Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Brown vs. Board of Education

For this week, we were assigned to look at a information about Brown vs. Board of Education, and watch a video called Between Barack and a Hard Place, an interview with author, Tim Wise about his book.

Watching the video Between Barack and a Hard Place really opened my eyes to racism. I always know it's around, but I've never been personally victimized by it.  But I have always been one of those people that questions it, wondering what makes people so pathetic that they find black people so much different that everyone else. In the end we're all people and we all have feelings and emotions... We all bleed the same color.

We can hope as much as we want but racism will never just disappear. But, we can still try to make equal REALLY MEAN equal. Like Wise said in the video, you have to look at past events in history, and see that there wasn't just ONE event that happened that moved society away from racism, but many things took part and changed us bit by bit. And things will continue to happen. But, this issue will never be gone for good...

Talking about/listening to all the talk about Brown vs. Board of Education reminds me of a movie I watched when I was younger called Ruby Bridges. She was a young girl that was chosen to transfer to an all-white school. All the parents didn't want their student exposed to a black child so they pulled their students from the school. Ruby was the only student there and she was so embarrassed about it. But she completed what she was there to do - she was very a brave little girl...

This is a famous picture of Ruby Bridges walking with security guards. She needed these men to walk with her because she was getting many death threats and the whites were protesting out side of the school Ruby was to be attending...

Tim Wise said in his book that there are a lot of black people who accomplished great things. For instance our current President, Barack Obama. He is the first black president, that's pretty awesome, especially when you put in perspective the background this country has, that's a big deal! Black people shouldn't be doubted because of their color, think about that? Someone looks different and automatically and judged and stereotyped. It just doesn't make any sense to me..

Monday, March 28, 2011

In The Service Of What?

-Forgot to post this
The article for this week was "In The Service Of What? The Politics of Service Learning" but Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer

"...educators should foster a volunteer ethic and encourage youths to give something back to their school or community..."
This quote is encouraging students to learn ways to help out the community and improve their volunteering beliefs. One teacher named Mr. Johnson has many of his teaching ethics incorporated into this article. He "makes 'community service... a vital part of the government course [because] part of citizenship is the practice of helping others in the community'". From a personal viewpoint, I highly agree with Mr. Johnson's way of teaching, and putting students into the real world, help them in understanding the class material in a better way because their using first hand experience.

"The experiential and interpersonal component of service learning activities can achieve the first crucial step towards diminishing the sense of 'otherness' that ofter separates students..."
FOR EXAMPLE: Our service learning projects definitely changed my personal stereotypical beliefs of Providence schools. Like the students from Mr. Johnson's class, I "imagined 'horrifying children running around on a dirty campus'" but, when I got there, the school wasn't a mess, there weren't children running all over the place, they were well behaved and fun to be around. And, to a point, the school reminded me of my own Elementary school! "'Everyone at the school had good manners, and I think more highly of [the neighborhood] now."

"We do not volunteer 'to make a statement' or to use the people we work with to protest something. We try to see the homeless man, the hungry child, and the dying women as the people they are, not the means to some political end."
I like this quote and I feel this same way. You need to see these people as PEOPLE and not just what they are portrayed as from the outside. Just like, when you see a LGBT student, you shouldn't look at them and see them as a gay person. You should look at them and see them as a person, just like you. Someone that has a personality, likes, dislikes, feelings and their own issues and problems. We don't volunteer to be able to use these people as examples. When we volunteer we look at these people and see them as other people just like us!

I was looking for something to post to my blog for this article and I saw this picture...


I  thought it was very interesting. It is saying that we only remember a small amount of the things that we say hear and read. But we remember 90% of the things that we say and do and those things include actually going out into the world and experiencing life as a learning experience. its definitely a positive and rewarding experience to be out in the real world and participating in service learning projects, you actually learn/see real life situations.

Monday, March 7, 2011

"Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us"

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us by: Linda Christensen

Linda Christensen argues many points that all happen to be in a very similar context, including "Our society's culture industry colonizes their minds and teaches them how to act, live, and dream." When she says 'their minds' she is talking about students. She also argues that "children's books and movies, instructs young people to accept the world as it is portrayed in these social blueprints."

Linda had her students analyze children's movies and cartoons, trying to see the inequality that is present. They would then write their findings down on a chart that would later be used to form essays and even newspaper articles. These students were hesitant in the beginning because they didn't want to accept that these shows that they believed to be harmless, were actually affecting them in a negative way. This task made them all extremely upset in the end - two girls won't even let their children view cartoons on television. One boy turned off the television on his two young nephews because they were watching "Looney Tunes" and took them to the park. Another student was buying Christmas presents for young children and actually asked for a non-racist, non-sexist toy.

This article definitely gives me a different perspective on Disney movies and cartoons on television. Watching these shows as a child, I would have never noticed the racism or sexism that was manipulating minds. But, this article makes you take a second look at what is actually on television. This class had to grade shows on TV with a scale of A-F
-This show gives off the impression that everything revolves around money
-Sending message that violence is the answer

Mary Carter Smith wrote a story based off of Cinderella, called "Cindy Ellie, A Modern Fairy Tale". This incorporates a black main character with "good humor and playful language". This story still has the same plot as the original Cinderella, the plan is to win prince charming. This may sound naive but I always saw Cinderella as giving a positive message towards children because it was loving, and I never really put it into perspective on other ways it could be seen. Cinderella - as well as "Cindy Ellie" - incorporates "two myths: Happiness means getting a man, and transformation from wretched conditions can be achieved through consumption". This put ideas into children's - especially young girl's - minds that if you change the way that you look you can get the man of your dreams, which isn't true.

This is an issue that we will never escape. "Turning off the cartoons doesn't stop the sexism and racism."

Sexism and Masculinity in Disney Movies: by Sanjay Newton
Great video that explains many of the observations that were talked about throughout this article and that Linda Christensen and her class rebelled against.