24 februari 2012

Queen Bess

Centennial of Flight:

Bilden: Philip S. Hart har också skrivit en bok om Bessie - som blev den första svarta kvinnan med pilotlicens.
Bessie Coleman, the daughter of a poor, southern, African American family, became one of the most famous women and African Americans in aviation history. "Brave Bessie" or "Queen Bess," as she became known, faced the double difficulties of racial and gender discrimination in early 20th-century America but overcame such challenges to become the first African American woman to earn a pilot's license. Coleman not only thrilled audiences with her skills as a barnstormer, but she also became a role model for women and African Americans. Her very presence in the air threatened prevailing contemporary stereotypes. She also fought segregation when she could by using her influence as a celebrity to effect change, no matter how small.

Coleman was born on January 26, 1892, in Atlanta, Texas, to a large African American family (although some histories incorrectly report 1893 or 1896). She was one of 13 children. Her father was a Native American and her mother an African American. Very early in her childhood, Bessie and her family moved to Waxahachie, Texas, where she grew up picking cotton and doing laundry for customers with her mother. The Coleman family, like most African Americans who lived in the Deep South during the early 20th century, faced many disadvantages and difficulties. Bessie's family dealt with segregation, disenfranchisement, and racial violence. Because of such obstacles, Bessie's father decided to move the family to "Indian Territory" in Oklahoma. He believed they could carve out a much better living for themselves there. Bessie's mother, however, did not want to live on an Indian reservation and decided to remain in Waxahachie. Bessie, and several of her sisters, also stayed in Texas. Bessie was a highly motivated individual. Despite working long hours, she still found time to educate herself by borrowing books from a traveling library. Although she could not attend school very often, Bessie learned enough on her own to graduate from high school. She then went on to study at the Colored Agricultural and Normal University (now Langston University) in Langston, Oklahoma. Nevertheless, because of limited finances, Bessie only attended one semester of college.

21 februari 2012

Bookshelf Porn

Jag är inne i en besatt-av-bokhyllor-period. Bookshelf Porn är mitt rökheroin.

Och Flavorwire har listat världens 20 vackraste bokaffärer.

18 februari 2012

Svensk popskola del 1

Markus Krunegård har, utan konkurrens, gjort årets bästa svenska poplåt så här långt. Spelades för allra första gången på en i övrigt jämngrå Grammisgala. Allting bara stannade upp där under tre minuter.

11 februari 2012

It's all politics

En lördag i februari är varken mer eller mindre än ett glas Treo, pilotavsnittet av HBO:s nya dramaserie "Luck" (som jag förresten skrev om i går), en chokladglass sänd från himlen, några sidor i David Carrs briljanta biografi och - förstås - David Remnick:

... Then there is Romney, who, despite his losses this week is still the odds-on favorite to win the nomination; once again, he betrays himself as utterly devoid of principle. He is a kind of moral and political vacuum, and the only convincing thing about him is that he wants very much to be President of the United States. On whose side, in defense of what—all that seems beside the point. He is a vaporous and shifting mirage. In 1994, in the Massachusetts Senate race, Romney tried to position himself to Edward Kennedy’s left on gay and lesbian issues and was almost ferociously pro-choice; he now declares himself prepared to support, in effect, a constitutional ban on gay marriage and vows to appoint Supreme Court Justices who would join Scalia, Thomas, and Alito on the right. (How can you possibly believe in a candidate who reverses himself, in late middle age, on an issue as elemental as abortion when it is so plain it is done for electoral advantage?)