DO YOU KNOW ABOUT BLACK TULSA? IF NOT… WHY NOT?
This horrific incident has been well documented, everywhere: from YouTube videos of survivor interviews to PBS Lesson Plans for school teachers. Please do your Google diligence:
- From May 30 to June 1, 1921, white citizens of Tulsa bombed burned and shot up the “Little Africa” section of Tulsa FOR 18 HOURS STRAIGHT
- Why would they do that? That same old lame excuse, a Black man supposedly did something to a white woman. But the real reason was ECONOMIC JEALOUSY. Whites may have called it Little Africa derisively, but there is a reason that Black Tulsa is known as Black Wall Street
- In addition to the 300 Blacks killed, and over 1,000 residential homes burned to the ground, also destroyed were:
- The Mt. Zion Baptist Church and five other churches; the Gurley Hotel, Red Wing Hotel, and Midway Hotel; the Tulsa Star and Oklahoma Sun newspaper offices; Dunbar Elementary School; Osborne Monroe’s Roller-Skating Rink; the East End Feed Store; the Y.M.C.A. Cleaners; the Dreamland Theater; a drug store, barbershop, banquet hall, several grocery stores, dentists, lawyers, doctors, and realtors offices; a U.S. Post Office Substation, as well the all-black Frissell Memorial Hospital. All told, marauding gangs of savage whites destroyed 40-square-blocks of Black economic and entrepreneurial prosperity!
64 years after the first bombing of an American city was committed against the Black residents of Tulsa… the second bombing of an American city took place in Philadelphia when the city bombed the black members of the MOVE organization. (see the blackourstory archive for details).
Isn’t it a shame that 76 after the bombing of Tulsa, when Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City, most historically illiterate Americans - including American “journalists” - responded as if it were the first time such a horror had been visited on Oklahoma. If only we knew.
While there are many lessons to be drawn from this, a few questions that stick out to me are these:
- If the answer to Black second-class treatment from whites in America is supposedly to become the ultimate American capitalists…the ‘model minorities’… how do you explain Tulsa 1921?
- For those Black folk who think that the sole answer to Black people’s problems is simply more Blacks becoming business owners and more Blacks spending money with other Blacks… how did that work out for our people in Tulsa in ‘21?
- Considering not only Tulsa, but Rosewood, Florida, and many other thriving all-Black towns that you may know of that all met the same fate at the hands of murderous, envious, lazy crackers… WHEN ARE WE GOING TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND TAKE SERIOUSLY THE IDEA THAT BLACK WEALTH (ESPECIALLY ALL-BLACK WEALTH) WILL NEED TO BE PROTECTED WITH PHYSICAL FORCE?
There is a reason that Marcus Garvey AND Elijah Muhammad had armies of trained Black men as a huge part of their organizations. Many of us Black folk took those great men as jokes, yet NO BLACK LEADERS SINCE THOSE TWO have reached the same heights of economic and ideological success and unity of Black people.
Not only do we need to LEARN THIS HISTORY, we need to start taking these events men and movements MORE SERIOUSLY, and doing some CRITICAL HISTORICAL ANALYSIS if we are ever to stop being on the bottom rung of every metric in American life. Not just some casual or accidental reading of history; some CRITICAL. HISTORICAL. ANALYSIS.
TULSA 1921 was real. PHILLY 1985 was real. Will it happen again?
Holy shit. I knew there was a reason i didn’t like living there…
an important factual presentation by me
All the facts.
Cleopatra’s family was of Greek origin, though—she was part of the Ptolomy family, from Macedonia. Some sources claim she had reddish hair (though some Egyptians could have had red hair or dyed with henna). She learned to speak Egyptian, but her family didn’t bother, so that’s why all court documents were in Greek.
Yes, ancient Egyptians were not white—they’d have had olive or dark skin. But bringing Cleopatra into it clouds the argument as her racial origins have had a lot of heated debate over the years. She was definitely part-Greek at least, though she probably didn’t look like Elizabeth Taylor.
