Recently I read and reviewed a book called Hoodoo, and the blending of Christianity with folk magic fascinated me. I’m familiar with blending of Buddhism, Native American religions, and other beliefs, but was not familiar with this form of religion. Living in the American Midwest, I’m not familiar with any practitioners and information online was all over the place.
An apology, and a few sites to check out.
First, I want to apologize. I’ve written in the past about the unique Deaf culture that formed on what is known to many people as Martha’s Vineyard, and even reviewed a book about it. But it never occurred to me to also inform about the indigenous peoples of the area.
I’m sorry for my thoughtless erasure, and would like to point all my readers whether hearing, HH, or Deaf, to this website which will tell you a little more about some of the specific places on the island, their names and significance to the Wampanoag people. Or this page tells more about the Aquinnah Wampanoag who lived on the island then and still live there today.
For young people, here is a video from Scholastic with some modern Wampanoag girls at the heritage site:
The Wampanoag people are typically only mentioned by the rest of the country around Thanksgiving, and The Wampanoag Side of the Tale gives one woman’s opinions on the real story of the holiday.
Earlier I posted a review of a true crime book about the murders of Osage during their decades of intense wealth. Here are some links for those interested in learning more, although I will warn that some give away the story in the book, so you may wish to read the book before clicking some of these links.
The Osage Nation Museum is a great place to start and to visit if you are ever in the area. It’s part of the larger Osage Nation website which has a wealth of information and where you can also sign up for free Osage language lessons.
This photoessay contains many (but not all) of the photographs found in the book. This NPR interview with the author also tells quite a bit of the story, or you can read the first chapter on the New York Times website.
“It’s the story of an incredibly sinister crime — a true racial injustice. I did not want this to be simply a cataloging of the dead. And I didn’t want it to be cursory. For the most part, when these murders had been written about — if they were mentioned at all — there was no sense of who these people were, or what their lives were like. You never got close to their consciousness or their souls. That’s what I set out to do.”
^ In this interview, Grann talks about how difficult it was for him to write a purely historical book (his others seem to have been straight true crime or adventure books), as well as the challenge of confronting the evil of widespread racism and systematic murder.
He also did an interview with Indian Country Today.
In an unrelated but interesting Osage story, a family oral history was used to rediscover and eventually recover ten busts from 100 years ago that were lost at the Smithsonian, which can now be see at the museum linked above.
I’ve been reading some of Maya Angelou’s work, and what variety! I’d really never progressed beyond some of her more popular poems, so this has been very eye-opening for me.
Perhaps you are new to Angelou’s work, or just want more background? Check out her biography page on the Poetry Foundation website. You can get a good overview of her life and books as well as read a small sampling of her poems.
If you want to hear from the woman herself, check out this 2003 interview from Smithsonian magazine. The wide-ranging conversation covers her traumatic childhood, her writing methods, and so much more.
Of course, you can also watch clips of Angelou or hear her recite some of her poetry at her official website, which is still running with updates on the latest Angelou-related projects.
Or watch one of the final Angelou projects come to fruition after her passing:
That’s Harlem Hopscotch, one of her poems reimagined as a song on the Caged Bird Songs album. You can hear more on their website (this is the only music video, but they do have a few lyric videos available as well).
What’s your favorite Angelou book, poem, song, or project?
Did you know that six members of the Pinkney family are artists, authors, or publishers?
I’m going to hope that everyone with an interest in diverse children’s books has at least heard of Jerry Pinkney. However, did you know that much of the rest of his family is involved in art or literature as well?
Some videos and links for Deaf History Month and hearing parents of Deaf children.
Welcome to the celebration of a month not many people know about!
First off, National Deaf History Month is not a month of the calendar year. Instead, it is the month between March 13th and April 15th, which commemorates several important milestones in American Deaf History.
This is separate from the international sign celebrations. In fact, the UN has chosen September 23rd, 2018 to be the first International Day of Sign Languages. Most countries celebrate Deaf Awareness month or International Week of the Deaf in September. In some areas, December is also an important month because of the birthdays of Laurent Clerc and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet.
The title of this week’s Website Wednesday was a bit of a challenge! Basically I wanted post a few of the videos that we’ve used to try to learn more about classical Chinese music, dance, and opera. Continue reading “Web: Chinese Performance Art”
At first I was going to try to fit these links into my review… but they just made it far too long, so here are some further links for tomorrow’s review.
Tomorrow I’ll be posting my review of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. I hadn’t planned to add this book to my collection, however, as A. M. Blair stated in her review, it can be reread at different stages of life. Already my reactions to it as a parent are now drastically different then when I read it before.
After rereading this book, I looked for other books about the Hmong-American experience. Two Wisconsin books are Mai Ya’s Long Journey and Hmong in the Modern World. There’s an early chapter book called Pa Lia’s First Day. Pang Xiong has a series of children’s early readers. Several memoirs also exist.
The Atlantic also has an interesting article about Hmong in Wausau (an area of central Wisconsin). The court case described is definitely worth reading about. The article also mentions this song as a source of inspiration:
This last one is a bit of a spoiler, so you may want to stop now if you haven’t read the book yet…
Lia lived for an extraordinary 26 years in a persistent vegetative state due to the loving attention of her family. This article reviews the book and includes information on her 2012 death.
Five articles or videos worth your time from around the web.
This week I’m focusing on a few articles dealing with gender and sexuality. As always, if you read any of these, or have further links you’d recommend, please leave a comment.
Some black authors of the 1800s available free online, and exploration of whiteness and color in modern art.
After reading Nell Irvin Painter’s The History of White People (which I highly recommend), I have a long reading list.
David Walker’s Appeal: in four articles, together with a preamble, to the coloured citizens of the world, but in particular, and very expressly, to those of the United States of America, a 1829 tract by a free black man who also wrote for Freedom’s Journal and delivered addresses on Haitian independence and other topics.
Hosea Easton was another activist, who wrote A Treatise on the Intellectual Character and Civil and Political Condition of the Colored People of the U. States; and the Prejudice Exercised towards Them: with a Sermon on the Duty of the Church to Them. (Also found here.) Interestingly, his father was descended from Wampanoag and Narragansett peoples, but he disavowed any Native blood to ensure his citizenship.
William Wells Brown is an author with prolific and varied output. He’s written a novel, collection of hymns, memoir, travelogue, and the 1874 book Painter cites, titled The Rising Son; or, the Antecedents and Achievements of the Colored Race. I have yet to find that one online but am sure it must exist.
Aside from those new-to-me reads, this book also got me thinking about the concept of whiteness. Not just racially, but also in art (since race and art can intersect beyond literature).
Vox has an interesting take on all white art found in museums (warning for swears):
The Art Assignment has a conversation with Odili Donald Odita about whitescapes and the use and meaning of color, ending with an assignment to try: