I was a little dismayed to note that among the “best” things that happened to me today was learning about the extent of indigenous slavery, which was more prevalent in the New England colonies than African slavery until 1720! But it’s the truth! This beautifully produced, 12-minute documentary is a suitable conversation starter for ANY classroom where the history of slavery, or themes of inequality are talked about.
Zinn’s decision to not report his male students’ grades to the Selective Service System is one eloquent moment in the history of educators who defied the grading policies of those allegedly in charge (Thanks to Rethinking Schools for republishing this gem, which scholar Robert Cohen found in the archives at NYU, where Zinn’s papers are kept!)
My quarantine boredom is turning to anxiety as states begin reopening after months of pandemic-related lockdowns. Closer to home, my mother returned to the front lines on May 28. She is the practice manager of a pediatrician’s office in Manhattan, New York City, one of the hardest-hit COVID-19 hot spots in the world. She is […]
I have not read writing about the pandemic with this much clarity and sense of purpose than these high school diarists. Really brilliant! Raw, real emotions. As dire as the situation seems, these teenagers bring the perspective to motivate the work that may bring about the changes they themselves proscribe, with such pin-point accuracy almost innocence perhaps, but never naivete! Kudos to T74 for this great idea.
This is the best clarification of the global situation with Covid-19 I’ve read so far. Is it a “Chinese Virus” a “Market Virus” or a “Value Virus” we have on our hands? Andy Liu’s writing about China’s role in a global capitalist nexus is stellar. This essay reminds me of David Foster Wallace in its attention to detail and moral clarity. Excellent!
Books, pamphlets and periodicals: p. 143-151
Great resource from The Internet Archive, itself a great resource! Looking forward to digging into this, which was referenced in a 1989 History of Education Quarterly Article by Kenneth Teitelbaum, and William Reese. Reference to this work, or possibly to the Russian institution with a similar name (spelled, of course, with a K) lives on in podcast form under the auspices of The Antifada, which, I have to credit for making me aware of this particular portmanteau word, and the phenomena it points to.
This Japanese documentary is about a Japanese man who sets up a phone booth in his garden as an invitation to those who are mourning family missing after the tsunami of March 11, 2011. The public radio mainstay, This American Life, produced an audio version of this story in English in 2016, which I’ll link below
This is a really powerful story about the bonds of family tested by world-historic disaster. Spoiler alert: family wins! But you may need a box of tissues to get through these tear-jerker docs.
I want to say that the major theme of this story– a metaphysical connection that defies space, time and death– is one that appears in a lot of great Japanese pop culture as well, most recently, the animation and manga, “Kimi no na ha” is a teenage romantic twist that was very commercially successful.
Dream Action Oklahoma (affiliated with United We Dream, the nation’s largest immigration youth-led network) is organizing a coalition of groups in Oklahoma for a large peaceful protest at Fort Sill on Saturday, July 20, 2019. This past March, Tsuru for Solidarity, a direct action, nonviolent project of allied organizations within the Japanese American community, gathered in Crystal City, Oklahoma in collaboration with pilgrims from allied national organizations and networks. Crystal City, a former WWII internment camp in Texas, housed over 2,000 persons of Japanese ancestry. The gathering was to protest conditions at the nearby South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. 30,000 tsuru(origami cranes) were strung on the fences surrounding the detention center to demonstrate solidarity with those detained, including unaccompanied children separated from their families. Last month, the Dept. of Health and Human Services announced that up to 1,400 unaccompanied migrant children would be transferred from Texas to Fort Sill, Oklahoma—another former WWII internment camp that held 700 persons of Japanese ancestry, including 90 Buddhist priests. Tsuru for Solidarity has been invited to participate and a Buddhist memorial service will be part of the day’s events. Fort Sill, a military site, is a historic concentration camp that was used to imprison indigenous people forcibly removed from their lands. It is a place where native children were forcibly taken from their families and placed in re-education schools. It is a site where over 700 American men from the Japanese American community, including 90 Buddhist monks, were imprisoned during WWII. Concentration camps are used to indefinitely detain minority groups in violation of human and civil rights and without due process. Fort Sill is being prepared to once again become a concentration camp. Concentration camps are now being used across the U.S. on a scale not seen since the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans. It’s time for us to reclaim our moral center and our human commitment to one another. We are interconnected. What happens to one of us affects all of us. Speak out, show up, and get involved. Please join us in this movement.
Tsuru for Solidarity is a non-violent, direct action project of Japanese American WWII camp survivors, descendants, and allies fighting to end detention sites and support front-line immigrant and refugee communities that are experiencing injustice and oppression.
There was a fantastic review of Ursula K. Le Guin’s ouvre in the summer edition of Dissent by Sarah Jones. This was by no means the first time the author’s name has come up for me. She has been in the background of my political consciousness for some time, peeking out most recently with this piece and and the interview of Kim Stanley Robinson that was on the antifada earlier this year.
So, I was excited to dig into a copy of The Dispossessed, Le Guin’s 1974 SciFi classic last weekend after wrapping up the sometimes sentimental collection of short stories by Toshio Mori in Yokohama, California. It is always reassuring to me to be reminded that brilliant artists such as Le Guin have always been wrestling with ideas like the abolition of state-violence, sexual liberation, and radical forms of education and government. I expect to continue being inspired by what has started off as a genre-defying bit of genre-fiction.
Source: Ursula K. Le Guin’s Revolutions by Sarah Jones in Dissent (Summer 2019)
Fifty years ago, when Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, a devastated James Baldwin made a final attempt to reconcile the generational divide between the civil rights movement and Black Power.
Source: Baldwin’s Lonely Country
Ed Pavlic at Boston Review