Yeah, Egyptians are not white, and Cleopatra was Greek, rather than Egyptian, but both Egyptians and Greeks would have looked different from Northern Europeans - darker and more olive skinned - but also not as dark as Nubians, for instance. Ancient Egyptians found Nubian colouring different enough from their own to describe/depict them as much darker, and the darker skin tones are reflected in artwork:
Although,for a time, Nubians gained power over Egypt. So, there have been very dark skinned Pharoahs, but they were the exception, rather than the rule, and marked a period where Egypt was conquered by conquerers who adopted Egyptians styles. Egyptian culture had a power even when Egyptians weren’t in power themselves.
All of which is not to say that Egyptians were white, or that it’s OK that a white person should play an Egyptian, rather, that it’s important to recognise the racial and ethnic diversity of Africa. Not everyone from Africa is racially the same, and not everyone from Africa fits what would typically be describe as ‘black’ by a lot of people in Europe and North America. Africa is the most racially diverse continent in the world. There’s a danger of homogenisation in stressing the importance of having just any ‘black’ person play an Egyptian (that’s not what the person above says, but I’ve seen it asserted in other Tumblr posts); although I would hazard that that’s less aggregious than having a white person play one.
Anyway - racial diversity in modern and Ancient Africa: it’s interesting, and deserves to be better reflected on our screens.
chill it’s cos your rare
the entire female population of east asia is rare?
homie ur about to be cooked medium rare and sacrificed
It got better
okay, story time: i’m a resident actor a children’s theatre company, and we just did peter pan. i was cast as peter because i’m the only one who looks young enough to play the part; but aside from looking young, i look nothing like peter pan. he’s this little white boy with reddish brown hair and i’m an arab/hispanic queer with black hair and freckles.
our company has a really devoted following, and these kids are reeeally young. after every show, we do autographs as the characters and have to keep up the act, because to a lot of these really young kids, we are who we pretend to be on stage. that terrified me. i’ve done autograph sessions in-character before, but never as such a well-loved character. who, again, is white. i was worried about what children might say.
over the course of the production, we must have performed for close to 500 kids, between the shows we did for families and the shows we did for school field trips.
and i distinctly remember one little white girl who came up to me with a DVD copy of disney’s peter pan, and she had this adorable tinkerbell dress on, and she just stared at me wide-eyed and after a while she said “i have all your movies!!”
first of all, if you don’t think that’s the cutest thing ever, please leave.
and when i asked her what she wanted me to sign, she handed me her DVD and said “by your face.” and she points right at this little white redheaded peter pan with pointy ears who is clearly not me, as if she can’t tell the difference… or she can, and she doesn’t care. similar things happened with different children, but it never lost its charm for me. on the contrary, it really warmed my heart.
by that same token there were many children of color who were affected by seeing a brown peter pan. a lot of them (usually older children) and/or their parents ask me how i got into acting, and if i had any advice for how to get into it. it meant a lot to me that there’s this whole generation of children of color who are going to pursue the arts, because even though i live in a very diverse area, our theatre landscape is still very whitewashed.
anyway, what i’m trying to say isn’t just that representation matters, which it does. what i’m also trying to say is that one less white face in the crowd isn’t going to hurt anyone. i feel like i’ve heard time and again that white people can only identify with white characters, and the whole point of my story is that that’s obviously not true. that kind of behavior, where people only empathize with characters who look like them, has to be taught. and that kind of behavior is racism.
bolding is mine, because that last bit really knocked it out of the park for me
Yes, yes, and yes.
It’s something I’m having to deal with about myself. I don’t believe that people of colour can’t play all the roles that white people can, but as a writer and an artist I have to actively think to get myself creating a character who isn’t white. I hate that about me, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not true, and we shouldn’t deny that it happens just because we want it to not be true. We want to say that we are immune to racism. We’re not.
But you know what? It’s gotten easier. The more people of colour I see in the media, the more ‘natural’ it seems to me to cast a person of colour in my own mind. More: the more I make myself write people of colour, the easier it is to do the next time.
I started out looking at my stories - full of white people - and asking myself ‘Well, why can’t this one be black/East Asian/South Asian/Middle Eastern etc.?’ And my back brain would try to dig in its heel and say, like, ‘It just doesn’t feel right! That’s not who that character is!’ But the more I worked against that ingrained part of me and just made the change happen, the easier it got.
Now I can do it at the character creation stage. I start off imagining a new story, I’m creating the character, and rather than just imagining a white person and then having to change it, I’m like, right at creation, ‘OK, what race are they?’ rather than ‘OK, can I make them a POC?’ It’s about getting out of the rut of thinking of white as the default - something that has to be changed to make room for POC.
And it’s hard. But admitting that it’s hard - that you’ve absorbed some racism, whether you wanted to or not - is an important part of the work of unpicking those problematic ways of thought.
The more you do it, the more you see it around you, the easier it is.
And that’s why things like the above are SO important. So that we can help make sure that kids don’t grow up in the same toxic, white-washed world that we all did.
Seattle joins a growing number of cities officially recognizing Native American history
Columbus Day will now be known as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Seattle.
The Seattle City Council on Monday unanimously approved the re-designation, which acknowledges that Native Americans were living in North America well before Christopher Columbus “discovered America” in the 15th century, Reuters reports.
The change, which will go into effect before the Oct. 13 holiday this year, marks the second major city in the U.S. to officially re-designate the day, after Minneapolis’ vote in April. (Though the city of Berkeley, Calif., ceased observation of Columbus Day in 1992.)
The change faced some opposition from some members of Seattle’s Italian-American community, who view the day as a celebration of their cultural heritage (Columbus hailed from Genoa, Italy).
The Seattle School Board voted last week to observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day on the same day in public schools.
About three years ago, World Fantasy Award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor wrote an essay about Lovecraft’s Racism and the World Fantasy Award Statuette. Earlier this year, author and editor Daniel José Older started a petition to change the World Fantasy Award trophy to Octavia Butler. There’s been plenty of other discussion, but those are two of the pieces that stood out to me, and seemed to generate a lot of awareness and debate.
There is now a counter-petition to keep Lovecraft and fight back against the forces of the Social Justice League, or something like that.
I’m not sure we should make Octavia Butler the new WFA statuette, in part because I’m not sure any specific individual is the best image for an award meant to represent the world of fantasy. But I am 100% on board with getting rid of the trophy we have now.
First of all, I’m sorry, but I find the trophy to be almost obscenely ugly. I get that it’s intended to be a caricature, and artist Gahan Wilson is obviously a skilled sculptor and artist. But Wilson’s style is described as “fantasy-horror” and “playful grotesque,” and I just don’t think one of the top awards in our field should be embodied by the word “grotesque.”
As numerous others have pointed out, there’s a deeper level of grotesqueness. Lovecraft undeniably influenced the fantasy and horror genre. He was also undeniably racist. In Nnedi’s blog post, she quotes Lovecraft’s 1912 poem “On the Creation of Niggers“:To fill the gap, and join the rest to Man,Th’Olympian host conceiv’d a clever plan.A beast they wrought, in semi-human figure,Filled it with vice, and called the thing a Nigger.
This isn’t the only example of racism in Lovecraft’s work, though it’s one of the more blatant. Phenderson Djeli Clark has an essay examining Lovecraft’s racism at Racialicious.
Steven Stevenson disagrees, and posted a counter-petition to “Keep the beloved H.P. Lovecraft caricature busts (‘Howards’) as World Fantasy Awards trophies, don’t ban them to be PC!”
The very first sentence describes Lovecraft’s “racism” in scare quotes — because sure, the guy’s writing was full of references to “subhuman swine” and the “negro problem” and “sneering, greasy mulattos” and how blacks are “vastly inferior” and “negro fetishism” and a cat called “Nigger Man” and so on. But let’s not leap to conclusions and label such things racist.
Stevenson admits that some of Lovecraft’s personal views were “less than ideal.” But he quickly explains that Lovecraft was a product of his time.
This excuse is, to use the technical term, bullshit.
Lovecraft was a product of his time, and spewed an awful lot of hateful, racist shit in his fiction and in his personal writing. There are a lot of other authors who were a product of that same time, and they somehow managed to avoid dousing every page in fetid, over-the-top racism.
