Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ghetto Nation & Come On People Period 6 Group 1

Members:
Brian A6
Nina F6
Elina R6
Emily T6

Finish Ghetto Nation by Cora Daniels by December 1, 2007

Start Bill Cosby's Come On People on December 1, 2007

First posts on First half of Ghetto Nation due: December 1, 2007 (at
least five a per person)

Second blog post on second half of Ghetto Nation due: December 5,
2007 (again try for at least five a piece)

Third blog post Come on People (first half) due: December 10, 2007 (Not to be
repetitive but try for at least five a piece again)

Final Blog Come on People (second half and maybe connecting the two books) due:
December 19, 2007

37 comments:

Brian A. 6 said...

Hey guys as I read Ghetto Nation I found that as the book delves further into the topics such as hip-hop and rap, the author has a certain tone while she wrote about being a black writer and a woman at a Black authors award dinner on page 84 she is quoted by writing "As a Black writer, part of me was somewhat excited that "writer" and "publisher" had entered people's dreams alongside rapper and ballplayer. But listening that night to the thirty-fifth title that replaced every S with a Z and hearing about plots that contained some horrific drugs-sex-violence triangle, the Black woman in med found it hard to cheer anymore." the page goes on further say to that " Champions of ghetto lit argue that the genre has gotten young Black folks to read and thus should be praised. This is perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the entire Phenomenon. When did our standards get so low that we are now satisfied with simply reading? It is like being satisfied that our children are eating vegetables because they pour ketchup on their fries. Nourishment- Physical and Mental- require more. Do you think that this passage has a deeper meaning because I was interested in this section of the book because it is true that literacy has dropped tremendously in the United States but not only in the sub-category of Black Americans but in all social economic classes, white, Asian, and Latin literacy has dropped tremendously. Do you think this is because of the changing times and electronic advances like TV, Computers and Ipods. Today we can listen to books, instead of actually reading. Instead watching books we make movies out of them, but do you think the whole concept of Black Americans not reading is because of laziness or do you think that it is something that we are doing as a society? Are we preventing them from reading? Is this an epidemic that is going to slowly infect the rest of us? What can we do to prevent it? I can see where Cora Daniels is coming from because if someone reads, it does make him or her literate if they do not take the book in and understand it. I know I have asked a lot of questions but what do you all think?

Brian A. 6 said...

Before I go and have a huge blog On page 58 Daniels writes about an interview between Jay "Ice Pick" Jackson and a host from NPR and they talk about standards in hip-hop and how they do not exist “ "Aren't there any limits?" the exacerbated host shot back. "You have to have limits within self," Ice Pick responded. “People are going to as far as you let them take it. As long as it is profitable they're going to keep going with it." and that is the larger point. Why do we buy it? ... I don't like rice very much. But what if when I went to the market the only food available was shelves and shelves of Uncle Ben's? Eventually, I'd learn to like Rice, otherwise I'd starve.* When faced with such limited choices, most of us lower our standards and accept something we wouldn't necessarily choose if other options were available.” (pg.58) I agree completely with Daniels here as well as Ice Pick, How low will things go and when will people stop accepting such things such as Sex and Drugs in music and videos. This is a sad reflection of American society.
When will the FCC start banning selected videos on TV? Or when will you see society plummet further down into this “party central” where all people want is to get rich or die trying? This huge problem needs to be stopped. I like some hip-hop and rap but I understand now why my parents did not want me to watch these music videos or listen to these songs because they have no values. No offense to the “Artist” but think about what values you want your future children to have. Do you think this constant depression of limits is going to be the downfall of a good society, by no means am I saying that the Hip-hop and rap culture of the U.S. is the only thing that is bad in the world because it is not, some do talk about issues that need to be addressed but the majority of this culture talks bout things that are ridiculous. It’s to the point that some rap videos look like pornography I think I have said enough about my opinion so what do you all think? If there aren’t any limits in music, what will it become? What will we accept?

Brian A. 6 said...

Hey guys so I know that my two other posts were pretty intense so lets just get back to a basic level look at the cover at Uncle Sam. I wanted this to be my first post but I got too involved with the other two. There is obviously some reason why the artist of the cover wanted it look ghetto I find it extremely funny because he is Uncle Sam and he is supposed to reflect America and does a good job at it.
Through out the first half of the book Cora Daniels says she’s ghetto then the paragraph that follows she will say that she is not ghetto and describes other people as ghetto while some people are not. Why do you think she does this? Do you think it is to set up a bias to some people or to be completely straightforward?
Why do you think that she defines ghetto in every way possible before delving into what’s ghetto and what’s not, do you think she did it purposely or is it just some coincidence because she just wrote her thoughts?
. As “ghetto” or “gangster” as Uncle Sam may look, Americans are subjugating themselves into this ghetto mindset and it is no one’s fault but our own.
Ghettonation is a powerful book that brings forth the issues that are wrong with American society. For example “[Gwyneth Paltrow] plays ’99 Problems’ as in ’99 Problems and a bitch ain’t one,’ for her 16-month old, makes her, well, ghetto.” (55) I hope you all know who Gwyneth Paltrow is. If you do not check her out (http://babyrazzi.com/baby/wpcontent/uploads/2006/04/gwyneth-paltrow-picture-1.jpg) She’s ghetto apparently…
So we have a lot of posts to do, so lets have fun doing them. If anyone says anything that may offend someone just know this is a opinionated book so we will all have different opinions, so no hitting below the belt. Just kidding but yeah let us have a good time with this funny book.

Emily T 6 said...

I guess I’ll start off by commenting on Brian’s first post. The section about the Black authors award dinner grasped my attention as well. To answer the first major question I do think that the passage posses a deeper meaning then just what she is saying. In society today parents and teachers are just excited to see a child even pick up a book rather than a video game or countless hours spent searching through pointless Internet websites. But since a book has become uncommon for our generation and younger generations to be fond of adults settle. They don’t care what a child is reading because they believe that reading is good enough. The author does a great job comparing reading “ghetto lit” to other literature is like wanting your child to consume more vegetables yet settling for them soaking there French fries in tomato ketchup. The question then becomes are we really bettering young adults by letting them read this? Because just like tomato Ketchup is no where as healthy as normal vegetables this “ghetto lit” as the same impact of shaping a child’s mind. Just as much of a negative impact as the hip-hop and the media play in a child’s life. Even though reading shows that a child is willing to expand beyond recent technologies is it really what we want them to be learning about or is settling the best we can do? And if we settle in literature for our children are we going to settle on other discussions in their lives. Are parents going to settle when their child no longer wants to attend high school or are we going to settle when they decide to sell drugs instead of finding a legal job because after all it is a source of income, just like this “ghetto lit” is a type of reading. I think the author is trying to show the trends that today’s society has become immune to. Instead of thinking outside of our communities we are settling for what is set in front of use.

Emily T 6 said...

