RACE IN TOYLAND: A NONWHITE DOLL CROSSES OVER

“The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.”

Theodore Sturgeon, Star Trek

 

A doll that happens to be Black, with crossover appeal to children of various ethnicities?

To be honest, why not?

Children like what they like, and if the toy/doll gives them a good sense of self, helps them engage in broadening their minds and horizons, as well as gives them something to play with and interact with other children, well that cannot help but be a good thing.

There are children of so many ethnicities in the world, and they all have experiences and lives that are no different from each other. Even in the act of play, they all learn that there is nothing wrong about being a human being who happens to be Black; they learn that Black adults and children have the same  needs, wants and desires as they do, and that should not be some surprise. In play, children prepare themselves for the real world, and how they will carry themselves in it and how they can strive to get along with all they cross paths with in the future.

In this sense, Latino-, Asian-, Arab-, Native Americans, along with their fellow White Americans should overthrow the belief in their minds that “white is right, and black is bad”. That you do not have to buy into a mythological lie that only whiteness should be embraced; that everyone else who is non-black can strive, endeavor, and accomplish—but Black people can never be given this credit to their humanity. Children are not blind to racism, sexism, and all the other isms out there in the world. What they see and hear from the adults around them, word and deed, is not something that will get past them. Young as their minds are, they cannot put into words their understanding of all they see and pick up on from the adults around them, but as they grow and mature in body, the question will remain if and how have they grown and matured in mind and treatment of their fellow human beings.

If Barbie, G.I. Joe Dolls, Disney Princesses, the Cabbage Patch Dolls, and so many others can capture the imagination of millions of children, so too can Doc McStuffins with all of her accoutrements.

And I say hooray for that.

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RACE IN TOYLAND: A NONWHITE DOLL CROSSES OVER

Natalie Elisabeth Battles, 3, of Arkansas, with her Doc McStuffins toys. She sometimes wears a doctor’s coat to preschool. Credit Jacob Slaton for The New York Times
Jade Goss, age 2, looks as if she just stepped out of the wildly popular “Doc McStuffins” cartoon.

“She has the Doc McStuffins sheets. She has the Doc McStuffins doll. She has the Doc McStuffins purse. She has Doc McStuffins clothes,” said Jade’s mother, Melissa Woods, of Lynwood, Calif.

“I think what attracts her is, ‘Hey, I look like her, and she looks like me,’ ” Ms. Woods said of the character, an African-American child who acts as a doctor to her stuffed animals.

With about $500 million in sales last year, Doc McStuffins merchandise seems to be setting a record as the best-selling toy line based on an African-American character, industry experts say.

Its blockbuster success reflects, in part, the country’s changing consumer demographics, experts say, with more children from minority backgrounds providing an expanding, less segregated marketplace for shoppers and toymakers.

But what also differentiates Doc — and Dora the Explorer, an exceptionally popular Latina character whose toy line has sold $12 billion worth of merchandise over the years, Nickelodeon executives say — is her crossover appeal.

Nathan Lipschik, 2, of Scarsdale, N.Y., with a Doc McStuffins set that lets him play he is a doctor. Disney executives and toy analysts say that the merchandise’s appeal has also extended to boys. Credit Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

“The kids who are of color see her as an African-American girl, and that’s really big for them,” said Chris Nee, the creator of Doc McStuffins. “And I think a lot of other kids don’t see her color, and that’s wonderful as well.”

Nancy Kanter, general manager of Disney Junior Worldwide, which developed “Doc McStuffins” — and who suggested the character be African-American in the first place — said Doc’s wide-ranging fan base could be gleaned from a spreadsheet. “If you look at the numbers on the toy sales, it’s pretty obvious that this isn’t just African-American families buying these toys,” Ms. Kanter said. “It’s the broadest demographics possible.”

Industry experts say that children still tend to gravitate toward toys and characters that look like them, with parents clamoring for more nonwhite dolls and protesting in online petitions when a company drops a black or an Asian doll, as American Girl did in May.

“Right now there are more multicultural children being born under the age of 5,” said Lisa Williams, chief executive of World of EPI, the company behind Positively Perfect Dolls, a line of multicultural dolls sold at Walmart stores around the country. “They are no longer the minority; they are actually the majority of children. The demand is there.”

Recent census data supports Ms. Williams’s point of the growing marketplace for nonwhite dolls and characters: Last year, roughly half of all infants in the United States were minorities, and minority children under 18 are expected to outnumber non-Hispanic whites of the same ages by 2018.

These days, any toy whose sales reach several hundred million dollars, as Doc’s have, is considered significant, given the toy industry’s estimated $22 billion business nationwide. In the past, none of the toys based on Tiana, a recent black Disney princess; Little Bill, a television series starring an African-American boy; or even Michael Jackson in the 1980s have enjoyed such a prosperous shelf life as Doc’s, according to the NPD Group, a market research company.

“This is a different stratosphere,” said Jim Silver, editor in chief of TTPM.com, a website that covers toys.

Mr. Silver, along with parents and analysts, suspects that the key to the “Doc McStuffins” success is the TV character, which appeals to parents and children alike. But social and political changes over the last few decades have also broadened customers’ views.

“I don’t know if this character, 15 or 20 years ago, would have been as successful, because the culture has changed, and attitudes have changed,” Mr. Silver said of Doc. “You go back 20 years ago, and does a black president get elected?”

Margaret Beale Spencer, a professor of comparative human development at the University of Chicago whose research has focused on children, race and identity, said children from all backgrounds derive meaningful lessons from their toys.

“Children’s play is serious business,” Dr. Spencer said. “They are getting ideas about who they are from these objects. There are messages about one’s confidence, one’s sense of self in terms of what I look like and being powerful.”

At the same time, she notes that children of different races or ethnicities do view some toys differently. “When little white girls embrace Doc McStuffins, for them Doc McStuffins is a girl, and Doc McStuffins is powerful,” Dr. Spencer said. “For a little black girl, it may be all of those things, but also that she’s black.”

Natalie Elisabeth Battles, a toddler who lives with her family in Little Rock, Ark., is so taken with Doc McStuffins that she sometimes wears a doctor’s coat to preschool. She has worn the full Doc McStuffins outfit, complete with stethoscope and thermometer, while accompanying her parents shopping, prompting other children to want a picture with her. Her father, Kevin, said they think she looks like Doc.

“To be able to identify with someone of her own race doing something positive” is valuable, her mother, Jennifer, said. “I know she’s only 3, but I think the message reaches her.”

Other mothers appreciate the character’s lifelike features.

“She has real coarse and pretty curly hair,” Kataya Smith said of her 5-year-old daughter, Kaydrian. “The Caucasian dolls’ hair is easy to manage, and I don’t want her to feel that that’s the way you need to look to be pretty. I want her to know: This is a pretty baby doll, and she has hair like me.”

Ms. Williams’s line of Positively Perfect Dolls offers a variety of hair textures and skin tones, “from vanilla crème to pecan to mocha,” she said, adding that the facial features include “full lips, noses and deep eyes” that better resemble children of nonwhite backgrounds. She added two Latina dolls, Aleyna and Camila, this year.

Despite the newfound success of a few nonwhite dolls, a decision in May by American Girl to discontinue two dolls provoked an outcry among some parents. Frustrated parents protested on the company’s Facebook page, contending that the action was a step backward.

A spokeswoman for American Girl said those two dolls were part of a line of “friend” dolls, designed as companions to another character that the company is moving away from. She also pointed to several other dolls of color, including Addy and some Bitty Baby dolls.

But the flap highlighted continuing gaps in toyland, with parents of Asian children and toy analysts saying that Asian dolls may be the scarcest of all.

No divide in the toy store is wider, however, than that between the girl and boy aisles. And that is another bridge Doc McStuffins has remarkably crossed, according to Disney executives and toy analysts.

Even though most Doc McStuffins toys look like toys typically marketed to girls, boys like Nathan Lipschik, 2, and his brother Asher, 4, who live in Scarsdale, N.Y., have also become fans of the cartoon and its merchandise.

“I was surprised when they started watching the show,” their mother, Leah Lipschik, said, adding that the pair more often leaned toward series like “Jake and the Never Land Pirates.”

Ms. Lipschik welcomes the show’s diversity, especially for her young son Nathan. “He sees the same type of person every day, and that person is white,” she said.

And she is fine with the little boy’s interest in what some children Nathan’s age might consider girl’s toys. “Do I care that it’s purple and pink?” she said. “He loves it. So I don’t care.”

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 7-27-2014

BEL KAUFMAN, WHO TOLD WHAT SCHOOL WAS REALLY LIKE

The writer Bel Kaufman with Sandy Dennis, who starred in the 1967 movie “Up the Down Staircase.”

Her daughter, Thea Goldstine, confirmed the death.

First published by Prentice Hall, “Up the Down Staircase” spent more than a year on the New York Times best-seller list. It has sold more than six million copies and been translated into at least 16 languages. So fully has the novel entered the collective consciousness that its title is still used as a catchphrase to describe absurd or impossible situations.

“Up the Down Staircase” was made into a popular movie of the same name, released in 1967. Directed by Robert Mulligan, it starred Sandy Dennis as Ms. Kaufman’s idealistic young teacher protagonist, Sylvia Barrett.

Ms. Kaufman at home in 2011 when she was 100. Credit Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

The book and movie made Ms. Kaufman a celebrity; for decades afterward, she was in demand as a speaker before educational and civic groups. She was also a highly visible public presence at events commemorating the work of the great Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, her maternal grandfather.

Ms. Kaufman wrote one other novel, “Love, Etc.,” about a middle-aged woman coping with divorce. It appeared in 1979 to mixed reviews.

Largely epistolary in structure, “Up the Down Staircase” is organized as a series of dispatches from the front as it follows Sylvia through her first year at Calvin Coolidge High, a fictitious yet all-too-real New York public school.

The narrative comprises Sylvia’s wistful letters to a college friend, now married and safely installed in the suburbs; bits of student papers (“We study myths like Orpheum & his girl friend because it takes place in the Greek Underground”); and messages left in the class suggestion box (“You’re a good teacher except for the rotten books you have to teach like the Oddissy. I wouldn’t give it to a dog to read”).

There is also the thicket of memos from school administrators, aptly described by Sylvia as “trivia-in-triplicate.”

