angry reader of the week: rishi nath

What's up, everybody. Please meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Rishi Nath.

Who are you?
Rishi Nath. Gene, a friend of my family, helped pick out that name. Something Americans could say easily. Didn't work out that well. Years ago a rap producer used to call me Rishi Bonneville. He's famous now, so sometimes I also use that name. For example: @rishibonneville

What are you?
I am an Open City Creative Nonfiction Fellow with the Asian American Writers' Workshop.

I am also an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the City University New York.

Where are you?
Teaching statistics at the end of the E train.

Where are you from?
Born in Boston. Spent ten years in Chicago's South Side; used to be from there. I've lived in Queens for seven years; now I'm from here.

What do you do?
I write about Richmond Hill and nearby Queens neighborhoods for Open City. I recently published "Ghetto Qu'ran," an essay that sketches the geography of South Jamaica, Queens, through the life of 50 Cent. In it, I bike around looking for these mythologized places, charting a history of the neighborhood through lyrics.

I also publish research papers in mathematics. I am interested in algebraic combinatorics; partitions; representation theory.

In 1998, my friend Vincent and I founded Raptivism Records. We released a lot of great records before the acid of digital music dissolved everything.

What are you all about?
Participating in communities around Black and Third World electronic music: soca, dancehall, coupe decale, ancestral house, chutney, UK funky. Fanon talked about how gathering and dancing were how colonized people expressed the rage and dreams of liberation they couldn't actualize. I think that's still true.

What makes you angry?
Classism, racism, and sexism pervade our society—even among the cool kids. Fetishizing gadgetry, watching high-definition videos shot in obscure, colorful ghettos and eating in chic restaurants near where poor people used to live are not getting us closer to freedom. And educated and socially-mobile people of color often collaborate with the oppression of their people and themselves.

But I try not to get angry that much.

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