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9 hours ago
Here's What's Become Of A Historic All-Black Town (Mound Bayou) In The Mississippi Delta : NPR
Teddy Roosevelt proclaimed it "The Jewel of the Delta."

Booker T. Washington praised it as a model of "thrift and self-government."

Mound Bayou, in the Mississippi Delta: a town founded in 1887 by former slaves, with a vision that was revolutionary for its time.

From the start, it was designed to be a self-reliant, autonomous, all-black community.

For decades, Mound Bayou thrived and prospered, becoming famous for empowering its black citizens. The town also became known as a haven from the virulent racism of the Jim Crow South.

"It's almost like it was an inverted or alternate universe, where being black was a positive thing," says Rolando Herts, director of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University.
history  race  inequalities 
yesterday
Segregation in the Armed Forces During World War II and the Double V Campaign || The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross
Two months to the day after Pearl Harbor (Feb. 7, 1942), the most widely read black newspaper in America, the Pittsburgh Courier, found a way to split the difference — actually, the newspaper cleverly intertwined them into a symbol and a national campaign that urged black people to give their all for the war effort, while at the same time calling on the government to do all it could to make the rhetoric of the Declaration of Independence and the equal rights amendments to the Constitution real for every citizen, regardless of race. And in honor of the battle against enemies from without and within, they called it “the Double V Campaign.”
War  race  history  inequalities 
yesterday
The Second Middle Passage || The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross
That second forced migration was known as the domestic, or internal, slave trade: “In the seven decades between the ratification of the Constitution [in 1787] and the Civil War [1861],” the historian Walter Johnson tells us in his book Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market, “approximately one million enslaved people were relocated from the upper South to the lower South … two thirds of these through … the domestic slave trade.” In other words, two and a half times more African Americans were directly affected by the second Middle Passage than the first one.
race  history  Economics  inequalities 
yesterday
The Truth Behind '40 Acres and a Mule' || The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross
It is difficult to stress adequately how revolutionary this idea was: As the historian Eric Foner puts it in his book, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, “Here in coastal South Carolina and Georgia, the prospect beckoned of a transformation of Southern society more radical even than the end of slavery.”
War  race  history  inequalities 
yesterday
RNC Didn’t Infringe Photographer’s Copyright, Montana Judge Rules | PDNPulse
The court ruled that the cropping and minor alterations to the light in the photograph did not transform the work. However, because the text in the mailer used Quist’s musicianship “to criticize his candidacy, subverting the purpose and function of the work,” it was transformative, the court ruled.
COPYRIGHT  photo  politics 
yesterday
Derek Black and Matthew Stevenson — How Friendship and Quiet Conversations Transformed a White Nationalist - The On Being Project
Sociology Sal:
Retweeted Krista Tippett
This was a great episode. For #teachsoc it highlights ingroups/outgroups, stereotypes, and the importance of personal connection. #race
inequalities  sociology  race  Podcast  NPR 
3 days ago
Facial recognition's 'dirty little secret': Millions of online photos scraped without consent
Facial recognition can log you into your iPhone, track criminals through crowds and identify loyal customers in stores.

The technology — which is imperfect but improving rapidly — is based on algorithms that learn how to recognize human faces and the hundreds of ways in which each one is unique.

To do this well, the algorithms must be fed hundreds of thousands of images of a diverse array of faces. Increasingly, those photos are coming from the internet, where they’re swept up by the millions without the knowledge of the people who posted them, categorized by age, gender, skin tone and dozens of other metrics, and shared with researchers at universities and companies.
privacy  1984  photos  sociology  Social  Media  Corporation 
7 days ago
Nukes
See Ambrose in Perspectives (78-79). Seems to oversimplify Truman's understanding of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Did he REALLY not know these were civilian targets? Did the military really have a third bomb ready to drop? What about the option of dropping a demonstration bomb on a deserted island? Why wasn't that even mentioned?

Also, underplays the role of civilian authority centered on an elected commander-in-chief.

Ultimately, the absurdity of having nuclear weapons is never really addressed. In the end, why even argue over who decides or if there is a check on the president? Has this just occurred to people because of Trump? If there wasn't significant reform after Nixon, there wouldn't be any more political will. Plus, what about the Long Peace?

The protagonist in this story clearly signaled to his superiors that he had reservations about following orders. That alone disqualified him.

