Monday, November 21, 2011

Slavery Song

The song attached is a song called Strange Fruit sung by Billie Holiday.  The song was first recorded in 1939, during the great depression when racism was still very prominent.  Also, the time at which this song was written and recorded, was the time when arts were prospering in Harlem.  Harlem is a neighborhood in NYC, and during the 1920's and 1930's was when Harlem underwent an era "The Harlem Renaissance", in which inspiring music was produced that would influence many people.  This disproved many stereotypes that were held against black people regarding their artistic capability and humane intentions in general.  Also, Billie Holiday herself was born in Harlem, and in fact played an important role in the Harlem Renaissance.  The lyrics in the song itself are quite disturbing, vivid, and depressing; which ultimately adds to its impact on people.  The song exposed the terrifying effects of lynching and of American racism.

"Southern trees bear a strange fruit, Blood on the leaves and blood at the root, Black body swinging in the Southern breeze, Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sleepy Hollows Character Analysis

     In the story, Ichabod Crane is a man with purely good intentions not only for himself, but for others as well.  It is clear that in school his selfless actions were solely based for the good of the students.  At the end of the story, all I could do was sympathize for Ichabod Crane because of his apparent good morals and the result of his fate.  As seeing the movie Sleepy Hollows prior to it being shown in class, I can say that I do not feel as much sympathy for Ichabod in the movie.  I can still see the character's similar characteristics and traits, however the endings of both of these stories vary just enough to the degree where I do not feel as emotionally tied to Ichabod as I did in the story opposed to the movie.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Digital Vs Printed Books

     In Hannah's pamphlet, she talks about certian expiereces while reading a book.  One point that she brings up that I am able to relate to easily is being surrounded by books in a bookstore or library and being so excited to know that there are hundreds of stories and some that may strongly impact you.  When receiving a book in the mail, like Hannah, the feeling of opening it up, reading the back, and starting it is one that a digital print cannot bring.
     In Dustin's pamphlet, he talks about the easiness of downloading a book, how it will save thousands of trees, it will be cheaper than a huge expensive textbook simply needed for just one class, and how many people already own electronic devices.  His pamphlet truly persuaded me, not fully switching my opinion, but to accept his idea and highly consider it.
      Although I personally believe that books should remain to be sold in print rather than online/downloaded, I think that the digital essay persuaded me more.  I like how Dustin talked about how costly books can be and how they may only be read once or twice, because I find that particularly relevant to me unless it is a book that I really enjoy.  Both bring up strong points--Hannah on how many people cannot afford such technology and Dustin on how eco-friendly and convenient digital books would be.  Even though I am a fan of printed books, Dustin did open my eyes to the opposite opinion.  Sure, I do enjoy the convenience and simplicity of digital/downloaded books, but there is something about holding a book in your hand that cannot be expressed through an image. Not to say that I don't read books on my phone, but being able to flip through the pages of a book once you have finished and see all of the pages/words you have read is very gratifying.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ben Franklin

Dear Benjamin Franklin,
I really found that "Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America", was an interesting piece that I found lots of aspects that I agree with.  For example, I find it essential that people are able to understand that everyone has different opinions and idea on certain matters, and not to think less if someone's opinion does not match up with yours.  You write, "But you, who are wise, must know that different nations have different conceptions of things; and you will therefore not take it amiss, if our ideas of this kind of education happen not to be the same with yours."  I also personally enjoyed when you touched upon politeness, hospitality, and even common manners.  You write that many people do not have the politeness that the "savages" had, and although you wrote this in a different time period than I am reading this, I find it very relevant today.  I observe that some people are still filled with arrogance, ignorance, and their own self absorbance to even consider the manner in which they are acting.  You say, "It is mere civility".  To add to your point on ignorance, I like how you later write about the moral "do unto others as you wish to be done by" regarding curiosity.  All in all, I thought this was an excellent piece of writing that should be commonly read by all people, in the present as well as the future, because you provide good lessons to draw from.
Your second cousin,