“Dear Sir or Madam,” one directive reads. “In reply to your request for resignation, please be advised that yours was filled out improperly.” Others range over subjects like “Lateness due to absence” and “Polio Consent slips.”

Amid the laughter, Ms. Kaufman’s book explored deeply serious issues, from classrooms with chronically broken windows and too few chairs to teenage pregnancy, trouble with the law and a student’s attempted suicide. The world of the novel, she often said, was based closely on her own experience as a teacher in New York City high schools.

Belle Kaufman was born on May 10, 1911, in Berlin, where her father, Michael, was studying medicine. Her mother, Lala Rabinowitz Kaufman, was the eldest daughter of Sholem Aleichem, whose well-loved stories of shtetl life were the basis of the Broadway musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” Also a writer, Lala Kaufman later contributed thousands of short-short stories to The Jewish Daily Forward, the Yiddish-language newspaper in New York.

When Belle was very young, her family returned to their home in Odessa, in what is now Ukraine. She grew up there, amid the scent of acacia trees, in “a city of poets and sailors, merchants and musicians, Jewish intellectuals and exotic strangers from beyond the Black Sea,” as she wrote in an essay in “Odessa Memories” (2003; edited by Nicolas V. Iljine).

The coming of the Russian Revolution in 1917 put the Kaufmans at grave risk: With their comfortable home and household servants, they were considered members of the bourgeoisie. Ms. Kaufman later wrote of soldiers bursting into their home, smashing items and shooting off guns.

When Belle was 12, the family managed to leave for the United States. Though many other members of the bourgeoisie, as Ms. Kaufman wrote, had been “jailed or shot trying to cross the border,” the connection to Sholem Aleichem, who had died in 1916, allowed the Kaufmans to leave in safety. They settled in the Bronx, where Belle, who spoke no English, was placed in a class of first graders.

As an undergraduate at Hunter College, she enrolled by chance in an education class and was captivated. She graduated magna cum laude in 1934 and earned a master’s degree in English from Columbia University in 1936.

To obtain a municipal teaching license, Ms. Kaufman had to beard the monster then known as the New York City Board of Examiners. Year after year, she failed the board’s oral exam: The vestiges of her Russian accent, examiners told her, made her diction unworthy of a proper schoolteacher’s.

For several years until she got her regular license, Ms. Kaufman was relegated to substitute teaching in a string of New York City high schools, any one of which could have been Calvin Coolidge.

“One morning a boy came to class three months late,” Ms. Kaufman wrote in 1991, in her introduction to a new edition of “Up the Down Staircase.” “I greeted him with a feeble joke: ‘Welcome back! What happened? Did you rob a bank?’ ‘No,’ he said. ‘A grocery store.’ ”

“Up the Down Staircase” came along, Ms. Kaufman said afterward, at a low point in her life. She was teaching, selling the occasional short story to magazines and “living alone in a tiny apartment with very little money or hope for the future,” as she wrote in 1991. (In the 1940s, in order to sell a story to Esquire, which took a dim view of submissions by women, she began signing her work with the more androgynous first name Bel.)

In 1961, Ms. Kaufman wrote a short story about a young teacher’s life, told through a pastiche of notes, memos and other scraps of paper. After several rejections, she sent it to Saturday Review, which published it in the Nov. 17, 1962, issue under the title “From a Teacher’s Wastebasket.”

Ms. Kaufman received $200, less a $20 agent’s commission. The day the story was published, Gladys Justin Carr, an editor at Prentice Hall, asked her to turn it into a book.

Ms. Kaufman’s first marriage, to Sydney Goldstine, ended in divorce. Besides her daughter, Thea, from her first marriage, survivors include her second husband, Sidney J. Gluck; a son from her first marriage, Jonathan Goldstine; a brother, Sherwin Kaufman; and a granddaughter.

Over the years, Ms. Kaufman was often asked whether the memorandums in “Up the Down Staircase” were real. Though they were inane enough to look real, she explained, in fact, she had invented most of them. (Ms. Kaufman did include a few actual New York City Board of Education memos, but had to tone them down to make them credible.)

The best indication of Ms. Kaufman’s skill at dead-on bureaucratic mimicry came from one of her former schools. After “Up the Down Staircase” was published, she wrote, an assistant principal there began annotating his official directives with a stern red-penciled admonition.

It read: “DO NOT SHOW THIS TO BEL KAUFMAN.”

SOURCE

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KENNETH B. NOBLE, FORMER TIMES REPORTER

Kenneth Noble in 1988. Credit Jack Manning/The New York Times

The cause was congestive heart failure, his wife, Dr. Lorna McFarland, said.

Mr. Noble graduated from Yale in 1975 and from the University of Southern California Law School in 1979, but he had no journalism experience when he was selected by The Times in 1980 to be trained in its minority internship program.

After two years in the New York headquarters, Mr. Noble was sent to Washington, where he covered financial and economic news and soon developed a specialty in articles on finance and law. He wrote about commodities fraud, insider trading and the savings and loan crisis, and about the government regulators who caught — or had overlooked — the wrongdoing.

Mr. Noble, who had attended a segregated grade school in Gainesville, Fla., told family and friends that the most deeply affecting assignment of his career was the Africa beat. As head of the West Africa bureau of The Times from 1989 to 1994, he covered the two dozen countries along the continent’s west coast, including Ghana, the country from which he believed his ancestors were probably taken by slave traders in the 18th or 19th century.

“It wasn’t something he talked about very much, but he went through a lot of emotional sorting while there,” said Richard S. Carnell, a friend since childhood and an associate professor at Fordham Law School.

During his posting, Mr. Noble chronicled the lush life of the Liberian strongman Samuel K. Doe, the first of his country’s leaders who was not a descendant of freed American slaves, and the 10-year civil war that led to his execution by rebels in 1990. He covered civil war in Angola, the AIDS pandemic in Zaire and coup attempts in Nigeria.

In a 1991 dispatch from Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, he wrote about the palm trees: “The trees began disappearing last fall when, as starvation spread in this war-shattered capital, thousands were cut down and their edible hearts eagerly and desperately consumed.”

“The trees will take years to grow back, but they surely will,” he wrote. “Monrovia’s future is less hopeful.”

Kenneth Bernard Noble was born in Manhattan on Aug. 14, 1953, to Ella Jeter, a social worker for the city Department of Social Services, and John Noble, whom he saw infrequently after one searing encounter.

“The first memory Ken had was of his father stabbing his mother,” Mr. Carnell said in an interview on Monday. “That was when he was about 4.”

Mr. Noble’s mother survived, but he was raised mostly by his grandmother, Florence Waldon Smith, a secretary for a school district outside Gainesville who pushed him to excel and planted the idea in his head at a young age that he would attend Yale someday. “She saw something in him, and she was right,” said Mr. Noble’s wife, Dr. McFarland, from whom he had been separated for four years.

Besides Dr. McFarland, he is survived by two sons, Eric and David.

After leaving The Times in 1997, Mr. Noble taught journalism at the University of Southern California and at the University of California, Berkeley. About four years ago, he returned to Gainesville from Los Angeles, where he had lived for many years.

Correction: July 24, 2014
An obituary on Wednesday about the former New York Times reporter Kenneth B. Noble referred incorrectly to the Liberian leader Samuel K. Doe, whom Mr. Noble wrote about during his posting in Africa. He was the first of the country’s leaders who was not descended from freed American slaves; he was not a descendant of freed American slaves.

SOURCE

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KARL ALBRECHT, A FOUNDER OF ALDI STORES

Karl Albrecht, the co-founder of the Aldi chain of discount stores.

His death was confirmed by Aldi, which delayed the announcement until after his funeral.

The Aldi chain formerly managed by Mr. Albrecht (the name is short for Albrecht Discount) now has nearly 5,000 stores worldwide, including 1,300 in the United States, two of them in the New York City area, and all of them known for spartan décor and low prices. A separate organization formerly run by Theo Albrecht, which also uses the Aldi name, has 4,800 outlets in Europe.

“Our only consideration when we are working out a product’s price is how cheaply we can sell it,” Karl Albrecht once said.

As teenagers, the brothers would tow a wooden wagon along the cobbled streets of Essen’s Schonnebeck neighborhood, selling fresh buns. Their father, Karl, a miner, had been disabled by emphysema in the 1930s, making it necessary for their mother, Anna, to open a food store in a four-story brick rowhouse. The store somehow survived more than 200 Allied bombings of the industrial city of Essen, home of the Krupp armaments manufacturer.

An Aldi store in Frankfurt in 1980. The Aldi chain that Karl Albrecht once led now has nearly 5,000 stores worldwide. Credit Jörg Schmitt/DPA Picture-Alliance, via Associated Press

Drafted into Hitler’s Wehrmacht, Karl Albrecht was wounded and captured on the Russian front, and Theo, a member of the Afrika Korps, was seized by American troops in Tunisia.

The brothers took over the store after the war and by the late 1940s had begun opening more shops around the city, selling milk, bread, butter and other basics at low cost as Germany struggled with its postwar recovery. By 1955, the Albrechts had more than 100 stores and, by 1960, more than 300 throughout much of West Germany.

Today, Aldi stores usually offer no more than 2,000 products, most of which are private-label brands. (Other supermarkets carry as many as 45,000 items.) The products are often stacked on wooden pallets in the cardboard boxes in which they were delivered. Offering a limited assortment of basic products ensures constant turnover, reduces spoilage and labor, and gives the chain significant purchasing power with its suppliers — all to keep prices low.

Like that of any discount chain, Aldi’s price-cutting business model gave it a competitive advantage not only over independent stores, forcing some to close, but also over other discount rivals.

“What makes Aldi so special is that, quite simply, its prices are cheaper than just about anyone else’s, including Walmart’s,” The New York Times reported in 2008. “Where else can you buy an 18-ounce box of raisin bran cereal for just $1.49? Or a frozen pizza for $3.99? Or how about a DVD/CD player for $24.99?”

The strategy paid off for the brothers. Karl Albrecht was No. 24 on Forbes magazine’s most recent list of billionaires, and the richest German, with a fortune estimated at $25.9 billion. In 2009, Theo Albrecht, who died in 2010, had a net worth of $18.8 billion.

