Coin given to US’s oldest park ranger by Barack Obama stolen in home invasion

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-07-03 17:37Z by Steven

Coin given to US’s oldest park ranger by Barack Obama stolen in home invasion

The Guardian

Sam Levin

Ranger Betty Soskin holds a photo of herself has a young woman.
Photograph: Alamy

The White House is sending a replacement coin to 94-year-old Betty Soskin, who says she hopes she can recover the original from violent home intruder

The oldest park ranger in the US suffered a violent home invasion in which the suspect stole a commemorative coin Barack Obama gave to the 94-year-old woman, according to California police.

Park officials said on Thursday that the White House is sending a replacement coin to Betty Soskin, who works at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front national historic park in northern California. But the ranger said she hopes she can recover the original.

Around midnight on Monday, an intruder broke into Soskin’s bedroom in Richmond, just north of San Francisco, according to police…

…Soskin received national attention in December when she introduced Obama at a tree-lighting ceremony in Washington DC. There, the president gave her the coin.

“If I can get that coin back I think I can forgive anything,” Soskin told local news station KTVU on Wednesday.

Soskin is well-known locally and within the park service for her talks and tours at the Rosie the Riveter park where she often tells personal stories about her life as a young black woman working at the Richmond shipyards during the second world war.

Meeting the president and receiving the coin was a powerful experience for Soskin, Leatherman said. At the time, she brought with her a picture of her grandmother, who was born into slavery…

Read the entire entire article here.

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Mary Seacole statue: Why Florence Nightingale fans are angry the Crimean War nurse is being commemorated

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2016-06-29 21:21Z by Steven

Mary Seacole statue: Why Florence Nightingale fans are angry the Crimean War nurse is being commemorated

The Independent

Kashmira Gander

Some Florence Nightingale experts say Mary Seacole isn’t a nurse

It should be a symbol of pride in a black British heroine. Instead, a statue of Mary Seacole, to be unveiled on 30 June, has become a source of controversy

Staring proudly across the River Thames towards Big Ben, her cape caught in a gust as she strides away from a backdrop of the Crimean battlefield. This is how the Crimean War heroine Mary Seacole will be memorialised in a powerful 10ft bronze statue by the distinguished sculptor Martin Jennings, to be unveiled outside St Thomas’ hospital in central London on Thursday.

The campaign to commemorate the nurse once voted the greatest black Briton began when a group of Caribbean women approached their local MP in Hammersmith. Seven years later, the sculpture – the first public statue of a named black woman in the UK – is complete thanks to donations from tens of thousands of people. Happy days.

Except a small faction of hand-wringing Florence Nightingale experts and fans are not at all happy. To them, placing Seacole’s statue outside the hospital where the Lady with the Lamp established her revolutionary nursing school is an affront…

…Then there’s the argument that Seacole is a symbol of political correctness gone mad because the great black British icon isn’t, er, black. In a Spectator piece Rob Liddle took the baffling stance that Seacole was “three-quarters white”. This is despite contemporary depictions of her as a person “of colour” (and her own recollection that a white American at a dinner party said he wished he could bleach her skin).

But how tiresome this mud-slinging is. If we were going to pick holes, we could point out that even Nightingale couldn’t compete with the fact that her military hospital at Scutari was placed over a sewer, meaning many patients died. But we celebrate the best in her: her initial impulse; her skill in creating and organising the British nursing profession in later life…

Read the entire article here.

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A Seminole Legend: The Life of Betty Mae Tiger Jumper

Posted in Anthropology, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States, Women on 2016-06-26 01:43Z by Steven

A Seminole Legend: The Life of Betty Mae Tiger Jumper

University Press of Florida
208 pages
5.5 x 8.5
Hardcover ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-2285-7

Betty Mae Tiger Jumper

Patsy West

With A Seminole Legend, Betty Mae Jumper joins the ranks of Native American women who are coming forward to tell their life experiences. This collaboration between Jumper and Patsy West, an ethnohistorian who contributes general tribal history, is a rare and authentic account of a pioneering Florida Seminole family. It will take its place in Seminole literature, historical and anthropological studies, Florida history, women’s history, and Native American studies.

Betty Mae Tiger was born in 1923 to a Seminole Indian mother and a French trapper father, a fair-skinned half-breed who was nearly put to death at age five by tribal medicine men. Her inspiring autobiography is the story of the most decorated member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida—a political activist, former nurse, and alligator wrestler, who today has her own web site.

Jumper is also a beloved story-teller, renowned for passing along tribal legends. In this book she describes her family’s early conversion to Christianity and discusses such topics as miscegenation, war and atrocities, the impact of encroaching settlement on traditional peoples, and the development of the Dania/Hollywood Reservation. She became the first formally educated Florida Seminole, attending a government boarding school in Cherokee, North Carolina, where at age 14 she learned to speak English.

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Fanny Eaton: The Black Pre-Raphaelite Muse that Time Forgot

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2016-06-22 16:05Z by Steven

Fanny Eaton: The Black Pre-Raphaelite Muse that Time Forgot


Shola von Reynolds

Walter Fryer Stocks, British, 1842–1915: Mrs. Fanny Eaton, ca. 1859 / Black, red, and white chalk on cream wove paper / 43.2 × 34.9 cm (17 × 13 3/4 in.) / Museum purchase, Surdna Fund / 2016-1 / Princeton University Art Museum

The enigmatic model made her way to London from Jamaica in the early 19th century to sit for the Pre-Raphaelites, and her legacy lives on in their impactful work

Who? Lizzie Siddal has long reigned supreme in the minds of historians, artists and writers as the embodiment of the artist’s muse. Her fellow Pre-Raphaelite models, such as Marie Spartali, Jane Morris or Maria Zambaco are less well known, but renewed attention has given many of these women a rightful place in art history beyond the typically limited conception of “the muse”. If you haven’t heard of Fanny Eaton, however, there would be meagre cause for surprise, though surprise there should be: little exists in the way of information about her, and until recent years all that remained was the series of paintings and drawings she sat for.

Fanny Eaton was a black Victorian Londoner and, for some time, painter’s model. Born in Jamaica in 1835, Eaton was the daughter of an ex-slave and, it is suspected, a white slave owner. She came to London in the 1840s and began modelling in her twenties. It has been discovered that she was working as a regular portrait model at the Royal Academy, which is potentially where she caught the attention of the many renowned painters of the era she sat for…

Read the etnire article here.

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Florence Nightingale supporters in row over black rival’s new statue, claiming she is venerated based on ‘false achievements’

Posted in Articles, Biography, Europe, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2016-06-22 15:39Z by Steven

Florence Nightingale supporters in row over black rival’s new statue, claiming she is venerated based on ‘false achievements’

The Daily Mail

Martin Robinson, UK Chief Reporter

Plans to give Britain’s most famous black nurse a statue have today been blasted by Florence Nightingale fans, who say it is a ‘history hoax’ because all she did was ‘sell wine and sandwiches’ in Crimea.

Mary Seacole is set to have a £500,000 bronze unveiled in her honour at St Thomas’ Hospital in London this month – the first public memorial to celebrate the ‘black pioneer nurse’.

It will be taller than Florence Nightingale’s statue in Pall Mall and Edith Cavell’s off Trafalgar Square.

And it will be unveiled this month at St Thomas Hospital where Nightingale founded her nursing school, and Seacole has no connection to whatsoever, critics say…

…Mary Seacole is regarded as our greatest black Briton, a woman who did more to advance the cause of nursing – and race relations – than almost any other individual.

On the bloody battlefields of the Crimea, she is said to have saved the lives of countless wounded soldiers, and nursed them back to health in a clinic she paid for out of her own pocket.

