April 23, 2019

Model hits back at bump-shaming trolls who claim she doesn’t ‘look’ pregnant

Belle Lucia, who is now five months pregnant, has hit back at cruel claims she doesn't "look" pregnant because of her smaller baby bump.
April 23, 2019

Whole Foods to debut ‘Royal Addition Cheese’ upon royal baby’s birth

Whole Foods is hoping you’d like to celebrate the arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby with mouthfuls of cheese.
April 23, 2019

A quest to reconstruct Baltimore’s American Indian ‘reservation’

Members of East Baltimore Church of God, which was founded by Lumbee Indians, and was once located in the heart of 'the reservation,' in the 1700 block of E. Baltimore Street. Photo courtesy of Rev. Robert E. Dodson Jr., Pastor, East Baltimore Church of God, Author provided

A few years ago, I invited a group of students to go on a short walking tour of the Lumbee Indian community of East Baltimore.

Lumbee are indigenous to North Carolina but have been present in Baltimore since at least as early as the 1930s. My grandparents moved here in 1963 with their three children, one of whom was my mother. I was born here, and that makes me a first-generation Baltimore Lumbee. I grew up to be a community-based visual artist and a folklorist. I’m currently a doctoral candidate at University of Maryland College Park, where I’m finishing my dissertation on the changing relationship of Lumbee people to the neighborhood in Baltimore where they settled.

I had given such tours informally many times before, and had developed a familiar route and narrative along the way: South Broadway Baptist Church, the Baltimore American Indian Center, the Vera Shank Daycare and Native American Senior Citizens building.

This particular time, an elder of the community had come along with us. Naturally, I ceded the responsibility of leading the tour to her.

The Baltimore American Indian Center, 113 S. Broadway, is the hub of cultural activities for area Indians. Photo by John Davis, The News American, October 24, 1985. Baltimore News American Photo Archive, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Maryland College Park. Permission granted by the Hearst Corporation, Author provided

We started out on my usual route, but, to my surprise, she stopped us just outside South Broadway Baptist Church to talk about an Indian jewelry store that used to be next door. This was news to me. I didn’t remember the store because it was gone before my time.

I started to wonder: How much more don’t I know about the places and spaces Lumbee people once had here?

Drawing on the memories of our elders, the annals of local newspapers and other archival materials, I am now mapping and reconstructing East Baltimore’s historic Lumbee Indian community.

With the neighborhood being redeveloped and the Lumbee population shifting, I see this as an urgent project of reclamation – of history, of space and of belonging.

The birth of Baltimore’s ‘reservation’

The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina is the largest tribe east of the Mississippi River, and the ninth-largest in the United States.

Our homeland is in southeastern North Carolina, with members residing primarily in Robeson, Hoke, Cumberland and Scotland counties. We take our name from the Lumbee River that winds through tribal territory, which is mostly rural and otherwise characterized by pines, farmland and swamps.

Following World War II, thousands of Lumbee Indians migrated from North Carolina to Baltimore seeking jobs and a better quality of life. They settled on the east side of town, in an area that bridges the neighborhoods of Upper Fells Point and Washington Hill, 64 blocks mostly comprising brick row houses with marble steps.

To many Lumbee newcomers, the buildings all looked identical. It was a world apart from the farm houses, tobacco barns, fields and swamps of home.

In this urban landscape, Lumbee people stood out – neither looking like the Indians on TV, nor neatly fitting into any of the races or ethnicities already living in Baltimore.

Today, most Baltimoreans would be surprised to learn that the area was once so densely populated by Indians that it was known as “the reservation.” An anthropologist who did fieldwork in the community during its heyday wrote that it was “perhaps the single largest grouping of Indians from the same tribe in an American urban area.”

The Inter-Tribal Restaurant was owned and operated by the Baltimore American Indian Center in the unit block of South Broadway. Photo courtesy of the Baltimore American Indian Center, Author provided

The Lumbee community has gradually spread out in years since, so my own generation never experienced “the reservation” as such. But even within our own lifetimes – and especially over the last 15 years – we’ve seen the Lumbee population in the city sharply decline. The majority of our people have moved out to Baltimore County and beyond. Others have returned to North Carolina.

