Web: Hoodoo (and Voodoo)

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.

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Web: Wampanoag

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:

Here is another brief introduction for kids.  These resources are produced from the Wampanoag Homesite associated with Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts.

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.

Web: Osage

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.

 

Web: Maya Angelou

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?

Web: The Pinkney Clan

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?

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Web: Deaf History Month!

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.

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