But some historians have long complained that she has become almost as famous as that other nursing heroine, Florence Nightingale…

…Born in Jamaica in 1805, she was the daughter of a white Scottish officer called Grant, and a Creole woman, from whom Mary learned her ‘nursing skills’. In her early 20s, Seacole married a Jamaican merchant called Edwin Seacole and travelled with him around the Caribbean, Central America and England until his death in 1844.

Seacole then set up a ‘hotel’ in the town of Cruces in Panama, where she is reputed to have treated cholera victims.

With the outbreak of the Crimean War later that year, Seacole was determined to offer her nursing services to the British, and, when she was turned down by the authorities, she paid her way to the peninsula out of her own pocket…

Read the entire article here.

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Go Off!: Amandla Stenberg on Intersectionality and the Impact of White Supremacy

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States, Videos, Women on 2016-06-21 20:08Z by Steven

Go Off!: Amandla Stenberg on Intersectionality and the Impact of White Supremacy


Kenrya Rankin, News Editor

“I cannot separate my gender from my race from my sexual orientation. If in that moment I’m speaking out about gender, then I’m also in some way speaking out about race and about feminism.”

In the latest example of “Amandla Stenberg is so woke,” the teenage actress and activist held an online “Ask Amandla” Q&A session with Rookie magazine’s young readers. In it, the teen—who identifies as non-binary and prefers the pronoun “they”—discussed gender identity, how White beauty standards impact the lives of Black people and the importance of intersectionality in advocacy. Watch the May 31 video and soak in Amandla’s preternaturally mature wisdom.

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Michelle Cliff, Who Wrote of Colonialism and Racism, Dies at 69

Posted in Articles, Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, Gay & Lesbian, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-06-20 20:33Z by Steven

Michelle Cliff, Who Wrote of Colonialism and Racism, Dies at 69

The New York Times

William Grimes

Michelle Cliff sometime in the 1980s. In 1975, she met the poet Adrienne Rich, who became her partner and died in 2012.

Michelle Cliff, a Jamaican-American writer whose novels, stories and nonfiction essays drew on her multicultural identity to probe the psychic disruptions and historical distortions wrought by colonialism and racism, died on June 12 at her home in Santa Cruz, Calif. She was 69.

The cause was liver failure, according to the Adrienne Rich Literary Trust. Ms. Cliff and Ms. Rich, the poet, were longtime partners.

Ms. Cliff’s entire creative life was a quest to give voice to suppressed histories, starting with her own. Her first essay, “Notes on Speechlessness,” written for a women’s writing group in 1978, can be read as the keynote for her subsequent work, which navigated the complexities of her life situation — she was a light-skinned black lesbian raised partly in Jamaica and partly in New York, and educated in Britain — against the broader background of the Caribbean experience…

…In her first novel, “Abeng” (1984), she introduced Clare Savage, a light-skinned 12-year-old Jamaican girl who befriends the dark-skinned Zoe, whose family squats on Clare’s grandmother’s farm. It is an idyllic relationship that cannot survive the harsh realities of race and class.

“Emotionally, the book is an autobiography,” Ms. Cliff told the reference work Contemporary Authors in 1986. “I was a girl similar to Clare and have spent most of my life and most of my work exploring my identity as a light-skinned Jamaican, the privilege and the damage that comes from that identity.”

Clare returns to Jamaica as an adult in the novel “No Telephone to Heaven” (1987), which, in a series of flashbacks, tells of her life in New York and London and her struggles to come to terms with who she is…

Read the entire obituary here.

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How Pat Cleveland Conquered Racism to Become the World’s First Black Supermodel

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-06-20 19:01Z by Steven

How Pat Cleveland Conquered Racism to Become the World’s First Black Supermodel

Harper’s Bazaar

Kate Storey, News Edtor

Photograph: Kathryn Wirsing

Pat Cleveland was 16 years old when she was told she would never make it as a model.

