Saturday, 12 April 2014

Reading Beverly Tatum


The White fear that Blacks can be independent of Whites...

Copyright © 2014 Frank TALKER. Permission granted to reproduce and distribute it in any format; provided that mention of the author’s Weblog ( is included: E-mail notification requested. All other rights reserved.

Thursday, 10 April 2014





Melodramatic, southern gothic (comparable to Tennessee Williams) look at the morbidity and self-indulgence of White culture fuelled, as it is, by sexual and emotional repression.

Points are made about White inbreeding caused by the White need of White supremacy and the genetic malformations so caused. In addition to the inherent instability of the White nuclear and extended families. As well as the usual masochistic and guilt-ridden sexual fetishizing of openly-feared Black people.

The film is designed to look like the still photography of the sixties - a more resonant idea than simply using the music of the period. The characterization and acting is excellent and vivid; while the direction and screenwriting is very much to the point. Where it fails is in being more of a description of White culture than a necessary explanation that could contribute more to an understanding of that cultures failings.

Copyright © 2014 Frank TALKER. Permission granted to reproduce and distribute it in any format; provided that mention of the author’s Weblog ( is included: E-mail notification requested. All other rights reserved.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done so Much Ill and so Little Good


Interesting book about Whites and their inability to find a means of effectively helping the Third World; resulting from the White inability to see beyond the profound institutional limitations of both Foreign Aid or Military Intervention - and, indeed, their own limited culture.

Because it is written by a White, he is unable to be honest about the endemic malice and condescension of Whites toward non-Whites. Generalized vindictiveness that causes them to create poverty-reduction plans Whites know are not going to work: Plans designed to disincentivize large-scale migration of Third World poor and to prevent non-Whites from becoming economic competitors in global Capitalism. The War on Terror makes things worse because Whites imagine (as they do regarding their own countries’ crime rates) that terrorism is caused by poverty. That the causes of terrorism are actually the self-same foreign intervention (supposedly designed to alleviate poverty) is conveniently and deliberately elided.

The book also fails to compare - in depth - Foreign Aid with Domestic Welfare such that the similar reasons for the failure of both remain unilluminated. Moreover, White guilt and White narcissism are not assigned their due place in explaining why Whites want to save the world, but have no plan for saving the world from Whites. Whites wish to recreate the world in their own image and so fantasize about being Aryan supermen: The only kind of people Whites imagine can achieve such goals. Utopian for Whites; Dystopian for everyone else. Rather than look at the actual problems of others, Whites choose to see others only in comparison to themselves; presenting a distorted view of objective reality.

The author’s political naivety stems from a belief in the essential goodness of Whites, a belief that only Whites, themselves, possess. As well as their neurotic inability to divorce Intentions from Acts such that preaching what to do becomes a greater goal than actually doing anything. Whites seek a mirror in which to permanently admire themselves; ignoring the suffering they claim to be alleviating as the only means of evading their own inner emptiness. This is why Whites rarely focus on outcomes but on intentions, since positive outcomes are harder to find.

The author’s realization that self-directed and organic development is the only way forward for the world’s poor (as practiced in the First World) is likely to go unheeded. Detested Whites (like Bob Geldof & Bono) are far too keen to publicly remain at the center of their own vain pipe-dreams of sainthood than they are to actually listen to the poor. Helping the world’s poor by funding the poor’s own ideas for development - since the poor are the only people who understand the situation on the ground because of their daily experience of it - keeps Whites from hogging the limelight and, hence, is not favored by them.

Copyright © 2013 Frank TALKER. Permission granted to reproduce and distribute it in any format; provided that mention of the author’s Weblog ( is included: E-mail notification requested. All other rights reserved.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Black Jacobins


Fantastic and superbly-written book about the only successful slave revolt in history that shows just what Blacks can do given the right circumstances and leadership.

This book that gets right to the heart of why Whites approved of African slavery for 500 years. Without the guilt and shame of a typical White historian this is an eidetic view of the challenges posed by White supremacy - then and now; exposing the real reasons for the abolition of racial slavery: Free trade is more profitable than mercantilism since one can then sell to the highest bidder and not just ones own government. As well as the fact the British government’s jealousy of the French making more money than they at the traffic in human misery that the possession of India meant the British need no longer indulge in.

