Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mr. Catto gets memorialized.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, shoes and outdoorIn a way, Philly is a lot like Pyongyang; there are statues and sculptures everywhere. For years the highest man made structure in Philadelphia was a statue of William Penn. 

The most controversial one these days is that of former Mayor, Frank Rizzo, who many black folks in the city believe was a flat our racist. That's up for  debate, because I have met black folks here in Philly who liked the former police chief as well. Still, having his statute in a very high  profile place in our city has drawn protest of late.

I am writing about statues tonight, because Philadelphia made some news today by unveiling the statue of a man named Octavius Catto. He is a man who I must confess that I didn't know much about until the movement to place his stature outside of City Hall started picking up steam. What I learned about the man was fascinating and inspirational, and if anyone deserves to be memorialized in such a way it's Mr. Catto.

I know that we have been removing statues these days, but let's face it, those statues needed removing. Those people became famous and influential for all the wrong reasons. We can't say that about Mr. Catto.

"Octavius Valentine Catto (February 22, 1839 – October 10, 1871) was a black educator, intellectual, and civil rights activist in Philadelphia. He became principal of male students at the Institute for Colored Youth, where he had also been educated. Born free in Charleston, South Carolina, in a prominent mixed-race family, he moved north as a boy with his family. He became educated and served as a teacher, becoming active in civil rights. As a man, he also became known as a top cricket and baseball player in 19th-century Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Catto became a martyr to racism, as he was shot and killed in election-day violence in Philadelphia, where ethnic Irish of the Democratic Party, which was anti-Reconstruction and had opposed black suffrage, attacked black men to prevent their voting for Republican candidates. "

Ironically, it was Philly's now Irish American Mayor who worked tirelessly for years to get the statue of Catto  placed outside of City Hall. That is one small step for progress.

Statues can't take steps, but they are significant and instructive when it comes to where we are as a country.     



 

        

42 comments:

Crystin said...

Octavius Catto did not support gay marriage and he was not an advocate for women's suffrage. I find it offensive that the City of Philadelphia is memorializing a homophobic misogynist. This statue must come down.

Anonymous said...

Shut up tampon breath!

A Black Panther Forever said...

Thank you Brother Field, I had heard of him- OV Catto- many foggy years ago. That was outstanding for Philadelphia..... home to Frank Rizzo, who brought fear when leaving NYC to go to DC.

Anonymous said...

Well, Roy Moore is on track to be Jeff Sessions' successor in the Senate.

One wingnut lunatic is being replaced by another wingnut lunatic.

Old Crow said...

If Leftists succeed in equating the sincere, heartfelt patriotism of middle America with "white supremacy," they'll come to regret it.

Yisheng is a genius said...

Also remember: Kaepernick is 1/2 white, was raised by white parents and was pushed into this idiocy by his Egyptian Muslim girlfriend.

Yīshēng is a genius said...

I'd never heard of Mr. Cato Field, great story!!👍🏽

🔬👩🏽‍💻👩🏽‍⚕️

Limpbaugh said...

I don't think I know of any statues as offensive as streets, airports, and ships named after Reagan and Bush.

Anonymous said...

https://qz.com/1088001/roy-moore-likely-to-become-the-next-senator-from-alabama-has-a-history-of-racism/

Moore becoming a senator is a near certainty now that he has won the GOP primary, since not too many Dems win statewide elections these days in Alabama.

Once he moves to Washington, Moore can hang out with Trump, and they can share a few laughs together about how Keith Ellison shouldn't be allowed to be in Congress (cuz he's one o' them Mooslum fellers!) and how Barack Obama isn't a real American, two points on which they both agree.

Yīshēng is a genius said...

Forever stamp for the Black museum in DC:

https://goodblacknews.org/2017/09/26/u-s-postal-service-honors-national-museum-of-african-american-history-and-culture-with-forever-stamp/

Anonymous said...

"Also remember: Kaepernick is 1/2 white, was raised by white parents and was pushed into this idiocy by his Egyptian Muslim girlfriend."

🤔🤔🤔

I smell troll odor.

Religion of Pieces said...

"Keith Ellison shouldn't be allowed to be in Congress (cuz he's one o' them Mooslum fellers!) and how Barack Obama isn't a real American, two points on which they both agree."

Are either of these points really debatable?

Anonymous said...

"Are either of these points really debatable?"

Nope. They are both clearly hatemongering right-wing lies.

Anonymous said...

Tear it down!!

Dylan Roof said...

Interesting how the story of the African immigrant shooting up a White church went straight down the memory hole.

anotherbozo said...

The statue's arms look a little long for the legs (as in, NO human has those proportions), but you have to take what you can get, Philadelphia. Focus on the face, which looks like a reasonable facimile.

This aesthetic critique brought to you by NOBODY ASKED ME.

Anonymous said...

"The statue's arms look a little long for the legs (as in, NO human has those proportions), but you have to take what you can get, Philadelphia. Focus on the face, which looks like a reasonable facimile."

Michelangelo's David also has unrealistic proportions (head and hands are bigger than on a real human), and that is possibly the most famous statue in the world. Okay, maybe it's a tie between David, and the Statue of Liberty or the giant Jesus that stands over Rio.

Unrealistic proportions can look cool and expressive, or weird and stupid, depending on how they are used.

Anonymous said...

anotherbozo said...
The statue's arms look a little long for the legs (as in, NO human has those proportions), but you have to take what you can get,
--

Modern sculpture often looks weirdly proportioned. Representations of people usually look downright scary. Art schools no longer teach realism, and patrons only want abstraction. It's a lost art.

PilotX said...

Good post. In Illinois we have Barack Obama day. Not a paid holiday or anything but it's a start. Wondering which airport will get named after him.

