One of the things that you learn as you study history is that at some point someone has tried to explain everything from positions that don’t hold water. As a young nation, which America still was in the early 1800s it was wildly xenophobic. Worse as a large part of the movers and shakers who built America were from England their reaction to the Irish either Protestant or Catholic wasn’t always pleasant. The Irish in turn lashed out. Despite getting to vote fresh off the boat, no bars on employment and often language barriers as even the Gaelic speakers were integrated into the police, fire, political and union machinery, they lashed out at blacks to bolster their position.
This link is a pdf that I tripped over the other day that takes a look at things: click here
One of the “lost” events of the civil rights struggle was the kidnapping, mutilation and murder of a 14 year old boy in the Mississippi delta for failing to follow the rules he, a visitor, was wholly ignorant of. Worse was the travesty of a trial afterwards. Simeon Wright is the cousin of that lost boy Emmett Till, and he tells the story as he lived it.
Simeon’s Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till by Simeon Wright
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My only complaint about this book is that it isn’t long enough.
Simeon Wright plainly, and unbiasedly tells his part and memory of a dark, dark period of American history. Life in the Mississippi Delta in 1955 was precarious even if you’d grown up their and knew all the rules, Simeon Wright’s cousin from Chicago didn’t, and his life ended in the delta floating down the Tallahatchie river wired to a fan for whistling at a white woman.
Well told, good use of pictures and no grandstanding.
Not so incidentally, the Emmett in Pyramid Power by Dave Freer and Eric Flint is named after Emmett Till.
One of the things a lot writers have to do is jump outside the known, into the stark cold reality of “making shit up” and not just making it, making it up and making it sound good. If you’ve never left the southern tip of Miami, or live on a beach in Panama, you probably haven’t spent much time in the cold and snow. One of the wonderful things about snow is that it doesn’t merely fall from the sky and stay on the ground. It blows.
Trying to make it through the snow, on the ground is only part of it. It reflects light. It changes the shape of things, it can make it impossible to tell how far you are from something.
Even without the differences of night and day, the changes can be dramatic.
The boundaries of land, sea and air can get a little blurry.
If you missed it earlier, Irene Radford’s newest book is available. Go get a copy, and wrap thyself around it.
For those of you who somehow forgot to preorder, and missed Irene Radford’s blog post, and didn’t get to a book store, Silent Dragon came out this week. This video is a lovely interview DAW put together with the author.
The book is available in paperback, and multiple ebook formats.
Benjamin Benneker was not a space marine but that’s probably only because he never got a chance to work with NASA. One of the black men held up to show various small minded bigots like Jefferson that blacks were intellectual equals to the white slave owning, power holders. Among his other accomplishments was hand carving a wooden replica of a pocket watch that kept accurate time, and being a technical assistant on the first federal survey of the land that would become our nations capital. He wrote 28 editions of an almanac that was well regarded even in comparison to Ben Franklin’s, and he was almost an entirely self taught mathematician and astronomer.
This is one of the best books I’ve read in the last two or three years. If you’re looking for a larger than life figure to base a character on, Dr. Howard is the man. If you want to read about civil rights figures beyond Malcolm X, or Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Dr. Howard is still the man. It starts with some history of the area he was born and raised in, and follows his life closely. Beito and Beito do a job worthy of all the superlatives you can apply in bringing Howard to life.
One particularly interesting part is how the governor of his home state responds to the Knight Riders.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an excellent book on an under-discussed, vibrant man who was critical to the civil rights era. He came before Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, or Bobby Seale. He mentored Rosa Parks and Medgar Evers and was the single best asset to the family of Emmett Till, and the prosecutors who went up against the White Citizens Councils and was an active part of the movement despite having a career as a surgeon and some expensive habits.
Dr. Theodore Roosevelt Mason Howard was:
a caring father
a big game hunter
a mediocre husband
atop the KKK’s most hated list.
A real American.
A little bit sooner than that, in February in fact, is the release of the fabulous Irene Radford’s Silent Dragon her return to the universe that gave us Glass Dragon and Loneliest Magician after a long hiatus. She’ll also be a bit busy this August.
The boffins at Amazon have pulled together six new web series they want folks to rate.
Your cat could make your baby blind.
Chromosome segregation is something we can all embrace, especially since cancer cases have a 90% prevalence when it breaks down.
There may just be a habitable planet orbiting Tau Ceti. If there is, is that are first extra-solar stop?
Is is time to give your blog a facelift? These could work.
And the 25 best places to work are?
Suitjamas – RedFerret
The nice man above is dressed in pajamas. Why someone decided people need a pjs that look like a business suit is anyones guess.
Want a solar powered charger for your next camping trip?
Wanna write letters like a pro? There’s a guide for that.
Color speaks volumes, and everyone has a method for ordering them.
10 Writing Myths, via @ChuckSambuchino
Entrepreneurial lady carves out a place to sit in Afghanistan.
Given the recent nonsense, I’m going to start this collection off with something that should make you smile and is entirely work safe:
And football being the only sport worth watching that’s actually being played right now (Thank Jeremy Jacobs and Gary Bettman!!)
The DC character I think should be next up for a major movie or tv series get’s talked up:
In news that will rock the souls of NHL fans to their very fundament, the players are better prepared than the owners.
They say the only thing worse than no security is bad security. Guess which we have?
Apple Maps headlines a list of turkeys for 2012 over at CNET.
Continuing the list trend, some of the best psychology and philosophy books of 2012.
Not to mention NPR’s top 1o Jazz albums of 2012.
A quick way to add function to your website.
If you want to set a story in Boston, even in part, you need to know something about the T, the lines, the stops, and where they are and were. This is a great place to start.
8 mythological critters, some of which you may not have met before.
Genetics, interbreeding, and the fossil record can and can’t tell us about our own past.