Professor Belli | Fall 2022 | City Tech

Author: Henry Ren (Page 1 of 2)

My Progress into Unit 4 (Revisions)

Currently, I’m revising Unit 2 before I revise Unit 1. Unit 1 was one part and pretty straightforward in terms of work. The feedback received was also pretty quick so I don’t think that Unit 1 will take that long to revise. However, Unit 2 is 3 posts and I wrote a lot and a little too much. Meeting with Prof. Belli definitely helped a lot in this process because it set the road and everything is more simple. I plan to finish by the end of the week, but with finals and all the other work I may need to makeup, I may have to push it all the way to the limit. So far, I’ve about finished source 1, but I plan to finish at least one source every day so I finish before next week.

My Progress into Unit 3

So far, I’ve basically only completed the road map and structured out two different introductions trying to see which one would transition better and set the tone better throughout the entire blog. I’ve been catching up on other classes, but now I have much more time to actually complete the piece. My roadmap/goals are outlined before the start of my final draft.

Henry Ren

DATE

Professor Belli

UNIT 3

Title: How Does Music Play a Role in Civil Rights Movements (Subject to change)

Goal: I will convey the idea that music has a lot more meaning than just entertainment and has played a significant role in the past and recent years through civil rights and racial injustice protests/movements in America. My target would be mainly millennials and those who don’t know the symbolism, message, and importance of music throughout society.

Introduction: I’d like to start with a brief introduction to what is music in today’s eyes and explain its importance. I will connect that to a serious event that happened in recent years such as BLM marches and the involvement of music. (end of intro)

Transition + Paragraph 1: I will transition and expand don’t the idea of how music played a role in BLM marches using Kendrick Lamar’s song, Alright, and People’s Magazine Publification. I will specify a main point within the beginning of the paragraph.

Quotables:

Q1: “The result was the grammy-award-winning album To Pimp a Butterfly, and his “unapologetic” song “Alright” that would quickly transform into a protest anthem.”I really agree with this quote and how the song was “unapologetic.” The song was later quoted as a “middle finger” by Moore and how that was what they needed. I like that because it really shows how influential this song alone was and how it became an anthem for Black Lives Matter.

Q2: ” “You have these two different elements colliding at the same time. You have soul music, which is Black music. And you have very aggressive rap lyrics as well,” he continues. “That’s what I meant when I [wrote in the book], ‘It was a middle finger to the man.’ Because it was. It was unapologetic. And I think that’s what we needed at the time.” ” Here, Moore states that it was unapologetic and what they needed. The “Black music” refers to Lamar’s iconic way of rapping over vocal pads and gospel-like music, representing the soul of Black Americans. The “unapologetic”/”middle finger” refers to how the song tackles the issue and tells them that regardless of their situation, they’ll be alright.

Supporting Details: I will convey a complete analysis of the author’s work and my thoughts to provide evidence to my claim.

Source : Gillette, Sam. “How Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Alright’ Became the Protest Song of the BLM Movement.” Peoplemag, PEOPLE, 22 Oct. 2020, https://people.com/music/how-kendrick-lamar-alright-became-the-protest-song-of-the-black-lives-matter-movement/

Transition + P2: In my second paragraph, I will use Aloe Blacc’s 2016 TEDxTalks. I will provide his credibility, a quick summary of his speech, and the main point.

Quotables: (I will limit myself to only 2 since these are lengthy.) (Quotes are subject to change, these are just the ones I written in my annotated sources since they caught my eye)

Q1)”When Marvin Gaye stood his ground he believed so much in his message that he knew that these words needed to get out he knew that he could say through song what so many other people felt. He said, “I’m not a poet, I’m not a painter, but I can do it with music.”

Q2)”I wanted to use the music video to discuss immigration to humanize immigrants because the story is so near and dear to my heart being the son of immigrants. So in the video, I depict the migration of the family from Mexico to Los Angeles and the lead character in this music video is a girl named Hareth. In real life, Hareth is a dreamer. A dreamer as a student who is going to school in the US, but is undocumented and she is granted the right to continue her school. And also in real life, Hareth’s father is an undocumented worker who was going through a deportation hearing. Luckily and thankfully, after the release of the music video, Hareth’s father was able to stay in the United States. His case was closed.”