I found the passage on page 31 pretty interesting. Cora Daniels quotes one of Missy Elliot’s songs, which I have heard before myself. It says, “ Wake-up”: “I got the Martin Luther King fever/ Ima feed yah what yah teacher need to preach yah/ It’s time to get serious” then goes on to say, “If you don’t got a gun (it’s alright)/ If yah makin’ legal money, (it’s alright…)…” Cora Daniels then goes on to tell readers that this was never released as a single. Meaning that this song was never played on the radio and if it happened to slip through the airways it wasn’t during peak hours of listening time it was most likely on a late night DJ mix. So if the public wanted to hear the message that this CD had to bring they were going to have to purchase the album to find out. But what does this say about our society? To me it says a lot. That little passage represents a lot more than that little part out of a song can ever represent. It shows that good messages in the media are not showcased. That song could have been played throughout television commercials or the radio sending a powerful message to young adults across our country. Instead we have commercials like JCPenney having “eight-year old all-American white kids break-dancing to ‘Baby Got Back’ to sell backpacks” (8) So we are only influencing our society with bad messages, should we expect any different results then the ones we have? I doubt that that one song would have made any difference to anything. But it’s the point that once again we are settling for what sells over what is right or good for the community. Would it hurt for the media to send a positive message through music or television once in awhile instead of showcasing the bad. I think the author is showing that it is our own faults for what our country is turning into. And you can only put so much blame on the children because the adults who are the big CEOs and mangers of these companies are the ones supporting the songs like “Baby Got Back” so that they can make money. They don’t care is their next television show promotes things like sex, drugs, and crime or their star appearance selling Vitamin water promotes that he has been shot nine times (don’t remember the exact page she references 50 cent but it is in there). As long as they are driving home in that 90,000-dollar car to the multi-million dollar house it is no pain inflicting them. This just goes to show that the media has just as much to do with how “ghetto” people act as the ghetto it self does.

Brian A. 6 said...

Emily I agree with you whole-heartedly, it is totally the media's fault as well as our own that this pandemic is about. I am not so sure people even see how bad it is until something bad happens like they lose some to drugs or if they get shot. I think people ignore it because they do not want to act. Daniels is opening everybody's eyes to the problem. On page 66, Daniels writes about James Frey's book a million little pieces and how he lied about how "ghetto" or "gangster" he really was during his drug addiction. I believe he lied about going to jail. This goes along with your second post about 50 cent and how he was shot nine times and then did a Vitamin water commercial. It is horrifying that little kids actually look up to him. I understand that he is like a "idol” to little boys and girls but these star persona's are making people forget about reality. In reality, we have so much more to worry about then our ego. I find that these big corporate CEOs and company presidents do not care what happens to their consumer. Just as long as their pockets remain full and there is a steady income of sales it will not phase them a bit. Back to James Frey's book, He lied about being an inmate in jail for like 3 months, which is pathetic. I find that since people do not believe in the government anymore they put their faith into these "artists" in all genres of music, movies, and art. I think the message Daniels is saying is that we did this to ourselves, it was and still is our parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, and neighbors who do it to us, it is a community thing. I think you can see the differences in class. Ghetto does not mean just drinking cool-aid out of a mayonnaise jar. Rich people can be just as ghetto if not more than your average Joe. Now is the time to act, Missy Elliot (sp) was silenced because these companies don't want to see change. People do not like to talk about things now because it can make things awkward. I applaud what she did but now here is the question who is actually going to buy a cd? I think it has to do with some big company interference, her song was not played or the people did not want to hear it. It ties in together.

Son N. 6 said...

I can’t believe how into it I got with this book. This book is provided with pure humor but then again everything is somehow true. “Yelling at your boo in the middle of the street,” I asked myself what? Then I said to myself “oh shoot, I did that before!” So does that mean I’m ghetto? Cora Daniels is a sophisticated writer and asks many good questions in the book. Agreeing with Dr. John L. Jackson Jr., it is interesting as well as amazing that we do know what ghetto is immediately when we see it or hear it. Referring back to Brian’s post about Uncle Sam, did you guys find that to be ghetto as well? An Uncle Sam with “bling” and a peace sign pointed down. It’s funny how it is believed that ghetto people are usually from well, the ghetto and how it would only be black people that are ghetto. I totally agree with Brian and Emily that it is mostly the media’s fault for pointing out the ghetto from rap songs and rappers who refer to themselves as gangsters to say and rap how they were brought up and how hard and ghetto it was living in the neighborhood that they did. Though it is this that people learn about how other people lived right, so it can’t be all of the media’s fault because it is people that choose how to “become” ghetto to imitate their rap artists and act “cool” in school. I would like to hear more from this book in other’s point of views because this book is interesting.

Elina R 6 said...

Okay, so I have to admit that I wasn’t really into this book until I reread most of it. Something that really stood out to me was when Daniels says that ghetto is thinking short term instead of long term. At first, I didn’t really understand why this would be seen as ghetto (because of my own stereotypical definition of ghetto). Then I realized that if you think of ghetto as a mind-set, thinking short term does in fact fit under that category. People in our ghettonation thing it is better to “Live the today because tomorrow doesn’t matter” (30). It is easier to block out the future because for many of them it doesn’t seem very promising. They spend their money in superficial things that bring them temporary pleasure and satisfaction not thinking that the money they just spent buying all of those fake designer out-fits might be useful for their children’s education, because the future doesn’t matter. Daniels tells a story about a new kid in her neighborhood from India who is rejected by all of the other kids. She realizes one day that this kid doesn’t have all of the “luxuries” that all of the kids have and that that’s why he is rejected. Daniels says,

“ So his was a life without cable, no new sneakers, no cell phone, no bling bling, no sound system even. In Ghettonation, Living within your means just isn’t done. There is no need to when you think tomorrow doesn’t matter” (31).

People in our society have become so superficial that they are willing to exclude other because they live within their means and don’t spend absurd amount of money on sneakers and cell phones. It’s really sad to think that people are destroying the future of their families because they are too scared of planning ahead. They are afraid of taking chances because they are surrounded by people who tell them that it’s not worth trying. They are afraid of failure and consequences.
Regarding Brian’s comment about reading, I think that we have definitely lowered our standards. Reading one book shouldn’t be a reason for praise. Reading should be something of our daily lives, something familiar and common. People shouldn’t praise that fact that their children read, but the fact that they are capable of using that knowledge they get from books and using it in their everyday lives. This whole think also suggests that our society has reconsidered the value of things. We have rearranged them in order for them to fit our life styles and to receive praise for things that should part of our daily lives.

Elina R 6 said...

