The authors use photographs to illustrate the era of transition away from legal chattel slavery in the United States. The collection includes the famous photograph of Private Gordon’s back, heavily scarred from being whipped. Discusses the desire of a master to recapture his “rather good looking” slave, Dolly, as revealed in his advertisement. Some pictures are small or fuzzy, making them difficult to see. Most of the photographs are formal, and show their subjects as poised and calm. Includes photographs of former slaves accepted as contraband by the Union Army, along with Sergeant Major Lewis Douglass and Charles Remond Douglass, the sons of Frederick Douglass. The book names Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri as slaveholding states which were not included in the Emancipation Proclamation, but fails to mention New Jersey, where “lifetime indentured apprentices” were held until the ratification of the 13th Amendment on December 6, 1865.
The book is recommended for photography buffs, and those who have not read much about the immediate pre-Civil War era.
I visited some friends last month in New York and New Jersey. It was hot. The Big Apple was packed with people. I spent most of my time in Midtown and SoHo, as usual.
One day I was eating lunch at the Museum of Modern Art, taking a break before returning to the amazing exhibits. There was a parking lot across the street, and I was fascinated with the people coming out. They had a determined look, as if their next step would determine the course of their lives. The guy next to me said sarcastically, “Some view, eh?” and I told him “I love it.” This confused him into a deep silence.
Some of the women were wearing capri-length shorts, with chunky, ugly shoes. It is a terrible look which I hope will never travel to LA. My friend Debora told me this style comes from Connecticut, where they are so busy they don’t care how they look.
Debora took the picture of the Empire State Building from the rooftop bar at The Strand. It was Mexican Independence Day, leading to the use of green, red and white lights. We had some good Mexican food at Acapulco in Brooklyn, where we stayed at the Box House Hotel. We could see the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building across the water, all lit up at night. A good trip.
My mother, Gail B. Wise, died of pancreatic cancer one year ago today. We still miss her.
I have readjusted my late life plans, financially and otherwise. I will try to appreciate my freedom, which doesn’t seem like much right now. I hope that the memories will be sweeter, and the pain less overwhelming, as I continue to wake up and see that gorgeous Navajo rug on my wall every morning.
Nothing is guaranteed, but at the same time, we have to plan for a possible long life. My father died at 71 (lung cancer), my mother at 74, my grandfather at 86 (prostate cancer), and my grandmother at 93 (three separate cancers). My paperwork is up to date, and I take it one day at a time.
Dangerous girls, violent crime and payback dominate the story. Three young women make money in a bad way, doping and robbing their would-be customers. The sex scenes have no emotion, only action and money, appropriate to strictly professional interactions. The book is well-paced and the writing is above average, but even a surprising twist fails to completely mask the moralistic tone of the finale.
A good read from the library, but you might not want to risk a purchase unless you have lots of extra cash like “the girls.”