Former DoD Secretary Perry suggests the wisest course (having Congress declare war), but it comes down to a Constitutional struggle between the branches of government over control. But hasn't Congress effectively abdicated its war powers? No declared wars since WW II.
history  mythology  WWII 
16 days ago
They Left Me Out, and I Saw It All - The New York Times
FOMO versus actually knowing that you are missing out
sociology  Social  Media 
20 days ago
Folk and Blues: The Tribulations of The Old Town School
"The school’s economic crisis, detractors say, is largely of its own making, due to a decade of mismanagement, lost opportunities, misguided priorities and poorly timed decisions. For its part, the school argues that enrollment is down because guitar playing is out of fashion and because YouTube videos and School of Rock have crowded the marketplace."

...

A financial endowment is a donation of money or property to a nonprofit organization which uses the resulting investment income for a specific purpose.

Usually the endowment is structured so that the principal amount is kept intact, while the investment income is available for use, or part of the principal is released each year, which allows for their donation to have an impact over a longer period than if it were spent all at once. An endowment may come with stipulations regarding its usage.
Music  chicago  Money  race  labor 
25 days ago
Emmett Till’s Murder, and How America Remembers Its Darkest Moments - The New York Times
He walked into a store and it changed civil rights. That crumbling store has come to symbolize the struggle to address the nation’s racial violence.

MONEY, Miss. — Along the edge of Money Road, across from the railroad tracks, an old grocery store rots.

In August 1955, a 14-year-old black boy visiting from Chicago walked in to buy candy. After being accused of whistling at the white woman behind the counter, he was later kidnapped, tortured, lynched and dumped in the Tallahatchie River.

The murder of Emmett Till is remembered as one of the most hideous hate crimes of the 20th century, a brutal episode in American history that helped kindle the civil rights movement. And the place where it all began, Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market, is still standing. Barely.
race  history  inequalities  Video 
26 days ago
From Blackface To Blackfishing : NPR: Mickey Mouse
Mickey's early appearances were just layered with markers of blackface minstrelsy.

SAMMOND: His facial characteristics, the gloves he sometimes wears, the way that he acts, his bodily plasticity, his ability to take punishment all are kind of markers of the minstrel that are actually - had - were kind of established by the time he came on the scene in the late 1920s.

"Turkey in the Straw"

Nicholas said these cartoons were not just inspired by minstrelsy. They were quite literally minstrels in cartoons that had the same structure as minstrel shows with real people. And the audience that's watching those shorts in those days, they understood them as minstrel shows. By the time Mickey Mouse debuts, vaudeville is already on the wane. But blackface didn't die. It just left the stage and moved over to this new medium.

...

Nicholas told me that in the script for "Dumbo," the lead crow was actually called Jim Crow.

...
"Coal Black And De Sebben Dwarfs," by the way, that short is part of what's now called the Censored Eleven - a bunch of Warner Brothers cartoons that have since been taken out of syndication for being too racist. So Coal Black was happening alongside Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny and Felix the Cat. But Nicholas said this newer version of blackface with these much more markedly racist caricatures, it's, like, so obviously racist that people just stopped paying attention to how racist Mickey Mouse and Felix the Cat were.

...
After World War II, the nascent civil rights movement and the advent of television changed the terrain for blackface again. "Amos 'N' Andy," that long-running blackface radio show, tried to make the jump to TV in 1951 only with an entire cast of black actors in those lead roles. But the show's blackface reputation preceded it. And civil rights groups, including the NAACP, successfully petitioned CBS to cancel the show. So it was gone after three seasons. The weird twist to that is there wouldn't be another TV show with a majority black cast for another two decades. That's "Sanford And Son" in case you were wondering.
...
And this isn't just about blackface. This is about the white fantasy of black culture generally, right? So I mean, that's where I see this coming from. It's that there's this is deep, deep fetishistic desire for temporary blackness or the benefits of blackness that then triggers an equally deep shame on the other side of it because they - people know it's wrong at some level, you know? I mean, how else do you explain something that just has been roundly condemned for generations and just keeps happening.

DEMBY: Which brings us to this phenomenon that people are referring to as a new form of blackface - blackfishing, you know, like catfishing
race  history  humor  NPR  Music  sociology  Social  Media 
27 days ago
How We Analyzed Video Gambling in Illinois | ProPublica Illinois
More often than not, video gambling machines are found in lower-income communities, our analysis of demographic data found. Devices can be found in Berwyn but not Oak Park, Waukegan but not Lake Forest, Harvey but not Palos Park. In fact, as the average income level of a community decreases, the average number of machines increases. The city of Chicago does not allow gambling machines within the city limits and has therefore been excluded from this analysis.