In addition to what you guys have said about the media and it’s influence, the story about Red-T and Screamer I think fits right into that whole theme. When I first read “In the corner of the crowded subway car a child was yelling, ‘this is a stickup! Hands over your wallets!’” I had reread it and make sure it really said “child”. Violence is constantly promoted in television, music, and video games. Kids are constantly being bombarded with new about their favorite celebrities and how they were arrested because they punched a photographer, were caught with drugs, or killed some innocent person. As a reaction to this, kids imitate their behaviors because they think it’s the “cool” thing to do.
I guess that what really struck me about this story, besides the fact that the kid with the gun was bout nine years old, was the reaction of the adults in the train. When the boy put up his gun and threatened everyone, they just set there with their faces behind their newspapers. We often hear mothers complain about their children learning unwanted behavior from outside sources, but fi we think about it, what are they doing to stop this behavior. All of the adults on the train had the power to stand up or talk to the kid so that he would put his gun down, but no one did. They didn’t have the will to interrupt their reading sessions to maybe save other people’s lives as well as their own (in the chance that the gun was actually loaded). The behavior of the adults suggests that it is okay for kids to carry around guns and threaten people and that they are so used seeing such things happen therefore they will not take them seriously. This situation reminds of September 11th. The country was not half as secure as it is know before we were bombed. America waited to a disaster to occur in order to act and be cautious. The adults in the train represent society and the mentality of not acting until something really bad actually occurs.
Reading this book has helped me realized how irresponsible we are as a society. We are always complaining about the government and the lack of change and improvement. But the truth is that we have no right of complaining about anything. If we truly care about our society and the way we are living our lives, than we need to take acting and make improvements in a smaller scale for the benefit of the future. But I guess this ties back to the ghetto mindset of thinking only about the present. Since the future doesn’t hold anything promising, then why bother changing small things when we can be doing something better. This mindset really bothers me! I just can’t believe that people are so selfish as to think only about their present and disregard about the present of others and their will to make changes for all of us.

Elina R 6 said...

“I don’t like rice very much. But what if when I went to the market the only food available was shelves and shelves of Uncle Ben’s? Eventually, I’d learn to like rice, otherwise I’d starve. When faced with such limited choices, most of us lower our standards and accept something we wouldn’t necessarily choose if other options were available” (58).

This passage stood out to me because it seemed to explain many things in our society. The basic concept is that we tend to assimilate to certain circumstances because we have no other choices and because it is to our best interest that we do so.
I relation to kids and the media, it is obvious that kids do, say or act the way they do because of the examples that are out in front of them. Kids are told that a pair of clean sneakers that match their outfits it’s a cool thing. So kids spend hundreds of dollars on shoes that they will probably only wear a few times. They are told that loud music with derogatory and vulgar language is the cool thing. So kids buy those CDs and talk in the same derogatory and vulgar language. Even if for some reason kids were interested in something different from the norm, very few of them would actually stand out and express themselves and their disagreements. Kids are afraid of being judged and of being alone. Now a day it is vary rare to see a kid by himself. Many kids don’t know how to act when they are on their own because they always adopt the ways of others when in company.
This idea can also be related to the thousands of immigrants to come to the US. I remember at the beginning of the year, I was called into the main office because they needed a translator. It was a boy form Peru who had just transferred schools and didn’t speak any English. I helped him out on his first day and hoped to see him again around the school, after all MHS isn’t that big. Unfortunately, I never saw the kid again until a few weeks ago in the lunchroom. I almost didn’t recognize him but I went up to him and said hi. He was dressed all “gangster” with a t-shirt that could’ve been used as a dress. The first day we met he was wearing a sweater with fitted jeans. He had assimilated to the high school’s “cool” dress code. I went up to him and said hi but he ignored me completely, I guess I’m not cool enough for him to talk to me. But the point is that the poor kid changed his ways in order to be accepted and feel like he actually belonged to this foreign world whose language he did not speak. He was immediately impacted by the large population of kids in our school that dress with over sized clothing and I guess he figured that that was the way to go, unfortunately.

Nina F 6 said...

Hey Brian well when I was reading it too that part really made me think. I feel as if we are becoming lazy and I don’t necessarily think that it has to do with the society because we have a lot of opportunities to do the things we want I feel as if we don’t take those chances as much as we should. I don’t know if in reading it and not being African American it made it seem as if the society was doing something wrong. But being an African American I feel as if when I’m reading it, I’m laughing about all the things she is saying. To be perfectly honest some of the things she refers to in this book I have done. As for me I rather read a book that interests me than sit down and watch a TV show that may not even have anything that will grab my attention, I also this that we as teenagers have become so accustomed to the media and are greatly impacted by it no only from music videos and things like that but also by the TV shows we watch. To me we have a responsibility to know the things we should do and the things we shouldn’t, we just cant blame it all on the media because we should have more common sense to know that the lives that these rappers and artists are living isn’t reality. Going on to the quote that Emily brought up about the unreleased single by Missy Elliot I find it interesting how it wasn’t released. This song isn’t considered to be a normal song. She’s telling the listeners to go the opposite way from what all the other music is telling us to do. Just because she doesn’t fit that stereotype of what a good single should be it wasn’t released and I find it a downfall on the media aspect of it because they are picking and choosing what is going to be played and they are making the wrong decisions because of that.

Nina F 6 said...

This quote that Elina posted, “I don’t like rice very much. But what if when I went to the market the only food available was shelves and shelves of Uncle Ben’s? Eventually, I’d learn to like rice, otherwise I’d starve. When faced with such limited choices, most of us lower our standards and accept something we wouldn’t necessarily choose if other options were available” (58). One thought came to my mind, and I remembered back to a story that my aunt told me. When she was younger she used to live in Cape Verde and there the food was very limited and the families were always big. And she told me how she had to wake up every morning before the sunrise and grind the corn to make couscous (which is like a breakfast cake made of corn), and she told me that she would pray to God that she would get sick for a week or more so she wouldn’t have to wake up early and do what was needed. I think now a days we take things for granted because think about this how many times have you eaten something and decided that you just don’t want anymore and threw it away? I too am someone who does this but have we ever stopped and thought about the people that are up 3-4 in the morning to get food for their family because the food is scarce. But I don’t think anyone now can truly say they have stared and I feel as if we just don’t realize the things we have, we just seem to kind of throw it all away because we have that mentality that oh I can just got get another one, or I can just open another can. But what would happen if that option was taking away from us? To me I feel as if we just need a reality check because we may thing everywhere in the world is just like the U.S, but there are countries that there isn’t even clean water to drink and here we keep the water running while brushing our teeth, take hours taking a shower, etc. but how many of us can truly say that “we don’t have another option” I think very little of us “can say that was the only option”. Also when I was reading this passage I kind of got sad because think about college and things like that, of course you are going to have your heart set on a certain place but what’s going to happen if that one school doesn’t accept you? At that instance you would have to lower your standards and take the other option because if you don’t there may not be anything else for you. There are a lot of time were reality kicks in hard and you may not like the out come but you learn to deal with it and make it work for you.

Emily T 6 said...

