Tag: united states

juneteenth

Ten Powerful Quotes About Juneteenth

Today marks the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The proclamation was declared by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1st, 1863, but the news did not reach Texas until two-and-a-half years later. Since then, generations have celebrated the day as Juneteenth and forty-five states recognize it as a state holiday.

As we remember this historic day in United States history, below are ten powerful quotes by central figures about the ugly history of slavery and this holiday’s meaning.

 

Image via CNN

 

1. “I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” – Frederick Douglas.

 

2. “I had reasoned this out in my mind; there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty, or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive; I should fight for my liberty as long as my strength lasted, and when the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.” – Harriet Tubman.

 

3. “We’re in denial of the African holocaust. Most times, people don’t want to talk about it. One is often restless or termed a racist just for having compassion for the African experience, for speaking truth to the trans-Atlantic and Arab slave trades, for speaking truth to the significant omission of our history. We don’t want to sit down and listen to these things, or to discuss them. But we have to.” – Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X.

 

Image via CNN

 

4. “If the cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. Because the goal of America is freedom, abused and scorned tho’ we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

 

5. “Anytime anyone is enslaved, or in any way deprived of his liberty, if that person is a human being, as far as I am concerned he is justified to resort to whatever methods necessary to bring about his liberty again.” – Malcolm X.

 

6. “My people have a country of their own to go to if they choose… Africa… but, this America belongs to them just as much as it does to any of the white race… in some ways even more so, because they gave the sweat of their brow and their blood in slavery so that many parts of America could become prosperous and recognized in the world.” – Josephine Baker, legendary entertainer and activist.

 

Image via CNN

 

7. “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” – Abraham Lincoln.

 

8. “Where annual elections end where slavery begins.” – John Quincy Adams.

 

9. “…the 19th of June wasn’t the exact day the Negro was freed. But that’s the day they told them that they was free… And my daddy told me that they whooped and hollered and bored holes in trees with augers and stopped it up with [gun] powder and light and that would be their blast for the celebration.” – Haye Turner, former slave.

 

10. “Every year we must remind successive generations that this event triggered a series of events that one by one defines the challenges and responsibilities of successive generations. That’s why we need this holiday.” – Texas Rep. Al Edwards.

 

 

Featured Image Via CNN 

 

 

Barnes & Noble Will Be Sold to Elliott Management

According to NPRthere is big news in the publishing world for bookseller Barnes & Noble. Eight months ago, Barnes & Noble revealed it was exploring possible avenues for a potential sale. Now, Barnes & Noble revealed in a press release on Friday that it had reached an agreement with Elliott Management and will be sold to the corporation for 683 million. This move will mean Elliott Management will own the largest bookseller in the United States, which unfortunately has been suffering as of late. Much like other physical bookstores, Barnes & Noble is facing stiff competition from online competitors: primarily Amazon, which today dominates the book world. Amazon regularly sells over 50% of books, leaving bookstores such as Barnes & Noble in the dust. For the past several years, Barnes & Noble has seen its revenue slid downward slowly but surely, presenting numerous challenges for Elliott with this newfound sale to the corporate giant.

 

A man walks past Barnes & Noble in New York City

Image via CNN

 

James Daunt will act as the CEO for Barnes & Noble. Recently, he helped British bookstore Waterstones turn its profits around and pull itself from a similar slump to the one Barnes & Noble has found itself in. Elliott’s financial backing, with 34 billion at least in store, should prove a boon for the struggling giant in booksellers. In any case, the deal will be finalized in September, and we’ll see if the deal pays off.

What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

Featured Image Via NPR 

Bill Clinton and James Patterson

Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s Awaited ‘The President Is Missing’ Is Here!

As you may already know, James Patterson has just released a new novel with a co-writer who’s none other than former President of the United States, Bill Clinton.

 

The novel is entitled The President Is Missing and details the story of President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan, a man who’s life bears an eery resemblance to that of Clinton’s: Both men lost their fathers at a young age and had to fight tooth-and-nails to claw their way to Governor, both men have intelligent and driven wives who studied at law school (Duncan’s wife, however, has sadly passed away), both men have a daughter, and both men have stood before the House of Representatives, facing impending impeachment.

 

 

The President Is Missing

Image Via Amazon

 

Duncan, however, is a war-tortured veteran who has never been involved in a sexual scandal of any kind. In fact, he was so committed to his wife he has chosen to remain celibate since her passing. Duncan’s scandal is non-sexual in every way and, instead, involves revealed secret interactions with a terrorist bent on destroying the United States plus his refusal to name any of the details or intentions behind it. But, according to Duncan:

 

 

“I did it all in the name of saving America!”

 

 

A President putting all of our safety at-risk and claiming it was in the name of saving us; who would ever think of such a thing? The entirety of the novel takes place over the course of a few days as Duncan goes undercover to stop a terrorist who’s just released a computer virus infecting every server and technological device in the United States. 

