The Wednesday 5: The Week’s Must-Reads

In this week’s Wednesday 5: Girls in Afghanistan are not allowed to ride bicycles—but a growing organization teaches them how to skateboard; artist Faith Ringgold creates an app for the aging mind and eye; a new book on Rose Herera, formerly enslaved, and her fight to get back her children; the tech company Axosoft is brilliantly reimagining the ladies’ room symbol; and TV’s best British women police officers.


Afghanistan’s First Skateboarding School

Photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson talks to Dan Damon of BBC World about her project ‘Skate Girls of Kabul‘. The first photo ‘Skate Girl’ is shortlisted for the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

Girls in Afghanistan are not allowed to ride bicycles. But they can skateboard!

In this week’s dose of inspiration, we share with you the beautiful story of Skateistan, an NGO initiative in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa that uses “skateboarding as a tool for empowering youth, to create new opportunities and the potential for change,” featured in Fast Company. It’s a story about true creative resilience.



Artist Faith Ringgold Creates an App for the Aging Mind—and Eye

screen568x568We love love love this. At 84, notable artist Faith Ringgold, painter, mixed-media sculptor, author and educator, has created a brilliant new app marrying the brainteasing joys of Sudoku with her art.  Instead of numbers across grids, Ringgold’s Quiltuduko “replaces the game’s customary numbers with drawings in color and black-and-white—everything from geometric patterns and nature imagery to seemingly random squiggles and drawings of human faces.” The goal is to make art!

About embracing and advancing technology in her 80s, Ringgold tells Senior Planet:

“It means that you allow each decade of your life to be meaningful. Sure, there may be physical things that at this stage of my life I can’t do, but there are other things, like my Quiltuduko. And I really hope it can in some way enhance the lives of others my age. I’m really excited about it.”

Download the App at iTunes.

Read more of Ringgold’s interview at Senior Planet.





New Book: Rose Herera, Formerly Enslaved, and Her Fight to Get Back Her Children

61-UndIgYSLIn a new book by Adam Rothman, Beyond Freedom’s Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery, lies the gripping story of Rose Herera, a formerly enslaved woman who fought for the return of her three small children. They were taken by white slaveowners who were fleeing the Civil War and a new era of emancipation, heading for Cuba, where slavery was still legal. In The Daily Beast, Jason Berry reviews the book and writes of Herera’s ordeal:

“Before the Civil War, Rose was the wife of a freedman of color, George Herera, a house painter who lived with his father. She was also an enslaved domestic servant in the home of Dr. De Hart, a dentist who like many partisans of the Confederacy was jolted when New Orleans fell to Admiral Farragut’s gunboats in 1862.

“How often George and Rose met, and under what circumstances, we are left to speculate. The children they had suggest that De Hart and his wife, Mary, were both tolerant and jadedly cynical. Perhaps by the De Harts’ paternalistic lights, they gave the couple sufficient privacy as a form of kindness. Then, too, each baby borne by Rose Herera became the De Harts’ legal property.”

Read more about Herera’s resilience as she fought for the right to have her own children returned to her.



It Was Never a Dress

In this week’s dose of brilliance, check out how the tech company Axosoft is reimagining the ladies’ room symbol. In its slogan, “It Was Never a Dress,” Axosoft manipulate sthe universal ladies’ room symbol of a female figure wearing a dress and instead reinterprets it as if the figure has always been wearing a cape. Brilliant. Disruptive. Clever.




TV’s best British Women Police Officers

We know we’re not the only ones hooked on the British Crime Drama phenomenon. But if you’re looking for the women (outside of the Sherlock Holmes episodes), The Guardian just published a list featuring six of TV’s best British women police officers. With shows stemming from the 1980s to the present, you’ll get a list of some of the most bad-ass women of the law from the other side of the pond.

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  • roz warren May 6, 2015 at 10:15 am

    I’m gong to share IT WAS NEVER A DRESS with my sister, who collects photos of gendered bathroom signs.