Hey guys, I guess it’s time we touch on the second half of the book! I want to start off with the first section of this half of the book that has stuck in my mind. It is chapter six. It starts on page 141 and ends on 144. Even though the chapter is only a few pages, the author makes her point without any narration; instead she does it with a storyline. For starters I think her technique of just using dialogue and not analyzing what is going is very important. I think she does this because the passage needs no explanation. She indeed gets her point across with out saying much. Many could interpret this chapter as a few different things. My first reaction is “wow, I hope I don’t sound this ridiculous when I talk”. But to go further into the passage, Cora Daniels uses recent music lyrics to fill the dialogue. A normal conversation would most likely not refer to songs lyrics in this manner at least this often. But it does show how song lyrics impact our normal conversations and what our thought process is, the author is showing us that this is “ghetto”. Not only did I find this interesting I also found this chapter the most amusing in the book. This is because every song referenced in this chapter from Chris Brown to Britney Spears I have either heard or have “bumped my head to” probably a thousand times. As I read the chapter I recalled most of the songs total lyrics and realized that I have never thought so deep about some of them. Most songs people just sing along to not realizing that what they are saying is offensive. Even more so, people don’t realize how much these songs affect our actions. During a conversation in this passage a girl says to her friend “it’s time to get yours. As much as that other fool accused you of cheatin’, you might as well had…” This line incorporated with a song lyric just goes to show how society views different issues these days. If you’re going to get accused of something you might as well right. Maybe not, but that’s what these songs are telling people all over the world to do. And the songs aren’t downgrading offensive actions but instead promoting it. I am not saying that this is going to make me go out and change what I listen to everyday. But it defiantly makes me more aware of why so many people think their bad actions are okay. It is because it’s what we hear everyday, and if you grow up hearing that it is okay to do certain things, you aren’t going to realize any wrong in your actions it just becomes customary.

Elina R 6 said...

“See and heard during the course of forty-five minutes at a local playground in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn: ‘Ray Ray! Get the fuck over here.’ A young mama yelled across the park at her two year-old. ‘Are you fuckin’ crazy? You better come when you hear me callin’ you.” (74)

In a couple of occasions Daniels brings up the subject of teen pregnancy. I think this is a very big issue in today’s society because of the results of these pregnancies. Young women are having kinds with no sense of responsibility or maturity. It’s difficult to understand why young people, who maybe shouldn’t even be sexually active because of their immaturity, are having unprotected sex. Living in the 21st century, it is unbelievable to see little freshman girls walking around our schools with big bellies and some even with carriages. I remember one time when I went to the orthodontist on a taxi and the driver (who was a female) asked me if we had a day care. I told her we did, and that surprisingly most of the kids there belong to students. She looked back at me and told me that when she had attended Malden High, she was kicked out of school for being pregnant. She is now making her living as a taxi driver with eleven kids. I a way, I think it’s wonderful that our school is now giving teens the chance to continue their education while having kids. Although it is very helpful, it’s a little unrealistic. Once these teens truly want to receive higher degrees of education, they are going to face difficult circumstances because of their kids. Also, having a day care also seems like our school is saying “its okay to have kids in high school, as long as you get your diploma, we’ll take care of them for you”. It’s really sad to see kids taking care of kids. Sometimes it is beautiful to see my peers holding their children, but when they all of a sudden scream at them and treat them like little bundles of garbage, I just get the impression that that kid was probably a mistake. Those poor kids are paying for their parent’s mistakes with out being asking for it.
I think this relates back to what I said about people thinking only about the present. Teenagers, specially, mainly think about their life in the present. They want to have a good time and live their lives to the fullest with out thinking about the consequences. Since they are stuck in a mind set in which the future doesn’t matter, they don’t worry about the outcome of their actions.

Mr. G said...

Bravo so far people. I'm glad to see you all excited, or at least excited the 2nd time you read it--and you are dealing with this delicate subject matter very personally and intellectually. Let's keep the tone there. Y'all really seem to "get" the book.

Brian, Emily, Elina--you three seem a couple posts away from completing the first half of the blog post / sessions. Nina, you are about a long post or two away from finishing the first session, but need another whole batch to catch up. Son, totally pumped how much you like the book, let's catch up with the pace--I want to hear more and get people to respond more to your ideas as well.

Maybe you should all try to finish this first half of the blog posts by this weekend. I'm interested to hear what you have to say about Bill Cosby's new book too.

Son N. 6 said...

Well looking at it, I need a huge post to fit my requirements for the “gang” here so I’ll do a bigger part in this post. Completely strange on how words that used to be so harsh and wasn’t used as much become such a big thing in our ghetto nation. For example a word that I just used, “gang” usually refers to a group of “gangsters,” correct? Yet, by referring to a group of gang and including yourself in a gang, would that be punned as ghetto. Another word I know is the word n****r, nice that I censored it as well, huh? Why is it that a word so horrible, became to be a word used frequently by “brothers” to refer to their own race. I wonder.

Also censoring, after reading this book I learned that America has tried to censor many things, but either way something is always getting leaked into the young minds of children in one way or another. Just like how Daniels mentions Nelly’s love for curves, “Multiplatinum artist Nelly is not alone in his love of a woman’s curves” (1). I believe that censoring isn’t working much for the young mind and that in order to keep them away from all of this is to move them out to like, maybe a farm with no T.V., telephones and newspaper, just keep them isolated, but would this be a good idea also? So just like how, Brian and Emily mentioned before about media being the main cause of this ghetto-ness to spread throughout this nation, is it really their fault that people choose to imitate their “role-models.”

Also to respond to this quote that Elina added, and totally agreeing with everything Nina had to say, “I don’t like rice very much. But what if when I went to the market the only food available was shelves and shelves of Uncle Ben’s? Eventually, I’d learn to like rice, otherwise I’d starve. When faced with such limited choices, most of us lower our standards and accept something we wouldn’t necessarily choose if other options were available” (58). Since I was a child, my mother would always tell me to eat everything off my bowl, because the kids in Vietnam are starving so you wouldn’t want to waste it for them. This quote my mom always said to me always came at me whenever I told myself, “ok, I’m full, I’m done.” I would either pass it up to my brother or if no one I usually leave it in the microwave as leftover and eat it later. But Nina’s right, what if we didn’t have the choice to save food because someone else next to you is hungry? What if we couldn’t take hot, warm showers and drink clean, purified water? Would this be ghetto as well, ghetto as in the poverty level, as a nation we should all get a reality check, as the greatest nation on Earth, why should we be ghetto? Just something everyone should think about.

Nina F 6 said...

