• I just quickly wanted to share my thoughts something that I found to be completley ludicrous. In relation to today’s class discussion, specifically about the #BlackWomenAtWork trend on Twitter, one Tweet caught my […]

    • I just Googled those as well. It’s one thing to know that this is a problem, and another to be confronted with it in pictures in the Google search results. There’s something about the immediacy of images that makes my blood boil even more (like in Citizen). If you are mad about this and want to change it, maybe you can work with some other students to come up with a final project (a blog? video?) that draws attention to this problem and works to challenge it in some way. There is a direct connection not only to Citizen but A Raisin in the Sun, and Beneatha’s decision to wear her hair natural. Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us.

  • Earl Calloway reviews a performance of Lorraine Hansberry’s play “A Raisin in the Sun,” which took place at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. He starts off by praising the associate director of the theater, Chu […]

  • Good evening & sorry for the wait! I know how EAGER you all are to comment on these blog posts… (joke roll *ba-dum-tshh*) so let’s just get on with it. The amazing author/professor, Robin D.G. Kelly wrote this boo […]

    • Hey Cassandra, yes I believe Mr. Kelley deserves a round of applause! As you stated, the entire essence of the piece, aligned with his choice of words, grabs your attention from the start! This is displayed by the quote you used, “Without new visions we don’t know what to build, only what to knock down. We not only end up confused, rudderless, and cynical, but we forget that making a revolution is not a series of clever maneuvers and tactics but a process that can and must transform us.” I can align with your thoughts of the quote, on how the heart motivates us to fulfill our desires. If we don’t love what we’re doing then, it won’t be our best work. They’re still people, in today’s society, who’re stuck in the emotions of the past; instead of taking notice. of the actions, needed to eliminate that experience. It seems as if, the revolution only exists amongst conversation, dreams, and creative work(s), rather than taken place beneath our footsteps! As Kelley quoted, poetry is, “the emancipation of language & old ways of thinking”. We (centuries of oppressed people) have to observe the past, detect our wrongdoings, then, elevate towards a smarter path, with the knowledge needed to fulfill our new journey onto freedom. That’s the power of creative work(s), specifically “conscious” poetry/songs/raps. Whereas stated on page 9, ” … rather the best ones do what great poetry does: transport us to another place, compel us to relieve horrors and, more importantly, enable us to imagine a new society”. These artwork(s) reflect the volumes of what has been seen, what is being seen, what is to be sought. I really enjoyed your thoughts on our current journey when you stated, “Specifically, when it comes to these protests that are happening all through the streets of, well everywhere. The constant question of WHY?” Well, we have an idea of why there’s modern day slavery (spiritual / mental war) and destruction amongst the world (physically war). As you mentioned, love could’ve originally been a part of the motive but, I believe ego and wealth is the focal point now-a-days. 🙁 International, nationally, internally, and externally, freedom has become a selfish idea, where we only want to free ourselves of our own dilemma’s. I believe we have been forced into these obnoxious “groups” that is supposed to identity who we are. We’re expected to fight only within these groups’ wars however, this only causes more bloodshed. We’re so focused on the next groups forced differences that, we don’t realize how our battles are essential the same! We all have the same emotional reaction to what’s currently going on, just like those of our past: we’ve experienced the same feelings but, different stories. We must alter our reality by aligning with our reality, our surroundings. However, in regards to your second question, we must first go within and build ourselves into our strongest being, that way we can all be our own soldiers of eternal love. Love will always win while, hate will always repeat the same lost in disasters. Your first question asked: “why do you think it is important to hold on to your “visionary dream”? Indeed, this “visionary dream”, can be our obtained reality by activating our third eye so that, we can visualize our world through deeper meaning. I don’t believe that the mission of our ancestors were focused only on their current times. I believe they were putting all of their energy, into a reality that will speak and exist, for generations to come. <3

      • Girlllllllll, a heads up of me sharing this in class! This was beautiful, while reading the entire I was nodding my head in a agreement! The pint of these blogs/class facilitations are to teach our fellow peers something that we have seen in which we believe they have not in regards to the text that we read… and can I say that you flipped the switch on me? In a good way! You def. showed me something of the world that my naive self, would have totally passed over… if that makes any sense. Thank you!

