Sunday, July 28, 2019

Classicist, diplomat and historian Frank M. Snowden

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Frank Snowden was a historian of Blacks in Antiquity. He was most knownfor his works, Blacks in Antiquity: Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman Experience and Before Color Prejudice: The Ancient View of Blacks.

The classicist pioneered a new field of study. He focused on the role and place of Blacks in Greek and Roman cukture and, most importantly, how rabid racism against Blacks was peculiar to solely to Western Civilization. He noted that Blacks in the Ancient World were not subjected to the irrationality of racism to the extremes that would later befall them. When first encountered by Greeks and Romans, Blacks were the warriors, charioteers, soldiers and artists of their nations, and were treated as such by Greece and Rome. They were not labeled  "savages" or seen as less than making them ripe for enslavement.

Several academics challenged his work by saying basically that he was viewing those worlds through "rose-colored glasses." Which might be true but Snowden's work, boiled down to the bare bones, depicted a time where racism toward Blacks, because they were black, was practically non-existent. Flawed or not, his research, his dedication and his contribution were radical..

He earned his undergrad, graduate and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. After teaching jobs at several colleges, he ended his career at Howard University where he was Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and began the school's Honors Program.

Snowden had countless accomplishments. Read more below.

Born July 17th 1911, the scholar, fluent in 5 languages, passed in 2007 at the age of 95, preceeded by his wife of 70 years, Elaine

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Friday, July 19, 2019

The Pea Island Lifesavers - If ya didn't know, ya know now!

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Folks love to say we can't swim! True. A lot of us can't. Laws set in place over the centuries, decades banned us from public pools and public beaches so, learning to swim wasn't big on our list of ish-to-do. Surviving was top priority. Other stuff was squeezed in as life permitted. Okay?

Hence, the PEA ISLAND LIFESAVERS (circa 1896) are a huge surprise to many in the U. S.

Pea Island, situated on the Outer Banks of North Carolina (my people! my people!) was the 1st life-saving station to have an all-Black team and the 1st station to have a Black commanding officier, keeper, Richard Etheridge.

As we cannot have nice things, per usual, five months after it opened, (FIVE FREAKIN' MONTHS!) the all-Black station was set a fire and burnt to the ground, Oh, I wonder why? And by whom, pray tell? It is truly a puzzlement!

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You can read so much more about this amazing crew and amazing man at its helm at the links below. A documentary called RESCUE MEN is available now.. :

Years after his death, on August 3, 2102, the second of the Coast Guard's 154-foot Sentinel Class Cutters, USCOC Richard Etheridge (WPC-1102) was commissioned in his honor.

Courageous men!

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"Fire on the Beach" an excellent book about the origins of the lifesavers and Richard Etheridge

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Why is the hue of a mermaid, a friggin' CARTOON, that crucial?

Okay. Okay. Okay. Calm the eff down!

1) It's taken me  a few days to process this nonsesnse. This is a three part treatment. As the kids say, "Issa rant." Get a snack.

Initially, I thought "Oh, wow. Disney has woken up!" But after reflection, I realized that Disney is just, and still is all about the moolah. Not the white or the black but the almighty green.

Always has. Always will.

My initial joy consisted of me thinking how neat it was gonna be to have another Black princess in the Disney pantheon. Until I stopped and pondered.

Wait one minute. "The Princess and the Frog" (2009) had Princess Tiana. Lovely. But the more I thought, the more I was pissed. Not a single Disney princess in the last, what? like 70 years, has ever had to be UNSEEN AND A CREATURE for about 90 percent of her own damned film. Not a freakin' one. But this outfit decides, after almost a century, that they were gonna "do the right thing" and present the Black audience (and yes, it was for us. No other audience was clamoring for it) with a Black Princess. So Disney relented and Tiana was born.

As I said, we saw her as HUMAN in about 10 per cent of the film and she didn't even get a Black prince. I mean, every other Disney chick had a prince of her own nation. A happy Black couple, even in animation, is threatening?

2) Then we got the #NotMyAriel squad. The twits on social media bemoaning the notion that their childhoods were gonna be permanently marred with the re-casting of a Black girl to be Ariel in the live-action remake. REALLY? Y'all need t go take your Zoloft or Adderall or Ritalin or all of them and go lie down. The uproar over the telling of a story about a FICTIONAL FISH is simply an excuse for bigotry. I could not bring myself to participate in this stupid battle. My brain cells are too  precious. One fool on Twitter said, "Ariel is Danish. A Black person can't play her." Another future rocket scientist deduced that "since Black people can't swim. Halle Bailey is wrong for the role."

And people say we live in a post-racial society and that the youth will save us. Possibly if they come from another galaxy. But if any of that alien youth has any sense, they'll pass by this hellmouth. I've said enough about the bigots. More than enough. They get too much play as is.

Lastly, this part is a call to Black folks. Stop getting happy about the crumbs of others. Meaning? Stop looking for validation from folk who do not notice your existence unless it benefits them. Disney ain't doing this out of the goodness of their tiny hearts. Disney sees seas and seas and seas of green..They saw how giddy and gooey Black audiences got over "Black Panther." The cries of "we got our own superhero" "we in da Marvel house now!" "Wakanda forever!" I think T'Challa and Nakia got ONE lousy kiss out of the whole film. Please. WE aren't anywhere, darlings but our dollars are. In the cofffers of others. WAKE UP! Make something of our own to get jubliant aboutt!

I wish more "content creators" on Youtube would be interested in more then the latest lace front or color palette. Their creativity is needed beyong make up tutorials.

Oh, I am certain there is another agenda bubbling behind this live-action recasting. It hasn't hit me yet. Let's see cartoon Ariel wasn't a human girl and was from an aquatic family and wanted legs and the prince. Was willing to leave ger people to be with the human dude.

Oh, I get it now Disney. It's not just gonna be a interspecies love story. It's gonna be an interracial one too. Ariel will be Black and a fish and her prince will be non-Black (I'm certain) and human. You know Disney, there is room for another Black prince?

Personally, I loathe remakes of any kind in any genre of film. Hey, I probably won't see the "Star is Born" remake unless it comes on STARZ or something like that. I'm partial to the 1976 version with La Streisand and Kris Kristoferson..That one speaks to my generation as I am sure the previous ones spoke to those generations. I have nothing against the newest one; I just won't go out of my way to see it. Or act mental because it's "destroying memories of my youth."

So, to those bigots whose childhoods are being "destroyed" with this news: Get a grip. Face the future. Find something truly pertinent in your shallow lives to tackle. 'Mmkay?

Black folks: Learn how to discern when you are being played. But you probably can't hear me because you are somewhere already standing in line for "Black Panther 2"

And Disney: I have no words for you. You play the long game too well.