Monday, November 30, 2015

Exploration 7 - Nick Reed

When watching Ain't Scared of Your Jails, the big picture that was displayed predominantly throughout the play was that persistence while fighting for a cause will usually end in triumph. In today's society, we often see situations where an organized group of people are unable to make a lasting impact because of their inconsistencies in practice or value of the work that is being preformed. During the civil rights movement of the 60's one had to be thorough with their practice against social resistance and had to show persistence in order to actually make a change .

Something that allowed them to continue to be persistent in their actions toward social equality was the way they were able to non-violently act upon their purpose, even when receiving nothing but violent rebuttals instead. In one of the scenes, a gentleman was arrested for being part of the sit-ins in Nashville and was heard telling his mother to, "be cool, mother, be cool". His attitude toward the situation was one of optimism and pride as he calmly got arrested on that afternoon in Nashville.

A tactic that the film used was old and original documentations of the events happening during the civil rights era. It all myself as the viewer to get a better look at how and what actually was going on in the sit-ins as well as a well provided explanation of the events taking place. It allowed me to connect to the film and be more immersed in the history of it.

Exploration 7: Natalee Christman

The number one thing I learned from the film Ain't Scared of Your jails is that segregation and hate crimes were not only in small southern communities. They were also in large metropolitan cities such as Nashville Tennessee. I believe that this information still pertains to todays society. We can look at the attacks that are happening in to minorities in large cities such as the African Americans in Chicago and also the police. Both of these groups are minorities in todays society and they both are involved in crimes that are related to their ethnicity and to their employment.
  One Statistic from the film that really stood out to me was that of 300 freedom riders were arrested in the state of Mississippi. I know that they were arrested to keep them safe but, I found this to be very upsetting. These people were just trying to gain freedom and they were doing it peacefully. I also find this to be extremely wasteful with money on Mississippi's behalf. Tax payers money was paying to keep the freedom riders and the riders had not done anything wrong. One quote that really stood out to me was "Alabama will have to face the fact that we are determined to be free"-MLK. I thought this quote was very effective because Alabama did face the fact that they were going to be free and they protected the protesters. I also thought that it was nice because it was said by a very influential person, Martin Luther King Jr. during a sermon in Alabama and the national guard was protecting the church. Another quote that really stood out to me was "Im taking a ride on the Greyhound bus line, Im a riding from seat to Jackson this time. Hallelujah Im a traveling, hallelujah aint it fine, hallelujah Im a traveling down freedoms main line"- James Farmer. This was a song that freedom riders sang when they were on their way to Jackson Mississippi. I thought that this song just showed the accomplishment of the freedom riders and how happy they were with themselves.
  One way of protesting to me that really stood out was the Freedom Rides. I thought that this was the most effective way to protest because the bus was always moving and the word was always spreading. With the Sit-ins they protesters were only able to go to a couple lunch counters a day with the freedom rides they could go through multiple states in a day. Also the Freedom Rides resulted in Alabama protecting the riders and this was a big step.

Exploration 7: Morgan DeWitt

What I learned from "Ain't Scared of Your Jails" is social change and the transformation of culture over time can be beautiful. The process of getting over the hump of segregation, racism, and prejudice wasn't so pretty but what came after is something that can still be admired today. It wasn't right away that blacks and whites could sit together and enjoy a meal without conflict but gradually people began to see each other for who they really are instead of the color of their skin. It reminded me of the quote from Remember the Titans, "The world learned to trust a mans soul, not the look of him."

I had a few favorite quotes from the documentary. When one of the very important freedom riders, John Lewis, talked about his last meal before one of the most important rides of history in 1961 I could not help but laugh at his humor. He explained, "It was my first time having Chinese food and it was like the last supper." It was also crazy to think that this was the freedom riders first time being somewhere they could have Chinese food.

Another scene I really enjoyed was when Alice Walker's son was put into jail for disorderly conduct after one of the protests. Alice Walker said she remembered talking to her son from jail and all he had to say was, "Be cool, Mom." I absolutely loved this scene because it showed how dedicated the protesters were to there cause and they really could handle anything.