We found a significant negative correlation between the number of video gambling machines and the average household income of a city and a county.
Games  Video  sociology  class  inequalities 
28 days ago
How We Analyzed Video Gambling in Illinois | ProPublica Illinois
The first story in the series, published Jan. 16, looks at the finances behind the expansion of video gambling. For this story, we conducted a demographic analysis of where machines are distributed. The analysis found the number of machines increases as the average income level of the community decreases.
sociology  class  inequalities  Games 
28 days ago
Beer Track, Wine Track, Get Me Off This Fucking Train
What I think both accounts—the personality and the policy, the beer track and the wine track—miss is the role of ideology, of political argument, of collective story-telling.

The great realigners had such a story. Read FDR’s Commonwealth Club speech. Read Lincoln’s Cooper Union address. What you take away from those speeches is not a list of policies but a narrative, an ideologically-laden narrative, of the last however many decades of American politics, and how those years need to be brought to an end. Above all, they locate a variety of social ills (in Lincoln’s case, not just slavery but also winnowing democracy, constitutional decline, and so on; in FDR’s case, the end of the frontier, the Depression, reaching the limits of capitalist expansion) in a socially malignant form: the slaveocracy, in Lincoln’s case, the economic royalists, in FDR’s case. Again, they didn’t give you a laundry list of issues (sexual harassment here, taxes there, voting rights over there); they wove the whole thing into a single story, a single theory, locating each part in a larger whole.

Some non-realigners also have such an analysis. I’m not a fan of these, but you could definitely say Bill Clinton had such a story, Richard Nixon had such a story. And I would say that Obama had such a story in his speech on Jeremiah Wright.
election  politics  culture  story 
29 days ago
'Unexampled Courage' Tells The Story That Inspired Integration Of U.S. Armed Forces : NPR
Isaac Woodard, Judge Jay Waties Waring (aristocratic descendant of slaveowners), and Harry Truman

Waring: "I had to decide whether I was going to be ruled by white supremacy or be a federal judge and decide the law."

Dissented in the landmark 1951 Briggs v. Elliott case.

Though the plaintiffs lost the case before the three judge panel which voted 2-1 for the defendants, Waring's eloquent dissent, and his phrase, "Segregation is per se inequality" set the stage for 1954 Brown v. Board.
race  politics  history  inequalities  War  NPR 
4 weeks ago
668: The Long Fuse
Chinese Restaurant Syndrome cooked up by Ho Man Kwok or "Hu-man crock of..."
restaurants  mythology  history  Food  Media  literacy 
4 weeks ago
'The goal is to automate us': welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism | Technology | The Guardian
“Surveillance capitalism,” she writes, “unilaterally claims human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioural data. Although some of these data are applied to service improvement, the rest are declared as a proprietary behavioural surplus, fed into advanced manufacturing processes known as ‘machine intelligence’, and fabricated into prediction products that anticipate what you will do now, soon, and later. Finally, these prediction products are traded in a new kind of marketplace that I call behavioural futures markets. Surveillance capitalists have grown immensely wealthy from these trading operations, for many companies are willing to lay bets on our future behaviour.”
1984  Technology  Corporation  sociology  advertising 
4 weeks ago
Female slaveholders profited as much as men, according to a new book.
Married women, who under the legal doctrine of coverture were not commonly allowed to hold property once they had husbands, petitioned courts to gain economic rights to the enslaved people they had owned before marriage—and judges often agreed with their pleas.

The stories from WPA narratives show that from the perspective of the enslaved, female slaveholders weren’t much different from their male counterparts. Many of them were just as physically cruel as men, and they didn’t hesitate to make decisions to “sell away” enslaved people or their relatives. Stories of women who whipped enslaved people with nettleweed or fed enslaved children spoiled meat, and an entire heartbreaking chapter about the practice of separating enslaved women from their infants so that they could act as wet nurses for their mistresses’ offspring, make it clear that Southern women who owned people weren’t kind “mothers” making the best of a bad situation. “If we look carefully at slave-owning women’s management styles, we find that these differed little from those used by slaveholding men—and they rarely treated enslaved people as their children,” Jones-Rogers writes.
women  history  race  inequalities 
4 weeks ago
Bondage and Freedom | The Yale Review
Thus “goaded almost to madness,” and savagely brutalized, Douglass created a vision in which only violence could result, a condition in which he soon argued the entire nation would find itself. In Bondage and Freedom, Douglass still claimed that he fought Covey only from a defensive posture. But this time he attacked with a “fighting madness” and left no doubt that Covey deserved to be bloodied or even killed. This violence was for the good of the slave’s own soul, not merely a matter of natural right. “I was a changed being after that fight,” said Douglass the completely recovered Garrisonian. “I was nothing before; I was a MAN NOW. It recalled to life my crushed self-respect … A man without force is without the essential dignity of humanity.”
race  history  writing  Books 
4 weeks ago
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