13. For Friday 12/4

For Friday:
One Last Addition to Essay 2

Recall that Essay 2 asks for you to include a quotation from one article you’ve found on your own and one quotation from a text we’ve read together—and to connect these to your discussion of your Essay 2 song. For Friday I want you to find a text we’ve read together (from the Google Drive folder of readings) that connects to your Essay 2 song or social issue. I want you to do several things with this text, creating a paragraph of your own writing about it as you do:

–Find a quotation from this text that you can connect to your Essay 2

–Write a paragraph: begin by explaining the connection to your song/social issue, then introduce the quotation using the names of the author and title. Finish your quotation with an MLA-formatted in-text citation (see below) and a transitional phrase that leads into your discussion of the quote’s wording and significance (eg This quote shows… / What this passage suggests…). Finish your paragraph by tying back to the connection to your social issue/song that you began with.

–Below your paragraph, use Bibme to create an MLA Works Cited citation entry for your text you’re quoting from. Refer to the MLA Citation Guide I’ve created as well for additional help.

EX: (I did two paragraphs—the first is a transition and recap for context and then my second paragraph is where I quote from a text we’ve read and link it to my demo “Essay 2 song”)

As I’ve been suggesting so far, the theme of deception appears in several different ways in the video and soundtrack of Beyonce’s “Partition.” Not only does Beyonce routinely present herself as a shadowy silhouette in the video, but her suggestion in her lyrics that “I just want to be the girl you like… the girl you like is right here with me” suggests there to be a kind of “twoness” in her which leaves us guessing: who is she really—the woman wanting to be the girl or the girl herself?

While it may seem something of a stretch, this theme of deception in Beyonce’s work can be thought of as a kind of provocateurship that is linkable to the online phenomenon of trolling. As an artist in the age of the internet, Beyonce knows that part of going viral is provoking her audiences in ways that may offend many viewers (see, for instance, my earlier discussion of Bell Hooks and Bill O’Reilly). Beyonce’s willingness to provoke her audience in certain ways is what links her to what might be called “troll culture.” As Noah Berlatsky notes in “Beyonce, Sex Terrorist,” if we observe Beyonce’s work carefully, we notice that “what she says is quite pointed” (Berlatsky). For Berlatsky, Beyonce’s “Partition” is aware of “the pressure to be respectable” coming from critics like Hooks and O’Reilly, and the song actively subverts this pressure. He continues: “the video is a fantasy about steamy married monogamous sex, which works deliberately to make O’Reilly’s conservative values look sexy and illicit. It’s also a re-imagining of black female eroticism as linked to power rather than subservience, which turns hooks’s respectability politics into a self-aware sensual tease” (Berlatsky). As this quote makes clear, Beyonce’s work manifests a kind of critical intelligence even as it may appear to be just one more form of overly sexualized pop media garbage. There is a logic to this garbage, Berlatsky reminds us, and in Beyonce’s unabashedness—not only her exposing of her body and sexuality for the camera but also for the subtler details in her work such as dropping a napkin for a white servant to pick up—there is something of a provocateur, perhaps even something of a troll. Berlatsky’s point is basically that, beyond the play of light and shadow that is part of Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce schtick, she could be thought of as admirably trolling—that is, challenging and critiquing—the demand for women’s “respectability” on both the right and left.

Works Cited

Berlatsky, Noah. “Beyoncé, Sex Terrorist: A Menace for Conservatives and Liberals Alike.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 12 May 2014, www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/05/beyonce-sex-terrorist-a-menace-for-conservatives-and-liberals-alike/362085/.

9 thoughts on “13. For Friday 12/4”

  1. The connection between No role modelz by J cole and the social issue with father figures is that words from someone you look up to can be interpreted in many different ways. For example, when someone tells a child that they will be successful in life, it can be interpreted as saying he or she has to either work hard or not work at all to achieve success. A quote I found that really connects to my essay is in “A word’s meaning often depends on who says it.” By Gloria Naylor. The Quote goes “Words themselves are innocuous; it is the consensus that gives them true power”. This quote shows how much of an influence words have on people and on the way they think and act especially when it’s from someone they look up to. J cole constantly mentions how Uncle Phil was his tv father figure and all the motivation speeches he said he took to heart.

    Work Cited

    NAYLOR A Words Meaning Can Often Depend on Who Says It. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://piratesaplanguage.weebly.com/uploads/4/6/3/9/4639574/naylor_a_words_meaning.pdf

    1. Aldo,
      You are beginning to make the connection between the problem of lacking a role model as lamented about by J Cole and Gloria Naylor’s discussion of how a word or phrase can be interpreted in different ways. Please write a bit more about how you understand Naylor’s quote and the connection to the J Cole track. You might also consider quoting a different passage from Naylor if you find another quote more appropriate. Your point here is key: that it’s possible for a child to interpret the speech of their parental role models in very different ways. But also, be sure to connect this back to “No Role Modelz”: does Cole talk about parents telling their kids they’ll “be successful” in the track? Write about this–or whatever the connection you’re seeing between the song and Naylor’s article—more.

