NEWSFLASH TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: GROW A SPINE, AND STOP YOUR COMPLAINING

Regarding President Obama’s speech this past weekend to the Congressional Black Congress’s Foundation Phoenix Awards Dinner. For much of President Obama’s speech, I was right along with him.Speech starts off in the usual boring platitudes, then near the end goes off on a wild tangent.

The CBC voiced its concerns on the high rate of joblessness in the Black community and the economic ills that affect many Blacks. There is nothing that justifies President Barack Obama’s massive haranguing to the Congressional Black Caucus with the following rant:

 “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.” 

Of course he is all big and bad in jumping down the throats of Blacks, even if they are in the person of the CBC. But, let him say the same thing to the nation of Israel; let’s see him tell the LGBT to shut up when “don’t ask, don’t tell” was running patriotic gays out of the military; let him say the same thing to LULAC or MALDEF when they bring their complaints to him; let’s see  him raise his voice against liberals who do nothing for their Black, White, or other constituents–then it’s “Mum’s the word”.

Oh, it is all well and good to tear into Blacks because that has been the racist mantra of so many in this country from the past up to the present.

And what the fuck was up with that pounding the podium at the end of his so-called speech?

Ya’ know President Obama–you haven’t really done much since you have been in office. You have been too terrified to fire back at the racist ReThuglican Party which has literally destroyed this country, theTea Baggers, the racist ultra-right-conservatives who have torn you a new asshole since you have been in office. All the chimp-monkey-nigger hate that has been thrown at you and your wife, the First Lady, and your two daughters, by all manner of filth yet you just mealy mouth and pussyfoot around with those who seek your destruction. But, it is beyond plain that you know you can attack Blacks and get away with it, because that is the overwhelming national consensus in this country.

Hey, this isn’t the first time you have thrown Blacks under the bus.

Remember?

You did it in 2008 with you so-called speech on race.

“Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’ “.

Did you tell those corporations you bailed out to “shake it off”? I don’t remember you telling them to “stop crying” when they ran their own businesses into the ground. I do not remember you telling them to “stop grumblin’…stop complainin” when they caused the subprime mortgage hells.

Yeah, I’m sitting in front of this computer in my slippers because I have earned the damned right to do so.

I came in from my job after a hard day’s work. I have lived my life pursuing education both in and out of school, I have worked to build up my skills and capabilities, I have been resourceful, responsible, dependable and an asset to this nation.

So, yeah, I have the right to rest when I get home, no matter what you do or do not like.

“We are going to press on. We have work to do.”

Yeah, we have work to do, and that work is to give support for those who do not rabidly jump up and down on us while trying to curry favor with those who seek our destruction.

Man the fuck up, or continue on the path you have chosen.

Pony up, grow some balls and cease being the HNIC and become the Commander-in-Chief that you ought to be.

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INTRODUCING THE ALL-NEW KINDLE FAMILY: FOUR NEW KINDLES, FOUR AMAZING PRICE POINTS

For the last five years I have been mulling over whether to buy a Kindle reader. Somehow, the idea of reading books on a Kindle e-reader never quite appealed to me. I love the feel of holding a book in my hand, turning the pages, saving the page with one of my bookmarks, as well as enjoying the quality of the text.

So, whenever Amazon Kindle put out a newer version of Kindle, they just were not going to sell me on the idea of putting money down for a Kindle. Ho-hum was all I felt for Kindle.

But, today, September 28, 2011,  Amazon introduces four new Kindle series, and this time, my interest has perked up. Per their website announcement:

“We’re excited to introduce an all-new Kindle family: three all-new Kindle e-readers that are smaller, lighter, and more affordable than ever before, and Kindle Fire – a new class of Kindle that brings the same ease-of-use and deep integration of content that helped Kindle re-invent reading – to movies, TV shows, music, magazines, apps, books, games, and more.

