East Of Eden
Engraving by Thomas Nast in 1865. (Source)
I recently binge-listened to "Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom" by David W. Blight on Audible. It clocks in at nearly 37 hours, and makes great use of every minute. While this book contains an incredible wealth of historical, social and political information I recommend reading (or listening) to it all, I want to hone in on a particular event, which, quite interestingly, does not actually involve Douglass. Instead, Blight takes us to the White House in 1862 for a meeting between Lincoln and a group of Black leaders to discuss the future of the slaves after The Civil War. First, a little background from the book:
“Lincoln, a longtime sympathizer with colonization, set in motion...
There's a lot I've just found out about Albert Einstein. For example, who knew old Al was quite the ladies' man, a master at science and charm?
But another fact that I somehow missed about Einstein was his stance on civil rights. He so abhorred racism, he publicly spoke out against it. From Snopes:
In May 1946, Einstein made a rare public appearance outside of Princeton, New Jersey (where he lived and worked in the latter part of his life), when he traveled to the campus of Pennsylvania’s Lincoln University, the United States’ first degree-granting black university, to take part in a ceremony conferring upon him the honorary degree of doctor of laws. Prior to accepting that degree, he delivered a ten-minute speech to the assembled...
Merle Oberon was stunningly beautiful, and one of Hollywood's first genuinely glamorous stars. She was also mixed-race, born in India, and acutely aware of existing racism and prejudice that could've easily derailed her acting career before it even had a chance to develop. So the beautiful actress became Tasmanian with a faux studio-promoted bio, and lived for decades with a lie that even had her mom acting as a live-in maid. Sigh. From The Daily Mail:
She was one of the great stars of Hollywood’s golden age and shared a kiss with Laurence Olivier in Wuthering Heights.
But mystery has always surrounded Merle Oberon’s early life, not least because of the version of events given by the actress herself.
Tupac Shakur (Image: Flickr Zennie62/ Creative Commons)
Yesterday, I went back to 1997, and before I head Back to the Future, I want to stop off in October when Tupac's first posthumous single, "I Wonder if Heaven Got A Ghetto"" was released.
My Mom shook her head at it incredulously. "Of course Heaven won't have a ghetto! If it did, it wouldn't be heaven!" I'd laugh at her repeated response, and actually the fact she was even listening to Tupac along with me at all. But something about the song simultaneously fascinated and frightened me. A segregated Heaven- even if filled with some of the best musicians and singers and chock full of very worldly pleasures- wasn't Heaven. Was it?
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