Monday, December 9, 2019

Harriet: Fact vs. Fiction


I still haven't seen the movie Harriet yet, but plan to over the Christmas holiday. Since I have just completed a screenplay, I now understand why movies veer away from the complete facts of historical narratives, or become totally different stories when based on works of fiction. Catalyst, motivation, story arc and time constraints are just a few of the reasons!

Here's some background information on Harriet Tubman from Wikipedia if you don't know much about her:

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross, c. March 1822 – March 10, 1913) was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. In her later years, Tubman was an activist in the struggle for women's suffrage. Click here for more.

Now here's a fact mentioned later in the above quoted article:

In 1849, Tubman became ill again, which diminished her value as a slave. Edward Brodess tried to sell her, but could not find a buyer.[Angry at him for trying to sell her and for continuing to enslave her relatives, Tubman began to pray for her owner, asking God to make him change his ways. She said later: "I prayed all night long for my master till the first of March; and all the time he was bringing people to look at me, and trying to sell me." When it appeared as though a sale was being concluded, "I changed my prayer", she said. "First of March I began to pray, 'Oh Lord, if you ain't never going to change that man's heart, kill him, Lord, and take him out of the way.'" A week later, Brodess died, and Tubman expressed regret for her earlier sentiments.

Below is the same incident as portrayed in the movie (this is from Slate.com's article What's Fact and What's Fiction in Harriet?):

In the movie, as in real life, Harriet’s journey to freedom is kicked into high gear upon the death of her master, Edward Brodess. Brodess’ son Gideon had caught Minty praying for the death of his father after he refused to set her free. Tight on cash and unnerved by her seemingly prophetic praying power, he puts Minty up for sale, and Minty leaves her husband behind in her rapid solo escape. Her father helps her tap into the Underground Railroad through a local free black preacher—based on Dorchester County’s real-life freed slave, preacher, and Tubman collaborator Reverend Samuel Green—and after an almost 100-mile journey, she makes it to Philadelphia.

Harriet really did pray for the death of her master...but it’s unlikely that she was sold for that reason. In reality, as in the movie, the Brodess family was in dire straits after the death of Edward, and Eliza, his widow, planned to sell slaves to pay off debts.

Be sure to read the entire article from Slate.com here to see how closely the movie sticks to the facts.

Have you seen Harriet yet? If so, what did you think? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

I've been looking for an easy chicken taco recipe and just found one at Spendwithpennies.com. This is super simple and prepared in the crock pot. That just happens to be my favorite kind of recipe. Can't wait to try it!


Ingredients
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup salsa
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with chiles
1 package taco seasoning mix
1/2 onion, diced

Instructions
Combine salsa, canned tomatoes, and taco seasoning.
Place onions & chicken in the slow cooker and top with tomato mixture.
Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.

Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred. Return to slow cooker and stir in juices.
Serve in taco shells, on salads, pizzas or in bowls over rice!

Do you like chicken tacos?  Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!


I'm off for Thanksgiving and plan to be back to blogging next week. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your family!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Lady Death

I watched The Battle For Sevastopol over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it! My husband stumbled upon the movie and we both received an education about the world's deadliest female sniper, Lyudmila Pavlichenko, who came to be known as Lady Death. By the age of twenty-five, she had killed over three-hundred enemy soldiers. If you're like me, you've probably never heard of her. Here's more from Wikipedia:

Lyudmila Mikhailovna Pavlichenko (12 June 1916 – 10 October 1974) was a Soviet sniper in the Red Army during World War II,credited with 309 confirmed kills,[making her the most successful female sniper in history. Lyudmila was nicknamed "Lady Death" due to her incredible ability with a sniper rifle. She served in the Red Army during the Siege of Odessa and the Siege of Sevastopol, during the early stages of the Eastern Front in WWII. After she was injured in battle by a mortar shell, she was evacuated to Moscow. After Pavlichenko recovered from her injuries she trained other Red Army Snipers and was a public spokesperson for the Red Army. In 1942, she visited the White House and toured the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. After the war ended in 1945, she was reassigned as a Senior Researcher for the Soviet Navy. She later died at the age of 58 due to a stroke on 10 October 1974.


In June 1941, 24-year-old Pavlichenko was in her fourth year studying history at Kiev University when Germany began its invasion of the Soviet Union. Pavlichenko was among the first round of volunteers at the Odessa recruiting office, where she requested to join the infantry. The registrar pushed Pavlichenko to be a nurse but she refused. 
After seeing that she had completed multiple training courses they finally let her in the army as a sniper. Thus she was assigned to the Red Army's 25th Rifle Division. There she became one of 2,000 female snipers in the Red Army (although female soldiers were still just 2 percent of the Red Army's total number), of whom about 500 survived the war. Although she was in a combat role, she was only given a frag grenade due to weapon shortages. On 8 August 1942 a fallen comrade would hand her his Mosin-Nagant model 1891 bolt-action rifle. She achieved her first two kills and proved herself to her comrades. She described this event as her "baptism of fire", because after this she was officially a sniper.
Pavlichenko fought for about two and a half months near Odessa, where she recorded 187 kills.[11] She was promoted to senior sergeant in August 1941 when she reached 100 confirmed kills. At age 25, she married a fellow sniper whose name was Alexei Kitsenko. Soon after the marriage, Alexei was mortally wounded by a mortar shell. Kitsenko died after a few days in the hospital. When the Romanians gained control of Odessa on 15 October 1941, her unit was withdrawn by sea to Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula, where she fought for more than eight months. There she trained almost a dozen snipers, who killed over a hundred Axis soldiers during the battle. In May 1942, newly promoted Lieutenant Pavlichenko was cited by the Southern Army Council for killing 257 Axis soldiers. Her total of confirmed kills during World War II was 309, including 36 enemy snipers.
In June 1942, Pavlichenko was hit in the face with shrapnel from a mortar shell. After her injury, the Soviet High Command ordered that she be evacuated from Sevastopol via submarine.[ She was too valuable to lose as she was the perfect example of Soviet womanhood. She spent around a month in the hospital; she did not go back to the Eastern Front after her injuries. Instead she became a propagandist for the Red Army. Due to her high kill count, she was nicknamed "Lady Death". She also trained snipers for combat duty till the end of the war in 1945.
What a life! Had you ever heard of Lady Death? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Transforming Rita


Back in the 1930's, a young actress named Rita Cansino, was having a hard time breaking away from small exotic roles, in part due to her name, and in part to the jet black hair of her Spanish ancestry.

As a starlet at Fox Studios, Rita Cansino married salesman and promoter Edward C. Judson.  Judson knew potential when he saw it.  Not only was Cansino beautiful, she was a dancer with a charismatic stage presence, and a spark that Judson knew would propel her to stardom.

Judson got her the lead roles in several independent films and arranged a screen test with Columbia Pictures. Columbia studio head Harry Cohn signed Cansino to a long-term contract, then cast her in small roles in Columbia features.

Cansino appeared in several roles in the mid 1930s playing an exotic foreigner.  Cohn claimed that Cansino's image was too Mediterranean.  That reduced her opportunities to being cast in "exotic" roles, which were more limited in number. 

At Cohn and Judson's urging, Cansino changed her hair color to auburn and her name to Rita Hayworth. By using her mother's maiden name (Haworth), she allowed the public to see her British-American ancestry and became a classic "American" pin-up.

And the rest is history...Rita Hayworth became a screen siren superstar of the 1940s! 

My favorite Rita Hayworth movie is GildaWhat's yours? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Previously posted 9/23/13.