poem still ring true today W r i t i n g
Please examine the following artifacts, which all depict alternative narratives to the American Dream of success and individual opportunity. These are artistic representations that speak back to the Coates and Aja articles we have read. Analyze each of the following:
- Examine: Image Gallery
- Read: Langston Hughes’ poem, “Democracy”
- Listen to: Kendrick Lamar “The Blacker the Berry” (Links to an external site.)
Please respond to all of the following questions by posting directly into the discussion board (do not upload an attachment).
1. Which of the images from the Image Gallery did you find most powerful? Why did this resonate with you? What message do you feel the artist is trying to convey? What emotions are evoked as you study the image? How does this image represent an alternative narrative to the American Dream?
2. In Langston Hughes’ poem (published in 1949), he writes, “I tire so of hearing people say, / Let things take their course. / Tomorrow is another day. / I do not need my freedom when I’m dead. / I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.” (Hughes, lines 10-14). What does he mean here? How does this resonate with our current state of race in America? Does his poem still ring true today? In what ways is he pushing back against the dominant ideologies of his time?
3. In Kendrick Lamar’s song “The Blacker the Berry,” he raps, “Church me with your fake prophesizing that I’ma be just another slave in my head. / Institutionalized manipulation and lies / Reciprocation of freedom only live in your eyes” (Lamar, stanza 3). Please interpret these lines– what does he mean by “fake prophesizing”? What “institutionalized manipulation and lies” is he referring to? Why is freedom not being reciprocated to the black community? How does this song connect to the Coates article?
4. Each of these artifacts (the image gallery, the Hughes poem, and the Lamar song) is working to demonstrate that the dominant and accepted narrative of individual success and equal opportunity is an incomplete story. How can this kind of art raise awareness about alternative narratives? How can they help complicate our perception of truth? In what ways are art and music perhaps more effective than texts in encouraging people to seek out and understand different stories?
**Note: You must post your initial response before seeing any of your classmates’ posts.**
Posting Requirements :
- Your post must be 300+ words and answer all questions listed above
- You must cite at least 2 articles– refer to both authors by name, integrate some kind of citation (either a direct quote or a paraphrase)
- You should not summarize the articles; instead focus on analyzing and responding to them.
Peer Response Requirements:
- Please respond to one of your group member’s initial posts, and then reply to one comment your group members left on your own post (I would encourage you to respond to any questions they posed and engage with their interpretations). You should post 2 replies total.
- Your replies should be 150+ words
- In your reply, (1) say hi and tell your peer what you liked about their post. What captured your attention? What did you find interesting or engaging? Be specific here and point to specific things they said. (2) Pose some questions and help them expand their thinking. Identify one or two specific things they said that you want to further discuss. How can you expand their ideas here? What other perspectives or ideas could they consider? Do you have a different interpretation of this issue or article? Why?
Discussion Board Rubric:
- 9-10 pts: Expresses a clear and thoughtful position on the issue of cultural narratives. Directly references the articles and cites them directly. Provides clear and detailed analysis of the articles, showing how both authors agree/disagree and how their own ideas fit within the context of the articles. Peer response is generous and follows all criteria.
- 7-8 pts: Expresses a position on the issue of cultural narratives, but needs more detailed language and analysis. References authors by name but does not deeply analyze– provides too much summary. Peer reply is complete.
- 5-6 pts: Language is vague and does not establish a clear position on the issue. Does not refer to either author, or only references them vaguely. Very limited analysis of the articles and/or issue. Peer reply is complete but lacks substance.
- 4 pts or under: Post is incomplete and does not meet criteria– missing a major component of the assignment. No peer response is provided.
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