Free Angela (and All Political Prisoners) trailer. I HAVE TO SEE THIS. She is awesome. April 5th!
March 17th 1959: Dalai Lama flees Tibet
On this day in 1959 Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, fled Tibet following an uprising against Chinese rule. He and around 20 of his entourage fled Lhasa and embarked on a 15 day journey on foot over the Himalayas on their way to Dharamsala in India where they had been offered asylum. On 30th March they crossed into India. Around 80,000 Tibetans later settled in the same area, leading to it becoming known as ‘Little Lhasa’. This place became the home of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Tibet is still under Chinese rule, and the Dalai Lama continues to try to find a peaceful negotiation for Tibetan self rule.
Interested in this topic? You should read Orphans of the Cold War by John Kenneth Knaus!
“There’s a Chinese saying, ‘women hold up half of the world’. In the case of the civil rights movement it’s probably three-quarters of the world.” - Julian Bond
I love that March is Women’s History Month. To me, it’s the perfect extension of Black History Month in February because Women’s History Month allows us to shine a spotlight on the women who were movers and shakers in Black History. When discussing history, we tend to pay attention only to the great men, and forget the great women and the great number of relentless individuals dedicating their lives to a cause greater than self. Great figures are necessary for movements because they are the rallying voice of millions and can channel the energy of many into a singular persuasive argument that those resisting the relinquishing of power can react to and interact with. But social movements do not happen because of singular individuals. Revolutions require solidarity and a vast support network. The real power of social change lies in the strength of grassroots organization. It requires the people who march en masse, those who bring food to people standing in line to register to vote, organizers for carpool rides so that a bus boycott can continue indefinitely, and behind the scenes volunteers that are the backbone of social justice organizations.
During months like February and March designed to celebrate “radical” history, I remember the leadership and strength it takes to be the face of a movement, but also the amount of commitment it requires from ordinary individuals who simply want to live their lives free from oppression. During these months, I remember the women whose hard work throughout history has often gone unnoticed. I remember the women like Ella Baker, Fanny Lou Hamer, and Diane Nash whose commitment to grassroots organizing and community programs paved the way for future generations, as well as all of those men and women who carried the weight of the civil rights movement on their shoulders unnamed. I remember groups like SNCC and the BPP that went to communities to serve them, who provided services and risked their lives without waiting for permission, and exemplified the idea of participatory democracy.
It doesn’t take a lot to serve. Serving can be as simple as being open and honest with people about injustice, building positive relationships with others, or giving help to anyone who needs it. Especially when it comes to feminism, the way in which you relate to others and the sexual environment you create for yourself can be a radical act in & of itself. To quote the late great Howard Zinn, “small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world”. I appreciate National Months such as these because they have the ability to remind us that we all can make a difference and have a duty as citizens to build the beloved community Dr. King and others have worked for.
Beate Sirota Gordon, an integral advocate for women’s rights in Japan, passed away on December 30 at the age of 89. At 22, Gordon became the only woman on the American board that wrote the post-war Japanese constitution. She created the portion on women’s rights and, having witnessed the inferior treatment of Japanese women for ten years, was focused on protecting and improving their quality of life.
With no education pertaining to constitutional law, she spent a week engulfed in research and managed to introduce articles that outlawed discrimination due to “race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.” Another article ensured women’s choice of spouse and living situation, and gave them property rights and the possibility of divorce.
Gordon was extraordinarily gifted with languages, and was fluent in six by the time she helped draft the constitution. She was born in Vienna in 1923, and then lived in Japan from the ages of five to eleven. After attending Mills College, she became a U.S. citizen in 1945 after working for the U.S. Office of War Information. Following the war, Gordon returned to Japan as an interpreter where she was recruited for the constitutional team.
by the lovely Kari Belsheim
Vidéo de présentation du fest-noz, pour l’inscription à l’UNESCO / Presentation video of the fest-noz for the Unesco inscription
Fest-Noz is a festive gathering based on the collective practice of traditional Breton dances, accompanied by singing or instrumental music. The strong Breton cultural movement has preserved this expression of a living and constantly renewed practice of inherited dance repertoires with several hundred variations, and thousands of tunes. About a thousand Fest-Noz take place every year with participants varying from a hundred to several thousand people, thousands of musicians and singers and tens of thousands of regular dancers. Beyond the practice of the dance, the Fest-Noz is characterized by an intense camaraderie among the singers, musicians and dancers, significant social and intergenerational diversity, and openness to others. Traditionally, transmission occurs through immersion, observation and imitation, although hundreds of devotees have worked with tradition bearers to compile the repertoires and lay the groundwork for new modes of transmission. Today, the Fest-Noz is at the centre of an intense ferment of musical experiences and has spawned a veritable cultural economy. Many meetings are held between singers, musicians and dancers from Brittany and different cultures. Moreover, many new inhabitants of Breton villages use Fest-Noz as a means of integration, as it is heavily implicated in the sense of identity and continuity of the people of Brittany.
You guys, Breton dancing is really fun. I miss Brittany! (Sorry the video is only in French)
France in the Year 2000 (XXI century) – a series of futuristic pictures by Jean-Marc Côté and other artists issued in France in 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910. Originally in the form of paper cards enclosed in cigarette/cigar boxes and, later, as postcards, the images depicted the world as it was imagined to be like in the year 2000. There are at least 87 cards known that were authored by various French artists, the first series being produced for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris.
The recently discovered “early color” by Gordon Parks, titled “Segregation Series” taken in 1956 - with over 45,000 notes on Tumblr. Clearly much of his great body of work is waiting to be re-discovered, and there’s a huge audience for it. Happy 100th Mr. Parks!
The whole slideshow is beautiful, you should click through to the Lens blog to see the rest!
Went to the NYHS for the first time last weekend! The WWI & NYC exhibit was awesome and I learned so many new facts! I think I need to work there at some point in my life.
To emphasize the heroism of Columbus and his successors as navigators and discoverers, and to de-emphasize their genocide, is not a technical necessity but an ideological choice. It serves- unwittingly-to justify what was done. My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all)-that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth. We have learned to give them exactly the same proportion of attention that teachers and writers often give them in the most respectable of classrooms and textbooks. This learned sense of moral proportion, coming from the apparent objectivity of the scholar, is accepted more easily than when it comes from politicians at press conferences. It is therefore more deadly.
The treatment of heroes (Columbus) and their victims (the Arawaks)-the quiet acceptance of conquest and murder in the name of progress-is only one aspect of a certain approach to history, in which the past is told from the point of view of governments, conquerors, diplomats, leaders. It is as if they, like Columbus, deserve universal acceptance, as if they-the Founding Fathers, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, the leading members of Congress, the famous Justices of the Supreme Court-represent the nation as a whole. The pretense is that there really is such a thing as “the United States,” subject to occasional conflicts and quarrels, but fundamentally a community of people with common interests. It is as if there really is a “national interest” represented in the Constitution, in territorial expansion, in the laws passed by Congress, the decisions of the courts, the development of capitalism, the culture of education and the mass media.
… My viewpoint, in telling the history of the United States, is different: that we must not accept the memory of states as our own. Nations are not communities and never have been, The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, most often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex. And in such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners.
- Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States
(emphasis my own)
These oddly saturated photographs are from around 1905, when color film was just beginning the develop. Czar Nicholas II funded two pioneering Russian photographers to document the diverse landscape and people of his empire.
These. are. awesome.
Construction of the Hoover Dam, 1931-1936