August Landmesser, arms crossed
Some recent show highlights and reflections on a trip to Berlin
Hey all, Jody here, we hope the summer is going well for you. I just got back from a two-week trip, Kellie has returned from a summer living and researching in Paris, and Niki has been road-tripping a fair amount. For academics, August is more the beginning of freak-out-mode than the end-of-summertime. Good luck Kellie and Niki! Especially Niki, who as you may know is moving to Vanderbilt this fall. She’s been brushing up on her Tennessee knowledge with “TN Week” - I’ve been loving these episodes. There’s one more tomorrow, then all three of us are back at it with regularly-scheduled-programming.
Quotes of the Week
Khawla here. I transcribe episodes for this podcast and am one of the writers of the newsletter. Here are some choice quotes from recent episodes. Let me know if there’s anything that catches your ear!
It wasn't just about that one enslaved person. It wasn't just about that $1000 that “walked away.” It was a message to the rest of the enslaved people that if you try to escape, we will go to the ends of the earth.
There's violence to perpetuate violence and then there is violence to suppress violence. And that's really what this was.
— Kellie. Both quotes from our episode about Nelson Hackett, an enslaved man who escaped to Canada — and was the first (and last) person to be sent back to the United States by the Canadian government.
I really do think that if you ran the Geico gecko behind an angry, extreme right wing agenda… there's a real chance he could win. Like the gecko could be a representative from Arkansas who is advocating for flame-throwers to be classified as guns.
— Filmmaker Adam McKay, who joined us for an episode about stunt candidates. Turns out, Adam got his big acting break as the spokesperson for “Morris the Cat” in 1992. We broke this story first on This Day!
She is not writing for other Black women. She's writing for white women. She wants white women to understand what it is that she experienced. Black women know what I experienced — but white women do not.
— Kellie, on the narrative of Harriet Jacobs
A couple of final tidbits from me. We finally got around to talking about “What About Your Gaffes?” a truly special moment in American political journalism. I had some thoughts, and what’s the point of hosting a podcast if you can’t get a take you’ve been holding since 2012 off your chest:
As I mentioned, much of the team was traveling in July. I recently got back from a trip to Barcelona and Berlin, two lovely (and bike-friendly!) cities. In Berlin, a friend asked me if I wanted to do “some history stuff,” and then asked, “which epic era of Berlin history do you want to focus on.” It seems weird to say, but yes, Berlin is a city that feels like it’s lived more history than most.
I’m still processing the trip, but I spent an incredibly affecting afternoon at the “Topography of Terror” exhibit, which chronicles the social, media, and political conditions that led to the rise of Hitler. It left me stunned and sad.
But the only picture I snapped was this one.
Be this guy.
Take care, all. Talk soon.