Williams had been living in the St. Louis ghetto and worked as an assistant school principal in Wellston, a black St. Louis suburb. His wife, Geraldine, taught in a state special education school. They could afford to live in middle-class Ferguson, and hoped to protect their three daughters from the violence of their St. Louis neighborhood. The girls would also get better educations in Ferguson than in Wellston, where Williams worked, because Ferguson’s stronger tax base provided more money per pupil than did Wellston’s; Ferguson could afford more skilled teachers, smaller classes, and extra enrichment programs.
Williams was familiar with Ferguson because he once lived in the neighboring black suburb of Kinloch. (California Congresswoman Maxine Waters and the comedian and activist Dick Gregory grew up there.) In those years, Williams could enter Ferguson only during daytime; until the mid-1960s, Ferguson barred African Americans after dark, blocking the main road from Kinloch with a chain and construction materials. A second road remained open so housekeepers and nannies could get from Kinloch to jobs in Ferguson.
Kodachrome, naturally. Many, many more at link.
I regularly visit the shorpy.com in order to get inspired by the colors of Kodachrome photo film. This website is quite famous and contains a lot of archived photographs, I am sure many of you already know it. My wish was to make a personal selection of photographs I particularly like, in good quality. I hope that you will appreciate them as well. All the pictures have been taken during 1940-1943. Now just look at them and get inspired.
1. “Where’s Adolf?”
May 1942. Langley Field, Virginia. YB-17 bombardment squadron. “Hitler would like this man to go home and forget about the war. A good American non-com at the side machine gun of a huge YB-17 bomber is a man who knows his business and works hard at it.” 4×5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer.
October 1942. “Testing electric wiring at Douglas Aircraft Company. Long Beach, California.” 4×5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer.
We’ve been covering the Ebola panic a lot here on LGF, but here’s something that really puts things in context, in a way that many people here might not have thought of. Stassa Edwards discusses the history of racists using fear of disease to attack and demonize minorities, and how that fear was used to justify everything from imperialism to nativist legislation. Warning, this gets pretty disturbing, in more ways than one.
On October 1st, the New York Times published a photograph of a four-year-old girl in Sierra Leone. In the photograph, the anonymous little girl lies on a floor covered with urine and vomit, one arm tucked underneath her head, the other wrapped around her small stomach. Her eyes are glassy, returning the photographer’s gaze. The photograph is tightly focused on her figure, but in the background the viewer can make out crude vials to catch bodily fluids and an out-of-focus corpse awaiting disposal.
The photograph, by Samuel Aranda, accompanied a story headlined “A Hospital From Hell, in a City Swamped by Ebola.” Within it, the Times reporter verbally re-paints this hellish landscape where four-year-olds lie “on the floor in urine, motionless, bleeding from her mouth, her eyes open.” Where she will probably die amidst “pools of patients’ bodily fluids,” “foul-smelling hospital wards,” “pools of infectious waste,” all overseen by an undertrained medical staff “wearing merely bluejeans” and “not wearing gloves.”
Aranda’s photograph is in stark contrast to the images of white Ebola patients that have emerged from the United States and Spain. In these images the patient, and their doctors, are almost completely hidden; wrapped in hazmat suits and shrouded from public view, their identities are protected. The suffering is invisible, as is the sense of stench produced by bodily fluids: these photographs are meant to reassure Westerners that sanitation will protect us, that contagion is contained.
Pernicious undertones lurk in these parallel representations of Ebola, metaphors that encode histories of nationalism and narratives of disease.
Long time lizards will remember Occupy as a topic around here and a few of us tried to document those days as best we could. Lawhawk had some great posts as did others. When Occupy LA started in my own back yard I grabbed my camera gear, Dragon_Lady and sometimes Leftwingconspirator. One result can be found here.
We also did this Page (one of several)
Sadly Occupy LA did end with the proverbial whimper, despite high hopes. In the last days it had lost what shreds of focus it had ever possessed and become a victim of it’s own kindness by way of attempting to help the homeless on site. We had documented that as well, that footage is saved for a full documentary I hope to do one day.
The article points out that the legacy goes beyond the shortcomings and lack of a lasting presence. Occupy left us with a stronger cause for social justice, a superior understanding of economic inequality as it happened to us. It did change LA politics. It (in part) taught LAPD significant restraint, and enforced 1st Amendment protections, and that’s big. Just ask the people of Ferguson.
Remember this moment? Eric Garcetti (when he was L.A. City Council president) walked out to the lawn in front of City Hall and proclaimed to a sea of tent dwellers: “Stay as long as you need, we’re here to support you.”
It was three years ago last Saturday that Garcetti uttered those words to the denizens of Occupy LA. In the weeks after that, Antonio Villaraigosa, then the mayor, passed out 100 ponchos to rain-soaked occupiers. The City Council considered canceling the city’s business agreements with socially suspect banks, resurrecting then-Councilman Richard Alarcon’s responsible banking proposal. When the city administrative officer, Miguel Santana, told the council that such a move could cost the city millions of dollars in fees, Alarcon scoffed that he was “out of sync with the social dynamic.”
t had all the makings of a public-health horror story: an outbreak of a wildly deadly virus on the doorstep of the nation’s capital, with dozens of lab monkeys dead, multiple people testing positive, and no precedent in this country on how to contain it.