Well hey guys, I know we are on the second chapter but I was looking at all the post-its I had for the 1st part and I saw one of my post on page 51, where Daniels is talking about the hip-hop clothing store called Niggers in Africa. When I was reading this I got really offended because I don’t understand how someone can have a store name that is so offensive and of all places Africa? I would think that Africa would be the last place where they would even this word because of the past that comes along with it. I don’t know if it was just me but I would never shop at a store that I find the name offensive and I think to the people that would do that its some what letting that word be ok in the sense that “oh ya I just when to Niggers and bought a hoodie that is amazing” like me as an African American it aggravates me to the point that it makes me mad knowing that people actually shop at this store. It was funny though because when I was reading this part of the book, I kind of had that “hold on what?” face on so I reread it and then it didn’t really seem to process in my mind. So I was just wondering if anyone else saw this as something that was so weird or if it didn’t even bother you guys. Hypothetically speaking how would someone feel if there was a store called Spic, Chink, and things of that sort I know that people would find offense to it because no one want to be called those names so why would you shop some where like that? Now a day I feel like people just don’t really realize that the word Nigger or Nigga which ever way you say it, its offensive no matter what. In one real life case there was a conversation between two people and the first person who was not black wrote “hey was up Nigga” and the other person who was half black wrote back “nothing much Nigga” when I was reading this I go sooo angry simple on the fact that the first person not being black shouldn’t even think about using this word and the other person being half black shouldn’t have answered them back with they word because it makes it seem as if it ok and it not. So I know if I was that person I would have been so mad at that person for saying that word to me but now it just seems as this word is a part of our vocabulary and it doesn’t seem to bother anyone anymore. That is very sad to be perfectly honest.

Brian A. 6 said...

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, it is December 12 and we only have 17 comments not including this one. I'd say start posting on Come on people like 3 days ago because the third post was due three days ago. So I would like to just bring up the fact that when I bought the book I met Bill Cosby and He is such a cool guy. I was actually struck by the introduction and the way that Cosby starts by talking about a guy that called into a radio show saying that " For forty years, Bill Cosby has never really shown that he is black or said that he was black. So now that his is wealthy and nobody can hurt him, no he's going to stand up and be black" This is shocking I cannot imagine anyone saying that. That is so low. I found that when Cosby tried to join the "Black club" in his mind of course pictured being turned down and then explaining how he was black and the man said you have only been black for a year or so was very awkward but then Cosby talking about his numbers " Yes, but the numbers that I have are very true, and even if some people think that I am not black enough for them, the number speak for themselves." " What kind of numbers?" " Like 70 percent of our babies are born to single women, or even when we do get married we have a divorce rate of 60 percent." and it goes on to talk about some of the most influential black leaders in history like Malcolm X and Dr.King. I find that the first chapter poses very good questions about discipline of children and how in America the fact most Black fathers are not around cause big problems because the lack of a male leader in the household. I think that it poses the question of why these boys are acting out in such rash ways. What Cosby is doing talk about "What's going on with black men" which is the name of the first chapter. This is book is very different from Ghetto Nation because it focuses more on the "black" society and the decline in all blacks. In fact he actually believe that welfare was the worst thing that ever happened to blacks because it " Made them lazy" (pg.xvi). Deep down I do believe that Cosby wants this book to reach not only the Afro-American literature fanatics but all of America because with out equal opportunities we are no better than we were in 40's before civil rights. On page forty-seven there is a poem entitled " I am a black woman published by Wm. Morrow & Co 1970, by permission of the author Mari Evansthat goes

Speak the truth of the people.
Talk sense to the people.
Free them with Reason.
Free them with Honesty.
Free the people with Love and Courage and Care for their Being.
Spare them the fantasy.
fantasy enslaves.
A slave is enslaved;
Can be enslaved by unwisdom
Can be re-enslaved by his brother whom he loves,
His brother whom he trusts,
His brother with the loud voice
And the unwisdom

This is a strong poem especially because it can be interpreted in so many ways i instantly thought of what Cosby wrote on page 46 that blacks need to take their own responsibility for their problems and the fact is even though there are to parties you can blame it does not matter. Two wrongs do not make a right. Not only can that cause the divide between blacks and whites to become greater. With great numbers of single-parented families, high-school dropout rates and joblessness are just a few of the problems faces black in America. This is book is a very easy read, so it goes by wicked fast. What do yall think about it so far? Do you agree or not? I am taken back by the book I never thought that it was as bad as it is.

Elina R 6 said...

Sorry Brian but I still have some comments on Ghettonation:

“I don’t think there is just a single answer to the success question. I tend to think that living a successful life has to do with not limiting your possibilities. The meaning of success constantly grows and develops, changing from person to person, and from generation to generation. Defining success should be difficult. However, what worried me about my discussion on the corner was that, for the young people I interviewed, not only was coming up with definition difficult, but their lack of details indicated that the idea of being successful was like imagining something out of this world, or our of their world” (85).

This passage really struck me because I had never even thought of my own definition of success. I guess that whenever I came across that word I just always pictured someone with an expensive business suit, a nice car, with the perfect money making job. After reading this chapter, I’ve realized how much our environment affects us. Seen movies and magazines full of “successful” people with extravagant lives makes us think that that’s was being successful is all about. As Daniels points out, however, the definition of success should vary depending on our generation. But I think that it’s also important to define success as personal achievement. Being successful is about over coming our own obstacles and improving as individuals.

It is sad to see that to some people being successful is a dream far from coming true. People who live in an environment where they are expected to fail or to make it up to a point and then fail see success as being something only seen on TV. And the “successful” that are seen on TV, like music artist, make their money off of brainwashing people and making them think that their lives are pure success. Young people often think that since they were born in a poor or ghetto environment that is where they belong. They don’t see a high school senior graduating as a success, instead they see a music artist buying a new house or coming up with a new record. People don’t realize that small achievements, like passing a class with a good grade, are the things that lead up to being a businessman or woman. They think that being born in a wealthy environment bring you automatic success. Working hard for what you want to often is forgotten and people expect things to come easily. Because some people don’t work hard and quit at the first struggle is why they think that being successful is “something out of this world”.

Overall, I think that being successful is overrated. People miss interpret it all the time and as a consequence are unaware of it when it is actually happening to them. Being successful is more than a glamorous life, it’s being able to be strong, fight for your goals, never quit, but most importantly it’s about picking yourself up when you have failed.

Elina R 6 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elina R 6 said...

“I started to realize how far the mind-sat had spread the moment I began wearing my wedding ring. Almost instantly the men came knocking - on the subway, at the office, on the street. I am no fool; the offers had nothing to do with me. I was the exact same person the day before my wedding as the day after. It was just that now I had that magic glow rocket. So when I tell these dogs-in-heart that I’m a married woman, they see it as the ultimate challenge, the beginning of their fight instead of the end” (96)

After reading this I asked my mom it had occurred to her too, and she said yes (which was kind of disturbing). It’s really striking to me that men would see a women as “more attractive” or “a better choice” for them after she gets married. It’d actually really disgusting that men would think of her as a greater challenge and even a trophy for that matter. Like Daniels says, which connects to one of my earlier comments, it all has to do with the lack of commitment. People don’t worry about the future because for most of them it doesn’t hold anything them. They think of the present as their whole lives, their ultimate chance for great challenges. They don’t care about the fact that the woman is married because they might not even be alive the next day do deal with the angry husband. Many men feel like it is better to get with a married woman because that way they can just use her for pleasure and her husband can deal with mood swings and her insurance. It’s really sad to see grown men being afraid of commitment, of having something for the rest of their lives. I think this also has to do with the fact that they don’t believe they can be successful or have failed at the attempt. They probably didn’t have the courage to pick themselves up and are now looking for the easy ways out.
After asking my aunt the same questions, she responded with a story. She told me about this guy in high school who she was madly in love with. She did everything to impress him but he never paid any attention to her. After her senior year in high school, she went to college and got married. When she came back to her home town one day and saw the guy she had loved in high school and he showed a great deal of unexpected attention to her. He was polite and even asked her out after she told him about her life, which included her husband and baby boy. She said that he probably realized that since she was now successful he wanted to take advantage of that. He probably didn’t even think she was attractive since she had gained weight after her pregnancy, but he insisted on taking her out. Luckily she refused and moved on with her life.
I guess that men who search for married women are ghetto because they lack the commitment factor and expect to be better off at the sake of others.

