During World War II, Josephine Baker served with the French Red Cross and was an active member of the French resistance movement. Using her career as a cover Baker became an intelligence agent, carrying secret messages written in invisible ink on her sheet music. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre, and received a Medal of the Resistance in 1946. In 1961 she received the highest French honor, the Legion d’Honneur awarded by then President Charles de Gaulle.
Our loss, U.S.A….
If you don’t admire the shit out of J. Baker, who was also pretty openly bisexual and adopted NINETEEN children in addition to the badassery mentioned above, I want you to go sit in the corner and think about your life choices.
um she was also a huge civil rights activist and her refusal to perform for segregated audiences at major clubs that were fallin over themselves to book her helped de-segregate vegas performance venues
aaaand she had a pet cheetah
Anita Sarkeesian, whose excellent Tropes vs Women in Video Games series is an important contribution to the discussion of gender and games, has been driven from her home by enraged male gamers whose stalking, and explicit, credible threats of sexual violence against her and her family convinced her to go into hiding.
In so doing, these men have ably demonstrated the point Sarkeesian sought to make all along: that gaming is riddled with misogynistic violence, and that this violence reflects a real-world misogyny rampant within the gaming world.
Trolls drive Anita Sarkeesian out of her house to prove misogyny doesn’t exist [Adi Robertson/The Verge]
OKAY, LET’S TALK ABOUT ROBERT SMALLS (BECAUSE HE HAS A NAME, THANK YOU VERY MUCH).
Robert Smalls was born into slavery in 1839 and at the age of 12 his owner leased him out in Charleston, South Carolina. He gravitated towards working at the docks and on boats and eventually became the equivalent of a pilot, and in late 1861 he found himself assigned to a military transport boat named the CSS Planter.
On May 12, 1862, the white officers decided to spend the night on land. Smalls rounded up the enslaved crew and they hatched a plan, and once the officers were long gone they made a run for it, only stopping to pick up their families (who they notified) along the way. Smalls, disguised as the captain, steered the boat past Confederate forts (including Ft. Sumter) and over to the Union blockade, raising a white sheet his wife took from her job as a hotel maid as a flag of truce. The CSS Planter had a highly valuable code book and all manner of explosives on board.
Smalls ended up serving in the Union Navy and rose to the rank of captain there. He was also one of a number of individuals who talked to Abraham Lincoln about the possibility of African-American soldiers fighting for the Union, which became a reality.
After the war, Smalls bought his owner’s old plantation in Beaufort and even allowed the owner’s sickly wife to move back in until her death. He eventually served in the South Carolina House of Representatives (1865-1870), the South Carolina Senate (1871-1874), and the United States House of Representatives (1875-1879) and represented South Carolina’s 5th District from 1882-1883 and the 7th District from 1884-1887. He and other black politicians also fought against an amendment designed to disenfranchise black voters in 1895, but it unfortunately passed.
Smalls ended his public life by serving as U.S. Collector of Customs in Beaufort from 1889-1911. He died in 1915 at the age of 75.
And now you know Robert Smalls.
Let me hammer this point down. Slaves running away from plantions fighting for the Union army devastated plantations in terms of labor which weaken the south’s economy and immaculately leaded to the South losing the war. And if it was for Robert Smalls convincing Abraham Lincoln to allow former slaves to fight in the Union army slavery might have not have been abolished.
This man Robert Smalls was the man that ended slavery and we never learned his name in school. I heard about him from an article on cracked.com
Here is a side by side comparison of how The New York Times has profiled Michael Brown — an 18 year old black boy gunned down by police — and how they profiled Ted Bundy, one of the most prolific serial killers of all time.
Character assassination much.
I AM THROWING UP
I am struck occasionally, usually while snuggling the cat, with our faith in domestication.
The cat is a small, ferocious predator, twelve pounds of…well, flab and fur, frankly, in Athena’s case, but what muscle there is is strong all out of proportion to her size. I have watched three 150+ primates try and fail to subdue a ten pound cat, and consider it not at all unusual. The cat is as flexible as a snake and as strong as an ox. She has quite dainty looking teeth and claws, but there’s nothing dainty about their ability to flay flesh from bone.
If the cat and I were in a duel to the death, I would almost certainly win. I am 15+ times larger than she is, after all, and while my teeth and claws are pathetic, I have prehensile hands capable of doing terrible things. But if I had to go in naked, as the cat does, (and assuming the cat was aware that she was going to have to kill me, and not taking a nap in the corner) I can pretty much guarantee it would be a Pyhrric victory. I’d look like I’d gone ten rounds with a wolverine. I would need stitches. A lot of stitches. Possibly a glass eye. And antibiotics by the truckload. It’d be a mess, and there would even be a chance of an upset if the cat managed to go face-hugger on me.
And yet, despite the knowledge of the shocking amount of damage my small predator could inflict, it never occurs to me to worry. I pick the cat up and she tucks her head under my chin and purrs, canine teeth centimeters from my jugular, and despite the fact that I am carrying a ruthless carnivore in a position where she could, with great ease, remove me from the gene pool, I am thoroughly content with the world. Even knowing full well that cats are not even a truly domesticated animal, that Athena’s kin might best be described as “consistently tamed,” my greatest concern is that my black tank top is now coated in white cat hairs.
We have such faith in the process of domestication, despite the sheer unnaturalness of what’s happening. Small predators do not curl up on the chests of large primates and purr in the wild. And yet, every now and again, generally when my small predator is purring on the chest of this particular primate, I think How strange, how strange… that we’re doing this, and even stranger, that we both take it completely for granted, and find nothing unusual in such a completely unlikely alliance.
Italian special force soldier after 72 hour battle in Afghanistan
School for black civil rights activists. Young girl being trained to not react to smoke blown in her face, 1960
Disability activists abandon their wheelchairs and mobility devices and crawl up the 83 stone steps of the U.S. Capitol Building demanding the passage of the American with Disability Act, March 12, 1990.
A south Korean man cries as his brother is on a train back to North Korea. Separated by the war, they have not seen the other since 1950. They were allowed to see each other for three days, but one will go back spending life in luxury, and the other in hard labour
The Mocambo night club in East Hollywood, a white’s only club, was the most popular dance spot around but would not book Ella because she was black. Marilyn, who adored Ella Fitzgerald and her music, called the manager and demanded that they book Ella immediately
Portrait of Istvan Reiner, taken shortly before he was killed in Auschwitz
Werfel, a 6 year old orphan from Austria has just been given his first pair of new shoes by the American Red Cross,1946.
The last Jew of Vinnitsa
Susan B. Anthony in 1872 getting beaten and arrested for trying to vote when it was illegal for women to do so.
Until the mid-60s, the Aborigines came under the Flora And Fauna Act, which classified them as animals, not human beings. This also meant that killing an Aborigine meant you weren’t killing a human being, but an animal.
Here’s a link to 75 iconic pictures of the 21st century
I hope you guys learned and teared up from this as much as I did.