    • We should react to altercations with love and not violence because violence doesn’t result in anything. Take the idea of “revenge”; When someone takes their revenge on someone, the anger they feel for something they lost is now being displaced onto the thing they want revenge on (this is getting confusing, but give me a chance here). When that revenge is fulfilled and the object that was the receiver of that revenge is no more, what is left? Nothing. There is nothing left but more anger. Revenge doesn’t result in anything. Tying it back to Civil Rights, people like Malcolm X believed that violence was necessary as it would allow the African American to finally get what they deserved. But getting what they want through violence won’t lead to anything fruitful. Instead, it just causes more hate and anger. There was a line in the preface that Kelley says and it goes like this, “Those committed to the philosophy of nonviolence saw their suffering as redemptive. The very heart of the movement, the extraordinary Southern black folks who … worked as hard as they could to love their enemy were poised to become the soul of a soulless nation” (Kelley xi). I didn’t quite understand it at first, but now it’s starting to make sense. By reacting to the problems and negativity with love, it begins to incite and galvanize people into seeing something they haven’t seen before. It promotes happiness and a brighter future. Hopefully.

    • I must say it was a pleasure reading your blog post. Not only was engaging and welcoming, but you did not start with anything political, but just embracing Kelly and his piece. One sentence that stuck with me was this ‘Well, I feel that it is to be genuinely motivated from the heart.” I think it is important to embrace the motivation each of us has that starts with our heart. Whether it is following your passion for a bright future, or protesting to fight for what you believe in, we have the determination to never give up because of the motivation found in our hearts. Kelly states, “… the tendency of men to use violence as a means to resolve conflict… (p5).” I believe the “visionary dream” everyone has allows us to make proper decision that have an impact not only on our life, but the lives of other people as well.

    • I think you did a really great job analyzing the texts. I love how you gave you expressed your own opinion and ideas about it. In your first paragraph you were referring to how Kelley is talking about how people should try and get their dreams to come true. I agree with you because at the time people’s dreams were really to have peace and love, instead of reacting with violence, they should act differently with love and care even with all the anger they would have in their hearts.

      I want to touch up on this part that you said in your second paragraph.

      “Well, I feel that it is to be genuinely motivated from the heart. When a person dreams to exceed in life, he or she must genuinely want to do so. Does that make sense? Kelly constantly reminds us that the “visionary dream” touches on having the “desire” to change and the use of our “imagination” and “love.””

      IT does make sense! I totally agree with you, if you have it in your heart to do something, you will and should motivate yourself enough to do something because it is in your heart and its something you feel you should do. Not to do anything in a rough and bad way, but with love and tenderness. Approaching any obstacle in life with positive thinking and care, will and can change the world in many ways.
      You brought up protesting in today’s world and how it was back then. I believe that everybody protests for something they believe in. Usually, most of the time, it can turn into violence because people let their anger get to them instead of using that anger and turning it into love and a positive way of getting into these protests.
      Kelley believes that we shouldn’t approach situations with negativity and violence and that we shouldn’t let that overpower love and kindness.

      To answer your question, I believe it is always better to react to altercations first with love before ever using violence. I believe it is always better to think twice about what you do before you do it. Since i am very religious, it is always mentioned to react with love and care, never with violence because violence can only get you into more trouble, love will only either get you in a better place or it will calm a situation down. If you react with violence always, sometimes you will regret it. For example, if you start an argument with your loved one and start acting violent, later on you will regret it and ask yourself why you didnt react differently. Listen, life goes by fast, you never know when someone will go. so i believe you should always be loving and caring to everybody no matter the situation. Always should find a way to come to a common round without violence.

      Overall, very good job! I loved reading your blog post!

      • Thank you! I completely agree with your response and am glad that you understood where I was coming from! And exactly… fighting fire with fire will never make the flame die out. I’m happy that you made that clear.

