Search Results for: the atlantic

Traveling While Black Across the Atlantic Ocean

Longreads Pick

In this personal essay, following in the footsteps of African Americans traveling to Denmark in the early 20th century, Ethelene Whitmire experiences a 21st century transatlantic crossing.

Source: Longreads
Published: Jan 22, 2019
Length: 18 minutes (4,642 words)

Traveling While Black Across the Atlantic Ocean

Illustration by Xenia Latii

Ethelene Whitmire | Longreads | January 2019 | 19 minutes (4,642 words)

“Welcome aboard!” the Cunard agent exclaimed, and I suddenly felt a clichéd warm tingling sensation. After hesitating for several weeks, I finally…booked a passage? I got a berth? I do not know the lingo. So let us say I got a ticket for a seven-day, eastbound, transatlantic crossing on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 from New York City (technically the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal) to Southampton, England for June, 2018, the first leg of a trip to Denmark. I was committed — or semi-committed. I placed a 10% deposit (fully refundable for a few weeks) to hold my space, and immediately made a note in my electronic calendar for two days before the deadline to remind myself to cancel if I changed my mind. I’d visited Denmark 12 times since my initial trip in May and June, 2010, including a year as a Fulbright scholar, but I’d always flown there.

I am writing a book about African Americans in 20th century Denmark. During the past few years I followed in their footsteps by visiting Danish cities, towns, villages, islands, a prison, numerous castles, jazz clubs, an educational institution, and the homes and studios where they lived, visited, performed, toured, and studied. A friend suggested I more accurately recreate the experience of the people in my book who lived in the first half of the 20th century, when the only way to get to Denmark from the United States was to cross the Atlantic Ocean by ship. I’d read much of what they’d written about their experiences in letters home, in memoirs, and in one case, in a newspaper column.

They traveled abroad during the Jim Crow era in the United States, and many feared they would face racism and even possible segregation on the ships. Perhaps they were familiar with the oft-told tale of former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ 1845 crossing. He was almost thrown overboard by some Americans after the captain invited him to make an anti-slavery speech. Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor called Douglass’ voyage “harrowing” in Colored Travelers: Mobility and the Fight for Citizenship before the Civil War. William M. Fowler, Jr. wrote in Steam Titans: Cunard, Collins, and the Epic Battle for Commerce on the North Atlantic that although Douglass booked a first-class cabin, once he was on the Cambria he “discovered that he had been reassigned to quarters in the forecastle, separate from the other passengers, and he was advised to remain secluded there during the crossing.”

I did not worry about segregation during my 21st century transatlantic crossing, but wondered about and anticipated possible microaggressions — slights and condescending comments often based on racial stereotypes. I did not see many images in Cunard’s brochures and website featuring Black people among the passengers. I was educated in predominantly white institutions and worked at similar institutions as an administrator and as a professor, so I was used to being in white spaces. And I live in Wisconsin — one of the whitest states in the nation. I wondered what would my journey be like on the Atlantic Ocean?
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Sailing Across the Atlantic in 30 Days—With Two Toddlers

When her youngest son was just a few months old, experienced sailor Janis Couvreux and her family determined to sail across the Atlantic Ocean–from a port city in Senegal to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This was the 1980s. There was no GPS, no 3G, no iPads. Armed with months’ worth of supplies and her husband’s sextant, they made the journey in 30 days. It was, by all accounts, blissful. Whether you’re lounging on the beach or reading on your lunch break, lose yourself in Couvreux’s adventure on the high seas.

So many questions I have been asked over the years about this part of our trip. How do you cross an ocean with an infant and a 3-year-old? How do you spend 30 days in such a tight space with two small children? How do you keep them from falling overboard? How do you get along with your husband all that time? What do you eat? Don’t you get bored…? Well, getting bored was definitely not an issue. There was no time for that. Living on land with two small children is time consuming in itself. On a boat without modern conveniences, it’s an all day job. Think of life in the old west: no refrigeration; no electricity; having to make one’s own bread; conserving food by canning, salting, drying; washing clothes by hand…It’s actually a “survival” mode lifestyle. However, since that’s all we have to do, and not obliged to rush around in a car running errands, working, paying bills, meeting people for appointments and the like, that’s part of the purpose: taking the time to live.

— Read the rest at Luna Luna Magazine.

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What Happens When Four Guys Try to Cross the Atlantic…in a Rowboat

Longreads Pick

Four men make an attempt to break a world record by rowing from Senegal to Miami, Fla.:

“At the end of January, just 200 kilometres into the journey, the team is rowing in a wild nighttime sea when a rogue wave the size of a small house hoists their boat, tosses it into a valley and crashes over it. The force of the water snaps one of the oars in Kreek’s hand. Equipment flies overboard, but the moon and stars offer enough light for him and Hanssen to frantically recover as many objects as they can. Two weeks later, in daylight, another wave breaks one of Kreek’s oars. It’s their last spare. Being thrashed by the Atlantic is terrifying and Kreek slips into shock. He goes cold, crawls into the cabin and falls asleep for four hours. ‘You have to come to terms with the fact that you’re this tiny little thing that can be eaten by the ocean at any moment,’ Pukonen says.”

