Monday, September 27, 2010

Post #2: For Thursday, September 30th & October 5th

In a post of at least 300 words, respond to one of the following questions. Keep in mind that your weekly posts are required and will count as 30% of your final grade.

1) In "Singing Civil Rights: The Freedom Song Tradition," Reed identifies a number of 'myths' that he believes are popular misconceptions about the movement. Select at least two of these myths to write about: have you been taught or exposed to the view that Reed sees as 'a myth'? How does Reed's view change your understanding of the movement and why do you think it might be important to challenge that myth?

2) What is Reed's argument about why music was so important to the Civil Rights movement? What are some of the specific roles it played in the movement? How does this relate or compare to your own experiences of the role of music in everyday life, or the relation of music to politics?

Reading for Tuesday, October 5th: Look at the website for Eyes on the Prize and read the description of the first five episodes, "Awakenings," "Fighting Back," "Ain't Scared of Your Jails," "No Easy Walk" and "Mississippi: Is this America?" Follow the links to get more information about the events of each episode. Fill in identification terms from your syllabus. In your notes, describe 1) What were some of the main areas of society in and over which these struggles took place? and 2) What were some of the techniques used by Civil Rights Activists?

Then go to the website's page of primary documents. Select one document from 1955-1964. Read it, print it out and bring it to class on October 5th. Think about what a primary document is and what it can tell us.

Three Songs: September 28th In-Class Discussion

Look at the lyrics in your packet as we listen to each of these three songs. How would you describe the particular type and function of each song?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

For Tuesday, September 28th

For Tuesday, read Richard Wright's essay and do post #1 (see below) if you haven't yet. Be sure to leave me the address for your blog.

Also, read the first chapter of Reed's book, "Singing Civil Rights." Fill in any identifications from your syllabus as you read. Think also about this question: why was music particularly important to the Civil Rights movement? We'll talk about this next week - and listen to some!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Welcome to the Art, Politics and Protest Blog for the Fall of 2010. Soon you'll see topics for your weekly short responses, announcement, links and more. Once you've set up your blog, leave its address in the comments. Soon, you'll be linked through this page. Once our blogs are linked you'll also be able to read and comment on one another's writing.

Each week you'll find here the topic for your short response to post on your own blog. Your response should be about 300-500 words (that would be about a page or two in a double-spaced word file).

Here are topics for our first week. We don't meet again until Thursday, but post by next Tuesday so your colleagues and I can respond. Post a response to ONE topic of your choice on your blog. You don't have to respond to each part of the question in order: go with what gets you interested and writing. Respond in any format or organization you wish but be specific, make direct reference to the text(s), and be sure to make sense! Along with your post, read the selection of Harlem Renassaince poems and Richard Wright's "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow" from your packet for next Thursday. Bring both the packet and Reed's book to class.

1) In his essay "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain," poet Langston Hughes talks about the challenges faced by Black artists. What does he see as the main challenges? Then look at the selection of poems from the Harlem Renassaince from your packet. What connections do you see between Hughes' essays and these poems?

2) In his essay "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow," Richard Wright describes his experiences as a young man learning about the power system of the South. How would you describe this system: who has the power? How do they hold on to it? How do people without power respond and resist? What forms of resistance do you think would be effective in this system?

3) On Thursday we watched the first hour of the documentary Eyes on the Prize, a history of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Describe the main factors that lead to the emergence of this movement at this time. What have you learned about the Civil Rights movement - in school or outside? What more would you like to learn?