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Saturday Links: Laura Palmer’s House Edition

Plus a NEW NEIL GAIMAN TV SHOW, feminist art, a great Bieber article, &&& more!

Naomi

Photo via The A.V. Club.

Photo via The A.V. Club.

Calling all Twin Peaks obsessives: LAURA PALMER’S HOUSE IS FOR SALE, if you wanna live in it! It even still has Laura’s wicker rocking chair—one last reminder that Laura, and BOB, were there.

Jamia

Maya Peterson's "offensive" Instagram photo, via BuzzFeed.

Maya Peterson’s “offensive” Instagram photo, via BuzzFeed.

When my fellow Rookie Hazel shared a story about the ouster of the prestigious Lawrenceville School’s first African-American female student body president, I felt a familiar punch in the gut. As one of 12 black students who attended my all-girls boarding school during my time there, I wasn’t surprised to hear about the backlash Maya Peterson received after taking an Instagram photo satirizing the dominant culture at her school that she describes as “right-wing, Confederate flag–hanging, openly misogynistic Lawrentians.”

Like many other people of color in prep school, most of my education about racism emerged from experiences with microaggressions and obstacles fueled by privilege driven entitlement, rather than history lessons in my textbooks.

When Peterson said that her photo was a response to blowback directed towards her and other black students who raised their fists in “Black Power” salute in her senior photo, it brought me back to a time when my so-called “reverse racism” was questioned by an administrator because I sat at an all-black lunch table—without giving the same regard to white students sitting together unceremoniously. It also reminded me of the outrage I felt when I was criticized for refusing to change the Black Student Union’s name to the “Diversity Club” to make some prominent white parents feel comfortable with their daughters joining our group as allies.

While I truly love my alma mater, and appreciate the great strides the new leadership has made since my time there, Peterson’s story reminds me of some of the hardest lessons I’ve learned about the consequences that emerge when speaking truth to power as a person of color in a community where you’re the minority. Being a “prep school negro” taught me a lot about how deeply institutionalized racism is rooted within our culture, systems, and institutions. This unadvertised part of the curriculum unknowingly prepared me to confront this same dynamic over and over in the workplace and beyond—and just like Maya Peterson and many others, I’ll keep fighting.

Laia

If you didn’t already want to be her BFF, this video of Lupita Nyong’o braiding her girlfriends’ hair will def make you want to join her posse. It’s so sweet to see her being so attentive with her friends, because taking care of your girls is always a number-one priority. She seems so cool, and I want to hang out with her BAD.

Stephanie

Walter Dean Myers photographed by Damon Winters in 2008 for The New York TImes.

Walter Dean Myers photographed by Damon Winters in 2008 for The New York Times.

On Tuesday, the children’s and YA author Walter Dean Myers passed away at the age of 76.

Even though I write YA literature now, I didn’t read much of it as a teenager in the ’90s because I had a hard time finding YA books that were interesting, well-written, and felt reflective of real teen life. The writing of Walter Dean Myers was one of the exceptions. Myers’ voice was an incredible one, a real one, and a necessary one. He brought racial diversity to children’s literature, and talked about the importance of that diversity earlier this year in the New York Times Sunday Review. His final novel is scheduled to come out in September, and, although I’m sad, I’m also glad we haven’t seen the last of his work.

Dylan

A recent Instagram photo posted by Justin Bieber, via Vulture.

A recent Instagram photo posted by Justin Bieber, via Vulture.

My favorite read this week realigned me with the trajectory of Justin Bieber’s career as of late (so out of the loop on this Very Important Issue, guys, forgive me). I appreciate author Vanessa Grigoriadis’s approach to piecing apart the phenomenon of teen stardom: She has a real sensitivity to our cultural obsession with the meteoric trope of a disastrous transition from child-fame to fame-fame, accompanied with an understanding—and a hope—that this isn’t the case for all young celebrities. Sometimes child stars become adult stars—but sometimes they become just adults.

Julianne

"Blaue Blume," Tina Tsang, 2007, via the Philadelphia Museum of Art

“Blaue Blume,” Tina Tsang, 2007, via the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Main Dish is a new exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and wow, is it deep: It explores the idea that the kitchen is “a woman’s space,” with photos of Betty Draper–style “perfect homemakers” with modern kitchen objects like tea kettles and serving dishes. They represent the “image of a white, middle-class married woman content in her stylish and decidedly modern kitchen.” The subtext, of course, is that the dishes and perfection are patriarchal instruments meant to KEEP WOMEN DOWN.

National Geographic interviewed the curator, Erica Warren, who says that the homemaker “exists as another object adorning the kitchen and, as such, must keep pace with changing fashions and concepts of modernity.” SO DEEP.

The single artwork for "Sadie Hawkins."

The single artwork for “Sadie Hawkins.”

The Seattle musician Katie Kate dropped a candy-morsel of a song called “Sadie Hawkins that I cannot stop playing. It’s a sweet pop number that is eminently singable, and I already know at least one person who was inspired by the lyrics—”I’m gonna Sadie Hawkins you so hard!”—to ask a boy she likes on a date. (Spoiler: It worked!)