New Latest Generation Kindle-Fits In Your Pocket-Only $79

The new latest generation Kindle is for readers who want the lightest, most compact Kindle at an incredible price. The latest generation Kindle features a new design that is 30 percent lighter at just 5.98 ounces, 18 percent smaller, and turns pages 10 percent faster. Kindle is now small and light enough to fit easily in your pocket and carry with you everywhere, yet it still features the same 6-inch, most advanced electronic ink display that reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight.

Kindle is available starting today at http://www.amazon.com/kindle.

New Addition to the Kindle Family-“Kindle Touch”-Only $99

Kindle Touch is a new addition to the Kindle family with an easy-to-use touch screen that makes it easier than ever to turn pages, search, shop, and take notes – still with all the benefits of the most advanced electronic ink display. Kindle Touch is also lighter, smaller, eliminates battery anxiety with extra-long battery life and holds thousands of books.

Kindle Touch is available to customers in the U.S. for pre-order starting today at http://www.amazon.com/kindletouch and ships November 21.

New Top of the Line Kindle e-reader-“Kindle Touch 3G” -Only $149

Kindle Touch 3G is a new addition to the Kindle family for readers who want the top of the line e-reader. Kindle Touch 3G offers the same new design and features of Kindle Touch – small and light, easy-to-use touch screen, storage for thousands of books, and extra-long battery life – with the unparalleled added convenience of free 3G. Kindle’s free 3G connection means you never have to hunt for or pay for a Wi-Fi hotspot – you simply download and read books anytime, anywhere in over 100 countries around the world. Amazon pays for the 3G connection so there’s no monthly fee or annual contract.

Kindle Touch 3G is available to customers in the U.S. for pre-order starting today at http://www.amazon.com/kindletouch3G and ships November 21.

All three new Kindle e-readers also come with special offers and sponsored screensavers that appear when you’re not reading. Customers enjoy special money-saving offers delivered wirelessly, including discounts on local services, products, and experiences from AmazonLocal, Amazon’s local deals marketplace. Customers can also choose to purchase a Kindle without special offers and sponsored screensavers.

New Class of Kindle-“Kindle Fire”-Only $199

Kindle Fire is a new addition to the Kindle family that offers instant access to Amazon’s massive selection of digital content, Amazon’s revolutionary cloud-accelerated browser, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, 14.6 ounce design that’s easy to hold with one hand, brilliant color touchscreen, and a fast and powerful dual core processor -all for only $199.

Kindle Fire puts Amazon’s incredible selection of digital content at your fingertips – enjoy over 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books, and magazines in vibrant color.

Customers in the U.S. can pre-order Kindle Fire starting today at http://www.amazon.com/kindlefire and it ships November 15.”

SOURCE

Now with the introduction of the Kindle Fire, I am all ears (and eyes) ready to buy this one.

Of course, I still have my love for books, but, since I am a NetFlix subscriber and love watching movies without commercial interruption, and I have an interest in apps that might be of use to me, the Kindle Fire is something I would obtain.

With 18 million movies, TV shows, music, songs, games, magazines and books; apps; Amazon Silk; instant streaming of popular TV shows and movies; a price of $200.00–I might pony up the money for it. Now, if only it could have memory slot, camera and microphone interface, plus dowloading content (photos, YouTube, videos, etc.) from anywhere, and integrated wireless keyboard for writing and blogging—then I would become a purchaser.

Just the same, good to see Amazon evolving their technology in the Kindle series.

Way to go, Amazon!

(Psst—Amazon: the typeface blocks go in backwards for printing the words correctly on the page :)

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FOR THE ELDER SISTER (WHO STAYS AT HOME WHEN THE REST OF THE FAMILY GOES FOREIGN)

For The Elder Sister (who stays at home when the rest of the family goes foreign)

Artwork by Laura James, January 21, 2011. (Courtesy of Black Art In America).

In her line of sight are photos of family members who have gone off to make their way in the world. Family members older than her, family members younger than her. Near the door entrance sits an elderly man, possibly waiting for his needs to be attended to.

It is a beautiful clear day.

She stands behind a woman, tending to her hair, all the while thinking…dreaming…musing…pondering…when her time will come to sprout wings, fly, and soar to heights she had never thought imaginable. The responsibility to others will become a responsibility to herself, when one day she will board that plane and attain her heart’s most cherished desires.

