Friday, June 02, 2006

Another Article about Black Men

Today when I was trying to think what else can I write about and I was looking on the home page of MSN.com and saw the headline Being a Black Man. Immediatly I thought here we go again someone felt the need to tell America what its like being a black man in America again. After coming across the other article yesterday I'm thinking to myself how many ways can someone put how likely black men are at dropping out of this or dying of that. As I was reading the article I was thinking to myself do people really care what its like being Black in America? Washington Post says it will write stories on black men in the coming paper on Sunday but what happens after the person reads the paper? I wonder if writing these stories will do produce any type of actions such as black men taking care of responsiblities. I love to read the articles and see anything that has to do with black people doing positive things because we are shown the negative more than the positive. One man quoted in the article stated that, "Some young men think success is 20-inch rims, flat-screen TV." I agree with him because we are feed that materialistic mentality through music videos and rap music itself. I remember when my girlfriends and I were a little younger than we are now maybe around the age 22 or 23 we would always say that we are getting tired of meeting guys who want to be rappers. At the time I just thought it was just a waste because they wanted to rap about nothing except women, sex and cars. I guess at the time and still now we say that there is more to life than rapping and fast money.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13090896/

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Quote from a story

In one of the articles on your post about the disappearing black men in the workplace one quote I saw made me think. I believe it was the one about black men being sentenced for ridiculous offensives I believe. I read a story about two months ago in the DMN about a black man who committed a trivial crime while he was a teenager. The judge let him out on parole but advised him that if he appeared in his courtroom again he will won't be so nice. Long story short the man ended up back in his courtroom for violating parole for smoking marijuana. This same judge presided over a case for a white man whose family is prominent in the community and the state of Texas. The judge has let the white man go on several occasions and I believe is now free even though he killed some one. I am giving you bits and pieces of what I can remember but what it all boils down to is the black man could have been let off on parole instead he is serving time for a long time just for a failing a drug test. The difference between the two men is color,crime and money.

Media Coverage

I came across an article written on March 31, 2006 about Media Bias. The article was intianally about an article in the New York Times about Black men. The article by Armstrong Williams provided statisics that maybe NYT didn't want to include in theirs. I like what Mr. Williams said in regards to the statistics that aren't reported in todays news programs when giving statistics on Black men or Black people in general. At one point during the last three months I was so tired of watching the news because literally everyday I was seeing a young black male on the news about some crime they committed. I was thinking to myself I know that black men are not the only ones committing crimes where are the positive stories about black men? http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/3/30/140755.shtml

Speakers

I enjoyed the two speakers we had yesterday. It was very interesting to see how they have worked in the industry for so long and are able to balance family life as well. It was very interesting to see that they were able to transition all the traveling and maintain marriage life as well. I hope to see the design show in the future.

Class

I really enjoyed class it was pretty much an eye opener to everyday situations that I take for granted. I never really challenged myself which is bad on my part for not questioning the things I consume. I take part in every since of the word for taking what is told to me as the truth. I watched the news and didn't question it. I read the advertisments and questioned myself and started to compare myself to images I saw in videos because I thought they were right. Eventually I started to listen to songs critcally watching the girls and see how they acted in videos and thought this isn't right. The music I like which is rap and r&b mostly I am now deciding if I want to even listen to rap music anymore. I am questioning it because of the lyrical content and how it portrays black people and people in general. I heard Oprah say that she went to some town in Africa and she said some young men walked up to her and said,"What's up nigger," or something like that. What also doesn't help is the portrayal of women and how some rap musicians treat women as objects. I'm not helping the situation if I continue to listen to the same music that is also harming me as a black woman.

Bamboozled

I had already seen the movie Bamboozled maybe 4 or 5 years ago but I never really thought about beyond what I saw onscreen. I like the movie because in some parts it shows the truth to what probably goes on and maybe it exaggerated some things. I think overall Spike Lee only wanted to get people to think for a minute. The song and dance routine reminds me of some musicians. For instance I asked my brother why rappers like Common, Mos Def, and The Roots don’t have the same commercial success as Jay-Z, 50 cent, and The Game he of course had no answer. When it all comes down to the end of the day I think they all just want to get their money just like Man Ray and Sleep N Eat. I would like to see more movies like this about all types of issues and cultures so that people can really see what goes on because I think we are sometimes afraid to see the truth.

Gay Black Men

When we were talking about Gay males I didn’t see that many Black men. This brings up the point that my friends and I sometimes discuss that it’s still kind of a Taboo subject for African Americans. I remember watching an episode of the Real World and a black male who appeared to be straight and long story short he wasn’t. I remember talking with some friends and we were all in accordance that there goes another brother. When the book came out about men on the down low my friends and I were all in shock about this new phenomenon. People are starting to accept the gay and lesbian community I don’t think it is in the African American community as in some other communities. I know that I haven’t come to accept seeing gay black males. In my opinion I just don’t think its right for biblical reasons.

When your down get up!!!!!!

Tonight I couldn't help my addiction to the Dallas Mavericks, I had to personally witness Dirk score 50 points to lead the way onto the finals. Even though I should have been doing these posts I had to watch and get emotionally involved in the game. Calling my friends to ask, "Did you see that play?" Sometimes getting voicemails on some calls it was just nice to converse with friends and get caught up in the moment. What I am getting at I guess since I am just rambling is that I watched the last game and thought that the Mavericks were lost they were just not in the game. Tonight the Mavericks resurrected themselves to getting one step closer to the NBA finals. In life something are just a game or just one shot. I have played the game of life as if I had 12 lives. I wish but I have had some instances were I had been down about things but I got up. Overall, I liked the determination that Dirk possessed in himself to comeback from scoring 11 points one night to 50 the next sometimes I wished I could share that same determination about school.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Music Videos

When we were assigned reading in class I was kind of excited not because of the assignment but I wanted to see what others felt about music videos. I have to say that I was one of those girls who would say , "Hey girl did you see the new so and so video?" My friends and I would be excited to see our favorite artist new video on the 106 and Park countdown on BET or on MTV. It was more to see what they had on and what they looked like. Videos were more like a trendsetter of new dress styles, hairstyles and the newest dance moves . When I was younger I never put two and two together that the videos were degrading women. The very first video that comes to my mind when I look back is, Rumpshaker where the women are dressed in next to nothing clothing bathing suits, short shorts , and cut off shirts. I haven't seen the video in awhile so I'm going off of memory but the women of course were the objects in the video and I'm sure they were in provocative poses and subjected to being sexual objects. On the other side of the coin you have these songs titles where the object of the song has do with woman and some part of her body. So sometimes when the artist has to come out with a video as part of the advertisement with the end result being a woman dressed a certain way and playing a role and being submissive.At what point do we look at the title of the song as a factor in the video? What role does if any does a title have to do with the concept of the video? That was in the early '90's fastfoward to today 2006 and I watched a video by rapper Nelly called Grillz. Grillz are gold or platium diamond encrusted teeth that some rappers get custom made. In one particular scene in the video Nelly starts off the video walking down a hallway with a young lady dress in tight white shorts that are similar to swimming trunks and and a cut off shirt baring her middriff. Keep in mind the song again is essentially about Grillz so the six or so girls in the video dancing and catering to the men have nothing to do with the song. This video goes along with the description in the book about the portrayal of girls in videos. Nelly has been subjected to protests at some concerts in Arkansas and Atlanta because of the misogny of black women in his videos. The content of many videos shown on BET contain women in barely there clothes, laying on a bed, grinding and rarely seen in a powerful role. The videos are filled with so much sexual content that at one point they had an Uncut verison of videos. The Uncut videos were shown late at night mostly during the time when all the Girls Gone Wild commericals are on and the videos are almost one step off from a pornographic video. BET no longer shows Uncut everyday. What I do notice in the videos is that young girls take cues from these videos and aspire to be like the girls in the videos because they see this as being glamourous.

Web Links:
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1264/is_2_36/ai_n13785339/print

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1264/is_9_35/ai_n8582833/print

Jessica Lynch vs.Shoshana Johnson and who were the men?

Initially when I did a Google search of Jessica Lynch the results that appeared described Jessica as the, All-American Icon of the war and an American hero. Jessica has a whole site dedicated to all the stories written about her. In the following link the author of this piece John Kampfner (UK), describes the US media as being too vague and the American approach skims over the details. http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,4669035-103550,00.htmlWhich I feel like looking back the media took the story and ran with it. The only face on local news, cable and national news was Jessica Lynch everybody knows who she is. As we discussed in class and like most articles states she is that "All-American girl" which is always white, blonde, and wholesome looking. When I Googled Shoshana Johnson articles that come are Spc. Johnson, nothing describes her as the All-American girl or hero. Shoshana doesn't have any Time articles that popped up automatically, she is not described as a hero instead we find her story in the Black media. Going a little deeper the media could have described Shoshana as the first black woman POW or single mother looking for a way to make money. I didn't see any catchy headlines or sensational ones to describe Shoshana compared to Jessica. http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1264/is_11_34/ai_113645837#continue
This to me is all apart of the media agenda setting theory. The media puts it out there and we go with it. Unless a person is media literate and can decide for themselves to know what is being fed to them at face value then people will believe it. The media and the officials painted Jessica as the face of the war because that is what they needed to take away the negative attention the war was receiving. The media and the officials did not inform the public of the facts of the rescue instead they focused on one person, one story. After doing a little searching nothing to deep I would have liked to see the media present in a factual way including true accurate details of Jessica's rescue and the people who were missing and their stories. Why didn't the other POW's get made for TV movies, books and the fame. Their stories I'm sure have the some sort of human interest as well.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I'm a closet shopper

Yesterday in class when we talking about shopping I really wanted to raise my and say I'm that girl you guys are talking about. I am one of the girls that Kanye West was referring to in one of his songs on College Dropout, single black female addicted to retail. I bought so many things that I didn't need growing up in my earlier twenties that now I wish I didn't have and now I am paying the price. Shopping sometimes for me is a therapy its not to say I have this thing first or that. I think that the media does have some influence on the things I have bought but it is not everything. To be continued...