It’s fascinating looking at representations of Africans in Chinese CCP propaganda from the 60s and early 70s. During this time period, China saw itself standing in solidarity in a class struggle with POC in Africa, Asia and Latin America against white-led American and European imperialism. The CCP also saw itself as having led a revolution which could be modeled by the peoples of these nations. Representations of Africa in the propaganda of this era therefore show tremendous camaraderie and brotherhood, presenting a united front against Western imperialism and colonization.

At the same time, though, these images are also steeped in a deep sense of racialized paternalism, which the last image, “Saviour” speaks tremendously to as well. This was due in part to the fact that the CCP’s revolution came earlier and was therefore the model revolution which they were “teaching” to Africans, but it also played directly upon antiblack stereotypes of African people as explicitly primitive (see the poster in which the “silver needle of friendship” is passed) and requiring the stewardship of the Chinese CCP in their march toward freedom in their own countries. The paternalism evident in the “friendship” is clear and plays into these racist, demeaning tropes, raising up a Chinese (rather than white) savior for African peoples in the face of Mao ZeDong.

These images are therefore interesting in the ways they evoke a sense of global POC solidarity against white-led imperialist forces from America and Europe, portray African leaders in a positive and noble light, generally work to show brotherhood between Chinese and African peoples, but then also plays to racist tropes like the “noble savage” trope and positions Africans and other POC in the developing world in solidarity but ultimately under Chinese CCP stewardship with a Chinese savior (Mao ZeDong) who “gets” their struggle, rather than a white one— but still a demeaning, paternalistic savior nonetheless.

Very interesting images to examine, especially for those interested in the history of relationships between Africans and Chinese people, and all of this come courtesy of’s amazing article “Foreign Friends: African Friends.”

(h/t chineseposters

(Source: owning-my-truth, via thegist)

oooh history is interesting


The Black Captain Ahab | 1898 on Flickr.

Portait of Captain William T. Shorey and family, Oakland, CA 1898.

William T. Shorey (1859-1919) was a famous captain in the last days of whaling. He was born in Barbados, the son of a Scottish sugar planter and an Indian creole woman. Shorey began seafaring as a teenager and in 1876 he made his first whaling voyage.

Whaling brought him to California and he married the daughter from a leading African American family in San Francisco. In 1886 he became the only black West Coast ship captain. Known for his skill and leadership, Shorey experienced many adventures and dangers at sea with multiracial crews before his retirement in 1908.

Over time, larger, steam-powered vessels took the place of obsolete sailing ships and black seamen were forced to accept inferior employment on ships as cooks and stewards. The era of significant participation by blacks in whaling ended in 1923 when the Wanderer went aground off Nantucket, MA.


(via emptylighters)

history is interesting awesomesauce


Meet the Forty Elephants.


This is the name of a gang based out of London. With bedecked knuckles of diamond rings, the leader “Diamond Annie” (real name Alice Diamond) led this fierce all-female force of shoplifters that terrorized high quality stores in the West End of London and in other cities. 


Also, here are two members of the Forty Elephants:


Florrie Holmes


Maggie Hughes

From about 1873 - 1950 (though, there are some indications of reports as early as the late 1700’s), these women - with their specially tailored suits and their fast cars (when the 20th century rolled around) were virtually unstoppable and went nearly undetected from police.

They were ruthless and pitiless when it came to their “turf”. If anyone was caught stealing from one of their stores, they would arrange beatings and even kidnappings until the money was paid. 

They were rebellious, decadent, and knew how to have a good time. They loved to throw lavish parties and even more they loved to live it up at the finest pubs and restaurants. 

They were incredibly smart and maintained avoiding police detection by using fake names and rarely wearing what they stole. They usually bought high fashion clothes for themselves and sold what they stole. 

Sometimes, they went into partnership with the all-male “Elephant and Castle Mob.


Which in turn, made it even more difficult for police to apprehend them. These women ran one of the largest operations of organized shoplifting their country had ever known. And yet, some of us are *just barely* hearing about them. 

My God, when will there be a movie, dangit.

(Source: honestlyhiddles, via quibbler)

ladies of amazaballs history is interesting


(via dollsome-does-tumblr)

history is interesting ahhhh


BBC — A new exhibition aims to celebrate the role Muslims played in saving Jewish lives during the Holocaust.

The Righteous Muslim Exhibition is being launched at the Board of Deputies of British Jews in Bloomsbury, central London.

Photographs of 70 Muslims who sheltered Jews during World War II will be displayed alongside stories detailing their acts of heroism.

The exhibition hopes to inspire new research into instances of collaboration between the Muslim and Jewish communities.

Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to victims of the Holocaust, honours nearly 25,000 so-called “righteous persons” who risked their lives to protect the Jewish community during Nazi Germany’s reign of terror.

Some 70 Muslims have recently been added to the list. The exhibition explores their stories.

‘Empathy and cohesion’

Among the “righteous” are the Hardaga family from Bosnia who provided shelter for the Jewish Kavilio family when German forces occupied Bosnia in 1943.

Half a century later, the Hardagas were themselves saved by the Kavilios during the Bosnian Civil War.

Read more

Photograph: The Bosnian Hardaga family helped shelter a family of Jews

(via witchpieceoftoast)

history is interesting






Julie D’Aubigny was a 17th-century bisexual French opera singer and fencing master who killed or wounded at least ten men in life-or-death duels, performed nightly shows on the biggest and most highly-respected opera stage in the world, and once took the Holy Orders just so that she could sneak into a convent and shag a nun.

(via Feminism)

bisexual opera singer who killed ten men and snuck into a convent to shag a nun.

Just so y’all know, she later set that convent on fire so she and that nun could sneak out. And she seduced one of the men she’d dueled.

Also, dueling was a serious crime during her life, but the king of France essentially overturned her conviction on the grounds that the relevant law specifically referred to men. 

how has there never been a million stories about this badass

(via dredreidel)

can never not reblog every time this comes across my dash ladies of amazaballs history is interesting





at what point in history do you think americans stopped having british accents


Actually, Americans still have the original British accent. We kept it over time and Britain didn’t. What we currently coin as a British accent developed in England during the 19th century among the upper class as a symbol of status. Historians often claim that Shakespeare sounds better in an American accent.


(via catalystindigo)

yusssss accents from particularly remote areas of the south are apparently very close to the accent shakespeare would have had history is interesting gif warning


A Century Ago

(via penny-anna)

history is interesting


Black Jews in Harlem way back when in 1940. :)

(New York Historical Society blog post here.)

(via vilecrocodile)

history is interesting the politics of representation




Pompeii Graffiti!


If you’ve never read these, they’re absolutely brilliant. No difference from the things you find on bathroom walls today.

A few favorites:

Weep, you girls.  My penis has given you up.  Now it penetrates men’s behinds.  Goodbye, wondrous femininity!

Restitutus says: “Restituta, take off your tunic, please, and show us your hairy privates”.

Amplicatus, I know that Icarus is buggering you.  Salvius wrote this.

If anyone sits here, let him read this first of all: if anyone wants a screw, he should look for Attice; she costs 4 sestertii.

We have wet the bed, host.  I confess we have done wrong.  If you want to know why, there was no chamber pot

The one who buggers a fire burns his penis

Let everyone one in love come and see.  I want to break Venus’ ribs with clubs and cripple the goddess’ loins.  If she can strike through my soft chest, then why can’t I smash her head with a club?


Reblogging my themeblog here because I love these.

“Theophilus, don’t perform oral sex on girls against the city wall like a dog” omg

(via romanitas)

brb loling forever history is interesting