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BLACK WOMEN IN AMERICA: CLAUDETTE COLVIN

When Claudette refused, the officers grabbed her wrists and jerked her from her seat, sending her textbooks flying. Shouting that she had a constitutional right to sit where she chose, Claudette willed herself not to struggle. Recalled Claudette, years later. “History kept me stuck to my seat. I felt the hand of Harriet Tubman pushing down on one shoulder and Sojourner Truth pushing down on the other.”

Before Rosa Parks there was Claudette Colvin.

Born September 5, 1939, Ms. Colvin was on of four Black women ( Aurelia S. Browder, Claudette Colvin, Susie McDonald, Mary Louise Smith, and Jeanatta Reese [outside pressure convinced Ms. Reese to withdraw from the case]) who challenged the racist segregation of city buses in Alabama. On March 2, 1955, at the age of 15, while rising on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama she refused to give up her seat to a White passenger citing  “It’s my constitutional right to sit here”. This put her in direct violation of the city’s law on where Black and White passengers could sit on city buses. She was arrested, jailed, convicted and placed on probation. Ms. Colvin was the first Black woman to challenge bus segregation, nine months before Mrs. Rosa Parks, on December 1, 1955,  made her stand by remaining seated. Ms. Colvin’s court case, decided by the United States District Court, ruled racial segregation on city buses unconstitutional.

Because she was a teenager and was an unmarried mother, the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) leaders of the bus boycott refused to use Ms. Colvin for their boycott, even though they knew of her case before the SCOTUS, and instead opted to have Mrs. Parks as their representative to challenge passenger segregation on city buses in Birmingham, Alabama.

A young Claudette Colvin

Retiree Claudette Colvin was 15 the day she refused to give up her seat on the bus. “My head was just too full of black history, you know, the oppression that we went through,” she says.

Here is an excerpt from her book Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice:

One [of the policemen] said to the driver in a very angry tone, “Who is it?” The motorman pointed at me. I heard him say, “That’s nothing new . . . I’ve had trouble with that ‘thing’ before.” He called me a “thing.” They came to me and stood over me and one said, “Aren’t you going to get up?” I said, “No, sir.” He shouted “Get up” again. I started crying, but I felt even more defiant. I kept saying over and over, in my high-pitched voice, “It’s my constitutional right to sit here as much as that lady. I paid my fare, it’s my constitutional right!” I knew I was talking back to a white policeman, but I had had enough.

One cop grabbed one of my hands and his partner grabbed the other and they pulled me straight up out of my seat. My books went flying everywhere. I went limp as a baby—I was too smart to fight back. They started dragging me backwards off the bus. One of them kicked me. I might have scratched one of them because I had long nails, but I sure di’n’t fight back. I kept screaming over and over” “‘It’s my constitutional right!” I wa’n’t shouting anything profane—I never swore, not then, not ever. I was shouting out my rights.

It just killed me to leave the bus. I hated to give that white woman my seat when so many black people were standing. I was crying hard. The cops put me in the back of a police car and shut the door. They stood outside and talked to each other for a minute, and then one came back and told me to stick my hands out the open window. He handcuffed me and then pulled the door open and jumped in the backseat with me. I put my knees together and crossed my hands over my lap and started praying.

All ride long they swore at me and ridiculed me. They took turns trying to guess my bra size. They called me “nigger bitch” and cracked jokes about parts of my body. I recited the Lord’s Prayer and the Twenty-third Psalm over and over in my head, trying to push back the fear. I assumed they were taking me to juvenile court because I was only fifteen. I was thinking, Now I’m gonna be picking cotton, since that’s how they punished juveniles—they put you in a school out in the country where they made you do field work during the day.

But we were going in the wrong direction. They kept telling me I was going to Atmore, the women’s penitentiary. Instead, we pulled up to the police station and they led me inside. More cops looked up when we came in and started calling me “Thing” and “Whore.” They booked me and took my fingerprints.

