Hack #5

Karin L. Stanford in the article, “Keepin It Real in Hip Hop Politics,” and Gwendolyn D. Pough in her book, Seeds and Legacies: Tapping the Potential in Hip-Hop, both discuss the powerful effect that Hip-Hop music had on the African American community. Tupac Shakur, specifically had a major role in influencing the youth and black community by expressing racial tensions, inequality, and discrimination in his lyrics in his song “Words of Wisdom.”

Stanford stressed that “Tupac Shakur was important to the hip hop community and urban youth, not only because of his lyrical style or musical contributions. Tupac became their political advocate, educator, and motivator” (Stanford 20). Stanford also quotes Professor Michael Eric Dyson in his book, Holler If You Hear Me, by asserting that rapper “Tupac’s appeal rested on the ‘divide in his mind and soul between his revolutionary pedigree and thug persona’ (p. 14), which aptly explains why individuals and groups, especially those from urban disadvantaged communities, could identify with both sides of the the slain rapper” (Stanford 4).

Tupac Shakur was involved with Black Nationalist ideas and included his ideas into his lyrics. In his song he says “the problem is the troublesome black youth of the ghetto’s” which shows that Tupac discusses the discrimination and hardships that the black community has to face. He acknowledges the “subordination of African people and the sacrifices of Black political prisoners and rejects patriotic symbols” (Stanford 6).

Stanford claimed that “undoubtedly, Tupac, like the BPP, had a dichotomous view of thugs. They were a class of potential warriors who could fight for their community, but if not organized appropriately, they could also destroy the race” (Stanford 17). Tupac’s lyrics, “When I say ‘nigga,’ it is not the nigga we have grown to fear, It is not the nigga we say as if it has no meaning, But to me it means Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished,” which shows that he is encouraging his community to show society that the African American community can overcome their difficulties and better themselves in a positive way.

Some people even believed that Tupac would become the next great Black Leader. Pough asserted that while Tupac “can be viewed as a physical embodiment of the connection between Hip-Hop and the Black Movement, [Tupac] can also be viewed as an example of the untapped potential and unfulfilled legacy in rap music” (Pough 287).

SONG: “Words of Wisdom” – Tupac Shakur

 

Photo Source: https://imperfectlyb.com/2017/06/14/words-of-wisdom-tupacs-top-10-rules-of-success/

Sources:

Pough, Gwendolyn D. Seeds and Legacies: Tapping the Potential in Hip-Hop. https://blackboard.sdsu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-4113643-dt-content-rid-82662271_1/courses/HUM370-01-Summer2018/Seeds%20and%20Legacies.pdf

Shakur, Tupac. “Words of Wisdom.” https://genius.com/2pac-words-of-wisdom-lyrics

Stanford, Karin L. Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 42, No. 1 (JANUARY 2011), pp. 3-22. https://blackboard.sdsu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-4113640-dt-content-rid-82662268_1/courses/HUM370-01-Summer2018/Keepin%27%20It%20Real%20in%20Hip%20Hop.pdf

Hack #4

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The song, “Give Peace a Chance,”  was written by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band on May 31, 1969 while John Lennon  and Yoko Ono stayed in bed for eight straight days in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in order to promote peace. The song was the anthem for the anti-vietnam war movement because a majority of the citizens of America felt like American troops should not be involved and fighting in Vietnam and that the American government should send the troops back home. “Give Peace a Chance” was often sang in masses during many anti-war protest movements including the Moratorium to End War in Vietnam on October 15, 1969 and another anti-war protest in front of the White House in November 1969.

Throughout the song, Lennon repeats the verse “all we are saying is give peace a chance” to encourage his listeners to choose the moral thing to do by sending the American troops home from the Vietnam war. The lyrics also repeat “everybody’s talking about” to show that the topic of war is what is on everybody’s mind at the time. Lennon says “Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism; This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism” to make the point that it does not matter what religion or culture a person is because the thing that matters is how people are treated. He makes the point through his lyrics that everybody should be showing peace and love towards one another rather than hate and violence.

Link to the song “Give Peace a Chance” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkZC7sqImaM

Sources:

http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=1111

https://genius.com/John-lennon-give-peace-a-chance-lyrics

Hack #3

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The Washington Redskins football team logo from around the 1960s to present.

(Source: https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/washington-redskins-name-controversy)

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A Sioux Indian with a traditional headdress worn exclusively by chiefs and warriors. Time and photographer unknown.

(Source: http://www.indians.org/articles/indian-headdress.html)

The football team, Washington Redskins, are one example of many teams, including our own school, that appropriate Native Americans by using them as mascots. Of course fans do not believe that they are appropriating the race, because fans view it as honoring the Native Americans. However, many Natives find Native mascots as racist and discriminatory and even view the term “redskins” as a racial slur. Deborah Root in “Cannibal Culture: Art, Appropriation, & the Commodification of Difference,” asserts that “appropriation occurs because cultural differences can be bought and sold in the marketplace” which is what Washington’s football team does by selling jerseys, flags, and other keepsakes and receiving a profit by using the mascot (Root, 68). Appropriation is the act of taking something that belongs to a group, without their permission, and claiming that it is theirs. Appropriation is theft because the people whom the material is taken from is not consulted about it first and the primary motivation of the person taking the material is financial purposes which can be seen in this situation.

