5

Over 700 Jefferson County High School students are staging walkouts and protests over proposed changes to the Advanced Placement History curriculum. According to Colorado Public Radio:

Last week, a school board member proposed that advanced placement history classes be required to promote free enterprise and patriotism and be required to avoid classroom materials that encourage social strife or civil disobedience. Two high schools in Jefferson County closed Friday after dozens of teachers called in sick in protest.

According the online petition to be delivered to the School District:

Jeffco Public School Board has just proposed a change of curriculum stating that, “Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law. Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage.”

This means that important parts of our history such as the Civil Rights Movement, Native American genocide, and slavery will not be taught in public schools. If these important lessons are not taught, children will not learn from them, and what will stop them from happening again? This is a severe form of censorship intended to keep the youth ignorant and easy to manipulate. I’m hoping to get enough signatures to prove that this is a public issue, so, please, if this is important to you, please sign. Do not let our youth grow up in ignorance; we all deserve the truth!

You can sign the petition here.

You can read more articles at The Denver Post, CBS Denver (with video), and Colorado Public Radio.

Thanks to theseacaptainsdaughter for dropping a link in my inbox.

10

A Showcase of Diversity from Indie Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction Authors

For Medieval POC’s Diverse Fiction Week

Sometimes it’s just nice to be represented on covers. I’ve found quite a few Indie Authors who’ve made an effort to ensure that people of color are represented in their stories and on their covers. Each of the following books are either the first in their series or standalones.

Third Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn: A steampunk trilogy set in an alternate east-Indian world.

Blades Of Magic by Terah Edun: A high fantasy series with a sword-wielding protagonist who doesn’t wait to be saved.

Justice Calling by Annie Bellet: A Native American sorceress in Idaho who’s an unabashed gamer nerd.

Forever Mine by Elizabeth Reyes: A stunning contemporary romance with Latino protagonists.

Fall of Sky City by S.M. Blooding: An adventurous steampunk series that sets sail on airships in an East Asian setting.

Girl With Flying Weapons: An assassin-in-training stars in a cozy mystery set in 9th-Century China.

The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw by Suzy Turner: Two adopted sisters work together to fight off supernatural evils in London.

What Kills Me by Wynne Channing: An urban fantasy series with a sassy Asian vampire who finds herself the hunted prey of a legendary prophecy.

The Queen Bee of Bridgeton by Leslie DuBois: A young ballerina transitions from living in a poor urban community when she wins a full-scholarship to a top-tier school.

The Preacher’s Promise by Piper Huguley: A schoolteacher’s journey through the post-Civil War South in a harrowing effort to uplift her race.

Pocket Guide to some of the claims Tumblr blog medievalpoc IS and IS NOT making

medievalpoc is NOT claiming:

  • that in mediaeval Europe, there were lots of people of colour everywhere
  • that perceptions of race have always been the same, everywhere
  • that fantasy and historical fiction and games should focus exclusively on people of colour, no white characters allowed any more
  • that all important inventions and achievements were the work of POC and white people have never done anything cool 
  • that everything on their blog is about the mediaeval period because the word ‘medieval’ is in the URL
  • that everything on their blog is 100% accurate
  • that Beethoven was totally black, you guys.

medievalpoc IS claiming:

