Found in the LOC: 18 Pics of Tuskegee Airmen, 1945

I’m not a “Rah-Rah Armed Services”-type person, but I absolutely love these images of Tuskegee-trained Airmen in Italy during World War II.

The first black Air Force pilots, these men fought for a country that still discriminated against them, a country that segregated them, treated them less-than and that refused to give them full rights when they returned home — and yet these men still fought with all their heart. That is patriotism, not that “must kneel for the National Anthem” mumbo-jumbo  pushed so hard by right wingers.

Anyway, I’ve included seventeen other images after the jump. And, yes, there are more than a few “stare into the sky” poses, but that layer of cheese, somehow, adds to the effect.

And for more Found in the LOC, click here.

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A Reality Star’s Lie, Cloaked in Violence

Donald Trump and his cable news sock puppet Sean Hannity have been trumpeting the claim that Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians for election meddling “vindicates” Trump (pictured) and his campaign in the collusion case.

Again, this is not true, but it’s worth noting I think that while the 1640 definition of “vindicate” is “to clear from censure or doubt, by means of demonstration,” the word’s 1620’s root is much more violent, “to avenge or revenge,” according to the Online Etymology Dictionary.

In Trump World, even a claim — or, rather, lie — like “Trump cleared” becomes bloodthirsty and ugly. He and his ilk are incapable of not seeing red. “SAD!”

(For more Fun with Words, aka Etymological Adventures, click here.)

Two Stories, One Topic

Just passing along two stories I wrote recently, both related to my book, The Log Cabin: An Illustrated History.

The first, for The Daily Beast, is all about the iconic cabin’s dark side, i.e. its use in slave trade and to demolish Indian traditions. Cheery stuff.

The second piece, written for Salon, revolves around dead presidents and why we idolize their mythical cabins.

More TK!

Carson McCullers, Remembered

Carson McCullers, author of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and The Member of the Wedding, would be 101 today.

In honor of her unparalleled work and life, here’s McCuller’s theory on immortality:

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are gone, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.”

Word.

Found in the LOC: 28 Pics from WEB DuBois’ 1899 Show

In 1899, WEB DuBois, a man many of us associate with writing, traveled around America, compiling a collection candid pictures of African Americans living their lives at the turn of the century; these images were then sent oversea to Paris, where they were displayed at the  Exposition Universelle of 1900, under the name “Exhibit of the American Negroes.”

It’s a harsh name, but where similar shows in the past had othered black people, trying to denote their “difference” from white people, DuBois’ show both showed diversity among black people — a revolutionary concept for some people back then and, sadly, today — and exhibited the stunning banality of everyday black life. Of course, we Americans know that in the background there was hideous racism and the ever-present threat of violence, which makes the composure in and of these pictures all the more remarkable.

Here are 28 of the nearly 400 in DuBois’ show; many of these were taken by DuBois collaborator Thomas E. Eskew, and all were shot in and around Atlanta, some, I believe, not far from where I live now… All were found over at the Library of Congress.

(And for more Found in the LOC, click here.)

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The NRA Knows What It Does

This pattern of behavior is proof that the NRA understands its actions are part of America’s gun problem.

From Business Insider:

The National Rifle Association  deleted a tweet on Wednesday evening encouraging people to buy guns for their loved ones on Valentines Day after news of the Florida school shooting broke.

The post, originally tweeted out Wednesday morning by Kimber Firearms, featured a heart-shaped pillow with two guns resting on it. The caption read: “Give your significant other something they’ll appreciate this Valentines Day.”


The NRA has attracted criticism for its social media posts in the past.

In July 2012, an NRA-affiliated account tweeted “Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?” shortly after a shooting at a Colorado movie theatre where 12 people died and at least 70 were wounded.

An NRA spokesman told CNN the poster was unaware of the shooting and swiftly deleted the tweet.

In November, the NRA stirred outrage after one of its Twitter accounts tweeted a link to a blog post detailing the differences between various gun parts, in the wake of a shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas which killed 26 and injured several others.

That tweet was also quickly deleted.