The old neighborhood is now being rapidly redeveloped. Historic buildings have been retrofitted. New luxury apartments abound. With the closure and sale of the former Vera Shank Daycare and Native American Senior Citizens building, the sole real estate that the Baltimore Indian Center owns is the building it occupies. The remaining elders are now in their 70s and 80s.

I know that I have arrived at this work in a crucial moment.

The neighborhood as it once was

In order to learn more about the historic community, I went to the elders first.

I was completely floored by what I learned. I had known about the places I already mentioned, along with a couple of much-fabled bars. But they talked about other restaurants, shops, more churches, more bars, investment properties and even a dance hall that were all Lumbee community-owned or frequented.

Nearly all of the sites described to me by the elders have been repurposed several times since the 1950s, if not demolished and utterly wiped from the landscape. Entire city blocks have disappeared.

How, then, could I even begin to pinpoint where things used to be?

This question prompted a spree of digging and plundering through many local institutional archives in search of clues that would help me reconstruct “the reservation.”

At the downtown branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, I was able to leaf through many historic newspaper clippings about the community and the early endeavors of the Baltimore American Indian Center, founded in 1968 as the “American Indian Study Center.” I even held original copies of the American Indian Study Center’s first newsletters, mailed directly from the center to the library.

I got a cartography lesson at the Johns Hopkins University’s Eisenhower Library, which led me to visit the Baltimore City Archives, where I was able to handle original Sanborn maps. These maps provide extremely detailed aerial views of the neighborhood, including footprints of buildings that no longer exist.

The Sanborn Map Company published detailed maps of U.S. cities and towns in the 19th and 20th centuries for fire insurance companies. Since they contain so much detailed information, they’re invaluable resources that show how American cities have changed over many decades. Photo by the author, Baltimore City Archives, Author provided

Later, at the Baltimore City Department of Planning’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation, I was thrilled to find actual street-level photographs of many of the buildings, which, ironically, were documented as a result of urban renewal.

In his youth, Clyde Oxendine was a boxer and the bouncer at The Volcano, a bar frequented by Lumbee Indians. Photo by C. Cullison, The News American, September 30, 1963. Baltimore News American Photo Archive, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Maryland College Park. Permission granted by the Hearst Corporation, Author provided

In the Hornbake Library at University of Maryland College Park, I was able to consult several volumes of Polk Baltimore City Directories. I had presumed these were no more than old phone books. Instead, these volumes detail the individuals and businesses that occupied every building in Baltimore, street by street, block by block, in a given year. Not only was I able to confirm addresses of the community sites the elders had described, but in many instances, I was also able to see where they, themselves, had lived.

The Hornbake Library also houses the Baltimore News American photo archive, where I found portraits of community legends. There were Elizabeth Locklear, Herbert Locklear and Rosie Hunt – all founders of the Center. There was Clyde Oxendine, a boxer and the bouncer of the infamous Volcano, the meanest of mean Indian bars. And in the first folder of unprocessed photos I opened, I found, of all people, Alme Jones, the maternal grandmother of my fiance.

Preserving the past for future generations

So far, we have mapped 27 Lumbee-owned or frequented sites in and around the neighborhood.

After identifying materials from these many far-flung institutional archives, it seems imperative to establish a new collection so that these treasures can live together, alongside personal archival materials that would never have been accessible to an outside researcher. Our community needs easy access to its history.

Naturally, the Baltimore American Indian Center is the prime repository for this new collection. The Special Collections of the Albin O. Kuhn Library at UMBC is another. This amazing, publicly accessible resource already houses the Maryland Folklife Archives and the research of several Maryland folklorists. It will one day house my research as well.

Younger generations of Lumbee people should be able to see and know that our people’s history in Baltimore runs much deeper and wider than it seems.

All cities are steeped in stories. Whether we realize it or not, we are always walking in the footsteps of those who came before.

As Baltimore’s neighborhoods continue to change, its residents would do well to realize that Lumbee people have been here for a long time – and we’re still here.

The Conversation

Ashley Minner works for University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and is a doctoral candidate at University of Maryland College Park. She is affiliated with the Maryland Folklife Network and the Baltimore American Indian Center. She is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

April 22, 2019

All The Clues That Meghan Markle Has Already Given Birth

Now that we are deeply nestled in the somewhat dreary slog that is April, royal baby watch is at a code RED. Earlier this year, Meghan Markle revealed that her due date is sometime late this month, but who's to say that baby isn't already here? The Duc...
April 22, 2019

No One Loved The Arya-Gendry Sex Scene More Than Sophie Turner

The Stark sisters may have some tense moments on screen, but if there was any doubt that the two Game of Thrones actresses, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner are close, that has all but evaporated after the latter's hilarious wine-fueled Instagram story last night.

Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, posted an Instagram story following Sunday night's episode reacting to the very sexy times that were had by her co-star, who plays Arya Stark.

In season 8's second episode, Arya and Gendry Baratheon (Joe Dempsie), the bastard son of late King Robert Baratheon, finally got it on after teasing the pair's electric sexual tension. Ever the dedicated friend, Turner took to Instagram to share her unfiltered thoughts on the moment that took Twitter by storm.

“In honor of Easter, I guess Game of Thrones wanted the storyline to have a little Easter bunny hop hop hoppin’ into that pussaay," said Turner, donning a bathrobe and drinking a glass of red wine. "And that’s the tea." It may be the best video on the Internet today.

why is no one on my tl talking about miss sophie referring to gendry as an easter bunny hop hop hopping into that PUSSAY? pic.twitter.com/aA9budFhwz

— maia (@maia419) April 22, 2019

After Gendry went to deliver a weapon that she had requested herself, Arya asked her crush about his sexual partners and promptly told him to take his pants off. "It’s obviously slightly strange for me because I’ve known Maisie since she was 11, 12 years old, Dempsie told EW.com of the scene. "At the same time, I don’t want to be patronizing toward Maisie — she’s a 20-year-old woman. So we just had a lot of fun with it."

It's such a great scene that, as Turner so aptly points out, it deserves its own toast. Now, can Turner recap every episode like this? Knowing what's on the line for next week's battle, we're going to need a little tipsy pick-me-up.

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April 22, 2019

How ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ inspired the cathedral’s 19th-century revival

The gargoyles that sit on Notre Dame today were installed as a nod to the cathedral's past. Noemiseh91/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

On April 15, people around the world watched in horror as a voracious fire consumed the medieval wooden roof of Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral and felled its spire.

The following day brought some measure of relief: Despite the building’s wrenching losses, its masonry structure was largely intact, and many of its precious relics had been swiftly and lovingly removed by a human chain of church officials and firefighters. The building had steadfastly endured the destructive flames.

Since then, Notre Dame has been hailed as a stable and enduring symbol of French identity.

But it would be more accurate to say that the cathedral’s importance comes from the very instability of its meaning.

Originally completed in 1345, by the early 19th century Notre Dame stood in a state of dire disrepair. It took an idiosyncratic young architect, moved by Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” to fashion a new meaning for the building – one that, ironically, looked nostalgically to the past for inspiration.

‘The book will destroy the edifice’

In 1831, when Victor Hugo published his famous novel “Notre Dame de Paris” – known in English as “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” – the country was experiencing rapid social, political and industrial change.

The cathedral, meanwhile, had fallen by the wayside. Years of neglect, blinkered renovation efforts and the anti-Catholic zeal of the French Revolution had left the once-regal building in ruins.

During the French Revolution, many of the treasures of the cathedral were either destroyed or plundered. Only the great bells avoided being melted down, and the church interior was used as a warehouse for the storage of food. Brown University Library

Set in the 15th century, the novel alluringly evoked a different period in French history. In the novel, Hugo lamented that the printing press had supplanted architecture as the primary communicator of civilization’s cherished values. In one of the book’s most famous moments, the archdeacon Frollo points sadly to a printed book on his table.

“Alas! This will kill that,” he laments, directing his finger to the cathedral looming magisterially outside his window. He continues, “The book will destroy the edifice.”

Like other Romanticist writers and artists, Hugo imagined the Middle Ages as a simpler time, an era when society was governed by pure faith. He believed that back then, the cathedral was able to inspire the masses and guide them toward a life of devotion and morality. Hugo hoped that his novel might spur the building’s rebirth, allowing it to renew France’s ethical core during the Industrial Revolution.

One architect, attracted to the picturesque history on view in Hugo’s novel, would ultimately heed his call.

An architect reaches longingly for the past

Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc was a teenager when Hugo’s novel was published. The book affirmed Viollet-le-Duc’s suspicion that his own age’s riot of styles and tastes reflected the unwieldy chaos of modern life.