 

The virus is in the process of permanently erasing every criminal, medical, and legal record. Every social media platform, every form of entertainment, every video, app, photograph, website and everything else the Internet holds will be gone. The United States is days away from losing the world wide web forever.

 

And, although exciting, this novel reads more like a commentary on our current state of affairs than anything else; it shows our reliance on the Internet and social media, the biasses we are fed by our news and media outlets. It ties back to our general lack of education and understanding about the political process. In turn it causes Duncan to deliver monologues about the importance of stability in Israel, the responsibilities of NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization), and even throw some shade at our current administration:

 

 

“Surrounding yourself with sycophants and bootlickers is the shortest route to failure.”

 

 

The President Is Missing is also less action-packed than you’d expect from a Patterson novel. And, as it all turns out, when the world goes down and everything begins to crumble, we won’t be saved by militaristic weapons or Men in Black at all. Instead we will all be saved by coding (Patterson and I share this belief). Still, despite the lack of violence, excitement, and gore, this novel is still groundbreaking in all of it’s history-making glory. This is really because, as publishers have already pointed out, this is the first time a novel has been written with factual, insider details that could only truly come from a former President.

 

Maybe next time, Clinton will team up with J.K. Rowling, making all of our fantastical, mystical, political wizarding dreams come true…

 

 

 

Featured Image via Toronto Star

dr seuss

5 Literary Locations to Give You the Travel Bug

If you’re anything like me then you might think to yourself, “There are so many things to do and places in the world to see, how will I ever get around to it all?” Luckily for us, we have books to help ease our wallets and escape to new places without the pressure of leaving our responsibilities behind.

 

Of course, in an effort to help us escape our droll lives, I find that it simultaneously makes me eager to visit these far-off lands. The map I’ve marked, mentally, is filled with different literary pins of locations I dream of seeing one day. Here are my top five literary dream destinations.

 

1. Paris

 

via GIPHY

 

I am a huge fan of French literature in particular, and one of my all-time favorite novels is the 1831 novel by Victor Hugo, Notre Dame de Paris (more commonly known to English-speaking readers as The Hunchback of Notre Dame). I dream of one day approaching that beautiful and ancient cathedral, caressing its stonework with my unworthy hand, and hearing Hugo’s prose ring through my head as I say a silent “thank you” to one of my literary heroes. On top of my own personal love for Victor Hugo and for Hunchback, I also want to visit the city where so many Modernist writers took refuge away from their native lands.

 

2. Rome 

 

via GIPHY

 

As a Shakespeare enthusiast, there is nothing I would enjoy more than having the opportunity to tour the country where countless of his plays were set. Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, Taming of the Shrewhave all found homes within the Italian landscape. Although I would be eager to tour the entire peninsula, if I had to pick one location based upon one of Shakespeare’s plays, I would have to go with Rome because of how much I thoroughly enjoyed reading Julius Caesar, as well as being incredibly fascinated by Roman history. To see the ruins of a world that was already ancient when Shakespeare was writing would be to stand in the glory of what humans are capable of accomplishing. 

 

3. Dublin

 

via GIPHY

 

I could very well be one of the few people alive that will genuinely tell you that I love James Joyce. I loved DublinersI loved Portrait of the Artist as a Young Manand I even loved UlyssesJoyce left Dublin when he was still a young man, and he spent the rest of his life touring Europe before settling in Paris as an ex-patriate of Ireland. Dublin was still his home, however, and all of his literature is set in the city regardless of how long it might have been since he had last inhabited it. Today, Dublin pays massive tribute to Joyce, and I wish for the chance to walk the streets and see the sites that he so vividly recalled in Ulysses. 

 

4. Salem

 

via GIPHY

 

As someone who delights in horror and Halloween, I am ashamed to admit that I have never been to Salem, Massachusetts. On top of being a haven of history, it’s also been the setting for so many books, movies, and plays. One of the first stories that comes to mind is Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible. The story itself is an allegory for the American fascination with catching Communists during the 50s, but uses the Salem Witch Trial to exemplify this point. Aside from actual literature, though, is the simple fact that so many stories concerning these witch trials and the horrible ways witches were…dealt with have been passed down, orally, through the years. I imagine visiting the New England town during a crisp autumn weekend in October, right before all of the leaves have changed and fallen to the ground. 

 

5. Oxford

 

via GIPHY

 

I must say that I am a humongous fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, and have always envisioned visiting the place that he called “home” for a large portion of his life. Oxford is the place where he wrote The Lord of the Ringsand it’s also the place where he eventually died. Although Tolkien was actually born in South Africa, he was raised and lived his entire life in England. The small cottage he inhabited is apparently marked by a simple plaque, but regardless, 20 Northmoor Road is a location that I would be more than honored to visit. In addition to his famous trilogy and The Hobbit, Tolkien also translated various early Anglo-Saxon texts such as Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and his translations rank amongst my favorites. 

 

Perhaps one day I will stop spending all of my money on books and food, and actually have the opportunity to save up and visit all of these places rather than simply read about them!

 

via GIPHY

 

Feature Image Via Amazon