The tactic I admired the most was the forming of organization. I thought this was the most powerful because they had a organized group of people with a goal in front of them. I thought SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) rung true to their name and reached their goal in a powerful way. After the protests had reached 69 cities and 2,000 had been arrested organization was needed to take things to the next level. SNCC stayed around for a long time after the freedom rides had came to halt also.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Exploration 7- Brianna Moore

      When watch Ain't Scared of Your Jails I learned how hard the black community had to work in order to get the freedoms that we take for granted, these freedoms and rights that we expect and demand on a daily bases. We can us this knowledge to not let history repeat itself and to stand together instead of driving a stake between gender, race, sexuality. It shows that if we work together instead of fighting to keep it separated that we stand together in order to bring us together as a nation. "Racial issues continued to tear the city apart." These issues were putting the towns against each other. Some were fighting for the city to stay segregated because that was all they ever knew while others were fighting for their own freedoms.

        During this time period in 69 different cites  from Greensboro to San Antonio more than 2,000 people were arrested for participating in sit ins in which they were fighting for the rights that we took for granted, fighting for simple rights, like when Leo Lillard was a boy and drank from the white water fountain and then drank from the colored water fountain. He said "Taste the same to me mom." They were fighting for the freedom to go wherever they pleased and for the right to drink out of the same water fountain as the whites. These people were arrested for fighting for rights they should have had all along.

During the 1950s the black community had many tactics that they used in order to get the racial equality that they were fighting for. First they participated in the sit-ins in 69 different cities, then they did the economic protests where they did not buy from the stores in downtown Nashville, and the chain stores that discriminated in the south were picketed in the north. Next they did the march, then the SNCE, and CORE, and finally the freedom rides. The one that I thought was the most effective would have to be the freedom rides, because even when everything and everyone was against them they did not give up. Jim Zwerg said "those of us who are on the Freedom Ride, we will continue the Freedom Ride. I'm not sure if I'll be able to, but we're going to New Orleans no matter what happens. We're dedicated to this, we'll take hitting, we'll take beating. We're willing to accept death. But we're going to keep coming until we can ride anywhere in the south to any place else in the south. Without anybody making any comments, just as American citizens."

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Exploration 7- Jessica Stafford

     One thing I learned from watching this documentary is that you are never to young to fight for what you believe in and make a difference in society. Four college students were unhappy with the way they were treated by whites, and with the help of other students they began to fight for change through the sit-ins in Nashville, a greatly segregated city. One quote that stood out to me was what the white kid said when he was describing his reaction to the sit-in. He stated, "I mean, they come in and they sit down and we're not used to them sitting down beside us, because I wasn't raised with them, I never have lived with them and I'm not going to start now." This stood out because it seemed very blunt and negative towards African Americans. This quote also shows how strongly the whites in Nashville complied with segregation. The video shows how successful a small group can be if they work together and encourage others to join them in their fight for change. Rev. C.T. Vivian recalls, "One of the things that stood out in mind, as we walked by a place where there were workers out for the noon hour, white workers and they had never seen anything like this. And here was all the 4,000 people marching down the street, and all you could hear was their feet as we silently moved." This demonstrates the large amount of followers the students got after persevering to make a difference in society.
     This connects to today's society because, although we don't believe it, racial discrimination can still be seen in the present world and people continue to fight for what they believe in. But this issue also extends outside of the idea of discrimination, no matter your age, you should encourage changes that you believe need to be made.
     One effective tactic that was used in the film was boycotting the stores in downtown Nashville. This was effective because of the use of nonviolence a lot of the stores' profits came from people buying Easter outfits but when they stopped shopping at those stores, the merchants were hit hard and realized that they needed to work with the boycotters if they wanted to save their businesses.

Exploration 7 From Ruksana Kabealo

The main thing I learned from the documentary film Ain't Scared of Your Jails is that, regardless of what a movement is advocating for, the initial reaction will always be resistance. While watching the film, I realized just how similar the arguments used by those who were opposed to the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and those who are currently opposed to the LGBT+ rights movement today are.

When Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012, he argued that making a cake for a gay wedding would be an infringement on his constitutionally protected right to exercise his religious practices, specifically his religion's opposition to same-sex marriage [1]. This exact argument, that the fulfillment of someone else's civil rights is an infringement on your civil rights, is the same argument used by the white Nashville woman interviewed at the beginning of the film: 

I also think that it is in violation to my civil rights if someone can say you must serve me. If you own -- If a man owns an eating establishment, if he can't choose whom he pleases to serve or not to serve, that can affect me and you and anyone else [2] 

The use of the argument is flawed in both situations, but it’s an argument that’s still being made, even fifty years later. From this we can infer that the actual reasoning behind the opposition to both movements more out of an overall resistance to change than anything else. By anticipating this inherent resistance to change, future movements can better prepare themselves to deal with opposition before it occurs.

One of the main tactics used in the film was the economic boycott. During 1960, as a way to support the student sit-in movement, parents of student protesters began to boycott the Nashville retail merchants. In Nashville in 1960, black buying power was about $50 million a year, $10 million of which was spent at the downtown stores [2]. Leo Lillard, a black resident in Nashville during the 1960, described the reasoning behind the boycott:

We figured that if they would feel the pinch of not having shoppers buy in the stores downtown Nashville, then that will put pressure on the mayor, on the political fabric of town, of Nashville, to change the rules, the regulations. [2] 
Eventually, the boycott spread across the country. Chain stores with discriminatory practices in the South were also boycotted in the North. This boycott occurred during Easter, one of the most important spending times for blacks across the country. Businesses lost not only the business of the blacks and sympathetic whites due to the boycott, but they also lost the majority of the white business as well due to the hostile environment created in downtown Nashville. During the boycott, boycotters were sent downtown to convince citizens to "stay out of town" [2] through tactics such as snatching bags and tearing things away from those who broke the boycott. In less than a month, the boycott by black customers was almost completely effective. The economic boycott caused the residents of Nashville to realize that the movement was both widespread and serious.  




Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Exploration 7- Jireh White

I learned a lot from watching this documentary. The biggest idea that I learned from watching this film is the importance of persistence and action. It started off with four young college guys who wanted a change in the way they were treated and because of their perseverance along with many others, they were able to start an entire movement. During that time many blacks felt that they were being treated unfairly but nothing changed in their favor until people started taking action. In the film the narrator quoted that "Within two months, the sit-ins had spread to 69 cities, from Greensboro to San Antonio, and 2,000 had been arrested. To support the sit-in movement, a national boycott was organized (Aint Scared of Your Jails)." We can apply this same concept with many issues that we have in today's world by speaking up doing something to help the cause. It is one thing to voice your opinion but actually taking action makes the biggest changes.

In the film Ain't Scared of Your Jails, they were able to interview many participants of the various civil rights events. During one interview they spoke with a man named Jim Zwerg who was beat up and hospitalized for being apart of the Freedom Rides. When Mr.Zwerg was in the hospital he stated that, "Segregation must be stopped, it must be broken down. Those of us who are on the Freedom Ride, we will continue the Freedom Ride. I'm not sure that I'll be able to, but we're going on to New Orleans no matter what happens. We're dedicated to this, we'll take hitting, we'll take beating. We're willing to accept death. But we're going to keep coming until we can ride from anywhere in the South to any place else in the South without anybody making any comments, just as American citizens." This spoke volumes to me because he had already been beaten up but that was not enough to stop him. I love that him and everyone else were so passionate about the issue and they would go as far as they needed to in order to bring justice to all people.

Another thing that I liked about the film is that it captured the many tactics they used to try to obtain social justice. The most creative and thought provoking tactic they used was boycotting downtown stores. During an interview with Leo Lillard, he reminisced about how that idea came about. He explained how "Someone developed the idea of, "Let's stop spending money downtown." And basically it was like the bus boycott. "Let's stop supporting the system we're trying to change." The bus boycott in Nashville, primarily focused on the Nashville downtown stores, the Nashville retail merchants. We figured that if they would feel the pinch of not having shoppers buy in the stores downtown Nashville, then that will put pressure on the mayor, on the political fabric of town, of Nashville, to change the rules, the regulations (Leo Lilliard)." Needless to say, the store boycott was effective within a month or so. This tactic lead to an economic decline and shoppers were afraid to go downtown because of the picketing, riots, and acts of violence. The civil rights movement is a perfect example of how sometimes things get worse before they get better.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Exploration 7:Chas Jones