Then they put me back in the car and drove me to the city jail—the adult jail. Someone led me straight to a cell without giving me any chance to make a phone call. He opened the door and told me to get inside. He shut it hard behind me and turned the key. The lock fell into place with a heavy sound. It was the worst sound I ever heard. It sounded final. It said I was trapped.

When he went away, I looked around me: three bare walls, a toilet, and a cot. Then I feel down on my knees in the middle of the cell and started crying again. I didn’t know if anyone knew where I was or what had happened to me. I had no idea how long I would be there. I cried and I put my hands together and prayed like I had never prayed before.

On May 11, 1956, Ms. Colvin, along with three other women, testified in a Montgomery federal court about her incident on the bus. The case became known as Browder v. Gayle and was argued before the  U.S. Supreme Court. Attorneys decided not to use Colvin in the lawsuit because they wanted to build a case that challenged the legality of bus segregation. Because of her resisting the infringement on her rights to sit anywhere on the bus, Ms. Colvin had been charged with disorderly conduct. Because Browder v. Gayle challenged the constitutionality of a state statute, the case was brought before a three-judge U.S. District Court panel. On June 5, 1956, the panel ruled two-to-one that segregation on Alabama’s intrastate buses was unconstitutional, citing Brown v. Board of Education as precedent for the verdict. On December 17, 1956, the United States Supreme Court rejected city and state appeals to reconsider their decision, and three days later the order for integrated buses arrived in Montgomery, Alabama on December 20, 1956.

On December 21, 1956, the boycott ended and buses were desgregated.

A segregated bus

When the driver of the segregated bus, like the one shown above, ordered Claudette Colvin to get up, she refused, saying she’d paid her fare and it was her constitutional right. Two police officers handcuffed and arrested her.  (Photo courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Department of Archives and Manuscripts)

After the bus boycott, Ms. Colvin found it difficult to obtain employment because of her arrest, so she moved to New York. She worked for thirty-six years as a CNA at the Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home, retiring in 2004. Ms. Colvin never married. Her first child at the time of the boycott was a son, Raymond, whom she gave birth to in 1955. He died at the age of 37. A second son, an accountant, lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ms. Claudette Colvin is still proud of what she accomplished by standing up for her rights as a citizen and as an activist in the fight for equality and recognition of her humanity and her fellow Black citizens. Her brave actions paved the way for Sister Parks and many others who fought against a repressive and racist regime with their civil disobedience.

I’m not disappointed,” Ms. Colvin said. “Let the people know Rosa Parks was the right person for the boycott. But also let them know that the attorneys took four other women to the Supreme Court to challenge the law that led to the end of segregation”.

RELATED LINKS:

FROM FOOTNOTE TO FAME IN CIVIL RIGHTS HISTORY

NPR: BEFORE ROSA PARKS, THERE WAS CLAUDETTE COLVIN

BROWDER  vs. GAYLE: THE CASE THAT ENDED BUS SEGREGATION ON MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA PUBLIC BUSES

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WORLD MARITIME DAY: LAST WEEK OF SEPTEMBER

WORLD MARITIME DAY

Quick Facts

World Maritime Day is held on the last week of September each year, although the exact date is up to individual governments around the world.

Local names

Name Language
World Maritime Day English
Día Marítimo Mundial Spanish

World Maritime Day 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

World Maritime Day 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012
List of dates for other years

The United Nations (UN), via the International Maritime Organization (IMO), created World Maritime Day to celebrate the international maritime industry’s contribution towards the world’s economy, especially in shipping. The event’s date varies by year and country but it is always on the last week of September.
Maritime Day
World Maritime Day celebrates the benefits of the maritime industry. ©iStockphoto.com/Thomas Hottner

What do people do?

World Maritime Day focuses on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO’s work. The day also features a special message from the IMO’s secretary-general, which is backed up by a discussion paper on the selected subject in more detail.

World Maritime Day is celebrated in many countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Many maritime organizations and unions hold special events and activities to celebrate this day. These activities and events range from symposiums to luncheons, as well as school lessons that focus on the day. Some classes may organize a trip to a maritime museum so students can understand the significance of the maritime industry in shaping world history and its importance in world trade.

