Black Hair Media Forum Homepage
BHM BHM BHM
Forum Home Forum Home > Lets Talk > Talk, Talk, and More Talk
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - The Official Black History Thread!!!! (GREAT READ)
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login
Perfect Hair Collection
 

The Official Black History Thread!!!! (GREAT READ)

 
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1 127128129130>




The Best Human Hair Available with No Service Match

Author
 Rating: Topic Rating: 20 Votes, Average 4.50  Topic Search Topic Search  Topic Options Topic Options
Alias_Avi View Drop Down
Elite Member
Elite Member
Avatar

Joined: Oct 10 2010
Status: Offline
Points: 270202
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 25 2014 at 1:16pm

When Vanilla Was Brown And How We Came To See It As White


Fun fact: The vines that vanilla beans grow on also produce orchids.

Fun fact: The vines that vanilla beans grow on also produce orchids.

Malcolm Manners via Flickr

Say you know someone, maybe a friend of a friend, who's perfectly pleasant but just sort of lacks any sort of oomph. You don't want to be mean (because, you, unkind? Never), but if you had to describe that person in a really, really honest way, how would you do it?

Call the FOF boring? Bland? Dull?

Vanilla?

We often use "vanilla" as shorthand for blandness. And : Vanilla as a flavor is overused, and it's in so many things. Nilla Wafers. Yogurt. Ice cream. Soda. Practically everything you bake. It might be that vanilla has become so standard that we don't even taste it.

"The explosion of low-fat and low-carb products has created a need for strong flavors to render these foods remotely appetizing," — and vanilla was seen as the solution. But it turns out that the vanilla we find in most products isn't really pure vanilla. Most products are made with this thing called vanillin, which is found in real vanilla but is usually made synthetically.

So how did vanilla become a kind of cultural metaphor for whiteness? It's not too far of a stretch to say that we've seen this SAT-ish synonym match in real-life: vanilla is to whiteness :: chocolate is to blackness.

Metaphors like this don't work in isolation, says Harryette Mullen, a poet and professor who teaches English and African-American studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Think about the expression "plain vanilla," she tells me. When you consider that phrase, you're probably thinking of something that lacks other flavors.

Whiteness has always, always been defined in proximity to blackness.

"Whiteness is also associated with cleanliness, purity, but also blankness — the lack of color. So I think these ideas are kind of paralleled, the white versus colorful — 'colored' — and the chocolate versus plain vanilla," Mullen says. "So it's a way of reversing the kind of implied superiority of whiteness by saying that whiteness is the less interesting color ... because it's maintained as a norm. And we also have some ideas of how normal is desired but also boring."

Given its tumultuous history, that vanilla is now an analog for dull and white is pretty odd.

Because, you see, vanilla comes from the . They first cultivated the beans and used them for medicinal purposes — not for flavoring. The Totonacs had to pay tribute to the Aztecs in the form of thousands and thousands of vanilla beans. And it was the Aztecs who used vanilla beans for flavoring. They mixed them with other things — like cacao. (Because, chocolate drank. Aka choclatl, aka xocolatl.) But it was the eventual Spanish conquest of the Aztecs that brought vanilla as a flavor to Europe and beyond.

Many sources credit Hernán Cortés and his soldiers who conquered the Aztecs for bringing vanilla from Mexico to Europe. Bernardino de Sahagún and Bernal Díaz del Castillo were among the first Europeans to describe .

Europeans used vanilla in couple different ways:

  1. Medical reasons. And by medical reasons, I mean sex reasons. According to the Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions To The World, the root of the name that the Spaniards gave the plant, was vaina. This referred to . Vanilla was used as both an aphrodisiac and a nerve stimulant. (So maybe if you want to take some cues from the Spaniards, you'll be giving out vanilla beans instead of chocolate next Valentine's Day, eh? Eh?)
  2. Tobacco. Speaking of plant products we adopted from other cultures: Vanilla was mixed with tobacco plants, which were brought from the Americas to Europe.

It's widely cited that in 1602, Hugh Morgan, an apothecary for Queen Elizabeth I, introduced the queen to . (It's said that Elizabeth had a real sweet tooth.) The queen went completely nuts — or is that beans? — about vanilla, and wanted it everywhere. Elizabeth is widely credited for popularizing the flavor, and by the late 18th century, it had caught on in the United States. Thomas Jefferson, who was minister to France before he became president, most likely first enjoyed vanilla in Europe. He , which is pretty similar to how we make ice cream today.

Vanilla beans were first used by the Totonac Indians, who used the beans to pay tribute to the Aztecs.

Vanilla beans were first used by the Totonac Indians, who used the beans to pay tribute to the Aztecs.

Brian Boucheron via Flickr

But there was a problem. Folks didn't know how to cultivate or efficiently process vanilla beans. (After Cortés executed Montezuma, the Aztecs reportedly weren't so thrilled about shelling out their vanilla secrets. And could you blame them?)