In 1961, after a disagreement about whether to sell cigarettes, the brothers divided the company into two operations within Germany, Karl running Aldi Süd and Theo running Aldi Nord. As they expanded into other countries, Karl controlled operations in Britain, Australia and the United States, while Theo ran the stores in Europe. Theo stepped into the American market in 1979 by buying the Trader Joe’s chain, applying some Aldi principles to upscale items like California wine, goat cheese and olive oil.

Karl Hans Albrecht was born on Feb. 20, 1920.

As he and Theo aged, they turned the business over to their sons and outside managers. The Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper reported that among Karl Albrecht’s survivors were a son and a daughter, and that his wife died last year.

He and his brother were known for remaining out of the public eye, a reclusive bent that was reinforced in 1971 after Theo was kidnapped and held for ransom for 17 days. They divided their time between fortresslike homes overlooking the Ruhr Valley near Essen and the 18-hole golf course that Karl built near the Black Forest in southwestern Germany.

Karl Albrecht maintained his low profile to the end. Even his retirement in 2002 was observed quietly, with the Irish newspaper The Sunday Tribune reporting, “Karl Albrecht hasn’t been quoted since 1953, when he spoke to an industry group.”

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HATEWATCH: TED NUGENT AND THE COEUR D’ALENE TRIBE THAT BOOKED HIM AT THEIR CASINO

Ted Nugent’s Upcoming Shows at American Indian Casino Face Scrutiny after Idaho Cancellation

By Bill Morlin on July 23, 2014 – 3:24 pm

Rocker Ted Nugent, it appears, is going to have a more difficult time booking shows at American Indian casinos after a North Idaho tribe’s decision this week to cancel an appearance because of his “history of racist and hate-filled remarks.”

The focus of the growing issue is not Nugent’s constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech, but why American Indians – the targets of racial animus for centuries – would host a performer whose on-stage antics are riddled with racism.

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe of American Indians cancelled Nugent’s August 4 appearance at its casino after being asked by Hatewatch on Monday how such a performance squared with the tribe’s remarkable history of involvement in human rights causes.

Nugent lashed out following the announcement, saying those responsible for cancelling his show were “unclean vermin,” Gannett Wisconsin Media reports.

An image from Nugent's Facebook page.

The developments are causing a buzz, not only in American Indian circles, but in other communities throughout the United States where Nugent’s “SHUTUP & JAM!” show is booked.

On Facebook and other social media sites, several people have called upon the Puyallup Tribe to cancel Nugent’s two shows scheduled for August 2 and 3 at the tribe’s Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash.

Puyallup Tribal Chairman Bill Sterud was en route to Hawaii today and couldn’t be reached for comment, but Hatewatch has learned he just sent a blistering memo directing the Emerald Queen to never again book Nugent.

“Yes, the Tribal Council has sent this memo directing that the casino never book him again,” tribal spokesman John Weymer told Hatewatch.

“Our council is proactive on this,” Weymer said, adding that Nugent previously has performed at Emerald Queen. “I’ve met him myself, and I can tell you he’s a jackass,” Weymer said.

It appeared that attempts were underway to cancel Nugent’s August concerts at Emerald Queen, but that may be a costly move for the tribe and its casino. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe has not publicly said how much it will have to spend to legally terminate its contract with Nugent, after spending hundreds of dollars in radio, television and newspaper advertising for his show, now cancelled.

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s cancellation decision has received overwhelming public support.

Meanwhile, Nugent, who recently called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel” and a “chimpanzee,” is getting attention from American Indian social media and news sites, including Indian Country.com.

“Nugent’s racially-insensitive behavior extends to Native Americans as well,” the site said in a lengthy post on Tuesday. “He frequently wears a feather headdress on stage and appropriates a sacred Native symbol in his song ‘Great White Buffalo,’ both of which are highly disrespectful to Native culture.”

The Indian Country article referred to Nugent’s comments on WorldNetDaily (WND.com) about a movement to change the name of the Washington Redskins pro football team. In the article called “A Tomahawk Chop to Political Correctness” Nugent wrote:

Every so often some numbskull beats the politically correct war drum protesting the names of sports teams. If there are Native Americans whose feathers are ruffled over the names of sports teams, I submit that they are sorely focused on all the wrong things.

He continued:

Call me crazy horse, but maybe we should start by addressing issues that truly matter most and would actually save Indian’s lives. These brutally ugly and heartbreaking conditions are the real modern trail of tears, but what’s really disgusting is that a Motown guitar player [Nugent] has to shine a light on the tragedy.

The Indian Country article said “anti-mascot activists would argue that the everyday use of a dated slur encourages exactly this sort of casual stereotyping and trivializing of Native culture.”

Nugent concluded the essay by casting himself as a savior of American Indians:

Because of my clean and sober, hands-on conservation bow-hunting lifestyle and song ‘The Great White Buffalo,’ Native American tribes have invited me to teach their young people how to reconnect with the land and teach them how to bow hunt the mighty American bison. It was in their midst that I learned firsthand about the terrible problems facing my Indian Blood Brothers.

“[The] decision by the Coeur d’Alene suggests Nugent may need to double-check his standing in Indian country,” the Indian Country piece said.

Devin Burghart, the Seattle-based Vice President of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR), applauded “the courageous decision by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe to cancel” the performance. He said his group was encouraging “all other venues to follow the lead of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and think twice about allowing Mr. Nugent to use their stages to promote his snarling brand of hatred and bigotry.”

But Burghart stressed that the “burden of addressing racism and bigotry shouldn’t fall onto the tribes.” He said it falls on everyone, “particularly the white fans of Mr. Nugent and the many predominantly white-owned venues where he is scheduled to perform” to challenge his racism.

SOURCE

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Idaho Indian Tribe Drops Ted Nugent Citing Rocker’s Racist Legacy

By Bill Morlin on July 21, 2014 – 7:30 pm

Ted Nugent in headdress

Less than seven hours after being asked about the racist legacy of rock entertainer Ted Nugent, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of American Indians this evening cancelled a scheduled performance next month by the controversial performer.

Tribal officials sounded completely caught off-guard earlier in the day when Hatewatch called and asked why the tribe – with a sterling record of combating hate and standing up for equal rights – had booked Nugent.

Heather Keen, the public relations director for the tribe, announced the decision that Nugent’s scheduled for Aug.4 was being abruptly cancelled.

“Nugent’s history of racist and hate-filled remarks was brought to Tribal Council’s attention earlier today” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Keen said in a statement e-mailed to media outlets.

“The Coeur d’Alene Tribe has always been about human rights – for decades, we have worked individually and as a Tribe to make sure that each and every person is treated equally and with respect and dignity,” the statement said.

Chief Allan, Chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, issued a one-sentence statement about the cancellation, without explaining how Nugent got booked in the first place.

“We know what it’s like to be the target of hateful messages and we would never want perpetuate hate in any way,” Allen said in the statement.

Laura Stensgar, the executive director of marketing for the tribe’s Coeur d’Alene Casino, apparently either made the decision or oversaw someone who booked Nugent. Many of his racist remarks have been made from the stage during rock performances, during which he sometimes wears an Indian headdress.

“We adamantly do not want our casino to be used as a venue for the racist attitudes and views that Ted Nugent espouses,” Stensgar said.

“Unfortunately, when we booked him, we were looking at him from an entertainment perspective, as an 80s rock ‘n roller, who we thought folks might enjoy,” Stensgar said.

“We take the comments and concerns of our community very seriously and we apologize to anyone who was offended by the idea that we would promote these kinds of attitudes. We will do our best to avoid such mistakes moving forward,” Stensgar added.

SOURCE

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Idaho Indian Tribe Books Ted Nugent, Racist Rocker, in PR Disaster

By Bill Morlin on July 21, 2014 – 1:16 pm

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe of American Indians — itself the target of a recent racist graffiti attack — has booked racist rocker Ted Nugent for a public concert next month at the tribe’s landmark North Idaho casino.

The decision is stirring controversy for a tribe that has proudly involved itself in human rights causes and contributed thousands of dollars to fight racism.

Nugent sometimes wears an Indian headdress on stage, coming close to ridiculing American Indian culture, and mocks those campaigning to change names of sports teams that use words like Redskins and Savages.

Ted Nugent in his headdress

The legendary rocker, who also is on the board of the National Rifle Association, has a “long history of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, animus towards immigrants, and propensity to use violence-tinged language,” Media Matters reported earlier this year.

That came after Nugent called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel” and referred to him as a “chimpanzee.” Nugent previously called Obama a Nazi and a “piece of shit” who should “suck on my machine gun.” He once called Hilary Clinton a “toxic cunt” and, on another topic, said, “I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best [if] had the South won the Civil War.”

Many of Nugent’s offensive comments have been made on stage during concerts, but he also
has made some of them as a contributor to World Net Daily, a right-wing publication known for pitching conspiracy theories, anti-gay propagandizing and challenging the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate.

“That’s a good question,” Heather Keen, the public relations officer for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe said today when asked why the tribe had booked the controversial rocker for a casino rock show on Aug. 4. “I’m going to have to check and see what happened here. Obviously, something may have fallen through the cracks.”

She promised to get a statement from Chief Allen, the full name of the tribal chairman, and Don Matheson, the chief executive officer of the Coeur d’Alene Resort and Casino. It was not immediately clear who booked Nugent or if tribal leaders were aware of the singer’s racist track record.

A short time after being contacted by Hatewatch, Keen released this more formal statement: “The casino is a large enterprise that operates very autonomously and under that model, the casino management team is in charge of booking entertainment acts. Tribal Council doesn’t play a part in day to day operations of the casino and in fact Tribal Council wasn’t aware of this booking until it was brought to their attention this morning. Reviewing scheduled acts is not something in which Tribal Council or the tribal government participates; however, if it had been up to Tribal Council this act would have never been booked. We’re looking into our options right now but ultimately that will need to be coordinated with and through our management team at the Casino.  Having said that, I believe there are some high-level conversations taking place at the Casino as we speak.”

“It’s surprising to me,” former tribal council member John Abraham, who also has served on the Kootenai County Human Rights Task Force, told Hatewatch. “I had no idea about this guy’s background and it’s really something.”

Christina Crawford, who worked for seven years as the tribe’s manager of entertainment and special events, said she was astounded when she was told Nugent would be appearing at the Coeur d’Alene Casino. Crawford was a founder of a human rights task force in Benewah County, where the casino is located.