Humanitarianism is absent from this account since a humanitarian country would obviously never have become involved in racial slavery in the first place. The book then comes to the obvious conclusion that White history books simply lie about the ethical role of Whites in the emancipation of African slaves.

What makes this book so readable is the precision with which the writer effectively skewers White politics as quintessentially White supremacist with humor, wit and irony.

The mixture of fear and envy Whites have for the exotic is stressed here through their repeated claim that anything foreign is inferior while being embraced to fund the English (17th century) and French (18th century) revolutions. A supreme irony of history is that both these bids for freedom and statements of the inalienable rights of Man were made possible by a bourgeoisie made rich from African slavery. The moral contradictions of White culture today stem from such institutions as the writer here makes many links between the past and the present.

That the abolition of the slave trade and of slavery itself never simultaneously abolished the various European empires and the White racism that drove them on is a telling legacy that remains with us to this very day.

Copyright © 2013 Frank TALKER. Permission granted to reproduce and distribute it in any format; provided that mention of the author’s Weblog ( is included: E-mail notification requested. All other rights reserved.

Autobiography of Malcolm X


Purposeful Life

Way above-average story of redemption leading to a strong sense of personal identity and purpose.

This one serves as a valuable source of a role-model in the form of Malcolm X’s life as he salvaged and reconstructed it from the predations of White, Christian culture and proved that it could be done. As inspirational, in its way, as any honest account of the life of Muhammad Ali. They both realized that without self-identification, there can be no self-determination.

The most obvious fact of the book of greatest interest to Blacks, is that bit represents the most politically-ontogenetic experience for Blacks in a White supremacist culture as they try to forge a cultural identity for themselves in the face of mass hostility from those who themselves lack a clear sense of ethic identity.

Growing up in a White culture that demands Blacks was Malcolm X’s quintessential problem as a maturing and sensitive man and was the cause of his many political mistakes during his life - especially the veering from one political extreme to the other. Still, moderation is only for people who choose not to grow up since the path of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. A moderate knows only about moderation, not about other political positions, so he really knows very little at all.

Copyright © 2013 Frank TALKER. Permission granted to reproduce and distribute it in any format; provided that mention of the author’s Weblog ( is included: E-mail notification requested. All other rights reserved.

Monday, 7 January 2013

When the Levees Broke


Despite the inordinate length of this documentary, there is not a second of padding here. Moreover, and unusually, the director's commentary is actually worth listening to.

A documentary about the disaster of Hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans in 2005 exacerbated by the disastrously slow and unprioritized response of the various federal agencies - with the notable exception of the US Coast Guard. Looting took place not only for the usual materialist reasons but because food, water and medical aid was not forthcoming from the federal government. Looting that even the police took part in as often as they were trying to stop it.

This entire documentary is a searing indictment of the attitude of White America toward Blacks & poor Whites - whose lives count for less than affluent or wealthy Whites. Blacks trying to escape the carnage into White areas were forced at gunpoint to return. It becomes obvious that many White witnesses are desperately trying to conceal their racism behind the shooting of looters; while the Black witnesses are not so surprised at the White response of not taking the storm as seriously as the situation demanded. Here, the White fear of Blacks manifests itself in trying to police the survivors rather than actually help them; using the National Guard as an occupying force rather than a relieving one.

How such a thing could happen in a rich country like the United States beggars the imagination but, when one considers that that wealth was built on the suffering of Blacks, perhaps that is not so surprising. When help finally came, its resemblance to a slave auction is palpable along with the claim that Blacks were "Refugees" (rather than "Evacuees") as if they had suddenly become stateless in their own land. Along with the odd belief that Black lives were improved by a kind of act-of-god slum-clearance program called Katrina. The sense here is that Blacks were deliberately allowed to drown by Whites because of an inadequate levee protection system and that dispersing Evacuees to other states was really a way of getting rid of Blacks from New Orleans. The lack post-Katrina compensation only made things worse - the Federal Emergency Management System (FEMA) is more of a disaster than the storm ever was. The bald-faced lies of the US president regarding Whites' conventionalized fear of Blacks are summed-up best by Sean Penn: 'This was America; this was today; and, this was a Third-World scene'. A national embarrassment and a national disgrace where Blacks are viewed as literally picayune by Whites who claim Blacks are natural-born looters, trespassers and that their predicament is their own fault, anyway. The difference between the BBC & CNN reporting was that the former focused on victims; the latter, on the physical destruction.