Americans’ introduction to the Ebola virus came 25 years ago in an office park near Washington Dulles International Airport, a covert crisis that captivated the public only years later when it formed the basis of a bestselling book.
Initially thought to be the same hyper-deadly strain as the current Ebola outbreak that has killed hundreds in Africa, the previously unknown Reston variant turned out to be nonlethal to humans. But the story of what might have been illustrates how far U.S. scientists have come in their understanding of a virus whose very name strikes fear, even in a country where no one has fatally contracted it.
Why we need Comprehensive Sex Ed … .
2. The great potential of semen.
Semen, on the other hand, was given much props in books such as Womanhood and Marriage. “Wives must understand that the life-giving fluid called the semen, which is produced in the creative organs of the man, is of great value in the upbuilding of his own body. It is only within comparatively recent times that the marvelous power of this creative fluid in building up and making over the body of the individual has been thoroughly understood.”
The book also notes that women who weren’t that fond of sex with their husbands were draining their vitality like non-sexy vampires. “In sexual intimacies, there is a discharge of this creative fluid from the body of the man, but where there is a full response on the part of the wife, there seems to be an exchange of magnetism or energy which makes up for the loss. If, however, his desire alone is active and she is simply fulfilling a supposed wifely duty, she gives nothing to him, and he, therefore, suffers a definite loss in vitality. It is claimed by some that such one-sided intimacies are almost as harmful to the man as masturbation.”
A long-running Ladies’ Home Journal column that started in 1953, called “Can This Marriage Be Saved?,” features real-life couples and the juicy details of their marital issues.
The columns were split into three parts: a wife’s perspective, her husband’s take and then final judgment by a counselor from the American Institute of Family Relations. AIFR was a successful, but now defunct, center founded in the 1930s by “Dr.” Popenoe. He wasn’t actually a doctor or a psychologist but a eugenicist with an honorary degree. Very often, Popenoe’s counselors found a way to pin problems on the wives, calling them “childish,” “juvenile,” “emotionally immature” and “frigid,” for example.
Early “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” columns, which continue today at Divine Caroline without the sexist overtones, show us how far women’s equality has come — but also how far we have to go. Here are five horrifying pieces of advice from the magazine.
Yet Sylvia was advised to “change her personality and deeply rooted attitudes” against her husband, the counselor wrote, because she’d “deeply wounded his masculine pride.” Being too “fast” with boys in her past had left the 31-year-old “almost as emotionally immature as a child of four or five … driving her husband out of his home to the corner bar and into the arms of other women.” The counselor found ways to blame Sylvia in every aspect of the couple’s marital woes, from Everett’s drinking to Everett’s probable infidelity, while Everett himself merely “modified” his drinking and philandering.
In Thomas Pynchon’s cult classic Gravity’s Rainbow, an immortal lightbulb named Byron runs afoul of a secretive international industrial alliance known as the Phoebus cartel. When the cartel detects that Byron has exceeded his programmed life span, the Committee on Incandescent Anomalies dispatches a hit man to take Byron out.
Markus Krajewski, like many readers, found the story both “wild and weird.” And yet, he says, “I knew that Pynchon’s prose style mixes fact and fiction, and so I wondered: Could this be true?”
Turns out, many parts of Pynchon’s tale were indeed based on fact: There really was a Phoebus cartel, and it really did target lightbulbs. Krajewski learned that Pynchon had relied on bona fide economic histories in weaving his tale of the cartel, including George W. Stocking and Myron W. Watkins’s 1946 text, Cartels in Action: Case Studies in International Business Diplomacy. Digging deeper, he discovered that the Municipal Archives in Berlin housed corporate records from Osram, a key cartel member. At the time, in the late 1990s, he was studying in Berlin at Humboldt University, so he decided to “order up some files.” In this rich trove were letters and reports that documented how the cartel conspired to engineer a shorter-lived incandescent lightbulb. His article, “The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy,” appears in the latest issue of IEEE Spectrum.
Mark Strauss Brought to my attention, a people I had never heard of before
New research by an Istanbul-based artist has documented hundreds of haunting, sepia-toned photographs belonging to Turkey’s mysterious Dönme community—a once-thriving religious sect that practiced a unique set of beliefs based on Sufi mysticism and Judaism. Today, few remain after their true identity was discovered.
Dönme is a Turkish term meaning to “turn from one path to another” or, in this context, to convert. Originally, the community was followers of the heretical, 17th-century rabbi, Sabbatai Zevi, who rejected many traditional Jewish beliefs in pursuit of iconoclastic mysticism. Proclaiming himself the Messiah, the charismatic Zevi traveled the Ottoman Empire, promising Jews imminent deliverance from their long exile, until the authorities decided to put an end to his troublemaking by offering him the choice of death or conversion to Islam.
Zevi chose to convert, leaving thousands of followers bewildered and abandoned. But some 300 families joined Zevi in converting to Islam. By the late 1600s, they had established a community in Salonika, a city with a large Jewish population in Ottoman Greece.