Convenient Amnesia confronts America's memory problem

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

By Stephen Scott Whitaker

Donald Vincent

Convenient Amnesia

Broadstone Books


In Donald Vincent’s Convenient Amnesia, from Broadstone Books, the weight of history creates tension throughout the social, personal, and historical conflicts Vincent explores. Composed in three movements, Vincent addresses racial injustice, personal relationships, and the craft of the poetry, as well as family, and Black identity, among other intersections.

Early on, in section one, in “47 Percent Plus My Grandma”, Vincent crafts a world collapsing the from the weight of its own history:

Grandma might die, so she leaves it to the man up in the sky. Let go and let God, she sighs at all her friends’


There’s no stopping

the AARP postcards & calls from telemarketers, tombstone companies, and life insurance salesmen, but she sees glimpses of hope, like dreams no longer deferred even through the great economic recession. Now, smiling at all his pictures


remembering when she thought she, assuaged, was at the gates of heaven because she witnessed the first black