goto Appendx main menu Append[x]tomy : R. M. Colina
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To feel adequately prepared to evaluate Appendx, I spent some time reading, rereading, and considering the first issue. I was stuck on the editors' opening sentence in the Preface: "When three black men congregate, it is usually assumed that they are about to sing, dance, shoot hoops, or start trouble-preconceptions used to deny the slightest notion of our 'selves' and conveniently categorize our persistent and unresolved presences."  This and similar suppositions set the tone of the journal,and I was prepared to read revolutionary texts that I, as a reader, could accept or oppose. Through politically correct and incorrect language, the reader is presented with arguments surrounding dialectical oppositions: black/white, female/male, liberal/conservative. In this issue, most authors concerned themselves with the differences and not with the relationships between these dichotomies. Second, I was struck by the role that the "academy" played in the unfolding of the authors' arguments. At times, the "academy" was an authority that was questioned and condemned, and at other times the "academy" was embraced and the author(s) suggested that it was an institution to which they already belonged. Last, although the authors published in this issue held a variety of positions on the issue of marginalization, they all shared a need to identify themselves by their gender, their race, and in some instances, their religion. It is for this reason that I chose to use my surname and the initials of my given name, as it is my hope that neither my gender, religion, nor ethnic class become an issue in what follows. 

The editors of Appendx are in an interesting predicament. They are in a position to comment on, to cause trouble for, to raise questions about, and to propose "space" for multiple perspectives within architectural discourse, while simultaneously attempting to retain marketability, protect their own "identity," and serve as the voice for those perceived by the "academy" to be on the outside. At first this may seem like an impossible task, as it is implicit in the term "minority" that issues relating to marginalized groups hold a small market of interest within the "general population," and that the maiority of people, others, are either not interested or unaware of their importance. It is my observation that when people turn a deaf ear, it Appendx 2 page break 140 | 141is not because of lack of interest, but because of preconceptions that inhibit their ability to hear clearly or without prejudice. Yet these preconceptions exist everywhere and are perpetuated by both sides of any opposition. In response to the opening paragraph quoted above, I would ask the editors: Who do you believe usually assumes that when three black men congregate, they are about to sing, dance, shoot hoops, or start trouble? Are they blacks and/or nonblacks? Men and/or women? Sexists, bigots,racists--or everyone? The editors continue by writing that these preconceptions are used "to deny the slightest notion of our 'selves' and conveniently categorize our persistent and unresolved presences." What preconceptions do we have for people who observe black men congregating? How are they categorized?  I am not questioning that people exist who would make such assumptions about black men; I am simply cautioning against turning these important issues into dialectical oppositions by reversing those same preconceptions. 
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