What did/are you going to have for a snack today? Will you share it?
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OUR CRUMBLING DEMOCRACY
Nice obit of Leon Litwack in yesterday's NYT (that URL should allow you to read the article even if you don't subscribe).
Leon Litwack, a leather-jacket-wearing, blues-loving historian whose pioneering books on slavery and its aftermath demonstrated how Black people thought about and shaped their own liberation, even as they were constrained by racism in American society, died on Aug. 5 at his home in Berkeley, Calif. He was 91.
His wife, Rhoda Litwack, said the cause was bladder cancer.
Professor Litwack, a son of left-wing immigrants from Russia, brought an ethos of patriotic dissent to both his teaching and his scholarship at the University of California, Berkeley, insisting that the historian’s job is to give voice to the marginalized and to make the well-off uncomfortable. He sought to teach students, he said in a 2001 interview, to “feel the past in ways that may be genuinely disturbing.”
Beginning in the early 1960s, a time when many historians still treated enslaved and freed Black people as passive actors in their own narratives, he cut a different path, immersing himself in the archives to discover Black voices and their stories and show how they thought about, and struggled against, oppression.
One notable fruit of that effort was “Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery” (1979), which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
Blargh: Re-key the building to stop package thieves, and of course, it's the cluster-fuck it always is.