This week marked the start of Ramadan, the month in which practicing Muslims fast from dawn to sunset to honor the Qur’an. Ramadan is one of the most important parts of Islam, but at The Fatal Feminist, 23-year-old Nahida writes about her experiences with non-Muslims being cruel and hostile to her during her fast, turning their nose up to her about having to “starve herself,” and how it speaks to how many non-Muslims perceive the religion as a whole. “It’s not a healthy intrigue with the novelty of the concept,” she writes, “not the thoughtful consideration of a religious objective, not in turn self-reflective of the course of submission to Love and sacrifice. The undertone is that your religion is cruel. And shockingly cruel.” She finishes her piece by writing beautifully about what Ramadan represents, and how exactly not-cruel the fast is. Important reading!

Caitlin D.

Kara Walker's "A Subtlety." Photo via Time Out New York.

Kara Walker’s “A Subtlety.” Photo via Time Out New York.

This eyewitness essay about the racial misappropriation of Kara Walker’s “A Subtlety,” an incredible, massive sugar sphinx sculpture in New York’s old Domino Sugar Factory, rules. Its exploration of the intended lessons on sexual slavery and black women’s bodies is powerful enough to serve as commentary on the consumption of art in general.

Arabelle

The book that started it all.

The book that started it all.

I am SO EXCITED to see that American Gods, my fave Neil Gaiman novel, is being made into a TV series by Bryan Fuller, the creator behind many of my favorite shows!! I FEEL LIKE SCREAMING AND CRYING GLITTERRRR ♦

15 Comments

  • doikoon July 5th, 2014 12:57 PM

    My mother said she thought Lupita N’yongo and I were kindred spirits, when she was first getting famous, and someone commented that she felt like all Rookies were kindreds spirits, so i guess that means… ;P

  • soviet_kitsch July 5th, 2014 1:01 PM

    maya peterson is the fucking queen.

  • alohatrin July 5th, 2014 1:40 PM

    I’ve never seen someone I know go to a Sadie Hawkins dance before… Looks like a lot of fun!

    http://radfairies.blogspot.com

  • mangointhesky July 5th, 2014 2:21 PM

    The video of Lupita Nyong’o is so lovely!

    ELECTRIC SEA | the ocean at the end of the lane
    http://electricsea.blogspot.com

  • 3LL3NH July 5th, 2014 3:03 PM

    Really good links today. Loving “Sadie Hawkins” so hard, and cheering for Maya Peterson all the way. Thanks guys.

    • 3LL3NH July 5th, 2014 4:58 PM

      The JB article was also very smart. It’s true that nowadays youth is glorified in popularity – but also expected. A pressure to be child adults that leaves those who make it in a weird limbo.

      Interesting.

  • honorarygilmoregal July 5th, 2014 3:23 PM

    That article about Justin Bieber was a fascinating read.

  • Paola July 5th, 2014 4:01 PM

    I’m completely 100% totally on board with Jamia’s personal commentary about the Buzzfeed article, and I can relate in many instances. However, I kind of flipped when I saw Maya’s Insta once again, this time on Rookie. I’m going to be a junior at Lawrenceville, I voted for Maya, and I’m on the Diversity Council, where we’re trying to figure out how to best respond to this article. The angle that the Buzzfeed writer took completely disregarded the strides we have taken very recently in terms of diversity and awareness and racism and other issues. The problem in terms of racism on campus, I think, lies with the students that are not willing to go to the countless dialogues, talks, and more that are offered. This article was hurtful as a whole to the school community, and uninformed for the most part, as so many bloggers at my school have pointed out: http://suicidebycat.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/in-defense-of-lawrenceville/ and this article reflects on the Buzzfeed one: http://observer.com/2014/07/lawrenceville-school-ex-student-president-martyr-or-misquoted-college-freshman/ I like what a rising senior said on her twitter about this: “Maybe we should talk about things that will actually affect the way our school operates and will impact Lawrenceville in the future?” and “But no sure, lets waste our time critiquing a Buzzfeed article and talk about whether or not Maya was a good president. Should be fun.” I’ve been trying to keep shut about this (late) internet blow-up of Maya, but seeing this on Rookie, I felt I had to say something.

  • Hannah May July 5th, 2014 9:23 PM

    This is great! I especially like The Main Dish. I recently started this online museum: http://themuseumofmiddleschool.blogspot.com/
    and I would love to hear any feedback Rookie readers have! You can find out more on the about page:http://themuseumofmiddleschool.blogspot.com/p/about.html

  • M13 July 5th, 2014 10:19 PM

    The Kara Walker piece is SPOT ON. I visited sugar baby earlier today and saw, among other things, a shirtless male model posing for a photo shoot in front of it. so ridiculous

    • Jamia July 7th, 2014 3:37 AM

      Ew. I saw a lot of the same sort of dishonorable/ignorant behavior when I went to the exhibit too.

  • Lascelles July 6th, 2014 8:52 AM

    Hey Jamia, Claudette Colvin on Drunk History was my fav thing this week. Amber Ruffin is my hero :D

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8Occ7XSgQc

  • Jamia July 7th, 2014 3:36 AM

    Lascelles, I LOVE IT. Thanks for sharing. Lisa Bonet is my soul sister and Amber ROCKS. They left out an important part of the story which was how Claudette Colvin was pushed out of the running due to respectability politics (she was a teen and had been pregnant without being married) but Amber was delightfully drunk so the story had to be a bit reductive based on the nature of the show.

    • Lascelles July 7th, 2014 5:28 PM

      No, they did not. Since Drunk History went on Comedy Central, they only show previews online. So to see the end you would need Comcast Ondemand (where I saw the whole thing) or recorded or watched it live or maybe the DVD when it comes out. Mariah Wilson was pretty good too. You should do the show for Rosalind Franklin:D That would be so funny.

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