New novel on Russia, USA, LGBTQ people


From New York City in the USA:

Cover
Novel cover
Come to a Launch Party for
VERA’S WILL
to Celebrate the Publication of the New Novel by Shelley Ettinger

Sunday, February 15
at 4:00pm – 6:00pm in EST

147 West 24 Street, 2nd floor, New York City
Reading, signing, a nosh
www.facebook.com/events/

Vera’s Will is a novel of tremendous insight, and tremendous import. Shelley Ettinger moves expertly between two compelling voices, between the recent and distant past, between the personal and political, writing with clarity and heart. Too many stories are lost to  history, too many voices are silenced, often the stories and voices we need most. Vera’s Will is not only a deeply moving book, but a gift, and a kind of rescue.”
Justin Torres, author of We the Animals

Vera’s Will spans the twentieth century and three generations, taking us from Russian pogroms to immigrant struggles, from family-ravaging homophobia to GLBT resistance. Ettinger’s captivating story is rich with social and cultural detail, alive with generously-drawn characters, and unflinching in its political passion.”
Ellen Meeropol, author of On Hurricane Island

Vera’s Will is a beautifully written family saga with a twist that tells the parallel stories of a woman and her granddaughter who are both lesbian. Their intersecting stories, one that begins a hundred years ago in Czarist Russia and the other that begins in suburban America, re-create in vivid detail their historical epochs. One is a story of self-sacrifice,
the other is a story of liberation; the author’s great gift is to show us how they intertwine.”
Michael Nava, author of The City of Palaces

Shelley Ettinger was born in Detroit and lives in New York City. She is a longtime activist in the LGBTQ movement and in anti-racist, anti-war and union struggles. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in many literary journals. Vera’s Will is her first novel.”
More info: shelleyettinger.com

African American poet Langston Hughes’ 113th birthday


This video says about itself:

Langston Hughes‘ 113th Birthday Google Doodle

31 January 2015

Animated Google Doodle celebrating Langston Hughes, and his poem “I Dream A World“.

Music – Typewriter – The Boston Typewriter Orchestra

Piano – Adam Ever-Hadani

Big bird art exhibition on the Internet


This video says about itself:

7 May 2014

This amazing bird dance from the island of New Guinea was [recorded] as a result of more than one decade of hard work of biologist Ed Scrolls and photographer Tim Leaman.

From the American Museum of Natural History, in New York City in the USA:

Extraordinary Birds

This online exhibit is based on the book, Natural Histories: Extraordinary Birds, Rare Book Selections from the American Museum of Natural History Library, by Paul Sweet, Collections Manager of the Ornithology Department in the Division of Vertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History. The second volume in the Natural Histories series, this volume highlights a selection of the magnificent art work contained in the Museum’s renowned Rare Book Collection in the field of ornithology.

The wonderfully colorful plates featured in Extraordinary Birds are notable for their profound aesthetic beauty, and for the fine detail which highlights the significant role the art played in the history of ornithology, as well as the skill and time that went into producing each piece. This a perfect marriage between the Museum Library’s distinguished Rare Book Collection and the Museum’s Department of Ornithology, which maintains one of the largest and important collections of bird specimens in the world.

The colorful illustrations capture the birds with a view of their natural habitat, often complete with nests, tree branches, and flowers. In addition to studying the history of ornithology through this artwork, one can also examine print-making techniques, which are further discussed in Extraordinary Birds with three essays by the Museum Library’s Conservator, Barbara Rhodes. The artwork in the featured volumes, says Sweet “…are not only important historical documents, but also serve as the basis of bird taxonomy, or the discipline of naming and classifying birds.”

