race

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Imagery over romantic love in Astrophil and Stella I

Published December 2, 2015 by lorijss

Imagery over romantic love in Astrophil and Stella I

Many people struggle with expressing their feelings for others. In Astrophil and Stella Sonnet 1 Sidney does just that with a lover, struggle. He starts to declare how he has been trying to find the right words that would make his poem have an impact on its recipient. Unfortunately for him, this woman doesn’t give him the time of day so he is stuck with his imagination rather than any expression of romantic interaction. Incapable of writing a poem about his professed love for this woman, he does however, successfully uses succinct imagery to express how difficult it is for romantic words to come out unto the paper.
There are multiple ways to interpret some of the image-laden lines. Most notably the line “I sought fit words, to paint the blackest face of woe” where he starts to declare how he has been trying to find the right words that would make his poem have an impact on its recipient. He wants something that will arouse pity from his lover in order to get her attention. He hopes that this attention in the form of pity will transform into returned love. “The blackest face of woe” can be interpreted racially by an African American reader. If taken literally posits that to have a black face is to be in misery. It can even be seen as racist; as a woe is a thing that causes trouble and distress implying to be black is to cause trouble. The other meaning is that Sidney simply sees himself as the most depressed and sorrowful person on the face of the earth.
Sidney paints a vivid picture of the condition of his mind during writer’s block. Another densely packed imagery line is, “Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburn’d brain,” is that gives the reader an idea that he is in pain, trying to force something from his head, rubbing two sticks together to create fire. The only problem is that he ends up sunburn’d. Now he would like something fresh and original, fruitful as in mindblowing and profound stemming from a shower of inspiration. There is a world wind going on inside of him that he wants to unleash but feels week, saying he is “great with child to speak and helpless in my throes.” This metaphorical imagery lets us know that he wants to lets the words out but is unable to. He empathizes with a woman late in pregnancy who cannot wait for the birth of the baby and who experiences intense pain and struggle in childbirth. “By biting [his] truant pen,” televises it in one’s mind not only that he is biting his pen but that he’s truant like an absent student who is not where he needs to be when he needs to be in school. Finally the writer is on to something, he begins to think that there is something he is not doing, somewhere he is not going.
The most powerful line of the poem is the very last one that is introduced through, “beating myself for spite,” where he blames himself. It is this self-flagellation that incites his Muse to say immediately after, “Fool, look in thy heart and write.” It would appear that this might have been more captivating if his Muse yelled this instead; if Sidney had put an exclamation point to indicate strong feelings. Upon first read it would appear that he comes out of nowhere with that command of writing from the heart, but a closer encounter shows that he beats it out of himself. One sees how closely beating is related to the heart. He is possibly subconsciously aware of his heartbeating. His muse tugs at his heartstring urging him to look within. Hence a firm statement can be just as resounding and emphatic as an indication of strong feelings. The ultimate line also vibrates (resonate, continue to cause the preceding lines to be heard) the preceding lines: blackest face of woe, great with child, and sunburnt brain, allowing underlying cohesive depth to the poem. These are examples of successfully crafted imagery. Behold, Sidney completed an imaginative poem even though it isn’t particularly the romantic-love one he set out to do in the beginning.

Works Cited
Philip Sidney. “From Astrophil and Stella I.” The Norton Anthology English Literature: 8th ed. Vol. 1. Greenblatt, Stephen, General Editor. New York: Norton, 2012. 1084-1085. Print.

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An African American Jamaican Explication of London by William Blake

