Thursday, September 30, 2010

Post #2

    In the first song which was performed by Billie Holiday in 1939, she emphasizes on the harsh brutalities endured by African-Americans while living in the south. At this time and age, African-Americans, were victimized by whites specifically lynched, because of their race, color, and creed. The melody is more of an morbid sound which entails a black cloud looming over African-Americans as they fight for equality and justice. The setting or performance to me seems like it's being done in the North, at a club and in front of an African-American audience. I believe it's performed in the North because, maybe she's trying to raise awareness about the inhumane acts done by whites against African-Americans.
    In the second song performed by Bernice Johnson Reagon, the tone is more uplifting and gospel/spiritual like. I interpret this song as unison and equality between both African-Americans and whites, as it is performed alongside two white people. A song like this would probably be performed at church or at a college campus to show that whites and African-Americans can coincide with each other.
    "If You Miss from the Back of the Bus" performed by the S.N.C.C.(Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) Freedom Singers also has a uptempo and uplifting type of sound. To me it's a mixture of both swing and R&B with poignant lyrics about the boycott that took place in Montgomery, Alabama. The performance is being done at a church and can also be performed at protest rallies and college campuses.  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Eyes on the Prize

     "Eyes on the Prize" is a documentary series broadcasting the African-American Civil Rights Movement which entails, human stories of the movement for social change in the words of both famous and less-known participants. Since the documentary was completed, a number of key figures who appear in the film (including George Wallace, Ralph Abernathy, and Kwame Ture, also known as Stokely Carmichael) have died, making this record of their testimony all the more valuable.
     The two critical parts behind the driving force of the Civil Rights Movement was winning the case of, Brown vs. Board of Education and the brutal killing of Emmett Till. Before the case of Brown vs. Board of Education, schools throughout the all nation were segregated due to the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision of 1896 which permitted segregation. The victory of Brown vs. Board of Education was one element that accelerated the Civil Rights Movement.
     The brutal killing of Emmett Till was an important aspect to the Civil Rights Movements as well. Emmett Till was a 14 year old boy from the Chicago (The North) who traveled down to Mississippi to visit his family. During his visit, Emmett had went to a grocery store with his cousins and allegedly flirted with the store owners' wife whom was white. This lead to Emmett's kidnapping and unfortunate death to hands of Roy Bryant and half brother J.W. Milam. Emmett's Mother, Mammie Till Bradley, refused a burial and decided to have an open casket funeral to showcase the inhumane acts displayed by white men against African-Americans. The two men were found innocent in front of a all whit jury within 67 minutes of the trial. This uncivilized act raised awareness throughout the nation amongst African-Americans and it lead to the full throttle of the movement.
     I will like to learn more about the struggles and how the Civil Rights Movement lead us to having an African-American President. I want to learn about S.N.C.C. and the Black Panther Party and key figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Stokely Carmichael. I'm intrigued about this course and I will be delighted if you can teach me about the struggles that we minorities have faced throughout the years of our existence.