What impresses most is the desire of so many New Orleanais to rebuild what has been taken away from them both by the storm and the federal government. As well as the largely unshakeable humor of the residents.

Copyright © 2013 Frank TALKER. Permission granted to reproduce and distribute it in any format; provided that mention of the author’s Weblog ( is included: E-mail notification requested. All other rights reserved. Frank TALKER is also the author of Sweaty Socks: A Treatise on the Inevitability of Toe Jam in Hot Weather (East Cheam Press: Groper Books, 1997) and is University of Bullshit Professor Emeritus of Madeupology.

Monday, 23 April 2012

(1807 - 1867)

WEBSITE: Ira ALDRIDGE (1807-1867)...

Painted by Henry Perronet Briggs, this portrait depicts the great Shakespearean actor Ira Aldridge in the role of Othello. National portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution/Art Resource

The most highly esteemed African-American actor of the nineteenth-century.

Aldridge earned international recognition as one of his era’s finest actors for his moving theatrical performances throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, Europe and the United States.

Although born free in New York City, he was the son of a slave turned Calvinist preacher. Aldridge saw limited theatrical opportunities in the United States and, after training at the African Free School in New York City, left the United States for Europe in 1824; studying drama at the University of Glasgow in Scotland for more than a year.

Debuting onstage at the Royal Coburg in London, England, in 1825, Aldridge won widespread praise for his portrayal of Shakespeare’s Othello, a role that became his trademark, as well as for renditions of other leading characters during the six-week theatrical run. After this success, he performed in the Theatre Royal in Brighton, England, and then went on to tour England, Scotland and Ireland for the next six years.

Aldridge mastered Black and White characters throughout dramatic literature and was hailed from city to city as an actor of great genius. Besides Othello, his best-known roles were title roles in Thomas Southerne’s Oroonoko and Thomas Norton’s The Slave, and characters in Matthew Gregory Lewis’s The Castle Spectre, Isaac Bickerstaffe’s The Padlock and Edward Young’s The Revenge.

For many, the mounting claims that Aldridge was the greatest actor of his day were confirmed when he filled in as Othello for renowned English thespian Edmund Kean, who fell ill during a performance at London’s Covent Garden in 1833. Although some critics grumbled at Kean’s having been eclipsed by the young upstart, twenty-six-year-old Aldridge received immense public acclaim for his performance - and his fame spread throughout Europe.

In 1852, Aldridge toured Europe performing Shakespearean tragedies and was so successful that he was invited to play Othello at the prestigious Lyceum Theatre in London in 1858. He was offered the same role by the Haymarket Theatre in 1865.

Aldridge was married twice, first to an Englishwoman and then to a wealthy Swede, and he had four children. In 1867, at the height of his career, he died of respiratory failure while on tour in Lodz, Poland, and was buried in that city.

Not only did Aldridge leave a rich legacy of drama, voice and rhetoric, but he marked the beginning of the tradition of polished African-American artists who would do most of their work outside of the United States because of American racism.


Marshall, Herbert, and Michael Stock. Ira Aldridge: The Negro Tragedian. Southern Illinois University Press, 1968.

Copyright © 2011 Frank TALKER. Permission granted to reproduce and distribute it in any format; provided that mention of the author’s Weblog ( is included: E-mail notification requested. All other rights reserved.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Africa Squadron
(1843 - 1859)

Fleet of American ships that sailed along the coast of West Africa during the nineteenth century for the purpose of suppressing the Atlantic slave trade.

the United States Navy’s African Squadron was sent to West Africa after the Treaty of Washington (1842), which provided for a joint armed British and American squadron to enforce both countries’ laws against the slave trade. From 1843 to 1859 the American fleet of sailing cruisers, based in the Cape Verde islands, freed 7,745 slaves and seized 35 ships (compared to 45,600 slaves freed and 595 ships seized by the British). Only 19 slavers were ever brought to trial.

from the beginning, several obstacles prevented the squadron from effectively stopping all the American slave-trading heading from West Africa to the American South. Although the squadron was supposed to function jointly with British sailing ships, the latter were based in Sierra Leone, and mutual suspicion led the fleets to limit each others’ rights to search the other country’s ships. In addition, the US Navy secretaries, most of whom were from the pro-slavery South, provided the squadron with only eighty guns and a few aging ships, including the famed fifty-one-gun USS Constitution. Other obstacles included the squadron’s base in Cape Verde, which by the mid-1800s was far from the center of slave-trading activity (then in Nigeria), and the American slaving ships’ tendency to disguise themselves by flying the Portuguese flag. The squadron operated on an annual budget of USD$250,000, but its highest cost was in human lives: Many American sailors died of malaria, yellow fever and other tropical diseases. In 1859 the ships were recalled to the United States to enforce a blockade against the South during the Civil War there.

