News 06.12.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 06.12.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 06.12.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 06.12.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Until very recently, the idea of going for a walk for fun never crossed my mind. I preferred more heart-rate-boosting, woo!-inducing forms of exercise; my idea of a good time included sailing off lippy kickers on my mountain bike or floating through fresh powder on skis. I just didn’t have much use for walking when I didn’t have to. Walking wasn’t going to get me ripped. Walking wasn’t shredding. Walking was good for digestion and something nice I did with my aging parents. Walking too far made my feet swell and my lower back ache. Walking was boring.

But like many of us this spring, I started doing a lot of things that were out of character. I stopped drinking. I started baking bread. I planted flowers and succulents and somehow kept them alive. I played board games. And I started going on long walks.

I could blame the baking, the gardening, the board games, and the teetotalism on the new restrictions caused by the novel coronavirus. I joked that I was playing quarantine bingo, systematically ticking off every trope on my Instagram feed. But the seed for the walking was planted well before the pandemic.

Read the rest of this article at: Outside

News 06.12.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

In September 1963, in Llansteffan, Wales, a stained-glass artist named John Petts was listening to the radio when he heard the news that four black girls had been murdered in a bombing while at Sunday school at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

The news moved Petts, who was white and British, deeply. “Naturally, as a father, I was horrified by the death of the children,” said Petts, in a recording archived by London’s Imperial War Museum. “As a craftsman in a meticulous craft, I was horrified by the smashing of all those [stained-glass] windows. And I thought to myself, my word, what can we do about this?”

Petts decided to employ his skills as an artist in an act of solidarity. “An idea doesn’t exist unless you do something about it,” he said. “Thought has no real living meaning unless it’s followed by action of some kind.”

With the help of the editor of Wales’s leading newspaper, the Western Mail, he launched an appeal for funds to replace the Alabama church’s stained-glass window. “I’m going to ask no one to give more than half a crown,” he told Petts. “We don’t want some rich man as a gesture paying for the whole window. We want it to be given by the people of Wales.”

Two years later, the church installed Petts’ window, flecked with shades of blue, featuring a black Christ, his head bowed and arms splayed above him as though on a crucifix, suspended over the words “You do it to me” (inspired by Matthew 25:40: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me”).

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian


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Where were you the first time you noticed diet tips were no longer a mainstay in women’s media? What about when they started featuring fat women? Queer women? Indigenous women? Black women, and not just as tokenism? I don’t remember where I was, because there wasn’t really a single moment. All I know is that over the course of the 2010s, magazines and blogs suddenly started to seem more diverse, more representational, more like real life. Or at the very least, it seemed like they were trying.

In modernizing its content, however, women’s media often failed to extend the same progressive values to its own employees. Even when publications have tried to hire diverse staff members to create more inclusive content, those workers have been boxed out. Traditional feminist advice, like speaking up about workplace discrimination and attempting to “lean in” and climb the corporate ladder, hasn’t seemed to apply when the employee is black.

Read the rest of this article at: Vox

News 06.12.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 06.12.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

A few years ago, sitting beneath shade trees in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., I had a two-hour discussion with Bob Dylan that touched on Malcolm X, the French Revolution, Franklin Roosevelt and World War II. At one juncture, he asked me what I knew about the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864. When I answered, “Not enough,” he got up from his folding chair, climbed into his tour bus, and came back five minutes later with photocopies describing how U.S. troops had butchered hundreds of peaceful Cheyenne and Arapahoe in southeastern Colorado.

Given the nature of our relationship, I felt comfortable reaching out to him in April after, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, he unexpectedly released his epic, 17-minute song “Murder Most Foul,” about the Kennedy assassination. Even though he hadn’t done a major interview outside of his own website since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016, he agreed to a phone chat from his Malibu home, which turned out to be his only interview before next Friday’s release of “Rough and Rowdy Ways,” his first album of original songs since “Tempest” in 2012.

Like most conversations with Dylan, “Rough and Rowdy Ways” covers complex territory: trances and hymns, defiant blues, love longings, comic juxtapositions, prankster wordplay, patriotic ardor, maverick steadfastness, lyrical Cubism, twilight-age reflections and spiritual contentment.

In the high-octane showstopper “Goodbye Jimmy Reed,” Dylan honors the Mississippi bluesman with dragon-fierce harmonica riffs and bawdy lyrics. In the slow blues “Crossing the Rubicon,” he feels “the bones beneath my skin” and considers his options before death: “Three miles north of purgatory — one step from the great beyond/I prayed to the cross and I kissed the girls and I crossed the Rubicon.”

