Providence and the Baby Dolls

Each time a supporting faculty member visits class, I am given more and more tools that allow me to better analyze both Prince’s work and the assigned class readings. Additionally, the contributions of the supporting faculty members grant me different perspectives and ideas that nearly beg to be connected with the art of Steve Prince or with the works of W.E.B. Dubois and Kim Vaz-Deville, the authors of the class’ required readings.

Dr. Cope’s lecture, in particular, not only provided me with such tools but left my mind buzzing with many thoughts and questions, as well.  Specifically, I found myself considering and condemning the concept of Providence that Dr. Cope discussed throughout his lecture. I began to think about the idea, both with reference to the Puritans and their definition and manipulation of the word and its application to today’s society, as well. Since the lecture, I have been seeking connections between the Puritan, and even contemporary, idea of Providence and the Art of Steve Prince class as a whole.

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“Now hear this mixture, where hip-hop meets scripture” Bringing Lauryn Hill to Dunbar, Douglass, and Jacobs

“The songs are a way to get to singing” –Bernice Johnson Reagon

On Monday, Paul Laurence Dunbar allowed us to engage with an homage to his poem, “We Wear the Mask:” the Fugees song, “The Mask.” This interpretive possibility was particularly exciting to my hip-hop loving self. It affirmed my admiration for the unique way hip-hop remixes and revitalizes culture by weaving intertexts and sampling sonic artifacts all while being really enjoyable to listen to. Now, while I love the Fugees’s sound, it is really Lauryn Hill that made the group so dynamic for me. Needless to say, the symposium hosted by the Black Student Union on Tuesday night regarding Lauryn Hill and Joan Morgan’s “hip-hop feminism” was an event I couldn’t miss. Continue reading ““Now hear this mixture, where hip-hop meets scripture” Bringing Lauryn Hill to Dunbar, Douglass, and Jacobs”

The Omnipresence of the “Unasked Question”

“In Louis Althusser’s notion of interpellation, it is the police who initiate the call or address by which a subject becomes socially constituted.  There is a policeman, the one not only who represents the law but whose address “Hey you!” has the effect of binding the law to the one who is hailedThe call is formative… precisely because it initiates the individual into the subjected status of the subject.” (Judith Butler, “Gender is Burning: Questions of Appropriation and Subversion, 381, emphasis added)

Judith Butler is making the argument that the police, and potentially other empowered groups, have the power to place or put the law on those whom they choose to address.  The police are inherently empowered by the virtue of their position and by the law itself. The person whom they have made a “subject” however is at the disposal of the power of the law and thus at the disposal of the power of the policeman.   Continue reading “The Omnipresence of the “Unasked Question””

Stolen Songs

An issue we have often discussed in class is the lack of recognition of African American artists’ impact on American culture. Du Bois raises the question in Call & Response, “would America have been America without her Negro people?” (Call & Response 754). Without the contributions of African Americans, what would American culture be today? Much of our American culture exploits and appropriates African Americans and disregards the importance of their art in our society. Du Bois, in his writings displayed in Call & Response, discusses the role African Americans had in building up America and the importance of their music. Without African Americans and their contributions, American culture would not be the same today.

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The Perplexing Dove

Despite not having a guest lecturer come into class on February 18th, 2019, I called the lecture “Tools and Ingredients” in my notes. Professor McCoy wanted us to meet with a group of students to discover what we have already learned and put it into practice. Additionally, she wanted us to have stimulating conversations about the course thus far and how we can feed off of each other. Truth be told I was eager to hear other people’s thoughts and see how they have improved with the course, and possibly help me with my weak points.

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Adapting to the Ever-Changing World

The past few classes we have talked a lot about how we are all vulnerable to the language of the day. This has made me start thinking about how everyone is growing and learning through the changes that the world is going through. Have you ever made a statement, or wrote a paper, or a tweet, or anything public and now you look back at it years later and you don’t completely agree with what you wrote? I know that I have. This is due to the fact that the world is always changing and through these changes we adapt to them and learn from them.
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Second Line Part 1

Steve Prince was not shy when declaring his christian upbringing, and thus its influence within his artwork. A common motif seen in the works we have discussed involved the figure of a horse, or multiples of them. Mr. Prince uses these horses to portray the woes of the citizens, primarily the African American ones, in New Orleans during Katrina, bringing to mind the Bible’s depictions of the apocalypse through the Four Horsemen. 

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Where do we draw the line with consent?

Consent is a word often used in today’s society but do people actually know what it means? It is a word that cannot be defined in one sentence and has multiple parts to it. After our discussion about consent in class, I was inspired to check out how SUNY Geneseo defines consent in the student handbook. I believe that Geneseo does a good job in defining consent, however, I do not think they advertise the Affirmative Consent Policy enough. The worksheet we were given in class is a good start to advertising the definition of consent and its importance and should be displayed on bulletin boards throughout campus. Continue reading “Where do we draw the line with consent?”


This summer I was lucky enough to attend a creative writing conference where I participated in a class on writing dialogue. The instructor, a well-established author, outlined a couple of major “no-no’s” in writing dialogue: most prominently, in all-caps, DO NOT WRITE IN VERNACULAR. He described vernacular as a lazy tool for writers, a quick and sloppy way to characterize through insulting caricature. He encouraged us to consider modern-day texts which used vernacular or phonetic spelling to illustrate an accent, and I ended up thinking about the Harry Potter series. Continue reading “DO NOT WRITE IN VERNACULAR?”