Published November 28, 2015 by lorijss

An African Jamaican Explication of London by William Blake

Cities are notorious for insinuating dark and dreary emotions from internal corruption and oppression. London by William Blake paints a dark portrait of London as a city in desolation. Even though he may be writing about the environment at present, the depressing imagery of the poem can be applied to not only London but just about any corrupt city in the world. Not only is this poem a depiction of his time in London but a premonition of what’s to come. Repetition and juxtaposition are the most powerful devices that Blake uses as through this he is able to paint that haunting and sorrowful picture of gloom in every stanza. This in turn adds to the poem’s universality towards human suffering.
Repetition is at its strongest when he is repeating not necessarily words but dark emotions:
In every cry of every man
In every Infant’s cry of fear
In every voice, in every ban
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear: (5-8)
Here Blake is emphasizing the intricate reasons for every expression of grief. I think the repetition of ending sounds in words at the end of each line such as “Man” and” ban,” “fear” and “hear” represents the crying calls to be heard or for social consciousness.. “The mind-forged manacles I hear,” is him simply stressing the oppression that stems from political, economic and religious corruption. This line we see its universal application, it’s as if Blake is urging one to break free from the shackles of slavery, obviously in this case it would mean mental slavery. The speaker hearing these “mind-forged manacles” ears are tuned to the clanking of the chains tied to each person’s foot as they walk under the captivity that elicit their cries.
The description of these appalling conditions allows flexibility in interpretation. When he states “how the Chimney sweeper’s cry,” one can even imply that this sound of a cry is enough to seep into one’s soul; so this is more than hearing. “Every blackening church appalls” is stating that the conditions that the people are under while cleaning chimneys tells us that the church is allowing people to work under these appalling conditions by not being proactive about it at the time Blake is writing the poem. Here he is highlighting religious corruption or hypocrisy. There is a premonition of death because the chimney smoke can get into your lungs, thereby shortening your lifespan through respiratory diseases. This could mean that the smoke from the chimney is “blackening” the skins of the fair-skinned child workers. We see the juxtaposition here, “blackening” could symbolize the moral decay of the church. It could also mean that the skin of fair-skinned workers are “blackening;” they are now toiling like the enslaved Africans, including children, in the British colonies. Except now the conditions are a result of the Industrial Revolution. I think the word “blackening” in this poem leaves room for that sort of racial interpretation.
The last stanza serves as a reminder as to what it’s like walking the streets of a gloomy London all day. Then what that boils down to as the day nears its end. The dark tone seems to have been building up from bad to worse. When a reader subconsciously ties blackening from previous stanza with “midnight” from last stanza, there is another juxtaposition. Day fades into midnight as if to say day is “blackening.” What makes this very effective is what he describes after the scene is set –prostitution. This “blasts the new-born Infant’s tear,” could mean new born babies are born blind because of a parent’s venereal disease (Baym et al). It may mean that the prostitution doesn’t make the person fit to be a parent and so when the child is growing up he or she shed “tears” as a retaliation to their parent’s unfit parenting. Some might not know who the father of the child is given that history of prostitution. The missing parent causes an infant to cry as they suffer more without two parents. The line “Plagues the Marriage hearse” tells the apparent undermining of the sanctity of marriage. Married people engaging in prostitution as a way to make ends meet shows the deep rooted social issues Blake is letting his readers become aware of.
The strength of this poem lies it’s effective use of repetition of the word cry, and allowing the word “blackening” to be interpreted through different lenses. Its application goes far beyond just London, it is universal and represents that common human experience of suffering. Perhaps the repetition is Blake’s way of telling readers that the conditions described, repeats itself in the present day by day but that this will become the very history that will repeat itself in years to come. The speaker’s repetition of dreary emotions is a catalyst for change. Granted the cries doesn’t fall on deaf “unempathetic” ears, social awareness leads to social change. This may be what the speaker was trying to imply by ending the poem on such a gloomy note that these conditions, if we don’t nip it in the bud, will become a catastrophe.
Works Cited
Blake, William. “London.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 9th ed. Vol. D. New York: W.W. Norton, 2013. 132-33. Print.

Baym, Nina, and Robert S. Levine. “London.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 9th ed. Vol. D. New York: W.W. Norton, 2013. 132-33. Print.

 

New surveillance camera Shows Trayvon Martin

Published May 18, 2012 by lorijss

New surveillance camera show Trayvon Martin minutes before the shooting took place. Trayvon is a normal 17 year old teenager collecting his items and paying for them in a grocery store, there is an undercurrent of happiness and go-luckiness in his demeanor(very characteristic of youth) as he walks around in the store and then pays for his items. If he was an “asshole” as Zimmerman assumed on the police recordings, wouldn’t he have been one in the empty store itself? All I see is a 17 year old and a store clerk, it is apparent that Trayvon saw the store clerk as a normal store clerk the same way the store clerk saw Trayvon as a normal customer.  Did the store clerk take out a weapon and shoot him? No, but Zimmerman did just that. An average, normal everyday like routine that Zimmerman’s idiotic behavior turned into something tragic. It should be considered a fact that Trayvon’s death could have been avoided.

