Miscellanea, July 17, 2021

miscellanea /mɪsəˈleɪnɪə/ n. pl. : a collection of miscellaneous objects or writings [Latin]

This week: Summer of Soul, Hockey Night, superwomen, and some more serious news about abortion laws and residential schools.

In Questlove’s brilliant ‘Summer of Soul,’ a musical celebration of Black joy finally has its moment

I watched Summer of Soul last week. It’s astonishing that this footage was just buried somewhere and never seen until now. I loved seeing Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., whom I remember from their 1970s variety show, reacting to the film. Beyond McCoo and the Fifth Dimension, so many women made an impact here. One of the biggest highlights for me was Mavis Staples and Mahalia Jackson singing Precious Lord Take My Hand, given the context of that song at that moment. Chills. And a comment from Gladys Knight also resonated: “Something very important was happening in Harlem that day. It wasn’t just about the music. We wanted progress and we wanted our people lifting us up.” Watch Summer of Soul Disney+. The link below is to the Toronto Star’s review. 

“The Harlem Cultural Festival had none of these promotional advantages, although it was originally filmed with the intention of a TV broadcast, until executive-suite weasels decided they couldn’t make any money with a ‘Black Woodstock.’ Fortunately, however, the video survived 50 years of basement storage, with its bright colours and immaculate sound miraculously undimmed by the long wait.Toronto Star

Hockey Night in Canada theme song composer Dolores Claman dead at 94

I never knew this song, as famous as it is, was written by a woman, and quite a woman at that…

“Morris did recall at least one incident, when Claman went out for dinner decades ago with a client in Toronto. The restaurant refused to serve Claman because women were supposed to wear skirts and dresses. She was wearing an emerald green top and bell bottoms…’She just stood there … in front of the maitre d’ and the whole table and just unzipped her pants and took them off,'” said Morris. CBC

The cultural impact of superwomen on screen

The Wonder Woman I grew up with was on SuperFriends, an animated series from the 1970s. I always wanted to like her but found her pretty lame as depicted then. I loved the version of her in the Gadot/Jenkins films. It’s so great to see female superheroes taking the lead in their own films. 

Yes, these are still genre movies, designed to be intelligible over the munching of popcorn, but they have female directors, and that changes everything.”  Harper’s Bazaar

Meghan Markle Is Executive Producing a New Netflix Children’s Series Titled Pearl

This sounds cool and like a great way to educate kids about significant women in history. 

The show is set to follow the adventures of a 12-year-old-girl who “is inspired by a variety of influential women from history.Harper’s Bazaar

Texas is offering a $10,000 ‘bounty’ on abortions. Here’s everything you need to know.

Texas has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the US. A new law, scheduled to take effect September 1, will threatens those who perform abortion and anyone close to a person who gets an abortion to be fined. Citizens can also sue providers and anyone who supports a person getting an abortion, i.e. friends, family members, or counsellors. 

This new law would open the floodgates to frivolous lawsuits designed to bankrupt health centers, harass providers, and isolate patients from anyone who would treat them with compassion as they seek out health care. The cruelty is the point—and we will not let it stand. Planned Parenthood will do everything in our power to fight S.B. 8 in court and ensure that every Texan is able to make their own decisions about their health and their future.ELLE 

Canada’s government needs to face up to its role in Indigenous children’s deaths

In answering the question of why the truth about Canada’s residential schools was buried, this article talks about the weaponization of history. An excellent, and accurate, turn of phrase.  

In 2016, a legal ruling was issued ordering the government to cease its discriminatory conduct. Government ministers welcomed the decision but have done little to fix the problem. It has taken 19 further orders and counting to get Canada closer to ending the inequities in First Nations children’s public services that Bryce pointed to 114 years ago. But the people who were unheard are now coming forward. It’s long past time to listen, make reparations and end the injustices and propaganda that led to the deaths of so many young children.” The Guardian

Image of chestnut leaves by Crystal Smith

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