Currently viewing the tag: "culture"

On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake’s order to give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation. Others had taken similar steps, including Bayard Rustin in 1942, Irene Morgan in 1946, Lillie Mae Bradford in 1951, Sarah Louise Keys in 1952, and the members of the ultimately successful Browder v. Gayle 1956 lawsuit (Claudette Colvin, Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald, and Mary Louise Smith) who were arrested in Montgomery for not giving up their bus seats months before Parks. NAACP organizers believed that Parks was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience in violating Alabama segregation laws, although eventually her case became bogged down in the state courts while the Browder v. Gayle case succeeded.

Parks’ act of defiance and the Montgomery bus boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including Edgar Nixon, president of the local chapter of the NAACP; and Martin Luther King, Jr., a new minister in town who gained national prominence in the civil rights movement. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene about someone who becomes a symbol for a movement.

Journaling Prompt: Who is your hero for instigating societal change?

Art Prompt: Civil Disobedience

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about Rosa Parks or another hero of the civil rights movement.

Photo Credit: Richard on Flickr

The king died a little before nine o’clock on Thursday evening. His death was made a secret; but in the same hour a courier was galloping through the twilight to Hunsdon to bid Mary mount and fly. Her plans had been for some days prepared. She had been directed to remain quiet, but to hold herself ready to be up and away at a moment’s warning. –James Anthony Froude, The Reign of Mary Tudor

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a king or queen who is waiting for the current ruler to die.

Journaling Prompt: What are you waiting anxiously for and prepared for?

Art Prompt: Waiting

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of Mary Tudor’s rise to the throne of England.

Photo Credit: Maria Tudor on Wikimedia

The consultation of the ancestors is more usually called necromancy, a vigorous tradition which is discernible from Aeneas to Hamlet. The major reasons for consulting the ancestors usually fall into the following categories, in order to:
1. Divine or gain a prophetic insight about the future.
2. Regain lost knowledge.
3. Access ancestral wisdom by oracular means.
4. Discover ancestral precedents for legal validation.
5. Reconnect one spiritual tradition with another.
6. Gain healing or revelation by proximity to an ancestral tomb.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene that involves communication with the dead.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about seances, Ouija boards, mediums, etc? Do you believe we can talk to the dead?

Art Prompt: Talking to the dead

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of necromancy.

In the Middle Ages, knighthood was often conferred with elaborate ceremonies. These usually involved the knight-to-be taking a bath (possibly symbolic of spiritual purification) during which he was instructed in the duties of knighthood by more senior knights. He was then put to bed to dry. Clothed in a special robe, he was led with music to the chapel where he spent the night in a vigil. At dawn he made confession and attended Mass, then retired to his bed to sleep until it was fully daylight. He was then brought before the King, who after instructing two senior knights to buckle the spurs to the knight-elect’s heels, fastened a belt around his waist, then struck him on the neck (with either a hand or a sword), thus making him a knight. It was this accolade which was the essential act in creating a knight, and a simpler ceremony developed, conferring knighthood merely by striking or touching the knight-to-be on the shoulder with a sword, or “dubbing” him, as is still done today. In the early medieval period the difference seems to have been that the full ceremonies were used for men from more prominent families. –Order of the Bath

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which knighthood (or another special status) is conferred upon your protagonist.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your favorite story about the era of knights.

Art Prompt: Knight

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about rituals from the Middle Ages, such as the the ritual of knighthood.

Photo Credit: Accolade by Edmund Blair Leighton on Wikimedia

Civilization existed before money, but probably wouldn’t have gotten very far without it. Ancient humans’ invention of money was a revolutionary milestone. It helped to drive the development of civilization, by making it easier not just to buy and sell goods, but to pay workers in an increasing number of specialized trades—craftsmen, artists, merchants, and soldiers, to name a few. It also helped connect the world, by enabling traders to roam across continents and oceans to buy and sell goods, and investors to amass wealth…

In the centuries that followed, trade routes forged more cultural connections between nations and regions. Besides exchanging money and goods, traders also spread religious beliefs, knowledge and new inventions, creating cross-pollination among far-flung cultures. –The Journey of Humankind: How Money Made Us Modern By Patrick J. Kiger

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story that shows how money spreads between cultures.

Journaling Prompt: How does money exchange feel to you? 