    • Hay Cassandra, I do not think your interpretation was a curveball at all! I completely agree with your interpretations and and thoughts about what Kelly states in his book. The quote you mention in the beginning of you blog stood out to me as well and I think it really captured the essence of what the main idea and theme of the entire book is about. A quote I found interesting and also stood out to me was when Kelly states, “Without new visions we don’t what to build, only what to knock down. We not only get confussed and rudderless, and cynical, but we forget that making a revolution is not a series of clever meneuvers and tactics but a process that can and must transform us” (Kelley 4). This quote really made me think of what it means to stand up for what you believe in. We cannot simply just pick out the things we dislike and do not agree with because that is only a peice of finding the solution. We must envision ourselves being apart of a new revolution or idea which will allow and even encourage us to create a life we want to live. To answer your question, I think it is important to hold onto your “visionary dream” because that dream is something that motivates you to improve and progress. It gives one courgage and strength to push further to achieve that dream or goal. Having and holding onto our own visionary dream allows us to have hope and believe in the possibilities that we can overcome and eventually achieve the reality we envision. To answer your second question, I believe we should react to the altercations with love rather than violence because violence just instigates more conlict and honestly doesn’t resolve anything. Violence bring upon hatred towards other which only seperates us even more. Of course it is impossible for everyone to feel love toward one another but if we spread the idea of loving each other regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc., it can help bring more people together through peaceful means. Violence only encourages hatred and seperation between groups of people and causes conflict to become larger and last longer than it needs to. Just remember: “Love Trumps Hate!”

      • “Love trump hates!” Definitely something to keep in mind when it comes to the question of battling out “demons” with love or violence… love he hates, and look at where that’s led us.

    • Hey! I think you did an excellent job at analyzing the text very well. I like that you started quoting right from the preface because when I was reading, I also did a lot of highlighting in that area as well because many things stood out to me. I like the quote that you chose from the preface stating ““How do we produce a vision that enables us to see beyond our immediate ordeals? How do we transcend bitterness and cynicism and embrace love, hope, and an all-encompassing dream of freedom, especially in these rough times? (preface)” I enjoyed this quote because it is still relevant today, maybe now more than ever. It opens us up to the idea of equality and freedom as human beings without being restricted due to gender/race etc.

      I liked the little section on page 2 that stated “She simply wanted us to live through our third eyes, to see life as possibility. She wanted us to imagine a world free of patriarchy, a world where gender and sexual relations could be reconstructed”. I think this may answer your first question of relevance. I think that people truly want peace, love, acceptance, and freedom in their lives and this quote is an example of a visionary dream they have for not only their future, but the generations ahead. Until we can stop the violent and inhuman behavior, there will never truly be a perfect world to live in.

    • I really liked how you used the quote, “… the tendency of men to use violence as a means to resolve conflict… (p5), and interpreted it as mankind. It really brought back thoughts from the earlier classes we had when everyone was just fighting to bring better. I also agree that the reasons for people fighting continue to change constantly throughout the act. This is because as someone keeps going on they realize other things that are being affected as well. The first thought of fighting isn’t even remembered with so many other things that take place along the roads.

      Altercations should be done with love because people won’t forget what they were fighting for and it comes from the heart. With violence people are unstable and have so much uncontrollable rage which cause worse problems. However most people still use their rage to fight for something instead of love. It can be better for a person physically and mentally to be at peace with things and try love first then violence.

    • I think one way Kelley thinks we can overcome the bitterness that infects humanity is when he says ” “When movements have been unable to clear the clouds, it has been the poets- no matter the medium-who have succeeded in imagining the color of the sky, in rendering the kind of dreams and future social movements are capable of producing.” Artists are able to express the feelings that are lost when people are blinded by their rage and frustration against society and they are able to transcend reality and relate to us in an abstract way. Social movements are a collective vision that have a big influence on society as a whole through art and protesting the status quo. I had just finished watching the movie ” Shaft ” which was made in 1971, which saw a rise in funk music and black power and it made me think of these ideas that Kelley was describing. Art allows us to see things in new ways and helps others understand a movement that is not coming off as being enforced upon.

