Category Archives: Current Events

Why Stacey Abrams Keeps Georgia on my Mind

By Mandy Ryan

On June 9th, 2020, I stood in a long line waiting to vote in the 2020 presidential primary election  in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. My polling place was located in the heart of Sweet Auburn, a historically black neighborhood that is home to the famous Ebenezer Church, The King Center, and the final resting place of Martin Luther King, Jr. The line was so long that I couldn’t even see the building I was going to be voting in. More people were pouring in because their polling locations had closed overnight and they were told to come here at the last minute. The polling volunteer staff were short-handed and it wasn’t until after waiting two hours that many realized they weren’t standing in the right line for their temporary polling place. After three hours of waiting and three broken machines, I was finally able to cast my vote.

Five months later many would repeat this same struggle. Despite this, due to intense work by grassroots organizers, Black voter turnout increased by 25%, Latinx voter turnout by 18%, and Asian voter turnout by 12%. The increased voter turnout and mobilization of voters was due to the history of intense work by grassroots organizers, including an emerging breakout political leader, Stacey Abrams.

Who is Stacey Abrams?

Stacey Abrams has become a trailblazer as a political leader and had a huge impact on voter engagement, especially in underserved and diverse communities. Born in Wisconsin, she moved to Georgia in 1989 with her parents. Abrams earned a B.A. from Spelman College, before becoming a Texas Longhorn. She graduated from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT with her Masters in Public Affairs in 1998 and went on to receive her JD from Yale Law School. She would later receive the LBJ School’s Distinguished Public Service Award in 2019.

Abrams returned to Georgia where she held various local political appointments, including Deputy City Attorney for the city of Atlanta. She was elected a member of the Georgia State House of Representatives in 2006, representing the 89th district. She was the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly and was the first African-American to lead in the House of Representatives. She remained a representative and was the minority leader for 11 years before relinquishing her seat to run for governor. In her spare time, Abrams is also an accomplished novelist under the pen name Selena Montgomery. 

The 2018 Georgia Governor’s Race

In 2018, Abrams became the first Black woman to be nominated by a major party as a candidate for Governor in her home state of Georgia. She won the democratic primary against Stacey Evans by a landslide 75% of the vote and celebrated her historic win with a moving speech, saying, “We are writing the next chapter of Georgia’s history, where no one is unseen, no one is unheard and no one is uninspired.”

Running against her was the current Secretary of State, Brian Kemp. Kemp held the position of Secretary of State for 8 years in a state that had earned a reputation as being one of the strictest on voting laws in the country. In 2018, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights stated that “no state has done more than Georgia in recent years to make voting difficult, especially for minorities.”

Georgia policy dictated that the voter registration polls be routinely cleaned up to remove those who had died, moved away, or voters that hadn’t voted in the previous two elections. At the height of the election season, over 500,000 registered voters were removed from the list, with 107,000 due to inactivity.

Stacey Abrams lost the Governor race to Brian Kemp by 55,000 votes in a race that saw an all time record breaking voter turnout in Georgia. Over 4 million votes were counted, representing 74% of all registered voters, and broke the previous record of 3.9 million voters in 2008. The state also saw a record number of early-voting, with 2,418,550 Georgians casting their ballots in the 45 days leading up to the election.

In a speech ending her candidacy for governor, Stacey called out voting policies and restrictions in Georgia that made voting difficult and stated, “Concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede.”

She did acknowledge that Kemp would be the next governor of Georgia and the legitimacy of the election, but challenged the policies of disenfranchising voters and sought ways to improve election operations moving forward.

The Creation of Fair Fight

In her speech, Abrams introduced Fair Fight, an non-partisan initiative to fund and train voter protection teams in 20 battleground states. Fair Fight Action works to engage voter mobilizations and increase education on policies especially in underserved communities regardless of political affiliation. It also helps to combat and bring awareness to potential voter suppression in Georgia and across the nation. With Abrams’ work and support, Fair Fight and her previous organization, New Georgia Project went on to register over 800,000 new voters for the 2020 Presidential election.

Abrams’ part in engaging and mobilizing voters, increasing voter turnout in marginalized communities, and combating voter suppression in Georgia during the 2020 election season resulted in her nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize.

What’s Happening Now

Less than 6 months following the 2020 November Presidential election, Georgia State Representatives passed SB202, or “The Election Integrity Act of 2021.” The new law makes a number of changes to the current voting structure in Georgia. It makes the pandemic-era absentee or mail-in ballots permanent, but it limits the number of people who can request mail-in ballots, expands identification requirements to receive a mail-in ballot, and decreases the time to request them by half. Additionally, mail-in or absentee ballot drop boxes will be limited to just early voting days and have been moved inside government buildings.

Outside of mail-in voting, the bill also gives state-level officials the authority to take control of county election boards that have had reported issues in voting for the previous two years. It includes language that would remove the Secretary of State as chair of the State Election Board, and places decision-making in the hands of the 5 board members. Furthermore, the bill criminalizes third-parties providing water or food to those waiting in voting lines. Civil rights groups are speaking out, calling the bill voter suppression and in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

How It Affects Texas

While Georgia may be the first state to pass new voting laws, it’s probably not the last. In fact, over 41 states currently have bills on the docket that would change current voting procedure, including Texas. The Texas State Senate advanced Senate Bill 7, a bill similar to Georgia’s, imposing similar restrictions on mail-in ballots, limiting early voting periods, and prohibiting distribution of voter registration applications to those who don’t request them. The bill was widely debated in the house, with politicians adding amendments to address language that had advocates for Black, Latinx, and disabled voters concerned. The bill passed the house, but is still undergoing rewriting.

Reactions

Organizations such as ARL have signed a Statement on Voting Rights by Higher Education, stating a concern that new policies regarding student voter registration may make voting more difficult across college campuses. Texas organizations, such as AARP and the Texas League of Women Voters also raised concerns for the impact it would have on constituents.

What Can You Do?

In honor of fellow Longhorn Stacey Abrams, and in light of the current state bills, I encourage you to stay informed on new voting laws and how they may affect your current voting process.  Below are a list of resources to help you stay aware and keep you prepared so that your voting will go smoothly in the next election cycle. If you’d like to know more about Stacey Abrams, local Austin bookstore, Book People, will be hosting a virtual event with her this Saturday to discuss her new novel.