Trayvon Martin at the store – Yahoo/ABCNews

Surveillance Camera of Trayvon Martin —->http://cdnapi.kaltura.com/index.php/kwidget/wid/1_25uhxxq9/uiconf_id/6501231

It is obvious that Zimmerman was the aggressor if he had just stayed in his car like he was suppose to this whole tragic incident could have been avoided. Now I personally believe that Zimmerman should just serve life in prison for his idiotic behavior. At the end of the day the facts still remain, he shot the unarmed 17 year old teenager point blank to the chest. The new photos of Zimmerman’s cut and scraps shows that he was NOT injured in a way where he had to use deadly force, a few cuts and scraps are what people get everyday. He should get over his cuts and scrapes and admit that he should have just stayed in his vehicle and not chased and confronted the teenager. His cuts and scraps were so minor, that once the blood was cleaned up no one would even have noticed ANYTHING. No one would even have considered that there was anything physically hurt about him and that he had just taken someone’s life in “self-defense.” Obviously cuts and scrapes do not need stitches, and people get cuts and scraps from playing sports all the time, doesn’t mean they take out a gun and shoot somebody because of it. And people can’t tell a black person’s voice from a half-white person’s voice? You don’t even need FBI analysts for this.

Also, that’s the way that a person screams when someone who they have never seen or heard from in their whole life tries to get physically aggressive with them(out of nowhere duh).  That’s the way I would scream, like I don’t know what the heck is about to happen but I am going to fight this person off to save myself I don’t know who this person is, is he a kidnapper, a molester? Get your hands off of me! Obviously it was more likely that the teenager was the one screaming for help, if Zimmerman was screaming for help it would mean that he was not armed, why would a person scream for help if they’re armed unless they are severely a wimp? If Zimmerman was screaming for help that is another way of saying that he is a wimp or on drugs and can’t think right because why in the world would he be walking around with a weapon if he was going to be screaming for help anyway? There isn’t anymore details to be needed more that a grown 28 year old shot and killed a 17 year old minor, that is all the system needs to know to put him away for life. You can’t just go around shooting unarmed people especially minors(who happens to be black), who are not responsible for their behavior until their 18th birthday. I stand by what I wrote in my previous entries that this incident has everything to do with race, racial stereotyping, and racism. There is still no evidence that Zimmerman had to use deadly force, jail him for life and stop this waste of time. Stop enforcing practicality and enforce some humanity and stop taking forever to jail this idiot for LIFE preferably. He is safer in jail than out on the streets anyway, might has well do him a favor and save his life by keeping him behind bars. It doesn’t matter what photos or videos reveal now the child was unarmed and if there was a struggle for life and death it would have been on Trayvon Martin’s behalf only. Whereas Zimmerman was simply acting on his imagination and fear that stemmed from racial stereotyping, profiling. May peace be with the Martin’s family as they continue the fight for justice. R.I.P Trayvon Martin.

Photo from Yahoo – Crucial evidence released in Martin’s Case

Zimmerman stands trial

Published April 14, 2012 by lorijss

Zimmerman finally got arrested and charged with second degree murder in the death of the unarmed 17 year old teenager, Trayvon Martin. He could face 25 years to life, I am hoping he serves life but what matters the most is that there is finally justice for Trayvon’s family. It is still shocking that it took 45 days for Zimmerman to finally get arrested, whereas if he were a black male I honestly believe that he would have been arrested right on the spot and given a background check and an investigation immediately launched. Moral of the story, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, and this tragic incident as shown us an example of how dangerous it can be to judge someone especially if the person has a gun that that they intend on using. Not only that, defying authority and in this case, his complete disregard for authority eventually led to a tragic loss of life. I believe that Zimmerman behaved in a reckless and idiotic manner and could’ve handled the situation in an intelligent, calm and considerate manner. He was simply acting on his own imagination, stereotype and fear. Trayvon’s mom is strong to state that it may have been an accident, that if he had known that Trayvon was a normal 17 year old with Skittles and Ice Tea then he would not have pulled the trigger. Trayvon, his mom, dad and whole family is a symbol of hope and justice for us as human beings. I predicted that he was indeed going to get arrested but I didn’t know his charges would have been second degree murder, I thought it would have been negligent homicide but the more I think about it the more second degree murder makes sense, I mean he did disregard authority and chased after the boy.  He is safer in custody and in a jail cell than out on the streets where he could be assaulted or even worse, killed. I pray for Trayvon’s family, may peace be with them in their strong hearts and soul forevermore, for this is only the beginning.

