Links for June 1 2016

* The Lost Secret Sign Language of Sawmill Workers

“What they discovered, though, floored them. The researchers witnessed a sign language system complete enough that workers could call each other “you crazy old farmer,” tell a colleague that he was “full of crap,” or tell each other when the foreman was “fucking around over there.””

* Identities Formed By Trauma Are Still Valid

“The problem is that many people will only accept marginalized identities if they view them as unchangeable, unchoosable, and biological in origin. Consequently, many advocates for people with marginalized identities believe that the only way to increase acceptance of marginalized identities is to present them that way.”

* THE WOMEN YOU DIDN’T SEE: A LETTER TO ALICE SHELDON

“You were brilliant, I think, but consumed by the inevitability of the abattoir. In your fiction all the gates are closed; characters are funnelled down a chute to flashing knives. In your best fiction, the characters know what is happening but the knowledge makes no difference; there’s no way out.”

* After the rediscovery of a 19th-century novel, our view of black female writers is transformed

“Searches of American census records show that Sarah E. Farro was born in 1859 in Illinois to parents who moved to Chicago from the South. She had two younger sisters, and her race is given as “black” on the 1880 census.

Her novel, “True Love: A Story of English Domestic Life,” was published in 1891 by the Chicago publishing house Donohue & Henneberry. It was one of 58 books by Illinois women writers exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exhibition (World’s Fair) in 1893. Newspapers in the U.K. and the U.S. heralded the book. Toward the end of her life, in 1937, Farro was feted at a celebration of Chicago’s “outstanding race pioneers.” Apparently, she never wrote another novel.”

* Female Rage Doesn’t Exist In A Vacuum

“If I shut the fuck up, then all the people you quote, all the people who write the postnarrative, the big pieces that folks look back on to create the history and narrative of an event, even a successful one, will be made by the powerful, influential people who believe their hurt feelings at being called out as problematic somehow outweigh the concerns of an entire community of folks with no media pull and no platform whose voices have been marginalized their whole lives and who are now being reduced to a crazy, screaming, angry mob acting up out of nowhere in- stead of a passionate community of folks reacting to an event they see as existing on a problematic continuum.”

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