Lovecraft Country

Queer

Wow. I’m rewatching this series and I’m still blown away. Catching shit I missed the first go around. It’s absolutely the best in it’s genre. Shit. I think they done created their own genre because there as so many themes; cinematic and otherwise. I consider this a masterpiece. Kudos to everyone involved.

So I’m on episode 3…& like the previous two eps, it incorporates so much raw, dirty, forgotten, ignored (& unknown to some) horrific American history when it comes to America’s historical (& current, in many instances) treatment…mistreatment of Black people.

The experimenting & exploiting on Black bodies.

They used our Ancestors not only as property, but also as props. They placed them in zoos and circus “freak shows.”

They raped Black women and denied their children. They raped Black men in front of their children.

They tore into the womb of the Black woman with illegal tools and instruments to study the effects while calling it scientific studies…they stole our cells and advanced their medicines*

*See the Henrietta Lacks story and HeLa cells*

They infected Black men with syphillis…and tried not to be held accountable for their actions.

The Saartjie Baartman Story

Full Article: Saartjie Bartman

Saartjie Sara Baartman also known as the ‘Hottentot Venus’ was a famous Khoikhoi woman exhibited as a freak show attraction in Europe during the 19th century. Born to Khoisan family neat the Gambtos River, she was orphaned during a commando raid after which she was ensalved by a Dutch farmer near Cape Town. She had remarkable physical features that pronounced her femininity most specifically her large hips, backside and enlarged labial lips. 

She was taken to London where she was displayed in a building in Piccadilly, a street that was full of various oddities like “the ne plus ultra of hideousness” and “the greatest deformity in the world”. Englishmen and women paid to see Sara’s half naked body displayed in a cage that was about a metre and half high. She became an attraction for people from various parts of Europe.

After four years in London, in September 1814, she was transported from England to France, and upon arrival Hendrik Cezar sold her to Reaux, a man who showcased animals. He exhibited her around Paris and reaped financial benefits from the public’s fascination with Sara’s body. He began exhibiting her in a cage alongside a baby rhinoceros. Her “trainer” would order her to sit or stand in a similar way that circus animals are ordered. At times Baartman was displayed almost completely naked, wearing little more than a tan loincloth, and she was only allowed that due to her insistence that she cover what was culturally sacred. She was nicknamed “Hottentot Venus”.

Her constant display attracted the attention of George Cuvier, a naturalist. He asked Reaux if he would allow Sara to be studied as a science specimen to which Reaux agreed. As from March 1815 Sara was studied by French anatomists, zoologists and physiologists. Cuvier concluded that she was a link between animals and humans. Thus, Sara was used to help emphasise the stereotype that Africans were oversexed and a lesser race.

The Tragic Story of “El Negro”

Full Article: El Negro

From the Article:

In the early 19th Century, it was fashionable for Europeans to collect wild animals from around the globe, bring them home and put them on display. One French dealer went further, bringing back the body of an adult African man.  Dutch writer Frank Westerman came across the exhibit in a Spanish museum 30 years ago, and was determined to trace the man’s history.

His name is not known, only his nickname: El Negro.

His fame comes from his posthumous travels – lasting 170 years – from Botswana to a museum exhibition in France and Spain. Generations of Europeans gaped at his half-naked body, which had been stuffed and mounted by a taxidermist. There he stood, nameless, exhibited like a trophy.

In the Darder Museum of Natural History in Banyoles, Spain, El Negro was prominently still on display in the 1980s. 

His fame comes from his posthumous travels – lasting 170 years – from Botswana to a museum exhibition in France and Spain. Generations of Europeans gaped at his half-naked body, which had been stuffed and mounted by a taxidermist. There he stood, nameless, exhibited like a trophy.

In the Darder Museum of Natural History in Banyoles, Spain, El Negro was prominently still on display in the 1980s.  In the museum, “El Negro” was displayed standing in a glass case in the middle of the As Westerman states, “This was not Madame Tussaud’s. I was not staring at an illusion of authenticity – this black man was neither a cast nor some kind of mummy. He was a human being, displayed like yet another wildlife specimen. History dictated that the taxidermist was a white European and his object a black African.”

The story begins with Jules Verreaux, a French dealer in “naturalia”, who in 1831 witnessed the burial of a Tswana man in present-day Botswana.  He returned at night to dig up the body and steal the skin, the skull and a few bones.

With the help of metal wire acting as a spine, wooden boards as shoulder blades, and stuffed with newspapers, Verreaux prepared and preserved the stolen body parts. Then he shipped him to Paris, along with a batch of stuffed animals in crates.

The telling of these stories in Lovecraft Country…reminds you to never forget. Even tho they want us to.

This series is so entertaining, enlightening & heartbreaking as a Black person. Seeing burning crosses

police drive by and keep going after witnessing Black people being antagonized and terrorized by white people…police brutality and systemic racism

The more things change, the more they don’t, smh

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