“Never ever would I have booked that kind of racist at the casino,” Crawford told Hatewatch. “I find this astonishing.”

“The Coeur d’Alene Tribe has a long record of involvement in human rights issues and they understand clearly what harm prejudice can do. Maybe someone just booked him as a rock-and-roll act and paid no attention to his other issues.

“It’s so destructive for the tribe,” Crawford said.

Tony Stewart, a founder of the Kootenai County Human Rights Task Force, said he was dumbfounded about Nugent’s forthcoming appearance hosted by an American Indian tribe that fights racism.

“He’s a hate-filled speaker, is what he is,” Stewart said of Nugent.

The irony of the tribe’s decision to book Nugent is highlighted by an incident that occurred earlier in July, when unknown vandals defaced a sign on its reservation with the words “White power” and “Die [expletive] Indians,” along with what appeared to be a misdrawn swastika.

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WOW.

Absolutely, wow.

How the hell can anyone in this day and age not know who Ted Nugent is?

How can anyone have never heard of him or not be aware of his racist vitriol?

No one can possibly be that ignorant and dense.

Sheesh.

Obviously someone came to their senses and cancelled the event.

You would think with television, newspapers, blogs, and the Internet itself, no one person or group has an excuse to say they did not know the ideology or stance a person has on racism, sexism, ageism, or any other ism.

If you, in the plural, are going to book a speaker, take the time to find out all you can about the person.

It takes less time to do something right in the first place, than to have to explain why you did it wrong.

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WORLD HEPATITIS DAY [WHO]: JULY 28, 2014

 

WORLD HEPATITIS DAY

Quick Facts

World Hepatitis Day is observed on July 28 every year to raise awareness of hepatitis and encourage prevention and treatment.

Local names

Name Language
World Hepatitis Day English
Día Mundial contra la Hepatitis Spanish
עולם יום הפטיטיס Hebrew
اليوم العالمي لالتهاب الكبد الوبائي Arabic
세계 간염의 날 Korean
Welt-Hepatitis-Tag German

World Hepatitis Day 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

World Hepatitis Day 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

World Hepatitis Day is annually held on July 28 to promote awareness of hepatitis, a disease that affects the liver.

One way of preventing hepatitis is to get a vaccine against the disease before travelling

©iStockphoto.com/JodiJacobson

What do people do

Organizations such as the United Nations and the World Hepatitis Alliance work with individuals and community groups to promote awareness raising campaigns worldwide about hepatitis. Information about World Hepatitis Day is usually distributed via social media, newspapers, posters, and through the World Health Organization (WHO) website.

Background

Hepatitis simply means inflammation of the liver and can be caused by different things. One of the most common causes of chronic (long-term) hepatitis is viral infection. According to the World Hepatitis Alliance, about 500 million people are currently infected with chronic hepatitis B or C and 1 in 3 people have been exposed to one or both viruses.

The World Hepatitis Alliance first launched World Hepatitis Day in 2008. Following on, the UN declared official recognition of this event in 2010.

Symbols

There is a different theme for World Hepatitis Day each year. Past themes included “Get tested” and “This is hepatitis”.

World Hepatitis Day Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Thu Jul 28 2011 World Hepatitis Day United Nations observance
Sat Jul 28 2012 World Hepatitis Day United Nations observance
Sun Jul 28 2013 World Hepatitis Day United Nations observance
Mon Jul 28 2014 World Hepatitis Day United Nations observance
Tue Jul 28 2015 World Hepatitis Day United Nations observance
Thu Jul 28 2016 World Hepatitis Day United Nations observance
Fri Jul 28 2017 World Hepatitis Day United Nations observance
Sat Jul 28 2018 World Hepatitis Day United Nations observance
Sun Jul 28 2019 World Hepatitis Day United Nations observance
Tue Jul 28 2020 World Hepatitis Day United Nations observance

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 7-20-2014

JAMES GARNER, WITYY, HANDSOME LEADING MAN

 

An Actor of Disarming Wit

Credit Wyatt Counts/Associated Press

Mr. Garner, who smoked for most of his life, even after open-heart surgery in 1988, had suffered a stroke in 2008.

He was a genuine star but as an actor something of a paradox: a lantern-jawed, brawny athlete whose physical appeal was both enhanced and undercut by a disarming wit. He appeared in more than 50 films, many of them dramas — but as he established in one of his notable early performances, as a battle-shy naval officer in “The Americanization of Emily” (1964) and had shown before that in “Maverick” — he was most at home as an iconoclast, a flawed or unlikely hero.

An understated comic actor, he was especially adept at conveying life’s tiny bedevilments. One of his most memorable roles was as a perpetually flummoxed pitchman for Polaroid cameras in the late 1970s and early 1980s, in droll commercials in which he played a vexed husband and Mariette Hartley played his needling wife. They were so persuasive that Ms. Hartley had a shirt printed with the declaration “I am not Mrs. James Garner.”

His one Academy Award nomination was for the 1985 romantic comedy “Murphy’s Romance,” in which he played a small-town druggist who woos the new-in-town divorced mom (Sally Field) with a mixture of self-reliance, grouchy charm and lack of sympathy for fools.

Even Rockford, a semi-tough ex-con (he had served five years on a bum rap for armed robbery) who lived in a beat-up trailer in a Malibu beach parking lot, drove a Pontiac Firebird and could handle himself in a fight (though he probably took more punches than he gave), was exasperated most of the time by one thing or another: his money problems, the penchant of his father (Noah Beery Jr.) for getting into trouble or getting in the way, the hustles of his con-artist pal Angel (Stuart Margolin), his dicey relationship with the local police.

“Maverick” had been in part a sendup of the conventional western drama, and “The Rockford Files” similarly made fun of the standard television detective, the man’s man who upholds law and order and has everything under control. A sucker for a pretty girl and with a distinctly ’70s fashion sense — he favored loud houndstooth jackets — Rockford was perpetually wandering into threatening situations in which he ended up pursued by criminal goons or corrupt cops. He tried, mostly successfully, to steer clear of using guns; instead, a bit of a con artist himself, he relied on impersonations and other ruses — and high-speed driving skills.

Every episode of the show, which ran from 1974 to 1980 and more often than not involved at least one car chase and Rockford’s getting beaten up a time or two, began with a distinctive theme song featuring a synthesizer and a blues harmonica and a message coming in on a newfangled gadget — Rockford’s telephone answering machine — that underscored his unheroic existence: “Jim, this is Norma at the market. It bounced. Do you want us to tear it up, send it back or put it with the others?”

In his 2011 autobiography, “The Garner Files,” written with Jon Winokur, Mr. Garner confessed to having a live-and-let-live attitude with the caveat that when he was pushed, he shoved back. What distinguished his performance as Rockford was how well that more-put-upon-than-macho persona came across. Rockford’s reactions — startled, nonplused and annoyed being his specialties — appeared native to him.

His naturalness led John J. O’Connor, writing in The New York Times, to liken Mr. Garner to Gary Cooper and James Stewart. And like those two actors, Mr. Garner usually got the girl.

Mr. Garner came to acting late, and by accident. On his own after the age of 14 and a bit of a drifter, he had been working an endless series of jobs: telephone installer, oil field roughneck, chauffeur, dishwasher, janitor, lifeguard, grocery clerk, salesman and, fatefully, gas station attendant. While pumping gas in Los Angeles, he met a young man named Paul Gregory, who was working nearby as a soda jerk but wanted to be an agent.

Years later, after Mr. Garner had served in the Army during the Korean War — he was wounded in action twice, earning two Purple Hearts — he was working as a carpet layer in Los Angeles for a business run by his father. One afternoon he was driving on La Cienega Boulevard and saw a sign: Paul Gregory & Associates. Just then a car pulled out of a space in front of the building, and Mr. Garner, on a whim, pulled in. He was 25.

Mr. Gregory, by then an agent and a theatrical producer, hired him for a nonspeaking part in his production of Herman Wouk’s “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial,” which starred Henry Fonda, John Hodiak and Lloyd Nolan. It opened in Santa Barbara and toured the country before going to Broadway, where it opened in January 1954 and ran for 415 performances. Mr. Garner said he learned to act from running lines with the stars and watching them perform, especially Fonda, another good-looking actor with a sly streak.

“I swiped practically all my acting style from him,” he once said.

Mr. Garner claimed to have stage fright and no desire to act in the theater. He later played Lieutenant Maryk (the Hodiak role) in a touring company of the play that starred Charles Laughton, but afterward would almost never appear onstage again. Still, it was the serendipitous stop on La Cienega that changed his life.

“The only reason I’m an actor is that a lady pulled out of a parking space in front of a producer’s office,” he wrote in “The Garner Files.”

James Scott Bumgarner was born in Norman, Okla., on April 7, 1928. His paternal grandfather had participated in the Oklahoma land rush of 1889 and was later shot to death by the son of a widow with whom he’d been having an affair. His maternal grandfather was a full-blooded Cherokee. (Mr. Garner would later name his production company Cherokee Productions.)

His first home was the back of a small store that his father, Weldon, known as Bill, ran in the nearby hamlet of Denver. His mother, Mildred, died when he was 4. When he was 7, the store burned down and his father left James and his two older brothers to be raised by relatives; when his father remarried, the family reunited, but James’s stepmother was abusive, he said in his memoir, and after a violent episode at home, he left.

He worked in Oklahoma, Texas and Los Angeles, where his father finally resettled. He went briefly to Hollywood High School but returned to Norman, where he played football and basketball, to finish. In 1950, when the Korean War broke out, he was drafted.

Mr. Garner’s first Hollywood break came when he met Richard L. Bare, a director of the television western “Cheyenne,” who cast him in a small part. That and other bit roles led to a contract with Warner Bros., which featured him in several movies — including “Sayonara” (1957), starring Marlon Brando and based on James Michener’s novel set in Japan about interracial romance — and sliced the first syllable from his last name.

His first lead role was in “Darby’s Rangers” (1958) as the World War II hero William Darby, a part he was given after Charlton Heston walked off the set in a dispute with the studio over money. At about the same time he was cast as the womanizing gambler Bret Maverick, the role that made him a star.