Think about the way vanilla plants look: The beans are nestled in pods that grow on gnarly vines that can get as long as 350 feet and have orchids that you might expect to see in a flower shop. (You've probably seen some chef furiously scraping vanilla beans with a ridiculously large knife on some timed competitive cooking show. Ahh, yes. Chef Chow is adding in some real vanilla to this steamed pomegranate fish soufflé. Five minutes remaining on the clock!)

So how did folks learn to cultivate the plants? Well, slavery.

The year was 1841. Edmond Albius, a 12-year-old French-owned black slave from the Bourbon Islands, figured out what other botanists had tried to do for centuries. Albius discovered that the vanilla plant could be pollinated by hand using a blade of grass or a swipe of a thumb. It was effective and labor-intensive, but once folks figured out how to pollinate the plants, vanilla as a flavor became more accessible.

His discovery prompted French botanist Jean Michel Claude Richard to the technique years earlier, and some of the French press would later claim that Albius was white. ( acknowledges that Albius was a black slave, and also says his master had him study botany.) Albius was eventually freed when slavery was abolished in 1848, and he died in poverty. But the hand-pollinating technique he created is still used on vanilla plants today, which is one of the reasons why pure vanilla flavor is still so expensive.

Given its incredibly dark and fascinating history, it's kind of amazing that of all things, vanilla has become a metaphor for blandness.

Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
smartgirl88 View Drop Down
Elite Member
Elite Member
Avatar

Joined: Jun 29 2008
Location: ny/nj
Status: Offline
Points: 14603
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote smartgirl88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 17 2014 at 9:22am
i love this thread! been dropping by and reading it for years. One thing that i find annoying is the fact that there is a lack of info on Dorthy Dandridge...when im out shopping and I come across a store/stand that sells posters of women like marylin monroe, Audrey hepburn etc...I get the side eye when I ask about Dorthy Dandridge.
Back to Top
Alias_Avi View Drop Down
Elite Member
Elite Member
Avatar

Joined: Oct 10 2010
Status: Offline
Points: 270202
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 2:05am
Back to Top
Alias_Avi View Drop Down
Elite Member
Elite Member
Avatar

Joined: Oct 10 2010
Status: Offline
Points: 270202
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 2:10am
can't find pt1



















Back to Top
NJHairLuv View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: Dec 14 2013
Location: Shady Lane
Status: Online
Points: 30849
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote NJHairLuv Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 23 2014 at 3:02am
Thanks for posting Dr. Degruy. I first saw her speak about PTSS years ago on the local show Like It Is.
I wanted to go see her speak at the African Slave Burial Ground Memorial in NYC a few months ago, but it was canceled b/c of a major winter snowstorm that we hadUnhappy

Just a few weeks ago, there was an article from the NYT about the possibility of people inheriting anxiety and stress disorders because of trauma that their ancestors experienced. I thought about her message.
Back to Top
PurplePhase View Drop Down
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Avatar

Joined: Jun 08 2004
Status: Offline
Points: 185970
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 24 2014 at 2:05pm
Originally posted by NJHairLuv NJHairLuv wrote:

Thanks for posting Dr. Degruy. I first saw her speak about PTSS years ago on the local show Like It Is.
I wanted to go see her speak at the African Slave Burial Ground Memorial in NYC a few months ago, but it was canceled b/c of a major winter snowstorm that we hadUnhappy

Just a few weeks ago, there was an article from the NYT about the possibility of people inheriting anxiety and stress disorders because of trauma that their ancestors experienced. I thought about her message.


liked this show!
Back to Top
Twisted_Angel View Drop Down
VIP Member
VIP Member
Avatar

Joined: Jan 01 2010
Location: FL
Status: Offline
Points: 9371
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Twisted_Angel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2014 at 11:00am
Whoever created this thread is freaking awesome
Back to Top
Alias_Avi View Drop Down
Elite Member
Elite Member
Avatar

Joined: Oct 10 2010
Status: Offline
Points: 270202
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2014 at 12:38am
my people, my people, my people...


8 Accounts of Black People Being Used As Guinea Pigs 

blackaudacity:

Gynecology Invented Through The Torture of Black Women

In the 19th century, the father of modern gynecology, J. Marion Sims, conducted his research experiments on enslaved Black women. Sims performed the invasive and torturous procedures without anesthesia. J. Marion Sims’ justification for choosing not to anesthetize his test subjects was that he did not believe Black women felt pain at all. In an 1857 lecture, he stated that it was “not painful enough to justify the trouble”.

The Tuskegee Experiment

The Tuskegee Institute and the Public Health Service began a study of the natural progression of syphilis involving 600 Black men (399 with syphilis, 201 uninfected) in 1932. The infected men involved in the study were never made aware of their condition upon diagnosis and believed they were being treated for “bad blood”. In exchange for their participation, the men received free medical examinations and burial insurance. They were never treated for the disease. These trials went on until 1972 when the study was exposed by The Associated Press. The remaining victims and their family members won a $10,000,000 reparations settlement which guaranteed them lifetime health coverage and burial insurance.