Q3)”Marvin Gaye inspired me to make music with a message and my purpose as a songwriter is to make positive social change and that can either be through the lyrics that I write, songs that I sing, or publicly sponsoring or supporting the issues that I think are important.”

Supporting Details: I will convey a complete analysis of the author’s work and my thoughts to provide evidence for my claim.

Source: Blacc, Aloe. “How ‘Message Music’ Inspires Social Change | Aloe Blacc | TEDxWestBrowardHigh.” YouTube, TEDxTalks, 19 Apr. 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2mpE6Nwh2g&t=732s

Transition + Paragraph 3: I will quickly introduce Greg Tate (Music journalist) and his importance and credibility in the music industry as long as his influence. I will quickly summarize his speech and provide the main point.

Q1) “Cooke had been chastened to rein in his Harlem-style full-tilt boogie by an earlier Copa performance that prompted a chilly response from the predominantly non-black audience. When Cooke went in to record A Change, he had already bent and yoked himself into acceptable form for those Americans not acculturated to the fire-and-brimstone emotionality of black Pentecostalism and uptown R&B. His intentions with Change could not have been more apposite and carried none of the self-neutering baggage of his Copa crossover.”
Q2) “Nevertheless, the after-life of the composition in the African-American protest hymnal canon finds it still essential and indelible. In the Smithsonian National Museum of African History and Culture, which opened in 2016, there is a space for reflection designated as the ‘Contemplative Court’, where A Change Is Gonna Come is inscribed on the walls, looming like an everlasting mantra for meditation”

Q3) “Sam Cooke never got to bear witness to his song A Change Is Gonna Come becoming the unofficial anthem of the civil rights movement. Or how its prophetic lamentations would reverberate across the decades to become a rallying cry for Barack Obama, and Beyoncé, well into the 21st Century.”

Supporting Details: I will convey a complete analysis of the author’s work and my thoughts to provide evidence for my claim.

Source: Tate, Greg. “A Change Is Gonna Come: One of Soul’s Greatest Songs.” BBC Culture, BBC, 14 Oct. 2020, https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20201013-a-change-is-gonna-come-one-of-souls-greatest-songs#:~:text=Sam%20Cooke%20never%20got%20to,well%20into%20the%2021st%20Century.

Conclusion: I haven’t really mapped out the conclusion yet. I wanted to stick to a similar conclusion to my RAB unit 2 assignment, but I also want it to be less lengthy. I was thinking of ending with a quote by someone recognizable by anyone.

The main points in my conclusion will be: What I wanted to achieve, what I achieved, what I learned, and my personal thought about the topic at the end and who I want to pick this up.

My Proposal

In my Unit 2 research, I learned a lot of important info, some of which I already knew, and some that were relatively new to me. From that research, I want to teach readers that music doesn’t always have to correlate to modern art. When talking about music, many people probably think of today’s generation of music and genres such as hip-hop, rap, country, etc. Still, different genres of music have been used as a form of vocal expression during many civil rights movements in America. The audience I am trying to reach is those who don’t see music as more than just entertainment and melody. I want them to understand that music is a vocal emotional expression of people and has played a role in many movements that changed America. I plan to get started by briefly introducing a rundown on music and what it is and what it stands for to the average person today. Then, I plan to elaborate on my original research by saying how it’s more than that and has played a role in many movements that impacted America such as . . . and so on. I’m not really worried about anything on this project. I think it’ll be pretty simple considering we already made RAB and basically painted a road for the rest of the actual project. My main concern however is the organization of my sentences. I’m not really worried about the structure, I’m just worried about sentences that may run on or relate very little. Overall, I think I’m ready.

