JOSEPHINE & CHIQUITA | 1931
Josephine Baker with pet cheetah, Chiquita, given to her by a night club owner to use as part of her dance show. The cat stayed with her long after the act ended; eventually travelling the world with Baker, always riding in her car and sleeping in her bed.
Reblog if you love Michael Jackson.
Usually I don’t like the “reblog if you..” posts, however, I felt the need to do this. Yes the notes are legit for this. Didn’t tweak it at all, nah uhhh.
Let’s set a new record, moonwalkers!I’ll always reblog this one ♡
THAT NOTES YOOOO! How can you NOT reblog this.
My father sincerely believes that science is a political plot, Christians are America’s most persecuted minority and Barack Obama is a full-blown communist. He supports the use of force without question, as long as it’s aimed at foreigners. He thinks liberals are all stupid, ignorant fucks who hate America.
I don’t recall my father being so hostile when I was growing up. He was conservative, to be sure, but conventionally and thoughtfully so. He is a kind and generous man and a good father, but over the past five or 10 years, he’s become so conservative that I can’t even find a label for it.
What has changed? He consumes a daily diet of nothing except Fox News. He has for a decade or more. He has no email account and doesn’t watch sports. He refuses to so much as touch a keyboard and has never been on the Internet, ever. He thinks higher education destroys people, not only because of Fox News, but also because I drifted left during and after graduate school.
I do not blame or condemn my father for his opinions. If you consumed a daily diet of right-wing fury, erroneously labeled “news,” you could very likely end up in the same place. Again, this is all by design. Let’s call it the Fox News effect. Take sweet, kindly senior citizens and feed them a steady stream of demagoguery and repetition, all wrapped in the laughable slogan of “fair and balanced.” Even watching the commercials on Fox, one is treated to sales pitches for gold and emergency food rations, the product cornerstones of the paranoid. To some people the idea of retirees yelling at the television all day may seem funny, but this isn’t a joke. We’re losing the nation’s grandparents, and it’s an American tragedy.
My father is only in his early fifties, and is still active in the workforce and his community, but I’m still saddened by how much I identify with this piece.
This could be my father as well, but late 40s…
The story of my life too.
I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of Twitter.
Day 2 of White History Month: Criminalizing Blackness, Part 1- Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws
“This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government for white men.” - Andrew Johnson [x]
While the Thirteenth Amendment ended slavery and involuntary servitude (except as punishment for a crime), legal restrictions were quickly placed upon newly freed Black Americans. By no coincidence, these laws made it easier to penalize Black Americans and turn them into criminals. Blackness itself was grounds for legal restrictions.
Black Codes - the precursor to Jim Crow - restricted the rights of Black Americans to move freely in public space, buy and own land and property, and conduct business. Black Americans were strongly disadvantaged in the legal system. Most Southern states enacted various laws that restricted the lives of Black Americans in 1865 and 1866.
There were common features among many of the Black Codes. Many states simply changed the wording of Slave Codes such that restrictions continued that prohibited Black Americans from learning to read or write. Vagrancy laws made it so that all Freedmen were required to be employed; penalties for being unemployed resulted in vagrancy charges, which could be punished through forced unpaid labor.
Children of those arrested for vagrancy could be forced into “apprenticeships” where they would be forced to work, often for their former slaveowner. Black Americans were executed for crimes that white Americans merely received jail sentences for. The lives of Black Americans were worth little as many white Americans could avoid penalties for murdering Black Americans.
Examples of Black Codes (by no means an exhaustive list):
- Separate jailkeepers for Black and white Americans (North Carolina)
- Black men convicted of raping white women would be given the death penalty (North Carolina, Tennessee)
- Inability to testify against white Americans in court (North Carolina, Kentucky)
- Taxes - that if left unpaid, would result in vagrancy charges (Mississippi, South Carolina
- Forced apprenticeship (North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi)
- Work contracts required which often could not be broken without penalty (Texas, Mississippi)
- Fines for “disobedience and negligence” and for missed work (Texas) or insubordination (Florida)
- Restrictions on owning and carrying firearms (North Carolina, Florida)
- Restrictions on voting, holding office, or serving on juries (Texas, Tennessee)
- Restrictions on moving into and out of the state (North Carolina
- Restrictions prohibiting Black Americans from “impudence,” “swearing,” and other signs of “disobedience.” (Louisiana)
Most of these laws were repealed because of action taken by Northern states, but similar laws came into place with Jim Crow. Jim Crow laws continued to criminalize Blackness and valorize whiteness. These laws resulted in disparities in the criminal justice system and restrictions on civil rights up to a century after slavery ended.
