In this week’s episode, Natalia, Niki, and Neil discuss the bawdy history of Valentine’s Day, Obama’s role in elevating black history, and the parallels between Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump.
It’s Valentine’s Day! We discussed the long history of this holiday and some of its offshoots, including Galentine’s Day. Niki recommended Annebella Pollen’s history of mocking Victorian Valentine’s Day cards.
Obama & Black History
We discussed the historian Robert Greene II’s article in The Nation, “Barack Obama Radically Expanded Our Appreciation of African-American History.” Our conversation also touched on other recent essays about Obama as the nation’s first black president, including pieces by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Tressie McMillan Cottom. Natalia also recommended the recent Netflix series, Barry.
According to White House staffers, Donald Trump’s inauguration speech was modeled on Andrew Jackson’s 1829 inaugural address. We discussed why Trump has looked to Andrew Jackson as his model for the presidency. Although Jackson has not fared well with historians of late, Niki recommended David Greenberg’s recent defense of Jackson.
What’s Making History