      The biggest idea that I learned from the film "Aint Scared of Your Jails" is that there is a solution to even the most difficult problems. Racism has and sadly will always be a problem on earth but segregation has an easy fix. History shows that the people for segregation always lose. An a example is the civil war an the holocaust. A way we can connect this to our world today is with the police and black crime. No matter what view you have on this touchy topic there is a solution out there, we just have to find it.
      I think a big tactic that can be taught from this film is the use of nonviolence. When Alice Walkers son was arrested, along with 80 other black people, after the sit ins in Nashville, he told his mother "be cool mother, be cool." That is amazing to me that he can have the mental toughness to stay nonviolent himself and tell others to be nonviolent after being prosecuted like he just was.
     It was crazy to me to learn about how people thought back then and to think that it was normal. When the Nashville sit ins were occurring, white people didn't know what to do. A white women was quoted saying "it is a violation of whites civil rights." Also Diane Nash said that the waitress was shaking and dropping plates when they were doing the sit ins. This just shows how crazy and unheard of that was back then but now it is completely normal now and what they did back then is crazy to us.

Slots and times for Presentations in English 1110

Tuesday, Dec. 1

1. Alan and Jared: Apple II computers (object)
2.  Natalee and Jessica: Jesse Owens (person)
3. Chas Jones and Travis Baum: Super Bowl (event)
4. Nick and Jirah: Georgia O'Keefe (person)

Thursday, Dec. 3

1. Jack and Darrin: 9-11 Memorial (object/event)
2. Rachel and Elizabeth: Hiroshima bomb (event)
3. Tanner and Morgan: St. Louis Arch (object)
4.  Andy and Brady: M-16 rifle (object)

Tuesday, Dec. 8 (last class)

1. Mason and Brandon: Teddy Roosevelt (person)
2. Eli and John: Kent State shootings (event)
3. Ruksana and Brianna: Andy Warhol (person)
4. Catelyn and Kiaya: Misty Copeland (person)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Links to Civil Rights video and transcripts. From Mike Lohre

One of my favorite characters from the film is this brave young woman in the center, Diane Nash.

 Students, here is a link to the video about the iconic sit-ins that occured during the Civil Rights movement.  The documentary film is titled Ain't Scared of Your Jails and it is part of an excellent historical series called Eyes On The Prize: America's Civil Rights Years.

 Here is a link to the transcripts for this video, for use in finding exact direct quotes or reviewing information.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Topics and Partners for Presentations

Kiyya, Catelyn: Misty Copeland
Natalee, Jessica: Jesse Owens
Brandon, Mason: Teddy Roosevelt
Nick, Jirah: Georgia O'Keefe
Brie, Ruksana: Andy Warhol

9-11 Memorial: Darrin, Jack
M-16 rifle: Andy, Brady
St. Louis Arch: Tanner, Morgan
Apple II computer: Jared, Alan

Dropping of bomb on Hiroshima: Elizabeth, Rachel
The Super Bowl: Travis, Chas
 Kent State shootings: Eli,John

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Brainstorming Essay 3 topic and BPQ from Mike Lohre

Please post your best Essay Three idea here.  Explain what it is, and WHY you want to write about this topic.

Put your idea in the Comments section below, so we can see all the ideas for the class.

Also, Post your best BPQ here in the Comments as well, along with your essay topic.

I think Big Picture Questions (like the ones I'm modeling below, and the ones I'm asking you to think of on your own in response to the readings) are often a great gateway into a good argument or analysis or problem/solution essay.

Here's a few of mine to 'prime the pump'! (an idiom that means to get things started)

Mike's example Big Picture questions: 
Why do Americans constantly evoke the Founding Fathers, and for what purposes?
Who is your favorite American historical figure and what public documents or history do we most associate with him or her?
Why is the colonial war against Britain still relevant today? What values do we take from that fight?
What kinds of journalism are most important, and is true investigative journalism dying?  Why?
*Is it legal for the President to start wars without approval of Congress?  What do the public documents say?
 *Why do so many people put off or refuse to make a living will or medical directive?


Mike Lohre

Brainstorming and sharing topics is a great way to see if the path we are on is correct, and it helps us help each other as well, as we do research, tweak our focus, and find sources.