This isn’t to say Lovecraft’s contemporaries were perfect. L. Frank Baum wrote a nasty editorial regarding the Sioux nation. I could barely finish Edgar Rice Burrough’s first Tarzan novel. But while it is important to acknowledge historical and cultural context, Lovecraft’s bigotry is pretty extreme, even when examined within that context.
Samuel Bowers co-founded the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and was convicted of murdering several civil rights leaders. He was a product of his time. You know who else was a product of that exact same time? Mister Rogers. Any given time will produce a whole range of people, from amazing, kind, compassionate human beings to frightened, hateful cowards.
There’s no need to deny that Lovecraft was an influential writer. And nobody’s saying you’re not allowed to read or even enjoy his stories. (Though you might want to check out How to Be a Fan of Problematic Things.) But let’s not pretend the man didn’t hold and espouse some despicable views on race.
Stevenson hits other tired buzzwords and phrases in his petition. It’s just the “humourless PC crowd” who want the trophy changed. Arguing for that change is suggested to be a “fascist act.” He also throws in an attack on “the misandry … promoted by many self-described ‘feminist authors’.” Because if you’re going to play Defensive Apologist Bingo, you want to fill the whole damn board!
The complaints about Lovecraft and the World Fantasy Award aren’t about “diminish[ing] him for being male and Caucasian.” It’s about wanting something other than the bulging decapitated head of an over-the-top racist to embody one of the highest honors in our genre.
So yeah, if I haven’t made it clear before, add my voice to the crowd calling for a change. I don’t know that the trophy should be any specific individual, but at this point, I think just about anything would be an improvement. (Please don’t take that as a challenge.)
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Honestly, I really do understand why people love his work, but it’s a SCANDAL that this is an award. Imagine being a black person receiving the head of someone who could write that poem on what’s meant to be a day of pride for you.
DO YOU SEE THE PROBLEM NOW?
I mean, it’s not only bad in such cases. People of any race (including white men!) have a justified reason to feel uncomfortable about this. But I think it throws it into sharp relief.
'Well done! You're great! Here, have the head of someone who thought of you as 'semi-human' and 'filled with vice'!'
But of course, the people who write in defence of such things aren’t imagining black people receiving such awards…
Ben Affleck speaks about Islamophobia X
ON BILL MAHERS ISLAMOPHOBIC ASS SHOW GO AWFF AND EID MUBARAK BROTHERS AND SISTERS
OMG im not mad at him for playing as batman anymore
You go on with your bad self, Ben Affleck.
Dear Ben Affleck: I love you. Thank you for saying this.
Ben Affleck: actually a cool dude.
Reasons why I get annoyed when people knock him for getting cool parts.
Albert Einstein teaching a physics class at Lincoln university (HCBU in Pennsylvania) in 1946
Sure as hell never mention that about him.
HOMIEEVEN OUR HISTORIANS ARE RACIST
did… did you think historians weren’t racist?
Friend, if you did not realize that historians are racist then I have some bad news for you.
see how little we get taught about history - I never had any idea why Malcolm X used the ‘X’.
How come I didn’t know this
Also that crusty old white man called the named ‘gifted’. Jesus.
I guessed that this was it, but it’s so powerful to hear (see?) him say it. So articulate. Such a bold act.
And fuck that middle-aged white guy.
THE ONGOING SAGA OF THE FRAGILE WHITE
The Daily Show aired its long awaited segment on the Washington, D.C., NFL team name, in which fans were confronted by Natives on the set.
Before it even aired, the segment proved controversial. The satirical cable television news program had recruited team fans for the segment via Twitter; four were ultimately chosen to participate. But those participants told the Washington Post they felt like they were attacked.
Kelli O’Dell, who says it was unfair for The Daily Show to have her debate Amanda Blackhorse—the lead plaintiff in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, Inc., which resulted in cancelling six of the team’s trademarks—says she felt like she was placed “in danger.” O’Dell later called authorities to pull The Daily Show tapes she had consented to appear on:Two days later, O’Dell said she called D.C. police and tried to submit a police report, but authorities told her no crime had been committed.
People want their right to be racist. But the minute they approach facing real life consequences—and mild ones, given what they should expect for years of violence and slurs—look how they shake and cry. Look how they flee and fly to the po-lice, understanding fully the institutional role played by cops.