Orange is the New Black flashes back to Miss Rosa’s bank robbery days in “Appropriately Sized Pots”

The Chelsea Review

Orange is the New Black has been doing serious work this season to emphasize Litchfield’s corruption, and that of the prison system at large. With inmates like Suzanne, and even Lorna, who are more in need of psychiatric care than prison; Jimmy, who was put out on the street because Litchfield was unwilling to provide her with the care necessary for her; and Miss Rosa whose cancer is killing her but the prison system won’t help her. Her doctor’s recommendation for a surgery is ignored because there’s no one willing to pay for it, leaving Miss Rosa to a death more certain than before. 

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What “world” history has taught me

The harm that whitewashing history does to children of color is evident when we see the lack of achievement, motivation and drive in our youth. This assists the cradle to prison pipeline, by allowing “disconnected” youth to receive educations that do not include a strong sense of self, racial identity, or encouragement to civic duty. Telling our children the great history of African American is our duty as parents, and we should be pushing schools to reinforce what we are teaching at home in their curriculums.



The main ideas I learned from history as taught in schools and books in America in the late 1900s:

1. Spotlight history: Most of human history does not matter. Here, roughly, are the important periods and regions:

  • -3500 to -500: Middle East (honorary white)
  • -500 to +500: Greece and Rome (white)
  • 500 to 1500: Western Europe (white)
  • 1500 to present: North America (white)

Other parts of the world make “contributions” from time to time, like gunpowder or slave labour or South America. That is all you need to know about them. Even the history of the people who would become the English does not start till they cross into the Roman Empire, into the Spotlight.

But: This leaves out at least 65% of world history!

2. Technocentrism: Better living through technology. You can rank human societies from backward to advanced according to a Western technological scale, which goes something like…

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Voting Rights Act of 1965



The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) is one of the main American civil rights reforms of the 1960s. It outlawed the literacy tests, poll taxes and other devices that the Jim Crow South used to greatly limit the black vote. It is what Medgar Evers, Freedom Summer, Selma and those fire hoses were mainly about – the right to vote.

President Johnson called the VRA:

a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield

The VRA has not only allowed way more blacks to vote, but also more Native Americans and Latinos: it outlaws practices that in effect limit voting by race or language.

In 2006Congress, after holding long hearings to see if the VRA was still necessary, voted to extend it by 25 years. Over 90% voted for the extension. A Republican President Bush signed it into law.

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