“Mother of Muses” is a hymn to the natural world, gospel choirs and military men like William Tecumseh Sherman and George Patton, “who cleared the path for Presley to sing/who cleared the path for Martin Luther King.” And “Key West (Philosopher’s Pirate),” is an ethereal meditation on immortality set on a drive down Route 1 to the Florida Keys, with Donnie Herron’s accordion channeling the Band’s Garth Hudson. In it he pays homage to, “Ginsberg, Corso and Kerouac.”

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

News 06.12.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

 Don’t you realize that Greenwood was Wakanda before Wakanda?”

It’s a sweltering May evening in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a local poet named Phetote Mshairi is performing for a crowd of about three dozen onlookers. His large black T-shirt is emblazoned with a solemn picture of Barack Obama, the monochrome pattern of the illustration matching the wispy white tendrils flowing out of his dark beard. Above him, two street signs stacked atop each other offer dueling histories of the corner. This is Greenwood Avenue, a sleepy thoroughfare that winds past a new luxury apartment complex, through the Oklahoma State University–Tulsa campus, and into the northern half of the city. But it’s also a haven once known as Black Wall Street, the epicenter of African American entrepreneurship and wealth in the early 20th century.

Mshairi’s poem is called “The Line,” a reference to the railroad tracks just half a block down Greenwood, which have served as the demarcation point between North and South Tulsa — between the black world and the white one — for more than a century. On this evening 97 years ago, thousands of white Tulsa residents crossed those tracks and launched a night of terror that would leave more than 1,200 of Greenwood’s homes and businesses destroyed, hundreds of black residents dead, and a thriving community burned to an ashen heap.

According to eye-witness accounts, the scope of the attack was equal to warfare: homeowners shot dead in their front yards, planes dropping turpentine bombs onto buildings, a machine gun firing bullets on a neighborhood church. It was a living nightmare, and for many decades Tulsa treated it as such, a dark apparition of the mind that might fade from memory so long as it was repressed.

Before its burning, Greenwood Avenue had been lined with hotels, restaurants, furriers, and even an early taxi service using a Ford Model T. Nearly 200 businesses populated the 35-square-block district in all, as did some homes as stately as the ones owned by upper-class whites in the city. That was the vision Mshairi conjured when he invoked Wakanda, the Afrofuturist utopia in Black Panther. Before it became a nightmare, Black Wall Street was a dream in progress, a symbol of black success in a turbulent period of racialized violence.

We were standing at the heart of a great contradiction, a deeply American paradox of hate and hope. And yet that evening, on that block, few people seemed to care. Hundreds of Tulsans were walking past us and into ONEOK Field, the art deco stadium built just off Greenwood Avenue in 2010. The Tulsa Drillers were playing the San Antonio Missions in Double-A baseball.

Tulsa is different from other cities that were sites of a great racial cataclysm. Richmond, Virginia, the former Confederate capital, which boasts majestic Rebel statues, is in a constant public debate about its tainted Civil War heritage. Selma, Alabama, where an attack on peaceful marchers became a flashpoint in the civil rights movement, has a commemoration every year that regularly attracts sitting presidents. But Tulsa’s massacre happened in a time that we don’t talk about, when black independence and white resentment collided in an especially violent way. It upends the history lessons that Americans pass down — that black people were passive victims from the slave ships to the “I Have a Dream” speech, that white violence was the unique dogma of church-bombing extremists. Black Wall Street scrambles the accepted timeline so much that it’s easier to forget the place ever existed.

So in Tulsa and elsewhere, it endures as a hazy myth, a vague memory that flickers in and out of the national consciousness. Until this year, there was no specified curriculum for teaching it in Oklahoma’s schools, let alone in other states. The district is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places. And there are no major movies or television series depicting the events that transpired there, despite a recent spate of projects about the black experience in both the antebellum and civil rights eras, including The Birth of a Nation and Selma.

Tulsa lawmakers and historians say the time has come for the story of Black Wall Street — the good and the bad — to get the same kind of national exposure as the Nat Turner slave rebellion or the “Bloody Sunday” Selma-to-Montgomery march. Some in Hollywood think so, too, with prominent entertainers such as John Legend and Oprah Winfrey planning to bring Greenwood’s history to television. But the effort to see Black Wall Street reimbursed, revitalized, or at the very least remembered has been a struggle since the killing ended and the smoke still darkened Tulsa’s skies.

“To turn that tragedy into triumph, we have to tell the story that’s uncomfortable for some but important for the rest of us,” says Kevin Matthews, an Oklahoma state senator and North Tulsa native. “And we have to tell it now.”

Read the rest of this article at: The Ringer

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

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