Unfortunately, the Native Americans are such  a small group that their fight to gain equality is often not heard or recognized. The feathers that can be seen in the Washington football team’s mascot is symbolic and ceremonial to the Sioux tribe, as well as other tribes. For the tribes, the feathers represent an act that the tribe thought was brave so the feathers had to be earned. However, we can see many football fans that dress up in indian attire, wearing feathers in their hair despite knowing what it represents.

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(Source: http://www.mymcmedia.org/redskins-fan-dresses-up-for-games-photos/)

Being a fellow Aztec student that has pride in our school, I have also contributed to the appropriation of Native American mascots by purchasing shirts and sweaters with the Aztec logo on it. We buy these items because we are proud to be getting an education and we want to support our football and athletic teams. I believe that we do not intentionally appropriating the Native Americans and we believe that we are honoring them, however, Natives may have a different view. Whether or not all Natives feel the same way, we should take into consideration the ones who do feel appropriated, just because it is the right thing to do.

 

Source:

Root, Deborah. “Cannibal Culture: Art, Appropriation, & the Commodification of Difference” 1996. 

Early American Cinema Project – Nosferatu

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The German film from 1922 that came to the U.S. in 1929, “Nosferatu ”, directed by F.W. Murnau, produced by Enrico Dieckmann and Albin Grau (also known as Prana Film), and screen written by Henrik Galeen, shows women as passive and frail victims because of the weak gestures, little dialogue, and idea that women must be protected and watched over. The movie showed Max Schreck as Count Orlok, Gustav von Wangenheim as Hutter, Greta Schroeder as Ellen, Georg H. Schnell as Harding, Ruth Landshoff as Ruth, Gustav Botz as Professor Sievers, Alexander Granach as Knock, and John Gottowt as Professor Bulwer.

Nosferatu was based on the novel, “Dracula,” written by Bram Stoker which was a folklore about vampires. In 1916, while serving in Serbia during World War I, producer Albin Grau spoke with local farmers about the lore – vampires- and set off to create a movie about it. The team of the film, “Nosferatu”, did not have a license for the adaptation of the novel, Dracula,  because Stoker’s widow, Florence Stoker, refused to sell him the rights, but that did not stop Albin Grau from wanting to produce the film anyways. To attempt to avoid a lawsuit, there were several changes implemented in the film. However, a few changes were not enough because the film was sued for infringement and the court ordered all copies of Nosferatu to be destroyed.  Luckily, one copy was saved and made its way to the United States. By the time it got there, the film was able to be viewed since Dracula was already in the public domain there.The film slowly made an audience and was considered a horror film classic by the 1960s.

The film did not win any awards when it was released however it did win an award and was nominated twice in the 21st century. It was nominated for the Saturn Award for the Best DVD/Blu-Ray Special Edition Release by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films in 2014, nominated for Restoration of the Year by the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards in 2002, and won the OFTA Film Hall of Fame for Motion Picture by the Online Film & Television Association in 2010 (“Awards”). “Nosferatu” had such a huge impact that the film was able to set the template and rules for other films to follow and even changed some of the lore of vampires.

The film, although a silent film, included mostly men and a few women, however only one women had lines. The women were depicted as frail victims. When Hutter leaves for business, he leaves his wife, Ellen, to be watched by his neighbors as if she needed to protected and watched over by a man. Also, according to the “legend” in the film, the only way to defeat a vampire was the blood of a woman sacrifice which characterizes females as innocent and frail victims. The women also had gestures that made them seem passive and weak. For example, whenever a woman was in distress she would fall in the arms of a strong man.

Taylor Bridges in the History 110 WordPress group, mentioned that there was a book, The Feminine Mystique, that was a “critical look into the lives of women in the 1920s. Betty Friedan, the author, wanted to discover why women were so dissatisfied despite their seemingly ideal lifestyles. She concluded that women wanted their own identity, not just the one that comes as a pair with her husband’s, and that the way to do this was to have a career ” (Bridges). Bridges also asserted that the book “taught women that they could be their own person with their own identity all to themselves. Because of this, more and more women began to notice other ways in which they were treated unfairly in society and decided to fight for their rights” (Bridges).  

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Although the film industry allowed upward mobility for women by providing them a job and a chance of independence, Karen Sternheimer claims that “rather than providing a singular message about women’s mobility, celebrity stories reflect conflicting ideas about women: at some times promoting their independence—particularly during World War II—and at other times emphasizing more traditional roles, as many stories did after the war ended” (Sternheimer 4).