Art Prompt: Spread of civilization

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story of how trade and money created today’s world.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Chard  on Flickr

On the 20th of March in 2019, Life Pharmaceuticals finally received Food and Drug Administration approval to market their new product LifereNew. This revolutionary product used micro-machines called nanites to repair cells. The nanites were so small, they could actually repair DNA, reverse the aging process, repair body damage and maintain the body. The promise was that after taking the product, you would lead a long life in a fit, young body. Most of humanity had dreamed of such a product. Needless to say, when LifereNew was approved, there was a rush on the market. People lined up to pay the $1,500,000 for the treatment, which potentially would extend their life hundreds and maybe thousands of years, while looking and feeling young and fit. New ReLife loans were set up so anyone could afford treatment, even though some folks would be paying back the loans for decades to come. Within six months, more than four million Americans experienced this life-changing procedure, the majority of those being rich retirees desperate to fend off death and start life anew. Not having to wait for a loan, they were the first to receive treatment. They became known as the New Lifers. –ZomoSapienS by David Moon

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set in a society where some people can afford to live as a young person forever but most people can’t.

Journaling Prompt: If you could afford this kind of treatment, would you have it? Why or why not?

Art Prompt: Fountain of Youth

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the current research in nanotechnology.

Photo Credit: Aida diLeto Lundquist on Flickr
12/21/1982 view White House Christmas decorations in the Green Room

12/21/1982 view White House Christmas decorations in the Green Room

The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in that future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present — they are real. –Shards of Honor by Louise MacMaster Bujold

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a calm man in a green room who suddenly realizes the consequences of his decisions.

Journaling Prompt: If you were in a position of power, what is the first thing  you would change?

Art Prompt: The Green Room

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience your opinion of a current event and how it was handled by the authorities.

Photo Credit: White House Green Room on Wikimedia

diwali

Diwali or Deepavali is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern hemisphere). It is an official holiday in Fiji, Guyana, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. One of the major festivals of Hinduism, it spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Its celebration includes millions of lights shining on housetops, outside doors and windows, around temples and other buildings in the communities and countries where it is observed. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five-day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika in Bikram Sambat calendar. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set during Diwali or create a festival for the world you have created.

Journaling Prompt: Write about what candles and lights symbolize to you.

Art Prompt: Diwali

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about Diwali and compare it to a festival or holiday that you celebrate.

Photo Credit: Aeikesh Ghosh Dastidar on Flickr

cowboy_shootout

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a 30-second shootout between lawmen and members of a loosely organized group of outlaws called the Cowboys that took place at about 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. It is generally regarded as the most famous shootout in the history of the American Wild West. The gunfight was the result of a long-simmering feud, with Cowboys Billy Claiborne, Ike and Billy Clanton, and Tom and Frank McLaury on one side and town Marshal Virgil Earp, Special Policeman Morgan Earp, Special Policeman Wyatt Earp, and temporary policeman Doc Holliday on the other side. All three Earp brothers had been the target of repeated death threats made by the Cowboys, who were upset by the Earps’ interference in their illegal activities. Billy Clanton and both McLaury brothers were killed. Ike Clanton claimed that he was unarmed and ran from the fight, along with Billy Claiborne. Virgil, Morgan, and Doc Holliday were wounded, but Wyatt Earp was unharmed. The shootout has come to represent a period of the American Old West when the frontier was virtually an open range for outlaws, largely unopposed by law enforcement officers who were spread thin over vast territories. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set in the American Old West with an outlaw protagonist.

Journaling Prompt: If you could travel back to the Old West, where would you go and who would you like to meet?

Art Prompt: Gunfight in the Old West

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of the gunfight at the OK Corral.

Photo Credit: Cowboy Shootout by Donald Scott Lee on Wikimedia

indus

The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilisation (3300–1300 BCE; mature period 2600–1900 BCE) mainly in the northwestern regions of South Asia, extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. Along with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia it was one of three early civilisations of the Old World, and of the three, the most widespread. It flourished in the basins of the Indus River, which flows through the length of Pakistan, and along a system of perennial, mostly monsoon-fed rivers that once coursed in the vicinity of the seasonal Ghaggar-Hakra river in northwest India and eastern Pakistan. Aridification of this region during the 3rd millennium BCE may have been the initial spur for the urbanisation associated with the civilisation, but eventually also reduced the water supply enough to cause the civilisation’s demise, and to scatter its population eastward.

At its peak, the Indus Civilisation may have had a population of more than five million people. Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley developed new techniques in handicraft (carnelian products, seal carving) and metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin). The Indus cities are noted for their urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems, and clusters of large non-residential buildings. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set in this area and time.

Journaling Prompt: If you could travel in time and space, would you like to visit the Bronze Age civilization in the Indus Valley? Why or why not?

Art Prompt: Indus Valley Civilization

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the Bronze Age civilization in the Indus Valley.

Photo Credit: Indus Valley Major Sites on Wikimedia