Alone among westerns of the 1950s, “Maverick,” which made its debut in 1957, was about an antihero. He didn’t much care for horses or guns, and he was motivated by something much less grand than law and order: money. But you rooted for him because he was on the right side of moral issues, he had a natural affinity for the little guy being pushed by the bully, and he was more fun than anyone else.

“If you look at Maverick and Rockford, they’re pretty much the same guy,” Mr. Garner wrote. “One is a gambler and the other a detective, but their attitudes are identical.”

In a Maverick-like (or Rockford-like) move, Mr. Garner left the series in 1960 after winning a breach-of-contract suit against Warner Bros. over its refusal to pay him during a writers’ strike. He did not return to series television for a decade.

He found steady work in movies, however. In “The Children’s Hour” (1961), an adaptation of Lillian Hellman’s play, he played a doctor engaged to a schoolteacher (Audrey Hepburn) accused of being a lesbian. He appeared uncomfortable in that earnest role, but he was winning and warm in “The Great Escape” (1963), the World War II adventure about captured Allied fliers plotting to break out of a German prison camp, as Bob Hendley, the resourceful prisoner known as the Scrounger.

In 1964 he starred with Julie Andrews in “The Americanization of Emily,” which he called his favorite of all his films. He played the personal attendant of a Navy admiral, a fish out of water and the voice of the movie’s pacifist point of view.

Written by Paddy Chayefsky, it included perhaps the longest and most impassioned speech of his career: “I don’t trust people who make bitter reflections about war, Mrs. Barham,” he said, in part. “It’s always the generals with the bloodiest records who are the first to shout what a hell it is. And it’s always the widows who lead the Memorial Day parades.”

In 1966, he starred as an avenging frontier scout in the violent western “Duel at Diablo” and as a high-speed driver in “Grand Prix,” a film that sparked his interest in auto racing. He drove in the Baja 1000 off-road race several times, and he drove the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 in 1975, 1978 and 1985.

He also appeared in romantic comedies, including three in 1963: “The Thrill of It All” and “Move Over, Darling,” both with Doris Day, and “The Wheeler Dealers,” opposite Lee Remick. There was also a comic western, “Support Your Local Sheriff” (1969), and a follow-up, “Support Your Local Gunfighter” (1971). Other notable films included “Victor/Victoria” (1982), in which he was reunited with Ms. Andrews and played a man who falls in love with a woman even though she has been masquerading as a man.

Mr. Garner was often injured on the job; during the Rockford years, he had several knee operations and back trouble. More seriously, in 1988, he had a quintuple bypass operation, which cost him his job as spokesman for the beef industry.

After surgery, he made a vigorous return to work. He appeared in the television films “My Name Is Bill W” (1989), starring James Woods as a founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, and “Barbarians at the Gate” (1993), based on the best-selling book about the leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco; in “My Fellow Americans” (1996), a comic adventure in which he and Jack Lemmon played feuding former presidents who find themselves framed by the sitting president and end up together on the lam; and in the romantic film “The Notebook” (2004).

He also reprised his Rockford character in several television movies and appeared in the movie version of “Maverick” (1994) as Marshal Zane Cooper, a foil to the title character, played by Mel Gibson.

Of Mr. Garner’s other forays into series television, “Nichols” was said to have been his own favorite. A dark comic western set in Arizona in the early 20th century that was produced by Cherokee in 1971, it starred Mr. Garner as a retired soldier who becomes sheriff of his hometown. When NBC canceled it after one season, Mr. Garner was so incensed that he had his character killed in the final episode.

He later had recurring roles on a number of shows, including “Chicago Hope,” “First Monday” and “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter”; in the short-lived animated series “God, the Devil and Bob,” he was the voice of God.

Mr. Garner disdained the pretentiousness of the acting profession. “I’m a Methodist but not as an actor,” he wrote in “The Garner Files.” “I’m from the Spencer Tracy school: Be on time, know your words, hit your marks, and tell the truth. I don’t have any theories abut acting, and I don’t think about how to do it, except that an actor shouldn’t take himself too seriously, and shouldn’t try to make acting something it isn’t. Acting is just common sense. It isn’t hard if you put yourself aside and just do what the writer wrote.”

Nor did he sit still for the dog-eat-dog business side of Hollywood. In the early 1980s he again sued his employer, this time Universal, which he accused of cheating him out of his share of profits on “The Rockford Files.” Universal settled the case in 1989, reportedly paying him more than $14 million.

Mr. Garner, a lifelong Democrat who was active in behalf of civil rights and environmental causes, always said he met his wife, the former Lois Clarke, in 1956 at a presidential campaign rally for Adlai Stevenson, though in “The Garner Files” Mrs. Garner said they had actually met at a party earlier. She survives him, as do their daughter, Greta, known as Gigi; and Mrs. Garner’s daughter from a previous marriage, Kimberly.

Persuasively ambivalent as a hero of westerns, war movies and detective stories, Mr. Garner’s performances may have reflected his feelings about his profession.

“I was never enamored of the business, never even wanted to be an actor, really,” he told The New York Times in 1984. “It’s always been a means to an end, which is to make a living.”

Correction: July 20, 2014
An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of the co-author of James Garner’s 2011 autobiography, “The Garner Files.” He is Jon Winokur, not Vinokur. It also erroneously included a survivor. Mr. Garner’s brother Jack died in 2011.

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NADINE GORDIMER, NOVELIST WHO TOOK ON APARTHEID

A REMEMBRANCE In 1986 Nadine Gordimer came to lay a wreath in the black township of Alexandra where government security forces killed protesters. Credit Reuters
 

Her family announced her death in a statement.

Ms. Gordimer did not originally choose apartheid as her subject as a young writer, she said, but she found it impossible to dig deeply into South African life without striking repression. And once the Afrikaner nationalists came to power in 1948, the scaffolds of the apartheid system began to rise around her and could not be ignored.

“I am not a political person by nature,” Ms. Gordimer said years later. “I don’t suppose, if I had lived elsewhere, my writing would have reflected politics much, if at all.”

But whether by accident of geography or literary searching, she found her themes in the injustices and cruelties of her country’s policies of racial division, and she left no quarter of South African society unexplored, from the hot, crowded cinder-block neighborhoods and tiny shebeens of the black townships to the poolside barbecues, hunting parties and sundowner cocktails of the white society.

A VOICE Ms. Gordimer in 1964. Her work helped break the silence about the struggles and tragedies of South Africa under apartheid. Credit Grey Villet/The Life Images Collection, via Getty Images

Through Ms. Gordimer’s work, international readers learned the human effects of the “color bar” and the punishing laws that systematically sealed off each avenue of contact among races. Her books are rich with terror: The fear of the security forces pounding on the door in the middle of the night is real, and freedom is impossible. Even the political prisoner released from jail is immediately rearrested after experiencing the briefest illusion of returning to the world.

Critics have described the whole of her work as constituting a social history as told through finely drawn portraits of the characters who peopled it.

Ms. Gordimer told little about her own life, preferring to explore the intricacies of the mind and heart in those of her characters. “It is the significance of detail wherein the truth lies,” she once said.

But some critics saw in her fiction a theme of personal as well as political liberation, reflecting her struggles growing up under the possessive, controlling watch of a mother trapped in an unhappy marriage.

Ms. Gordimer was the author of more than two dozen works of fiction, including novels and collections of short stories in addition to personal and political essays and literary criticism. Her first book of stories, “Face to Face,” appeared in 1949, and her first novel, “The Lying Days,” in 1953. In 2010, she published “Telling Times: Writing and Living, 1954-2008,” a weighty volume of her collected nonfiction.

Banned Novels and a Nobel

Three of Ms. Gordimer’s books were banned in her own country at some point during the apartheid era — 1948 to 1994 — starting with her second novel, “A World of Strangers,” published in 1958. It concerns a young British man, newly arrived in South Africa, who discovers two distinct social planes that he cannot bridge: one in the black townships, to which one group of friends is relegated; the other in the white world of privilege, enjoyed by a handful of others he knows.

“A World of Strangers” was banned for 12 years and another novel, “The Late Bourgeois World” (1966), for 10: long enough to be fatal to most books, Ms. Gordimer noted. “The Late Bourgeois World” deals with a woman who faces a difficult choice when her ex-husband, a traitor to the anti-apartheid resistance, commits suicide.

The third banned novel was one of her best known, “Burger’s Daughter,” the story of the child of a family of revolutionaries who seeks her own way after her father becomes a martyr to the cause. It was unavailable in South Africa for only months rather than years after it was published in 1979, in part because by then its author was internationally known.

Ms. Gordimer was never detained or persecuted for her work, though there were always risks to writing openly about the ruling repressive regime. One reason may have been her ability to give voice to perspectives far from her own, like those of colonial nationalists who had created and thrived on the system of institutionalized oppression that was named the “grand apartheid” (from the Afrikaans word for “apartness”) when it became law.

Her ability to slip inside a life completely different from her own took her beyond the borders of white and black to explore other cultures under the boot of apartheid. In the 1983 short story “A Chip of Glass Ruby,” she entered an Indian Muslim household, and in the novel “My Son’s Story” (1990), she wrote of a mixed-race character. She won the Booker Prize in 1974 for “The Conservationist,” which had a white male protagonist.

Long before the struggle against apartheid was won, some of her books looked ahead to its overthrow and a painful national rebirth. In “July’s People” (1981), a violent war for equality has come to the white suburbs, driving out the ruling minority. In a reversal of roles, July, a black servant, brings his employers, a white family, to his isolated village, where he can protect them.

Ms. Gordimer wrote: “The decently-paid and contented male servant, living in their yard since they had married, clothed by them in two sets of uniforms, khaki pants for rough housework, white drill for waiting at table, given Wednesdays and alternate Sundays free, allowed to have his friends visit him and his town woman sleep with him in his room — he turned out to be the chosen one in whose hands their lives were to be held; frog prince, saviour, July.”

In “A Sport of Nature” (1987), the white wife of an assassinated black leader becomes, with a new husband, the triumphant first lady of a country rising from the rubble of the old order.

Perhaps surprisingly, Ms. Gordimer’s books were not the product of someone who had grown up in a household where the politics of race were discussed. Rather, Ms. Gordimer said, in her world, the minority whites lived among blacks “as people live in a forest among trees.”