PilotX said...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/barack-obama-day-illinois-holiday-438732933.html%3famp=y

mike from iowa said...

When Catto was alive and even after his death, was he ever named as a saint? If not he is probably allowed some peccadilloes. Back when, I doubt Americans were obsessed with who uses which bathroom. Gay marriage wasn't a thing back then. And women had virtually zero rights.

Puritans were extremely tolerant of sexual perverts. Then go chaife yer yard.

mike from iowa said...

Lookee here- http://jobsanger.blogspot.com/2017/09/whitesgop-are-impediment-to-solving.html

Whitey be bad- so baaaaad!

President Acorn said...

PilotX said...
Good post. In Illinois we have Barack Obama day
---

What do you do on Barack Obama day? Spend a lot of other people's money and sow racial division among your neighbors?

Winning! said...

I can't wait for the National Anthem to be played at the Democratic Convention in 2020.

Jomo Kenyatta said...

PilotX said...
Wondering which airport will get named after him.
---

The one in Nairobi.

Anonymous said...

"What do you do on Barack Obama day? Spend a lot of other people's money and sow racial division among your neighbors?"

Let's see. Well, first, you get mad when you see a black person. And then you blame the black person for your being mad, because it's obviously their fault you're racist. If that black person hadn't chosen to be black, you wouldn't have been forced to be racist!

Then you attend a party that you claim is all about "tea," even though everyone damn well knows it's about hate.

Finally, you retire to your double-wide, drink some Busch Light, listen to some Toby Keith, hump your fat, ugly wife, and go to bed.

It's a great holiday. So much so that rednecks celebrated it for eight years straight.

mike from iowa said...

How's this for the party of family values- he records held by the New York State Board of Elections show Jared Corey Kushner is registered to vote as a female, Wired first reported

Kusher is registered as a female. Bet he has been voting illegally. OMFG! VOTER FRAUD!!!!!

Kinda Kinky.

moron from iowa said...

Right mike, it wasn't just a mistake by the Board of Elections. He really registered as a female.

mike from iowa said...

“Registration records show that when Kushner, who is married to first daughter Ivanka Ivanka, registered to vote in 2009, he apparently checked a box classifying his gender as a female.”

“Prior to 2009, his New Jersey voter registration noted his gender as ‘unknown.'”


Unless the Bored of Education had to fill Kushner's registration out due to right wing incompetence, I guess the error is all on Kushner. Hope you like humble pie, homey.

anotherbozo said...

Surprised to get response to my comments. I answer:

"Michelangelo's David also has unrealistic proportions (head and hands are bigger than on a real human), and that is possibly the most famous statue in the world."

The comparison is absurd. Michelangelo's distortions deliberately took into account the colossal size and the fact that most viewers would be looking up at close range. (Hands are not bigger, BTW) This is a much smaller statue, looks life-sized, no more, and is seen close to eye level. I'd love to be wrong but the Cato proportions are ridiculous. Field can see this in person and bear me out.

"Unrealistic proportions can look cool and expressive, or weird and stupid, depending on how they are used." I'd say these look weird and stupid, anonymous & 11:47. Only, er, apes have these proportions, in fact, not the association the sculptor was aiming for, I would bet.

This can't be chalked up to "Modernism," either, since the sculpture is obviously in a very conventional (18th-19th c.) style and only the arm length is out of whack.

As I say I would love to be wrong, but multiple photographs are pretty damning.

Spiderman said...

Maybe Mr. Catto actually had freakishly long arms.

Lt.Commander Johnson said...

BTW....where art there Purple Cow?

I do believe construction of The Wall has begun.

What say you?

Didn't we have a bet?

mike from iowa said...

Prototypes don't count as part of Hatrian's Wallclusterfuck. If they ever pick a lane and choose to build it, which is highly unlikely with all the other natural disasters Drumpfuck has caused, it will require funding from both houses of congress and it isn't hard to imagine McCTurtleclusterfuck telling Drumpfuck to go fuck himself.

PC checked in a couple days ago.

mike from iowa said...

If Jared Kushner really is a woman, does that make Ivanka a Lezzy?

Mississippi is one dumb state thanks to Lt. Commander Pussy said...

I do believe construction of The Wall has begun.
-------------
Jesus, not only is this fool a pussy but he's also a complete moron. Go back to playing navy officer.

Anonymous said...

isn't Catto a Chinese chauffer??

Bold, James Bold said...

It is fascinating that, from Crispus Attucks on down, the signature accomplishment of so many Black heroes is catching a bullet.  This explains so much about ghetto culture.

"If Leftists succeed in equating the sincere, heartfelt patriotism of middle America with "white supremacy," they'll come to regret it."

Indeed, they have labelled everything White people do as racism (Breathing While White is on the unabridged list) and have already stigmatized White existence as "privilege", and can't walk it back before YT wakes up to it.  They're toast.

"Gay marriage wasn't a thing back then."

Slavery wasn't much of a thing in 1789, either.  It was this troublesome matter that had been passed down from the middle of the previous century and while there was much disagreement over it, the drafters of the Constitution had to agree to return escaped slaves to their owners to get the South to sign on.  Note that the North ratified that same Constitution.  It truly was a War of Northern Aggression.

mike from iowa said...


Slavery wasn't much of a thing in 1789, either. Neither was you, Baldy. Fenceposts hadn't been invented then.

Bold, James Bold said...

At least they're invented now so we have something to compare your intelligence to.

James is kinda dumb said...

At least they're invented now so we have something to compare your intelligence to.
------------------------
I would have expected a much better retort from a person who claims to have an IQ of 150. I would also expect said person to know better than to end a sentence using a preposition.

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