EPISODE 51 A Life for a Whistle: Emmett Till and the Birth of the Civil Rights Movement

“Until the philosophy 
Which hold one race superior and another
Inferior
Is finally
And permanently
Discredited
And abandoned
Everywhere is war”
— Bob Marley, War, inspired by a speech by Haile Selassie 

“Emmett Till is dead and gone… Why can’t people leave the dead alone and quit trying to stir things up?” — Roy Bryant 

I think black peoples' reaction was so visceral. Everybody knew we were under attack and that attack was symbolized by the attack on a 14-year-old boy.” — Rose Jourdain 

“The audience fell silent, wondering if Wright would risk his life to accuse a white man in open court. For a moment no one moved. Excruciating tension filled the room while people waited for Wright’s reply. Then, in one of the most dramatic moments in Mississippi trial history, Mose Wright, a poor Black sharecropper, stood up, raised his arm, pointed at Milam, a white man, and said, ‘There he is.’” — Chris Crowe 

By 1955, in United States, people liked to say that the worst racial abuses belonged to the past—that the culture that had led to nearly 5,000 people getting lynched between the end of Reconstruction and the mid-1940s no longer existed. But then a 14-year old boy from Chicago jokingly whistled at a white lady in Mississippi, and what followed was a familiar script: the flashing of guns in the middle of the night, kidnapping, torture, African Americans looking for their relatives where bodies were normally dumped, and a justice system that was anything but just. What was not part of the familiar script was Mamie Till’s choice that led to a public funeral attended by tens of thousands, and—many people argued—that lit the spark for the birth of the Civil Rights Movement. 

Among other things, in this episode:

  • The culture of lynching and the gutsy Southern ladies standing up against it 

  • How ‘Brown vs. Board of Education’ set the South on fire 

  • Paranoia over integration and Communist plots 

  • William Faulkner and the fear at the roots of white supremacy 

  • Getting away with murder and boasting about it 

  • How white supremacists won a battle and lost the war

But the craziest thing in this whole story is realising this happened not so long ago… 

If you'd like to keep following my work on Luminary, please follow my personal link to their platform to sign up. Thank you for understanding that this move is necessary to keep History on Fire viable. luminary.link/history 

Onnit has shown me love from day 1. So, please check out their supplements, special foods, clothing, and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

"For any questions or problems with downloads, please email bodhi1974@yahoo.com"

EPISODE 50 The Father of Martial Arts: Jigoro Kano (Part 2)

HOF-50-JigoroKano-Pt02-FatherOfMartialArts.jpg

“I teach Kodokan judo as a way of life.” — Jigoro Kano 

“Even though he was drunker than usual, Saigo came to the driver’s aid. The burly sailors laughed out loud: “Scram, midget!” Much to their great surprise and considerable pain, in a flash, the pocket Hercules subsequently hurled each of them into the river.” — John Stevens 

“I have not been able to transmit my ideals to many students, and there are unfortunately few instructors who can impart proper Kodokan values.” — Jigoro Kano 

“The teaching of one virtuous person can influence many.” — Jigoro Kano 

In the second half of the 1800s, after the United States made Japan an offer it couldn’t refuse, Japan experienced a period of crisis and extremely fast modernization. Swept by efforts to copy everything that made the West powerful, Japan turned its back on much of its traditional culture. Martial arts were considered anachronistic and irrelevant, and looked well on their way to disappear into the dustbin of history—much in the same way as they had done in other parts of the world. In 1882, a small, nerdy man named Jigoro Kano made his stand to reverse this process. Kano was only 22 years old, and had only little over 5 years of martial arts practice. But what 22-year old Kano started in some spare rooms in a Buddhist temple was going to affect the lives of millions of people.

This story is about martial arts, but is also about much more. This story is about the dramatic transformations in Japanese history in the 1800s (and without understanding them, it’s pretty much impossible to understand the role played by Japan in WWII.) It is a story about how one individual can radically impact millions. It’s about how cultural traditions that are seemingly anachronistic can be reinvented to provide value in a modern context. It’s a story about Taoist philosophy, Olympic Games and U.S. presidents, pro-wrestling and helping society, the tension between globalization and nationalism, the role that physical education can play in shaping a person’s character, and a bunch of other things that have only marginally to do with martial arts per se. Among other things, in this episode: 

Shiro Saigo, Kano’s pocket-sized enforcer
Blood oaths
History’s first black belts
The four ‘heavenly lords’ of the Kodokan 
Judo gaining a reputation through challenge fights
Leglocks
Shiro Saigo and his NWA attitude
Akira Kurosawa movies
Kano clashing with nationalism and militarism
Theodore Roosevelt
Mitsuyo Maeda
The origins of pro-wrestling 
The Olympic Games

So, with this in mind, let’s get rolling. 

If you'd like to keep following my work on Luminary, please follow my personal link to their platform to sign up. Thank you for understanding that this move is necessary to keep History on Fire viable. luminary.link/history 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 49 The Father of Martial Arts: Jigoro Kano (Part 1)

HOF-49-JigoroKano-Pt01-FatherOfMartialArts.jpg

“It was a period of stupendous change and immense challenge; the entire social, political, and economic landscape of Japan would be transformed within a few decades. Just as this new era was dawning in Japan, Jigoro Kano was born, on October 28, 1860.” — John Stevens 

“In my childhood, I had heard that there was a thing called jujutsu thanks to which even a weak person could defeat a strong person. I definitely thought about learning it.” — Jigoro Kano 

“Some people believe that Judo means simply practicing at the dojo. This is applying the principle of judo at the dojo when practicing defense against attack, and through it is certainly one aspect of judo, it is only a small part of it.” — Jigoro Kano 

In the second half of the 1800s, after the United States made Japan an offer it couldn’t refuse, Japan experienced a period of crisis and extremely fast modernization. Swept by efforts to copy everything that made the West powerful, Japan turned its back on much of its traditional culture. Martial arts were considered anachronistic and irrelevant, and looked well on their way to disappear into the dustbin of history much in the same way as they had done in other parts of the world. In 1882, a small, nerdy man named Jigoro Kano made his stand to reverse this process. Kano was only 22 years old, and had only little over 5 years of martial arts practice. But what 22-year old Kano started in some spare rooms in a Buddhist temple was going to affect the lives of millions of people.