Jim Crow is generally used to refer to institutional discrimination in the South between Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, but these laws and norms existed even earlier in the North. While Louisiana passed a law creating “separate but equal” train cars in 1890, segregated railroad cars were used in Massachusetts long before that.. Northern states provided a model for Southerners to treat newly freed Black Americans.
- Buses.All passenger stations in this state operated by any motor transportation company shall have separate waiting rooms or space and separate ticket windows for the white and colored races (Alabama).
- Education.The schools for white children and the schools for negro children shall be conducted separately (Florida).
- Housing: Any person…who shall rent any part of any such building to a negro person or a negro family when such building is already in whole or in part in occupancy by a white person or white family, or vice versa when the building is in occupancy by a negro person or negro family, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five ($25.00) nor more than one hundred ($100.00) dollars or be imprisoned not less than 10, or more than 60 days, or both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court. (Louisiana)
- Militia. The white and colored militia shall be separately enrolled, and shall never be compelled to serve in the same organization. No organization of colored troops shall be permitted where white troops are available and where whites are permitted to be organized, colored troops shall be under the command of white officers (North Carolina).
- Promotion of Equality: Any person…who shall be guilty of printing, publishing or circulating printed, typewritten or written matter urging or presenting for public acceptance or general information, arguments or suggestions in favor of social equality or of intermarriage between whites and negroes, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to fine or not exceeding five hundred (500.00) dollars or imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months or both. (Mississippi)
Penalties for Blackness Today
When slavery (and slave codes) ended, the Black Codes took their place. When Black Codes were eliminated, it was only a few years before Jim Crow developed. Jim Crow laws ended with the Civil Rights Movement, but these disparities did not just disappear. The legacy of these laws can be seen in the criminal justice system today.
Stop and Frisk
In New York, Toronto, Southern California, Black people are much more likely than white people to be stopped. In New York, when stopped, they are more likely to be frisked and have physical force used against them. This is despite the fact that whites who are frisked are more likely to have weapons and contraband on them.
Black defendants are over three times as likely as white defendants to receive the death penalty when the victim is white. In one study, Blackness itself is found to be an aggravating factor comparable to “causing great harm, fear, or pain”
Some states used Black Codes to exclude Black Americans from jury duty, but Black Americans are still excluded from juries today. Prosecutors have used supposedly race-neutral reasons such as “low intelligence” to remove Black Americans from jury duty. In Houston County, Alabama, 80% of Black Americans have been struck by prosecutors in death penalty cases.
Job Opportunities With a Criminal Record
Black applicants with a criminal record are at a disadvantage in the labor market when compared to their white counterparts. In fact, Devah Pager found that job opportunities for Black Americans without a criminal record were worse than those of white Americans with a drug conviction.
I need white people to stop pretending consent was possible during slavery.
Stop lying to yourselves that those black cousins are the result of illicit love affairs & grasp that slaves could not say no.
When consent is not an option, when you’re only seen as 3/5ths of a human being & you have no legal standing? You can’t say yes.
I need white America to sit down for a sec. Look into the faces of black Americans with the same last names & figure it the fuck out.
Our ancestors were raped by your ancestors. Regularly. Some of the kids were treated kindly. Most were not. They were sold.
White mistresses punished the slaves for “tempting” master & congratulated themselves on that bloody work. Read the narratives.
Not the cleaned up ones either. Read Incidents in The Life of A Slave Girl & understand that Mammy was a victim, not the one who loved you.
She couldn’t care for her kids, couldn’t choose her husband or their father most of the time. She was a slave.
Millions of people died on the Middle Passage. Millions more died here at the hands of your ancestors. Own that.
