Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Public Work of Art "Museum"

My public work of art museum consist of this picture right here. I would of chosen something better but apparently they erased the good ones around my area which sucks cause i liked 2 in particular. Anyway, this painting right here is located on 743 Myrtle ave. around the Marcy Houses about 2 blocks away from where i live. It sells tiles and stuff and its pretty old. Its been there since as long as i can remember. In the past there was different paintings. There was one that said "New York Will Overcome!", before that the ones that stood out to me the most was a drawing of Obama when he won which said something else, i think some kind of "Change and Hope" message, and before that a picture of a basketball player with a message. As you can see, the one on the corner has been erased.
Right across the street is a park that takes up the whole block with projects in which i come to sometimes. It consists of Handball courts, Tennis Courts, Basketball Courts, Baseball field, and Monkey Bars for the kids. Also, theres a lot of Grocery stores, other little stores, different churches and theres this Crown Fried Chicken about a block away that in my opinion Jay-Z probably worked there cause i saw a picture of him inside wearing work clothes. Theres the G train which i take to school and buses. The area is a mixture of different kinds of people which i like. Theres jews taking over in my opinion cause theres new buildings built by them for them, hispanics mostly puerto ricans and dominicans, blacks, couple whites, some asians, and a little bit of the rest.
Anyway, i kinda liked this picture because its portraying the political and economical issues that were going through right now. As you can see the picture on the top, its a painting of an old man saying, "I Work" and theres people laughing at him. Theres also the other old man sick or hurt. I can't tell if the green stuff is a word and theres a number 2000 in the corner so i don't know if that's when it was created.
I don't remember seeing that one before, but i think its showing how tough things are in the economy that less people are retiring now and having to work more. The sick or hurt guy also represents the problems with medical insurance and i don't know why the people are laughing except maybe making fun of the old people? i think its interesting because i seen a lot on Obama and other more famous people, but this is more unique and to the common people having to work especially the elderly and sick.
I would choose this as a part of my museum because its a very important time in history of the United States and more people will relate to it. Its the time were the economy is as bad since The Great Depression. And this picture right here represents the working class struggling more than usual with critics to go along with it. It will be in the history books so things like these will represent this time period that people will remember.

...Also here's the link to the Muhammad Ali video that you wanted to see: The politics of Muhammad Ali

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My sources

So far, the sources that i've been using are from the packet. I've used "Sports On The Edge Of Panic" and "Clay Refuses Army Oath; Stripped of Boxing Crown". Both have been resourceful especially "Sports on the edge of panic". I know i still have two more resources to find but i've had trouble finding good ones on the library resource center and these two have been helpful.
Even though they both are about the same topic, they're kind of different. "Clay refuses army oath" is a newspaper article and it only talks about what was happening at that present moment not about what happened afterwards like in the other article. The other one is more detailed and ties into other important political figures at the time like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
I will continue my research but in the meantime i think the sources i got so far are good enough. Would you have any recommendations on the topic of Muhammad Ali in the library resource center with full texts that i can use? or are we allowed to also use sources outside the library except wikipedia?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blog #5 Internalized Racism

In Malcolm X's autobiography he talks about the internalized racism that african americans had and some still have because of the white supremacy and how he also experience it as a child. He said he was the lightest of all the siblings and because of this he was favored by his father. His father would take him to his preachings and a lot of places. Seems to me he was proud of his son for his skin color more than the others and wanted to show it off to people. For the same reason his mother treated him less than his siblings. Although she was half white herself, her mother was raped by a white man and malcolm was possibly a constant reminder of that.
Early in Malcolm's life he realized that many lighter skin african americans felt gifted over the darker ones because they were closer to the white man in complexion which gave them a sense of power and pride. Malcolm on the other hand learned to hate this. Because of the whites being the oppressors later on it made the african americans feel they were inferior and while some decided to fit in others decided to rebel. Malcolm would preach that its NOT ok for the white man to try to do whatever they wanted to black people and get away with it, because it would continue the cycle of oppression. Thats why he encouraged them to fight back in any way possible.
If you look closely you would see that a lot of countries hate America for the same reason of dominance and its not just african americans. Also, since its considered the best in the world and the land of opportunity many people from all over the world migrate here just to live the "American Dream". America has always had its way of getting a lot of power and coming across as the most powerful and for this many countries had felt less competent and come here to see if they could live a better life. So its this white supremacy that made this happen all from the very beginning.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Post #4 Muhammad Ali

i decided i'm doing my essay on Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali was a former boxing heavyweight champion. When he was being drafted into the army he refused to go. He did this because of his religious views. Because of his strong belief he was stripped of his title. He preached a lot at colleges and universities gaining more support. Another reason he didn't want to fight in the army was because he said that the vietcong did not do anything to him. And that fighting for america would be like fighting for the white man.
I'm interested in this because his belief was so strong that he even risked going to prison for a long time, as he says in the packet, "Art, Politics, Protest" in the article, "Clay Refuses Army Oath; Stripped of Boxing Crown", "It is in the light of my consciousness as a Muslim minister and my own personal convictions that i take my stand in rejecting the call to be inducted in the armed services. I do so with full realization of its implications and possible consequences. I have searched my conscience and i find i cannot be true to my belief in my religion by accepting such a call." Muhammad Ali stuck to his beliefs and went a lot of years without boxing fighting for justice.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Post #3 on Malcolm X's Speech, "What does Mississippi have to do with Harlem?"