Elina R 6 said...

“The dangers of low expectations are most vivid and devastating when it comes to education. ‘I gotta graduate from high school so I can prove everybody wrong,’ said Chris, the sixteen-year-old with all the exes. He should have been going to summer school but instead would be repeating his sophomore year. ‘Everyone think I’m gonna drop out, my grandmother and ma tell all the time” (146).

The drop out rate in America is truly something to be concerned about. It was really wonderful to read this passage and come across a boy who disregards people’s expectations of him and achieves his goal of graduating high school. It’s so ironic to see mothers who complain about society and about what the world has turned into, and at the same time don’t encourage their kids to finish their education. Low expectations and the lack of support is what lead many teenagers to drop out. They don’t have anyone who truly cares about their future and about who they can be in life. There is no one there to encourage his or her higher education resulting in an increasing drop out rate.

It is truly admiring to come across kids who have high expectations for themselves and are truly passionate about their education regardless to the amount of support that they receive. At my final Posse interview I met a guy who, when asked about his biggest social or political concern, responded the drop out rate. He told us about his neighborhood and about how no one ever expected him to even make it to the final round of Posse because of his lack of commitments and passion for education. He said that everyone in his community expected him to drop out just like all of his friends and get a job at a local super market. He was misjudged because of the people he hung out with and the neighborhood he lived in. However, he knew that his education is very important to him and will now be attending Bucknell University next fall. It was really amazing to see how much he wanted to prove everyone wrong and how much he wants to attend college.

Thankfully, there exist a myriad of programs out there that are willing to help kids who truly want to succeed. However, I still think that parents should be more engaged and care more about the future of their kids.

Brian A. 6 said...

Sorry guys but I finished ghetto nation and I just kind of want to get some come on people because I am not sure if were going to meet our deadlines. So here we go.

As I read Come on People I see many things that are alike in each book that we are reading but then I also see many differences. Both of these books talk about many similar things like the lack of a father figure in a household and teen violence and how it is continually rising. I am not sure why these things keep happening but I am positive it has to do with this " Ghetto" mind-set. If we as a people and I mean all people want to continue thriving we can leave anyone behind. And it is obvious that in all aspects specifically black males are the target stereotypes but also face many learning disabilities or so called learning disabilities which I believe I touched upon in my last blog but I am not sure. What schools are doing is they put black youth that are "trouble makers" into special education classes because they do no want to "deal" with them. But in reality what school are doing is just furthering this divide between black and every other race. I sit on the school committee and we recently went over the MCAS score reports and what I saw was there was a major decline in 1. Black males and 2. Special Education classes. I am not surprised about this because most people in our area do have a "ghetto" mind set and by reading these two books I do see a connection between them. They both are addressing this pandemic of subjection of the black society but also do in two different ways. Why do you think black males are struggling? Is it this impossiblity of education or is it society as a whole? I think that would be a great way to start a disccussion.

btw go pats!

Brian A. 6 said...

Before I go on I would just like to comment on Elina's blogs I also had a kid in my final Posse interview that said a similar thing expcept he was living on his own bouncing around friends houses because his father is a drug addict and mother is in jail, I am thankful for the vast numbers of organizations out there to help kids that are in the same situation as him.

I would like to comment about one the drop rates in high schools and two the fact about when people get married they become "untouchable".

Okay so in education many kids from all over the world are dropping out at a significant rate. I think that society as a whole is to blame because people are to materialistic, but then again I think about what is successful, what is success? Is it going to college or getting a job? Is it getting rich or die trying? Is it getting the most girls being the biggest pimp? thinking about that why is there a double standard for men and women. I find that both of these books tend to write more about black males then black women. I am intrigued by these books because they ask the questions that needs answers. Elina I could not agree more with your posts. Come people is a great combo to read with ghetto nation because it takes Cora Daniels youth view and Bill Cosby's older view ( no offense to old people) and they complement each other. They both pose the same questions but go about the answers in different ways.

Now I would like comment on people who become interested in people once they become committed. Why is this? It is because the curiosity factor? I am not sure but I see this a lot in high school. I find that society is becoming a lot like high school or some ridiculous scripted reality tv show like the hills or something. Why is society stooping to these levels. By no means is all of society like this but I think the constant depression of values and morales imposed onto us by our ancestors is the key problem.

I think it is a combination of both of these problems that cause this depression for black males because they are stuck in this crass commercialism, and want to be their idols. What do you all think?

Nina F 6 said...

Hey guys, rereading all my post-its I had I looked at the chapter Family Values. When I was looking at the stuff I had written I went straight back to when she was talking about her husband-to-be. Daniels says, “it wasn’t until after a month or so of constant weeks of hanging out, over pizza- a sign that we were indeed a happy new couple in the schoolkid way- that I found out that during that first smiling conversation by the speakers, he hasn’t heard a single word I had said.” When I was reading this part of the chapter it reminded me of how when we were younger if u held a boys hand he was considered your boyfriend and that we really didn’t know what a boyfriend or girlfriend meant. And reading this it just made me laugh at how cute it was that since they went to eat pizza a couple of times they were automatically a couple. Something else that caught me attention was the fact that the first conversation she supposedly had with her husband-to-be he didn’t even know what she was saying because of the fact that the music was so loud that he just nodded his head even though he didn’t know what was going on. This reminds me of one day I was talking to my friend and I could tell he was a little side tracked but being me of course I thought he was listening and then I was talking to him about something that wasn’t life important but interesting and I just realized that he was just nodding his head so I stopped talking to see if she was still nodding and he was of course and it just goes to show that sometimes the person your talking to may not even pay attention to anything your saying but in the end you never know what’s going to happen between the two of you. I found it cute how that one instance she felt like he stood her up and starting thinks of things that were bad but she really didn’t know that he just didn’t hear her, and I know that a lot of times people just jump to conclusions without maybe thinking of other solutions and it could even be a misunderstanding but the person is so mad that they don’t even stop to think about that stuff. I just think before we jump to conclusions we have to think.

Nina F 6 said...

Sorry Brian but im Catching up.... if that's ok and after these blog ill def. start talking about Come On People...

Nina F 6 said...

