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‘Pageants, Parlors & Pretty Women: Race and Beauty in the 20th Century South’

bookreview 600America has a long, ugly legacy of promoting diametrically opposed images of black and white females. This can be traced all the way back to Founding Fathers like Thomas Jefferson, an adulterer who had a white wife, but fathered a half-dozen children with Sally Hemmings, one of his hundreds of slaves.

Yet, in his only book, "Notes on the State of Virginia," the hypocritical third President of the U.S. frowned upon race-mixing while denouncing black women as unattractive on account of their hair texture and skin color. He actually went so far as to pronounce sisters so promiscuous that they would just as soon mate with an ape as a human.

Sadly, such racist notions continued to shape popular attitudes about African-American femininity after Emancipation, especially in the South with its strictly-enforced color line. In the wake of the Civil War, Caucasian women "were transformed into symbols of white supremacy and, eventually, massive resistance," to integration and equal rights.

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This Weekend in Memphis!


* In-Synk's May Leadership Lunch and Learn - "Thinking, Fast and Slow" | 11:45am-1:00pm | Triumph Bank Board Room

* Beale Street Music Festival | All Day | Tom Lee Park

Race - Are We So Different? Exhibition | All Day | Pink Palace Museum

* Grace – A Play by Craig Wright | 8:00pm | The Circuit Playhouse

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Inseparable: education, healthcare and economic development

NOBCO 600The 30th annual Economic Development Conference of the National Organization of Black County Officials was woven with a thread that accented the inextricable tie between education, healthcare and economic development.

During the five-day conference (April 23rd-29th) held in Memphis and Tunica County, Mississippi, that link brought Soulsville Academy students in contact with White House officials and representatives of the Obama administration. The essential connection also was amplified by the presence of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, and Dr. Eric Whitaker, a doctor-turned-financial consultant who is used to calling the President and nation's first lady by their first names.

Dr. Whitaker, physician investor and business development consultant for Grosvenor Capital Management, was the keynote speaker during a luncheon at the Rendezvous. Known as a Chicago friend and basketball/golf buddy of the President, Whitaker said he thinks of healthcare holistically, meaning the interplay of health, education and economic development.

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Early-voting pulse faint but detectable

politics2014 600Early voters in the Whitehaven area outpaced those in the rest of the city's satellite voting locations by a wide margin as May 1st – the final day for early voting – approached.

Casting their ballots at Abundant Grace Fellowship Church at 1574 East Shelby Drive, 1,059 people voted, according to the Shelby County Election Commission. Next was the polling spot at Riverside Baptist Church (3560 S. Third) with 926 voters, and Bethel Church (5586 Stage Rd.) with 762.

The highest total was the downtown Shelby County Office Building with 1437 votes.

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‘No!’ say Senate Republicans to minimum wage

minimumwage 600President Obama on Wednesday sent out a written statement saying it's time for Congressional Republicans to "listen to the majority of Americans who say it's time to give America a raise."

The statement itself speaks to the fact that as a group, the Republicans are either not hearing the same thing as President Obama and his Congressional supporters. Or, they are fundamentally aligned with another thought pattern.

Meanwhile, that thud coming of the Senate chamber is the aftershock from a 54-42 vote on Wednesday that signaled the failure of a proposal linked to bumping the federal minimum wage up from $7.25 to $10.10. Sixty votes were needed to derail a filibuster against a measure pushing the increase. When the votes were counted only one Republican had chosen to let the measure go forward.

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