Park Slope Reader

Park Slope Reader The Park Slope Reader is a free quarterly magazine distributed around Park Slope, Gowanus, Prospect Heights, and Windsor Terrace. It features editorial on local issues of importance, events, restaurants, and people.

Parabola Magazine
05/31/2019
Parabola Magazine

Parabola Magazine

Today, May 31st, 2019 is Walt Whitman's 200th birthday.

Feminist Flag Corps
05/31/2019

Feminist Flag Corps

Dr. George Tiller was assassinated by an anti-choice terrorist ten years ago today while serving as an usher in his church in Wichita, Kansas.

05/24/2019
Keith Olbermann Fan Page

Keith Olbermann Fan Page

Before our eyes, Italy is becoming a fascist state.

We can look at fascism like a cancer. There is no cure. But we know it kills and you die!

Keith Olbermann Fan Page
05/20/2019
Keith Olbermann Fan Page

Keith Olbermann Fan Page

Valerie Plame, CIA agent outed in Iraq War scandal, announces run for Congress.

It’s worth reminding to those who have quickly forgotten. GW Bush’s presidency wasn’t any different than trumps.

The Jon S. Randal Peace Page
05/19/2019

The Jon S. Randal Peace Page

For more than 40 years, no one knew her name, but they knew about the photo taken of her and her children, a photo that would become a strength and inspiration for mothers everywhere.

The famous photo named "Migrant Mother" taken by Dorothea Lange has been compared to the Mona Lisa achieving "near mythical status, symbolizing, if not defining, an entire era in United States history," making the "Migrant Mother" immortal.

Her name is Florence Owens Thompson. Although she has been misidentified for years as being of European descent, Thompson was actually “a full-blooded Cherokee Indian” from Oklahoma.

A new book, “Dorothea Lange: Migrant Mother,” written by Sarah Meister, a photography curator at the Museum of Modern Art, confirms this information. According to the New York Times, "the book comes out at a time when faces of desperately poor people in migrant caravans dominate the news."

Florence Owens Thompson was born in 1903, in Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma. Although both her parents were Cherokee, her father abandoned her mother before Florence was born. Her mother remarried another man (of Choctaw descent). The family lived on a small farm in Indian Territory outside of Tahlequah.

Thompson married at the age of 17. The family, with three children, would migrate West to California. In 1931, Thompson was pregnant with her sixth child when her first husband died of tuberculosis. She would work in the fields and in restaurants to support her children.

Thompson would remarry two more times. She and her family (now with 10 children) worked as migrant farm workers following the crops in California.

Thompson would say in an interview, "I worked in hospitals. I tended bar. I cooked. I worked in the fields. I done a little bit of everything to make a living for my kids."

She struggled all her life, just trying to make ends meet, trying to be a good mother, raise her children well and hopefully give them a future in which they can have a better life than she had.

In 1936, Thompson and her family were on their way to Watsonville hoping to find lettuce-picking work, when their car broke down. As her sons went into town to pick up some parts for the car, a woman with a camera would approach her. She asked if she could take some photographs of her and her children.

The photographer's name was Dorothea Lange, and one of the pictures she took would become "Migrant Mother."

Thompson hoped the picture might help her or her children. She always wanted a better life. At the very least, she hoped it would share awareness of the working poor.

It did share awareness, but, at that time, it did not help Thompson or her family. After the picture was published, people became aware of the migrant workers who were starving and within days, the migrant camp where Thompson was would received 20,000 pounds of food from the federal government, but Thompson and her family had already left the camp.

Thompson never received any payment for the photograph, and she was mostly ashamed of the photos. And, since she was never identified by name, her identity would not be known for 40 years.

In 1978, a reporter found Thompson and her family, and her name and story was finally revealed to the public.

Still ashamed of the photograph, Thompson, later in her life, would remember the photograph again.

She was suffering from cancer and a recent stroke, and she wasn't sure how to pay for all her medical bills. The cost of her care was too much, now the entire family was burdened with uncertainty and the future looked bleak for her children.

She then remembered the picture, the picture she once said was "a curse" because it shamed her.

But, after being hospitalized and wondering how the family could ever pay their medical bills, Thompson and her children made a public appeal. And, the public would remember her - based on Lange's famous photograph.

The family would receive more than 2,000 letters from people who had drawn strength and inspiration from the "Migrant Mother" photo. The family would also receive $35,000 in donations to help pay for her medical bills. Her son would say, "For Mama and us, the photo had always been a bit of curse. After all those letters came in, I think it gave us a sense of pride."

A month later, on September 16, 1983, Thompson would die of "cancer and heart problems" at the age of 80 at Scotts Valley, California. But, she left this Earth, knowing that her family would not be burdened by her financial problems and that she did all she could to be a good mother.

In a 2008 interview with CNN, Thompson's daughter recalled how her mother was a "very strong lady", and "the backbone of our family". She said: "We never had a lot, but she always made sure we had something. She didn't eat sometimes, but she made sure us children ate. That's one thing she did do."

When Thompson died, she was surrounded by her 10 children, the same children who were there when her photograph was taken, the same children she nurtured, fed, and took care of through the worst of times, becoming a symbol for mothers everywhere.

Her gravestone would read: "FLORENCE LEONA THOMPSON Migrant Mother – A Legend of the Strength of American Motherhood."

826NYC and the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company
05/19/2019

826NYC and the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company

Did you know that 826NYC has inspired more than 30,000 young writers in the last 15 years. Be part of the next chapter.