  2. The text “Triptych: Texas Pool Party” by Namwali Serpell discusses the incident where a 14-year old African American girl was tackled and aggressively restrained by officer Eric Casebolt. This correlates with my social issue, which is police brutality. This incident is one of the many times where police officers used excessive force on African Americans. Beyoncé’s “Freedom” also highlights the issue with police brutality and how African Americans have to live in fear that one day they would get killed by police officers for absolutely nothing. A quote that stood out to me was “I will watch the YouTube of this story over and over, watch myself roll like a boulder over a girl (fifteen years old, fifteen years old), watch myself pinion her. I will hear her voice calling mother. And one day, as I sit there clicking refresh, I will realize, sudden as a bolt, that the condition of this story is an invisible eye.” (Serpell) This quote demonstrates the point of view and thoughts of the Officer. The way he describes himself being a “boulder” tells me that he knows he used excessive force on this girl and it seems like he regrets doing the things he did. This passage relates to the song “Freedom” by Beyoncé because they both talk about the issue with police brutality in the African American community. The passage I chose is about an incident where an officer used excessive force on a African American girl for no valid reason.”Freedom” by Beyoncé also discusses the struggle African Americans face with police officers and how they mistreat them just because of their skin color.

    Serpell , Namwali. “Triptych: Texas Pool Party by Namwali Serpell.” Triple Canopy, http://www.canopycanopycanopy.com/contents/triptych-texas-pool-party/#six-one.

    1. Maram,
      Good work here. A couple things to work further on:
      –When talking about multiple texts (Serpell, Beyonce), be sure to indicate (using the author/artist name) whose texts you are quoting from or discussing. Right now, when you quote Serpell, it sounds like you’re quoting Beyonce. Use names to clarify whose work you’re drawing on.
      –Say more about something specific Beyonce’s track adds to to this conversation on police brutality; how do these two texts (Serpell and Beyonce) “speak” to each other? The link could be as simple as saying something like: Serpell’s description of Casebolt’s aggressive actions against Tatyana Rhodes illustrates the “Freedom” that Beyonce’s track suggests people of color lack in America–especially when it comes to their interactions with the police force.
      What do you think? Would something like the above work somewhere in your paragraph? I just want you to build out a more specific connection between song and article.

  3. The connection between “The Bigger Picture” by Lil Baby and the social issues with racism is that now a days people judge each other by race, color, and ethnicity instead of the mind and their heart. One quote I found that supported my essay was from https://www.rap-up.com/2020/06/11/lil-baby-the-bigger-picture/” and it states ” He also uses his voice to demand change”. This quote shows that Lil Baby can use his image, fame as protest for BLM. In Lil Baby’s song, he says ” Every colored person ain’t dumb and all whites not racist, I be judging by the mind and heart, I ain’t really on to faces”, he talks about how this is the problem with society today. Everyone now judge each other right away instead of getting to really know them.

  4. In the “Triptych: Texas Pool Party” by Namwali Serpell and the song DNA by Lamar has a powerful connection with each other. The reason is that in the song, the singer described the behavior of the culture and people towards the African-Americans. They are considered useless people in society. Similarly, Triptych: Texas Pool party explores the racist part of society for black people. Police officers have significant training in the racial-profiling courses, which they use on time. He judged the teenage girl based on her skin color. There are a lot of incidents worldwide where black people get cruel behavior from the people. There should be strong-rules and rights to make black people valuable; otherwise, they will remain suppressed and below the rights.

  5. One social issue that I mentioned in my essay 2 was racism. One article that we read connects to this social issue is “Triptych: Texas Pool Party” by Namwali Serpell. This article is about a young girl and her group of friends having a pool party and having fun. The next thing you know is they are getting chased by some cops. Since these kids are black, the cops think they are causing trouble and assumed they are doing something illegal. In the text, it states“I am a former highway patrol trooper, a US Navy military police veteran, and a corporal”(Serpell). This shows a racist cop who took action against the people at the pool party because of their color. Instead of having a peaceful conversion, he abused a little 15-year-old girl. From his perspective, he is trying to show the readers that the kids are violent when they are actually innocent and have done nothing wrong. This connects to my essay 2 song because people are racist to Logic since he is a biracial rapper. People show racism because of his skin color. Black people don’t accept him because his skin color is white and white people don’t consider him their people because his race is black.

    Serpell , Namwali. “Triptych: Texas Pool Party by Namwali Serpell.” Triple Canopy, http://www.canopycanopycanopy.com/contents/triptych-texas-pool-party/#six-one.

  6. The text “Triptych: Texas Pool Party” by Namwali Serpell talked about the young girl and her group of friends that were having a pool party. The police cops thought they were causing trouble and doing something wrong. They came and started to abuse a fifteen year old girl for no reason. “What is wrong. You’re hurting her. Why you holding her down for. Can you not. Why are you dragging her.” This shows that a police officer dragged her down and abused her. “He hit me too in the face. OK. Because that’s abuse”. This helps us to understand that a police officer was not only abusing a fifteen year old girl, but he was also abusing her group of friends. Being a police officer comes with many duties and great responsibilities. They are expected to maintain rules and laws, protect the people and make them feel safe but nowadays it seems instead of making people safe, they are the ones putting them in a fear. Police brutality was always a serious problem that people still face today.

    Serpell , Namwali. “Triptych: Texas Pool Party by Namwali Serpell.” Triple Canopy, http://www.canopycanopycanopy.com/contents/triptych-texas-pool-party/#six-one.

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