This Digital Special Collections exhibit allows the viewer to browse images by choosing topics from the menu to the right, a compilation of themes created from Extraordinary Birds: Birds of the World, with examples from Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and Oceania, North America, and South America, and followed by Printing Technique with the artists’ technique noted for several illustrations. Additional images in the print version of Extraordinary Birds include many avian species and the Library’s Rare Book Collection includes more topics in the study of Ornithology, maps, illustrations, book covers, and frontispieces, which can be found by searching these topics from the Rare Book Collection in the AMNH Library’s Digital Special Collections. To enlarge any image and to see the accompanying information, simply click on an image or its title. Information can be accessed about the rare book from the Library’s catalog records, and the exhibit images can be further explored by selecting authors, artists, titles, and subjects.

Extraordinary Birds, Rare Book Selections from the American Museum of Natural History Library published by Sterling Signature, is available at the American Museum of Natural History bookshop and wherever books are sold.
Credits

Stacy J. Schiff, AMNH Library Visual Resources Librarian, with assistance from Museum Library interns Beth Saffer and Andrew Ward

Black lives matter, movement and music in the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Mall Of America Protests. Ferguson Black Lives Matter Arrests

20 December 2014

A protest in Bloomington Minnesota at the Mall of America MOA. It was a protest for Black Lives Matter protesting the death of Mike Brown and cop violence.

By Deonna N. Anderson in the USA:

How Music is Fueling the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

LONG BEACH — I still remember the first time I heard Lupe Fiasco’s “All Black Everything.” I was in my apartment in Davis, California where I attended college. When I heard the words, I was reminded of the history of Black people in America. It made me want to learn even more about my history. Everyone has a sphere of influence, and the music made me ask myself: “How am I using mine?”

Since August, when unarmed teenager Michael Brown was killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo., young people have rallied in the streets of Ferguson, New York, Oakland, Los Angeles and other towns across the nation and the world. In Long Beach, young people recently began organizing around the slogan #BlackLivesMatter, a campaign born in 2012 after Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime.

Throughout, music has been an undeniable part of the protests, the latest reminder that when used the right way, music can inspire social change.

“Music can be considered the heartbeat of social movements,” says Eric Tandoc, a DJ and a community organizer at the Filipino Migrant Center in Long Beach. Tandoc regularly uses art to inspire youth to take action on social and political issues.

“Not everyone is going to listen to a speech or read a book, but people will listen to a 3-minute song,” he says.

Nationally, respected musicians such as Questlove of the hip-hop group The Roots have urged musicians to create more protest songs, and artists are responding.

The truth of the matter is, musicians have more influence than I do, and even more influence than they had in the 1980s or 1960s. In the age of social media, the possibility of communication between musicians and their fans has been brought to an all time high. If young people see their favorite musician talking about social change, they might pay more attention to what is happening and be inclined to get involved in making a positive impact.

In his song “Hands Up,” north Long Beach native Vince Staples raps, “Raidin’ homes without a warrant/Shoot him first without a warning/And they expect respect and non-violence/I refuse the right to be silent.” Fellow Long Beach rapper Crooked I, recently going by Kxing Crooked, released “I Can’t Breathe” in which he raps, “So, no, I can’t buy that pellet gun/They might try to Tamir Rice you.” Tamir Rice was a 12-year old Black boy who was killed by a police officer last month in Cleveland, OH.

But lyrics about the current events aren’t just happening locally in Long Beach. Let’s go down the list:

• Six days after Brown’s death, hip-hop artist J. Cole recorded and released “Be Free.”
• Lauryn Hill belted out the lyrics, “Black rage is founded on two-thirds a person/Rapings and beatings and suffering that worsens,” on “Black Rage,” which she released a couple weeks after Brown’s death.
• The Game brought together over ten hip-hop and R&B artists including Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Wale, Swizz Beatz, Curren$y, and TGT to produce “Don’t Shoot.”
• Tink sang and rapped on “Tell the Children” a few days after the grand jury decided not to indict Wilson for the murder.
Rapper Dizzy Wright also released a song called “I Need Answers.”

These songs are the 21st century protest songs. While each of these songs were created as a response to the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, they speak to an issue Black communities around the country have been dealing with for centuries. They are reminiscent of Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddam,” Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?” and Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power.” The themes don’t seem to have changed much since the 1960s or 1980s.

