I counted them. There were about five men total in McCoy’s class of about thirty students. I found out later I had miscounted. It wasn’t really a problem. I grew up with three bossy sisters and I make friendships easily with females. However, I still felt slightly out of place, as if I had picked the wrong class. I then realized that there were even less people in the class with African heritage. In a class about Toni Morrison, a black author who writes about minority struggles and inequality, this class still had an overwhelming majority of white students.
As a white male, to say that I felt a connection with centuries of oppression would be insulting at best. I grew up surrounded by white people and watching films with “smurfettes” and token black best friends. I accepted these films as if they displayed accurate representations of our world’s demographic. Currently, I am studying to be a educator and I will be responsible to train the minds that will become the voices of our world’s discourse. It will be my job to help make the world better for each individual, starting with my own future classroom. But how can we do more than just say people in the minority belong? How can I mute my inner voice of privilege that would dare consider myself underrepresented? I am hoping to explore practical questions of oppression and representation more and more as I try to become more aware of those around me and less focused on myself.
Semiotics. A subject that I am not very well read in but am trying to learn more about in my spare time. Why do I bring it up? Because I found it useful to think about in our first reading of Morrison’s A Mercy, and it connects to the Davis/Morrison video that Dr. McCoy posted. In the video (which, if I’m being honest, I have only watched the first twenty minutes of) Morrison discusses the “power of reading and of course understanding the meaning of what one reads and what I like to think of as visual literacy.” This “power of reading” and “visual literacy” can be understood as another phrasing, or maybe a more specific type of Semiotics. Continue reading “Semiotics and Visual Literacy”
Hi all! I recently came across this Buzzfeed article of Morrison’s quotes. They are truly beautiful and if you haven’t started to read “A Mercy” yet, I think this is a nice taste of her writings and speeches.
Here’re photos of some of the first-day questions generated after hearing the first chapter of A Mercy. As I mentioned in class, I think the Morrison/Davis NYPL interview will provide some material for some answers, and maybe the swirl can yield some blog posts!
As the blogging assignment asks you to position your posts explicitly in response to someone/something else, I figured I’d give you something from the get-go to think about and bounce off of: a rich, wide-ranging 2010 video conversation between Angela Davis and Toni Morrison.
So much in here of use throughout the semester! (Read a transcript here)