Last weeks class was moreso centered around a discussion. The question that the professor posed was, does the white straight man name himself. Everyone had different answers but personally my response is I do not know. I feel like it all depends on the person and you can not generalize that question in my opinion.
For this week’s assignment, the assignment was a little different from what we have been doing this semester in the course. This week we were doing group presentations, and on Tuesday November 10th, the first group presented. The group members were Macy, Windsor, Erica, Folsade, and Terry. Each spoke during their presentation and gave their individual opinions and analysis. The movie they chose was “ Inside Out” and used google slides for their presentation. They chose key scenes from the movie, and dissected the meanings for them.
Scene 1 — Riley transfers to a new school and anxiety takes over her, as several emotions bottled up inside of her. Fear, anger, sadness, and disgust take over. But this scene is important in showing how Joy did not always have complete control over Riley.
Scene 2- In this scene, we are introduced to Riley’s parents emotions and what’s going on inside of their head. Like Erica explained, her parents show emotional maturity by one emotion not controlling or commanding everything.
Scene 3- In this scene we learn that Riley’s core memories control each island, making up Riley’s personality. The scene begins off with Rylie’s father trying to joke around with her. However, due to her ‘goofball’ core memory not being in place, Rylie does not respond to her father with any goofiness but more so just ignores him. This then causes goofball island to begin to break off and fall. Each core memory represents/controls each of the five islands: Friendship, Goofball, Hockey, Honesty, and Family which in end, all make up who Rylie is. Without her core memories in place, these islands will begin to fall and will no longer seem to exist which ultimately will result in there being no Rylie. This is because, like Professor Luke mentioned in class, we use memories to hone our visions and guide us in the future.
When watching this scene, you are able to see the hardships when it comes to being a leader. Joy tries her hardest to be the perfect leader all throughout this movie, however in this scene you begin to see the trial and tribulations that her and sadness face when trying to bring the core memories back to headquarters.
This scene does not represent or show the ‘surface beauty’ of leadership, but more so shows what a leader goes through which in the end makes them a great leader. What makes someone a great leader is being able to restore themselves and others even when their world is falling apart.
Scene 4- In this scene, I can tell that Riley starts to mature because she starts to feel other emotions in her head. In addition, this is the scene where Bing Bong develops as a leader, when he realizes that someone needs to take Riley to the moon. Bing Bong sacrifices himself to help Riley, this is a learning and growth leadership moment for both of these characters.
Scene 5- In this scene Joy realizes that Riley can not only be happy, resulting in Joy letting sadness go first. A message given in this scene is when we express our feelings and don’t suppress feelings both relationships and personalities grow. As Folasade, brought up in class, you need sadness to be happy.
Scene 6- In this last key scene, this is where Riley finally opens up and express her feelings to her parents, causing her to finally feel joy again.
Joy is compared to Ned. Similar To Ned, Joy believes that it is her way or the highway and Ned was too stubborn to listen to his comrades which resulted in him being demoted from the very organization that he created. Next, Bing Bong was compared to Ida B Wells. Like every stated in their presentation, I did not understand how Bing Bong is compared to Ida B Wells at first. But, both Bing Bong and Ida B Wells believe that you must be willing to for a cause that you believe in. Lastly, Riley is compared to Te Fiti. When Te Fiti’s heart was stolen from her she grew cold and mean just like when Riley lost her emotions and core memories.
Below is my notes from Tuesdays class, totaling up to one minute.
In addition, this week was my group assignment and my group and we decided to present our project on the album “ To Pimp A Butterfly” by Kendrick Lamar. In specific, I wrote about the song “King Kunta” and this is what I wrote.
King Kunta focuses on the history of negative stereotypes all African Americans have to reconcile and reclaiming one’s history as a King instead of a slave.Before we dissect the song and deeply analyze the lyrics and their meanings, we first must know the background of the song. King Kunta refers to Kunta Kinte, an African man enslaved in America who tried to escape from slavery several times and in the last time, the ‘masters’ cut off his feet so he could not run away.Kinte is also known for his resilience in refusing to accept the white and American name “Toby” that was forced onto him by his slave masters. This reference is also made in the song. Throughout this song Kendrick brings attention to the undeniable racism that African Americans endure and calls rappers in the music industry out for being sell outs, taking power and money over reform and change. Now, to dissect the song we have the first verse which begins with a rant or more of an angry realization. He says they have been running their ‘monkey mouths’ and they seemed to have taken Kendrick’s throne (King Kendrick), talking about rappers in the music industry. He is mad, but he cannot stress about it because there is much more important things to address than pick bones with rappers in the music industry.
The hook talks about Kunta and how Kendrick can be related to him, while verse 1 has Kendrick talking about “yams” which means power. Lamar provides a surface explanation for the metaphor when he says, “the yam is the power that be,” adding, “you can smell it when I’m walking down the street.” However, while listening to the song other translations could be made. Yams also means drugs which Lamar touches on. He speaks about the drugs issues in the world, as has he done in “The Blacker the Berry” too. He talks on how openly the drug trades are carried out in the streets often protected by powerful hands who are there to stop them. Two famous examples for horrible consequences of drugs are given; Richard Pryor, who was a victim of drug abuse and Bill Clinton, who wrecked his personal life and career because of “yams”.
Additionally, in verse 1 he raps , “And if I got a brown nose for some gold then I’d rather be a bum than a motherfuckin’ baller” meaning he’s not selling out to it which I believe this is which most mainstream artists do to get boosted. Instead of rappers spreading awareness they are sharing bars and using ghost writers talking about nothing important. Lastly, Kendrick Lamar also attacks the legal system in “King Kunta”. Like many oppressed citizens, he too is fed up of the justice system. He says the way things are going for the African Americans, even this lyric line would be enough to frame him for murder. He says the legal system is “elementary” and “Shoot at your identity” refers to how African Americans are being attacked for just being African American in verse 3 .
In a video that I watched while trying to get a deeper understanding of his lyrics and truly to unpack the meaning of his words, Kendrick Lamar described the track to NME, Lamar explained that it was, “the story of struggle and standing up for what you believe in. No matter how many barriers you gotta break down, no matter how many escape routes you gotta run to tell the truth. I was never a Kendrick Lamar fan personally, but after this I definitely gained respect for him. He is a real person, he did not get swept up by the money or fame and definitely did not let that muzzle him. Most celebrities in the music industry put out bullshit songs with no real meaning, but he used his platform to spread awareness and a great message and for that he gaibed my respect. He could have received backlash and his career could have been over but he did not care and should not. To be honest, I am kind of nervous to present tomorrow but my group and I are going to have a ft session tonight to practice and get out thoughts together so hopefully I feel a little more prepared.