Now you want to sing Kumbaya & keep oppressing our communities & erasing our contributions. Spare me the tired bullshit.
Male slaves fared no better. There’s a long history of them being raped, tortured & killed too. That was slavery. Stop romanticizing it.
Our children were fed to alligators as bait (feel free to look that up) died of starvation or exposure & that was slavery too. Yep, we were livestock & you use sickly livestock as bait.
Stop watching Gone With The Wind & fantasizing about beautiful plantations if you can’t accept what happened on those plantations.
House slaves had it better in the sense of access to food & possibly better treatment, but they were still slaves.
14 year old slave girls weren’t falling in love with the men who could beat them & everyone they loved to death.
Read the tales of enslaved women who killed their children to spare them. Read about people beaten to death as an example.
Sally Hemings could have left Jefferson in Paris. Of course her entire family was still in his power. And his “love”? Didn’t free her. Ever.
Go look at the pictures of former slaves backs. Whipped until they bled & left to scar so they were maimed for life & couldn’t run.
Also before you talk about the cleaned up narratives, remember that the people relating their stories knew lynching was always possible.
Records of slavery were deliberately destroyed so that former owners wouldn’t have to pay anyone.
That “peculiar institution” was generations of blood, pain, & terror. That’s what built America. Never forget that.
Now stop talking about anyone’s white ancestors like they deserve the fucking credit for the success of people descended from slaves.
American slavery began in 1619. June 19, 1865 was the last official day of slavery. Do the math on how long it takes to heal that wound.
After slavery was officially over? Black codes & Jim Crow laws followed. America’s history of oppression is longer than that of freedom.
Also before any d*mb motherfuckers land in my mentions. I have a degree in history. I will read you to filth & bury you in sources.
Trust & believe there is no country here for people who want to romanticize a system that is still grinding away at my community.
All this fluffy fucking talk about American history to coddle white kids feelings & engender patriotism? You won’t get it here.
My ancestors built this country, I served this country & I will tell the damned truth about this country. Don’t like it? Fuck you.
Now let me get in my feelings about slavery before Africans were brought here. Because we weren’t the first people enslaved.
We were deliberately sought out for our skill sets & resistance to disease. Know why we were resistant? We’d had contact for years.
All of that “My ancestors never owned slaves so it has nothing to do with me?” Go look at those NDN ancestors again. See how many were free.
While you’re in there checking that out? Look up those old country ancestors & see how many benefited from slavery indirectly.
Also while we’re talking about NDN relatives? Yo, learn a name besides Cherokee. Better yet, learn about the genocidal tactics they faced.
Look up immigrant groups becoming white in America. Find out who had to bleed so they could gain access to white privilege.
Let’s really talk about the Red Summer of 1919 & how it wasn’t an unusual occurrence. Tulsa, Rosewood? They were just famous.
Let’s talk about welfare & who could access it. Hell let’s talk about who is collecting more of it right now.
Let’s talk about the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action (spoiler! White women!) & what it means to attack black people instead.
Shit, let’s get into the Great Depression & the Great Recession & who is hurting the most financially through both.
Let’s talk about conditions on reservations, in the inner city, & the violence faced by POC who try to leave those areas.
Hell, let’s talk about why we don’t see shows that reflect the American population set in the past, present, or future.
Go read Columbus’ diaries & see what “civilization” really meant to the people he encountered.
For that matter go read up on King Leopold & the Congo. I’ll wait while you cry.
That’s the thing about whiteness as a social construct in America. It’s not about white people, it’s about white power over others.
When we’re talking about white privilege? We’re talking about what it takes to shape this society based on oppression.
America is a young country with a lot of power because of genocide, slavery, & continuing oppression. Individuals build institutions.
All of these conversations aren’t about bringing out white guilt, they’re about ending this institution developed over the generations.
Also let’s be clear that America is sick with this ish across the political spectrum. It may manifest differently but it exists everywhere.
Before I go, let me also suggest that people who are curious about anything I tweeted about take a tour through Google with terms.
It’s not that I won’t answer questions, but there are books out there that I think everyone should read on slavery, whiteness, & America.