Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga

Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga

Audio CD(Unabridged)

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In 1904, Ota Benga, a young Congolese “pygmy” - a person of petite stature - arrived from central Africa and was featured in an anthropology exhibit at the St. Louis World’s Fair. Two years later, the New York Zoological Gardens displayed him in its Monkey House, caging the slight 103-pound, 4-foot 11-inch tall man with an orangutan. The attraction became an international sensation, drawing thousands of New Yorkers and commanding headlines from across the nation and Europe. Spectacle explores the circumstances of Ota Benga’s captivity, the international controversy it inspired, and his efforts to adjust to American life. It also reveals why, decades later, the man most responsible for his exploitation would be hailed as his friend and savior, while those who truly fought for Ota have been banished to the shadows of history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681410616
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
Publication date: 06/02/2015
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 6.04(w) x 5.04(h) x 1.13(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Pamela Newkirk is a native New Yorker and award-winning journalist who spent ten years working as a reporter and writer before joining the journalism faculty at New York University. Her articles exploring race, media, art, and culture have been published widely, including in The New York Times, The Washinton Post, Artnews, and The Nation. Her first book, Within the Veil: Black Journalists, White Media (1999) won the National Press Club Award for media criticism.

Bahni Turpin is an ensemble member of Cornerstone Theater Company. Based in Los Angeles, Bahni has appeared in numerous television productions as well as films. She is also a yoga instructor, and the founder of SoLA Food Co-op.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xv

Preface xvii

Part I Caged

1 Gardens of Wonder 3

2 The Bronx Zoo Monkey House 11

3 Crimes of the Congo 18

4 Hornaday's Folly 24

5 Benga's Brigade 31

6 Fighting City Hall 40

7 Benga Speaks 50

8 Backlash 57

9 Nature's Fury 66

10 Deliverance 73

Part II Captured

11 Samuel Phillips Verner 79

12 Luebo Mission 87

13 Kondola, Kassongo. And Verner's African Treasures 97

14 The Hunt 108

15 Verner's Prey 117

16 The St. Louis World's Fair 128

17 Congo Field Notes 140

18 Leopold's Lobby 156

19 Benga's Choice 165

20 A Museum Most Unnatural 170

21 Fondless Farewell 182

Part III Free

22 Weeksville Refuge 189

23 St. James 205

24 Southern Comfort 216

25 Home 229

26 Free 236

27 Homegoing 241

Epilogue 249

Acknowledgments 255

Notes 259

Bibliography 287

Index 299

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Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
designonamac More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating and horrifying story. This is very well written and I highly recommend it. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A sad and fascinating story zoos don't want you to know. Well written and thoughtful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story hurt my heart. It speaks to unthinkable ignorance and malicious greed. To capture and humiliate a human being to this level and then promote lie after lie until the truth is obscured is criminal. The story is haunting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago