Are you mocking me?

If you have ever experienced having an annoying sibling or have a friend mock you, at home or in a public setting, I am sure you know how it feels when you realize that there is a limit to jokes like those. Some people mock your tone of voice or something that you have said and for a few minutes you might find humor in it but then after a certain point, it becomes vexing. Sometimes it just isn’t comedic. Some react more than others and that goes for any joke that just gets old.

When someone takes it up to a personal level and mocks the way that you walk, an accent that you have, the color of your skin, your hair type or your culture in general, it is no longer a joke. The reason for this is because the way in which someone walks, the accent that they speak with, the color of their skin and their culture are all characteristics that define who they are and how they go about their lives every day. When someone is teasing you in that manner it is offensive because it really means that, that person has taken the time to analyze your appearance, actions, and culture and found something within all of it that was funny. It’s funny when you do something out of the ordinary and acts a certain way on purpose so that you can catch someones attention or make them react to it but when you aren’t doing anything to draw that kind of attention it is not only insulting but, disrespectful.

Now, let’s forget about the jokes that your siblings or friends ever made to mock you, let’s forget out them taking it up to a personal level and let’s acknowledge those who actually find humor in someone else’s culture and appearance. All of what makes someone unique is what defines all human beings and so when someone mocks another person’s style or culture it is wrong.

During our class discussion on “Nobody knows the trouble I see” by Bernice Reagan Johnson, we spoke about the standards in African-American literature and culture and acknowledging the use of another person’s work.  Reagen exemplifies singing or peaching in an African-American Baptist church as a something that relates to that topic. She says that when one sings in a unique tone or style it comes from finding individuality and a form of personal development in a way. She states that “Originality of voice and style is the true sign of a seasoned teacher. A true master is one who creates an offering with such power and originality that a new direction is established within the genre.” In the case that we all create our own offerings with our own form of power, its the same with blackface or any form of racism, whether it means posing with blackface, with a gang sign and posting it on social media as a joke or as simple as voting for someone who doesn’t really care for the issues that go on in low-income areas with predominantly African-American and Latinx groups of people. Whether someone does it blatantly or behind closed doors, they would be taking advantage of someone else’s form of power and signature.

 

SAY HER NAME, KNOW HER STORY

The Black Lives Matter movement campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards Black people. Looking further into many cases between police violence and the Black community, two specific cases come to mind when looking at Ross Gay’s poem, “A Small Needful Fact.” I am particularly interested in how Garner’s actions are depicted in this poem. This then brings me to analyze my understanding of the poem and how I was only able to understand its complexity because I know Eric Garner’s story, and I also know Philando Castile’s, Trayvon Martin’s and Michael Brown’s but then realize I can only name one woman of color that experienced police violence, so in respect I will SAY HER NAME, Sandra Bland.

Continue reading “SAY HER NAME, KNOW HER STORY”

A Response to Analiese Vasciannie’s Theory on ‘Us’

I was very excited to read Analiese’s blog post as I recently saw ‘Us’ and made very similar connections in my mind. It is definitely a classic Jordan Peele move to have so many underlying meanings behind a film. I really thought it was interesting that he named the movie Us after the U.S, as I did not make that connection when seeing it. Going off of that, the movie seems to connect more when looking at it specifically through the lens of being American.

Continue reading “A Response to Analiese Vasciannie’s Theory on ‘Us’”

Visual Continuity in Prince’s Work

In the process of putting together our blog post “Untangling Sustainability,” the group I was a part of spent a good chunk of time finding a definition for sustainable/sustainability that wasn’t attached to a moral value. What we came to was “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level,” which we were pointed towards by an online thesaurus that gave us synonyms for sustainable like continuous, continual, and unending. Briefly, we talked about how the concept of sustainability might visually manifest itself in Prince’s work, and while what we eventually wrote was a zoomed-out look at what his work might say or imply about sustainability in the world, I want to return in this post to what visual elements are literally sustained throughout Prince’s art.

