emmanuel House and The Joseph Corporation merged.  It helps families get out of debt, save money, and buy a home (or keep one out of foreclosure).  That home is an asset that opens doors to stability and financial and educational opportunities that change the trajectory of a family’s life, as well as the life of the neighborhood it lives in.  The result: a better community for all of us.  Homeowners stay in neighborhoods 4x longer.  Their children are 25% more likely to graduate from high school, and more than 115% likely to graduate from college.  Find out more about The Neighbor Project and get involved.

Finally, our thanks to The Paramount Theater, and to the stars of The Wizard of Oz—Elizabeth Stenholt (Dorothy), Kyle Adams (Scarecrow), Carl Draper (Tinman)—for their wonderful performances in a spectacular show, and for their generosity in spending so much time and giving such warm enthusiasm to The Neighborhood Project’s staff, supporters, and families afterwards.  What momentum it built for another year of helping families and neighborhoods.

Note: A family emergency kept Paul-Jordan Janzen (the Lion) from joining us after the show. Our best wishes to him.

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There’s No Place Like Home

December 30th, 5:30 p.m. Paramount Theater / The Neighbor Project host fund raiser to help families and neighborhoods.

Single tickets for the Paramount Theater’s hit show The Wizard of Oz are going fast for $92 to over $300, BUT you can get a ticket, have dinner & hot chocolate, and meet-greet-and take pictures with the show’s stars for only $75!  Get those tickets HERE.  And in the process help your neighbors become more equal members of society so they can begin to help build better communities for all of us.

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It’s almost as if one of the the classic show’s signature lines was made especially for The Neighbor Project, an organization formed this April with the merger of Emmanuel House and the Joseph Corporation.  The Neighbor Project focuses on helping the working poor get out of debt, save money, and purchase their first home, an asset that opens the door to more stability, educational opportunities, and greater involvement in building great neighborhoods.  All these add up to building a stronger community for ALL of us.  Dorothy murmurs a great truth when she returns from The Land of Oz: “There’s no place like home.” There’s no place like a home for changing the trajectory of a family’s—and a community’s—life.

Read more about the merger and The Neighbor Project, and watch its new intro video HERE.

Aurora’s great Paramount Theater has helped build the community through the arts and other ways as well, including always being a great partner to Emmanuel House and, now, The Neighbor Project.

Please pass along the news of this holiday fund raiser—a bargain!—and plan to come join us yourself.  Again, get tickets for it HERE.

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