One of Those Lunches

Oh, holy god, I had the most interesting lunch and I want to call all of you on the phone and tell you all about it and have you go, “really?” and I’ll be all “really, and then…” and we laugh and thank the gods of wisdom that we were born eggheads.

But I try not to blog about work so that I can maintain some semblance of anonymity.

So, I won’t.

But let me tell you this.

A tangent in our conversation was about how university libraries in the South are collecting and digitizing records most of us didn’t even know existed, from tax records of plantations to church rolls to ship cargo lists and manifests listing prisoners and their hometowns.

And it is already possible for some African Americans who know what plantations their families were enslaved on to trace their families back to their towns of origin in Africa.  It’s not easy right now, but as these data bases come on-line and the kinks are worked out, it will become so.

In fact, the university library responsible for the ship cargo lists believes that they have and can soon make available to people an almost complete list of every African brought to the United States and into slavery.

For those of you familiar with the issues with African American genealogy (meaning the study of, not the having of), you can see that this is a paradigm shift.  For so long, African Americans interested in genealogy have usually been successful in going only as far back as the plantation their emancipated ancestors left–a short 150 years of family history (by comparison, I can rattle of my matrilinial line farther back than that off the top of my head–Me, my mom, Doris, Teckla, Hulda, Anna, and Inga).

This information has the potential to give people centuries of ancestors and knowledge of where those ancestors were from.

I, of course, am all for expanding folks’ knowledge of their ancestors, just in general.

But this is incredible.  And, as a side note, I think shows how libraries are shifting from being repositories of books to being repositories of knowledge.

I am not as Bright as I Seem to Be

Did you know that you can drain your iPod and not realize it and become convinced that you’ve broken it and so you become all said because you cannot sing along with Neko Case’s “Tacoma” on your way to work and so you mope around all day until the Butcher is “Did you recharge it?” and you’re all like “No, you don’t understand!  It’s broken!” and he’s all like, “Oh my god.  And you’re the one who went to college.”

But the iPod is fixed!

Err.  Charged.

 Whatever.   Same thing.

Random Revelations

1.  No, you don’t have to ask.  Yes, I read it.  Yes, I see what you mean.  Wow.

2.  I suspect that not only can’t Bill Hobbs tell the difference between a fetus and a baby, he can’t tell the difference between a baby and a four year old.

Let me help.

BabyFour year old.

There are a world of differences between babies and four year olds, including that one group can go to pre-k and the other cannot.

But, they do have a few things in common–one being that they both often need daycare.

Just saying.

3.  Two more squares!  I wanted to finish up last night, but I didn’t want to get tired and sloppy and fuck them up.  I never thought I’d see the end of this afghan and yet, now, we’re so close.

4.  It’s hard as a non-Christian who was raised Christian to know exactly where the line between “still my business” and “not my business” is.  Still, I’m glad that Coble made this post.  I think she’s raising an important point a lot of Christians need to ponder.  Are you going to live in the world as if you believe that Jesus is all week or just Sundays?

And if you say “All week,” what does that mean for how you conduct yourself?

To make the point more clearly, the original post about the alleged rape was made by a woman who teaches at that girl’s university–that’s bothersome on a few levels–but it was also made by a woman who publicly proclaims to be a Christian.

When you publicly say that you’re a Christian, what you are saying to the rest of us is that you are trying to be Christ-like.  You, as a part of the Universal Church, are the body of Christ.

As far as that blogger knows, that girl suspects she was the victim of a crime.

And her actions, as a Christian, were to blame the girl for what happened to her.

Yesterday, that was the Christian ministry that stuck with me.

It made me releaved all over again that I left.