Required Reading

Required Reading
Required Reading

‣ Scholar Alexander N. Taylor found that when Confederate monuments were constructed in the South after the Civil War, Black voter turnout decreased, explaining for the Hoptown Chronicle:

Larger Democratic majorities alongside lower voter turnout already suggests Black Southerners, who almost exclusively voted for Republicans at that time, were voting less in areas with monuments. I conducted further exploration and found that these political effects disproportionately occurred in counties with larger Black populations. This suggests that Black voters were more responsive to Confederate monuments, which suppressed their political activity by signaling they were not accepted by the local community.

‣ Goldman Sachs published a piece about music streaming services that suggests they will introduce more inequality into the field:

“Listening to a 31-second song by an independent artist, a full 3-minute song by a popular artist, and 5 minutes of the sound of rain are all treated equally,” Yang writes. This differs from video streaming, where certain content is more highly valued and accordingly costs much more. Sports channels tend to command a higher subscription price, for example.

‣ Rax Will reports for Punch on how new “lesbian bars” across the US are grappling with the term’s history, and what they should call themselves moving forward:

For many owners and patrons, the term “lesbian bar” is fraught, irrevocably tied to an unsavory history of racial quotas and turning trans patrons away at the door. Bonnie & Clyde’s, a well-known lesbian bar in New York City that opened in 1971, was said to have an “unspoken race-based quota at the door,” according to artist and archivist Gwen Shockey. Owners of Henrietta Hudson, founded in 1991 in New York’s West Village, removed the label of “lesbian bar” in 2014, opting instead to describe it as “a queer human space built by Lesbians.” Although “queer bar” has filled the void as a gender- and sexuality-inclusive term, to some people from older generations, the word “queer” still evokes a history of violence. Today’s queer spaces are appealing to a wider, more gender-expansive clientele partly because they acknowledge that no one gender is singularly capable of harm.

‣ For the Scholar and Feminist Online, artist and curator Diedra Harris-Kelley reflects on her relationship to the dance legacy of the women in her family:

My aunt Nanette was also immersed in the world of dance. A model and aspiring dancer in New York City in the mid-1940s and early-1950s she moved in a circle of heavy-hitting creatives. Her husband was renowned artist and writer Romare Bearden. The arts were the hub of their life together. In 1972, Nanette founded her own dance company, the Chamber Dance Group. According to her artistic director Walter Rutledge, the company helped her maintain her own identity separate from Romare the Artist. Like others in our family, Nanette possessed a deep desire to help Black people and practiced this in her company, promoting Black dancers and teachers in their careers.

‣ Long thought to be a fake, a scholar proved that a rare book by Elizabethan author Mary Sidney Herbert previously owned by a Titanic victim is actually the real thing. Dave Kindy of the Washington Post has the story:

According to accepted provenance, Sidney’s copy changed hands after her death in 1621, landing in the collection of Sir Robert Kerr, First Earl of Ancram. The title page included the inscription, “This was the Countess of pembrokes owne booke giuen me by the Countess of Montgomery her daughter. 1625.” It was signed “Ancram.” The book, Braganza found, had numerous owners in the centuries thereafter.

In 1912, when the wealthy businessman and bibliophile Harry Elkins Widener died on the Titanic, his mother donated his books — many of them rare and firsts of a kind — to Harvard in his memory. His cherished copy of “Arcadia” was among them.

‣ This tour of Château de Roquetaillade in southwest France, which has been in the same family for over 700 years, is worth a watch. Here, the owner tells us about one of the many carved elements in the castle that avoided being attacked during its long history:

YouTube video

‣ Popshift’s TikTok channel highlights the unique history of Mexican-Punjabi communities in California:

‣ Scientists in Illinois may have discovered a fifth force of nature, according to the BBC:

All of the forces we experience every day can be reduced to just four categories: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force and the weak force. These four fundamental forces govern how all the objects and particles in the Universe interact with each other.

The findings have been made at a US particle accelerator facility called Fermilab. They build on results announced in 2021 in which the Fermilab team first suggested the possibility of a fifth force of nature.

Since then, the research team has gathered more data and reduced the uncertainty of their measurements by a factor of two, according to Dr Brendan Casey, a senior scientist at Fermilab.

“We’re really probing new territory. We’re determining the (measurements) at a better precision than it has ever been seen before.”

‣ TikToker @SaraTalksArt takes a deep dive into the heavily racialized depictions of villains in illustrated movies and cartoons:

‣ New TikTok bop unlocked:

‣ And, at last, we have an answer to who’s behind that one drawing printed on the cover of every single Strathmore sketchbook ever:

Required Reading is published every Thursday afternoon, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts, or photo essays worth a second look.