Like Hugo, he sought to capture France’s “authentic” past and, like Hugo, was drawn to the Middle Ages.

Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. Wikimedia Commons

For this reason, he refused to enroll in the École des Beaux-Arts, the main training ground for France’s architects, because of the school’s dogmatic focus on classical architecture. He opted instead to learn on the job, working for architects around Paris while studying the city’s medieval architecture in his spare time.

In 1842, the government announced a competition for Notre Dame’s restoration and the 28-year-old Viollet-le-Duc threw his hat into the ring. By then, he had already established his reputation as an expert in the restoration of medieval buildings.

But for him, restoration was about more than touching up an existing form. It meant breathing life into a building by transforming it.

As he later wrote, “To restore a building is not to preserve it, to repair or rebuild it; it is to reinstate it in a condition of completeness which could never have existed at any given time.” Viollet-le-Duc knew that the very act of restoring old buildings was, itself, a modern notion.

A symbol of stability in uncertain times?

Thus, Viollet-le-Duc’s winning entry would not simply aim to preserve the cathedral as it then stood. Instead, he sought to revive the building’s mythical past.

During the restoration, Viollet-le-Duc redesigned and rebuilt the medieval spire, which had been removed in the 1780s due to its vulnerability in high winds (an absence that had appalled Hugo). He also sprinkled the building with its now-famous gargoyles in accord with Hugo’s atmospheric depiction of a building adorned with “grinning monsters.”

Viollet-le-Duc’s renovated cathedral – the version that we know today – is a product both of the French Middle Ages and of its architectural revival in the 19th century. Like Hugo, Viollet-le-Duc romantically conceived medieval architecture as a stable bulwark against his own uncertain times. He wanted to intensify what he saw as the building’s mystical power – its ability to speak to France’s past at a time when the forces of modernity were threatening to sweep its traces away.

Viollet-le-Duc also ensured his own role in the rehabilitation would forever be preserved: His likeness appears in the face of a copper statue of St. Thomas at the base of the spire.

By good fortune, this statue was removed for the renovation just last week and was spared from the conflagration.

Viollet-le-Duc’s face appears on a statue of St. Thomas. Harmonia Amanda/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

Since the fire, many writers have correctly pointed out that the catastrophe is also only one episode in a much longer story of architectural survival.

Notre Dame will certainly live on in some new form; France has been offered astronomical donations for the purpose. In fact, a competition to redesign the spire has already been announced.

Much like Viollet-le-Duc’s restoration, this newest version of Notre Dame will look to the past – selectively – to ensure the building’s future.

The Conversation

Julia Walker does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

April 22, 2019

How ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ inspired the cathedral’s 19th-century revival

The gargoyles that sit on Notre Dame today were installed as a nod to the cathedral's past. Noemiseh91/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

On April 15, people around the world watched in horror as a voracious fire consumed the medieval wooden roof of Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral and felled its spire.

The following day brought some measure of relief: Despite the building’s wrenching losses, its masonry structure was largely intact, and many of its precious relics had been swiftly and lovingly removed by a human chain of church officials and firefighters. The building had steadfastly endured the destructive flames.

Since then, Notre Dame has been hailed as a stable and enduring symbol of French identity.

But it would be more accurate to say that the cathedral’s importance comes from the very instability of its meaning.

Originally completed in 1345, by the early 19th century Notre Dame stood in a state of dire disrepair. It took an idiosyncratic young architect, moved by Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” to fashion a new meaning for the building – one that, ironically, looked nostalgically to the past for inspiration.

‘The book will destroy the edifice’

In 1831, when Victor Hugo published his famous novel “Notre Dame de Paris” – known in English as “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” – the country was experiencing rapid social, political and industrial change.

The cathedral, meanwhile, had fallen by the wayside. Years of neglect, blinkered renovation efforts and the anti-Catholic zeal of the French Revolution had left the once-regal building in ruins.

During the French Revolution, many of the treasures of the cathedral were either destroyed or plundered. Only the great bells avoided being melted down, and the church interior was used as a warehouse for the storage of food. Brown University Library

Set in the 15th century, the novel alluringly evoked a different period in French history. In the novel, Hugo lamented that the printing press had supplanted architecture as the primary communicator of civilization’s cherished values. In one of the book’s most famous moments, the archdeacon Frollo points sadly to a printed book on his table.

“Alas! This will kill that,” he laments, directing his finger to the cathedral looming magisterially outside his window. He continues, “The book will destroy the edifice.”

Like other Romanticist writers and artists, Hugo imagined the Middle Ages as a simpler time, an era when society was governed by pure faith. He believed that back then, the cathedral was able to inspire the masses and guide them toward a life of devotion and morality. Hugo hoped that his novel might spur the building’s rebirth, allowing it to renew France’s ethical core during the Industrial Revolution.

One architect, attracted to the picturesque history on view in Hugo’s novel, would ultimately heed his call.

An architect reaches longingly for the past

Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc was a teenager when Hugo’s novel was published. The book affirmed Viollet-le-Duc’s suspicion that his own age’s riot of styles and tastes reflected the unwieldy chaos of modern life.

Like Hugo, he sought to capture France’s “authentic” past and, like Hugo, was drawn to the Middle Ages.

Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. Wikimedia Commons

For this reason, he refused to enroll in the École des Beaux-Arts, the main training ground for France’s architects, because of the school’s dogmatic focus on classical architecture. He opted instead to learn on the job, working for architects around Paris while studying the city’s medieval architecture in his spare time.

In 1842, the government announced a competition for Notre Dame’s restoration and the 28-year-old Viollet-le-Duc threw his hat into the ring. By then, he had already established his reputation as an expert in the restoration of medieval buildings.

But for him, restoration was about more than touching up an existing form. It meant breathing life into a building by transforming it.

As he later wrote, “To restore a building is not to preserve it, to repair or rebuild it; it is to reinstate it in a condition of completeness which could never have existed at any given time.” Viollet-le-Duc knew that the very act of restoring old buildings was, itself, a modern notion.

A symbol of stability in uncertain times?

Thus, Viollet-le-Duc’s winning entry would not simply aim to preserve the cathedral as it then stood. Instead, he sought to revive the building’s mythical past.

During the restoration, Viollet-le-Duc redesigned and rebuilt the medieval spire, which had been removed in the 1780s due to its vulnerability in high winds (an absence that had appalled Hugo). He also sprinkled the building with its now-famous gargoyles in accord with Hugo’s atmospheric depiction of a building adorned with “grinning monsters.”

Viollet-le-Duc’s renovated cathedral – the version that we know today – is a product both of the French Middle Ages and of its architectural revival in the 19th century. Like Hugo, Viollet-le-Duc romantically conceived medieval architecture as a stable bulwark against his own uncertain times. He wanted to intensify what he saw as the building’s mystical power – its ability to speak to France’s past at a time when the forces of modernity were threatening to sweep its traces away.

Viollet-le-Duc also ensured his own role in the rehabilitation would forever be preserved: His likeness appears in the face of a copper statue of St. Thomas at the base of the spire.

By good fortune, this statue was removed for the renovation just last week and was spared from the conflagration.

Viollet-le-Duc’s face appears on a statue of St. Thomas. Harmonia Amanda/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

Since the fire, many writers have correctly pointed out that the catastrophe is also only one episode in a much longer story of architectural survival.

Notre Dame will certainly live on in some new form; France has been offered astronomical donations for the purpose. In fact, a competition to redesign the spire has already been announced.

Much like Viollet-le-Duc’s restoration, this newest version of Notre Dame will look to the past – selectively – to ensure the building’s future.

The Conversation

Julia Walker does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

April 22, 2019

Will Netflix eventually monetize its user data?

Netflix currently spends much more cash than it brings in, leading to consistent negative cash flow and a mountain of debt. sakhorn/Shutterstock.comEven in the wake of a recent mixed earning report and volatile stock prices, Netflix remains the media s...
April 22, 2019

Killing Eve Season 2 Episode 3 Recap: Listen To Your Heart

Finally, this episode of Killing Eve gives us the Villanelle we've been missing. No longer suffering from a stab wound or trapped in a creepy man's house, our assassin is living it up on assignment while crashing at a fancy hotel. When she's not strang...
April 21, 2019

Is The Weirwood Tree In Winterfell The Secret To Who Will Win Game Of Thrones?

When Game Of Thrones released 14 photos of season 8’s second episode, the mysteriously titled “Game Of Thrones 69,” one image threw fans into a tizzy of speculation: Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) sitting alone in front of Winterfell’s weirwood tr...