The Pellagra Incident
Pellagra is an ailment commonly caused by a lack of niacin (vitamin B-13) in the human diet. The symptoms include skin lesions, sunlight sensitivity, dementia and ends in death. At the turn of the twentieth century, millions of people in the United States died from this disease. Scientists claimed that the cause of the disease was a toxin found in corn. In 1915, the U.S. Surgeon General ordered government funded experiments on Black prisoners afflicted with pellagra. Poor diet and niacin deficiency was found to be the cause. However, these life-saving findings were not released to the public until 1935 because the majority of Pellagra-induced deaths affected Black communities.

The Ebb Cade Experiment

In 1945, African-American Ebb Cade, a 53-year-old truck driver, was secretly injected with plutonium, the substance used to make nuclear bombs. After breaking several of his bones in automotible accident, he was rushed to the emergency room. Unbeknownst to Ebb Cade, he was in the care of doctors that were also U.S. Atomic Agency employees. For six months, he was held in the hospital under the belief that they were treating his injuries. During that time, he was injected with more than 40 times the amount of plutonium an average person is exposed to in a lifetime. The doctors and researchers collected bone samples and extracted 15 teeth to monitor the effects of his exposure. Ebb Cade grew suspicious of his broken-bone treatments and escaped from the hospital. Unfortunately, Cade suffered from the brutal effects of intense radiation until he died from heart failure eight years later at the age of 61.

Weaponized Mosquito Experiment

In the early 1950′s, the United States government conducted an experiment to see if mosquitoes could be weaponized. The CIA and the U.S. military released nearly a half million mosquitoes carrying  yellow fever and dengue fever viruses into several Black communities in Florida. In the predominantly Black community of Avon Park, dozens of Black people became ill, eight dying as a result of this government-issued mosquito attack.

Infants Injected With Test Drugs In Los Angeles

In June 1990, more than 1500 six-month old Black and Hispanic babies in Los Angeles were given what seemed to be a standard measles vaccination. The parents were not told that this particular vaccine, Edmonston Zagreb measles vaccine (EZ), was still in its research phase and not approved by the FDA. The EZ vaccine already had a reputation in Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Haiti, triggering an increased death rate among infant girls, most not living past the age of two. The Center for Disease Control would later confess that the infants were injected with an experimental vaccination without their parent’s knowledge. Presently, it is believed that many of these families are still unaware that their babies were used as guinea pigs.

The Toxic Sludge Experiment of Baltimore and St. Louis

In the year 2000, Federally funded researchers from John Hopkins University, the EPA, HUD, The Kennedy Krieger Institute and Department of Agriculture spread sludge from a sewage treatment plant on the lawns of nine low-income families, and a vacant lot in Baltimore and East St. Louis.  The families and residents were told the sludge was safe and not informed about the toxic mixture of human and industrial waste the sludge contained. The research was conducted to see if the toxic waste absorbed into the water supply could effectively reduce lead levels in children.

Children Forcibly Vaccinated in Chad

In December 2012, at least 500 children in Gouro, Chad were forcibly given the MenAfriVac during school resulting in dangerous side effects including convulsions, and paralysis. Parents were not notified of any plans to vaccination their children at school and parental consent was never requested. The forced vaccinations were part of an aggressive healthcare initiative sponsored by several internationally revered organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization and UNICEF.


Back to Top
OoDles O View Drop Down
Elite Member
Elite Member
Avatar

Joined: Oct 13 2009
Location: Cambodia
Status: Offline
Points: 45432
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OoDles O Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2014 at 11:22am
If you guys have a good 40 minutes to burn… 
Id read this Write up by Ta-Nehisi Coates called The Case for Reparations.
Very thorough.



Edited by OoDles O - May 23 2014 at 11:25am
Back to Top
afrokock View Drop Down
Elite Member
Elite Member
Avatar

Joined: May 19 2008
Location: South London
Status: Offline
Points: 902534
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote afrokock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2014 at 5:59am
Originally posted by OoDles O OoDles O wrote:

If you guys have a good 40 minutes to burn… 
Id read this Write up by Ta-Nehisi Coates called <span style="line-height: 1.4;">The Case for Reparations.</span>
<span style="line-height: 1.4;">Very thorough.</span>
<span style="line-height: 1.4;">
</span>

good look ..

Originally read this sometime last week or so on tumblr

Titillated my inner nerd
Back to Top
Get Longer Healthier Faster Growing Hair
House of CB London
Get Healthier Stronger Longer Hair
The Elite Hair Care Sorority
Electric Cherry Hair
Hair Extensions Wefted Hair Wigs and More
Human Hair Wigs
Wefting Training
Dime Curves Enhancement Shake
Dependable Quality Hair
Switch Up your Look with a protective Style
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1 127128129130>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down