Reflections on LauraPalooza and the International Wilder Experience

Originally posted on The Pioneer Girl Project:

The vast conference room had few empty chairs as LauraPalooza go underway. Photograph courtesy of John E. Miller The vast conference room had few empty chairs as LauraPalooza got underway. Photograph courtesy of John E. Miller

In July, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association gathered scholars, amateur historians, and avid “bonnetheads” in Brookings, South Dakota, for LauraPalooza. The association is a worldwide, nonprofit organization whose membership is dedicated to preserving the legacy and encouraging the research of everything related to Wilder. Those who attended LauraPalooza, including myself, wanted to learn more about the famous author who introduced millions of readers to the American frontier.

The conference did not disappoint. From novelists and academics to translators and meteorologists, the presenters were varied, and each one looked at unique facets of the Wilder experience. For me, having grown up on the prairie that Wilder writes about, the session covering non-American perspectives of the pioneer family was especially interesting. I find it amazing how Wilder’s novels, and now Pioneer Girl:…

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Black family slavery-era records to be digitized, available for free online

Originally posted on theGrio:

A new website has announced that 1.5 million handwritten records of newly freed slaves will be digitized and available for free so that millions of African-Americans can trace their ancestry further back then ever before.

The records were collected from the Freedmen’s Bureau, which was created by Congress in 1865 in order to assist newly freed slaves in their transition from slavery to citizenship.

“The records serve as a bridge to slavery and freedom. You can look at some of the original documents that were created at the time when these people were living. They are the earliest records detailing people who were formerly enslaved. We get a sense of their voice, their dreams,” said Hollis Gentry, a genealogy specialist at the Smithsonian.

Check out the website: Discoverfreedmen.org

The records will all be online by late 2016 and are planned to be completed at a time corresponding to the opening of the…

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: It’s Media Terrorism to Deny Charleston Was About Race

Originally posted on TIME:

Correction appended, June 20th.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A man walks into a crowded room… and shoots a bunch of people. Yeah, you’ve heard it before. Get used to it, because statistics suggest you’ll be hearing it a lot more. According to a study by Harvard and Northeastern University researchers, from 1982 to 2011, a mass shooting occurred an average of every 200 days; since 2011, mass shootings happened an average of every 64 days. Each time it happens, politicians and commentators immediately rush into to announce the social significance of the tragedy. And sometimes, these commentaries can be more harmful than the actual shootings because of their long-term effect, to the point of creating even more widespread damage to the community.

There’s a lot of debate about whether or not this was a terrorist act. Terrorism is a political tool that has a specific goal. Terrorists…

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FayObserver: Advocates urge Lee, Chatham residents to fight coal ash ‘to the end’

Originally posted on THE RANT:

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By Billy Liggett

I wrote about last night’s anti-coal ash “rally” for the Fayetteville Observer … below is a portion of that article.

Coal ash is all but guaranteed to be a reality in both counties – Chatham leaders approved a deal with Duke last week that would force the energy company to pay $18 million and place a cap on the amount of ash that can be brought in from out of state. Lee officials agreed to a $12 million deal months earlier.

But the overriding message of Thursday’s forum was “fight to the end,” a message delivered by Esther Calhoun, an environmental advocate from Uniontown, Alabama, home to a 4 million cubic yard coal ash site constructed to house waste from the nation’s largest coal ash spill 350 miles north in Kingston, Tennessee, in 2008. The Alabama community – predominantly black and low income that did little initially…

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Kenya Moore’s so-called ‘Millionaire Matchmaker’ boyfriend married another woman

Originally posted on The Chicago Defender:

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?Real Housewives of Atlanta? star Kenya Moore?s seemingly magic carpet ride with ?Millionaire Matchmaker? boyfriend crashed and burned in spectacular form ? over the airwaves for everyone to see.

You recall that the Moore, who has not had much luck with finding a lifelong mate (remember the fake boyfriend during her first season on RHOA???), thought she had found the love of her life with the man named James.

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Well, looks like James was already hitched to another woman while he was courting Moore and, worse, he got married just after the show ended.

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Take a look at how Moore responds to finding out that the man of her dreams left he on the curb of life to stroll down the lane with another woman:

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President Obama on Loretta Lynch Delay: ‘This is Embarrassing’

Originally posted on TIME:

President Obama got impatient as he expressed his disappointment with Senate Republicans’ delay of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch’s confirmation.

“It’s gone too far,” Obama said during a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. “Enough. Enough.”

Obama blasted the Senate’s “dysfunction” in failing to confirm Lynch, who is set to become the first black female Attorney General in the nation’s history. A career prosecutor from New York, Lynch has now waited twice as long for her confirmation as the last seven attorney general nominees combined.

Though Lynch received bipartisan support following her confirmation hearings earlier this year, the Senate has failed to bring a vote on her new position. In recent weeks, Senate Republicans have delayed a vote over an unrelated fight on abortion provisions in a bill aimed at providing aid to survivors of human trafficking.

On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid threatened to force a…

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Butt Shots Gone Bad: A Gallery of Deformed Booties

that1chickk:

Kim Kardashian….hmmmm

Originally posted on Atlanta Daily World:

Atlanta Daily World recently spoke with the former maven of a bootyfake9

boosting business, author Kim Smedley, whose illicit injections of thousands of women across the country turned her into a millionaire but also landed her in federal prison for three years.

Smedley relayed to this editor that the underground posterior pumping phenomenon began as a craze among transvestites, but then bled into the strip club genre and eventually attracted the attention of scores of celebrity females. Before long, urban female lawyers, doctors, teachers and bored housewives were literally lining up and paying stacks to get that coveted “onion” shape that men crave.

The author, now reformed and renouncing the practice, chronicles her experience in the explosive book, The Back Side of the Story.

There have been tragic results, however, Smedley also shared. Even though she was not responsible, some women going to back-alley street doctors for injections…

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Terrence Howard’s Ex-Wife Reportedly After His ‘Empire’ Income

Originally posted on Black America Web:

If you’re familiar with Terrence Howard‘s ongoing battle with ex-wife Michelle Ghent, you probably won’t be the least surprised to find out she’s targeting his “Empire” salary.

Ghent is reportedly already receiving close to $6k a month from the actor, but according to new documents, that could change for the better for her because of Howard’s huge success on “Empire.” According to TMZ, here’s why:

The deal is Michelle gets 21% of anything Terrence made over $62,500 in the first 3 months of this year. As we previously reported … Michelle says Terrence pulls in $125k per episode — and sources tell us 3 episodes were shot this year.

We did the math, and he needs to cut her a check for about $65k. That’s just from his “Empire” money. Remember, Terrence has another show — “Wayward Pines” — debuting on FOX this year … so she’ll get some…

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On Mo’ne, SAE, & The Burden of Black Forgiveness

that1chickk:

“That’s why I pose this very simple hypothetical to those Black Oklahoman leaders that stood behind Pettit: If the shoe was on the other foot, and their son had sung a similarly racist and hate-filled chant directed towards White students, would Levi Pettit’s father be standing in solidarity with one of their Black sons? “

Originally posted on Tyree Boyd-Pates:

Mo’ne Davis, an All-American little league pitcher was called a “slut” by a White male college student after receiving a movie deal from Disney. In equally outrageous news, SAE chant leader, Levi Pettit, called a press conference to collect support from the Black community in Oklahoma after leading a rendition of a colonial lynching song.

Although both incidents were commenced by white male students, both incidents became black people’s responsibility, as we were left to bear the burden of forgiveness.

Is it me, or is anyone else frustrated that there is an implicit expectation on Black people to absolve the guilt and racist behavior of white people?

We recently witnessed Mo’ne Davis, a 13-year-old black girl, express maturity in her magnanimous approach to forgive despite being called a whore by an adult. And instead of seeking any kind of retribution, Mo’ne turned the other cheek – going…

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