Tag Archives: race

September Rambling: Frank Doyle's daughter, and pie v grief

My old college friend Claire is 55 and Still Alive. Her late father, BTW, was awarded the Bill Finger Award at Comic-Con 2012.

Jaquandor’s review/reflection about the book Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Pie by Beth Howard, which is about processing grief. And dessert. Check out her website.

Gemuetlichkeit: Dachau.

9/11: Another View.

Legal Analysis Outlines Potential Crime In Mitt Romney’s Financial Disclosures

“Recent DNA and genealogical evidence uncovered by Ancestry.com researchers suggests that President Obama is a descendant of one of America’s first documented African slaves. What surprised many is that Continue reading September Rambling: Frank Doyle's daughter, and pie v grief

Transformative Presidency?


I’m watching this television program called JEOPARDY! On the episode airing way back on February 25, 2009, which I almost certainly watched at least a week later, there was a category called THE AFRICAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, with all of the clues given by black historian Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The $200 clue: “In a recent essay, I cited the election of Barack Obama as one of the 4 ‘transformative moments’ in African-American history; this 1863 event was the first.” The question, of course, was “What is The Emancipation Proclamation?” (The other two moments, which Gates revealed in a video clip leading to a commercial break Continue reading Transformative Presidency?

MOVIE REVIEW: The Help

The Wife and I went to see the movie The Help a couple Saturdays ago at a very crowded room at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany. We had been looking forward to seeing it since we caught the trailer. Our anticipation was further enhanced by happening to catch Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays the primary “villain”, for lack of a better term, on CTV while we were in Toronto a couple weeks back, describing her role as “delicious.”

And I was going to write my impressions right away, but I got distracted by issues in the press surrounding the movie and the book upon which it was based. Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: The Help

Hallelujah

When I was in high school in Binghamton (upstate NY) in the late 1960s, my sister Leslie, another black teenage girl and I were invited to visit the classroom of the junior high school in suburban Vestal. The reason, if I’m remembering correctly (and it was over 40 years ago) was that the only black teenagers they saw were ones on television, and in those days, that was mighty few.

Interestingly, the male teacher of this music class was black, who was likely the only one, and therefore one more than there was at the time at Binghamton Central HS.

We sat and talked and answered questions, and the session seemingly did what it was intended to do Continue reading Hallelujah

Civil War books

Late last year, Glenn W LaFantasie came up with The top 12 Civil War books ever written for Salon magazine. A bold list with a lot of caveats (no biographies, no series or multivolume works, no fiction.) And if you’re interested, you can check out his choices, and the four dozen comments about same.

But I came to a dead stop when he described his #5 book, “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory” by David W. Blight (2001), which I have never read. It’s because the description seems so important to our 21st century lives in America:

[It] explores how the past is connected to the present by looking at the ways in which Americans have remembered the Civil War. His deeply researched and carefully crafted study argues that after the war white veterans, Union and Confederate, facilitated the reconciliation of the two sections by consciously avoiding the fact that slavery had brought on the sectional conflict, choosing instead to celebrate the courage that they and their comrades had brandished in battle. Less consciously, they and their fellow Americans found this new narrative Continue reading Civil War books

The Racial Aspect of Obamaphobia Revealed! (Maybe)


Last month, I wrote this blogpost about the shooting of 20 people, six fatally, in Arizona. Got a lot of comments, some of which inevitably fell off the mark. In fact, a duologue developed between two commenters, and I pretty much stayed out of it until one wrote:
Also calling the President a “black” man would be wrong. He happens to be biracial.

This made me peevish. I responded:

It would NOT be wrong to call the President a black man. Continue reading The Racial Aspect of Obamaphobia Revealed! (Maybe)

Getting All Post-Racial with MLK, Jr.


Since the King holiday is coming up, I thought I’d mention that noise I’ve been reading about Martin Luther King, Jr. being a Republican. This involved posters over the past couple years and his niece declaring it to be so. Frankly, I have not come across a totally credible source proving it one way or another.

The Republican party, of course, was the party of Lincoln, while the Democratic party, particularly in the South, where King lived, was the party of George Wallace and other segregationists. So it is quite plausible that he was a member of the GOP, at least until the 1960 election of John Kennedy. Surely he voted for Democrat Lyndon Johnson over Republican Barry Goldwater in 1964, his public comments make clear.

But most of the conversations miss the greater point, which is, “Would Martin Luther King, Jr. be a Republican in the 21st Century?” Those who suggest that the answer would be “yes” generally zero in on one section of his March on Washington I Have A Dream speech in August 1963, the part that goes: I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. The clear implication is that race-based remedies for past or current discrimination should be off the table.

But read the very end of the speech: Continue reading Getting All Post-Racial with MLK, Jr.

L is for Loving Day

I can’t believe I missed it. OK, until I read about it in TIME magazine, I’d never even heard of it, though it’s been going on for a half dozen years. There’s a group that has called for Loving Day Celebrations around June 12th each year “to fight racial prejudice through education and to build multicultural community.”

The celebration is named for Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving, who had the audacity to fall in love with each other. Unable to get married legally in their native Virginia – he was white, she was black – they got hitched in Washington, DC and “established their marital abode in Caroline County”, Virginia.

Ultimately, on “January 6, 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charge” stemming from their interracial marriage, “and were sentenced to one year in jail; however, the trial judge suspended the sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia together for 25 years. He stated in an opinion that:

“‘Almighty God Continue reading L is for Loving Day

T is for Titans


Uncharacteristically, I was flipping through the TV channels recently. This is highly unusual, because generally, when I watch television, I go to a particular show, usually prerecorded. I came across this 2000 movie I saw in the theaters, Remember the Titans. Part of the IMBD synopsis:
“It’s 1971 in Alexandria, Virginia and successful high school football coach Bill Yoast (Will Patton) has just been deprived of the head coaching job at the new integrated T.C. Williams High School to make way for equally successful black coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington). Yoast debates pursuing opportunities elsewhere, but when most of his white players vow to sit out the season unless he coaches, he changes his mind and stays on as Boone’s assistant.”
The Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: “An inspirational crowd-pleaser with a healthy dose of social commentary, Remember the Titans may be predictable, but it’s also well-crafted and features terrific performances.”

Well, yes, predictable, including having the Big Game. I enjoyed it well enough, and it at least tried to tackle the issue of race.

Looking back at it, though, I noticed an interesting coincidence Continue reading T is for Titans