• After I blogged my friend Dana's memoir piece on her 1999 trip to Auchwitz, she commented to send me over to the website of Peter Cunningham, the photographer whose photo of Dana appears in her article.
Peter has spent years photographing musicians and there is a nice link on his site to those pictures. Open it up and you see many pictures you've seen replicated in many places -- he's the guy who took them!You can truly get lost browsing through Peter Cunningham's photos. You can also read his own documentary essay with photos of an earlier trip he went on to Auchwitz, before the one Dana wrote about.
• Elisa Salasin posted some interesting comments regarding the article on expulsion rates for children in preschool. She also left a link for her Open Letter To Jenna Bush, published on Common Dreams.
Dear Ms. Bush,Read the rest and also check out Elisa's blog, two feet in.
I’ve read recently that you will soon be teaching in an urban, Washington, D.C. elementary school. As you begin your career there are a few things that I would like you to consider.
I’m sure that you are entering the profession with the highest of expectations for the children who will be under your care in the coming years, that you are not someone who might fall prey to the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” If possible, though, please take a few moments to think about just what it means to have high or low expectations for your students.
I ask you to do so because I believe that much of the so-called educational reform mandated in the name of “high” expectations truly reflects very low expectations of the intellectual capacities and learning potential of children – most specifically, poor children in urban schools who are usually not white and who often don't speak English as their first language.
This conclusion might seem counter-intuitive. After all, your father claims that No Child Left Behind is closing the achievement gap. He claims that test scores are rising, that more kids are reading at a higher level. I see that achievement gap differently – when teaching and textbooks mirror the tests, scores indeed will rise. In the eyes of some people, high expectations for students are being met. I see the high expectations of the testing/publishing industrial complex being met as their profits soar, and the high expectations of pundits being met as their pockets fatten. Let’s say that I’m wrong, though, and children are indeed learning more in this brave new world of education. We still cannot say that high expectations are being met without taking into account some of the other effects of NCLB on classrooms. A few examples include: students reading fewer actual books in school, far less time being spent on social studies, science, arts education, or any other activity that does not fall within the realm of concepts-to-be-tested.
• On the second of my two posts about Olen Burrage, Susan Klopfer posted an excerpt from her forthcoming book Where Rebels Roost: Mississippi Civil Rights Revisited, due out on June 15. Susan prefaces her excerpt, saying, "Look away from Neshoba County and the "regular" klansmen. So many others were involved ..." I have actually linked to a similar excerpt (scroll down to "Further Reading"), which Susan had posted previously on her website, in order to make precisely her point, that others—including Senator James O. Eastland and Representative Prentiss Walker—are on the chain of responsibility for the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. Here's part of what Susan posted:
.... Ninety miles away from Neshoba County in Jackson, Sovereignty Commission director Johnston was looking at a possible direct link between Andrew Goodman and "communists." The name "Goodman" had attracted Senator Eastland’s interest, since Goodman had family ties to Pacifica Broadcasting, a progressive, alternative-broadcasting network founded in 1949 by pacifists.A good source on the murders of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner is Susan's chapter on that story (scroll down past the web form), currently posted on her website.
Goodman’s father, Robert, was President of the Pacifica Foundation. One year prior to Andrew Goodman’s death, The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS), headed by Senator Eastland, completed a three-year investigation of Pacifica’s programming, looking for "subversion."
In 1962, Pacifica station WBAI was the first station to publicly broadcast former FBI agent Jack Levine's exposé of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI. The program was followed by threats of arrests and bombings, as well as pressure from the FBI, the Justice Department, and the FCC. Also that year, Pacifica trained volunteers to travel into the South for coverage of the awakening Civil Rights Movement. The station also took a strong anti-Vietnam war stance, helping to prompt the investigations.
Sovereignty Commission documents in fact show that Eastland knew the names and backgrounds of all volunteer workers in advance of their arrival, including Goodman. Records show the senator requested this information from the Sovereignty Commission well before the opening of Freedom Summer.
On February 26, 1965, Director Johnston wrote a letter to newly elected Congressman Prentiss Walker, requesting that he "ask the HUAC for any information about the Pacifica Foundation of New York…. We have reason to believe this foundation also is subversive."
Susan is now also keeping two new blogs: Civil Rights Books and Emmett Till. Civil Rights Books is intended as "a forum to share civil rights history in Mississippi." There is already quite a bit of interesting posted there. Susan's Emmett Till Blog promises to soon be a place to go to follow the developments in the new FBI investigation of Emmett Till's murder.
Photo by Peter Cunningham