Still on the chapter of Family Values, on page 133 Daniels was talking about babymamas and things like that and this one passage on this paper made me kind of give that “hold on… what” and made me reread it. That passage states, ‘There was a one-hit wonder a few years back that captured the insignificance perfectly. “That’s my babydaddy,” was basically the story of a woman convincing her new guy not to be jealous of some man buzzing around her.’ When reading this little section of this chapter it got me so angry I think just because of the fact that people are just bluntly saying this, because I know for a fact I would not want to be called babymama. Not only that but it degrades the person you are referring to because of the fact that you don’t even call them by their name but just because they bourn your child you give the category of babymama or babydaddy. Something else that angers me is the all babymamas or babydaddies are crazy and stuff like that because that not always the case. I think that if you were adult enough to have a baby you should be adult enough to take care of it. Because it takes two to tango and the babymama or babydaddy is just looking out for the child because most of the time the people who are doing these things it because they don’t want their child only having one parent or just may just need help because they cant do it alone. And I feel as if sometime people take the fact they are trying to do better for their child as craziness. People saying that just my babymama/daddy, don’t worry about them just shows that they don’t really care about them and I think if you don’t care about them why would you bring a baby into this world with someone you don’t care about, that is one of the most precious moment so why would they just so something like that and not have it mean anything, I just find it fascinating. I think that less and less people are becoming aware that this is a problem, and doing these things is being ignorant to that fact that you’re bringing a baby into this world you cant just leave it there.

Nina F 6 said...

These are one of my shorter blogs. In Chapter 6 Nigga What, Nigga Who I was just wondering if anyone else didn’t have to look at the footnote. It was funny because while I was reading all the lyrics I knew exactly what song it was, and I found myself singing the songs. Something else I found funny was that I was with my cousin and I read him each lyric and he could give me the name of the song and the artist. That got me thinking a little bit because how many people can read a quote and know what book it’s from and who the author is? Me personally I know that I listen to music way more then read. Asking me anything about music and I know it but when it comes to reading and knowing quotes and stuff like that it’s not my forte. I wonder if it the way we were brought up or is it just the society and generation we are in now. I just wanted to know if anyone else found this chapter interesting. Maybe that’s something that people have to work on because I know that teenagers now watch more tv then read and it’s not just going to help if the parent tell the kids to read but the teen has to want to do it because you learn better when you do something you want. So I feel like it’s our responsibility to not only do things we know we can but to push ourselves because anyone can listen to a song as many times as they want and learn the lyrics but how many times do people read a book so much that they can recite passages from the book. It’s a matter of choice.

Emily T 6 said...

Hey guys…I am catching up on the ghetto nation blogs before I get to come one people.

Chapter 7 “school me” of the book is one of the longest chapters in the book but it addresses many issues. The author goes into great detail about the schooling systems in different communities and how it affects the students. She starts off at a local high school called the Boys and Girls High School. It is the end of the year and the students are overly concerned with asking classmates “didyapass?” The author shows that these kids don’t care about their grades as long as they pass and they don’t have to attend summer school or stay back. She shows the flaws in the school system because these kids are not motivated to achieve any thing higher than the lowest standards set for students.

“Everyone thinks I’m gonna drop out, my grandmother and ma tell me all the time”(148). The author goes onto show that these kids are not even given motivation from their families. How is a child supposed to want to achieve when everyone around them is putting them down? It is unrealistic to think that a person is going to be motivated with negative energy around them. If someone is trying to succeed they are not going to want try when everyone is telling them they can’t to it because they are going to start to believe that they can’t do it.

“When it comes to education…there is a general consensus that something isn’t working. It’s something worse than a money-deprived school system, overcrowded classrooms, and declining test scores; it’s something in the mood…” The author is trying to show that you can’t always blame the school on the poor performance of students. The first source or the problem is most likely the students attending the school. When a student does not want to perform it doesn’t matter what school a child attends and how good the school is you have to break the mentality of the student for anything to get anywhere. The author goes onto show that a good school called Shaker Heights was still having a problem with black students performing well. The author went on to show that is wasn’t that these students were less smart than the white students it was that they didn’t try as hard. This was because their parents did not push them like other parents did. It was referred to as “low-effort syndrome” there parents did not stress the importance of homework and did not communicate with teachers. Also the teachers were to blame because of their low expectations they let the black students slip through the cracks with no punishments. It goes to show that we have no one else to blame but ourselves when it comes to a lack of education. It’s not the condition or the location of the school. It is the attitude of the students, the parents, and the teachers that work within the walls of the school. If expectations and standards were set higher then students would perform to a better potential then they do now.

Although education is what is considered most important to young adults many live with other priorities first. “What am I most proud of? Being alive.” Accomplishments in some neighborhoods are not how well someone did in school, but how long they can survive literally in the neighborhood that they live. When eight of your friends are killed in shootings is school really your first priority? But at the same time do these kids have a choice to hang on the corner or to be in school and make friends with people who wont get into situations where they are going to be gunned down on the corner. It comes down to the people pushing these kids. If no one is going to push a kid to attend school then why not take the easy way out. If there is no one telling you that you have to go to school and punishing you when you don’t are you really going to challenge yourself. Especially when everyone is telling you that you aren’t going to make it anyway.

I think that the author is trying to show that the environment that we live in effects the education that children get. It’s not always about how good the school is and how much money the school has in funding, it’s about the attitude of a student and if they have encouragement to achieve.

Son N. 6 said...

Guys, I am sorry for not participating much in the blog posts. I am currently trying to write an essay of both books and comparing both, if that is alright. If it's possible, I can post these essays by the 20th or 21nd. Thanks, I'll definitely catch up.

Brian A. 6 said...

The more I read come on people the more I feel as if it is a self help book. I am not sure but I find that it can be kind of repetitive, but the message still comes across in so many different ways so it is still a great read. I would like to comment on one of Cosby's passages. In Chapter 4 entitled Teach Your Children Well it talks about a lot of core values that Cora Daniels in my opinion just kind of brushes upon. Like passing own one's values, inspiring their children by being positive role models, to stay religious, and imposing a set of rules that help control the household. This also talks bout not overlooking community colleges.
I found this specific passage to be very interesting.

" Rapping- from hambone to the dozens- has been a particularly male form of black cultural expression from the time the first boat docked and probably on the other side. These language skills play a much bigger part in the identity of an African-American boy's expression of himself and his emerging boyhood,"

Okay so this is going to be a very awkward connection but I actually though of Stephen from Portrait here because through out the novel he is emerging into manhood and has a fascination in words. I know that this really has nothing to do with what I am going to say but I just found it to be very interesting.

the quote goes on

"The problem is that, for black males especially, there seems to be a correlation between a high drop-out rate and a deep attachment to Black English. These kids often feel pressured to know how to rap in black dialect." ( pg. 119)

But the point I am trying to say is that Rap; this multi-billion dollar business is causing black youth to fail because they look up to these rap superstars who make millions every year. These kids are forgetting that you cannot be immature for ever, sometimes you just have take responsibility and run with it. I feel as if Bill Cosby is really hitting the nail on the head. What do you all think? do you think that Rap is causing black youth to slide in school, or do you think it is from some other reason. I think this would be a great thing to talk about because it's a hot topic.

