“My skin is black,” the first woman’s story begins, “my arms are long.” And, to a slow and steady beat, “my hair is woolly, my back is strong.” Singing in a club in Holland, in 1965, Nina Simone introduced a song she had written about what she called “four Negro women” to a young, homogeneously white, and transfixed crowd. “And one of the women’s hair,” she instructed, brushing her hand lightly across her own woolly Afro, “is like mine.”
posted by ChuraChura
on Aug 6, 2014 -
"This project started with my dad on Thanksgiving. He was reminiscing about Doug Williams, who in 1988 became the first black quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl. All these years later, he was still proud of Williams, whose name to some may be that of a half-remembered player from the past but to millions of others remains a powerful symbol of progress. It stayed with me, and it seemed that it was worth telling the story not just of Williams, but of everyone—of all those generations of players who struggled so that Russell Wilson could be, simply, a good young quarterback." Deadspin's The Big Book of Black Quarterbacks
posted by davidjmcgee
on Feb 6, 2014 -
2013 had a lot of great longform writing. Longreads
lead the way with their best of
Lots of sites provided year end lists: The American Prospect
, The Atlantic
, Business Week Buzz
, The Daily Beast
, Dazed Digital
, Esquire UK
, Impose Magazine
, i09, Lifehacker
, Mother Jones
, National Geographic
, National Journal
, The New Yorker
, On Earth
, The Electric Typewriter
, The Verge
, The Voice Media Group
, and The Washington Post. [more inside]
posted by reenum
on Dec 30, 2013 -
There is a fundamental disconnect between large-scale, for-profit media and the crushing power of enthusiasm, which is that when they try to control it, it instantly isn't real. It's patently unreal. It's excitement given life by force, Pet Sematary-style.
But when they don't control it, it isn't profitable. And that means that when they run into people excited about their stuff, they vacillate between an Ebenezerian lack of generosity and a Professor-Harold-Hillian smarm. To own enthusiasm and to exploit it are competing instincts, much as they often seem to be twins. You can, in fact, sometimes best exploit it — or only exploit it — by leaving it alone.
-- In what could be considered a Metafilter Manifesto, Mefi's own Linda Holmes
takes on the multivariate economics of fandom and the internet.
posted by Potomac Avenue
on Dec 20, 2013 -
This year's critical darling essay collection -- Junot Diaz's favorite read of the year (#)
, Michael Robbins's pick for best book of the year (#)
-- is White Girls
by Hilton Als. Mentions of Als are infrequent on Metafilter, so I thought I would share a Readlist collection of his stuff
(that has a bit of overlap with the book).
posted by AceRock
on Dec 16, 2013 -
From the Dallas Morning News, an 8-part profile of Lauren Kavanaugh
, who was kept in a closet for six years before being rescued at age 8 weighing 26 lbs, and of the remarkable people and recovery that has followed. [Warning:
this story and the accompanying photos and videos are immensely hard to read, watch and listen to, and this piece is a trigger for every possible kind of abuse.]
posted by DarlingBri
on Oct 31, 2013 -
Free, Tarek and John
Longread by Justin Podur about the campaign to free Canadian filmmaker John Grayson (among his films is the South Africa-based Proteus
) and doctor Tarek Loubani, who were on their way to Gaza via Egypt in August 2013 when they were detained. Insight into what went on behind the scenes and what political and strategic calculations were made.
posted by larrybob
on Oct 27, 2013 -
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune newspaper published a special project recently: The Stolen Ones
investigates the local child sex trafficking industry, and documents stories from survivors and their families. (SFW, but some readers may find the content disturbing.) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 25, 2013 -
"Malalai has seen more of Afghanistan than many of the white-bearded men who run this country. She's been travelling in the cockpit of military helicopters since she was two months old; her mother is an Afghan army pilot."
This is a beautifully illustrated long read
posted by puffl
on Feb 14, 2013 -
A trip like this may seem strange to you. You could reasonably accuse us of a kind of exoticism. But people travel for lots of reasons. There’s beach tourism, sex tourism, wine tourism. This trip, for me, offered something a lot more interesting: a chance to feed our long fascination with the idea of pre-agrarian society. For 40,000 years, from the rise of behaviorally modern humans until the development of agriculture 9,000 years ago, all of our ancestors had lived somewhat like the Mbuti do today. More than anything, Dan and Chris and I just wanted a glimpse of what that past might have looked like.
Of Men, Okapi, and Rebels
, or, looking for Mbuti hunter-gatherers in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve.
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jan 1, 2013 -
The Toronto Star has recently published a three-part story (1
) on the life and death of toddler Stella Joy, who was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma
) at age 2. As this disease is considered 100% fatal, Stella's mothers (link to blog)
chose not to have Stella undergo radiation treatment in order to preserve as much quality of life as possible. The love of Stella's family and community as they support her and each other through her death is truly inspiring. [more inside]
posted by fiercecupcake
on Dec 17, 2012 -
Conceived as sort of a companion to Longreads, Longform, Pocket, Byliner, etc., Nieman Storyboard's Why's This So Good?
series looks at why
some great long-form journalism and narrative nonfiction pieces are so great. There are over 60 installments of writers talking shop about writing. [more inside]
posted by AceRock
on Nov 26, 2012 -
I'd always been fascinated by the trope of the doppelgänger and its long literary life, from Dostoyevsky to Nabokov to Spider-Man. Often, in books, these physical doubles represent the worst a character is capable of. Lately, though, perhaps because at age 41 I'd begun feeling less like the captain of my life and more like its deckhand, I'd started wondering if there was someone out there who embodies not your worst self, but your freest one—a person who encapsulates everything you've ever dreamed of becoming. Let's call him your Cooler Self. All those dreams that got lost along the way, the ones that were casualties of chance or duty or cowardice: There's a "you" out there—a mountain climber or war photographer or race-car driver—who brought them to fruition.
So I vowed to hunt down my Cooler Self
posted by AceRock
on May 13, 2012 -
: in which the Verge investigates "a network of pitchmen who have used the internet and fear of a failing economy to play the ultimate long con."
posted by doublesix
on May 10, 2012 -