antebellum era


“Ages ago, Rebecca pitched The Zoo to Lamar and I as this absolute utopian, hippie society full of beautiful and healthy people with no concept of pain or sadness. So we went to town drawing as many different kinds of hot people as possible!” - Katie Mitroff 

“a good good friend of mine told me about a quote from…uh…someone…about how utopias usually have something/someone missing, or that you should look for what’s not there in these settings. with that in mind i wanted to make the zoomans (zoo humans) as varied and diverse as possible.” - Lamar Abrams  

For a series that has creators who are so concerned with inclusion and diversity, it’s really confounding to see stuff like “the Zoo” crammed into the narrative. You would expect the crew to be more educated about the history of colonization, especially since the main antagonists of the series are colonizers. It can’t be refuted that colonization plays a huge role in the story. Steven Universe lifts a lot of stuff from real life, but hippie communes should not have been used as the inspirational foundation for Pink Diamond’s “human zoo.” Crewniverse should have researched how colonization efforts contributed to the creation of actual human zoos long before they even began brainstorming. Hell, even a vague knowledge of Antebellum era stereotypes would have sufficed. Then the crew would be like: “No, let’s not have mostly black and brown captive humans act like docile, happy Uncle Toms, because if we did that’d be pretty racist!” 

If the crew is truly as invested in the promotion of diversity as they claim to be, then they would have known about human zoos. Had they done their research, they would have known not to represent the “zoomans” as unburdened, overly innocent, clueless, and totally dependent on their captors, because such a portrayal would fall in line with racist stereotypes propagated by white colonizers. Had they done their research, they would have known not to have characters say “human zoo.” Had they done their research, they would have known that making the “zoomans” mostly “hot” black and brown people would be a terrible idea, because racial fetishitization is dehumanizing and the inclusion of predominantly black/brown people in a “human zoo” would have unfortunate implications. Had they done their research and had they really cared about being inclusive, “the Zoo” would not be a thing that exists. 

“The Zoo” just makes it painfully clear that Crewniverse is full of really ignorant people who are not aware of their ineptitude at meeting their own ideals. 

Note: the gems are the equivalent of white colonizers and the captive humans are synonymous with colonized people. Again, colonization plays a big role in the story and the crew takes cues from real life to get that across (e.g. Homeworld colonizes land for resources, they brutally uproot native populations, they express prejudice toward native populations, the Gem Homeworld salute, etc.)

Regarding Concrete

Why are we mad? Chill out over a rough black and white sketch of a character that was never actually implemented. I know all about minstrels and early antebellum era blackface. When I saw her, that is not what I thought at all. Calm down fam, go be mad about something else please. The President is still a rapist you know. Flint? Clean water? Go make yourselves busy.

limevines  asked:

Hi there! I was wondering, do you know any tips about clothing from American 1860s-1890s? Specifically girls dresses, gowns from a richer side. Anything off the top of your head, don't want to be annoying. I check your historical clothing master post but everything was specifically English [at least, the internet ones]. Whatever you have on this subject is greatly appreciated. So sorry if this is an annoying or stupid question, and by the way, I love your art and your rocks are glorious. Thanks!

American fashions weren’t vastly different from their European counterparts at the time, actually!  Especially with the advent of the telegraph, communication and cultural exchange across the ocean sped up dramatically- American fashion might be behind the times, sure, but it would usually only be by a year or two.

(everyone stop what you’re doing right now and read The Victorian Internet, it’s amazing)

Nonetheless, American dress is it’s own beast- different resources and different politics create things like the advent of  Zouave jackets after the Crimean War, or Amelia Bloomer’s dress reform movement that is so American as to eventually be referred to as “American dress.”  The great thing about this time period is that you can still get your hands on American fashion plates, photography, and even extant dresses from the era- all the easier if you’re looking for fashions of wealthy privileged people.  Here are a bunch of books that could point you in the right direction:

Less what you’re looking for since you mentioned well-off fashion and finery, but still a great read:

