Monday, October 18, 2010


I am very please with the topic of the term Paper. It gives us freedom to chose and be creative and at the same time it gives us enough structure for us to stay on track. There are so many great works of political art/ Protests to choose from that am a lil’ lost. I do have some things in mind but I have not made a final decision. The following are not in any particular order.
The famous photograph, portrait of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, is in it self a symbol of revolution. Many people don’t know or don’t agree with the his position and role in the Cuban Revolution. One thing is clear, this iconic image is known across the world and it is exploited for profit. Every one knows some one with a painting or illustration, a t-shirt or a hat, a poster or a flag. It has even been the victim of many parodies. This photograph was very much like the blue and red Obama poster by Shepard Fairey (which also could be a topic). Che’s ideal for the Americas was that of unity so I know he would be happy about people coming together because of his image but I don’t know how he would fell about the real meaning of his work getting lost in a now commercial image.
Other possibilities that I think can be great topics are the songs by Nina Simone; Pirate Jenny, Four women and the song that we heard in class Mississippi goddam (but the original version, much more powerful that the one we heard). They all express a sentiment shared by many even to this day, even the oppressed across the world I think can relate to the sense of urgency and need for a way out. I love me some Nina music.
I was thinking about the painting by Picasso “Guernica” but I don’t think I’ll do that one though the painting is amazing I don’t know if it was part of a movement or if it had political impact. Something new that comes to mind is how some painters in the renaissance painted subliminal messages in their works because the subject of all the paintings then (in the west) were religious or portraits of rich people. In the time of the renaissance, Church and state one so religious was political. I just need to come up with a specific example but that would be nice too.
This brainstorming for this project feels to me like looking up in the sky in a clear night. the longer u stare, 

more stars become visible to the eye. Its actually kind of fun. It think I know which one ill do, but is too early 

to say. I welcome advise. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nina Simone

            Born in 1933 in North Carolina, Nina Simone is known as the "Priestess of Soul". Nina Simone was a Talented and passionate woman and that is evident by her music. Nina Simone wrote many songs in response the violence. Unlike MLK, she advocated a violent revolution, clearly represented by her song “ Pirate Jenny
In 1964 as a response to a church bombing that took the life of children and the murder of  M. Evens, an African American civil rights activist from Mississippi who was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery after being assassinated by Ku Klux Klan member. Nina Simone released a single that was boycotted in many southern states the song was called "Mississippi Goddam". Opposite to “Strange fruit” famously preformed by Billy Holiday and other similar songs, Mississippi Goddam went straight to the point. The song begins with she letting the listener know she means every word of it. The song sounds like the head lines for the new. New that where hidden or sugar coated or excused by the media.
“Hound dogs on my trail
School children sitting in jail
Black cat cross my path
I think every day's gonna be my last”
“Picket lines
School boycotts
They try to say it's a communist plot
All I want is equality
for my sister my brother my people and me”
 Nina Simone told it like she saw it and how she felt it.
“Alabama's gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam”
            She also mentioned the frustration about the progress of the movement and identifies some problems.
“But that's just the trouble
"do it slow"
Washing the windows
"do it slow"
Picking the cotton
"do it slow"
You're just plain rotten
"do it slow"
You're too damn lazy
"do it slow"
The thinking's crazy
"do it slow"
Where am I going
What am I doing
I don't know
I don't know”
            In my opinion, the song speaks for its self.
Nina Simone lived abroad for many years in fact she died 2002 in the south of France.


Post # 2 "Myths"

            Reed, The author of "Singing Civil Rights: The Freedom Song Tradition," speaks of 'myths' that in his opinion are popular misconceptions about the movement. It is not always conducive to believe or agree with someone’s opinion without doing digging deeper. In the case of the following “myths”, I agree.

            One of the myths mentioned in "Singing Civil Rights” is that the role of woman in the success and/or effectiveness of the civil rights movements. According to the reading, Reed, thinks that woman don’t get the credit they deserve for their contributions. Dorothy  Heightv, Shirley Chisholm, Fannie Lou Hamer, Daisy Bates, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King amongst many many others.

            Directly connected to the first myth and a myth, not by accident or by popular demand. Many people believe that Dr. Martin Luther King was the one and only mastermind of the movement they believed that it began and ended with him. As we saw in the documentary the eyes on the prize, 26 year old MLK  was asked to lead the protest against bus segregation. In his response he said that if there was no one else to do it he would do it. Clearly there was a movement all ready since he was asked to help. I can only name a few names of people and organizations that steamed the movement. Even before there was a movement countless individuals lost their lives standing up for what today we call civil rights.
The ugly truth about this myth, the root of this “ignorance” is no accident. portraying King as the only champion of the civil right movement, hides the true horrors and suffering inflicted by the institutionalization of hate. In high schools around the country, students are taught the glory of this country by hiding the ugly mistakes to inspire a

            Superficial sense of  pride in its population from young. Pride is good, but it should come form understanding of the evolution of the nation. MLK name should definitely be celebrated along many others champions of the movement. If the understanding of what really went on, the reason why great leaders like him where forced to rise is not there, then we are not really honoring them the right way.