My Response to Stedman’s Article

Reading his article actually opened my eyes to the realization that I fall under a lot of writing factors that annoy Stedman. I for the most part already knew that my use of sources is not the best, but I did not realize how accurate he was for the most part. I had a writing phase at one point where I would start and end paragraphs with quotes because the teacher “wanted to make the audience think when reading.” Though I also do follow some of the fixes Stedman stated, he quickly said that readers would be frustrated by “why you used so many quotations” which I don’t think I overquote, but I do think I overextend on that quote, and either capture things that aren’t needed then proceed to also explain that part that plays little to no relevance to the entirety. Overall, what Stedman says is pretty accurate to me and I agree with what he says for the most part. The majority of the “annoying ways” I use sources are due to bad habits that I picked up while in school.

(Taken from my second source entry)

Music does not have to just play a role in the present. Music can be seen as a way to immortalize the voice and embed it in history where that artist can inspire many, decades after they have already died. One example of that happening is how it inspired Aloe Blacc, a modern-day hip-hop artist who inspired millions. In a video taken from Blacc’s TEDxTalks, Blacc states, ”Marvin Gaye inspired me to make music with a message, and my purpose as a songwriter is to make positive social change and that can either be through the lyrics that I write, songs that I sing or publicly sponsoring or supporting the issues that I think are important.” Gaye was an artist from the 60s who mostly made r&b soul music about love, lust, racial inequality, and a need for change, things millions of Americans could relate to. As an artist, Gaye’s goal was to unify everybody, fight AIDS, and fight for justice for everybody through his music. His music had message and that message was read to many around the globe, one of them being Blacc who chose to create his own music and spread his own message using his own voice. Even decades after Gaye’s death, his music is immortalized and plays an inspiration to many such as Blacc.

Updated Entry Source 2

Source: Blacc, Aloe. “How ‘Message Music’ Inspires Social Change | Aloe Blacc | TEDxWestBrowardHigh.” YouTube, TEDxTalks, 19 Apr. 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2mpE6Nwh2g&t=732s.

Summary: Blacc talks about how “Message Music” inspires change through emotion and feelings. He describes “Message Music” as music with a message, something simple that is born from a community with a struggle or problem where it forces an artist to come together and create an expression or message that presents the problem and gives the listener a feeling of what they are going through. Artists such as Woody Guthrie, Sam Cooke, Martin Gaye, and many others artists vocally painted their oppression and struggle, sending out a message in the form of music.

Blacc relates his music to real problems and problems that exist internationally such as immigration. Blacc releases an acoustic version of Avicii’s song Wake Me Up which it gained a lot of popularity. Blacc however, used the music as well as a video to paint a picture that humanizes immigrants since the problem of immigration in California was worsening and Blacc being a child of immigrants felt really distressed by it.

Blacc talks about his inspiration from Michael Jackson where MJ releases a track called Black or White. The song is about how black or white, it doesn’t matter, you are human. The song goes platinum and topped the charts, becoming one of Blacc’s biggest inspirations in music because of the message that MJ was able to express.

Throughout his talk, Blacc sings multiple pieces by multiple artists, mostly the most inspirational parts of “message music” by activist artists. Blacc finishes his talk by talking about how he will continue to use his voice and sing about what he deems in need of change.

Analysis: I agree with Blacc strongly. Surprisingly, I never looked at it as “message music” because I thought it was more than that, but its importance is the message. Blacc helped me realize that message music is music that conveys the voice of the community and that is the role that it plays in the movement. He does this by singing songs by artists such as Marvin Gaye and Sam Cookes, artists who faced oppression, injustice, racism, and inequality. Their songs paint a message to the reader through words and emotions portrayed by the voice. I think that his speech was very effective in the way that he was talking. He would bring up multiple artists, each with their own “message music” to prove his point that artists from different communities that faced a struggle are the voices of that community and sing/write a song that can be interpreted by others in the form of music. The voice can express pain, anger, excitement, joy, pride, etc. He then uses pathos by connecting his real life to his song, “Wake Me Up” where he tries to humanize immigrants. Blacc chose to say his speech vocally because he was able to express himself using his voice and send a message, ultimately what his overall message was: to use his voice and stand for what’s right and become the voice. I think that it was a good choice for the intended audience because he was able to demonstrate it himself and show the beauty in music.

Quotables:

Q1)”When Marvin Gaye stood his ground he believed so much in his message that he knew that these words needed to get out he knew that he could say through song what so many other people felt. He said, “I’m not a poet, I’m not a painter, but I can do it with music.”

Q2)”I wanted to use the music video to discuss immigration to humanize immigrants because the story is so near and dear to my heart being the son of immigrants. So in the video, I depict the migration of the family from Mexico to Los Angeles and the lead character in this music video is a girl named Hareth. In real life, Hareth is a dreamer. A dreamer as a student who is going to school in the US, but is undocumented and she is granted the right to continue her school. And also in real life, Hareth’s father is an undocumented worker who was going through a deportation hearing. Luckily and thankfully, after the release of the music video, Hareth’s father was able to stay in the United States. His case was closed.”

Q3)”Marvin Gaye inspired me to make music with a message and my purpose as a songwriter is to make positive social change and that can either be through the lyrics that I write, songs that I sing or publicly sponsoring or supporting the issues that I think are important.”

Conclusion

To wrap everything up, through my research, it is clear that music played an important role in American social movements. Through their music, artists are able to share their pain, frustration, struggle, emotion, and hope by utilizing the most powerful instrument a human is equipped with: the Voice. Within my research, I found that music has been used for years as a form of protest a lot earlier than I thought it had. As someone who spends every day listening to hip-hop and rhythm and blues, I assumed that digital music was popularized around the 1970s since hip-hop was invented in the Bronx of New York as a form of reflection on the post-industrial decline, politics, and negative change taking place economically, but to my surprise, I was wrong about how music was used to protest. Music has been used for decades as a form of protest and to display the emotions and suffering that people face, inspiring change. Almost all of the times there was a civil protest or movement, a song was listed as an official or unofficial anthem, allowing people to chant something that represented them. To many, that gives them the strength and power that they need to confide in order to really feel like they belong and are not facing indifference themselves. I think that it’s important for people to know that music is more than just entertainment and melodies. I listen to music every second, including my sleep, and they include a lot of songs that talk about serious topics such as the state of the world, the economy, and society, but to someone who doesn’t really pay too much attention to it such as my mom, they think it’s just “ear candy” and don’t really pay much attention to it. For hundreds of years, the human voice has been used in many forms of protest and I think it’s important that people know that music is one of the strongest forms of protest using the voice to convey pain and emotion. To be even more specific, I think that the people who need to realize this are those who believe that music is nothing more than just melodies and distractions and that it doesn’t play a significant role in American history. Today, however, many people forget that music has played an important part in history as a large influence, and will continue to influence the future indefinitely as long as humans exist.

Source Entry 3

Song: Sam Cooke. “A Change Is Gonna Come” 1964

It’s been too hard living but I’m afraid to die

‘Cause I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky

It’s been a long, a long time comin’,

But I know, oh-oo-oh, A change gonna come, oh yes, it will.

Source: Tate, Greg. “A Change Is Gonna Come: One of Soul’s Greatest Songs.” BBC Culture, BBC, 14 Oct. 2020, https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20201013-a-change-is-gonna-come-one-of-souls-greatest-songs#:~:text=Sam%20Cooke%20never%20got%20to,well%20into%20the%2021st%20Century.

Summary: Inspired by Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind, Same Cooke, an African-American singer-songwriter released A Change Is Gonna Come during the Jim Crow era, ultimately unknowing and never finding out that his song would one day be ranked No. 3 by the Rollingstone’s, become an unofficial anthem, and become engraved in a black history museum. This song was very successful because of the emotion portrayed by Cooke. Cooke was a victim of the Jim Crow laws. After he was turned away for not being white at a motel, Cooke released this song and soon it empowered many black individuals. It was deemed as one of the first efforts in a movement after his refusal to sing at a segregated concert.