I hope that’s a start!  Do remember that the 1860’s - 1890’s is a pretty broad swath- that’s forty years, almost half a century, and so you’ll probably want to pinpoint the era you’re looking at more specifically. :)



September 3rd 1838: Douglass escapes

On this day in 1838, famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery in Maryland. Douglass was born into slavery, and when he was around twelve years old was taught the alphabet by the wife of his plantation owner. The young Douglass was soon able to read and write fluently, but had to keep his literacy a secret as slaveholders decided that an educated slave was dangerous. When it was discovered that he was teaching other slaves to read, Douglass was sent to a ‘slave breaker’, who frequently and brutally whipped him for alleged ‘insubordination’. Douglass’s education, and his experience of the horrors of enslavement, refined his critique of the institution of slavery. Douglass successfully escaped from his enslavement in September 1838, using the papers of a free sailor to board a train headed North, eventually arriving in the New York safe house of abolitionist David Ruggles. Douglass went on to become a prominent abolitionist, famous for his eloquent oratory and his intelligence, which disproved slaveholders’ claims that slaves were not intelligent enough to be free. He published multiple narratives of his life in slavery, which drew attention to the injustice of slavery in the Southern states, and campaigned for civil rights issues in the antebellum era. Douglass continued the fight for equal rights after the Civil War and emancipation, advocating the enfranchisement of African-Americans and women. In 1872, the radical Equal Rights Party nominated him for Vice-President - with feminist activist Victoria Woodhull for President - making him the first African-American nominated for the office. Frederick Douglass died in 1895, aged seventy-seven.

“On Monday, the third day of September, 1838, in accordance with my resolution, I bade farewell to the city of Baltimore, and to that slavery which had been my abhorrence from childhood.”
- from ’Life and Times of Frederick Douglass’, 1881

vvilde  asked:

hey so obvs 18th century masculinity is very different today but is there a specific time when the change occured? like did it just sort of gradually change to masculinity today or was there a time u could pinpoint that it sort of flipped from Then to Now?

The change was gradual but there was definitely something of a flip point from the end of the 18th century into the early 19th century. I made a post about how men’s fashion changed drastically at this time, how it, and men’s bodies in general, became less sexualized: men’s legs and calves were no longer on display, the colors of the fabrics became dulled to browns/blacks/greys/, the male nude was no longer an inspiring art model (this is where you start seeing the fig leaf popping up to cover the peens), etc. 

There were a lot on contributing factors (the French Revolution, the decline of apprenticeship and the increasing self-made manhood, the rise of social darwinism, etc.), but the one factor that’s probably the most responsible for the rise of hypermasculinity was the rise of white male middle-class ideals, combined with white male solidarity in the Antebellum Era (most embodied in the glorification of his most esteemed fuckface, Andrew Jackson). Masculinity became defined by what the white male middle class deemed it, which mostly meant defining what it was not: African, Native, and Asian American men were removed entirely from the definition, since only, with very few exceptions at this point, European American men had the right to vote; in the 18th century, the white male vote was limited to how much property he owned, but now in the 19th century all white men were entitled. White middle class men were then defined by their independence and “manly” work ethics.

I made another post about how due to differing views of the body that came out of this rise in the sciences, the one versus two-sex model, the male and female bodies became even more strictly defined, and this carried social implications. A man’s place was in the public; women’s place became entirely reduced to the domestic. It’s also at this point that white women became desexualized and was thought that they didn’t have any interest in sex (tho while the nude male disappeared, the nude female form was increasingly sexualized), while in the previous centuries it was assumed that, in the ideal, a man was supposed to sexually gratify his wife, and there were even cases of wives divorcing their husbands due to impotence. 

The middle class ideal also came to disdain the dandyism that it saw as the construct of rich leisure - basically any man that had the time to devote so much attention to his appearance must be rich and thus a “deviant.” It’s this connotation that gave rise to the association of effeminacy with male homosexuality. And from that sprung “virtuous” and “pure” heterosexuality.

So pretty much most of the problems with masculinity nowadays has its biggest roots in the 19th century’s white middle class masculinity crisis.