    • Cassandra, for one your post was both knowledgeable and entertaining. I agree with many points that you put forth into your blog post. Rebecca answered both questions posted in your blog, and I agree with both responses (well done Rebecca!). I think what motivates individuals is a “visionary dream”, it is our influence and push towards the actions we take, the careers we choose, and events we partake in. Now to answer your questions, majority of the changes we have seen throughout history have been as a result of a violent actions, but to change that with one of the most powerful emotions, love, might even be more impactful than just a protest gone wrong. It’s kind of like that quote: “When all else fails, kill them with kindness”; it builds a stronger unit, is more inspiring and influential. It will not be easy, but is very much possible.

    • First off, I think you did a great job on your post. It was a good read and gave great insight. I don’t think your interpretation was a major curve ball at all. When you said “Kelly constantly reminds us that the ‘visionary dream’ touches on having the ‘desire’ to change and the use of our ‘imagination’ and ‘love’.” I agree 100000% with it. We need to be motivated in order to change. We need to not only believe it, but we need to have it in our minds and in our hearts. Positive thinking is the goal; taking on an obstacle with the power of positive thinking can allow you to leap over that obstacle. Violence is not the answer. Negative thinking will only bring you down. Anger only gets in the way of love and rational thinking.
      Its important to hold on to your visionary dream because that is motivation and gives you something to progress and work towards. You need motivation for just about everything in life. Without a dream, what is there to work towards? Why even progress?
      I do believe we need to react to altercations with love and not violence because violence only drives us further apart. Unity is key. Life is too short for hate.

  • After reading acts I and II of Shakespeare’s the Tempest, it becomes clear that the foundation of this play is built upon the intentions in which the protagonist, Prospero, has set up. With the use of “art”  (whi […]

    • I love your analysis of Prospero’s intentions in act 1 and act 2. I feel like Prospero uses Ariel’s “art” to control Caliban but uses promises to control Ariel. It’s unfortunate that Ariel doesn’t see that he is the one with the absolute power and Prospero is the one controlling him.

      To briefly answer your discussion question about trusting Prospero. I feel like as the reader we don’t trust him because of what the events he caused but if I was there, I would have to act like I trust him in order to survive on the island.

      • Hey Cassandra! I loved the way you explained acts I and II of Shakespeare’s, The Tempest. You did a really good job with giving good information about the characters in this play and what roles each play. I enjoyed reading your analysis! I totally believe that Antonio and Prospero are similar in a way because they both seek to have control. They both want to be on top and they would both do anything to get there. I loved how you defined usurping as in taking control by force or illegally because it did show how Antonio wanted to do so just so he can be in control of the island. I also agree with what Dana commented on your analysis with how it’s not such a great way to show kingship by trying to get revenge. It does show that Prospero has the ability and power to do what he pleases but it’s not a great way to show that to the people because then they will think it is okay to do that. I honestly would trust Prospero because i wouldnt have any other choice if i am living on that island since he is the king.
        In general i did enjoy reading Acts I and II!

    • Upon first reading, I was also a little reluctant as to if Prospero was trust worthy or not. He seems to have this thirst for power, and controls pretty much everyone around him. The very beginning of this play displays his hunger for power and control over all things and people around him. I understand that he seeks revenge on his brother for overthrowing him, but in him taking revenge, it shows a lot about his character and his ability to rule. These aren’t exactly perfect examples when it comes to kingship. I think both Antonio and Prospero are alike, however I think Prospero may be controlling without actually realizing it. He thinks he’s doing it for the greater good.

    • After reading Acts one and two I can see that Prospero and Antonio have similar traits, because their both manipulative and have cruel intentions. I don’t think we can trust Prospero because he’s still holding a grudge on his brother for over 12 years. Prospero thrives on getting his revenge on his brother and he’s willing to lie to his daughter Miranda in order for his plan to work. Prospero loves to be in control of every situation and I believe that this comes from being usurping from Antonio. Prospero needs to be in power at all times and he’s willing to use the people around him in order to become the Duke again. I don’t think hes going to be a credible character because his schemes makes him very manipulative.