2019 is 826NYC’s 15th Anniversary Year. Let’s write the future together. Become a sustaining supporter at $15/month and help more NYC youth write their future. Donate here: http://ow.ly/vSVC50uf3rS

Spoke the Hub Presents The Salon and Gilligan Comedy this Saturday - https://mailchi.mp/psreader/httpspokethehuborgevent...
05/17/2019
Spoke the Hub Presents Salon and Gilligan Comedy this Saturday

Spoke the Hub Presents The Salon and Gilligan Comedy this Saturday - https://mailchi.mp/psreader/httpspokethehuborgeventsmaysaloncomedy

The "Salon" at Spoke: May Edition Please join us this Saturday, May 18th at 7:30pm for the "Salon" at Spoke, our informal performance series featuring dance, music, theater & more! This month features Lexie Thrash (dance), JACKS (film), Dan Rauchwerk (music), Mark Lamb (storytelling), and Rebecca Va...

DeadState
05/16/2019

DeadState

Still relevant 24 years later.

Blue Dem Warriors
05/15/2019

Blue Dem Warriors

Sign of the Day

From @Elizabeth Bean

Park Slope Reader's cover photo
05/14/2019

Park Slope Reader's cover photo

Park Slope Reader
05/14/2019

Park Slope Reader

Sh*t'z N'Giggles "The Original"
05/14/2019

Sh*t'z N'Giggles "The Original"

-jask

Mary Doria Russell
05/10/2019

Mary Doria Russell

Persisticon
05/05/2019

Persisticon

Persisticon III: There is No Planet B starts NOW! We’re here supporting EMILY's List with an incredible lineup - Alex Borstein, Aparna Nancherla, Amber Tamblyn, David Cross + MORE - and to help ELECT WOMEN! #persisticon #votefeminist

05/04/2019

Perfect!

Persisticon
05/03/2019

Persisticon

Best raffle prizes in town 😊
Cashmere from #LinguaFranca, and red leopard earrings from Sasadi Odunsi from #TheBrooklynBeadCollective #Persisticon #Persist
See you at Persisticon III on Sunday!!

Chicago Tribune
05/02/2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune

“There’s just something about it. It’s so healing." Natural burial sites and at-home funerals are changing how some families say goodbye to loved ones.

Axios
05/02/2019

Axios

The cover of this week's Time Magazine:

"His husband says he's never heard him raise his voice in anger. "We've almost fetishized fighting," [the mayor] explains, sitting in his living room between an antique British musket and an old Soviet spying device, both relics of old and painful wars. "There is a point where you become so absorbed in fighting that you begin to lose track of winning."

Parabola Magazine
05/02/2019
Parabola Magazine

Parabola Magazine

"We now know, through some of the later poems, a few of the details about the abuse she endured as a child, and we also know that she used her craft to transform not only her own suffering, but also the heartbreaking nature of the world—the fact, say, that everything and everyone is going to die—into a thing of beauty. Think of 'Night and The River;' think of the snapping turtle she found and captured in the city and released into a nearby pond because: 'Nothing’s important/except that the great and cruel mystery of the world,/of which this is a part,/ not be denied.'"

Humans of New York
04/30/2019

Humans of New York

“He fell down on his birthday. We’d just celebrated with a party. He was standing on a ladder, trying to fix a shelf, and he fell. It was all very sudden. He was in a coma for a week and then he was gone. After his death, I began to write in a journal. On the first pages I wrote about his final days. I was so sad. I just needed to process what happened. But then I kept going back, back, writing everything I could remember: the walks we had together, the places we visited, museums, castles, holidays with the children. I carried a pen with me at all times. Every time I had a memory, I’d write it down. We’d known each other since we were fourteen years old. We’d take walks in this park back then—with our parents permission, of course. It’s been almost nine months since his death. I’m feeling a little better. I’m still writing, but it’s not so much about memories anymore. It’s more spiritual now. I think he's still evolving somewhere. One night I saw him in a dream. It was the young Claude. Twenty-five or thirty years old. It was so real. I don’t even think it was a dream. I could feel him there. He was standing in a doorway, dressed completely in red. And Claude never wore red. But when I reached out to hug him, the door closed, and he disappeared. I believe he's still out there somewhere. And that I’ll see him again on the other side of that door.”

(Paris, France)

Persisticon
04/29/2019

Persisticon

I know I told you @elenaseibert is behind the lens at Persisticon III this Sunday, but this is her page for our program.. not a bad endorsement, eh?! SWOON.

The King's Necktie
04/29/2019
The King's Necktie

The King's Necktie

New on The King's Necktie, an interview with the founders of Persisticon, a feminist group dedicated to getting Democratic women elected to public office.

Persisticon’s next event is Persisticon III: There is No Planet B, a comedy benefit for EMILY's List, this Sunday May 5 in Brooklyn.

Robert Edwards Ferne Pearlstein Diana Kane English Leslie King Theo Kogan Christina Clare Lynn Harris

Daily Transformations
04/29/2019

Daily Transformations

My neighbor has been on my mind lately so I asked her to coffee. (I’m new to the neighborhood)
Turns out she’s been isolating and going through a rough time. So much so that she’s been wishing she could die.
We went for a walk, I made her laugh, shared some of my own struggles in life, and asked her to commit to yoga twice a week with me.
When we parted, she hugged me and I saw something deep in her eyes that looked like hope.
I drove home feeling extremely humbled.
We have a responsibility as humans to make a difference in this world.
And let’s admit, this world can feel overwhelming- but we CAN make a difference in the small microcosm we live in.
Do you know your neighbor?
💜
Tamara
Daily Transformations

We Are The Media
04/19/2019

We Are The Media

Sally Kohn
04/18/2019

Sally Kohn

No matter what Congress does, we all have a chance to act on the #MuellerReport findings in 2020.

Here are just two key quotes what appears overall to be a very damning report which raises more questions than it answers:⁣

Vol. II, Page 182: “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.”⁣

Vol. I, Page 9: “[T]he investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign”⁣

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