Monday, November 22, 2010

African Burial Lecture

The African Burial Ground is clearly labeled on an official 1755 plan of New York. 

So much for so little, is what the speech proved to me
My people deserved a lot more for what they proved to be
Taken from their home, and their family
Dropped off in a state that holds a statue of liberty
as a slave is supposed to do
granted with junk, my people continued to pull through
So sad to hear of the conditions and
their lack of human rights
So sad they've helped the British in
several of their fights
Happy that they were at least not thrown in the street, 
but buried in an area, thats a memorial cite for me

Today I can visit the area they held in their hands
today I can look in a white mans eyes and pre-view his plans
the plans from one non superior pest- to a great to the 10th power African ancest- or
maybe it was seemingly right to hinder a mans freedom and give him certain rights
From the looks of today, Im sure the past was wrong
Several changes made to the book, best described in song ...or a poem

The speech was moving, yet had me concerned for what who my people were
A group of intelligent Mrs.'s and a group of intelligent Sir's 

Perspectives: African Burial Ground

     To begin, I hadn't even known that there was an African Burial Ground in New York. All I've ever heard of was Time Share, and the Statue of Liberty, The Twin Towers, and the Gardens. Who knew the city of New York had such a sacred area for my ancestors. This place was rather amazing. For starters, the street name I happened to see"African Burial Way" was significant to me; like not only are we subtly recognized but they gave us a street name to go along. There was beautiful landscaping and artwork to complement the sacred ground. There was this mood of poignance that came over me. It was sad to see that this was all we had, after what Africans have done for the city, in spite of all the enslavement. However, there was this feeling of self- security. A feeling that even though we did not have much we had something.

     Moreover, I heard of all the famous black people who had visited the cite, given speeches, and reunited several young, black African American together with a part of their history. Since majority of them won't ever step foot in Africa, they can have a taste of that in which they are spawned. The memorial is circular (its blueprints) and I could only think that this was for peace. It was peaceful. When sitting in a group sharing a story, enjoying family/friends, camping out, playing cards- you sit in a circle. Its a form of comfortability and togetherness. I felt as if it keeps the spirits of the deceased African contained in one area, so that none are lost.

THIS place is different. Its specifically for us, not for Americans only, not for a certain religion, or group, but us Africans. We have a memorial. I like how we could reenact past jobs and services of our ancestors. We could see how it was to be a black African woman or man of that time. I don't like their work. I don't like the things they had to do for little payback. Its like less than minimal wage job- loathsome. But this sacred area given to my people is good. I like that.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Black Education (2nd groups' presentation)

Black education, should be the same as white, asian, or latina education, but of course, it isnt. Black education may be greater than others, or maybe even less. Black education isn't what it should be for a lot of people. Im black and my education is pretty damn good, from elementart to now, here at Howard but this group spoke on how black education is less, or not as good as it should be as compared to the education of a white person, or white schooling.

First of all there's this, No child left behind idea... bought to you by George Bush. They didn't mention the fine print though. But it was no need, they gave other details and opinions on this policy to convey its real meaning to a black student. This group feeled as if that policy wasn't of any use. Pretty much that teachers, who barely can teach, or who should teach better simply pass students on to get rid of them. Instead of actually helping them, or retaining them until they mastered the concept, they send their problem on to the next person. Thus, a 6th grade reading level black student is a senior with a major lack of knowledge in high school. THIS is detrimental. This helps no one in any way. That black student probably ends up on welfare or inconcerated or lost in the world. They never had actual help and here is a time when they began to realize they actually need it. Too late.

I dont remember if they mentioned it, but I would have added that if a young black child isn't smart or athletic/ talented they fit in no where. They can't pass test nor will they be accepted for any sports or clubs. It's sad. It's even more sad that teachers have this point of view- a black child can only make it through athletics or musical talent. Maybe we should rethink black education. Maybe it's not up to par in comparison with other educations. This is a problem in the black community and drastic measures are encouraged if there is to be any change.

Sex Sells (1st Groups' presentation)

The presentation was interesting. They did exactly what they needed to do to grab my attention. Post a few naked/ censored pictures up,  and BAM... I'm looking. Pretty much the basically spoke on how several black people make it in the acting/ music business solely off of their looks and how they portray themselves. They compared a two black woman who are very successful as of today, who took two very different routes. I must say the comparison was far off, and these two people have no correlation at all, but I understood their overall point.

They compared the one and only Queen Latifah with nascent rapper/singer Nikki Minaj. A powerful, respected black woman vs. a feign, commercialized young lady. While they both are black woman, who have of had rapping careers, they are on two totally different scales in my opinion. First of all, they come from 2 completely opposite generations. Back in the day, sex still was selling, but things were less obvious. For women, there wasnt any need to be naked- maybe show a little thigh, cleavage, wear make-up, or be seductive. However today, you ass, breast and legs must be out. A woman might as well not wear anything. The queen rapped about peace, unity, and good life. On the other hand, Minaj raps abouts money, women, men, sex, and drugs. They have two totally different goals.

I did like the presentation though, and I understood that they were simply trying to prove how its unnecessary to portray oneself is such a blunt, slutty manner. Basically, if she can do it, so can you. They mentioned that people who don't sell sex are less recognized. Yes it's sought of true. So people go where the money is- sex business. I think they should have compared people of this time and age, instead of a activist woman in her 40s with a young rapper repping Young Money. Good job though.