More on new Nat Turner movie; Mercy Street ep.3; Oregon Trail video game as a movie?; black history in song; Stalin & Mao’s excrement (yep).

 

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More on the new movie coming soon about Nat Turner’s Rebellion. This is a solid piece from Joshua Rothman that provides a good succinct narrative of the event for those that are unfamiliar, and an interesting discussion about why an earlier attempt to make a movie about the event led to nothing. Now is the right time for this story to get told, and I have said it before, if this thing gets done well it will really be a controversial and powerful movie that will shake up audiences that still believe in “moonlight and magnolias.” Meanwhile, historian Jill Lepore has seen the film, and offers these thoughts.

The third episode of Mercy Street was another winner. I was particularly intrigued by the way they handled one storyline about an adolescent slave that had all the advantages of a “good master,” yet felt the tug of the possibilities of freedom over the course of the episode. This is a dynamic that very many slaves dealt with as the war progressed, and while compressing it into one episode did not allow for an exploration of the full emotional complexities of the situation, it was effectively handled. And then there was that amputation scene. Wow. Let’s pray that is the closet that most of us will ever get to seeing the real thing. The Washington Post has a story today on how they pulled it off. 

The date for the opening of the Smithsonian’s new African American History Museum is set, and the nation’s first black president will get to do the ribbon cutting honors. Nice.

So the creator of the Oregon Trail video game has a new idea for turning it into a movie.  The thing has been successful in classrooms for a long time now, so I say give the movie a shot!

For Black History month, Yahoo Music has put together a list of “Five Songs with Powerful Lessons on Black History.” Before clicking the link, I said to myself “If Billie Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit’ is not #1, this thing has no validity.” You can assume that since I am passing along the link, it was.

The latest from Egypt: a 4,500 year old boat (from the Old Kingdom) has been found intact near the pyramids. How cool is that?

Ok, I really don’t know what to make of this one, so I am just going to drop this right here: Stalin used a secret lab to analyze the poop of Chairman Mao.

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