Of all of Powhatan’s children, only “Pocahontas” is known, primarily because she became the hero of Euro-Americans as the “good Indian”, one who saved the life of a white man. Not only is the “good Indian/bad Indian theme” inevitably given new life by Disney, but the history, as recorded by the English themselves, is badly falsified in the name of “entertainment”.
In 1612, at the age of 17, [the real] Pocahontas was treacherously taken prisoner by the English while she was on a social visit, and was held hostage at Jamestown for over a year.
During her captivity, a 28-year-old widower named John Rolfe took a “special interest” in the attractive young prisoner. As a condition of her release, she agreed to marry Rolfe. Thus, in April 1614, Matoaka, also known as “Pocahontas”, daughter of Chief Powhatan, became “Rebecca Rolfe”.
At sixteen, he went to Edinburg, Scotland to complete an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering. Five years later when he returned to the USA to be a locomotive engineer, but was hired as a laborer by the Michigan Central Railroad. He thought it was a waste of time and money to shut off the locomotive engines and lubricate them by hand, so he patented a self-lubricating system in 1872. It saved money and prevented locomotive problems. His lubricators came to be known as the “real-McCoy” a phrase meaning quality and authenticity.
In his lifetime he created and patented over 50 devices, mostly lubricators, but also an ironing table and a lawn sprinkler.
Circa 1955: Jazz legend Dakota Staton
Dakota Staton’s strong, sultry, soulful voice will transport you back to the 1950s, an era when people flocked to nightclubs to hear live music, especially jazz or rhythm and blues.
Jazz critic Leonard Feather called Staton “a dynamic song stylist.” The New York Times said she influenced a generation of singers and called her “a stylistic link between the earthiness of Dinah Washington and Big Maybelle and Chaka Khan’s note-bending pop-fund iconoclasm.”
Born in 1930 in Pittsburgh, Staton attended Westinghouse High School in Homewood. At that high school, she joined Carl McVicker’s Kadets, a swing band in which future jazz legend Ahmad Jamal played the piano.
In 1954, she moved to New York City and recorded “What Do You Know About Love?/You’re My Heart’s Desire: for Capitol Records.
In 1957, Capitol released her album, “The Late, Late Show,” which became a classic. The title track rose to the fourth spot on the Billboard Top 100 because it crossed over to pop radio stations after frequent air play on jazz radio stations.
Staton went on to perform with such jazz superstars as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Gene Krupa, George Shearing, Roy Eldridge and Coleman Hawkins. Glamour was her middle name. She wore bouffant hair styles, sheathed her voluptuous figure in beaded gowns and topped her ensembles with a mink stole.
Along with vocalists Etta Jones, Abbey Lincoln and Annie Ross, Staton’s career was chronicled in a 2000 documentary called “Jazz Women.”
In 2001, Pittsburgh honored Staton by inducting her into the Gallery of Stars at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty and gave her a star on the walk of fame in front of the theater.
In 2007, she died at age 76 in New York City, leaving a legacy of more than 30 jazz recordings.
Top photo: A signed image of Staton, from the Ernest Tucker Photograph Collection, Detre Library and Archives, Sen. John Heinz History Center.
Hello! I’m reaching out to different communities on Tumblr for a signal boost, but if you feel that this is not relevant to your blog or your followers, I apologize and please ignore!
I’m a TA for a free online class from Stanford University on international women’s health and human rights. The course focuses on critical issues, namely those that may mean life or death to a woman, depending on whether she can exercise her human rights. These critical issues include: being born female and discrimination; poverty; unequal access to education, food, paid work and health care; and various forms of violence. Topics discussed include son preference, education, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, violence in the home and in war and refugee circumstances, women’s work, sex trafficking, and aging. An important aspect of the class is hope as we also learn about the women that are creating change in the face of incredible adversity. The course aims to create an international network of engaged students and would greatly benefit from the voices of you and your followers.
Class opens tomorrow!
Tomorrow is now today, I believe! Thank you.
(The second, bottom image) Austin, May 28, 1981. A Dallas member of the Brown Berets, a Chicago activist group organized in the late ’60s, at a police brutality demonstration.
The Brown Berets were known for their direct action against police brutality. They protested killings and abuses perpetrated by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department at the station in the barrio. They supported the United Farm Workers movement and the Land Grant Movement in New Mexico. In 1969, they participated in the first Rainbow Coalition which originally included the Young Patriots and the Young Lords under the leadership of Jose Cha Cha Jimenez and in the Poor Peoples Campaign. In 1969, they were invited to be part of the first Chicano Youth Liberation Movement organized by Corky Gonzales in Denver, Colorado.
The 1968 Chicano Blowouts
For better education that met the need of Mexican American children.
When the school board thought that erasing history, cutting our foreign tongues and “socializing” the youth would work, Chicanos rose up to take back what was/is rightfully theirs.
The Asian American Movement: protesters protest police brutality and racial profiling during the 1970′s (photo credit: Corky Lee)
In the wake of the #AsianPrivilege response hash-tag to #NotYourAsianSidekick and #BlackPowerYellowPeril, it appears as if (among other misguided ideas) there is a prevailing notion out there that, in contrast to other minorities, Asian Americans “lack a history of resistance” (or that we think we do), and that this invisibility and dearth of civil rights history actually confers upon the Asian American community a form of racial privilege.
Putting aside the second half of that assertion regarding privilege for a minute, there’s one other major problem: any argument that relies upon the assumption that Asian Americans lack a history of resistance is patently ahistorical.
Like really, really, really wrong. Like insultingly wrong.
"I lived in a house that the Iowa Colored Women’s Clubs had bought and renovated for the use of black women coming to the University of Iowa because [we] were not allowed to live in the dormitory. So you either lived there, or you hired yourself out to somebody and lived in their house as their maid or caretaker for their children… That sounds horrible, and it was, considering that my family were three generations of Iowans. And we fought it the whole time I was there, we kept the pressure on, as a small group of us were organized in a sort of mini-NAACP… We worked on a number of [discriminatory] conditions that were there, but that one in particular. But anyway, the good side of that, we did have fun at the girls’ house at 942 Iowa Avenue." — Barbara Brown James oral history interview with the Iowa Women’s Archives, 1998
Today for Women’s History Wednesday, we’re featuring items that document the Iowa Federation Home, established by the Iowa Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs in response to discriminatory housing practices at the University of Iowa.
Drawn from the holdings of the Iowa Women’s Archives, the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the African American Historical Museum & Cultural Center of Iowa, these documents are about more than just finding a place at the UI. As historian Richard M. Breaux argues, efforts required to maintain the IFCWC Home “provided mostly middle-class African American women students with the organizational, intellectual, and leadership skills necessary to become the next generation of black women activists.”
"Friends… are called upon to give anew and as their circumstances will permit, out of the fulness of race-loving hearts, or pride in the educational ambition of our girls and from a desire to see justified the confidence of the people at large in the ability of our women of the state to launch and bring to a successful issue worthy projects like the ‘Home.’" — Newspaper clipping: “Trustees of Iowa Federation Home holds meeting,” The Bystander, December 23, 1920