ABC NEWS- Zimmerman charged with 2nd Degree Murder in Trayvon Martin’s Death

The Trayvon Martin Case

Published March 25, 2012 by lorijss

Watch captain fatally shots unarmed teen in Florida. This is truly a tragedy, having two brothers myself, who are young black males, ages 18 and 23. I fear for the life of any innocent young black male in this country. The so-called watch captain should be jailed for life, this kid was unarmed, this cannot be seen as self-defense, but seen as the dangers of allowing fear to cripple one’s life and one’s outlook on things. Racial profiling is a fatal mixture of  racism, fear and ignorance. Racial profiling is dangerous and should not be taken lightly because this is the core cause of the mistreatment and injustice of the young black male in this society. It wasn’t the young black male that was dangerous. Fear itself is dangerous, it was the fear that the watchman had that was dangerous. In this case, fear itself is dangerous to your well being and to that of those around you. What could a kid possibly do to a grown 28 year old male? Everything that the watch-captain says about this tragic incident should be questioned, for dead young black males tell NO TALES. It breaks my heart to know that racial-profiling against young black males constitutes a thin line between life and death for young black males in this society.  Trayvon Martin was racially-profiled and this lead to him being killed, this is a very sad tragedy indeed. The gunning down of young black males that are unarmed is a horrific trend that needs to be dealt with promptly for this is 2012 why are these things so common as if it were the 1950’s and 60’s and prior to that time period? The fear of young black males in society is very irrational, it is a fear the stems from the dominant white American ideology that has been passed down from generation to generation through the process of socialization. Yes one can be socialized to fear young black males, racial profiling, and stereotypical prejudice has its roots in fear and ignorance. This fear of the young black male is dangerous not to the people that harbor these fears, but to young black males themselves. This society is far away from achieving Martin Luther king’s dream where one would be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin. It breaks my heart when they released the watchman, named Zimmerman, as if to say oh it was just another young black male that died, it happens  all the time, everyday, every second of everyday. The continued degradation of the young black male’s life is evident when they released the watchman as if to say he did nothing wrong. There is no doubt that Trayvon Martin did not have to die, just because some idiot with a racist stereotype of the young black male, came up to Trayvon Martin out of nowhere, started getting physical and aggressive with him, holding him down on the ground, it’s not like this idiot was a cop or anything. Trayvon Martin was the one who was acting in self-defense, not that brainless watchman. The kid did not know that Zimmerman was a watchman, especially since he had no uniform on, had no idea what this watchman(who was a complete stranger to Trayvon Martin) was going to do to him. Again, the kid did not know that the watchman WAS A watchman. In addition to that, the kid might have thought he was a rapist, kidnapper or a robber, the kid didn’t know what this complete stranger was going to do to him, or why the stranger was acting this way towards him, the kid was trying to defend himself.  This self-proclaimed watchman had no business drawing his gun unless Trayvon Martin drew a gun. If his fear was that profound maybe he should not be appointing himself a watchman in the first place. As a watchman he was not trained in when to draw a gun, and how to draw a gun fast, so he recklessly drew a gun while drowning in imagination and irrational fear.

This watchman must have been WATCHING too much TV, see how the young black male is demonized and dehumanized by the media, one should not allow the media to allow fear to govern our lives.  Fear coupled with a weapon is an extremely dangerous thing and Zimmerman’s actions were cowardly. This was an unnecessary use of deadly force, Zimmerman had multiple options and each option he made was just based on his own irrational fears in addition to being brainless. His last option could have been to shoot in the foot, not to shoot the child to death, this is unnecessary homicide and negligence. There is no doubt that the watchman was just plain racist and prejudiced, maybe he just hated all young black males. This incident is all about race, race is the primary focus. He is just a 17 year old kid, UNARMED, didn’t know what to do, didn’t know why Zimmerman, who was a stranger to him, was getting physical with him and throwing himself on him, he was fighting for his life. Perhaps Zimmerman was trying to hold Trayvon down on the ground until the cops came, still he was in no position to do that. Trayvon was trying to defend himself, but his fists were no match for the weapon. We are socially conditioned to respond to the police it’s not like this watchman was a police. Zimmerman was trying to play hero like in the movies, well this is real life. I bet this self-professed watchman, after shooting the innocent unarmed Trayvon Martin was hoping that he had a gun on him only to find that it was only a bag of skittles. One has to wonder if Trayvon Martin was a white male would he have faced the same fate, or if he were an Asian male? Imagine how the kid’s parents must feel, his family members and friends. Condolences to his family and friends, justice must be served. Trayton Martin’s family’s attorneys has a lot of strong arguments that they can make, I believe this can make a good case.  My sincere hope is that this watchman serves a very long jail time preferably life. I will  be following this case like a hawk.

RIP Trayvon Martin

Attorneys in Trayvon Martin case make arguments

Racist Remarks by BYU professor sparks controversy

Published March 11, 2012 by lorijss

Racist Remarks by BYU professor sparks controversy

According to the article above, on the 18th of February, Randy Bott, a BYU professor of religion, spoke to the Washington Post and said that the LDS Church’s historic ban of the priesthood for men of African descent was a “blessing” because at the time they were not “ready” for the priesthood authority.