Continue reading “Visual Continuity in Prince’s Work”

Everything Comes from the Fractal

Everything comes from the fractal. It’s a notion that didn’t come to me until recently, but after the heating plant visit, the group blog posts and several individual posts I have reached the conclusion that African Fractals and the ideas discussed in it is a perfect reflection of everything we have discussed in class thus far. I am fully aware of how bold and vague this statement sounds, but allow me to unpack here. Continue reading “Everything Comes from the Fractal”

Spirituals and the Nationalistic Music of the United States

Spirituals and the Nationalistic Music of The United States

The Conservatory of Music

Alongside the early stages of the development of Western music in the Americas during the late 1800s came the global desire to establish national boundaries; music was one particular area where countries wanted to display their national pride and establish their nationality. The Americas, particularly the United States, was at an awkward stage in the development of its own nationalistic music, as it was not clearly established what “American music” was at this point. Eventually, a composer from Prague alongside the National Conservatory of Music, founded by Jeannette Meyers Thurber, in the United States would help push the majority of the country see that “American music” was to be built off the country’s foundation: the music and rhythms of the indigenous people and African Americans.

The United States – Early 20th Century

By the late 19th century, when the United States was trying to establish its own music, European music had already been established in the several countries, making the creation of their nationalistic music simple and original. American music, however, was in its early stages of development, leaving the people of the United States reliant on the more established European classical music (Grout, 2019). The study of music was also extremely dependent on European music; people from the United States started traveling to Europe in order to study music there—after placing European music at the center of music, many people then tried to imitate this music and during the era where national boundaries were rising attempted label it as America’s nationalistic music, in spite of the music that already existed in the United States. Continue reading “Spirituals and the Nationalistic Music of the United States”

“S-K” IS /SK/ AS IN “AXE”

In the last week I have taken two of my teacher certification exams, so Education is the primary current running through me at the moment. As a result, I can’t help but focus my attention on Molly’s character in Suzan-Lori Parks’ Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom. Early in the play, she seems to string together a series of phrases that are unrelated to the situation at hand, such as, “I lie down you lie down he she it lies down,” and, “The-little-lamb-follows-closely-behind-at-Mary’s-heels-as-Mary-boards-the-train.” She questioned the phrases, pointing out the absurdity of a lamb boarding a train (25). Likely, these are phrases that she was taught to memorize during her formal education, and they come to mind as she recalls being thrown out of school.

Of Molly’s words, what stands out most to me is the repetition of, “S-K is /sk/ as in ask.” It’s fairly common for people, especially children, to produce the word “axe” in speech instead of “ask,” as Molly does later on. Based on what she is saying, it appears she was receiving phonics instruction intended to change this tendency. Continue reading ““S-K” IS /SK/ AS IN “AXE””

Response to Analiese Vasciannie’s Post “My Theory Between ‘Big Machine’ and ‘Us'”

First of all, I would like to thank Analiese for her post, specifically because I did not draw the connection between the movie being called “Us” and the U.S. This was something I overlooked on my mission to watch a Jordan Peele movie without carrying expectations of repetitiveness, like I wrote about in my last blog post on anticipation. There are probably plenty of small clues I overlooked in the Peele film. Anyway, I would like to discuss the brilliant comparison of “Us” to “Big Machine.” Both works deal with inner meanings and workings that really do apply to the overall status of American capitalist society. A concept that I think, as college students, we often have the privilege to overlook, even when it is put directly in our line of vision. Continue reading “Response to Analiese Vasciannie’s Post “My Theory Between ‘Big Machine’ and ‘Us’””

Thoughts On Progress I

Thoughts on Progress I
James Ferguson

All those who have the ability to learn and experience are capable of progress; all humans have the potential to experience. In the same respect that progress is possible because all humans can learn and experience, the state and pace of progress may often depend on the environment in which one is able to learn and experience. Because of the environment one must live in, they may not be able to focus completely on their forward experiencing of life in the way they desire. Similarly, those who can enable themselves to experience may face rapid progress in their own work—that being said, I personally do not believe that an individual is completely bounded by the environment they are born into or must live in; people can have the will to overcome their respective environments. Continue reading “Thoughts On Progress I”