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

 
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Alias_Avi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 14 2014 at 1:47am
Toni Morrison



Edited by Alias_Avi - Feb 14 2014 at 1:47am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote blaquefoxx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2014 at 2:00am

Gerald Lawson is the person to thank for that PlayStation, Wii or Xbox you or your loved one is playing on. A self-taught engineer, he is considered a pioneer in the video game world for creating the single cartridge-based gaming system.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote blaquefoxx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2014 at 2:14am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2014 at 11:15am
Disgusting that we even have to keep track of something like that
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 19 2014 at 2:14am
Whites mutilated the noses of Egyptian figurines, statues, and monuments in an attempt to erase their obvious "Negro" heritage


The sphinx, seen before his disfigurement

The sphinx, seen before his disfigurement





nose missing


face completely mutilated


nose attaked


nose broken again


The African Nile Valley Civilization (Unveiling of a hidden Black/African History)

nose mutilated


face show sign of attack


missing nose

missing nose


face destroyed


nose mutilated


nose mutilated


nose/face mutilated


nose mutilated


face destroyed


nose mutilated


face mutilated


nose missing


nose mutilated








and now you have Black people who pay Whites to mutilate their noses to erase their heritage
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 19 2014 at 2:36am

angryasiangirlsunited:    NYC!&nbsp;


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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.

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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.
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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
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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



















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