Voting Resources:

Organizations Dedicated to Voter Mobilization:

  • Move Texas: “MOVE is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, grassroots organization building power in underrepresented youth communities through civic education, leadership development, and issue advocacy.”
  • Common Cause – Texas: “Common Cause Texas has an innovative, pragmatic, and comprehensive pro-democracy agenda. We’re here to build a better democracy in our Lone Star State.”
  • Jolt Initiative: “Jolt initiative is a 501c3 non-profit organization that increases the civic participation of Latinos to build a stronger democracy and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard.”
  • Black Voters Matter: “Black Voters Matter goal is to increase power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities.”
  • Rev-up Texas: a non-partisan statewide effort to outreach and to empower persons with disabilities and our allies to get more involved in electoral politics.

Organizations Promoting Diverse Political Candidates

Books by Stacey Abrams

GLSEN’s Day of Silence 2021: Silence & Violence in the Library Catalog

by Devon Murphy & Elizabeth Gerberich

Today thousands of students and educators nationwide are participating in GLSEN’s Day of Silence. Originally created by UVA student Maria Pulzetti in 1996 as part of a class project, GLSEN now helps organize the annual event in which participating students & educators remain silent throughout the school day to draw attention to erasure and harassment of LGBTQ students inside the classroom. Through their silence, participants intend to highlight the power of words—to show how both violent language and the failure to acknowledge existence contribute to the exclusion and dehumanization of queer and trans students.  

GLSEN Day of Silence Logo that features a red, monochromatic picture of an open mouth

Words are the foundation of our profession, and as library staff, it’s crucial we recognize the ways in which erasure and violence have been built—often purposefully—into our systems. Last month on the blog, Daniel Arbino & Gina Bastone highlighted how UT librarians subverted standard cataloging practices to create two collections, the Black Queer Studies Collection and the Latinx LGBTQ Collection, that challenge racist, homophobic, and transphobic library systems.  In observation of Day of Silence, we wanted to both provide some further context for the cataloging practices that Daniel & Gina mention and spotlight efforts of queer and trans librarians in developing their own descriptive vocabularies. 

Cataloging, by nature, requires categorization, and institutional classification of groups of people always reflects broader histories of power and struggle. Libraries, as institutions, are no exception. Epistemic networks connect library work to other academic, state, and professional institutions’ vocabularies, which inform the language we use in cataloging and descriptive practices today. Literary warrant, or the practice of using existing domain literature to create terms, directly links the descriptive methodologies used by varied institutions and scholars to thesauri like Library of Congress (LCSH) and the Getty Vocabularies. At LCSH, which was first formed in the 1890s, early to mid-20th century medical and psychological scholarship were employed as appropriate sources to build vocabularies for LGBTQ+ concepts, crystallizing terms meant to pathologize LGBTQ+ communities for organizing, describing, and disseminating library holdings. Other terms, like those for Indigenous gender identities, were deliberately excluded from these vocabularies in accordance with early anthropological theories and assimilationist government projects. LCSH’s dominance in cataloging standards broadened this impact with archives, academic institutions, and visual resource collections also implementing LCSH-derived content.  

Legacies of biolence and exclusion are particularly salient in the lack of appropriate transgender, queer, and nonbinary terminology in LCSH that demonstrates the full & rich diversity of gender expressions. For example, nonbinary is still a “see also” term, meaning that it is not preferred for cataloging use and does not have a persistent identifier assigned, limiting its cataloging utility further. Problematic hierarchies and knowledge organization systems also hamstring LGBTQ+ descriptive efforts, as demonstrated by the fact that materials pertaining to Two-Spirit people are still located solely under the broader “Indians of Americasubject heading. Issues abound in other vocabulary systems as well, such as the Getty Vocabularies: artist records within Getty’s Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) can only have a male, female, or N/A value for gender. While FAST, or Faceted Application of Subject Terminology, replicates some of LCSH’s terminology issues, due to its vocabulary base being built from LCSH terms.  

The cover of "Lavender Legacies," an early resource for LBGTQ + documents and vocabularies
The cover of “Lavender Legacies,” an early resource for LBGTQ + documents and vocabularies.

Wherever there are systems of power, there are always histories of resistance—changes to cataloging terms, like changes in any other institution, mirror these histories, too. Trans and queer communities have a strong tradition of self-determination: creating their own terms, vocabularies, and knowledge collectives to suit their needs, and LGBTQ+ library professionals have sought to change violent terminology for better & more inclusive knowledge sharing. In the 1970s and 80s, these efforts focused on changing terms in LCSH that classified gay and lesbian subjects as “sexual perversions,” and further sustained efforts in the following decades have led to additions of LGBTQ+ terms to reflect Trans identities, even though limited in scope. Adoption of terms like Two-Spirit/2 spirit” and Indigiqueer” in the catalog seek to reclaim Indigenous trans/queer identities violently suppressed by colonialism. Continuing in these traditions, library/archives staff and scholars have also collaborated to create resources outside of LCSH to improve LGBTQ+ description. Homosaurus is a linked data vocabulary for LGBTQ+ terms, meant to capture the linkages and complexities in LGBTQ+ identities. The Digital Transgender Archive includes rich collections on transgender history as well as a listing of transgender-related terms used throughout the world. And Histsex is a collaborative effort to create a bibliography of gender and sexuality terms and content. 

It should go without saying that the language we use to describe and categorize people in library systems matters; providing all patrons with fair & open access to credible information is an unachievable goal when cataloging practices and search terms are violent, inaccurate, or exclusionary. And, at a point when the majority of state legislatures are considering transphobic and homophobic policy projects which draw upon the same descriptors as library standards, the persistent violence in cataloging systems is especially painful. On this Day of Silence, we invite you to explore the resources in this post & think about how you might use them in your work in the future.  

Works Referenced: 

Adler, Melissa A. “”Let’s Not Homosexualize the Library Stacks”: Liberating Gays in the Library Catalog.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 24, no. 3 (2015): 478-507. Accessed April 22, 2021.  

Adler, Melissa. “Transcending Library Catalogs: A Comparative Study of Controlled Terms in Library of Congress Subject Headings and User-Generated Tags in LibraryThing for Transgender Books.” Journal of Web Librarianship 3, no. 4 (November 23, 2009): 309–31.  

