Michael W. Twitty’s first book, The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, was released August 1, 2017. Twitty, an African-American culinary historian, traces his family tree back to his ancestors’ first steps on New World soil. He explores the possibilities of who came from where based on family lore, DNA testing, and the history of human migration — and … Continue reading Finding Aid Friday: Love for The Cooking Gene
Like many children, my kids are fans of Curious George, that cheeky little monkey brought to life by H.A. and Margret Rey. The Liberty Science Center will soon be closing an interactive exhibition, Curious George: Let’s Get Curious!, on George, his world, and all the fun things little monkeys of both the human and non-human cartoon primate-kind can learn from it. It’s not just fun and games, … Continue reading Finding Aid Friday: Curious George and the Reys
In the early 1900s, one could usually find a boxing exhibition or prize fight on any given Friday night in New York City. Punches would be thrown and dreams would be made and lost among the cigarette and cigar smoke of the crowd. The card held at the Long Acre Athletic Club on October 27, 1911, was one of these shows, with one notable difference: … Continue reading On This Day in 1911: A Prize Fight for Suffrage
In time for Labor Day, the very long-form version of my post on gender-based discrimination and its role in the legislative history of the women’s wrestling ban in New York.
The New York State Athletic Commission’s history of records management contains as many twists and turns as anything seen in a wrestling ring. Commission meeting minutes, from 1920 to 1977, went missing from the agency’s office in the late 1970s and eventually appeared in the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s collection about a decade later. Neither the Commission nor the State of New York knew about it until 1998.
If any one person in wrestling was a particular thorn in the side of the New York State Athletic Commission in the mid-20th century, it might be Pedro Martinez. Not only did he argue against the Commission regarding its policies towards professional wrestling, he also challenged them on the women’s wrestling ban and specifically called it a violation of civil rights.
It’s different being a researcher in an archive as opposed to being an archivist in your own archive. I guess it can be likened to being a guest in someone’s home in a different country and culture: You’re not sure where things are, what exactly you’re supposed to do, or what’s going to happen. You just hope to not fumble around like an idiot or break things. … Continue reading On the Other Side of the Window: Being an Archives Researcher
NYC Pride is an annual event that marks the Stonewall Riots, an uprising against the discriminatory anti-LGBT raids conducted by the New York Police Department on the eponymous pub on June 28, 1969. The first March was held on the riot’s first anniversary. This upcoming Sunday, it’ll be a massive parade that will recognize the struggles that New York’s, the country’s, and the world’s gay communities face, memorialize … Continue reading Finding Aid Friday: NYC Pride Edition
This weekend, fans of the fistic arts and the pugilists that are the focus of their love will be gathering in Canastota, New York, for the International Boxing Hall of Fame‘s induction ceremony. In honor of the event, today’s brief Finding Aid Friday is focused on the sport of gentlemen: boxing. The be-all and end-all of boxing finding aids (and well-processed boxing collections), in my opinion, … Continue reading Finding Aid Friday: Boxing Edition
When you’re elbows-deep in file folders after jumping down the legislative research rabbit hole, the greatest boxer of all time is the last person you’d expect to find while looking for a wrestler lost to time. That’s what happened one cold Saturday morning this past winter at the New York State Archives. I was pouring through the State Athletic Commission’s minutes from the June 1967 meeting. … Continue reading On Ali vs. the Athletic Commission: A Quick Archives Story