11 Beautiful Minds of The 20th Century

Eleven brilliant and courageous men and women.

1.

Pablo Neruda
July 12, 1904-September 23, 1973

Art by Rob Goldstein
Pablo Neruda Ricardo Reyes as a young man

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

~ Pablo Neruda

2.

Norma Jeane Mortenson
June 1, 1926-August 5, 1962

Art by Rob Goldstein
Portrait of Norma Jeane Mortenson

I am not a victim of emotional conflicts. I am human.
Norma Jeane Mortenson

3.

Harvey Milk
May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978

 

Art By Rob Goldstein

“All men are created equal. No matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about.”
Harvey Milk, The Harvey Milk Interviews: In His Own Words

4.

el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz
May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Malcolm X


“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”
Malcolm X

5.

Nina Simone

February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003

Art by Rob Goldstein
Nina Simone

“I am just one of the people who is sick of the social order, sick of the establishment, sick to my soul of it all. To me, America’s society is nothing but a cancer, and it must be exposed before it can be cured. I am not the doctor to cure it. All I can do is expose the sickness.”
Nina Simone

6.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963

Art by Rob Goldstein
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal”, then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”
John F. Kennedy, Profiles in Courage

7.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929- April 4, 1968

Art By Rob Goldstein
Dr. Martin Luther King

There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.  Martin Luther King, Jr.

8.

Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau
July 5, 1889 – 11 October 11, 1963

Art by Rob Goldstein
Jean Cocteau

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.
Jean Cocteau

9.

Frank O’Hara
March 27, 1926 – July 25, 1966

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Frank O’Hara


“I wonder if the course of narcissism through the ages would have been any different had Narcissus first peered into a cesspool. He probably did.”
Frank O’Hara, Early Writing

10.

Simone de Beauvoir
January 9, 1908 – April 14, 1986

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Simone de Beauvoir


Life is occupied in both perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself; if all it does is maintain itself, then living is only not dying. Simone de Beauvoir

11.

Jean Genet
December 19, 1910-April 15, 1986

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Jean Genet

What I did not yet know so intensely was the hatred of the white American for the black, a hatred so deep that I wonder if every white man in this country, when he plants a tree, doesn’t see Negroes hanging from its branches.  Jean Genet

 

Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge the images on this page are in the public domain.

Header photo, Portrait of Malcolm X, by Rob Goldstein (c) 2016

Blog post updated June 2020

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

A Civics Lesson for the New 1950’s of the 21st Century

First posted 11/12/2016

Cover of the 1955 recording of Roger's and Hammerstein's Oklahoma
Oklahoma! (1955 film cast) found on the Internet Archives

With all the talk of America’s return to the 1950’s I thought Americans should know what we need to have in place to help President Trump make our return a success.

A collage of Donald Trump as a 1950's greaser riding a bike in front of the White House with Hillary Clinton falling off. His shrt reads 'if you can read this the Bitch fell off'
Make America Great Again – ‘America…in T Shirts’
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

The sense of community and the income equality of the 1950’s were the result of two generations that forged a social contract based on what they had learned about fascism
by defeating it.

The older generation had fought and won World War One and younger adults fought World War Two or had older siblings who fought.

Women also served in the military.

Photograph of a woman working in a factory in the 1940's
Woman in the Factory- 1940’s – Public Domain.

All men upon reaching the age of 18  were required to either serve in the military or serve in their communities.

This forced men of different classes to meet each other as equals which fostered a measure of respect and understanding between the classes.

Black and White AP photograph of Elvis Presley being sworn into the army
Elvis Sworn into the Army, 1958
By Associated Press – Public Domain

The people of the 1950’s also voted to create a public fund for themselves which they called Social Security.

This fund was designed prevent Americans from destitution in old age.

Art by Rob Goldstein
Universal World Reference Encyclopedia: Social Security

In the America of the 1950’s women had the vote but very little power in the workforce or in politics.

Racial equality varied from state to state.

Economically, the people of the 1950’s believed in progressive taxes, regulated utilities, fully funded public education and community service.

If we’re returning to the 1950’s, we might as well get it right.

I offer this film by Encyclopaedia Britannica.

It was used in the high school civics classes of the time.

The film, Despotism was produced in 1946.

This is how the Establishment  or ‘Deep State” of the 1950’s defined Democracy and good citizenship.

As communities go, so goes the Nation.

screenshot from Despotism by Encyclopaedia Britannica Films which shows a scale between democracy and despotism
Where does your community stand?

Where does your community stand on a scale between Democracy and Despotism?

Rob Goldstein(c) 2016

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Flapper

Art by Rob Goldstein
Flapper

I Wanna Be Loved by You
Marilyn Monroe
Some Like It Hot
Community Audio