Miscellanea, June 12, 2021

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

Miscellanea is a new weekend feature here, highlighting some interesting things I’ve come across in recent days. This week: an historic graphic novel, a question about colourblind casting, the story of Sacheen Littlefeather, and Merry Clayton’s Beautiful Scars. Also, a poignant piece about why events like the attack on a Muslim family in London, ON are not “unthinkable.”


Secret history: the warrior women who fought their enslavers

This is not an easy history to read but I’m intrigued by the idea of presenting it as a graphic novel. Images have such a strong and lasting impact, like the slave ship shown in the article. Once you see it, you’ll never forget it or what it tells you about the horrors of the slave trade.

“…she found herself delving back in time, determined to uncover the untold stories of enslaved African women, just like Harriet, who fought their oppressors on slave ships, in plantations and across the Americas. The women warriors, she calls them, who had been written out of history.” The Guardian


Which Queens Matter? How Colorblind Casting Centers White Stories

An interesting question about whose stories get told. I totally understand the motivation behind colourblind casting, but it is critical to ask why we keep seeing the same lives fictionalized over and over again. Well, we know why, but this article talks about the importance of looking beyond the familiar to seek out stories from different cultures and countries. And, yes, let’s focus on the queens and other women who’ve done great things from all over the world!

“Let us rely less on historical England and more on other histories, where there are many more queens to depict. Moreover, there are many women who were not royals and living their lives in fascinating and complex ways.” Ms. Magazine


‘I promised Brando I would not touch his Oscar’: the secret life of Sacheen Littlefeather

A brief look at someone known for her connection to Brando, but who has lived a very purposeful life beyond that.

“…Littlefeather is proud of the trail she blazed. She was the first woman of colour, and the first indigenous woman, to use the Academy Awards platform to make a political statement. Today they are almost expected, but in 1973 it was radical. ‘I didn’t use my fist [she clenches her fist]. I didn’t use swearwords. I didn’t raise my voice. But I prayed that my ancestors would help me. I went up there like a warrior woman. I went up there with the grace and the beauty and the courage and the humility of my people. I spoke from my heart.’” The Guardian


Merry Clayton: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

She made Gimme Shelter what it was and I loved seeing her profiled in 20 Feet from Stardom. She sounds amazing here.

“All the songs in this Tiny Desk performance testify to the power of faith and friendship.” NPR Music


A small favour to ask…

Ali Chahbar writes about the use of the word “unthinkable” to describe tragedies like the attack against Muslims that occurred in London, ON this week.

I’m not saying that any single one of these are solely responsible for what happened to that family on June 6th, but viewed collectively & taken as a whole, they create a larger narrative about Muslims that we quite literally deal with & must think about on a daily basis.  ThreadReader


Typewriter keys image © Michael Sangoyo | Dreamstime.com

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