When famous musicians don’t speak out, some are critical.

A few years ago, singer, actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte called out two of today’s biggest musicians, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, saying that they “turned their back on social responsibility.” To Belafonte, those two megastars and other popular artists are at fault for not using their influence to have a positive impact on their fans.

As a young person, I agree with Belafonte: it’s a waste of influence when famous musicians don’t speak up. While it doesn’t necessarily affect whether or not I will continue listening to their music, I personally wish that they would speak at times when there needs to be some action.

Hip-hop artist Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, put it best in his monologue addressing the happenings in Ferguson: “I think many of us are becoming even more aware of where we are, and [there is] urgency to change this miserable condition on this Earth, [as] Malcolm X said.” (Listen to the full audio here.)

This video from the USA says about itself:

Yasiin Bey talks about Eric Garner, Ferguson, Worldstarhiphop, Malcolm X and more

5 December 2014

Artist and Stop Being Famous contributor Yasiin Bey had the following statement to share regarding the Eric Garner grand jury decision, ongoing unrest in Ferguson, Missouri and around the world.

The Deonna N. Anderson article continues:

If all artists spoke up, I truly believe that it could wake up many more young people to demand change and join causes.

“I think music can play an important role in sparking the motivation in wanting to do something,” Tandoc said, while adding, “The long term organizing is where the true power is.”

Deonna N. Anderson writes for VoiceWaves, a youth-led community news website and trilingual print publication serving Long Beach, Calif., and founded by New America Media.

Young Ferguson Activists Take Black Celebrities To Task For Their Noninvolvement In the Protests: here.

From Essence magazine in the USA:

December 25, 2014 | 5:22 PM

Protesters Gather on Christmas Eve in Honor of Antonio Martin

By Dominique Hobdy

On the heels of the recent police shooting of Antonio Martin, protestors gathered outside the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis, Missouri to mourn his death.

According to the Huffington Post, the demonstrators lit candles and held posters in memory of Martin, the 18-year-old who was shot Tuesday evening by Berkeley, Missouri police.

“The intent is to gather people in honor of him and other people who have been slain by police,” Lydia Marie, 23, an intern for Amnesty International and coordinator for the demonstration. “This is another Christmas Eve a family is spending without their child who was lost to police violence.”

Keanna Brown, Martin’s girlfriend remarked on the events saying that he “didn’t deserve to die.” “I should’ve been there to protect him. That’s all I wanted,” said Brown.

Martin’s death took place just a few miles from where unarmed teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson, Missouri police Officer Darren Wilson.

On Tuesday evening, 18 year-old Antonio Martin was killed in an altercation with a police officer outside a Mobil gas station in the Missouri suburb of Berkeley, a working class area just northwest of St. Louis. The killing immediately sparked protests in the surrounding community as hundreds gathered to oppose another police homicide. The killing comes amid weeks of protests throughout the US in response to police violence: here.

At least a thousand students at the University of Virginia took part in a rally Wednesday night to protest the police attack on Martese Johnson, a 20 year-old African American honors student at the university. As many as several thousand took part in the protests, according to media reports: here.

A protest at the Mall of America last December against police violence was monitored by an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force cell in close collaboration with local police and mall security, emails obtained by the Intercept show. The protest, called by Black Lives Matter in response to the wave of police killings last year, drew 3,000 demonstrators to the second largest mall in the United States, located in Bloomington, Minnesota, near Minneapolis: here.

Michael Brown, Eric Garner solidarity in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 28 December


This 8 December 2014 video from the USA is called Black Lives Matter.

On Sunday 28 December, at 12:30, a march will start in the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; at the Mama Baranka statue.

The slogan of this march is Black Life Matters. It is in solidarity with the pro-justice movement which arose in the USA after the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

The Facebook page about this event is here.

Ferguson solidarity demonstrators, Amsterdam, 28 December 2014