It was not her country’s problems that set her to writing, she said. “On the contrary,” she wrote in an essay, “it was learning to write that sent me falling, falling through the surface of the South African way of life.”

The novelist in 1990. Credit Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

Nadine Gordimer was born to Jewish immigrant parents on Nov. 20, 1923, in Springs, a mining town in the province now known as Gauteng (formerly part of the vast northeastern area referred to as the Transvaal). Her father, Isidore Gordimer, a watchmaker who had been driven by poverty to emigrate from Lithuania, eventually established his own jewelry store. Her mother, the former Nan Myers, had moved with her family from Britain and never stopped thinking of it as home.

Theirs was an unhappy marriage.

“I suspect she was sometimes in love with other men,” Ms. Gordimer said in a 1983 interview with The Paris Review, “but my mother would never have dreamt of having an affair.” Instead she poured her energy, sometimes to a smothering degree, into raising Nadine and her older sister, Betty.

As a child, Ms. Gordimer recalled, she was a brash show-off who loved to dance and dreamed of becoming a ballerina. But her mother insisted that she stop dancing, because she had a rapid heartbeat. When she was 10, her mother pulled her out of the convent school she attended, telling her daughter that participating in running and swimming could harm her.

Years later, Ms. Gordimer said she learned that the rapid heartbeat was a result of an enlarged thyroid, and that it did not pose the danger her mother had implied. She came to believe that her supposed ill health had dovetailed with her mother’s hunger for romance.

“The chief person she was attracted to was our family doctor,” she told The Paris Review. “There’s no question. I’m sure it was quite unconscious, but the fact that she had this delicate daughter, about whom she could be constantly calling the doctor — in those days doctors made house calls, and there would be tea and cookies and long chats — made her keep my ‘illness’ going in this way.”

Childhood Reflected in Fiction

Scholars and critics have found threads from Ms. Gordimer’s childhood running through her fiction. John Cooke, in his book “The Novels of Nadine Gordimer: Private Lives/Public Landscapes,” saw “the liberation of children from unusually possessive mothers” as a central theme in Ms. Gordimer’s work. In novel after novel, he wrote, “daughters learn that truly leaving ‘the mother’s house’ requires leaving ‘the house of the white race.’ ”

It took Ms. Gordimer years to tear herself from her mother’s house.

Removed from school, Ms. Gordimer said, she became a “little old woman,” studying with a tutor and accompanying her mother to social engagements. The antidote to her isolation was reading, she said.

In 1945, she attended the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and thrived in what she called the “nursery bohemia” of university life, studying literature and deciding to pursue a writing life.

With the exception of a trip to what is now known as Zimbabwe, it was not until she was 30 that she ventured outside South Africa.

In 1949, Ms. Gordimer married a dentist, Gerald Gavron, and they had a daughter, Oriane. The marriage ended in divorce in 1952. Two years later, she married Reinhold H. Cassirer, an art dealer who had fled Nazi Germany and was a nephew of the philosopher Ernst Cassirer. Their son, Hugo, was born in 1955. Reinhold Cassirer died in 2001; her son and her daughter survive her.

Ms. Gordimer said little about her personal life in interviews. Journalists commonly noted her impatience with certain personal questions, sometimes describing her response as disdainful and irritable.

She did mention flirtations on occasion. “My one preoccupation outside the world of ideas was men,” she once said, without providing details.

She never wrote an autobiography. “Autobiography,” she said in 1963, “can’t be written until one is old, can’t hurt anyone’s feelings, can’t be sued for libel, or, worse, contradicted.”

Ms. Gordimer with Nelson Mandela, the former South African president, in Johannesburg in 2005. Credit Radu Sigheti/Reuters

She was, however, the subject of a 2005 biography, “No Cold Kitchen,” which drew wide attention not least for the bitter fallout she had with its author, Ronald Suresh Roberts, a former Wall Street lawyer who had grown up in Trinidad. She had originally authorized the biography and granted him access, but she later withdrew the authorization, objecting to the manuscript and accusing the author of breach of trust. The publishers under contract for the book — Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the United States and Bloomsbury in Britain — declined to issue it. (Both were publishers of Ms. Gordimer’s work.)

The biography was eventually published by a small South African house and was the talk of literary South Africa for its accusation that Ms. Gordimer had admitted to fabricating key elements in an autobiographical essay in The New Yorker in 1954. It also paints Ms. Gordimer as a hypocritical white liberal whose words masked a paternalistic attitude toward black South Africa.

When the Nobel committee awarded Ms. Gordimer the literature prize in 1991, it took note of her political activism but observed, “She does not permit this to encroach on her writings.”

That sentiment was one she said she clung to throughout her career. In 1975, she wrote in the introduction to her “Selected Stories”: “The tension between standing apart and being fully involved; that is what makes a writer. That is where we begin.”

In later interviews, she said that no one could live in a society like South Africa’s and stay isolated from politics. Looking back, she told an interviewer in 1994, “The fact that my books were perceived as being so political was because I lived my life in this society that was so much changed by conflict, by political conflict, which of course in practical terms is human conflict.”

She never stopped grappling with politics, despite her disdain for the polemical. And book by book, she crept closer to reconciling her writing with her political self. What she did not want to do, she said, was to write in the service of the anti-apartheid movement, despite her deep contempt for the government system. Over time, she revealed that she had been far from passive when politics touched her personally. She passed messages; hid friends, including high-ranking figures, who were trying to elude the police; and secretly drove others to the border. All these actions appear in her fiction, carried out by characters much braver than she portrayed herself to be.

The great victory, the end of apartheid, is not the end of the knotty moral problems those characters confront. In “None to Accompany Me,” published in 1994, the year Nelson Mandela was elected president in the country’s first fully democratic vote, one subplot concerns a black political exile, Didymus Maqoma, who comes home only to find that he has no place in the current struggle. Despite his sacrifices, he is overlooked by the post-revolutionary leaders in favor of his wife.

Reading Ms. Gordimer’s work is a reminder that the noose around South Africans tightened by increments, with ever stricter laws followed by correspondingly dimmer expectations. Critics have said that the tone of Ms. Gordimer’s writing fluctuated with the political climate, with an air of hope giving way to a sense of bleakness as racial violence gathered force.

Walls Come Tumbling Down

Some of her most difficult moments came in the 1970s, when the black consciousness movement sought to exclude whites from the fight for majority rule. That period cut her off from many intellectuals and artists and left her work vulnerable to criticism from many black Africans, who contended that a white author could never authentically tell a story through the eyes of a black character.

Ms. Gordimer fought off that accusation, saying, “There are things that blacks know about whites that we don’t know about ourselves, that we conceal and don’t reveal in our relationships — and the other way about.”

In the end, the government was too weak to enforce its laws while contending with armed opposition within and economic and political pressure from outside. In 1990, Mr. Mandela was released from prison; in 1991, apartheid laws were repealed; in 1993, a new Constitution was approved, and in 1994, the walls came tumbling down with the election.

During that exhilarating period, when Mr. Mandela’s African National Congress party regained legal standing, Ms. Gordimer, who had been a secret member, paid her dues in person and got a party card.

It was then, after the release of the man who would be president within a few years, that Ms. Gordimer won the Nobel Prize. “Mandela still doesn’t have a vote,” she said at the time.

Ms. Gordimer went on writing after apartheid, resisting the idea that its demise had deprived her of her great literary subject. It “makes a big difference in my life as a human being,” she said, “but it doesn’t really affect me in terms of my work, because it wasn’t apartheid that made me a writer, and it isn’t the end of apartheid that’s going to stop me.”

But there were critics who thought she had lost her bearings. In a review of her 1998 novel, “The House Gun,” in which a white South African husband and wife see their only son go on trial for the murder of a friend, Michiko Kakutani wrote in The New York Times that the book suggested that the author “has yet to come to terms, artistically, with the dismantling of apartheid and her country’s drastically altered social landscape.”

She ventured into an Arab country in her 2001 novel, “The Pickup,” and continued to write prolifically for years after apartheid became history. Politically, she eventually embraced other causes, among them the fight against the spread of the H.I.V. virus and AIDS in South Africa and a writers’ campaign against the country’s punishing secrecy law.

In the end, one of her greatest fears proved hollow. Although Ms. Gordimer was immensely gratified to receive the Nobel, its valedictory connotations led her to worry about what it said to the world about her future.

“When I won the Nobel Prize,” she said, “I didn’t want it to be seen as a wreath on my grave.”

Correction: July 14, 2014
Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this obituary misstated the day of Ms. Gordimer’s death. It was Sunday, not Monday. That version also misstated the location to which the white characters flee with their black servant in the novel “July’s People.” It is an isolated rural village, not the township of Soweto.

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JOHNNY WINTER, VIRTUOSIC BLUES GUITARIST

Johnny Winter has been ranked the 63rd greatest guitar player of all time by Rolling Stone. Credit Diego Tuson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mr. Winter’s family was awaiting information about the cause, a spokeswoman, Carla Parisi, said on Thursday.

A virtuosic, high-energy blues guitarist, Mr. Winter was perhaps as well known for his appearance as he was for his playing. Tall and thin, with pinkish eyes and chalk-white skin and hair, he — like his brother and occasional collaborator, Edgar, a keyboardist and saxophonist — had albinism, a fact that commentators rarely failed to mention. “If you can imagine a 130-pound, cross-eyed albino with long fleecy hair playing some of the gutsiest, fluid blues guitar you ever heard, then enter Johnny Winter,” Rolling Stone wrote in a 1968 article that introduced Mr. Winter, then 24, to the wider public and the music business.

In less than a year he would sign a lucrative contract with Columbia Records, perform at Woodstock and be widely hailed and hyped as one of the most talented guitarists of his generation. Performing blues standards like “Good Morning Little School Girl” with a fiery touch, he became a fixture on the rock touring circuit and had solid record sales during his 1970s peak.

Johnny Winter, on guitar, and his brother, Edgar, in Coconut Creek, Fla., in 2012. They occasionally collaborated on recordings, including a live album, “Together,” released in 1976. Credit Jeff Daly/Invision, via Associated Press

John Dawson Winter III was born on Feb. 23, 1944, in Beaumont, Tex., and took to music while still very young, playing clarinet, ukulele and eventually guitar.