Although the book, “Dracula” was written in 1897, the movie “Nosferatu” had some changes (that were mostly made to avoid lawsuit) which could also relate to the historical events that were occuring at the time such as World War I and the tough life of the working class. The sucking of blood represents capitalism such that the elite are sucking the life out of the working class. Sternheimer asserts that “not only were working-class immigrants the first movie patrons, but early films frequently featured pro-labor themes that pitted the underdog against the stuffy elite, and included themes frequently sympathetic to the plight of workers” (Sternheimer 34). Life was hard for the working class in the early 20th century because more than half of the population lived in poverty, the majority of the people did not have the education that they needed, food was scarce, and a lot of families relied on their children to help with the household income to survive. The dreaded idea of the “plague” in the film is also symbolic of the anxieties that the people may have had of the spread of the war. Life was already hard for the people and the war put an extra burden and hardship on them. The people wanted the war to be over and they feared that the spread of the war would make it last longer.

The film, “Nosferatu,” is a classic horror film that gave its own adaptations of the vampire folklore, “Dracula,” in which the differences can still be seen today in modern vampires. The film was a representative of its time by expressing the symbolism of the anxieties of the working class and fear of the spread of war, as well as producing the stereotype of a frail women in distress.

 

Photo Sources in order:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCT1YUtNOA8

https://www.wallofcelebrities.com/celebrity/greta-schroder/pictures/greta-schroder_1053723.html

References

“Awards.” IMDb, IMDb.com, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0013442/awards.

Bailey, Jonathan. “Dracula vs. Nosferatu: A True Copyright Horror Story.” Plagiarism

          Today, Plagiarism Today, 17 Oct. 2011, http://www.plagiarismtoday.com. 

Bridges, Taylor. “The Feminine Mystique.” HIST 110 Section 1 Group 4, WordPress , 22                  Apr. 2015, hist110section1group4.wordpress.com/page/1/.

F.W. Murnau, Prana Film , and Henrick Galeen . “Nosferatu.” Kanopy ,

          sdsu.kanopy.com/video/nosferatu-0.

Sternheimer, Karen. Celebrity Culture and the American Dream: Stardom and Mobility.

          Routledge, 2015.

Hack #2: Film Bodies

The movie, “Charade,” shows gender differences because it shows men as dominant and women as passive. In the beginning of the movie, Regina, played by Audrey Hepburn, says that she is divorcing her husband because she does not love him. Her friend, Sylvie, told her to not divorce her rich husband and to not care if they do not love each other. This shows that women depended on men for income rather than love and that men were the providers and protectors. Her friend even made a statement that it was surprising that Regina’s divorce has not turned her fat, inferring that women have a beauty standard that had to be upheld and that being “fat” is a negative thing.

Regina was often seen as a “damsel in distress” who needed a man’s help to save her from multiple men trying to get $250,000 that was stolen from the American government by her late husband. She was an innocent woman who had no idea about her late husband’s wealth or occupation and she even trusted a man that she just met while on vacation which makes her character seem weak and gullible. She would not fight back the men, despite them trying to attack her; she would just run away and yell for her love interest to solve her problems. The movie portrayed the men as strong, dominant, and assertive while the women were seen as innocent, weak, and obsessed with marriage.

However, I do believe that Regina was a more of a powerful female character during this time period when the movie was released. Her character cleverly tricked several men when they were chasing after her and she was also able to verbally hold her own and strike back at the men with feisty comebacks.Regina would also assert herself on her love interest by making the first move to kiss him. Linda Williams asserts that “there is a strong mixture of passivity and activity, and a bisexual oscillation between the poles of each” in melodramatic films which is shown by Regina’s character, a passive yet dominant role. The “female” body was not sexualized in this movie and it was not sensationalized either. All the characters dressed modest and there were not any dialogue that discussed any person’s body, male or female.

Title of Movie: Charade

Director: Stanley Donen

Date of Release: 1963

Actor: Audrey Hepburn
Source: Williams, Linda. Film Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Excess. Film Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 4 (Summer, 1991), pp. 2-13.

Picture source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/337558934555084181/

#Charade #gender #AudreyHepburn #film

“Othered” in the Circus

The circus was a fun place for families and people to visit to get entertainment and memories to last a lifetime. However, not all people benefited from the entertainment that the circus had to offer. The American Indians were “othered” in the circus because they were discriminated against due to their race. In the article, Encountering The Other, the author asserted that “American intellectuals tended to focus and project most of those negative qualities on a single social group,” that being the American Indians (66). American Indians were viewed as savages because of their culture, because their culture was seen as simple and primitive in comparison to the American’s “civilized” culture. In Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, Buffalo Bill Cody showed many misinterpretations of the American Indians that affected the way that people, such as the British, viewed American Indians. I believe that we can still see elements of belittling some sort of group for entertainment in our culture today, however, I believe that more people are aware of the issues of poking fun of someone that is different from societal norms due to the access of the internet and social media.