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RCL Blog #2

September 4, 2014 by Garren Christopher Stamp   

Americanah is an interesting book about of racial difficulties and racial identity in America. In the novel Ifemelu struggles with what her civic role should be in her new home of America. She uses her blog as a way to analyze and complain about the civic life that America is forcing upon her. Other people read her blog and comment back and are interested in her ideas and her life. In doing this Ifemelu’s blog actually becomes a big example of a civic space. It is on this blog that the roles of an immigrant to a society and the role of a society to a new immigrant are discussed. People discuss new ideas and analyze current trends and issues in race relations in America on her blog. This blog becomes a sort of intellectual meeting place for a worldwide community.

pps.org defines civic space as “Civic spaces are an extension of the community. When they work well, they serve as a stage for our public lives. If they function in their true civic role, they can be the settings where celebrations are held, where ┬ásocial and economic exchanges take place, where friends run into each other, and where cultures mix.” and i would say that Ifemul’s blog meets most of these criteria. The community it is an extension of would be America as a whole. Her blog is her stage for her public life. She discusses events that occurred in her life and talks about how they affect her. While there isn’t any formal celebrations being held i would argue that her blog is a quasi celebration of maintaining a previous cultural identity while in a new country. ┬áHer blog is also host to tons of social exchanges, people from all over the American community read and comment on her experiences. Many different cultures mix there and gain a better understanding of each other.


1 Comment »

  1. axb5626 says:

    Identifying her blog as her unique civic space was great in that it pointed out that civic spaces not only exist in society but also can be created as a contribution to one’s community. Do you think her blog was more than just a space however, and could even be treated as an identity of hers and in that case was this civic space a little detrimental to her in that she forgot her roots until her abrupt decision to move back?

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