Personally i liked Malcolm X's speech because to me it makes a lot of sense. First and foremost his main goal was to get what everyone else wanted which was freedom and equality. He did this by making some good points and encourage some action whether it be legal or by force. His audience was to black people to actually fight for their freedom one way or another. He said that the language white people spoke was violence so if that was the language they spoke and understood and nothing was to be done by the government then black people was to speak the same language. "If his language is with a shotgun, get a shotgun. If he only understands the language of a rifle, get a rifle...". In other words he wanted to fight fire with fire.
Malcolm also stated and tried to open people's eyes by saying that it doesn't matter if the north is less racist than the south, because the white people over there might have 'smiled at your face and show their teeth but stick the knife in your back'. What he meant was that it wasn't just a problem in the south or anywhere that was just a part of American, the problem was the whole country. He gives a good example, "If one room in your house is dirty, you've got a dirty house. If the closet is dirty, you've got a dirty house...". Meaning the problem had to be resolved everywhere throughout the whole America and not just one part. The rich whites were manipulating the poor whites and blacks into more racism and conflict and not focusing on the big issue that the politicians were taking advantage of all the poor people not just the blacks. Still the racists were spread everywhere oppressing the blacks whether it was blatantly or subtly and were tied together in some way or another. He mentioned that the people that were voted did nothing for the blacks. They stood quiet and didn't do nothing when the blacks wanted to sit down.
Malcolm placed a lot of emphasis in his words. He wanted justice either the easy way or the hard way. This was his message to the people. And so what i see was him trying to fuel their anger and rebel to get what they wanted as he says, "I'm not for anybody who tells me to turn the other cheek when a cracker is busting up my jaw. I'm not for anybody who tells black people to be nonviolent while nobody is telling white people to be nonviolent...". He spoke to the people's feelings of suppression, resentment, and anger and to me it seems that it was effective.

Blog#2: Question 1

For one myth that i didn't know about that i learned from Reed's book, "The Art of Protest" from the "Singing Civil Rights" section was that Martin Luther King Jr. wasn't the founder of the civil rights movement. In fact, it was a black woman named Ella Baker that started the movement but has been much discredited despite her hard work among other activists. I thought that Martin Luther King was one of the few leaders in the civil rights movement when in reality he was just one of hundreds of leaders and one of thousands of activists. It also said most often he was a follower than a leader in the movements actions. Also most of the hard work was done behind the scenes by black women which men got credit for. Some of these women were Ella Baker, Septima Clark, and Fannie Lou.
Another myth that was said was the exaggeration of white people's role in the movement. It was mostly a movement of black people and some white people did help but media has exaggerated that they also did a lot of hard work in changing racism. He points out that white people said if blacks stopped talking about color that racism would disappear as if fighting for their rights wasn't crucial. Also, that the white politicians had used the Ku Klux Klan to basically do the 'dirty work' for them in an effort to continue oppression. What i have realized is that there are a lot of cover ups in history and the stories are sometimes mixed up often confusing people from what really happened in the past and thats how myths are created, because sometimes the people with power doesn't want the mass media to know the entire truth about something and controls what should be learned and what shouldn't. That's why i think some myths need to be challenged and find the real truth.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Response to Question#2

In Richard Wright's essay, "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow", he describes some of his experiences as a young man living in the South where there was more discrimination than usual because of the Jim Crow laws. It's obvious that the laws were unfair because the white man had more privileges and power. For example, they always had to say sir to the white man and if you didn't it would be a big insult to them. Also, they could beat someone innocent and get away with it by making an excuse. In his essay, he says one time he was in an elevator where especially the black man was supposed to take off his hat as a sign of respect and he couldn't because he had many things in his hand. So a white man took it off for him and placed it in the boxes he was holding. He said that he knew if he said thank you to him it would also be an insult to the white man because it would be as if the white man was providing a service for him so he pretended he almost dropped the boxes instead to avoid conflict. He said he heard a story of someone who got punched in the mouth just for saying thank you before.
The white man had the power over the black man in the past and there was little that could have been done. In Wright's experience, he says he was always eager to learn and get ahead. However it wasn't just him that the white man oppressed. In a job he had with white men, the boss had instructed the other workers to teach him what they knew about the job. However, they refused to do that and instead accused him of not calling one of the guys sir. They threatened they would beat him and they pressured him to quit his job because they didn't want him there. This is how many of them were oppressed for many years and they had to obey because the law wasn't also on their side. They were forced to respect them even if they didn't deserved to.
I think the right choice was made to rebel against the white man, even if it meant slowly but surely, like for example the Black Panthers who fought for their rights, Rosa Parks being in an organization and refusing to give her seat to a white man, and Martin Luther King being a leader for the civil rights movement. If that hadn't happened imagine still being on those times. Fighting through their struggles for what they believed in was the right thing to do and anybody being oppressed for so long is bound to rebel against their oppressor sooner or later. So in conclusion, these forms of resistance were effective to achieving liberation.