Drabinski, Emily. “Queering the Catalog: Queer Theory and the Politics of Correction.” The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy 83, no. 2 (2013): 94–111. 

 Drescher, Jack. “Out of DSM: Depathologizing Homosexuality.” Behavioral Sciences 5, no. 4 (December 4, 2015): 565–75. 

Edge, Samuel J. “A Subject ‘Queer’-y: A Literature Review on Subject Access to LGBTIQ Materials.” The Serials Librarian 75, no. 1–4 (April 26, 2019): 81–90. 

Eyler, A. Evan, and Saul Levin. “Interview with Saul Levin, MD, MPA, CEO/Medical Director of the American Psychiatric Association on the 40th Anniversary of the Decision to Remove Homosexuality from the DSM.” LGBT Health 1, no. 2 (March 13, 2014): 70–74. 

Giami, Alain. “Between DSM and ICD: Paraphilias and the Transformation of Sexual Norms.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 44, no. 5 (July 1, 2015): 1127–38. 

“GLBT Controlled Vocabularies and Classification Schemes.” Text. Round Tables, December 29, 2009. http://www.ala.org/rt/rrt/popularresources/vocab  

Johnson, Matt. “Transgender Subject Access: History and Current Practice.” Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 48, no. 8 (September 27, 2010): 661–83. 

Murphy, Devon. “Knowledge Organization Systems and Information Ethics for Visual Resources.” Visual Resources Association Bulletin 47, no. 2 (December 20, 2020). https://online.vraweb.org/index.php/vrab/article/view/193. 

ONE Archives Foundation. “Uncovering the History of LGBTQ Archives and Libraries.” Accessed April 22, 2021. https://www.onearchives.org/uncovering-history-lgbtq-archives-libraries/   

Picq, Manuela L, Bosia, Michael J ; McEvoy, Sandra M ; Rahman, Momin “Decolonizing Indigenous Sexualities: Between Erasure and Resurgence” The Oxford Handbook of Global LGBT and Sexual Diversity Politics (May 7, 2020) 

University of Alberta Library. “Subject Guides: Equity, Diversity, & Inclusivity: Library Resources: Two-Spirit.” Accessed April 22, 2021. https://guides.library.ualberta.ca/edi/2s   

UT Libraries LGBTQ+ Resources:
Further reading from the DAC blog: 

Trans Day of Visibility 2021

Since 2010, March 31 has been marked as Transgender Day of Visibility. Historically, this day is meant to be a celebration of trans and non-binary lives, unlike the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, which dates back to 1999 and is observed annually on November 20 to memorialize lives taken by violence against trans people.

Trans Day of Visibility arrives this year with a couple notable moves forward, but significant–and glaring–steps backward for trans rights embitter a day meant for trans celebration.

President Biden this year became the first U.S. president to issue a proclamation to formally recognize Trans Day of Visibility in the United States. The Biden administration has also overturned the Trump administration’s ban on trans people serving in the military, and named Dr. Rachel Levine as the first openly transgender person to hold federal office.

While these are victories to be sure, it’s difficult celebrate these small moves toward trans visibility while 2021 has already set a record for anti-trans legislation. Trans Day of Visibility is especially fraught today by the passage of HB 1507 in Arkansas, which yesterday further trampled the civil rights of arguably the most vulnerable people in the state, trans youth.

Texas is not far behind with Senate Bill 1311 aimed at prohibiting trans youth from receiving essential health care related to their gender identities.

While Trans Visibility is important every year, it feels especially critical this year. The onslaught of anti-trans legislations from so many states, and the murders of 12 trans people already reported, this year demands not just the recognition of trans lives, but their protection. It is more critical than ever for allies to act.

We ask that you join us both today and moving forward as we work to increase trans visibility and protect trans rights and lives.

What you can do

Stay informed

  • Follow the Twitter #TransRightsAreHumanRights
  • Know what legislation is being considered in your state
  • Find out which of your local and federal officials support anti-trans legislation and contact their offices to voice your disapproval
  • Be aware of how others (including family, friends, coworkers, and news sources) speak about the trans community and speak up when you hear or read someone perpetuate harmful rhetoric (including misgendering)  about trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people

Educate yourself and those around you

This article is (no longer) a stub: help us expand the record!

Poster with blue & purple background, featuring a solidarity fist holding a paintbrush in front of the trans symbol, promoting UTL's 2-in-1 Wikipedia virtual edit-a-thon

The “sum of all human knowledge”?

We’ve all seen it: “This article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.” Though it is the largest encyclopedia in existencea project for which a stated goal is to “compile the sum of all human knowledge”information gaps abound on Wikipedia. And, after twenty years of providing the world with open-source information, Wikipedia’s representation problem, in both contributors and content, has been well documented.

Most recent estimates place the proportion of contributors who are cis men at or above 80%. As of this February, the gender demographics of the site’s biographies is roughly the same: only 18.7% of the English language entries are about women. The racial demographics of editors is more opaque: it’s widely accepted that editors are overwhelmingly white, however few studies propose any numerical estimates as to how white contributors skew. At 65 references, the entry for the history of Maine is over four times longer than that of the entire country of Botswanajust one example among millions of the site’s racial and geographic bias.

In response, many angered at their communities’ exclusion from the “sum of human knowledge” have recognized that dedicating time & space (whether cyber or physical) to demystifying the Wikipedia editing process is critical in reaching what Wikimedia Foundation CEO Katherine Maher calls “knowledge equity.” Groups like Women in Red, Black Lunch Table, Art+Feminism, and AfroCROWD help users navigate editing standards that require verification from sources that have historically favored white men as well as provide space for editors from marginalized communities to connect with one another through meet-ups and edit-a-thons. Museums, libraries, schools, and other community groups worldwide now host dozens of edit-a-thons per week focused on improving existing articles and creating new ones to fill Wikipedia’s content gaps.

