". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Monday, November 30, 2015

SiriusXm Radio Insight - "Tell Me Everything"

For those who pay little or no attention to radio (which sells more books than other coverage),  Sirius Xm is a paid subscriber satellite radio network, offering an enormous amount and variety of programming. It's very popular among truckers and others who travel in a vehicle all day. Some of its channels are available 'gratis' in some airlines' entertainment networks, as with JetBlue.

"Tell Me Everything" -- Sirius Insight was fun, if such a word can be paired with such a subject as slavery. 

John Fugelsang, his producer and his team, were very well prepared. Unlike poorWBAI (who was equally prepared, though she focused on different things), Sirius has money, so the whole operation is as a slick and contempo as one would expect of an organization in Rockefeller Center, which is where SiriusXm Radio is located. When one gets to Reception, as soon as we are logged in and our badges / key cards issued, a very large screen announces: 

SiriusXm Radio 

The screen rotates all the guests's names who are up there, presenting live. 

The producer says he's taking a photo of our names and sending them to our publicist so she can send them to us. That will be a cool souvenir of the experience. 

Due to the money, here were nice microphones, a lovely studio. But there was also a relaxed though, passionate about surely all their subjects, and very professional atmosphere -- and, most of all, terrific prep and comprehension. 

The young, white, male engineer was directly in my line of sight. His face registered expressions of astonishment and disgust and shock at what he was hearing. Even the producer at times reacted that way, and presumably he was the one who brought the book (via Publisher's Publicist) to John's attention. And we didn't describe anything graphically -- which we don't mostly in the book either, unless we're quoting an eye-witness.

John (the host) told us afterword that his father had been an American history teacher, so he takes slavery and related issues seriously, but TASC informed him of so much. 

We have JT, an old friend from the Lone Star days, up at Sirius who does the country - western etc. shows. So we stopped after, and hung out with him for a while, catching up. Ned's been up there with him a fair amount, doing shows with Dave Marsh (who, I believe has his own show on Sirius), and with Willie Nelson. 

Behind the red Christmas ornaments is the building, 2115 Rockefeller Center, where SiriusXm Radio is located.  The annual (83rd) Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree lighting will be Dec. 2, Wednesday.

A Henri Bendell Window
Since I was going to be in Midtown anyway, I'd thought after the interview I'd walk around and look at the, honestly, spectacular Christmas decorations in the department stores like Lord & Taylor, the plazas and so on. But I used the time I'd marked out for that hanging out with JT instead. Hey, friends and catch-up always take priority. 


One of the brilliant things about doing these events, radio, etc., is what we learn. One of the things I've learned, which is a sad fact, that many well-informed people have imbibed the Glorious Lost Cause lie that President John Adams owned slaves.  He -- and particularly Abigail -- were always anti-slavery, though not necessarily abolitionist, at least not in their earlier years.  Abigail did employ a black family among the other labor on the farm she ran, managed and worked on with her own back and hands while John was absent so much and for years at a time in Europe or elsewhere.  The key word here is employ.  These were free people of color, with their own home and their own family.

1 comment:

Foxessa said...

O my -- to quote Publicist --

"Responses like this are awesome"