  • that throughout the history of Europe, people of colour have been present in various places at various times, some as visitors, some as residents, and contemporary works of art provide evidence of this. This is because international trade, travel and migration have always been part of human life. There was never a time when Europe was exclusively white-populated and had no contact with other parts of the world. 
  • perceptions of race have changed over time and are different in different cultures; they are observing from the perspective of an American applying Critical Race Theory to art history and historiography
  • 'historical accuracy’ is not a valid reason to have no POC characters in fantasy and historical fiction and games. For many times and places, it would be more accurate to include some. It is not fair or honest for white people to claim ownership of Europe’s history and mythology and exclude POC. Diversity makes these genres more interesting, and enjoyable for more people.
  • POC have been responsible for many noteworthy inventions and achievements, but in the teaching of history and art history in the United States of America (the blogger can only comment on the education system with which they are familiar), they are frequently minimised or left out altogether. This is wrong and needs to be remedied, because it is unfair to students of colour and reinforces racism in white students.
  • their blog started out focusing on mediaeval depictions of POC and then grew; also, terms like 'mediaeval’ and divisions of history into distinct periods are artificial and applied by modern historians. They can create a false impression in students that history happened in neatly compartmentalised stages. That doesn’t mean they are useless terms but we need to be aware of it when we use them.
  • that they are as capable of error as anyone else and accept corrections and clarifications. It’s just that 'everyone knows’ is not valid supporting evidence for a correction. They provide links to sources for their claims and expect anyone disagreeing with them to do the same. Some of their sources are in conflict with each other. This reflects the fact that the writing of history is not objective and unified.
  • some people who knew Beethoven when he was alive commented in surviving documents that he sure looked black to them. There is no possible way of knowing what race Beethoven would be considered (or would identify as) if he were alive today. This is interesting! Nobody should feel threatened by it.

For MedievalPOC, a blogger here on tumblr who receives endless hate and threats for exposing people to alternate historical narratives and for discussing systemic racism, criticizing academic gatekeeping and the disenfranchisement of American indigenous people to name a few.

I’ve learned so much from this person both in terms of facts and critical thinking skills that I wanted to give something back more tangible than a donation (although this person does all this amazing work for zero money [and possibly endangers their own personal safety as well as credibility in their chosen field] in their free time, so if you check out the blog and appreciate what you learn I’d encourage you to make a donation yourself)

Thank you so much for your dedication, passion, and time, MedievalPOC, you’re making a difference and though your progress will be hampered every step of the way by those benefiting from the status quo, you will also be supported and celebrated and I hope that gives you strength.

You guys know about vampires? … You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all.
Why I know nothing about Black people in Finland before 19th century

I like it when medievalpoc posts pictures from pre-19th century Sweden. It actually kind of blows my mind, because Finland was part of Sweden and that means that there were Black people here, in my history. Because there was no Finland as separated country, only Sweden on both sides of the sea.

It is so sad that this feels revolutionary to me. I thought I knew about the history of this part of the world.

This reminds me of an article about the first Black person to get Finnish citizenship in 1899 which kind of hints that there were no Black people in Finland before the 19th century: “The story of Africans in Finland goes back to the 19th century, when the country was a remote Grand Duchy under Russia”. Which is true in a way because there was no Finland as we think of it before that time, but also a big fat white washing lie, because there most definitely were Black people in these parts of the world throughout the history, even if we’re not taught about them in school. It had never even crossed my mind that we get taught a white washed version of our own history, except in regards of the erasure of Sami and Roma peoples, but it seems obvious now that I think of it.

Here have a picture of Rosa Emilia Clay, the woman who got Finnish citizenship in the 19th century.

She’s awesome, go read the article. It also debunks the myth that racism in Finland is somehow a recent phenomenon.

Hesarin juttu suomeksi

medievalpoc is a white person making money by self-admitingly providing eurocentric commentary and then some downright incorrect ancient aliens tier historiography and is making more money than adjuncts (including adjunct faculty of color!) teaching actual history

  1. jeriorlizorart ha dicho:People say the use of “PoC” is problematic but no one has ever said why

The term “PoC” isn’t completely problematic itself. It’s just used in really problematic ways.

It’s a catch-all solidarity term that denotes “people who aren’t white.” It’s a term used in  solidarity because it’s supposed to be used when people who aren’t white share a common struggle due to whiteness.

It’s very important to know that “PoC” is a term that applies to a specific group of people (people who are not white in the USA) at a specific time in history (modern times, in this day). The racial dynamic of modern USA is the reason why the term was borne. This term would not have made as much sense in use even 100 years ago, and perhaps in 100 years it will not make sense to use it. Additionally, the racial stratification of the USA is such that the term “people of color” correctly describes those races that are oppressed by whiteness in the USA. This term may not be the best term to use in countries with even similar racial stratification, simply because the racial history is different and the racial plight of the respective racially oppressed people in that country need to be defined in different ways.