Edit-a-thons at UT Libraries

For the past few years, UT Libraries has hosted two edit-a-thonsQueering the Record and Art+Feminismboth aiming to expand the information available on Wikipedia related to queer, trans, and feminist topics. Though Art+Feminism is part of a worldwide series of edit-a-thons, Queering the Record is a homegrown effort. What started as a collaboration between the hosts (Kathy Tu & Tobin Low) of WNYC’s podcast Nancy, UT Humanities Librarian Gina Bastone, and UT’s iSchool Pride as a lead-up to Nancy’s 2018 SXSW even now approaches its fourth year as a UTL staple event.

With the COVID-induced shift to virtual learning, this year’s events will look a little different: instead of two separate (and in person) edit-a-thons, we’ve decided to combine them into a one-day virtual event. We know the UTL community is pretty Zoomed out, so we’ll be hosting on Discord. Join us for one or both edit-a-thons anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursday March 11th! No previous Wikipedia editing experience is necessarylibrarians will be there to guide through each step of the process.

Hold up! Don’t all librarians hate Wikipedia?

In short, no! In fact, many librarians recognize that libraries and Wikipedia share a similar goal: to provide open access to diverse range of knowledge. We’ve likely all heard the phrase “just anyone can edit it” to caution against using the site as a source for a research paper. However, if “just anyone” can edit, that means students, professors, and librariansall for whom research is a professioncan edit articles, too. As #1Lib1Ref (a campaign encouraging librarians to add citations to Wikipedia entries) says, “in a digital environment that spreads #fakenews, and allows major languages and cultural voices to dominate, building a more diverse, more dynamic knowledge commons for the future requires the collaboration of librarians, Wikimedians and knowledge seekers around the world.” At UT Libraries, we know that with both access to millions of credible sources and a solid research skill sets, our community is distinctively positioned to create, edit, and improve articles in the effort to work towards a Wikipedia that reflects us all.

Rosie the Riveter poster with the phrase "We Can [edit]!" replacing "We Can Do It!"
We Can Edit! Public domain image, modified by Tom Morris, via Wikimedia Commons

Join us!

UT Libraries’ 4th annual Queering the Record and 3rd annual Art+Feminism 2-in-1 Virtual Edit-a-thon

Thursday March 11th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., via our Discord server: http://bit.ly/UTLWEaTh

No previous experience necessary to participate in one or both edit-a-thons.

Follow #UTLWEaTH21 to connect with librarians and other editors on social media!

Further Reading from UT Collections

 

–by Elizabeth Gerberich, with contributions from Gina Bastone and Elle Covington

Reading Recommendations: International Women’s Day

Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. This day was set aside by the United Nations in 1977, but the honoring of this day stretches back to 1911 with origins in the socialist working women’s movement (Johnman, Sim & Mackie, 2016) . Learn more about the importance of this day from the resources below.

Gender Inequity in the COVID era

Gender inequity has been made especially clear throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  UN Women has declared the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day to be “Women in leadership: Achieving and equal future in a COVID-19 world.” The intention of this theme is to not only highlight the disparate impact that this pandemic is having on women globally, but also to celebrate the women at the forefront of the fight to end it.

Academic Sources

News & Popular Sources

Documentaries

Women’s Own Words

United Nations International Women’s Day Virtual Event

The JMLA Experience and Anti-Black Practices in Library Publishing

by Mandy Ryan

As library professionals, we often feel that we are working diligently to include and amplify the voices of our BIPOC colleagues. Many major libraries, such as UT and Emory, have incorporated DEI efforts in their hiring practices and Yale Libraries recently posted a position for a Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Organizational Excellence. Publications in the library profession, such as Theological Librarianship and the Journal of the Medical Library Association, made calls for submissions by diverse voices. However, librarians of color often bear the greatest burden in these calls for diversity, which can come with an expectation that they will be the ones to do the work of changing institutionalized practices and management styles built by white supremacy. The lack of effort to examine current processes and prepare staff on how to navigate works addressing diversity, equity and inclusion was most recently highlighted by the editorial decisions at the Journal of the Medical Library Association.

In May of 2020, the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police garnered national attention, generating renewed focus to the Black Lives Matter movement and increased public support for their efforts. On June 1, 2020, the African American Medical Librarians Alliance (AAMLA) Caucus of the Medical Library Association (MLA) released a statement stating that they were “tired of not being seen, heard, included, or appreciated for the value that our unique voices, experiences, and perspectives bring to the narrative” and a commitment to “using our collective voices in bringing about change in the profession and the association.”

In response, the Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) also released a statement of support to both the AAMLA Caucus and Black Lives Matter, stating that they could and will “do more to amplify the voices, experiences, and perspectives of individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).” Part of their statement was a call for manuscript submissions that addressed social injustices, diverse voices, and critical perspectives on health sciences librarianship. They also specifically asked for the contribution of any BIPOC-authored manuscripts, so long as they fell within the scope of the journal.

Five prominent Black librarians, Peace Ossom-Williamson, Jamia Williams, Xan Goodman, Christian I.J. Minter, and Ayaba Logan, submitted a proposed editorial on anti-Blackness in libraries. The editorial was accepted and scheduled for publication in January 2021. What happened next became an example of how calls for inclusion can lead to exclusionary and microaggressive practices in editing and publishing. On December 11th, 2020, Christian Minter tweeted about their decision to pull the editorial from publication, with an appropriately titled blog post, “A Case Study in Anti-Black Publishing Practices.”

Tweet by Christian Minter dated December 11, 2020 at 4?32 PM

In the blog, Minter describes how the editing process took a turn when they received a print-ready proof that had significant changes that had not been previously addressed with the authors. Some of the more significant changes she detailed included the decision to capitalize all instances of “white” and “white supremacy,” adding modifiers to “white supremacy” and changing instances to include “white supremacist thinking” or “white supremacist structures,” and changing multiple pronouns from “you” or “they” to “we” and “us.” Originally, the authors had intentionally only capitalized “Black” throughout the piece, but the editor argued that the MLA was in the process of changing their guidelines and that eventually the piece would capitalize “white.” When adding modifiers to “white supremacy,” the editor offered feedback that there was an issue with the literal reading of the original phrase. The editor offered no explanation on why they had changed the pronouns.

The authors attempted to explain to the editor why they had purposely and intentionally made the choices they did for the piece. According to Minter the editor responded by doubling down on her statements and providing a conditional apology if “wording and meaning has been changed that much” and that in her editing for typos, grammar, and clarity, “sometimes it appears the meaning can change.” During the course of the conversation, the editor-in-chief was cc’d on the email exchange, as was an associate editor, but both decided not to intervene.