When Mr. Winter was 11, he and Edgar, who is two years younger, performed Everly Brothers songs at local talent shows, and by 15 he had cut his first record: the Chuck Berry-esque “School Day Blues,” credited to Johnny and the Jammers, one of his many teenage bands. Around that time Mr. Winter also discovered the music of blues heroes like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, and their sound became his lifelong muse.

“I loved the blues,” Mr. Winter told Look magazine in 1969. “You can feel that nobody cares about you, and you sing, and it doesn’t make any difference and you don’t care. It’s not a happy feeling, it’s not sad. You can cry, and it’s good.”

His first album with Columbia, called simply “Johnny Winter,” arrived in mid-1969 on a wave of media attention. (An earlier LP, “The Progressive Blues Experiment,” released by a small Texas label, was hastily reissued to capitalize on the publicity.)

Johnny Winter Credit Fin Costello/Redferns

A second Columbia album, “Second Winter,” came out soon after, followed by “Johnny Winter And,” on which he introduced a new backing band featuring the guitarist Rick Derringer. That album included a Derringer song, “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo,” that would become a Top 40 hit when rerecorded by Mr. Derringer as a solo artist a few years later.

Mr. Winter continued to record and tour prolifically in the ’70s, and he was also open about the drug problems that he developed along the way. In 1973, after taking a brief break, he released “Still Alive and Well,” one of his best-selling albums. In 1976 he released “Together,” a live album with his brother, Edgar, who survives him, as does Mr. Winter’s wife, Susan Warford Winter.

In 1977 Mr. Winter began a series of collaborations with Mr. Waters, producing his album “Hard Again.” That record, and two that followed in the late ’70s, won acclaim for their raw sound, and each won a Grammy Award. From there Mr. Winter’s own albums increasingly focused on the blues. His most recent, “Roots” (2011), features songs by Robert Johnson, Elmore James and Little Walter.

Mr. Winter has been ranked the 63rd greatest guitar player of all time by Rolling Stone, and throughout his career he and his musicianship have been particularly admired by other musicians.

“Roots” features guest appearances by the guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks of the Allman Brothers, the country star Vince Gill and many others, including Edgar Winter. His next release, “Step Back,” scheduled for September, features the guitarists Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Joe Perry of Aerosmith.

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ELAINE STRITCH, BROADWAY’S ENDURING DAME

 

Elaine Stritch on Life, Sex and Death

Elaine Stritch built her Broadway career playing brash and bawdy characters.

Video Credit By Erik Olsen on Publish Date July 17, 2014. Image CreditFabrizio Costantini for The New York Times

 

Her death was confirmed by a friend, Julie Keyes. Before Ms. Stritch moved to Birmingham last year to be near her family, she lived for many years at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan.

Ms. Stritch’s career began in the 1940s and spanned almost 70 years. She made her fair share of appearances in movies, including Woody Allen’s “September” (1987) and “Small Time Crooks” (2000), and on television; well into her 80s, she had a recurring role on the NBC comedy “30 Rock” as the domineering mother of the television executive played by Alec Baldwin.

But the stage was her true professional home. Whether in musicals, nonmusical dramas or solo cabaret shows, she drew audiences to her with her whiskey voice, her seen-it-all manner and the blunt charisma of a star.

 

Elaine Stritch: 1925-2014

CreditSara Krulwich/The New York Times

In April 2013, before she left the Carlyle, where she had often performed in its cabaret lounge, Café Carlyle, she gave one last show: “Elaine Stritch at the Carlyle: Movin’ Over and Out.” A documentary film, “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me,” was released this year.

Plain-spoken, egalitarian, impatient with fools and foolishness, and admittedly fond of cigarettes, alcohol and late nights — she finally gave up smoking and drinking in her 60s, after learning she had diabetes, though she returned to alcohol in her 80s — Ms. Stritch might be the only actor ever to work as a bartender after starring on Broadway, and she was completely unabashed about her good-time-girl attitude.

“I’m not a bit opposed to your mentioning in this article that Frieda Fun here has had a reputation in the theater, for the past five or six years, for drinking,” she said to a reporter for The New York Times in 1968. “I drink, and I love to drink, and it’s part of my life.”

In an interview this year in The New York Times Magazine, she said of her resumption of drinking: “I’m almost 89, I’m gonna have a drink a day or two. I know how to handle it, so there.”

Most of the time she was equally unabashed onstage, rarely if ever leaving the sensually astringent elements of her personality behind when she performed. A highlight of her early stage career was the 1952 revival of “Pal Joey,” the Rodgers and Hart-John O’Hara musical, in which she played a shrewd, ambitious reporter recalling, in song, an interview with Gypsy Rose Lee; she drew bravas for her rendition of the striptease parody “Zip.”

Ms. Stritch last September at the condo in Birmingham, Mich., that she moved into when she left New York. Credit Fabrizio Costantini for The New York Times

In a nonsinging role in William Inge’s 1955 drama, ”Bus Stop,” she received a Tony nomination as the lonely but tough-talking owner of a Kansas roadside diner where a group of travelers takes refuge during a snowstorm. Three years later, in her first starring role on Broadway, “Goldilocks,” a musical comedy by Jean and Walter Kerr and the composer Leroy Anderson, she played a silent film star alongside Don Ameche and impressed The Times’s critic Brooks Atkinson.

“Miss Stritch can destroy life throughout the country with the twist she gives to the dialogue,” he wrote. “She takes a wicked stance, purses her mouth thoughtfully and waits long enough to devastate the landscape.”

Noël Coward, one of Ms. Stritch’s fans, built the 1961 musical “Sail Away” around her role as Mimi Paragon, the effervescent hostess of a cruise ship, and she repaid his trust not only by giving what Howard Taubman of The Times said “must be the performance of her career” (including a delicious rendition of Coward’s hilariously snooty “Why Do the Wrong People Travel?”) but also by successfully ad-libbing, on opening night, when a poodle in the cast betrayed its training onstage.

The show was not a hit, but Ms. Stritch came away with her third Tony nomination. Her next Broadway role was in the replacement cast of Edward Albee’s scabrous portrait of a marriage, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” as Martha, the bitter, boozy wife.

One of her memorable appearances was in the Stephen Sondheim musical “Company”(1970), in which, as a cynical society woman, she saluted her peers with the vodka-soaked anthem “The Ladies Who Lunch.” The performance brought her another Tony nomination, and the tune became her signature — at least until, in her 70s, she became known for Sondheim’s paean to showbiz longevity and survival, “I’m Still Here.”

Ms. Stritch in the musical revue “Angel in the Wings,” in 1948, in which she sang “Civilization.” Credit Associated Press

That song was the centerpiece of her 2001 one-woman show, “Elaine Stritch at Liberty,” and she sang it in 2010 at Mr. Sondheim’s 80th-birthday concert at Lincoln Center and at the White House for President Obama.

Essentially a spoken-and-sung theater memoir, “Elaine Stritch at Liberty,” created with the New Yorker critic John Lahr, began performances at the Public Theater in Manhattan when Ms. Stritch was 76 and then moved to Broadway, where it was a smash.

Alone onstage except for a chair, clad only in tights and a white silk shirt, Ms. Stritch wove together music (including “Zip,” “The Ladies Who Lunch,” “I’m Still Here” and two more Sondheim songs: “The Little Things You Do Together,” a mordant salute to marriage from “Company,” and the aging showgirl’s lament “Broadway Baby,” from “Follies”) and showbiz memories into a tour de force that won a Tony Award for best special theatrical event.

“I’m a do-it-yourself kind of broad,” Ms. Stritch told The Guardian in 2008, when she performed the show in London. It was an apt description of herself and the performance, which opened with her entering and declaring to the audience, “Well, as the prostitute once said, ‘It’s not the work, it’s the stairs.’ ”

Born in Detroit on Feb. 2, 1925, Ms. Stritch was the youngest of three daughters of George and Mildred Stritch. She went to a convent school but knew long before she graduated that she wanted a show business career.

Ms. Stritch backstage with Noël Coward in 1961 after the opening of his musical “Sail Away.” Credit John Lent/Associated Press

When she was 4, for example, her father, an executive at B. F. Goodrich, took her to see a touring production of “The Ziegfeld Follies.” They went backstage to meet the star, the comedian Bobby Clark, who was a friend of her father’s. “From that moment on,” she recalled, “I was hooked.”

She was popular and seemingly carefree at school but struggled, she said, to overcome a deep-seated lack of confidence. By high school she had discovered that liquor helped mask her fears.

After graduation she told her parents she wanted to go to New York to study acting. They said she could go only if she agreed to live in a Manhattan convent. In 1944, she took the train to New York, moved into her convent room on the East Side and enrolled at the New School for Social Research, where she studied acting with Erwin Piscator. According to a story she told in “At Liberty,” her classmate Marlon Brando stopped speaking to her after she declined his invitation to spend the night at his apartment.

(Ms. Stritch, a Roman Catholic who said she was a virgin until she was 30, was no prude. Before she married in 1972, she was romantically linked with the actors Gig Young and Ben Gazzara and the restaurateur Joe Allen.)

She made her New York stage debut in a children’s play, “Bobino.” In 1947, she opened on Broadway in a musical revue, “Angel in the Wings,” in which she sang “Civilization,” a satirical number expressing an African’s thoughts about frightful aspects of modern life, including the lament: “Bongo bongo bongo, I don’t want to leave the Congo.”

Ms. Stritch in 2010 in her role as the mother of Alec Baldwin’s character on “30 Rock.” Credit Ali Goldstein/NBC

In a short time she established herself as a promising actress who could also hurl a song lyric to the far reaches of the balcony. In 1950 she won the job of understudy to Ethel Merman in “Call Me Madam.” Merman stayed healthy, and Ms. Stritch never got to perform the role on Broadway, although she did star in the touring company. Then came “Pal Joey.”

She did some television work as well, live dramas as well as series like “My Sister Eileen” and “Wagon Train.” She almost landed the role of Trixie Norton on “The Honeymooners,” with Jackie Gleason, Art Carney and Audrey Meadows, but the part finally went to Joyce Randolph. Gleason, she explained, thought she was too much like him.