The term becomes problematic when people use “PoC” as a vague catch-all for a racial problem that happens to a specific group of people. For example, it isn’t “men of color” who are being funneled into the prison system nationwide—that is largely a problem for black and latino men. In general, different races of people face different racial problems that all need to be eliminated. Many people use “PoC,” however, as if all people of color face the same racial problems.

For example, when Kshama Sawant, an American woman of Indian descent, won a seat on Seattle, Washington’s City Council, many people praised her and celebrated her as making gains for “women of color” everywhere. However, Kshama’s struggle to win the seat likely doesn’t reflect the same struggle that a black, latino, or Asian woman of some other descent may face when trying to win a seat on Seattle’s City Council, especially with the model minority myth that permeates the white-controlled politics of Seattle. It isn’t fair to paint her win as a win for women of color everywhere. It also isn’t fair to other American women of Indian descent to water down the gains of their role models.

In the case of medievalpoc, PoC is used problematically because it generalizes the struggle of people who are not white in the USA by including people from almost a millennium ago when racial stratification as we know it (in the USA) did not even exist. It’s dangerous to apply the term like that because it creates a false narrative of the past—that there was whiteness and that people were divided by race—that can overwrite the real past and keeps people from exploring our history critically. Many people don’t know that the concept of race is only centuries old, which is a lot of time but barely a dent in the whole history of humanity. When we apply “PoC” to the past, people begin to see the past in terms of whiteness vs. PoC as it is in modern day USA, and that’s just not how the past was.

It’s important for us to know that it wasn’t always like this, that people of specific races were not always seen or treated as lesser than, that this white supremacist narrative isn’t right. Applying PoC to the past works against that argument.

Update for anyone new here- you can also check the Works Presented page, it is regularly updated.

Presence of PoC in latin and ancient greek literature

Playwrights-Authors-Poets

15nth-16nth century

17nth-18nth century

Visual Arts

_____________________________________________________

LGBTQ themes in literature (in progress):

The links lead straight to the tags, or masterposts, so they are going to be constantly reviewed and updated.

disabusing-common-notions

i’m in a lot of pain and cranky and so i’m going to yell about historical figures who are whitewashed all the time

PHILIPPA OF HAINAULT (1328-1369)

  • Queen of England, wife of Edward III and mother of the famous Black Prince (i WONDER WHY HE WAS NAMED THAT, lET’S DO SOME INVESTIGATING CHILDREN)
  • The Bishop of Stapledon is sent by Edward to find out exactly how hot his future wife (Philippa) was
  • The answer was Pretty Hot: Described her as having “a broad flat nose, blue-black hair, full lips” aND
  • “she is of brown skin all over like her father, and in all things pleasant enough” - thank u Bishop Stapledon for reporting that Philippa is a mad babe

look at this whiteass picture

THIS shit is the picture of her on her wiki page! the frick is this lily-pale victorian nonsense

here, have a pic of her chilling in this rad boat that was probably made during her lifetime or soon after (she’s the one under the fancy canopy, since fuck yeah she’s the queen)

a lot of those people could be of african descent!! (check out especially the dude to the left of philippa in the boat, as well as phil herself!!) wow!! imagine

please note also her husband

EDWARD III of England (1312-1377)

  • enormous badass
  • winning wars like he just didn’t care
  • ruled england for more than 50 years because fuck you that’s why

also

A BLACK DUDE

so anytime anyone informs you that “it’s northern europe, there just couldn't be brown people!!” please remind them that there have been multiple black ruling families of england and also to go fuck themselves.

MedievalPOC occupies an unusual space in the Tumblrblogosphere, combining an anti-racist social justice message with citation-filled historical research.

You’d think this would be harmless enough, but right now its author is on the receiving end of some Anita Sarkeesian-style backlash. 

According to its mission statement, the purpose of MedievalPOC is to “address common misconceptions that People of Color did not exist in Europe before the Enlightenment, and to emphasize the cognitive dissonance in the way this is reflected in media produced today.”

It’s become a popular resource during debates over the relative “realism” of everything from Disney’s Frozen to HBO’s Game of Thrones, and often receives messages from people asking for advice when researching racial diversity throughout history. 

