I want this poster-sized, framed, and on my wall right this instant.
Grantland mentioned Survivors this week, and I was looking for a new set of stories to get into, so I started watching.
First thoughts after five episodes or so:
sometimes dogs get embarrassed that someone saw them acting anything other than a majestic and stoic beast
LAUREN BACALL IN THE BIG SLEEP
Betty’s side eye slayed.
Last night I took my daughters to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier, & they were dressed as Captain America and Director Fury. After the film my husband and I were discussing how, of the 6 main “good guys” in the film, only one was a Caucasian male (Captain America), and the remaining 5 were 2 African American men (Nick Fury, Falcon), and 3 women (Black Widow, Maria Hill, and Sharon/Agent 13 - who were, granted, all Caucasian).
My youngest daughter (dressed as Director Fury) turned to me and said “Come on, Mom, why are you always noticing stuff like that? It’s ok, everything is OK. We don’t have to worry about stuff like that anymore.” (by “stuff like that” she meant diversity & representation in media, the workplace, and society in general).
I just smiled at her, feeling both happy and sad at the same time.
I was happy because my daughter, who, until she was 9, grew up in a society in Mozambique that taught her that men rule, and a woman’s only value/purpose in life was to produce and care for children. The fact that she now, at the age of 14 thinks that women and men have equal footing & representation in this world truly speaks to all the wonderful women AND men in her life. From my husband/ her father, (who runs a publishing company from home so that he can also be a SAHD for her & treats me as not just an equal, but a partner in absolutely everything & supports me wholeheartedly in my chosen career path of United States Marine officer), to my close friends/her “aunties” who are all intelligent, sucessful, amazing women (among them a scientist, artist/expert costume designer, astronomer, SAHM, engineer, and so many others - some single, some married, some with kids, some without, but all living their lives to the fullest) who all take the time to be there for her & mentor her.
But I was sad because, as I told her in answer to her original question “why do I always notice ‘stuff like that’?” - well, once you see it, you can’t UN-SEE it. “It” being subersive gender and race discrimination (subversive because it’s generally not purposeful - it just is “generally accepted” - ie, with Divergent being so popular everyone’s calling it the “New Hunger Games” and how Shailene Woodley is going to be the new “it girl” because heaven forbid both she & Jennifer Lawrence are BOTH “it women.” Apparently there’s only room for ONE of them in Hollywood).
Does that mean I can’t enjoy my life or something as simple as a movie? Not at all! I adored Captain America. Do I think it would be nice to maybe see some more POC in leading roles in film? YES! So, that brings me back to my first point, I loved that among 6 leading good guys, 3 of them were women, BUT next time it would be pretty awesome if maybe one or two of those women were Hispanic, or Asian, or some other race. “But Sharon Carter is white in the comics!” Yeah, so was Nick Fury.
A few minutes after this conversation my girls were discussing how awesome Black Widow was, and I told them “They’re making a Black Widow movie!” Again, my youngest looked at me in askanse “What?! I thought there already was one!”
I shook my head. “No, not yet. The film industry apparently doesn’t think a film led by a woman will do well.”
Given that the last 3 films she saw in the theatre were Catching Fire, Frozen, and Divergent, this threw my daughter for a loop. “Well that’s just dumb.”
Yes, yes it is.
"well, i don’t know what will happen now. we’ve got some difficult days ahead. but it really doesn’t matter with me now, because i’ve been to the mountaintop. …like anybody, i would like to live a long life. but I’m not concerned about that now. …i’ve seen the promised land. i may not get there with you. but i want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land."
king delivered these words at mason temple in memphis, tennessee the very night before his assassination. he was in memphis to support 1300 striking sanitation workers, largely african american, who were protesting difficult working conditions, poverty level wages and the refusal of the city to recognize their union.
although jim crow was now technically abolished, it was still very difficult for african americans to find work in the south, and for many in memphis collecting garbage was the only job they could get. but work was hard and unsafe. workers would come home with clothes saturated in filthy water and crawling with maggots. and when it rained, workers could only seek refuge in the back of their compressor trucks.
this would lead to the death of echol cole and robert walker, who were accidentally crushed during a storm, and their deaths would precipitate the strike. as one striker, taylor rogers, later recalled, “if you bend your back, people will ride your back. but if you stand up straight, people can’t ride your back. so that’s what we did. we stood up straight and said, ‘I AM A MAN’.”
and so king, despite the wishes of some confidants, went to memphis in the midst of his poor people’s campaign to stand with the sanitation workers. as he said the night before his death, “we’ve got to march and force everybody to see that there are thirteen hundred of god’s children here suffering.
because, as king famously said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, be it political or racial or economic injustice. because the promised land was not only a voting rights act or a civil rights act. it was also the right to organize (including public sector employees), a living wage, and basic decency.
and as king said, “if you haven’t found something in life that you’re willing to die for, you’ve not yet lived.” though he didn’t live to see it, the strike eventually ended with union recognition from the city and raises for the workers, but not before king’s now widowed wife, coretta scott king, defied the threats to her own life and marched in her late husband’s place on april 8.