It was the late Sixties, and Cleveland, who had just signed with Ford Models, was sitting nervously in a large leather chair in the agency’s intimidating Manhattan office. Co-founder Eileen Ford had requested to see the lanky teenager for some “real” talk.

“Patricia, we have very few colored girls in our agency. And do you know why?” Cleveland remembers Ford saying. “Because there is no work for colored girls. The only reason I took you is because [photographer] Oleg Cassini recommended you. But I really think you will never make it in the modeling business.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Pat Cleveland: Early Supermodel and Author With Many Tales

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-06-19 04:16Z by Steven

Pat Cleveland: Early Supermodel and Author With Many Tales

The New York Times

Guy Trebay, Chief Menswear Critic

The fashion model Pat Cleveland in her home studio in New Jersey. Credit Chad Batka for The New York Times

WILLINGBORO, N.J. — The peacocks were rooting around in the bushes, strutting and pecking and ruffling their trains. Occasionally, one — Boy or Big Boy, say, or Snow White — struck a pose, tipping its beak up to emit a banshee shriek.

“They’re just a bunch of drama queens, honey,” said Pat Cleveland, as she sat in the backyard of her house in a rural part of New Jersey, sipping on a sinister-looking juice drink the color and texture of algae. Drama queens, as it happens, is a topic on which Ms. Cleveland has some stories to tell.

This she does in “Walking with the Muses,” a picaresque new memoir about a tall, skinny mixed-race girl (“not black enough to be black or white enough to be white”) hailing from a section of East Harlem that she terms the Golden Edge.

In her 1950s childhood, Ms. Cleveland writes, that neighborhood was still representative of a now largely bygone city, a place where “the Jews, the blacks, the Irish and the Puerto Ricans all had a corner of their own.”…

…American fashion, in particular, during the era when Ms. Cleveland first appeared, was also more porous and racially diverse than it would be in the subsequent decades. Success in the business was measured in those days not by social media metrics but by an ability to bewitch the cognoscenti, to make yours a name they whispered about.

And seemingly Ms. Cleveland has been an object of fascination for those around her almost from the time she was born 65 years ago to a white Swedish saxophonist and an African-American artist from the South. Soon after, Ms. Cleveland’s father, Johnny Johnston, returned to Sweden, leaving her mother, Lady Bird Cleveland, to raise her freckle-faced young daughter alone.

“If you’re a single black woman and have a Swedish lover, life is never going to be easy, and Lady Bird didn’t have the opportunities in life,” Ms. Cleveland said. “But her lesson to me was always, whatever your circumstances are, it’s up to you to create your own world.”…

…At the height of her powers, that same skinny girl from Harlem was transformed into a star on the evening of Nov. 28, 1973, when she — one of 30 black models chosen to participate in a benefit runway show held at the Palace of Versailles outside Paris — took to the stage in front of 800 guests, many of them prominent or titled, and, spinning and twirling, left little doubt in the minds of observers that the immediate future of fashion belonged not to the Old World but to the New…

Read the entire article here.

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Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2016-06-14 15:25Z by Steven


Busboys and Poets
Langston Room
2021 14th Street, NW (14 & V Street, NW)
Washington, D.C. 20009
Tuesday, 2016-06-14, 18:30-20:30 EDT (Local Time)

Politics & Prose at Busboys and Poets 14th & V welcomes Karin Tanabe to present the new book “The Gilded Years.”

A Politico journalist turned novelist, Tanabe has reported on politics and society for Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and Inside Edition, experience she drew on for the Washington insider fiction of The List and The Price of Inheritance. Her third novel looks at class, race, and ambition in the Gilded Age, following smart and talented Anita Hemmings—daughter of a janitor—as she realizes her dream of attending Vassar. But Anita is also the descendent of slaves, and though her pale skin allows her to “pass” for white, as she moves among the wealthy elite of 1897 high society, she walks an increasingly tense line concerning her identity.

Tanabe will be in conversation with LaFleur Paysour, communications director for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

For more information, click here.

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