Understandably, millions of people across the world were elated by the news of Derek Chauvin’s conviction for the death of George Floyd. For almost a year, the world has been painfully anticipating the verdict, hoping for the justice that prevailed on April 20th when Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/20/us/chauvin-guilty-verdict-sentencing.html

Depending on who you ask, Ashli Babbitt was either a freedom fighter or terrorist. This dichotomy of views tends to take place along political lines. Ms. Babbitt, who was a 35 year-old Air Force veteran, and QAnon and MAGA Trump supporter, lost her life during the violent insurrectionist siege that occurred on January 6th at the nation’s capitol. The carnage resulted in five deaths, more than $500 million in damage, and more than 700 arrests. Such reckless drama also claimed the lives of five capital police officers: four by suicide, and one, Brian Sicknick, due to suffering two strokes.


As if White right-wing extremists weren’t unhinged enough, on August 10th, the U.S. Census Bureau released its most recent data that demonstrated that while Whites are still the largest ethnic group in the nation, paradoxically, the percentage of Whites in the United States has fallen almost 10% since 2010. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/08/12/census-data-race-ethnicity-neighborhoods/?tid=ss_tw)

There is no doubt that some observers responded to such news with a combination of surprise and intrigue. There were others, primarily those on the political, social and cultural right, who viewed such distinctive information with intense rage and gut-wrenching levels of fear and horror. …

Amy Cooper, also known as “Central Park Karen,” the former New York City investment banker who threatened to call the NYPD on fellow park attendee Christian Cooper (no relation) for requesting that she place her dog on a leash in May 2020, was back in the news earlier this week (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/white-woman-viral-video-says-she-had-no-choice-call-n1275898). Ms. Cooper, a white woman who was video recorded while she called the police and claimed that a black birdwatcher was threatening her in New York City’s Central Park last year, said that she felt as if she was “backed into a corner” during that particular moment.

On August…

“This is my alma mater.” “I love the university” … it was embarrassing to be the first person to be denied tenure. It was embarrassing, and I didn’t want this to become a public scandal…It’s pretty clear that my tenure was not taken up because of political opposition, because of discriminatory views against my viewpoint and, I believe, [because of] my race and my gender.”

- Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones threw a fierce curveball on CBS This Morning https://youtu.be/RRRs6iEyBHY on July 6th when she revealed to Gayle King that she was declining the belated offer of tenure from the University…

It was to be expected (at least if you live in present-day America) that Gwen Berry would become the target of invective from millions of Americans outraged by the fact that she refused to salute the national anthem http://a.msn.com/02/en-us/AALvonX?ocid=st. Berry is a hammer thrower who participated in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Portland, Oregon on June 26th. She is also Black. Therein lies the controversy for some.

If you are over 35 and have not been hiding under a gigantic rock infested with mold, you are familiar with the term Generation X. The 46 million Americans born between 1965 and 1980. The men and women who were referred to as latchkey kids, slackers, caffeine lovers, grunge, indie, or anything that bordered on the avant-garde in some form or fashion. Oh! Let’s not forget our fascination https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1994/10/27/tony-bennett-sways-the-hip/17aa7a5e-0590-4c00-8ba3-49ce70d2c296/?tid=ss_tw with the smooth, silent generation crooner, Tony Bennett (b. 1926).

We are a generation that has been routinely pegged as cynical, self-indulgent, aimless, contrarian, and often peripheral when it comes to…

screen capture by author from Amazon.com

Elwood Watson, Ph.D.

Just now·4 min read

Publisher: Bordighera Press (Fred Gardaphe), Audible audiobook (August) by Frank Franconeri

The promotional material for Marc DiPaolo’s Fake Italian touts it as a book that reads like something co-written by Lenny Bruce and James Joyce, and that is a fair starting point for a discussion of this prolific academic writer’s first novel. The book is simultaneously epic in scope and feeling and intimate and accessible in tone. …

CNN, PBS, The History Channel, MSNBC, NPR, The New York Times, and the Washington Post were among the sizable number of media outlets that devoted considerable attention to the centennial of the Tulsa race massacre. The Tulsa race massacre was a racially directed American pogrom that claimed the lives of more than 300 people and annihilated the laboriously amassed wealth of an entire community and that, save for sporadic mentions, had gone largely ignored for 100 years.

From May 31 to June 1, 1921, supporters of local and prominent Tulsa political figures stormed into Tulsa’s Greenwood District, better known to…

The late comedian Flip Wilson, who died in 1998, https://www.nytimes.com/1998/11/27/arts/flip-wilson-outrageous-comic-and-tv-host-dies-at-64.html?smid=tw-share became the first black entertainer to host a successful weekly variety show on network television. The Flip Wilson Show ran from 1970–1974 and Wilson was one of the most innovative comics of his day.

Elwood Watson, Ph.D.

Historian, public speaker, social-cultural critic. Professor of African American and Gender Studies, Post-WWII U.S. History, at East Tennessee State University.

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