Minter’s tweet and blog post were immediately followed by a tweet from Peace Ossom-Williamson and a blog post from Jamia Williams, “When Publishing Goes Wrong,” on December 12th. Both authors supported Minter’s account and stated that they stood strong on their decision to withdraw the piece from publication.

The author’s accounts about the events with JMLA began to trend on Twitter, with a call for JMLA to support Black colleagues quickly circulating under hashtags #medlibs, #librarytwitter, and #POCinLIS. Following the backlash, JMLA issued an apology on December 16th, written by editor-in-chief Katherine Akers. In the statement she recognized that she had been cc’d on the emails, but had assumed “that the two parties would come to resolution on their own or that I would be directly contacted by one of the parties if my intervention was needed or desired.” She also acknowledged that the journal was not prepared to edit or publish pieces on diversity, equity, or inclusion and made a promise to make JMLA “a more diverse and inclusive journal with more equitable opportunities for BIPOC authors, reviewers, and editorial board members.”

Tweet by Peace Ossom-Williamson dated December 12, 2020

The original article written by the five authors, “Starting with I: Combating Anti-Blackness in Libraries,” was successfully published by the University of Nebraska Medical Center under the Leon S. McGoogan Health Sciences Library in December of 2020.

The withdrawal and the subsequent apology from JMLA sparked deep conversations about how these calls for diversity and inclusion are often made without the systemic support and structuring needed to actually support BIPOC voices. As part of the discussion, Jasmine L. Clark, Digital Scholarship Librarian at Temple University, wrote a thought-provoking piece, “On JMLA, Conflict, and Failed Diversity Efforts in LIS,” which details organizational justice and cultural competence as they relate to the article and the breakdown of the editing process by JMLA.

There were many points in which the editor-in-chief or the associate editor could have engaged with the authors and ensured that their intentions and voices were protected. The decision to not engage can be representative of a larger, systemic problem of neutrality in libraries where we avoid conflict and confrontation in the workplace, often leading to the harm of our colleagues.

In their responses, all of the authors and Clark found that there was a lack of ownership by Akers of her responsibility to initiate mediation before the situation had reached the point of withdrawing the piece. They point to her role as editor-in-chief and the accompanying responsibility to create an equitable environment that would identify and address challenges that BIPOC might encounter when writing about social justice.

Tweet Thread by Jasmine Lelis Clark dated December 17, 2020

Moving forward, Clark recommends that within the LIS profession “a blend of ongoing DEIA education, organizational/personal assessment, and practiced social skills are required.” She states that concepts of organizational justice and assessment of power structures are often reserved for those in leadership positions, instead of being open to all levels of LIS professionals. She points out that the development of social skills is centered on public service and patrons, instead of how to engage with the colleagues we work with every day.

The events with JMLA are an opportunity to evaluate our own practices and to better equip ourselves in conflict mediation and organizational justice. As a white woman in a field where only 5.3 percent of librarians identified as Black or African American, I hold myself accountable and ask that my fellow white colleagues join me in enacting changes that will allow for diversity and equity, instead of just calling for it and placing that labor on those who respond. Below are some resources and articles that delve into the experience of Black librarians, microaggression in our field, and how we can do better, but I would like to personally recommend reading the original article of the authors in this post as it provides a detailed overview of the history of anti-Blackness in libraries and concrete steps for how to move forward.

Resource Highlights

Books

Articles

Podcast

  • LibVoices – podcast co-created and co-hosted by Jamia Williams which amplifies the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who work in archives and libraries.

Professional Development and Trainings

  • We Here – “We Here™️ seeks to provide a safe and supportive community for Black and Indigenous folks, and People of Color (BIPOC) in library and information science (LIS) professions and educational programs, and to recognize, discuss, and intervene in systemic social issues that have plagued these professions both currently and historically.”
  • Active Bystander Orientation – “Have you ever witnessed bullying, harassment, or an uncomfortable encounter in a professional context and wished you knew how to intervene? The 2019 DLF Committee on Equity and Inclusion recently put together an Active Bystander Orientation session to help address these questions”
  • Conflict Mediation Guidelines – Stanford’s conflict training for the following situations: when you have been asked to mediate a conflict between two people or two groups or when a conflict breaks out between different sub-groups in a discussion.

What is Indigenous Peoples Day and Why does it matter?

Depending on what calendar you’re using and what city you are living in, you may or may not see today marked as Indigenous Peoples Day. A few years ago, Austin City Council voted to honor Native and Indigenous People by replacing Columbus Day at City Hall with Indigenous People’s Day, a move that follows the example of changes made by 14 states and over 130 cities across the country dating back to the 1970s.

Likewise, land acknowledgments are becoming more common to promote inclusion in our work and spaces. Here is the ARL Land Acknowledgement that Dr. Haricombe used as the basis for the Land Acknowledgement at the beginning of last week’s All Staff Meeting.

For this blog post, we would like to acknowledge and honor the Carrizo & Comecrudo, Coahuiltecan, Caddo, Tonkawa, Comanche, Lipan Apache, Alabama-Coushatta, Kickapoo, Tigua Pueblo, and all the American Indian and Indigenous Peoples and communities who have been or have become a part of the lands and territories in Texas.

This day and what it means for all Americans deserves and requires much more space and consideration than I (unfortunately) am able to give it in this blog post. So I encourage everyone to take some time today to use the resources below as a launching point for your own search into learning more about how to honor indigenous people and acknowledge the violent colonial history that continues to negatively impact Native American and Indigenous people.

Resource Highlights

Tribal Land Map – learn about the indigenous peoples of the land on which you live and work

Five Ideas for Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2020, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

Eason, A., Pope, T., Becenti, K., & Fryberg, S. (2020). Sanitizing history: National identification, negative stereotypes, and support for eliminating Columbus Day and adopting Indigenous Peoples DayCultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology.

10 Ways to be a Genuine Ally to Indigenous Communities, Amnesty International

Consider supporting an Indigenous organization, like the local nonprofit Indigenous Cultures Institute.

Image of Indigenous Cultures Institute video
You can view this great video from Indigenous Cultures Institute

See other reading recommendations from last year’s Native American Heritage Month post by Andres Ramirez.

Let us know what you’re reading and learning in the comments!

Breonna Taylor and The Mistreatment of Black Women

Breonna Taylor was shot and killed on March 13th, 2020 when three police officers raided her home in the middle of the night in search of a man who was already in custody elsewhere. On September 23rd, one of the officers (who had been terminated earlier) was charged with “wanton endangerment” for firing into the apartment without having a clear line of sight on his target.  There were no other charges, and no one was charged with causing Taylor’s death.

The protests that have arisen in response to the (lack of) charges are not only about what is seen by many as a miscarriage of justice. They are also about the mistreatment of Black women throughout American history, beginning with the physical and sexual abuse of female slaves by white slaveowners and continuing to this day. Black women are more likely to be abused by their intimate partners than women in other racial groups. They are also at significantly higher risk of being raped or murdered. To that point, Taylor’s residence was targeted by police not because they believed she was involved in illegal activities but because her ex-boyfriend was suspected of selling drugs.

The societal mistreatment of Black women also exists in more subtle, pernicious ways. A 2019 research study conducted by Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality explored how Black girls aged 5-19 experience “adultification bias”, i.e. the tendency to see them as more sexually experienced and less in need of nurturing than White girls. This bias was linked to harsher disciplinary methods taken against Black girls by schools. The perception of Black women as being more sexual than their white counterparts continues into adulthood, as the historical stereotype of the black Jezebel demonstrates.

Black women are also more likely be seen as loud and prone to emasculating anger—the Angry Black Woman stereotype. Both of these stereotypes are exemplified by the treatment of Meghan Markle, the mixed race American woman who married Prince Harry in 2018. Among other instances, Markle has been described by media outlets as having “exotic DNA” and “(almost) straight outta Compton”. This racially based mistreatment has continued since she and her husband exited the monarchy. After Markle and Prince Harry released a video earlier this week encouraging Americans to vote, President Trump said at a White House press briefing: “I’m not a fan of [Markle’s]. . . . I would say this – and she probably has heard that – I wish a lot of luck to Harry, because he’s going to need it.” This is a clear reference to the emasculating effect Black women supposedly have on the men in their lives.

Much of this can be tied to intersectionality, a term coined by lawyer (and creator of the #SayHerName online movement) Kimbelé Crenshaw in 1989 to describe how Black women experience both racial and gender-based inequality. In a 2017 interview, Crenshaw described intersectionality as “a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects.” Looking at how Black women are oppressed—through their intimate relationships, their sexuality, and the perception that they do not conform to the supposed norm of a quiet, calm woman—one can see how both their gender and their race play significant roles.

The following is a list of resources available through UT Libraries on the experiences of Black women, intersectionality, and the role of protests in advancing racial justice. The vast majority of these works were written by Black female authors.

Resources

Black Women Authors and Experiences

Cooper, B., Morris, S., & Boylorn, R. (2017). The Crunk Feminist Collection. The Feminist Press.

This is a collection of essays that appeared in The Crunk Feminist Collective, an online group that aims to create a “space of support and camaraderie for hip hop generation feminists of color, queer and straight, in the academy and without.”

Gay, R. (2014). Bad Feminist : Essays. Harper Perennial.

Gay’s 2014 widely praised collection of essays approaches pop culture through a Black feminist lens.

hooks, b. (1989). Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black. Routledge.

In this seminal work, hooks explores what it means to “talk back” to oppressive authority as an equal.

Taylor, K., Smith, B., Smith, B., Frazier, D., Garza, A., & Ransby, B. (eds) (2017). How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective. Haymarket Books.

The Combahee River Collective, which was active from 1974 to 1980, was a group of queer Black feminists who sought to empower Black feminism as something that was separate from the (often racist) mainstream feminist movement. Their 1977 statement of beliefs can be found here.

Tinsley, O. (2019). Beyoncé in Formation: Remixing Black Feminism. University of Texas Press.

In her memoir, UT Professor Omise’eke Tinsley traces her experiences as a Black woman in America through the lens of Beyonce’s 2016 album Lemonade.

Intersectionality

 Davis, A. (2017). Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement. Haymarket Books.

World-renowned scholar Angela Davis traces the commonalities and differences in the experience of oppression throughout history across the world.

Eric-Udorie, J. (ed.) (2018). Can We All Be Feminists?: New Writing from Brit Bennett, Nicole Dennis-Benn, and 15 Others on Intersectionality, Identity, and the Way Forward for Feminism. Penguin Publishing Group.

This recent collection of essays by some of the top voices in feminist scholarship looks at the role of intersectionality in twenty-first century American culture.

Nash, J. (2020). Black Feminism Reimagined: After Intersectionality. Duke University Press.

Nash critiques how intersectionality has been coopted and altered by shifting norms in feminist scholarship.

Protests

 Cobbina, J. (2020). Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: Why the Protests in Ferguson and Baltimore Matter, and How They Changed America. New York University Press.

Cobbina interviewed over two hundred residents in Ferguson and Baltimore in order to place their individual experiences of the protests (and of the events that led to the unrest) within the broader context of American culture.

Ward, J. (ed.) (2017). The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race. Scribner.

Jesmyn Ward edited this book of essays about how the themes and ideas in James Baldwin’s famous 1963 book apply to today’s world.

The Complex Role of Protests in America

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed by three Minneapolis police officers. His death was the latest in a long line of black people dying at the hands of police, including the late-night shooting death of EMT Breonna Taylor by Louisville police in her own apartment and the death of Mike Ramos, an unarmed man of black and Latinx descent, by Austin police on April 24, 2020. For many, it was also reminiscent of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in February, who was chased and shot by two white men while jogging near his home. While Arbery was not killed by police officers, it was a harsh reminder that the possibility of racially motivated violence against people of color is always present in American society.

Since late May, protests in response to police brutality against people of color and other acts of racist violence have spread across the country. Many of the protests have been guided by the principles of non-violence as set down by Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and other civil rights leaders. At a virtual town hall organized by the organization My Brother’s Keeper, former President Barack Obama both decried the police violence that led to Floyd’s death and also called upon protesters to remain peaceful.

