Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Something/Someone Old

I found this today while Christmas shopping for a dear friend I don't see much. She's interested in maps, and she's from the Research Triangle, so I thought this might be nice:

durham map.jpg

While looking around for maps, I found out some interesting things about Durham, N.C. It was one of the earliest cities to have a strong Black middle class. W.E.B. Dubois even wrote an essay about it, nine years after he wrote The Soul of Black Folk, called "The Upbuilding of Black Durham:"

In his essay, Du Bois sounds a hopeful note, praising a North Carolina town in which a flourishing black middle class had developed robust manufacturing and service sectors without white interference. Based on his first-hand observations, Du Bois describes a bevy of black-owned businesses including grocery stores, barber shops, drug stores, a bank, "a shoe store, a haberdashery, and an undertaking establishment," as well as factories that produced "mattresses, hosiery, brick, iron articles, and dressed lumber" (pp. 334-335). He praises the industry and thrift of Durham's African American residents, noting that they own "a half million dollars' worth of property," though their "pretty and well-equipped homes" show "no evidence of luxury" (p. 335, p. 336).

In Durham, Black people had even become successful in the financial sector:

Perhaps the most notable business Du Bois describes in his essay is the North Carolina Mutual and Provident Association, later renamed the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company. Founded by C. C. Spaulding, whom Du Bois describes as "a sharp-eyed brown man of thirty," the insurance company quickly gained a strong reputation in the financial industry, and after reviewing its operations, South Carolina's Insurance Commissioner reportedly concluded that the business would "mean a great deal to industrial insurance in North and South Carolina, and especially a great benefit to the Negro race" (p. 335).

It's not surprising, I guess, that Durham was also the birthplace of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. A group of young people staged a group of sit-ins at segregated lunch counters: Walgreen's, Woolworth's, and a business I don't know called S.H. Kress. Their work inspired many similar sit-ins across the South, bringing them to the attention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Dr. King was very supportive, showing up several times to make speeches in Durham, but the most vibrant support came from Ella Baker, also a member of the SCLC. She invited the young protestors to a meeting, and suggested that they NOT become part of the SCLC, or any other existing group, but maintain their independence.

So this was a lot of cool information to discover because I was looking for an old map!

Something New

I just started reading an autobiography of Keith Richards (for those who aren't interested in music, Mr. Richards is the lead guitarist of The Rolling Stones). It was published in 2010, which fits my definition of "new" (you may have noticed that I consider anything that happened after 2005 "new.")


I've only just started reading, and the Stones are already doing something foolish. It's post-Altamont. The U.S. government wants to eject them from the country (like they also want to do to John Lennon) because they think the Stones cause riots, civil disobedience and illicit sex ("whatever that is," says Richards). Under these circumstances, the Stones choose to drive back roads through Arkansas to get to their next gig in Dallas. And their car is full of drugs. I broke off at the point where Richards tosses his hat (also full of drugs) into the bushes, showering illegal substances everywhere in full view of the cops who pulled them over.

I expect it will be a fun read.

Something Borrowed

Did you know that we got the phrase "gung ho" from Chinese?

Yep. In Chinese, it means "work together;" it's interesting that when it got into English it suddenly started meaning "enthusiastically motivated." Does that imply that we have to be really, really into something to bring ourselves to work together?

Something Blue

Thank God for this song. It sounds like it could come from anytime from 1963 on, but it came out in 2010. Meet "Blue Collar Jane."

I say "Thank God," because when I was looking for a song with "blue" in the title, I had to wade through a huge pile of really, really bad music. I know it's a hallmark of age to say so, but jeez! there's a lot of bad music out there. Or, perhaps, the surprise is not so much that there's a bunch of bad music out there, but that it seems harder than it used to be to find good stuff.

So hooray for The Strypes, a band from a little town called Cavan in Ulster.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Well, the mother of a dude in prison hired me to dispose of a misdemeanor criminal case so that her son could be eligible for parole. The plea reduced the original crime to the level of a traffic ticket so that the dude did not have to be present in court. Texas will not pay for police escort on a bench warrant unless the prisoner is needed in court under extraordinary circumstances, such as being a key witness.
Mom flipped, accused me of taking bribes, said she would have me disbarred. I told her if she called me, or set foot on my property, I would file charges on her.
Welp, over the weekend, Dad spoke to his son, the son was delighted with the plea bargain, so Dad is cooperating. I am a good lawyer this week. The son would have spent an additional 3 years in the joint. I hope to meet him in person when he paroles out.
If I ever again have time to read a book, it will be "Life".
I bought a map for a road trip last week. I forgot to put it in the truck. We wound up in the wrong state. Maps are good things.

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magiamma's picture

and all

blue music - just thought you might enjoy this


"Blue" centers on the hopes and fears of a young black couple as they raise a son in 21st-century America. Prior to the world premiere, Glimmerglass Festival artistic and general director Francesca Zambello moderated a discussion with the work’s creators, Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell

Thanks for the ot. Take good care and stay safe.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

enhydra lutris's picture


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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

Even in the Harry Potter universe, unlike money under MMT, one can’t simply conjure up food out of nothing … some sort of magical Pelosi pay-go law seems to be in effect.

It’s not fairrrr!

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Raggedy Ann's picture

Although it is afternoon, already, lol.

I'm a map person! I love the Rand-McNally Atlas and just purchased the 2021 issue for my current road trip.

The movie "The Best of Enemies" talks about when Durham integrated it's schools. Great movie.

Enjoy the day! Pleasantry

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"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." E.M.Foster

enhydra lutris's picture

You don't even begin to know bad music ... think, 'tis the season of bad music.
All kinds kinds of people who are, wannabe, or once were, "in music" need to crank stuff out every year in order to stay relevant, and the best, easiest way, is to do their interpretation of some xmas song, 75% of which are already, per se, bad in and of themselves.No matter what your tastes and preferences, nor matter how eclectic they are, there will be whole genres that you mostly dislike. Then there are fads, the first couple of tunes incorporating the millenial wail were ok, but when it became to include it, preferably multiple times, in any and every song, a whole extended period of pop music became, from my perspective, bad music. Then there's tru-tone; again a novelty became a style and that whole style sucked, especially those using tru-tone to generate a millenial wail.

So what happens, Maybe 5 to 10 percent of any year's output is really, really good, andother 5 to 10% really, really bad. Even if you bless all of the rest with the "mediocre" categorization, the pile of music not included in the really, really good bin grows 9 times faster that the pile of stuff you would like to listen to. At I don't know how many thousand of new tunes per annum, the small fraction that you really like becomes, statistically, vanishingly small.

One can either assemble huge quantities of thematic playlists like somebody named something like JtC, or do searches like blue+(old reliables pick list) ...

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

@enhydra lutris

cleaned out the rest of the comment and won't let me re-insert it. so ...

That said, thanks for introducing me to that band and tune

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

Linda or Roy (flip) and it's heads:

be well and have a good one

4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --