The Way It Was……Mobile, Alabama, 1956. Series 4/5
“By Any Means Necessary”…..An African American teen, with his siblings in the background, standing guard with a gun during racial violence in Alabama,1956. Gordon Parks, Photographer.
A group of African American children posing on sliding board ladder at playground on Kennard Field with Terrace Village housing, c. 1949. Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA.
“Teenie Harris photographed for the Pittsburgh Courier for almost 40 years, documenting life in the African-American community. His approximately 70,000 negatives, recently acquired by the museum, form one of the richest-known archives of Black life in an American city from the 1930s to the 1970s.” ——- Carnegie Museum of Art
“Give him air! Give him air!” Ethel Skakel Kennedy was screaming after her husband, Robert F. Kennedy lies in a pool of his own blood on the concrete floor, a bullet deep in his brain and another in his neck.
Kennedy was assassinated just after midnight at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles following a victory speech for the California Primary on June 5, 1968. He was hit three times and five other people also were wounded.
Kennedy was rushed to hospital but he died from the effects of an assassins bullet the next day. Photo by Harry Benson.
Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce
Following the Battle of Bear Paw, ”non-treaty” groups of the Nez Perce surrendered to the United States Army on October 5, 1877, ending the Nez Perce War. While not the sole leader of the Nez Perce, Joseph emerged as one of the more outspoken and compelling figures in the conflict and during the Nez Perce’s later struggles following their removal from their ancestral lands in the Pacific Northwest.
Happy birthday Etta Lee (September 12, 1906 - October 27, 1956)
Hawaiian-born and of Asian ancestry, Etta Lee’s filmography is loaded with roles like “Manicurist,” “Girl in Gambling Den,” “Slave Girl,” “Second Gossip,” and “Maid.” The narrow scope of these roles is evidence enough of how heavily the odds were stacked against anyone who did not appear Caucasian in 1920s-30s Hollywood.
During a time when the roles of other races were often played by whites in makeup and costume, seeing actual actors and actresses of other races in films must have been both exhilarating and a bit depressing for non-white audiences. Exhilarating because finally there was proof that people of other races could appear on screen, too; depressing because there was also ample evidence that they would only be permitted to make it so far.
Typecast in roles that nearly always portrayed them as “less-than,” “exotic,” or criminal, these actors made the most of the roles they were allowed and paved the way for the broader (but still nowhere near perfect) range of expression seen in Hollywood today.
I’ve barely been able to find any biographical information on Etta Lee, but there is a very brief bio here.
The only known photograph of an African American Union soldier with his family. c1863-65
Yup’ik shaman exorcising evil spirits from a sick boy.
LOC Frank and Fraces Carpenter Collection