This story is about martial arts, but is also about much more. This story is about the dramatic transformations in Japanese history in the 1800s (and without understanding them, it’s pretty much impossible to understand the role played by Japan in WWII.) It is a story about how one individual can radically impact millions. It’s about how cultural traditions that are seemingly anachronistic can be reinvented to provide value in a modern context. It’s a story about Taoist philosophy, Olympic Games and U.S. presidents, pro-wrestling and helping society, the tension between globalization and nationalism, the role that physical education can play in shaping a person’s character, and a bunch of other things that have only marginally to do with martial arts per se. So, with this in mind, let’s get rolling. 

If you'd like to keep following my work on Luminary, please follow my personal link to their platform to sign up. Thank you for understanding that this move is necessary to keep History on Fire viable. luminary.link/history 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 48 Give Me Back My Legions! (Part 2)

HOF-48-GiveMeBackMyLegions-Pt02.jpg

“In order to depict a battle, there is required one of those powerful painters who have chaos in their brushes” — Victor Hugo 

“Inconceivable!” — From The Princess Bride 

A little over 2,000 years ago, Rome was a well-oiled war machine crushing everything in its path. At that time, the Roman legions were the most deadly military force in the Western world, and possibly in the whole world. Every year, they conquered new peoples and pushed the boundaries of their empire. Rape and pillage was the name of the game, and they were masters at it. But in the year 9 CE, something happened in the forests of Germany that was going to have a profound impact on the destiny of the world. Some historians go so far as to suggest that both the German and English languages may not exist as we know them, had things gone differently. News arriving from Germany, along with a severed head delivered by courier, threw Emperor Augustus in a deep depression. 

In this second and final part of the series about the clash between Rome’s power with Germanic tribesmen, we’ll consider topics such as how suicide post-defeat in battle was a family tradition for one of the key characters in our story, when Varus ordered 2,000 people crucified, the training of the Roman army, Arminius’ skill at playing the long con, the battle that changed history, having to cut your friends’ throat out of kindness, the German passion for human sacrifice, Roman vengeance, how these events may be tied to the creation of the English language, and much more. 

If you'd like to keep following my work on Luminary, please follow my personal link to their platform to sign up. Thank you for understanding that this move is necessary to keep History on Fire viable. luminary.link/history 

Onnit has shown me love from day 1. So, please check out their supplements, special foods, clothing, and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

"For any questions or problems with downloads, please email bodhi1974@yahoo.com"
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EPISODE 47 Give Me Back My Legions! (Part 1)

“Bits of weapons and horses' limbs lay about, and human heads fixed to tree-trunks. In groves nearby were barbaric altars, where the Germans had laid the tribunes and senior centurions and sacrificed them.” — Tacitus

“It stands on record that armies already wavering and on the point of collapse have been rallied by the women, pleading heroically with their men, thrusting forward their bared breasts…” — Tacitus

“They are not so easily convinced to plough the land and wait patiently for harvest as to challenge an enemy and run the risk to be wounded. They think it is weak and spiritless to earn by sweat what they might purchase with blood.” — Tacitus

A little over 2,000 years ago, Rome was a well-oiled war machine crushing everything in its path. At that time, the Roman legions were the most deadly military force in the Western world, and possibly in the whole world. Every year, they conquered new peoples and pushed the boundaries of their empire. Rape and pillage was the name of the game, and they were masters at it. But in the year 9 CE, something happened in the forests of Germany that was going to have a profound impact on the destiny of the world. Some historians go so far as to suggest that both the German and English languages may not exist as we know them, had things gone differently. News arriving from Germany, along with a severed head delivered by courier, threw Emperor Augustus in a deep depression.

In this first of two parts about the clash between Rome’s power with Germanic tribesmen, we’ll look at what we know about Germanic tribal cultures from those days, walk among the grisly remnants of a battlefield with Roman general Germanicus, and consider how Tacitus’ work was fuel to the fire of Nazi ideology 2,000 years later. Also, in this episode: Europe’s pre-Christian religions, naked tribesmen snowboarding on their shields, the dramatic encounter between Gaius Marius with Cimbri & Teutones, Gaius Julius Caesar making a larger-than-life entrance into Germany, Drusus’ campaign beyond the Rhine, racing on horseback for 200 miles to see one’s brother, slavery with golden chains, and much more as we set the stage for part 2, when the big showdown will take place.

If you'd like to keep following my work on Luminary, please follow my personal link to their platform to sign up. Thank you for understanding that this move is necessary to keep History on Fire viable. luminary.link/history

Onnit has shown me love from day 1. So, please check out their supplements, special foods, clothing, and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount.


My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

For listeners in US, UK, CA, AU, this episode can be found at Luminary Premium. Sign up here: luminary.link/history . If you are not in these territories, feel free to message us as we try to find a solution for listeners in other countries.

"For any questions or problems with downloads, please email bodhi1974@yahoo.com"
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