links for 2011-01-28

  • "Yesterday, the author of Waiting To Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back Tweeted, 'It feels like the Smith children are being pimped and exploited. Or, they're already hungry for fame. What about 4th grade?' Cue the ruckus."
  • "On January 26, Angela Davis celebrated her 67th birthday. A political activist, scholar and author, Davis was a leader in the fight for social justice starting in the ’60s and continuing on into the present day. She was part of the Communist Party, the Civil Rights movement and allied closely with the Black Panther Party. She’s also founder of Critical Resistance, a national coalition that works toward to end abuse and reliance on prisons. In 1970 Davis captured the nation’s attention when she was put on the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitive List on bogus kidnapping and murder charges. She was arrested after two months on the run, and it’s generally accepted that her great political presence grew out supporters in 'Free Angela Davis' rallies."
  • "The jury is still out on whether African Americans are actually more homophobic than anyone else (Could it be that homophobia is tied to wealth or education? Perhaps something like poverty or church attendance is a better predictor of it than is race?). But a tragedy like this –- one that appears to be motivated by homophobia — makes me think that our focus shouldn't be on denying allegations that we’re the most backward group on this issue. Instead, maybe we could aim to lead the charge to make the world a decent and safe place for gay people to live, at home and abroad."
  • "Mandela was admitted to hospital on Wednesday, prompting an outbreak of speculation and fears for the health of anti-apartheid icon who led South Africa as its first black president and is revered at home and abroad as a symbol of reconciliation and hope.

    "On Thursday, a source said Mandela had suffered a collapsed lung."

  • "'I am free now and choose to remain so.' These are the words that haunt the new exhibit, 'The President's House: Freedom and Slavery in Making a New Nation.' Now, directly in front of the famous Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, the President's House is the first and only federal site designed to memorialize enslaved African Americans.

    "That defiant affirmation of freedom was uttered by Oney 'Ona' Judge, a runaway slave formerly owned by George and Martha Washington who successfully evaded the first president's many attempts to capture her. It is her story, told through a video reenactment, that introduces the exhibit. In it, an actress playing an older, bonnet-clad Judge recounts how she stole her freedom from the man who helped this country secure its own independence."

  • "Newspapers across the nation editorialized and preachers of all creeds condemned the violence. Even Theodore Roosevelt expressed indignation. Jews, however, organized most relief efforts. No one expected aid from the Chinese, who despite living cheek-by-jowl with Jews on the Lower East Side had never taken much notice of them. Many Chinatown residents were barely able to scratch out a living of their own. So it was a surprise when Joseph Singleton, a Chinese businessman, offered to arrange a benefit for Kishinev victims. One of a quartet of Chinese who spearheaded the effort, 49-year-old Singleton had arrived in New York 20 years earlier. A Sunday school teacher, he had taken an Anglo-sounding name, had adopted Western dress and had cut off his queue — the signature pigtail worn by Chinese during this era. He had gone into banking and cultivated many powerful government officials and business leaders."