The late astronaut Ronald McNair. Via science.ksc.nasa.gov
Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space, was inspired by Nichelle Nichols’ portrayal of Lieutenant Uhura onStar Trek. But she wasn’t the only one boldly going to the final frontier. StoryCorps tells the story of Ronald McNair, the second African American in space and a casualty of the Challenger disaster in 1986. The short (captioned) video illuminates McNair’s inquisitive beginnings in the segregated American South, his teen years, and the realization of his dream.
by Guest Contributor Jen Wang, originally published at Disgrasian
The last time the Olympics were in London in 1948 was also the first time an Asian American won a gold medal in the Games. That distinction belongs to 91 year-old Dr. Samuel “Sammy” Lee, who was born in Fresno, CA, and is of Korean descent.
by Guest Contributor shani-o, originally published at Postbourgie
(The whole thing is on YouTube, who knew?)
I don’t expect you to have ever heard of For Love of Ivy. I hadn’t heard of it until a couple of years ago, one night when I was hanging out with my dad and we were trolling On Demand for something to watch.
So, as we resurrect “Revisiting The Canon” here at PB, I realize this is an out-of-place choice. This movie isn’t actually in the black canon, like previous entries Boyz In The Hood, Eve’s Bayou, and Idlewild. But it is a black movie, in the sense that it features two black leads, and was cowritten by one of the greatest stars of the 60s, Sidney Poitier. Also, it’s old, and definitely worth revisiting.
A few months ago, “Need You Now” by the country group Lady Antebellum was among iTunes’ free downloads. I’m a curious music lover with eclectic tastes, so I snagged the song for my iPod. It was catchy and nice in the inoffensive and pop-y way of crossover country–think Carrie Underwood not the rougher alt-country of Lucinda Williams. I’ll keep the song, which will fit nicely in some future playlist. But the band chafes me. It’s not the music. It’s the name. “Lady Antebellum” seems to me an example of the way we still, nearly 150 years after the end of the Civil War; nearly 50 years after the Civil Rights Act; and in a supposedly post-racial country led by a biracial president, glorify a culture that was based on the violent oppression of people of color.<According to an article in the Augusta Chronicle, the idea for the name “Lady Antebellum” came after a photo shoot where band members dressed in Civil War-era clothing. It seems harmless–just a nod to the band’s roots south of the Mason-Dixon Line, a recognition of the Old South.
In the public consciousness, part of this story translates into “Gone with the Wind”-style mythology about big manor houses sat on sprawling plantations; fair, delicate, pale-skinned maidens in frilly dresses; brave and handsome men in gray; and solid, traditional American values. This rosy view of the antebellum South only holds up if you don’t scratch too deep. But we’re not likely to do that and disturb the patriotic version of history. We like myth better. Continue reading →
Protesters in Little Rock, Arkansas, (1959) declared that “race mixing” (or school integration) was “communism”:
A reader at Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish argues that accusations of communism then, and socialism now, are not only about the redistribution of wealth. They are about the redistribution of privilege of all kinds, including white privilege.