Meanwhile, On TumblR: Red-Carpet Bossness, Accurate Maps, And Memorial Day’s Origins

By Andrea Plaid

Let’s start off this post with appreciating the bossness captured in this photo:

Michelle Thrush and Misty Upham

According to People Of Color With Killer Fashion:

Focus on the two ladies:  Michelle Thrush, from the  Cree Nation in  Canada in the black dress, and  Misty Upham from the Blackfeet Nation in the USA in a light dress. Misty says they are the first Native Americans to walk the Cannes red carpet. Also, the man right behind Misty is Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro.   They are doing so for their movie, Jimmy P. Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian.

This picture of werkin’ perfection ran this past Monday with an excerpt from one of the most popular tumbls on our site this week, a excerpt from a Dominion of New York post about the African American origins of Memorial Day:

What we now know as Memorial Day began as “Decoration Day” in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. Civil War. It was a tradition initiated by former slaves to celebrate emancipation and commemorate those who died for that cause.

These days, Memorial Day is arranged as a day “without politics”—a general patriotic celebration of all soldiers and veterans, regardless of the nature of the wars in which they participated. This is the opposite of how the day emerged, with explicitly partisan motivations, to celebrate those who fought for justice and liberation.

The concept that the population must “remember the sacrifice” of U.S. service members, without a critical reflection on the wars themselves, did not emerge by accident. It came about in the Jim Crow period as the Northern and Southern ruling classes sought to reunite the country around apolitical mourning, which required erasing the “divisive” issues of slavery and Black citizenship. These issues had been at the heart of the struggles of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

To truly honor Memorial Day means putting the politics back in. It means reviving the visions of emancipation and liberation that animated the first Decoration Days. It means celebrating those who have fought for justice, while exposing the cruel manipulation of hundreds of thousands of U.S. service members who have been sent to fight and die in wars for conquest and empire.

Speaking of origins and popular tumbls, Racializens really dug the post about Native American cartographer Aaron Carapello (pictured below) redrawing the US map to reflect where 584 nations were located before Columbus invaded the area.

Image via the Navajo Times.
Image via the Navajo Times.

From the Navajo Times:

Carapella recently released “Map of our Tribal Nations: Our Own Names and Original Locations,” which shows 584 North American tribes and roughly where they were located (since most tribes were nomadic, and there weren’t any boundaries to speak of, Carapella has placed the name of the tribe over the area where its people originally lived before being displaced by European settlers).

Carapella is pretty well convinced it’s the first map of its kind.

“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” he said. “I can definitely say it’s the first time anyone has copyrighted this.”

Clarenda Begay, exhibit curator at the Navajo Nation Museum, agrees.

“This is the first time I have seen this,” she emailed after being directed to Carapella’s Web site. “What an informative map!”

Carapella made it precisely because other maps he looked at were so uninformative.

“You can get maps of what our reservations look like now,” he noted. “And you can get maps that have, like, the 50 main tribes. But I was interested in what our land really looked like circa 1490, before Columbus got here.”

What else are Racializens interested in? Check out the R’s Tumblr and see!

About This Blog

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

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  • leelah

    Both ladies look beautiful. But that black dress is a killer. I love how she paired it with a piece of native jewelry. She deserves to be on a best dressed list for Cannes. Very interested in this movie. I know racialicious will keep us posted as the release date draws near.