Template:Did you know nominations/Roberta Dodd Crawford

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Round symbols for illustrating comments about the DYK nomination The following is an archived discussion of Roberta Dodd Crawford's DYK nomination. Please do not modify this page. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page; such as this archived nomination"s (talk) page, the nominated article's (talk) page, or the Did you knowDYK comment symbol (talk) page. Unless there is consensus to re-open the archived discussion here. No further edits should be made to this page. See the talk page guidelines for (more) information.

The result was: promoted by Carabinieri (talk) 06:43, 5 March 2013 (UTC).

Roberta Dodd Crawford[edit]

Created by AbstractIllusions (talk). Self nominated at 19:10, 27 February 2013 (UTC).

  • Symbol question.svg Was she truly a princess? I cannot see how she could have been. Her husband was a sororal nephew of a king who was not entitled to refer to himself as a prince. The article about him says that "his claims to be the Prince were dubious". Thus, the hook may not be accurate. Surtsicna (talk) 15:26, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the question and there is no good answer. The hook is not accurate, nor is it inaccurate: it is broadly accurate without being wrong which I think is justified by DYK striving to make interesting hooks. Full Story: It is important to start by saying that royal lineage in Dahomey was organized uniquely. Thus, although the society was largely defined through Patrilineality, the exception were daughters of kings who would establish matrilineal lines. As his mother was a daughter of Glele, it is possible that he would have been a "Prince" (although probably not the Prince in line to be king). However, I know of no sources that refer to his mom with the honorific "Na" which would translate very roughly as "Princess", so maybe not (but the lack of such evidence is not definitive). But, it really became irrelevant when the French took over the area and scuttled the royal titles (the King essentially became a museum curator, seriously) and particularly female royal titles. So the titles "prince" and "princess" in 1920s Dahomey are in a murky, murky situation. Regardless: "Princess" is justified in the hook because 1. He referred to himself as Prince, 2. she referred to herself as Princess, 3. no authority in France or Dahomey ever tried to prevent these titles from being attached to these people (a U.S. lawyer did kinda, but he lost), 4. When she visited Dahomey for the first time, reports referred to her as "Princess" (not in article right now, but I'll add them if you think it is needed). Because the royal titles were unclear and she is still widely referred to as Princess in secondary sources ("Tovalou was related to Dahomey’s royal family and was called 'Prince Tovalou' and Roberta became Princess Tovalou"), I think "interestingness" of the hook justifies DYK being broad with accuracy, as long as the claim isn't wrong. She was not "truly" a princess (it isn't even clear if she could have been or what this would have meant), but calling her a princess is not inaccurate in the complex situation in which she lived. If it still sits uneasily with you, just let me know. AbstractIllusions (talk) 17:18, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
It is possible to make the hook interesting and undisputably accurate - see ALT1, for example. Surtsicna (talk) 17:33, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
  • ALT1: ... that Texas-born singer Roberta Dodd Crawford married into a royal family and later became a prisoner of the Nazis?
Thank you for the continued work on the hook! But I'm not sure this broadening adds any accuracy. ALT1 still assumes that Tovalou was considered a part of the royal family, for which the evidence is largely the same as that he was a Prince. In addition, I want to reiterate that it seems that the dispute centers upon some concept of what a "true princess" would be that is not appropriate in this context. I think it is simple, if the people in the kingdom said she was a princess, then she is one. It might not make sense in lineage, she might not have gone through the full ceremony, Tovalou may have been a usurper, the kingdom may have stopped existing, but that doesn't matter. It is accurate to say she was a "Princess" if she was treated as one, right? Or in the words of the Chicago Defender 1933 "The former Mrs. Crawford of Chicago...is visiting in Africa for the first time, and is being given every royal consideration by the natives of Dahomey, who look upon her as a Queen-Regent...As soon as Prince and Princess set foot on African soil, they became official guests of the French government and were escorted in royal elegance to the Prince's native state where the greatest ovation awaited them." I still maintain that "Princess" is an accurate term and is as accurate, and best sourced, as any other possible wording given the murky, complex situation. Best. AbstractIllusions (talk) 00:54, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Okay, but can it be explained in the article? Readers will surely wonder as much as I have. Surtsicna (talk) 09:02, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Not a problem; added note that explains the problems with the royal title, but also the royal treatment they received. Thanks for the suggestions. AbstractIllusions (talk) 12:41, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Pictogram voting keep.svg Everything is fine then. Good luck! Surtsicna (talk) 12:59, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Symbol question.svg Oddly, my problem with the hook when I thought to promote it is the other side of the issue: "later became a prisoner of the Nazis". The article cannot nail down whether she was in a concentration camp and doesn't mention any other form of imprisonment (just "constrained"); that she could not get (or afford?) a visa to leave France during the war doesn't necessarily mean she was a prisoner, any more than French citizens were prisoners while living in their homes. BlueMoonset (talk) 16:39, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
  • The article sheds some light on the problem. Apparently, it is not clear whether or not she was in a concentration camp. There is a source that confirms that. You are right, the hook should not state that she was if it is possible that she was not. Surtsicna (talk) 17:07, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the question. Hanners source most clearly deals with this situation. It is unknown exactly if she was in a concentration camp, but she "was interned, either under house arrest or in an internment camp, for fifty long months." Concentration camps were of course one type of imprisonment, but not the only kind of imprisonment. I've changed the article to more clearly reflect this aspect. Hope that helps clear things up. AbstractIllusions (talk) 18:01, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting keep.svg Article makes it clear that she was interned, so she was a prisoner during that period. ALT1 does check out, both in the article and in the source for the relevant sentence. The remainder of the approval per review by Surtsicna; using AGF tick for that reason. BlueMoonset (talk) 00:23, 5 March 2013 (UTC)