Unfortunately, Cooke was killed before he was able to release the song. Two weeks after his death, his song, A Change Is Gonna Come was released. Cooke’s release of this song was a “wistful wake-up call from a bygone phase of anti-racist struggle,” but the change did not instantly come. Riots and racial injustice would go on for years until 1968 when the assassination of Martin Luther King would anger many African-Americans and deal the final blow towards the oppression of black Americans.

Even though Cooke was not alive to witness the power and impact of his song, his song was quickly picked up within the civil rights movement and was “a spark to a flame.” The lines It’s been too hard living but I’m afraid to die opens an eye to the racism that African-Americans face throughout the Jim Crow Era using the pain and emotion in his voice. While recording the song, Cooke had “bent and yoked himself” to make the song an “acceptable form for those Americans not accultured to fire-and-brimstone emotionality” meaning he had shifted the song in concern of the Americans not being able to handle what it is like to be black emotionally.

Even decades after his death, his song remains one of the greatest. In 2008, Obama uses the song in his victory speech, resurfacing the song. Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come is inscribed onto the walls of the Smithsonian National Museum of African History and Culture and its influence on history, civil rights, and the future will be everlasting.

Analysis: The author, Greg Tate, writes in an explanatory composition using a lot of pathos and ethos to persuade the reader of how Cooke has played a role in the Civil Rights movement. The author uses words such as fire-and-brimstone to describe the emotionality of Cooke’s song, representing how the normal person could not withstand the emotions that he had toward the hope of change. He then uses the words “apposite” and “self-neutering” to describe the harsh circumstances that Cooke was under when he released his song in order for it to be ready for America. The author uses pathos by ending the conclusion by reflecting on Cooke’s everlasting influence. Lastly, the author uses the hook in Q3 to grab the reader by stating the importance of Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come.

I think that the writer did a really good job in portraying Cooke’s release of the song and the background of the song including the events leading up to the release of the song. They did so without overextending too much where it reaches too far out of the subject. It’s just astonishing how the song was released after his death and how its enormous impact, influence, and beauty were not able to be witnessed by Cooke himself. In addition, the author uses Cooke’s accomplishments and hard work in life to develop an emotional effect on the reader because it demonstrates how hard Cooke has worked to get there with managing his own label and having 30 to 40 hits. The author also does a good job at connecting you to Cooke and how he feels when he works on his music while still providing the information necessary to the reader.

Quotables:

Q1) “Cooke had been chastened to rein in his Harlem-style full-tilt boogie by an earlier Copa performance that prompted a chilly response from the predominantly non-black audience. When Cooke went in to record A Change, he had already bent and yoked himself into acceptable form for those Americans not acculturated to the fire-and-brimstone emotionality of black Pentecostalism and uptown R&B. His intentions with Change could not have been more apposite and carried none of the self-neutering baggage of his Copa crossover.”
Q2) “Nevertheless, the after-life of the composition in the African-American protest hymnal canon finds it still essential and indelible. In the Smithsonian National Museum of African History and Culture, which opened in 2016, there is a space for reflection designated as the ‘Contemplative Court’, where A Change Is Gonna Come is inscribed on the walls, looming like an everlasting mantra for meditation”

Q3) “Sam Cooke never got to bear witness to his song A Change Is Gonna Come becoming the unofficial anthem of the civil rights movement. Or how its prophetic lamentations would reverberate across the decades to become a rallying cry for Barack Obama, and Beyoncé, well into the 21st Century.”

Source Entry 2

Song: Nina Simone. “Strange Fruit.” Track 8 on Pastel Blues, Oct. 1965

Strange fruit hangin’

From the poplar trees

Pastoral scene

Of the gallant south”

Nina Simone’s Cover of Pastel Blues

Source 1: Browne, David. “’Strange Fruit’: The Timely Return of One of America’s Most Powerful Protest Songs.” Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone, 23 July 2021, https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/strange-fruit-history-legacy-1030942/.