    • Cassandra, nice interpretation of Prospero contradicting himself. I don’t think he can be trusted at all. He flips everything until he gets what he wants his way even if it does mean sacrificing his daughter. We could say that Antonio and Prospero are alike but we only know what happened from Prospero’s side of the story.

    • I agree it’s right to question the intentions of Prospero and whether his claim that everything he does is only for Miranda, who seems to have no inkling of the life she would have had off their island previously. If in fact Prospero was doing everything for her he wouldn’t focus so much on the wrongs that have been done to him. He seems to desire control simply for the fact of having it. When he had control of his Dukedom he instead focused on gaining control of his “art,” a skill that would, as we see, give him even greater control over those around him. Once he lost the official of being the Duke of Milan, his main motivation again became being able to destroy those who had taken from him. Anyone who is so consumed with control and power cannot be trusted, as you clearly question. I think as we go further into the play either Prospero or Miranda are going to pay the price of Prospero’s less than well-intentioned goals.

    • This is a well thought out interpretation. The power which Prospero seeks is in an effort to maintain control. This control comes in the form of changing history in order to configure the present – his current situation. So with this control that Prospero seeks, can we, as readers, trust this complex character? My opinion? It is too early to tell. I feel that there are more pieces of the puzzles, pieces that are missing, that leave too many questions unanswered. And regarding your thoughts on the similarities between Prospero and Antonio, I would have to say -based on the pages read thus far- that the two are one in the same. Both characters are brash and seem to lead with thoughts and actions that are not fully questioned. And again, as stated earlier, great interpretation, Cassandra. Well done. 🙂


  • My fellow classmates… (Obama moment) My name is Cassandra Maria. I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English in which I will then master in Education. My career goals are to become an elementary sch […]

    • This picture definitely caught my attention. The fact that women’s rights still need to be protested in 2017, is quite obscured, but I guess some things will never change. To me I feel art is also about speaking your voice and trying to make a difference for the further generations.

    • I think this is very similar to what I had said. I also feel as though it has to do with an argument or disagreement. I like that you said it’s the beauty of disagreement. That’s an excellent way of wording it. The protests that are happening today are current examples of this. They are voicing their opinions as human beings and that is a beautiful thing. Although others may not always agree with their cause, they are protesting about something that’s important to them. That is indeed the art of dissent. The fact that you have to right to express yourself on issues that matter to you.

    • and read*

    • Hey Cassandra ! First off let me say that I actually went back a read your first few words in Obama’s voice but I thought it was pretty cool that we have the goal of being be a principal in common. So I guess we both dream big. I think the photo you picked to describe ” the arts of Dissent” describes this phrase perfectly. Being a women I think this photo just explains our frustration of fighting for things that we shouldn’t have to fight for but it also shows our resilience as women.

    • Hey Cassandra!! Your post was humorous yet made a great point on your representation of the “art of dissent”. I couldn’t agree with you more that after so much progress that females have gained throughout the last few decades, its unfortunate we have to continue. I think the poster that lady was holding was pretty spot on for our convictions and is most certainly a form of art to represent a lack of agreement on both the political and social spectrum.

    • Hi Cassandra! I too am a education major. I really loved reading your blog post because you tied the phrase “art of dissent” in with something that is happening in this country and even all over the world today. I loved how you broke down the definition of the phrase by contrasting the words “art” and “dissent”. I almost find the phrase to be somewhat of an oxymoran because art can be associated with beauty whereas dissent the act of dissagreement, something that can be seen as darker and negative. I loved how you tied in Adrienne Rich and her poem about femininity and how she had created literatature that reflected the womens’ rights movement and what is meant to be a woman. The example you chose that represents the “art of dissent” was excellent as it is something that had happened in the past and even now. It is sad that women are still continuing to fight for equal rights and opportunities and I think this ongoing struggle for equality is something that has created much dissent amongst women for centuries yet have made women stronger and more united.

    • Cassandra, I really liked the picture you used, mostly because it’s how people actually speak in life. It shows the urge to fight for rights in a person’s own way of thinking. Instead of actually doing what everyone expects to be shown.