Monday, April 24, 2017

Two black people on the Titanic in fact and a third in folklore

The Titanic had at least two black passengers, and more if you count one passenger's children.

The story of Joseph Laroche is in Was a Black Man on the Titanic? His white wife and their daughters were saved. He was not. Don't blame race for his death—many of the men stayed behind so more of the women and children could survive.

There's some debate about whether the Laroches endured racism on board the ship. From Black People and Titanic: The Reality – Dani Course – Medium:
...a letter that Juliette wrote to her father while the Titanic was at Queenstown, Ireland, paints a different picture. She did not mention any racially motivated incidents directed at her or her family. In fact, she wrote that they had become acquainted with another French family, whom they had traveled from Paris with on the train and dined with onboard the ship. She also wrote that “the people onboard are very nice.” It should be kept in mind, however, that when Juliette Laroche wrote her letter, she and her family had been aboard the ship for less than 24 hours. They would spend four more days at sea — plenty of time to experience the conditions outlined by Hughes and the Inquirer.
The Laroches were well-off; the Medium article includes this:
Initially, the family was to travel on the French liner La France, however the liner’s strict policy required children to remain in the ship’s nursery during meal times, which didn’t appeal to the Laroches. They exchanged their first-class tickets for second-class tickets on the Titanic.
The second black passenger, Victor Giglio, travelled first class. He was the personal secretary to Benjamin Guggenheim. The two men, it's said, chose to die like gentlemen, drinking brandy together. In Titanic Anniversary Sheds Light On Passengers Of Color: Who Were They?, the writer suggests Giglio wouldn't have been able to get a place on a lifeboat because of the color of his skin, but since rich white men also couldn't get seats, it's impossible to guess whether class would've trumped race in a choice between a white third-class passenger and a black first-class one.

The Titanic had a mythical crewman called Shine who, in folk hero fashion, swam all the way to New York. There's more about him in Was a Black Man on the Titanic?

Leadbelly wrote a song that claims the boxer Jack Johnson couldn't get a ticket, which isn't true, but makes for a fine song:



Lead Belly:The Titanic Lyrics | LyricWikia 

Monday, April 17, 2017

An article to cite when you want to show Fox News, the Mirror, and the Daily Mail are unreliable

Media fooled by fake news item about married twins:
While more reputable sites like the New York Times or Washington Post don’t appear to be running with this nonsense story, many other widely read news outlets like the Mirror and the Daily Mail ran with it. Even Fox News ran a Sun article on their site.
Of course, this doesn't mean the Times or the Post are reliable either. No site is perfect, and they all are subject to spinning the facts to fit their ideologies.