Summary: In this magazine by RollingStone, an American monthly magazine that mainly focuses on music and popular culture, they break down the history behind the song “Strange Fruit” written by American songwriter Abel Meeropol in The Bronx, New York. Meeropol was born to Russian immigrant parents and was raised throughout the Jim Crow Era in the 1930s, publishing a poem called “Strange Fruit” after seeing a photograph of two black men hanging from a tree after being lynched. After publishing it named “Bitter Fruit” under the pseudonym Lewis Allan, it gained popularity and eventually, in 1939, made its way to Billie Holiday who sang it at New York’s Cafe Society Club. She renamed it “Strange Fruit” and embraced the song so well that it earned her a permanent spot in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1978. Holiday’s take generated a variety of emotions but gained a lot of popularity and she eventually published a book but did not credit Meeropol. Meeropol however did not accuse her, knowing it would provide more ammunition to those who were racist. Eventually, Meeropol would be credited and his family would gain royalties from all variants of the song. In 1965, Nina Simone recorded her version of Strange Fruit, and it resurfaced, gaining popularity due to Simone’s eerie take on the song. Though Holiday was the first, many would argue that Simone did the best in transforming Meeropol’s haunting poem into a song with the same emotions. After this point, many different versions of Meeropol’s poem would start to surface, including Diana Ross in the 1972 biopic Lady Sings the Blues, the 1980 recast by UB40, and until Meeropol’s death where an old friend performed Strange Fruit at a memorial at his house. Throughout his life, Meeropol always worried about the “song that made him the most proud” and would often worry that people would forget. However, in 2013, Kanye West releases the album Yeezus with one of the tracks being labeled “Blood on the Leaves” sampling Simone’s 1965 Strange Fruit, implementing the idea that “people have everything but they don’t have the freedom they’re longing for.” In the last 22 years, the song Strange Fruit has generated about $300,000 in royalties for the Meeropols and a portion has gone towards establishing the Abel Meeropol Social Justice Writing Awards where in 2017, the first recipient was black poet Patricia Smith. The magazine ends with Abel’s son, Michael Meeropol, stating that “We were supposed to have killed Jim Crow in 1964 and ’65. There’s a trope that says, ‘Until the last anti-Semite is dead, I’m Jewish.’ Now, until the last racist is dead, ‘Strange Fruit’ will be relevant. And the last racist is not the president of the United States.”

Analysis: Browne’s use of words and structuring while writing this magazine was excellent. Instead of skipping over the little details, Browne includes a lot of small details that paint the big picture. By structuring the magazine the way he did, a clear timeline of the songwriter, singers, and song itself was portrayed. Browne starts at the initial cause of the song all the way to the most recent involvement in the Black Lives Matter protests which shows how this song has been relevant in the black community for over 80 years. Throughout the magazine, Browne implements a dedicated paragraph that separates the introduction to what is Strange Fruits to it’s story of origin.

The story of “Strange Fruit” is full of drama and surprises. As recounted in the work of author David Margolick (Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Biography of a Song), Joel Katz’s 2002 documentary Strange Fruit, and a study by scholar Nancy Kovaleff Baker, the song was first written by a white Jewish schoolteacher in the Bronx. Abel Meeropol, who taught English at DeWitt Clinton High School starting in 1927, was a dedicated Communist and progressive thinker who was also a part-time writer and poet.”

In addition, Browne uses an appeal to ethos and pathos by stating the horrific sights that caused Meeropol to publish his poem and the feelings of Holiday when she first sang Strange Fruit, and the silent conflict between both the songwriter and the singer. The horrific words consist of strange fruits hanging on the poplar trees being the bodies of blacks being hung on poplar trees after being lynched. Browne connects the meaning of the lyrics to how Meeropol saw photos of blacks being lynched and hung. Browne ends the magazine with a quote from Abel’s son, Michael Meeropol, stating, “We were supposed to have killed Jim Crow in 1964 and ’65. There’s a trope that says, ‘Until the last anti-Semite is dead, I’m Jewish.’ Now, until the last racist is dead, ‘Strange Fruit’ will be relevant. And the last racist is now president of the United States.” This is ironic because Strange Fruit was a song that represents racism, murder, struggle, and inequality and it surfacing would mean that we live in an era relevant to that. Ironically, Meeropol’s Alzheimer’s caused him to have the fear of his song being forgotten.