To the English, racial slavery was a relative sin, not an absolute one. They unilaterally abolished the slave traffic in the British Empire in 1807 and slavery itself in 1834-8, but still traded with slave-trafficking states like Spain, Portugal and the United States.

A bill presented in the English Parliament in 1815 to proscribe slave trafficking as an investment for British capital was thrown out because banks such as Barings petitioned against it.

In 1824, 117 London merchants petitioned for the recognition of South America to open it up to British commerce - despite the existence there of the same slave traffic that had been banned throughout the British Empire.

In 1818, England paid Spain £400,000 in return for a promise to abolish its racial slave trade. But Spain did not do so because that would have ruined the Cuban economy. Britain had to compromise humanitarianism with profit since it traded heavily with Brazil, then a Portuguese colony.

British capitalists waged a vigorous campaign against their government’s policy of forcible suppression of slave trafficking that was then being conducted by stationing warships on the African coast. This government policy was expensive since it exceeded the annual value of the total trade with Africa (African exports were worth £154,000 in 1824; imports £118,000). Public money was thus wasted trying to watch every West African shore where a slave ship could be seen or suspected. Courts of special judicature were established in half the inter-tropical regions of the globe along with the use of diplomatic influence and pressure. Yet slavery continued after 30 years of attempted suppression (& undeclared war with the slaving nations). The policy was also dangerous for sailors; entailing a sacrifice of human life that English capitalists were not prepared to countenance - given the lack of financial rewards and the possibility of declared war with the still-slaving nations.

It was also hypocritical of Whites to salve their consciences over their treatment of Blacks when neither the poor nor women could vote in Britain. Above all, England was jealous of the commercial benefits of slavery that it no longer enjoyed through outlawing it in their own territories; while trying to take the moral high-ground in pretending to be the world’ s moral leader.

After the slaves in the British Empire were emancipated in 1833, British goods from Manchester and Liverpool - eg, cotton, fetters & shackles - were sent directly to the African Slave Coast or indirectly to Rio de Janeiro and Havana where they were partly-used by the Brazilian and Cuban consignees to purchase more African slaves. Seventy percent of the goods used by Brazil for purchasing slaves were British manufactures. (It was rumored that the British were reluctant to destroy the barracoons on the Slave Coast because it would thereby destroy British calicoes.)

In 1843, John Bright argued against a bill prohibiting the use of British capital - however indirectly - in slave trafficking because it would be impossible to enforce. In the same year, British firms handled 37.5% of the sugar, 50% of the coffee & 62.5% of the cotton exported from Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro & Bahia.

In 1845, Robert Peel refused to deny the fact that British subjects were engaged in slavery. British banks in Brazil financed slavery and insured slave cargoes. British mining companies owned and purchased slaves whose labor they employed in their enterprises.

Disraeli & Wellington condemned the suppression of the slave traffic and even Gladstone changed his mind in 1850 mind about it: 'It is not an ordinance of Providence that the government of one nation shall correct the morals of another.'

An editorial in the London times of 1857 makes the White position crystal clear: 'We know that for all mercantile purposes England is one of the States, and that, in effect, we are partners with the Southern planter; we hold a bill of sale over his goods and chattels, his live and dead stock, and take a lion's share in the profits of slavery... we fête Mrs Stowe, cry over her book, and pray for an anti-slavery president..., but all this time we are clothing not only ourselves, but all the world besides, with the very cotton picked and cleaned by "Uncle Tom"' and his fellow sufferers. We are "Mr Legree's" agents for the manufacture and sale of his cotton crops.'

All proof that profit triumphs ethics for Whites

Capitalism & Slavery Eric Williams Andre Deutsch 1964 LONDON
Copyright © 2014 Frank TALKER. Permission granted to reproduce and distribute it in any format; provided that mention of the author’s Weblog ( is included: E-mail notification requested. All other rights reserved.

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