Brian A. 6 said...

So I have posts that I have saved on the computer and have not posted so here we go!

In chapter 5 Cosby writes about " the media that we deserve." I find it interesting because he talks about harsh stereotypes that negatively affect the black community. This is similar to the other chapter that I posted about last but it also talks about accepting responsibility, cooling the violence , protecting the young ones and some more ways to parent a child.

I would like to talk about the section in chapter 5 called Don't Imitate the Slave Masters because it talks about the n-word in a way that Cora Daniels did not. He uses history to prove that there is no positive mean to word the word nigger and that by changing the letters to nigga does not change it's meaning and it's negative connotation, but then why do I see these words thrown around hallway as if they do not mean anything besides like Bro, or brother, or dude. I would like everyone's opinion in this because I like they way that Cosby addressed this issue better than I liked Daniels way.
What do you guys and gals think?

Let me know

Elina R 6 said...

“There is another thing that little boys don’t do anymore: go to church. When we were kids once a week we had to get dressed to the nines in clothes we’d rather not wear and spend an hour sitting and kneeling quietly in a place we’d rather not be. But this was a useful and necessary discipline… We learned self-control, and we knew the consequences if we didn’t… Today many boys don’t go to church and couldn’t even put their clothes on straight if they did… Sadly, the first real suit many of them get to wear is colored orange” (4-5).

Come on People blew me away just after reading the first few pages. This passage really struck me because religion seems to be a very big issue in today’s society. It’s really surprising to see how the majority of the student body in our schools doesn’t believe in a God. They don’t understand what it means to have faith in something that is greater than them. To be completely honest, as a raised Catholic I question my religion plenty of times. I was always contradicting what the priest said during mass and although my father always told me that faith is the key to any question, I never accepted anything. A couple of years a go, my sister and I were lucky enough to meet to exchange students from Italy. The belonged to a movement called Community and Liberation. The girls invited us to attend one of their meetings and eventually to join the movement as well. I’m not going to say that joining this movement was one of the best things that happened to me, but it definitely allowed me to understand my religion. I am a Catholic and I do believe in God and think this has helped me immensely at different moments in my life.
It’s really sad to see kids who say they are atheist with out even knowing what that really means or even understanding a certain religion.

Bill Cosby says that although little boys disliked going to mass, it taught them respect and self-control, something that is lacking more and more know a days. Although little kids don’t quite understand the meaning of faith and God, being in an environment that teaches them to be respectful children and the difference from right and wrong will help them become better people. Although I still disagree with many of the things the Catholic Church teaches, I do think that believing in something and being in an environment where people can relate to your feelings and believes is very important. Being religious does not mean one has to be restricted to do anything out of the norm, it means that one lives one’s life with meaning and awareness.

Elina R 6 said...

Bill Cosby presents a different view of marriage than Daniels. She said that men and women don’t get married because they don’t want to deal with commitment. She also said that people don’t get married because for them, the future doesn’t hold anything. People are more for living in the present and don’t really worry about the future.

“The fact is, though, that many of the black females who used to get married when they became pregnant are no longer doing so. There is less shame and less embarrassment. But more than that, some black women simply don’t want to marry the fathers of their babies because these men appear to have little else to offer beyond the sperm. Many of these men are unemployed and unemployable” (14).

In his book, Cosby contradicts Daniel’s believe. He says that women don’t marry because they realize that their “future husbands” have nothing to offer. Pregnant women, specially, realize that they need a man that is going to be able to sustain his family economically. These women care about the future of their kids and want to make sure that the man that they’ll marry will provide their kids with monetary support. Not only do these women care about the future of their children, but about their own future as well. The want a husband that will be able to bring home the beacon and maybe even a little extra.

Personally I think that it all depends on the person and where he/she is coming from. Many times people of the lower class look for a wealthier person to marry because they want to leave their poor lives behind and move forward. Others don’t care about the money and only care about the love that exists. But like Daniel’s says, many people don’t care about the future. They care about temporary pleasure and happiness. Not many people plan ahead and care about the tomorrow and what will happen next. It all depends in the environment in which they were brought up and the values they were taught.

Elina R 6 said...

“Our community has accepted things for too long – just flat out accepted things. What things? In our mind’s eye, we see a boarded up house with weeds about six feet tall. The city is supposed to cut the weeds on the empty lot. We ask the woman who lives in an apartment next to the house, ‘Mamma, when was the last time the city came to cut down these weeds?’ She answers, ‘Never’” (49).

This passage is from the section titled “Speak Up, Speak Out”. Reading through it, I thought of Daniel’s story of red-T (the little boy with the fake gun on the subway). Both authors express the need action in our communities. People complain everyday about the violence, the discrimination, and the many assaults the occur everyday. Unfortunately, not many people are the ones who actually take action. Everyone expects the authorities to or God to these solve problems and don’t realize that no one has greater power than the members of the community itself. Starting with parents: if parents cared more about the education of their children and about raising them with proper care and attention, then less criminals will exist. Parents have the power to determine what kinds of people inhibit their communities. It is up to them to teach their children how to be good citizens. A perfect example would have to be Adolph Hitler. He received no care from his mother and turned out to be one of the worst criminals in history. The next thing people can do to improve their communities is speak up and do something when they witness as crime or something they know is wrong. People are afraid to report criminals because they feel like they will be punished somehow. Speaking up and taking action is one of the best things someone can do to improve the conditions and the type of people that live in their communities. People also realize that things can’t fix themselves. Time will not cut the weed in someone’s yard, unless someone cuts them, they will never disappear on their own. On the contrary, they will keep growing and invade the entire back yard.

Elina R 6 said...

“Malcolm X said, ‘Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.’ Nothing could be more true about the African-American journey from slavery and segregation to success. Education provided the most direct path out of poverty for a people left impoverished and mostly illiterate after emancipation. Education – in trade schools, public schools, and professional schools – has been at the core of our people’s progress. Without education to lift us up, most of us would still be struggling at the fringes of society. Given this glorious history, it troubles us that so many black youth are as thrilled about getting an education as they are about getting head lice” (101).

For me, my education has always been a priority. My education has been one the most important things in my life and doing well in school has always been my full time job. It’s really upsetting to see kids in school who don’t care about their classes and about the free education that they are being provided with. Teenagers aren’t aware of how lucky they are to receive a free education with outstanding teachers. Kids in third world countries would give anything to own a pencil and paper and attend class everyday instead to farming and looking through the trash for food.

Daniels and Cosby both feel like teenagers in today’s society don’t care enough about their education. Teenagers care way too much about buying sneakers that match their outfits and about always keeping them clean. Maybe it’s all related to Daniel’s theory. Maybe teenagers think that the future doesn’t hold anything for them and feel like attending school is a waste of time. Many kids feel like their education is not important because someone who cares about them has never encouraged them.

Mr. G said...

Thanks all. Some varying degrees of attentiveness in posting.