Public life

World Maritime Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

Throughout history, people have understood that international regulations that are followed by many countries worldwide could improve marine safety so many treaties have been adopted since the 19th century. Various countries proposed for a permanent international body to be established to promote maritime safety more effectively but it was not until the UN was established that these hopes were realized. An international conference in Geneva in 1948 adopted a convention formally establishing the IMO, a specialized UN agency that develops and maintains a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping.

The IMO’s original name was the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) but the name was changed in 1982 to IMO. The IMO focuses on areas such as safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.

World Maritime Day was first held on March 17, 1978 to mark the date of the IMO Convention’s entry into force in 1958. At that time, the organization had 21 member states. It now has about 167 member states and three associate members. This membership includes virtually all the nations of the world with an interest in maritime affairs, including those involved in the shipping industry and coastal states with an interest in protecting their maritime environment.

Note: The dates below are a rough guide on when World Maritime Day is observed, based on the most recent previous dates it was observed by the UN. It is also important to note that the exact date is left to individual governments but is usually celebrated during the last week in September.

External links

IMO: World Maritime Day

World Maritime Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Thu Sep 25 1980 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 24 1981 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 23 1982 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 22 1983 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 27 1984 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 26 1985 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 25 1986 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 24 1987 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 22 1988 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 28 1989 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 27 1990 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 26 1991 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 24 1992 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 23 1993 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 22 1994 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 28 1995 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 26 1996 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 25 1997 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 24 1998 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 23 1999 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 28 2000 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 27 2001 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 26 2002 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 25 2003 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 23 2004 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 22 2005 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 28 2006 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 27 2007 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 25 2008 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 24 2009 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 23 2010 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 22 2011 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 27 2012 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 26 2013 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 25 2014 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 24 2015 World Maritime Day United Nation day  

SOURCE

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BUI DOI: CHILDREN OF THE DUST

To this day, I sometimes wonder what has happened to the many Amerasian children born to Vietnamese women and American soldiers during the Vietnam War. Called bui doi (“dust of life”, “living dust”) they were born in a society that prized homogeneity and ties to a father as well as a mother. Some of the children were the result of rape, some were born due to their mothers being forced into a life of prostitution, and some were born of long-term loving relationships. Near the end of the Vietnam war, with the fall of Saigon, many women hurried to locations where children were being airlifted out of Vietnam. Some children made it out. Many did not.

The term bui doi conjures up the image of an uncared-for and abandoned child. Life like dust. Blown in the wind. No home, no family, no roots.

In Vietnam these adult children are called my lai (mixed American/Vietnamese) con lai (mixed-race child), or người lai (mixed-race person).

No longer children (many would be in their 30s, 40s and 50s, with some in their early sixties), these adult children still face a life of discrimination in Vietnam as well as numerous hurdles in claiming U.S. citizenship.

This Vietnamese Amerasian lost contact and financial support from her American father after she received a letter from his wife in the U.S. saying, “Don’t ever try to contact my husband again.” This story was told by photographer Philip Jones Griffiths.

I first became aware of the bu doi when two decades ago I saw a national news program on how life was for the children of American servicemen left behind in Vietnam. In the video, members of some NGO were fitting a little girl with a pair of shoes. She seemed to be about six-years-old, thin, and was wearing a dress.

She was also blind.

Upon putting on the first pair of shoes she had ever had in her little life, she began to dance and laugh with joy.

The scene was heartbreaking to watch.

Years later, that image still is the persistence of memory.

Under the Amerasian Homecoming Act of 1988, these children were able to obtain entrance into the United States based on appearance alone. Approximately 23,000 bui doi emigrated to America under the AHA.

