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In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower

  by Davarian L. Baldwin

(about 286 pages)
total words
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
passive voice
of all the books in our library
all adverbs
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of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library

clippings from this book

We’ve analyzed hundreds of millions of words, from thousands of different authors, training our linguistic models to recognize the most vivid words in the English language… the words that create the most intense sensory experiences: colors, textures, sounds, flavors, and aromas.

Based on our analysis, we’ve scanned through the pages of this book to find the two pages at the extremes, both the most-passive and the most-vivid pages, so that you can compare them side-by-side and see the difference:

head south in her direction. She appreciates the university’s interest in her work. But when a school says it has to grow to stay in business, Davis knows what that means for places like Woodlawn: “That’s telling me I’m coming for you. I need what you’ve got in order to live.” The university talks about “campus community partnerships,” but Davis does not think such a thing exists with UChicago: “This is like Santa Claus, and I’m gonna write the list, buy the gifts. And then I’ll be damned if you’re not gonna like them. That’s not a partnership; that’s self-interest at a hyperbolic rate.” She believes that someone like Gates has successfully leveraged the university for his own needs. “But who owns his shit?” Davis asks with a huff. Given the university’s long history of exploitation, in her mind there is only one way that UChicago can invest in sustainable urban renewal: “They must devote their considerable assets in creating vehicles for the community to own itself.” She believes the university should create something like an endowment that could support technical assistance and help finance local developers. All the money that will be made revitalizing Woodlawn must benefit the local economy. In short, she said it should be Black money: “You want to be Santa Claus, right: that’s what I want for Christmas.” Anything else is what she calledrape and rescue.” Davis and her vision of a self-sustainable village in the majority-Black neighborhood of Woodlawn are compelling. It is walls and ceilings of the suburban mall. They have been supplanted by the “open-air enclosure,” a privatized public experience of socializing under the shadows of office and retail towers made of glass and steel. The “new” Harper Court, Chicago, Illinois, 2013. Photo by Leslie Schwartz Photography. Most shops became what Chicago Tribune writer Joel Hood described as “casualt[ies] of the growing pains of a neighborhood on the move.” Gone was the Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop restaurant, a onetime favorite of Barack Obama, and the Hyde Park Hair Salon, which once trimmed the locks of Muhammad Ali, Obama, and Harold Washington, also did not make the “cut” of revitalization and was relocated. These community institutions were replaced with more-recognizable retail chains, including Starbucks, Chipotle, LA Fitness, and the Hyatt Place Hotel. But at the same time, elements of Chicago’s Black culture are alive and well. The Jamaican eatery Ja’ Grill, the clothier Sir and Madame, and the eclectic clothing and home-goods store Silver Room now occupy the court. Owner Eric Williams closes down the L-shaped commercial corridor every summer for the showcase event: the Silver Room Sound System Block Party. And the highly popular restaurant and music space, the Promontory, sits across the street in a former Borders bookstore. Now back from college, Dominique James told me that the graffiti wall is missed, but she certainly enjoys the new offerings surrounding Harper Court, especially the existence of Black businesses. “But which Black?” she asked. With eighteen-dollar burgers at the Promontory

emotional story arc

Click anywhere on the chart to see the most significant emotional words — both positive & negative — from the corresponding section of the text…
This chart visualizes the the shifting emotional balance for the arc of this story, based on the emotional strength of the words in the prose, using techniques pioneered by the UVM Computational Story Lab. To create this story arc, we divided the complete manuscript text into 50 equal-sized chunks, each with 1431.32 words, and then we scored each section by counting the number of strongly-emotional words, both positive and negative. The bars in the chart move downward whenever there’s conflict and sadness, and they move upward when conflicts are resolved, or when the characters are happy and content. The size of each bar represents the positive or negative word-count of that section.

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