“Selma” is a 2014 historically film based on a true story. The film took place in 1965. The historical film is by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. The film opens in 1965 when African American Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr accepts the Nobel Peace Prize in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, for his exceptional leadership skills in peace and nonviolent resistance to racial segregation in America. Selma is based on a civil rights protest in efforts to register African Americans to vote in the south. The film displays devasting and heinous acts of racial injustices that negatively impacted the African American community. The Selma to Montgomery march was initiated by James Bevel and led by civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, John Lewis, Reverend Hosea Williams, Bob Mants, and Albert Turner. Dr. King, along with John Lewis, Reverend Hosea Williams, Bob Mants, and Albert Turner was a part of civil rights groups such as The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). On February 18, White segregationists attacked a group of peaceful demonstrators in the small town of Marion, Alabama. Amid all the chaos, an Alabama state trooper beat and shot and killed a young African American man Jimmie Lee Jackson. Jackson’s death got the attention of Dr. King and members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Dr. King, SCLC, and civil rights activist planned a massive protest marching from Selma to Montgomery’s state capital. The Selma march took place Sunday, March 7, 1965. Selma (film) displays the historical march that thousands of African American citizens, including hundreds of priests, ministers, rabbis, civil rights activists, and social activists, participated in receiving African American citizens’ National Voting Rights. The March did not get far before Alabama state troopers and county posse men attacked protestors with wielding whip, nightsticks, billy clubs, tear gas, and other deadly weapons, seriously injuring and killing several peaceful protestors. This day civil rights activists were not given the right to speak when explaining their reasoning. It is evident that Selma to Montgomery shows the repression of police brutality, racism, and racial violence. Overall, the film represents systemic injustices during the civil rights movement. It is evident that in Today’s society, African Americans face the pressing issue of systemic injustices. The film Selma is a representation of history repeating itself as millions of African Americans march and demand justice due to racial acts of police brutality. I chose this historical film to shed light on how systemic injustice, racism, and police brutality still affecting African Americans fifty-five years later. The Black Lives Matter movement known as BLM is a decentralized political and social movement advocating for nonviolent protest against police brutality incidents and racially motivated violence against black people. The Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter have brought the African American community together, bringing awareness to racial discrimination, systemic injustices, equality, and police brutality.
Upon completion of the series I felt that I gained a greater insight into the struggles of working women of any kind as well as a greater understanding of the struggles of minority and oppressed groups at the time also. The working woman throughout the series was most-strongly embodied by Gyllenhaal in her performance as Candy. The show at first appears to portray how Candy revolutionized the industry of pornography by performing, directing and producing films with her previous experience as a sex-worker in New York City. However, through all of this her attempts to be taken as a series director and producer by investors and other producers of her company would instantly be overlooked or shunned by those men almost every time. By the end of the series you will see Candy put in so much effort and back-stepping to get the funding together for her first non-adult, “real” film to have it reach virtually no audience. It was not until after her death that this film was recognized for the testament to the experiences of the working woman in The United States at the time that it was.
Candy’s story was not the most impactful of the series in my opinion though. Few series’ come together full circle and give the audience such an understanding of messages like this as the story of Lori (portrayed by Emily Meade) does in this show. You will see Lori begin in a similar situation as Candy, both being sex workers on the streets of NYC, yet these characters could not be more opposite through their similarities than they are. You will see these characters grow vastly different on their individual journeys throughout the overall story, yet regardless of how different they became (I won’t spoil Lori’s ending and it’s meaning for you but the wait is worth it to fully understand it, I promise) their endings were still very similar in many ways as well. It is then you will begin to fully understand the message that regardless of anything and everything they do, the only thing the rest of the world saw of them was that they were women.
While this series is full of reflections upon the working woman’s experience, you will also see what it meant to be impoverished, a person of color in various facets of life, as well as to be queer, and the ‘underground’ scene that had to take place all leading up to the HIV pandemic of the 80s, at the time. Nearly all of thecharacters in this series are considered impoverished, or at least immersed in impoverished community and the community they have built truly feels communal in a way only the series ‘Shameless’ has also given an audience. Despite every story told and its importance in the overall telling of the series, they all find their abrupt end when the city decides to gentrify the area which all of these events took place. This wasn’t just any “neighborhood development” program, however, this was the gentrification of all gentrifications. This was the building of Times Square.
The Shawshank Redemption is one of the most impressive and beloved films of all time. It tells a story of a banker Andy Dufresne who is convicted of murdering his wife and her lover and other prisoners’ life at the Shawshank State Penitentiary. In fact, Andy is innocent. With his accounting skills, Andy begins helping Warden Norton and the guards with their taxes and other financial issues. As a stone collector, he asks Ellie Redding (Red) to get him a rock hammer to collect rocks. This tool is the one that helps Andy get out of prison at the end, but it’s not the only one.
The process of life is a process of getting rid of institutionalization. Brooks finally gained freedom after being imprisoned for most of his life. However, he was at a loss in the free world. He always wanted to go back to the Shawshank prison that deprived him of his freedom but made him accustomed to it. In the end, he finally hanged himself. Prison is an institutionalized place where you hate it at first as it deprives you of your freedom; then you will slowly get used to it and become familiar with it; in the end, you will be inseparable from it. Unlike Brooks, Andy has great strength of will and a strong yearning for freedom, which makes him different from other people in the prison. He also inspires his friend Red and makes him gain freedom both mentally and physically.
In Shawshank, people have different races and socioeconomic classes especially Andy Dufresne. People other than Andy are mostly from the lower class, while Andy is in the upper class. Andy’s appearance greatly influences everyone. He sets up a library and provides tutor service for people who want to be educated. I would say that Andy is the “others” in Shawshank because he is the unique one. However, unlike “others” we talk about in class, Andy is not discriminated against because of his different identity and socioeconomic class. Instead, he has a great positive influence on his surroundings.
From my perspective, the author wants audiences to take away the ideas that how important hope and persistence is. Power is not only decided by society, but it is the one that you give to yourself. Everyone is powerful to change his/her life
After reading “An Unwritten Novel” written by Virginia Woolf, is a dazzling short story about viewpoint and reality contrasted with the intensity of the creative mind and the simplicity of losing yourself in your own musings. I didn’t exactly understand what kind of connection I can make with our course module readings in the first place, in any case, I accumulated a few notes from the story where the origination or activity of perusing was alluded to and nothing encouraged me better understand what was going on in the story. A few associations I made and understanding of the story is that it is a story being composed or made by the storyteller as she talks. The storyteller is by all accounts on a train perusing Time paper, presently a magazine, and viewing a woman opposite her. She contemplates her and makes this account of what she envisions her life to resemble or situations she accepts the woman experiences. This kind of composing is very different than what we regularly have been perusing. It speaks to the manner in which the storyteller thinks as she works out what she envisions this present woman’s life to resemble. I additionally understand it as an approach to perceive what’s inside the storyteller’s head, how she goes from perusing on paper to making an “unwritten novel” of another person’s life. This capacity to turn into a character and a story, the manner in which the storyteller does identifies with Maryanne Wolf’s view in “Passing over”, “Proust and the Squid” a term utilized by theologian John Dunne, portrays the cycle through which perusing empowers us to take a stab at, personality with, and at last enter for a short time the entire alternate point of view of another individual’s cognizance”. Writer’s capacity to make an anecdote around “An Unwritten Novel” speaks to this capacity for an individual to go into another individual’s brain, the manner in which the storyteller does in this short story. Maybe the main idea we have learned all through earlier in the semester is the way important perusing is and the capacity to peruse profoundly. “An Unwritten Novel” is an illustration of this profound perusing and the manner in which perusing can influence the manner in which you think.
The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes is a play in a form of public speaking and conversations with AI and humans. This play is about how society treats disabled people with injustice and stereotypes and how every human being will be treated in the future with advanced technology. It discusses human rights, the power of words, and the social impact of automation.
What are the proper ways for “the normal people” to treat the disabled? In addition, how will we be treated in the future if artificial intelligence dominates the world? The play The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes starts with the five figures setting up a town hall meeting in front of a black computer screen hanging on the backside of the state. Their stories of how people treat them unfairly because of their disability and think they are uneducated and stupid followed by the topic of how will people be treated when A.I. overtakes humans. A good reference in the play is this line, “like how we treat chicken or people with disability?” The injustice started when “normality” rules out the minorities because of any kind of difference. The ending of the play and its message to the audience is meaningful. Most people will go through struggles to be understood, stigmatized by others with low expectations sometimes in their lives. However, we need to speak for ourselves even if others highlight our limit, which is totally not true.
This play is truly wonderful and I had the chance to watch it myself. Before I always feel sorry for people with disabilities because society has told us that we need to be grateful for what we have right now because some people don’t even have them. After watching the play, I realize this is wrong. Disabled people don’t need our pity. They want respect and dignity like every other human being on this planet. Instead of thinking of the disability as a tragedy, some of them think it is a gift that makes them special. This play taught me about individual responsibility to keep our society way from injustice for any reasons, race, age, income, or disability.
The movie Green Book told the story of a doctoral African American pianist Donald Shirley who hired an Italian American bouncer Tony “Lip” Vallelonga as his driver for his touring shows in the segregated South of America in 1962. The movie’s name was from The Negro Motorist Green Book which was a guidebook for African American travellers in the US to find places that would accommodate them during the mid-20th century. Green Book came out in 2018 and won Academy Award for Best Picture, Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Academy Award for Writing, and so on. Green Book mainly depicted how Tony Vallelonga turned from implicitly racist to anti-racist after spending two months with Dr. Shirley, and how Dr. Shirley’s courage and dignity shown during the trip to the South moved Tony and made them eventually close friends. The ending of the movie was warm and delightful to most of the audience as it showed how people from different socioeconomic levels and races could form strong bonds and understand each other.
At first, Tony would directly throw the cups at his home that were offered to two African American plumbers by his wife and refer black people with impolite words when he was with his family or friends. However, Tony was willing to work for Dr. Shirley as long as he was paid gratefully. This reflection in the movie vividly showed how racist people could appear to be nice to people from minor racial groups for their own interest due to human nature–need for money. To a broader context, this scene showed the existence of racism lying under “apparent kindness”. Therefore, it reminds of the audience how the society could be actually uglier than how wonderful and united it appears to be. The Black Lives Matter protests ripped off the “peaceful and equal” coating of the contemporary American society to reveal the darkness and inhumanity of some human hearts and demand for real changes inside people’s heads.
There are a lot of scenes in the movie that reflected the wide-spread of racism in the Mid-West and South of America in the 1960s. In Hanover, Indiana, the staff of the music hall that invited Dr. Shirley provided a low-quality piano with litters on it at first. Then in Raleigh, North Carolina, Dr. Shirley was not allowed to use the toilet in the mansion where he played. In Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Shirley was not allowed to dine in the restaurant where he was going to perform. Besides, along the way, there were unreasonable injustices towards Dr. Shirley from police officers. All these scenes could make the audience feel uncomfortable, sympathetic, and indignant for Dr. Shirley who could have stayed in New York and got all kinds of worship.
The movie was based on the true story of Donald Shirley and Frank Vallelonga. Even though there are criticisms of the movie saying that Green Book whitewashed white racists at that time and the real relationship between Frank Vallelonga and Dr. Shirley was not truly close like in the movie, it did provide an ideal vision where people from different social and racial backgrounds could be friends with each other as long as they try to communicate and understand each other. Since the movie was not produced by Don and Frank themselves, there is always deviation to some extent from the truth, but the value of the movie was how it could bring up people’s kindness and love within their heart to reduce racism in the world. At the end of the movie, when Tony’s relative referred Dr. Shirley as “tootsoon” at the Christmas Eve dinner, Tony rebutted seriously, “Don’t call him like that”. This scene manifested the appeal for standing up against injustices and racism regardless of the occasions and I believe this is how the movie encourages us to be like willingly.
This book is about the author’s personal experience. It uses a narrative way to show the unfair treatment of the black community in the United States and how he himself educates the next generation. The author frankly told his children about the biased treatment and dangers that a black people might encounter in their lives, by telling stories.
One aspect that the author wants to reveal in this book is that the mainstream society in the United States is still not so friendly to black people, which leads to the fact that black people are less likely to be employed and promoted than white people. Because they are still in a period of systematic rejection by mainstream society and suffering the injusticetreatment. For example, there is an example of the author’s college friend in the book. This boy came from a very good background of family, as his father was a doctor. And his study and character were also outstanding. However, he was suspected and followed by a police officer on his way home and was shot and killed.
The author uses real examples and powerful words in this book to show the problems of social judgement and racial discrimination, which are obviously not sufficiently reported by mainstream media. He also demonstrated a relatively realistic willingness, that is, as long as he starts from himself, this will affect the people around him, instead of changing the system and laws of the entire society at once.
But even though many people of color encounter unequal treatment in society, they are still striving to fight for their own interests. The author shows through his own story that as long as a person can give full play to his abilities, he can live in a very sinister environment without losing his bottom line, and more importantly, to live happily, which is enough. What he instilled in his son was actually this kind of thinking: you have to recognize the bad things in this society, face this cruelty, and live a positive and happy life.
The piece that I will be speaking about is the Netflix series called Dear White People. This series follows a group of black students at an Ivy League university that is predominantly white. I intend to talk about the first season but would highly recommend watching it in its entirety. Some of the major issues seen in the first season are a Black Face Party thrown by one of the Magazines on campus and a Black student having a gun pulled on him by campus security at a party. Given that each episode follows a different character you see how each individual experience being Black on a white campus. In the series following the Black Face Party we see white character question why a black face party is inappropriate. This comes about in contention with one of the main black characters having a show on the school’s radio coined “Dear White People” where she voices issues that black people encounter at the hands at white people. Throughout the series you see black characters struggle with their blackness in such a white space and white students struggle to understand where their black peers are coming from. In relation to this course these students exist as the other in relation to their peers. Seen as an afterthought by the university’s administration and those surrounding it (i.e. donors). This is a comedic series that still covers the hot button topics that are seen in day to day life. In my personal opinion this show is amazing and truly relatable as a Black college student. In conclusion, I would like you the reader to think about why this show choses to follow each individual character instead of the conventional style normaly seen in television and movies. Also think about what these students experience, how would you mend the system to limit these experiences.
For years, Grey’s Anatomy has been a television mainstay, with the medical drama never failing to excite their viewers with incredible surgeries and intense relationships. The show follows the titular Meredith Grey on her journey from a lowly intern to running the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. While on the bare surface the show may seem to be superficial and concerned only with overdramatic relationships, in reality, they aren’t afraid to confront and portray challenging real world issues. The most common of these issues is the conflict between the different classes of society and how different privileges can affect people. For example, one of the overarching plots of a couple of early seasons is that some of Meredith’s colleagues believe that she is getting assigned more responsibilities and more difficult surgeries not because she necessarily deserves it, but because her mother was a famous surgeon who had relationships and connections with the hospital management. They believe that Meredith’s pedigree and not her skill is responsible for her elevated status, while Meredith herself doesn’t even think it may be a factor. This theme further continues with the introduction of Dr. Jackson Avery who, like Meredith, comes from one of the most prestigious and well-known families of doctors within the show. His privilege is even more addressed than Merediths, for example, in season 9 of the show his family outright buys the hospital and places him at the head of the board despite Jackson not having any managerial experience and not having fully completed his training. He eventually grows into the role, but for almost an entire season he is seen being judged by his peers for his family’s decision.
I believe the writers of the show included these portrayals to not only depict class conflict and privilege but also to remind the viewers that there are multiple sides to every story. For example, while it may have been true that Meredith and Jackson got ahead of their peers as a result of their privilege, neither of them specifically wanted it. They didn’t ask for these things to be handed to them and both showed that they wanted to work, but they still received hate and derision from their coworkers because of it. They both eventually attempted to change and go against their privilege in the end, but they still shouldn’t have received so much crap because of it. It serves as a warning for when class conflict can go too far. Their peers made wrong assumptions about their situations and caused unnecessary damage and hurt to their friends, teaching the viewers a lesson that almost all of us can apply to our own lives at some point.
Last Holiday is a romantic comedy directed by Wayne Wang, tells the story of a woman Georgia Bryd who works in a department store and lives her life cautiously until she finds out that she has a terminal sickness and only two weeks to live. After her diagnosis, she liquidates all of her savings to go to Europe to live out some of her dreams. In Europe, she wins the hearts of almost everyone she meets because she’s mysterious but radiates beautiful energy. While she’s away living her best life she realizes that what she’s missing is Sean Matthews, her back home crush.
One of the concepts discussed this year that can be explored in Last Holiday is the deBeavior’s Othering. While in Europe, Georgia draws a lot of attention to herself because she is seemingly very wealthy but no one knows who she is. Because of her wealth the other people on the resort she’s staying at accept her as being a part of the One. The other wealthy people invite her out, accept them as one of them and even find her as somewhat of a threat. While one of the attendants that works at the hotel resents Ms. Byrd because the attendant sees her as just another rich person without a care in the world. Matthew Kragen, who is the owner of the franchise Georgia used to work for, doesn’t care for Georgia because he views her as a threat. He’s unaware for most of the movie that Georgia works for him. All he does know is that she has a lot of money and is stealing his friends from him because unlike him she’s a carefree and likable person. Kragen, attempting to figure out Ms.Byrd pays her room keeper to go through her things and find out who she is and finds out that she works as a saleswoman in one of his stores. In an attempt to make her appear as the Other to all of their peers he exposes Georgia at a dinner telling everyone that she not only works for him but only makes $29,000 a year. Everyone at the table is in disbelief claiming that that can’t be true because Georgia is rich, but she admits that that is true and that she never meant to fool them. When Georgia was considered the One she was immediately accepted by the people around her because of her presumed status and then was able to become loved by all, but if it wasn’t for her presumed status they would’ve never have given her the time of day. She was also Othered by Kragen as soon as he uncovered her status claiming that the only reason everyone entertained Georgia is that they thought she was a Billionaire.
Another concept that is prevalent in Last Holiday is Adichie’s The Danger of a Single Story. When Kragen exposes Georgia for not being as rich as everyone thought he believed that she was posing and that was the end of the story. What he didn’t know is that Georgia was simply trying to live out her dreams because she only had two weeks to live. After Kragen tells the table about Georgia she then explains her situation to them causing everyone to feel sorry. Kragen is stunned when she tells her story but shows very little remorse. This exemplifies The Danger of a Single Story on a smaller scale. Kragen thought he had Georgia all figured out but didn’t even know half of the story.
Although I don’t think this story was written to exemplify these concepts it does a great job displaying them nonetheless, which is the beauty of the concepts of this semester they are so widely applicable to everyday life. Last Holiday is highly recommended whether you’re just looking for a laugh, you want to explore these concepts, or both.