Life was difficult for the bu doi since their racial ancestry stood out in a nation of Vietnamese who could lay claim to both a father and mother of Vietnamese descent. Blond hair, round, blue eyes; curly hair, dark-brown skin. These children were taunted and harassed by the Vietnamese children and abused by the adults. Life was no picnic for the white-looking bui doi. But, life for the black-looking bu doi was hell. Under a United States special visa for the children, if born between 1950 and 1982 in Kampuchea, Vietnam, Laos, Korea or Thailand, they could obtain entry to the U.S. Many were the victims of scam artist who preyed on bu doi who sought to emigrate to America under the visas. But, now looks alone are not enough to qualify. Proof to obtain a visa includes documents, letters, photos, or DNA testing:

Vietnamese Amerasians face a high level of discrimination from peers and adults. Considered “children of the enemy,” their faces constantly remind those around them of the war that ravaged their country. Sons and daughters of black soldiers face greater discrimination, often times barred from jobs for being “dirty” and “bad for business.”

After American troops left Vietnam, many Vietnamese mothers destroyed letters and pictures from their American partners fearing punishment by communist militias for enemy relationships. Without evidence of their American fathers, children of these women lost the needed proof for their US visa application.

Indeed, the United States made some strides in bringing Amerasians home since the Amerasian visa was created in 1987. Nearly 30,000 children and 80,000 family members have been resettled in America. However, the process has slowed with a mere 23 visas granted in the last year, and hundreds of backlogged claims.

Accounts of human trafficking and corruption within the application process have led to tighter eligibility requirements. Evidence of mixed-race facial features is no longer enough proof, now applicants need documents, letter, photos, or DNA testing. For Amerasians who do not have the time, funding or means to track down their father and prove paternity, obtaining a visa is difficult without the help charity organisations and Amerasian connection websites.

Today, numerous websites assist the now adult population of Amerasians looking for their fathers. Sites like Amerasian Family Finder and FatherFounded allow fathers, children and mothers to post searchable profiles to reunite lost relatives. Amerasian Family Finder allows individuals to search for one another but does not provide any further services. Initial contact, DNA testing, and visa applications are left to the two parties.

SOURCE

The Children They Left Behind

Many bui doi living in Vietnam still have hopes of one day coming to America, to the home of their fathers.

A family born to Vo Van Dang, an Amerasian, poses inside their small home, which is shared by 20 others.

The ties that bind transcend blood.

The ties that bind remain constant, thousands of miles across an ocean between two continents, between two worlds.

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THE ELDER SISTER

I first encountered the beautiful painting The Elder Sister years ago on a members-appreciation evening visit to an exhibit of artwork at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas. The  photo-realist style of the artist, William Adolphe Bouguereau (November 30, 1825 – August 19, 1905) involved realistic style coupled with mythological themes, creating a modern interpretation of classical subjects. Most notable were his depictions of the feminine body in his paintings.

The Elder Sister (French: La soeur aînée) is a painting by nineteenth century French artist William-Adolphe Bouguereau which he painted in 1869. The painting was acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas in 1992 as an anonymous gift. According to the museum web site, it was a gift of an anonymous patron in memory of her father. Ever since then, The Elder Sister has been a part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where she can be found in the “Arts of Europe” section. She became the most enduring and visited artwork in the museum’s collection of paintings.

In the foreground of the painting, a girl (“the elder sister”) is sitting on a rock and holding a sleeping baby (“the younger brother”) on her lap, with a peaceful rural landscape in the background. For this scene, Bouguereau’s daughter Henriette and son Paul posed as models. The beauty of the girl and her eyes, which are looking directly at the viewer, her composure in caring so lovingly for her little brother, as well the balance of the composition, including positioning of the legs and arms of the children, demonstrate Bouguereau’s academic painting style. The style of academic painting encompasses a scientific approach to the artwork with a blending of chrominance, luminance and realism.

Bouguereau also created another painting called The Elder Sister La Soeur Aînée, Réduction (completed in 1864). It currently is part of the permanent collection in the Brooklyn Museum, New York.

The Elder Sister.

This painting spoke words of tranquility, serenity, composure and elegance.

I saw many depictions of artwork that evening, but, The Elder Sister stayed with me.

The Elder Sister, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1869, 38.27″ x 51.18″, oil on canvas.

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