Source: Sportsnet
Published: Aug 6, 2013
Length: 22 minutes (5,501 words)

Longreads Is Joining Forces with The Atlantic

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We have some big news to share today: Longreads is teaming up with The Atlantic, in a partnership that will allow us to expand our site and membership model—and continue to serve this community of readers, writers and publishers. 

When I first started the #longreads hashtag four years ago, The Atlantic was one of the earliest publishers to embrace it, and they understood what makes it special—the diversity of readers’ tastes, sharing the stories they love, from a mix of well-known and undiscovered publishers and writers, across both nonfiction and fiction.

We’re excited about the opportunity to work together with The Atlantic, and to continue expanding this site and community.

If you’re curious about the business side of things, here are some specifics about how the partnership is set up:

Longreads remains an independent company and editorial team, just as we always have been. We’re six people who have invested our time and resources into building Longreads—and we will continue to do what we do best, which is spotlight the best work from magazines, newspapers, books, and across the web.

Our site will be featured alongside the rest of The Atlantic’s growing network of sites, and their team will be helping us with business and operations.

By now, you’ve already seen the two big pieces of the Longreads business model, and in the spirit of transparency, I’m outlining it here:

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Our goal has been to create a business that supports readers, writers and publishers in different ways, through a mix of paid memberships and advertising.

With paid memberships, we’re creating a system where you, our subscribers, are helping to pay writers and publishers for rights to stories and book chapters that are featured as “Longreads Member Picks.” (Here’s this week’s Member Pick, a short story from Amelia Gray and Tin House.)

Through our membership, we want to keep building a secondary market for publishers and writers to make money off licensing, and we’re doing so with your financial support. (You can join for $3 a month or $30 a year.)

On the advertising front, we teamed up with Virgin Atlantic last year on Travelreads, and we’d like to continue pursuing these types of creative initiatives. Advertising, done thoughtfully, will help support new channels like Travelreads, as well our daily editor picks across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and the weekly Top 5 Longreads email.

We’re excited for what’s next, and we’re so thankful for this community’s continued support. We can’t do this without you, and we’ll share more details as things come together.

Mark and rest of the Longreads team (Mike, Kjell, Hakan, Jodi and Joyce)

Longreads Is Joining Forces with The Atlantic

Longreads Pick

We have some big news to share today: Longreads is teaming up with The Atlantic, in a partnership that will allow us to expand our site and membership model—and continue to serve this community of readers, writers and publishers.

Read more about our plans together, as well as details about our community membership and advertising model.

Source: Longreads
Published: Apr 5, 2013

The Atlantic: 10 Essential #Longreads on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda from The Atlantic archives

The Atlantic: 10 Essential #Longreads on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda from The Atlantic archives

The Atlantic: The Rise Of The New Global Elite

The Atlantic: The Rise Of The New Global Elite

Atlantic City Is Really Going Down This Time

Illustration by Matt Chinworth

Rebecca McCarthy | Longreads | February 2019 | 14 minutes (3,579 words)

Atlantic City covers the northern third of Absecon Island, a barrier island made up of an alarming amount of sand. It is a bad town to die in — there are plenty of vacant lots but no cemeteries. In many places, if you dig down more than eight feet you hit water. A couple blocks away from the beach, the Absecon Lighthouse is built on a submerged wooden foundation for exactly that reason — so long as you keep wood wet and away from oxygen, it won’t rot. “We haven’t tipped yet,” said Buddy Grover, the 91-year-old lighthouse keeper, “but it does sway in the wind sometimes.”

“The problem with barrier islands is that, sort of by definition, they move,” said Dan Heneghan. Heneghan covered the casino beat for the Press of Atlantic City for 20 years before moving to the Casino Control Commission in 1996. He retired this past May. He’s a big, friendly guy with a mustache like a push broom and a habit of lowering his voice and pausing near the end of his sentences, as if he’s telling you a ghost story. (“Atlantic City was, in mob parlance … a wide open city. No one family … controlled it.”) We were standing at the base of the lighthouse, which he clearly adores. He’s climbed it 71 times this year. “I don’t volunteer here, I just climb the steps,” he said. “It’s a lot more interesting than spending time on a Stairmaster.” The lighthouse was designed by George Meade, a Civil War general most famous for defeating Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg. It opened in 1857 but within 20 years the beach had eroded to such an extent that the water was only 75 feet away from the base. Jetties were added until the beach was built back out, but a large iron anchor sits at the old waterline, either as a reminder or a threat.

A little more than two years ago, when I was an intern at a now shuttered website called The Awl, I went out to Atlantic City to cover the Trump Taj Mahal’s last weekend before it closed for good. My first night there I met a woman named Juliana Lykins who told me about Tucker’s Island — New Jersey’s first seaside resort, which had been slowly overtaken by the sea until it disappeared completely. This was a month before the election. The “grab ’em by the pussy” tape had just broken, it was pouring rain, the city was on the verge of defaulting on its debts, and 2,000 casino workers were about to lose their jobs. At the time — my clothes soaking wet, falling asleep in a Super 8 to the sound of Scottie Nell Hughes on CNN — it was hard to understand what Lykins was saying as anything other than a metaphor for the country. I missed the larger menace and focused on the immediate. Trump was elected obviously, but Tucker’s Island wasn’t a figurative threat; it was a very straightforward story about what happens to coastal communities when the water moves in. Read more…