Only yesterday a smart young Ph.D. student told me his supreme goal was to keep himself from checking his email more than once an hour, though he doubted he would achieve such iron discipline in the near future. At present it was more like every five to ten minutes. So when we read there are more breaks, ever more frequent stops and restarts, more input from elsewhere, fewer refuges where the mind can settle. It is not simply that one is interrupted; it is that one is actually inclined to interruption. Hence more and more energy is required to stay in contact with a book, particularly something long and complex.
Women of the World Wednesday: Ida Wells (1862-1931) was born into slavery in Holly Springs, Mississippi, just six months before the Emancipation Proclamation. Her father was a carpente, and an advocate of education for liberated slaves. He also had an interest in politics. Ida’s mother oversaw her religious education and made sure that all her children were well versed in the Bible.
When Ida was 16, her parents and some of her siblings died of yellow fever while she was away visiting relatives. Ida was convinced that she should act as guardian her remaining siblings. She coiffed her hair and styled her dress so that she would look older and took on a position as a teacher. After a few years, when the older children had apprenticeships, she moved with her younger siblings to Memphis, Tennessee, and began teaching at Fisk University.
While traveling by train in 1884, Ida was forcibly removed from a first-class car, despite having purchased a first-class ticket, and told to move to the “Jim Crow” car for African-Americans. She sued the railroad and won the case. The decision was later overturned by the Tennessee Supreme Court, and this motivated Ida to become an activist against racial injustice.
Ida joined a literary society in Memphis and began writing essays about the social conditions that African Americans were facing. Her essays were so well received that she began writing for church publications. In 1887 she became part owner and a reporter for Free Speech and Highlight. As a consequence of her unabashed editorials about this racial maltreatment, she was fired from her teaching position in 1891.
In 1892 three of Ida’s friends, all successful businessmen, were killed by whites and their businesses destroyed. Ida published an editorial about the story, accusing the attackers of being jealous of the victims’ success and condemning them for their actions. She was out of town when the story went to press, and her office was mobbed with angry whites, who destroyed her printing press and vowed to kill her when she returned to town.
Ida never returned to Tennessee, but she continued to write under the pen name “lola,” for New York Age and other weekly newspapers with African-American readerships. She travelled the Northeast, as well as England, on speaking tours and encouraged people to speak up against lynchings. She wrote pamphlets such as On Lynchings, Southern Horrors, A Red Record, and Mob Rule in New Orleans.
In 1895 Ida moved to Chicago, where she met and married Frederick Barnett. She continued to write and also supported the women’s suffrage movement. She worked with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and established a settlement house for African-American men and women.
After her death in 1931, the city of Chicago honored Ida by naming a public housing project after her. She was also featured on a U.S. postage stamp in 1990, in recognition of her work as a civil rights activist.
Sources: “Ida. B. Wells-Barnett.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 13 June 2014.
"Ida Bell Wells-Barnett." Almanac of Famous People. Gale, 2011. Biography in Context. Web. 13 June 2014.
Photograph by Mary Garrity, c. 1893, courtesy of the National Endowment for Humanities.
JUST SAYING that neither of their outfits are acceptable to be zip lining in. Way too much exposed skin just waiting for rope burn, and Kanye’s shirt could absolutely be pinched in gears because it’s too baggy. Safety before fashion, people.
June 18, 1983: Sally Ride Becomes the First American Woman in Space
On this day in 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. She was a mission specialist aboard the Challenger. She rode the space shuttle Challenger into orbit in 1983, but she was also a NASA adviser, a lifelong educator, and a founder of Sally Ride Science, a venture dedicated to inspiring and teaching young people, especially girls, about science and space.
The kinds of bodies we see in the media directly influence the kinds of bodies that we come to value as a society, and studies have pointed to the fact that exposure to diverse body types can make us more accepting. While we still have a long way to go before the dominant idea of what’s attractive expands to include anything outside the very, very thin, we luckily have “Orange Is the New Black,” steadfastly paving the way.
Why The Body Diversity On ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Is So Important (Huffington Post)