... 1850, The Scarlet Letter, a powerful novel about Hester Prynne (right), a mother forced to wear a red-"A"-for-adultery on her bodice while her secret lover, a minister, went about with no visible brand, was published in Boston, Massachusetts. "A few critics objected to the 'scandalous' material ... but ... the reading public was captivated[, and t]he first printing sold out in two weeks." A recent NPR segment named Prynne
among the first and most important female protagonists in American literature. She's the embodiment of deep contradictions: bad and beautiful, holy and sinful, conventional and radical.
Don't recall how the prim nun of my high school days taught this masterpiece by Nathaniel Hawthorne, but she did it well, for the story of injustice left an indelible imprint.
... 2001, in Casamance, the area of Senegal in deep red at left, situated below the sliver of territory comprising Gambia and above Guinea-Bissau, the Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC), a secessionist group, and the government of Senegal signed 2 peace agreements designed to end a long insurgency. The agreements did not, however, prove effective.