However, in some places there has also been violence, including rioting and looting either by protesters or by other parties. Determining where a protest ends and a riot begins (if there even is a clear distinction) is difficult. Some scholars even argue that a certain degree of violence is an inevitable part of American protesting. After all, one of the most famous protests in American history– the Boston Tea Party– was an act of material destruction.

Likewise, the act of rioting has been construed by some as a means of last resort when all other avenues of change, including voting and peaceful protests, have failed. In a recent interview, Rep. Maxine Waters described the riots in California in 1992 as “an explosion of a hopelessness being played out” and went on to compare the 1992 riots to the current situation. While she points out several similarities between the two periods of unrest, including the lack of trust in the police, she also sees an important difference between them—specifically that in the recent protests there have been many white people joining black people in calling out for racial equity. In her words: “That’s telling us something — that it’s not only black people fed up with the police Establishment.”

Using the resources listed here, we invite you to explore the complex role protests play in American politics with a special emphasis on the ongoing struggle for racial equality. In future blog posts, we will discuss less frequently recognized events of racial violence in American history and the tradition of LGBTQ+ activism (including the Stonewall Riots of 1969).

Please note: All annotations have been taken from the resource itself.

Books

Gottheimer, J., ed. (2003). Ripples of Hope: Great American Civil Rights Speeches. Link.

Including a never-before published speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., this is the first compilation of its kind, bringing together the most influential and important voices from two hundred years of America’s struggle for civil rights, including essential speeches from leaders, both famous and obscure. With voices as diverse as Cesar Chavez, Harvey Milk, Betty Friedan, Frederick Douglass, and Sojourner Truth, this anthology constitutes a unique chronicle of the nation’s civil rights movements and the critical issues they’ve tackled, from slavery and suffrage to immigration and affirmative action. This is an indispensable compilation of the words –the ripples of hope–that, collectively, have changed American history.

Cover of How To Read a Protest by L.A. Kauffman
Cover of How To Read a Protest by L.A. Kauffman

Kauffman, L. (2018). How to Read a Protest: The Art of Organizing and Resistance. https://doi.org/10.1525/9780520972209

In this original and richly illustrated account, organizer and journalist L.A. Kauffman delves into the history of America’s major demonstrations, beginning with the legendary 1963 March on Washington, to reveal the ways protests work and how their character has shifted over time. Using the signs that demonstrators carry as clues to how protests are organized, Kauffman explores the nuanced relationship between the way movements are made and the impact they have. How to Read a Protest sheds new light on the catalytic power of collective action and the decentralized, bottom-up, women-led model for organizing that has transformed what movements look like and what they can accomplish.
Streitmatter, R. (2001). Voices of Revolution: The Dissident Press in America. https://doi.org/10.7312/stre12248
Streitmatter tells the stories of dissident American publications and press movements of the last two centuries, and of the colorful individuals behind them. From publications that fought for the disenfranchised to those that promoted social reform, Voices of Revolution examines the abolitionist and labor press, black power publications of the 1960s, the crusade against the barbarism of lynching, the women’s movement, and antiwar journals. Streitmatter also discusses gay and lesbian publications, contemporary on-line journals, and counterculture papers like The Kudzu and The Berkeley Barb that flourished in the 1960s.
Tufekci, Z. (2017). Twitter and Tear Gas : The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest. Link.
An incisive observer, writer, and participant in today’s social movements, Zeynep Tufekci explains in this accessible and compelling book the nuanced trajectories of modern protests—how they form, how they operate differently from past protests, and why they have difficulty persisting in their long-term quests for change. Tufekci speaks from direct experience, combining on-the-ground interviews with insightful analysis. . . . These details from life inside social movements complete a moving investigation of authority, technology, and culture—and offer essential insights into the future of governance.

Films

Peck, R., & Brown, J. (2016). I Am Not Your Negro. Documentary available on Kanopy. E-book available through UT Libraries.

Cover of I Am Not Your Negro documentary
I Am Not Your Negro documentary, a continuation of a book envisioned by Civil Rights activist James Baldwin

An Oscar-nominated documentary narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO explores the continued peril America faces from institutionalized racism. In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends–Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript. Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material.

Speeches and Music

Seale, B., & Educational Video Group. (1973). Bobby Seale : Speech on Black Panthers Movement. Link.

This is a video of Bobby Seale giving a speech about the values of the Black Panther Party.
Duration: 3 min.
Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs, 1960-1966. (1997). Link.
These 43 tracks are a series of musical images, of a people in conversation about their determination to be free. Many of the songs were recorded live in mass meetings held in churches, where people from different life experiences, predominantly black, with a few white supporters, came together in a common struggle. These freedom songs draw from spirituals, gospel, rhythm and blues, football chants, blues and calypso forms.

Online Resources and Newspaper Articles

Jackson, K.C. (1 June 2020). “The Double Standard of the American Riot.” The Atlantic. Link.

“Today, peaceful demonstrations and violent riots alike have erupted across the country in response to police brutality and the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. Yet the language used to refer to protesters has included lootersthugs, and even claims that they are un-American. The philosophy of force and violence to obtain freedom has long been employed by white people and explicitly denied to black Americans.”

Hannah-Jones, N., et al. The 1619 Project. The New York Times Magazine. Link.

The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.

Texas After Violence Project (part of the UT Libraries Human Rights Documentations Initiative) Link.

In 2009, the Human Rights Documentation Initiative (HRDI) partnered with the independent, Austin-based nonprofit organization, Texas After Violence Project (TAVP), a human rights and restorative justice project that studies the effects of interpersonal and state violence on individuals, families, and communities. Its mission is to build a digital archive that serves as a resource for community dialogue and public policy to promote alternative, nonviolent ways to prevent and respond to violence. The HRDI is working with TAVP to ensure the long-term preservation and access of its digital video testimonies, transcripts and organizational records.

Honoring Black Lives: Josephine Baker

In light of everything that is going on in our country right now, I briefly considered cancelling plans to publish this post, which has been on our planning calendar since last Fall. The DAC blog team is working on other posts related to protests and social movements around racial justice and the history of systemic and violent racist oppression in the United States. Those posts will go up as soon as we are able to get them finished.

While we all grieve the violent and needless deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN; Michael Ramos in Austin, TX; Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY; Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, GA; and Tony McDade in Tallahassee, FL, it is my hope that remembering the incredible life of Josephine Baker on the 114th anniversary of her birth will provide another avenue today for honoring black lives and black legacies in the United States.

Black lives matter.

Early Life

Image of Josephine Baker
Van Vechten, C. (1949) Portrait of Josephine Baker, Paris, 1949. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress.
Josephine Baker was born Freda Josephine McDonald on June 3, 1906 in St. Louis. Her early life was hard. Her father abandoned Baker and her mother shortly after she was born, and she began work as a maid at the age of 8 for white families at whose hands she experience both neglect and physical and sexual abuse. At the age of 11, she survived the East St. Louis Race Riots.

At age 13, Baker ran away from home. She began working as a waitress in a club and married a man named Willie Wells, whom she separated from after only a few weeks, though technically the marriage was never legal due to Baker’s age. She performed in clubs and on the streets until she began touring the United States with an all-black theatre troupe based out of Philadelphia. At 15, she married Will Baker, and though this marriage lasted only a little longer than her first, she kept the name Baker for the rest of her life.

Fame

Baker’s comedy skills provided her with increasingly successful performance roles and an undeniable place in the Harlem Renaissance. In 1925, she was invited to join La Revue Nègre at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. She was 19 and already one of the highest paid performers in vaudeville. In Paris, her comedy and dance routines were celebrated, but it wasn’t until her performances turned to the more exotic that she truly achieved the international fame she is known for.

Image of Josephine Baker posing with her pet cheetah
Photo Card No.101, Dancer Josephine Baker posing with a cheetah wearing a collar, photograph by Piaz Studios of Paris, Early 1930’s. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Baker embraced the exotification at the time, regardless of how she may have felt personally about her “Africanized” burlesque performances. She became a larger than life persona, even adopting a pet cheetah, which she named Chiquita, and walked on a leash with a diamond collar.

In 1927, she became the first black woman to star in a movie, Siren of the Tropics, a silent French Film. This debut was followed with two “talkies,” Zouzou in 1934 and Princess Tam Tam in 1935.

Baker’s fame continued to skyrocket. She expanded her repertoire and her performances matured until she was one of the highest paid performers in the world.

Baker was an American expat in Paris at the same time as Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, all of whom, along with other Jazz Age artists including Picasso and Colette, considered Baker as a muse.

She returned to the U.S. a couple of times, but was frustrated and disgusted at the racism she experienced. In the time of McCarthyism, she was accused of communism, and hounded by both the FBI and the CIA.

Baker married her third husband, a Frenchman, in 1937. Like the other marriages, this one didn’t last long, but it did provide Baker with the opportunity to become a French citizen, after which she renounced her American citizenship.

Over the years, she had many lovers of all genders, including a nearly 10-year relationship with her manager and a Sicilian count, Pepito Abatino. While Baker never labeled her sexuality, she did have affairs with women throughout her life, including Ada Smith, Colette, and possibly Frida Kahlo.

Espionage

When World War II broke out, Baker remained in Paris, which by then, she considered her country. Baker worked as a nurse for the Red Cross. When France became occupied, Baker joined the French Resistance, smuggling information across enemy lines and hiding weapons and refugees at her chateau. Her international performances provided Baker with a unique opportunity. She would perform and attend parties at the Italian Embassy and then pass along any information she learned to the resistance, written in invisible ink on her music sheets.

For about a year and a half during the war, an illness kept Baker confined to a Casablanca clinic. However, even there, she joined the women’s auxiliary of the Free French forces as a sublieutenant and performed for the allied troops.

For her work during the war, Baker was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Légion d’Honneur with the Rosette of the Résistance.

Civil Rights

When the war was over, Baker returned to France and turned her considerable energy to the fight for civil rights. She married (self-identified homosexual) bandleader Jo Bouillon, and though they eventually separated, they remained married throughout Baker’s life. Together, they adopted 12 children of different races and religions from around the world. Baker called them her “Rainbow Tribe.”

After 9 years of “retirement,” Baker found herself facing serious debts that forced her to return to performing. She returned to the stage with a musical autobiography called Paris mes Amours at the Olympia Theatre in Paris in 1959.

She often returned to the US throughout the 50s and 60s to support the Civil Rights Movement. While in the U.S., she refused to perform for segregated audiences, and in 1963, she was the only woman asked to speak at the March on Washington.

In 1969, she and her children were evicted from the chateau in southern France where they had lived since the end of the war. However, Princess Grace of Monaco stepped in, offering Baker and her family a villa in Monaco and helping to fund a new show titled Joséphine to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her Paris debut.

After a few performances of the new show, Baker died peacefully in her sleep in her chosen country, France. Even in death, Baker accomplished another notable first. She was the first and only American woman to be buried with military honors and a 21-gun salute in France. Over 20,000 people lined the streets of Paris to mourn her passing and honor her life.

References

  1. Josephine Baker Biography. (2020). A&E Television Networks. Retrieved from https://www.biography.com/performer/josephine-baker
  2. Josephine Baker. (2004). In Encyclopedia of World Biography (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 448-451). Detroit, MI: Gale. Retrieved from https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/apps/doc/CX3404700392/GVRL?u=txshracd2598&sid=GVRL&xid=c379cd99
  3. Norwood, A. R. (2017). “Josephine Baker.” National Women’s History Museum. Retrieved from https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/josephine-baker
  4. Josephine Baker. (2003). Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved from http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/j/josephine-baker/
  5. Strong, L. Q. (2006). Baker, Josephine. Reprinted from http://www.glbtq.com. Retrieved from http://www.glbtqarchive.com/arts/baker_josephine_A.pdf
  6. CIA report on activities in Latin America of Negro singer Josephine Baker. (1953, February 10). United States: Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved from https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/apps/doc/CK2349254187/GDCS?u=txshracd2598&sid=GDCS&xid=52ea60d3
  7. Josephine Baker in new challenge. (1969, March 11). Times, p. 5. Retrieved from https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/apps/doc/CS84504683/GDCS?u=txshracd2598&sid=GDCS&xid=8242988a

Resource Highlights

Videos

In her own words

Biographies

News & Magazine Articles

Books

Children’s Books

Audio

Link to YouTube video of Josephine Baker performing The Charleston on August 24th, 1928
Josephine Baker performing The Charleston on August 24th, 1928