Lauren Michele Jackson
Lauren Michele Jackson is a contributing writer at The New Yorker, where her recent work includes an adventure through gamified stardom in The Sims and the racial politics of voice acting. She is an assistant professor of English at Northwestern University. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Awl, Chicago magazine, The New Inquiry, New York, The Point, Rolling Stone, Slate, and the Washington Post, among other publications. Her first book, the essay collection “White Negroes,” was published in 2019. She lives in Chicago.
All Work
Cultural Comment
The Void That Critical Race Theory Was Created to Fill
The movement’s architects saw the inadequacy of liberal solutions to racial injustice. Yet the term has become a lullaby by which liberals self-soothe.
By Lauren Michele JacksonJuly 27, 2021
Paul Mooney, Comedy’s Maestro of White America
Like his collaborator Richard Pryor, Mooney used the N-word as a form of comic expression. But it was whiteness that he made devastatingly easy to understand.
By Lauren Michele JacksonMay 22, 2021
Under Review
What We Want from Richard Wright
A newly restored novel tests an old dynamic between readers and the author of “Native Son.”
By Lauren Michele JacksonMay 12, 2021
Cultural Comment
Daunte Wright and the Grammar of Kim Potter’s Resignation
Potter insists that she “has loved every minute of being a police officer,” even if some of her final minutes in the field were spent annihilating a man.
By Lauren Michele JacksonApril 16, 2021
On Television
How “Bridgerton” and “The Bachelor” Coupled Romance with Race
In Netflix’s period drama, the racial element was cannily calibrated; in the reality-TV series, it threw the love story off course.
By Lauren Michele JacksonMarch 16, 2021
Podcast Dept.
Obama and Springsteen’s Podcast Is Here to Lull America
In “Renegades,” a new Spotify podcast, the rock superstar and the ex-President dub themselves rebellious outsiders while playing their familiar hits.
By Lauren Michele JacksonFebruary 28, 2021
Under Review
“The Prophets,” a Novel of Queer Love During Slavery, Burdened by History
In Robert Jones, Jr.,’s début, ancestors of various kinds are beckoned forth to lend the weight of their influence, from the denizens of the plantation who populate the book to the luminaries of African-American letters who inspired it.
By Lauren Michele JacksonFebruary 3, 2021
On Television
The “Animaniacs” Reboot Revives the Zany and Regurgitates the Meta
Their wackiness makes the “animated maniacs” ripe for psychoanalyzing, but do so at your peril.
By Lauren Michele JacksonJanuary 12, 2021
2020 in Review
Kim Kardashian and the Year of Unchecked Privilege-Checking
The events of 2020 created a compulsion to confess one’s advantages, even in the midst of enjoying them.
By Lauren Michele JacksonDecember 23, 2020
Culture Desk
Ariana Grande Talks Dirty on “Positions”
Listeners may find it a relief to find an album that aspires to please and nothing more.
By Lauren Michele JacksonNovember 3, 2020
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