About Brian Michael Murphy

Brian Michael Murphy is an Assistant Professor in the Core Division at Champlain College, and an Instructor in the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop. He has published poems in SLAB, Birmingham Poetry Review, and CHEST, among other places. He holds a PhD in Comparative Studies from The Ohio State University, where he was a Presidential Fellow. He lives in Burlington, Vermont with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs. Follow him @raisedbymovies  

Phife’s Islands

The third death of A Tribe Called Quest occurred last week with the passing of Phife Dawg. The first death came after The Love Movement, when the group broke up; I witnessed the second death in Michael Rappaport’s documentary Beats,…

Your Skin or Your Soul

In the photograph “Frustrated Lynch Mob,” a group of about 15 boys and men fill the frame, as they stand outside a courthouse in Shelbyville, Tennessee. The mob had attempted to break into the courthouse and take E.K. Harris, an African…

Speaking of “Thuggery”

“In the years after World War I, Florida was still a loosely policed frontier state. White Protestant mobs staged regular lynchings and beatings to intimidate black voters, drinkers and anyone else they felt threatened the social order. [. . .]…

Why the Klan Branded a White Pastor

In July 1924, Oren Van Loon, a white minister in Michigan, posed for a news photographer, who focused his lens on the letters “KKK” branded into Van Loon’s back. Intrarracial violence—white supremacist violence against whites—was a significant threat to whites…

Ghost City

Yesterday, someone asked me if I missed Columbus. I said that I missed certain people, and that I supposed I missed the city, too. “What places do you miss?” she asked. I immediately thought of several, but before I named…

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