Quotables:

Q1) “Sometime in the Thirties, Meeropol came upon a photo of a lynching, most likely in a magazine. At the time, lynchings were shockingly commonplace: According to an updated study done last year by historians Charles Seguin and David Rigby, 4,467 people — 3,265 of them black — were lynched in America between 1883 and 1941. Photos of those horrific sites were turned into postcards (the line “They’re selling postcards of the hanging” in Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row” refers to the practice). The image Meeropol saw stayed with him and first appeared in a poem, “Bitter Fruit,” that he wrote for a 1937 union publication.”

Q2)”Meeropol was surprised when, in her book, Holiday implied she had helped set his poem to music. This was untrue, according to the Meeropol family, but Abel Meeropol kept his complaints quiet: “He didn’t want to give the racists any ammunition against Billie Holiday,” says Robert, “so he never publicly attacked her for falsely claiming his work.” At the urging of her book publisher,  Holiday issued a statement that “Strange Fruit” was indeed “an original composition by Lewis Allan,” who was “the sole author.””

Q3)”West’s “Blood on the Leaves” was streamed nearly four times as often as Holiday’s original in the first half of this year, according to Alpha Data. The Meeropols continue to earn royalties off the song: Thanks to several changes in copyright law, the lyrics and melody to “Strange Fruit” won’t go into public domain until 2033, 98 years after its initial 1939 copyright. The song has generated about $300,000 in royalties in just over the last 22 years. A portion of Robert Meeropol’s earnings has gone toward the establishment of the Abel Meeropol Social Justice Writing Awards; in 2017, the first recipient was black poet Patricia Smith, a multiple-time National Poetry Slam winner”

Q4)”The fact that “Strange Fruit” is newly relevant is “a sad, sad commentary,” says Michael Meeropol. “We were supposed to have killed Jim Crow in 1964 and ’65. There’s a trope that says, ‘Until the last anti-Semite is dead, I’m Jewish.’ Now, until the last racist is dead, ‘Strange Fruit’ will be relevant. And the last racist is now president of the United States.””

Navigating Genres

The word genre is weird to me. Although genre is present in things such as music and art, when referring to genre, I usually think of writing and books. When I see the words genre, I usually associate it with the genres that I know well growing up such as the two major genres fiction and non-fiction. The other genres that I began to like reading about were action, horror, mystery, and especially science fiction. Most of these I picked up reading around elementary to middle school. My favorite series would always be the Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne. Eventually, I read three of the seven Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. From these books, I enjoyed the mix of feelings of mystery and action through fantasy. These books all shared a common feature of using metaphors and personification which for some reason really worked well in capturing my attention as a kid.

The Magic Tree House Issue Book 32: To The Future, Ben Franklin! by Mary Pope Osborne

In regards to my research question, I think that the genre that would be best for giving me good information in Unit 2 is definitely history, biography, and philosophy. My research asks the question of how music influenced or played a role in supporting certain movements in America regarding struggle. I think that history would be strong since there’s no better evidence in research than the event itself taking place. The genre of biography could be used to describe what it was like and what caused such events to take place. And lastly, philosophy would explain why. I’ve done quite a bit of research, before this genre assignment, and most of it is a form of two of these three genres mixed together. I anticipate discovering new genres along the way, but for now, I feel that these three genres will pose the strongest in aiding my research.

Source Entry 1

Song: Kendrick Lamar. “Alright.” To Pimp A Butterfly, 30 July 2015

“Nazareth, I’m f***ed up, homie, you f***ed up,
but if God got us then we gon’ be alright.”

Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly Album Cover

Source 1: Gillette, Sam. “How Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Alright’ Became the Protest Song of the BLM Movement.” Peoplemag, PEOPLE, 22 Oct. 2020, https://people.com/music/how-kendrick-lamar-alright-became-the-protest-song-of-the-black-lives-matter-movement/

“The hard-hitting chorus, “We gon’ be alright,” channeled protestors’ rage as they shouted it on the streets. Soon, videos of protestors chanting and thought pieces about the song’s connection to the Black Lives Matter movement flooded the internet.

Today, the music video of “Alright” — with its graphic black-and-white imagery and pointed criticism of police a form of protest in its own right — has more than 135 million views.

“The long-lasting impact of ‘Alright’ isn’t on the Billboard charts,” says Marcus J. Moore, author of The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America, in an interview with PEOPLE. “But I feel like it has a longer-lasting impact because it was chanted by the people for whom the song was made. It was being chanted by people in the street who out there actually doing the work.” “

Summary: In this quote, the author is stating the effect of the “hard-hitting chorus.” The full chorus “I’m f***ed up, homie, you f***ed up, but if God got us then we gon’ be alright” ultimately became the hook of the song and what was being chanted along the streets for various Black Lives Matter marches along 2015. With that, videos of protestors chanting the song and other various content creators started uploading their own take on his song and how it plays a big role in current events. This caused his song to drastically gain popularity and reach billboards. The author quotes Marcus J. Moore, a music journalist and the author of “The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America.” In this book, he explains fully in depth how Lamar became a symbol and icon for many African Americans to keep pushing and avoid evil. Lamar became an iconic figure, especially for the youth. In Moore’s quote, he says that the song may no longer be on Billboard charts, but it has a longer-lasting impact as it has moved the community by giving them something to confide in and shouting the iconic words, “We gon’ be alright.”

Reflection: I agree with Gillette on his writing because it captured how the song reached the right audience and played a role in empowerment for the Black Lives Matter movement and marches throughout 2015. I think that the use of Moore’s quote “it has a longer-lasting impact because it was chanted by the people for whom the song was made. It was being chanted by people in the street who out there actually doing the work” was very impactful to the reader because it displays the power of the song and how it plays a role in the people who were in the street actually doing the work (protesters and marchers during BLM). Without stating it, it was clear that “We gon’ be alright” was words of empowerment and were words that allowed the people to find confidence and continue the march chanting those words. To me, that’s a pretty big accomplishment as the song itself was very aware of the current events and yet tells the listener to keep going. And that’s exactly what happened as it plays a big role in many of the BLM protests.

I like Gillette’s use of information. Without really stating any real explanation, he states straightforward quotations and introductions that can easily be interpreted by the reader and still draws the reader in. Here, Gillette states three major points on why Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” was such a success. He states that it becomes a chant connected to the Black Lives Matter movement that flooded the internet, it reached 135 million views on the music video, and it left a long-lasting impact regardless of whether or not it remains on the billboards. By stating these points, he uses logos and cuts straight to the point without any biased comments or remarks. Throughout the entire publication, the author only uses the information he recorded and does a great job of staying true.

Quotable:

Q1: “The result was the grammy-award-winning album To Pimp a Butterfly, and his “unapologetic” song “Alright” that would quickly transform into a protest anthem.”I really agree with this quote and how the song was “unapologetic.” The song was later quoted as a “middle finger” by Moore and how that was what they needed. I like that because it really shows how influential this song alone was and how it became an anthem for Black Lives Matter.

Q2: ” “You have these two different elements colliding at the same time. You have soul music, which is Black music. And you have very aggressive rap lyrics as well,” he continues. “That’s what I meant when I [wrote in the book], ‘It was a middle finger to the man.’ Because it was. It was unapologetic. And I think that’s what we needed at the time.” ” Here, Moore states that it was unapologetic and what they needed. The “Black music” refers to Lamar’s iconic way of rapping over vocal pads and gospel-like music, representing the soul of Black Americans. The “unapologetic”/”middle finger” refers to how the song tackles the issue and tells them that regardless of their situation, they’ll be alright.

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