Last week, MedievalPOC reader tengokujin submitted a question about a video game called Kingdom Come: Deliverance, which is currently being marketed on Kickstarter as a “realistic single-player RPG set in medieval Europe” with “period accurate melee combat.” tengokujin asked MedievalPOC for information regarding any non-white ethnicities that might plausibly be included in the game, saying:

“I asked the devs if they plan on adding any NPCs of other-than-white-descent and received a polite reply of “[In Central Bohemia, there] were, unfortunately, almost none.” A casual search turns up the Mongols, so I figured there’s gotta be more. Do you have any sources or books that would indicate significant presence of other ethnicities?”

Basically, it was an academic question. Now seems like a good time to point out that there was no suggestion that the creators of Kingdom Come should be pressured into altering the content of their game.

MedievalPOC’s reply seemed somewhat unimpressed with the game’s lack of diversity, pointing out the lack of roles for female characters. “I can tell that representation really isn’t a priority there,” they wrote. “For example, their £600,000 goal of adding miniquests in which a female player character is even possiblecame after “Live Medieval In-Game Music” and “Symphonic Orchestra Soundtrack”, and remains unfulfilled as of yet. However, being able to “seduce local women” is already a part of the base game.”

[continue reading]

6

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia: Starring British Actress Zainab Jah as Hamlet

In the spring, the Wilma will stage back-to-back productions of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Tom Stoppard’s now classic behind-the-scenes comedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, both directed by Wilma Artistic Director Blanka Zizka and using essentially the same cast for both productions.  The title character in Shakespeare’s tragedy will be played by the powerful actress Zainab Jah, who appeared as Prudence in last season’s production of The Convert.

Prudence (Zainab Jah) enjoying a pipe and cup of tea at Chilford’s house in the world premiere production of The Convert by Danai Gurira, directed by Emily Mann 

The Wilma is excited to produce what many believe to be the greatest play written by Shakespeare, and many others consider the greatest play written in the English language.  The fight for the throne of Denmark, quest for moral righteousness, and complexities of vengeance within a 21st century context will be reexamined on our stage.

GirlJanitor Masterpost

(The original title: grudgewank: tumblr edition)

over on tumblr,  girljanitor, an user who identified as roma/lakota/mesitzo two-spirited person of colour, started a blog called medievalpoc with the noble aim of showcasing the depiction of people of colour in european art history

however, because girljanitor is a total dumbaline who insists on applying present-day american race politics to medieval europe, the blog soon started to go to shit

highlights include
-calling Rroma people white and unworthy of figuring on her blog
-americentrism out the wazoo, coupled with a total lack of knowlege about, well, the whole of Europe really
-and a whole other load of fucked-up bullshit

then in an interview girljanitor reveals their real name, people do some basic google and find out their old blog posts where they openly identified as german-american

it also turns out they stole another persone’s picture for native cred
their own selfies look considerably whiter

in other words, they are the whitest of whites


when this is revealed, girljanitor desperately tries to defend themselves with some amazing bullshit stories, which include

-“i totally had a mongolian blue spot but an evil dermatologist stole it from me :(”

-“my polish roma grandmother was smuggled from nazi germany to the united states in a suitcase by white jews (sic) ” debunked here and here

-“ i am 40% native american”

-“my dad was born in a lakota reservation in arizona”, where there are no lakota reservations

- and the wonderful “magical acne treatments made me white” aka shit_that_never_happened.txt


then they delete half the receipts (including their old lj with all the talk of german genes and fake tans and pale-ass selfies), and blank out their blog for good measure

Taken from sf_drama. A more easier post for people to reblog around.

Edit: I apologize I forgot to write about the things around with post. 

The “dumbaline” part is linked to a post that has been talked about on this blog as being ableist and it is. I should have written that on the original post, I apologize. That line was indeed wrong. So was a few of them that they made

To add on to the links:

My response to FactualWiley’s post

My GirlJanitor tag, start from the last page and hit previous page until you’ve read all of the posts. 

The Medievalpoc/Girljanitor tag. 

Other GirlJanitor/A-Spoon-Is-Born/MedievalPoC masterpost