This news is sort of old but since I am currently a student at BYU taking time off of course I am going to discuss this. It’s professors like those that give BYU (in present day 2012) this notion of being a racist institution that African Americans need to stay far away from. I have had my own personal experience with racist BYU religion professors. Religion classes at BYU are a requirement for graduation so no one attending BYU can escape taking them and I believe that these classes are prone to racism lurking in the mist of it’s curriculum. Anyway, I was in one of my religion classes and the professor was explaining something I don’t remember what it was specifically and then said “nowadays you can’t even say the word ‘nigger’ or ‘chicano’ when back then it was okay to say those words.” This is an old white professor who was basically saying that his family or the whole social environment in which he grew up in use to say the words “nigger” and “chicano” when interacting amongst themselves and it used to be okay to do that. Okay for who exactly? I can’t even dignify this professor’s statement with a response anyone with modern day common sense can see what is wrong with that religion professor’s statement. They should stop with those religion classes all together or make them current.  Men of African descent being banned from the priesthood authority was a blessing because they weren’t ready for it? Anyone who can’t see that as racist is racist. How would LDS blacks feel sitting in a religion class hearing a religion professor saying things as blatantly racist as that? Well black LDS people who can actually point out what is racist as opposed to what is religious, because religion can be used as a means to accept injustice against your own self. Why? Because God said so. I call this religious racism or religion being used as a means to justify or even perpetrate racism when we as a society are suppose to be moving past this. You get the picture. An African American professor named Darron Smith was speaking out against things like this at BYU and BYU authorities fired him. Anytime BYU is in the news it’s always about something regarding race and racism. BYU needs to get itself checked. Stop running away from the issue and confront it. Weed out all those old racist professors and hire some professors of African descent then that would be progress for BYU-Provo.

What do you know about Black history month?

Published February 9, 2012 by lorijss

This video show the racism and stereotypical behavior towards or about people of African descent at BYU. I am sure all the white respondents in this video are nice, friendly, fun, welcoming individuals, who mean no harm or don’t intend to insult black Americans. Also they obviously don’t consider themselves “racists” or “color-blind racists.” In response to some of the white girls’ thoughts: “Classy”obviously should not or does NOT equal white, and white does NOT or should not equal “classy.” Classy is also very subjective in other words self-defined, but may seem to be more defined by people who are members of the white American culture and ideology which is the most dominant & prevalent culture and ideology in the US. These statements about being “classy” can be interpreted as “racist” or color-blind “racist.” What does it mean “to act” like a “black guy” or what does it mean “to act” like a “white guy?” That question is open to many debates and discussions that I won’t lend a hand to in this post. For the sake of this post, the white girls in the video are basically trying to say that “acting white” is “better”without actually being conscious that that can be interpreted as “racist.”

In this video, all the white respondents can be viewed as racist in it’s own right because they are first of all White Americans. White Americans since the beginning of the United States have always enjoyed unearned privileges at the expense of non-whites, specifically people of African descent. In this video the whites can be interpreted as standing at the pedestal looking down on Black Americans or anyone of African descent without intending to or meaning to, this is on the basis of their own ignorance.  So African immigrants which includes immigrants from Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Botswana or Caribbean immigrants which includes, Jamaica at BYU are put into this box of stereotypes that white Americans have. This is due to their ignorance which is a direct result of their upbringing, or their inexperience with having  interactions with people that are directly from African countries and immigrated or black Americans that are born and raised in the US . Whatever the case may be either way the white respondents in this video have had both little social interaction with black Americans or meaningless social interactions with black Americans.  In addition to that these whites don’t understand the concept of white privilege and in order to understand that they have to step outside the box that they’re in & accept their white privileges. In order to accept that  they have white privileges, however major and minor it is, is by going out of their “way” to be in an environment where they’re interacting with blacks or non-whites on a day to day basis, even leaving the US will do. After doing that go back to interacting with whites and they will see it loud and clear if they open their minds. At least that’s what I think. Therefore, as a result of this lacking in experience that I just discussed, these whites are unable to form sensible responses when interviewed. Whether or not they were being interviewed by that dude their views of black Americans would still be ignorant and stereotypical, therefore it can be interpreted as “racist.” On top of that white Americans are the majority at BYU and most of the positions of power and affluence are filled with people that are White Americans. Honestly my personal experience at BYU as a black Caribbean/Jamaican has showed me that BYU is not only the whitest and most white-washed institution in the US but as a result of that both the most “racist” and “color-blind” racist institution. Still due to the fact that most whites at BYU are Mormons who have served a mission, which is basically spending 2 years in another country for the purpose of spreading Mormonism. The melting of stereotypical views is hopeful especially for those who have served missions in African countries, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

What are your thoughts on this video?