Ms. Stritch made her London stage debut in “Sail Away” in 1962, and appeared there again in 1972 in “Company.” Remaining in London, she met the American actor John Bay during rehearsals for a production of Tennessee Williams’s “Small Craft Warnings” and married him. In Britain, she won a wide following in stagings of American plays and as co-star of the television comedy series “Two’s Company,” in which she played a prickly American writer working at an English estate.

Ms. Stritch and her husband moved back to the United States in 1982, and he shortly died of a brain tumor. They had no children. Ms. Stritch is to be buried near him in Chicago. She is survived by many nieces and nephews.

In the mid-1980s, Woody Allen, dissatisfied with his film “September,” decided to reshoot it. Ms. Stritch accepted the part originally played by Maureen O’Sullivan while recuperating from surgery to have polyps removed from her vocal cords. She played the hard-drinking survivor of a roller-coaster life, a former glamour girl whose daughter, played by Mia Farrow, is both angry and depressed. Her performance initiated a fecund period of movie work.

Ms. Stritch, tending bar in the summer of 1964 at Elaine’s (no relation), after she had become a Broadway star. Credit United Press International

Her other films included “Cocoon: The Return” (1988), which reunited her with Ameche; “Cadillac Man” (1990), with Robin Williams; “Autumn in New York” (2000), a May-December romance starring Richard Gere and Winona Ryder; and “Monster-in-Law” (2005), in which, as Jane Fonda’s mother-in-law, she delivers a blistering put-down: “You were a television weather woman from Dubuque, Mont. You drove around in a broken-down minivan, and you drank red wine — from a box!”

She also made guest appearances on television, on “The Cosby Show,” “Head of the Class,” “Law & Order,” “Oz” and “3rd Rock from the Sun.” Back on Broadway, she joined Harold Prince’s 1994 revival of the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II musical “Show Boat.” Ms. Stritch played Parthy, the nagging wife of the showboat’s Cap’n Andy.

She went on to earn another Tony nomination in the Lincoln Center Theater’s 1996 revival of “A Delicate Balance,” Edward Albee’s ferocious dark comedy about an upper-class household in distress. She played the witty, bellicose houseguest of her sister (Rosemary Harris) and brother-in-law (George Grizzard).

When “Elaine Stritch at Liberty” was broadcast on HBO in 2004, Ms. Stritch added an Emmy to her collection of awards, but that was far from her final triumph. She also created a series of solo cabaret shows for Café Carlyle, including one that was a tribute to Sondheim.

“The blazingly here-and-now Ms. Stritch gives the word ‘trouper,’ a term of respect for stars who have trod the boards for decades, an almost mythological dimension,” Stephen Holden of The Times wrote in a review.

In May 2008, in a surprising change of pace, she appeared in a production of “Endgame,” Samuel Beckett’s grim comedy about mortality, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. As inhabitants of a bleak netherworld, she and her onstage husband (Alvin Epstein) lived in oversize garbage cans.

Ms. Stritch performed at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, N.J., in June 2009 in a production of “The Full Monty,” based on the 1997 British film comedy about a group of unemployed steelworkers who decide to perform as male strippers. Ms. Stritch, who played the group’s rehearsal pianist, said in an interview that she was “happy to be doing something that wasn’t all about me.”

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She made her final Broadway appearance in 2010, replacing Angela Lansbury as the aging Madame Armfeldt in a Broadway revival of “A Little Night Music.” It was a role that allowed her to sing once more of Mr. Sondheim’s rueful, mortality-defying musical meditations, “Liaisons,” an aching paean to love affairs past, and she brought to it an original and rather stinging bitterness about a life that is nearly over.

In “At Liberty,” Ms. Stritch earned one of her biggest laughs with a story about a long night of drinking with a friend. The story was ostensibly about the friend — Judy Garland — but it was self-reflective, too. Along about breakfast time, Ms. Stritch recalled, Garland turned to her.

“Elaine, I never thought I’d say this,” Garland said, “but good night.”

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HATEWATCH: ELDERLY CHICAGO HATE CRIME VICTIM A CIVIL RIGHTS ICON

Elderly Chicago Hate Crime Victim a Civil Rights Icon

By Don Terry on July 16, 2014 – 2:53 pm,

This is a story about race and the city. It is set in Chicago, but it could take place anywhere ignorance and prejudice stubbornly cling.

On Monday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, a 55-year-old white man, standing 6 feet tall and weighing 240 pounds, allegedly spit on and slapped a slightly built, elderly black woman, apparently for smoking a cigarette too close to him outside on a street in downtown Chicago.

The man, David Nicosia, undoubtedly did not realize – or even imagine – that the silver haired, 79-year-old black woman he mockingly called “Rosa Parks” when he violently confronted her was a civil rights pioneer and local icon in her own right.

Arnette.HubbardHer name is Arnette Hubbard — or, as the bailiffs and lawyers who enter her courtroom call her, Judge Hubbard. She was first appointed to the Cook County circuit court bench in 1997, after a long career as a lawyer and advocate for civil rights and women’s issues.

“She’s more than an icon, she’s historic,” lawyer Geraldine Simmons told the Sun-Times. “She has been an inspiration to young attorneys for years.”

The judge was outside a downtown courthouse and office complex on Monday, having a smoke when she walked past Nicosia, the owner of an IT company, who reportedly holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University.

As Hubbard passed, Nicosia apparently got angry that she was smoking near him, according to the Chicago Tribune.

They argued. Nicosia stepped closer and hissed, “Rosa Parks, move,” the Tribune reported. Then he spit in her face and walked away.

Hubbard, an Arkansas native, has been battling bullies, racists and sexists for most of her life. Her first job after graduating from law school in Chicago in 1969 was as a staff attorney for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, according to The History Makers, a video and online archive of African-American achievers and achievements.

So instead of being intimidated by the burly man who had just spit in her face, Hubbard chased after him, calling out for assistance.

With the judge on his heels, Nicosia allegedly stopped, whirled around and slapped her across the left side of her face with an open hand. He was arrested moments later by sheriff’s deputies and charged with four counts of aggravated battery.

He was also charged with a hate crime and bail was set at $90,000 by Judge James Brown, who said, according to the Sun-Times, that Nicosia poses a “threat and is a danger to the community.”

“He slapped her for no reason,” Brown added.

After being appointed to the bench in 1997, Hubbard was re-elected to a six-year term the next year and retained since in two more elections, most recently in 2010, according to the Tribune. In 1981, she was elected the first woman president of the National Bar Association, a black lawyers group.

She has also served on the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and was an observer to the 1994 elections in South Africa in which Nelson Mandela won the presidency. The following year, according to The History Makers, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the U.S. Presidential Observer Delegation for parliamentary and local elections in Haiti.

“People of good common sense and decency, people of good hearts should be outraged,” by what happened to Hubbard in Chicago on Monday, Delores Robinson, past president of the Cook County Bar Association, told the Tribune. “Not just because of who she is but that this happened to anybody.”

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I am sure he thought his vicious actions would be considered normal and alright, because, hey, as far as he was concerned this was just another black woman to be spit on, slapped, and accosted with abusive language.

He did not expect Judge Hubbard to stand up and fight back against his attack on her (simple assault), his spitting on her (stupid of him–leaving DNA on her in the form of his saliva; damn, fool. How many CSI shows have there been on TV? CSI? CSI Miami? CSI New York? CSI Des Moines?)—-and the icing on the cake–that she was a judge!

That she was a woman meant she was fair game in his sick and perverted mind. That she was a Black woman meant she was of the least protected and respected in America, so, why not unload his bile and vitriol against her and expect no one to care?

Doubtful if he would have done this to a 6′-6″, 200 lb. man of any ethnicity. And a strapping young man at that.

Doubtful if he would have had the guts to open his mouth, spit, or slap a man of his comparable size.

Obvious, from Nicosia’s attack on Judge Hubbard, that this is probably not the first time this human has done such a hateful thing against a defenseless woman.

Men like Nicosia are often too cowardly to confront men.

They often go after someone who cannot physically defend themselves—-women—-and children.

Too bad for him, as he bit off more than he could chew when he attacked Judge Hubbard.

As for the Rosa Parks jab at Judge Hubbard:

Sister Parks, and Judge Hubbard, have done more in their lives to help this nation than all of the David Nicosia’s of this nation.

If anything, calling anyone a Rosa Parks is the highest of compliments.

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COLORLINES: INSIDE THE REAL CHILD MIGRANT CRISIS

From the Colorlines’ website:

“It’s really cold. You shiver from the cold. They just give you a piece of nylon to cover yourself.”

This is how 12-year-old Mayeli Hernández describes her time in the custody of the U.S. government, when she and her 8-year-old sister were detained for crossing the border last July. Mayeli told her story to Colorlines’ Aura Bogado in a chilling video interview. Children like Mayeli, who is from Honduras, have been at the center of controversy as tens of thousands of kids arrive in the U.S. after fleeing violence and poverty in Central America. The Obama administration has vowed to deport them rapidly. Aura’s interview is one of few reports in which the young people speak for themselves.

Today, we also publish a powerful dispatch from Murrieta, Calif, by Julianne Hing. Anti-immigrant protestors have blocked U.S. officials from housing child migrants in Murrieta as they await processing. Julianne speaks with the protestors–some of whom are themselves immigrants–and asks them to explain the striking vitriol they have directed at the young refugees. As Julianne writes, Murrieta provides a bracing illustration of the ways in which race has shaped our immigration debate.

We hope you’ll watch, read and–importantly–share Aura and Julianne’s powerful reporting on the troubling story of child migrants.

Our New Gender Columnist

We’d also like to introduce you to Miriam Zolia Pérez, our new gender columnist.

Pérez is a longtime Colorlines contributor. Among other topics, she’s examined racialized anti-choice billboardsteen pregnancy stigma and the shackling of imprisoned women giving birth. Pérez is a former editor of Feministing.com, the creator of Radicaldoula.com and the author of “The Radical Doula Guide: A Political Primer for Full-Spectrum Pregnancy and Childbirth Support.” She’s also written for The Nation, The American Prospect, More and RH Reality Check. We’re delighted to have her excellence in the Colorlines mix.

Akiba Solomon
Editorial Director, Colorlines

P.S. If you find Aura, Julianne and Miriam’s reporting compelling, we hope you’ll also help support it. In-depth reporting and multimedia storytelling is expensive! Help us stay on the beat with a donation today.

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