Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hip-Hop, Mass Media Talking Points # 7

I was assigned to read Part 1 of Jared Ball's article.

On the first page of "Hip-Hop, Mass Media and 21st Century Colonization", Jared Ball speaks of Hip-Hop as improperly portraying a "Black America" as a form of colonization. Ball says that there are three main components to this internal "colony":

1. Black people remain in spatially distinct communities such as neighborhoods or projects.

2. Within these projects, the Black population form the basis of America's cheap labor.

3. Raw materials which include cultural expression and specifically Hip-Hop.

The above-mentioned three tenets of this "Black America," as Ball puts it, is a way of intentionally creating conditions of poverty and desperation that Hip-Hop tends to glorify through its own sub-culture.

So, how does this all relate to me, a 32 year-old white male? Well, I've been a teacher in Providence for the past four years and I really like (sometimes Love) what I do and whom I teach. Prior to this year, I had taught at Oliver Hazard Perry Middle School which is directly across from "The Hartford Projects" on Hartford Avenue. The school was nearly 80 years old and the caliber of students and parents whom I dealt with were definitely on the poorer side. The reason I mention this is because Perry closed this past year and some of the students who would have returned to Perry were transferred over to DelSesto Middle School, as was I. The amazing thing is that DelSesto is less than one mile down Hartford Ave, but it is on the Johnston line rather than the Projects end and believe it or not, that makes a big difference in the student population. Even though some of the same kids from Perry are at DelSesto, it's an entirely different atmosphere- it's "NOT AS POOR." The question is, "Why?" I've pondered the reasons and have even conversed about it with fellow teachers who also made the trek from Perry to DelSesto with me, and we've arrived at a couple of possibilites:

1. Newer School
2. Closer to Johnston= closer to affluence
3. Away from "The Projects"

So, now that I have read a little bit about Hip-Hop and Ball's take on it, it seems a little clearer that it may be a combination of #'s 2 and 3?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Talking Points 6: Glee

Hey everyone, I just got my laptop back. Had to bring it to Best Buy this Saturday (it had a virus). No excuses though, right?

Anyway, I only watched the "Never Been Kissed" episode of Glee and even though it is definitely not the show for me, I do see many examples of SCHWAMP in the episode. The Juvenile Hall Jock wheeling the "cripple" down the hallway. The Bully Slamming the Gay person into the lockers. The majority of the cast is white. The Males as the dominant sex hunting for the woman to "Give it up." Another show that did a great job depicting every issue imaginable for teens and beyond was Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000).

I'll try to watch more, but I wish I checked out these episodes earlier in the vacation- I would've been able to analyze more. Sorry.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Digital Life

Hey guys,

Here's my Digital Life. HUGE thanks to Blue for helping me save my pics to my computer. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!