Friday, May 19, 2017

CAMPAIGN PROJECT




Presidential Election Season is upon us, American Government students.  We are creating campaign blogs and running candidates for our Presidential Campaign Simulation.  Election Day is TUESDAY 5/30. Your respective classes A-Block Honors and C-Block Honors will follow the same project criteria listed on the Presidential Campaign Project page to the right. Be creative, budget your time wisely and have fun. May the best man or woman win!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Murder of Emmett Till: Resources and Articles


Background Articles on Dayna Schultz's Open Casket painting at The Whitney Museum, NYC:

New York Times, "White Artist's Painting of Emmett Till at Whitney Biennial Draws Protests"
New York Times, "Should Art That Infuriates Be Removed?"


     Central to the protest of Schultz's painting, is the question of whether white artists have certain topics that are off limits to them, because of their racial identity. Perhaps because these racialized topics are a part of an historical pattern of appropriating and stereotyping the stories and images of African Americans, or, perhaps, because white artists should not presume to speak to the African American experience in the United States. Below I have included two earlier works that touch on African American experience and represent a racial "cross-over" in art. The famous jazz singer, Billie Holiday, recorded, "Strange Fruit",  but the powerful lyrics were written by a white, Jewish schoolteacher and songwriter named Abel Meeropol. Following is a Bob Dylan ballad that was written in 1962 and released in 2010 specifically about the murder of Emmett Till. Consider if you think these songs are successful. Why or why not? This work gets to the heart of free speech and the role of art in American Society as well as the right of marginalized groups to control and produce the narrative and imagery of their experiences.


Lyrics
Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees
Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop
Written by Lewis Allan, Maurice Pearl, Dwayne P Wiggins • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc


The Death of Emmett Till
"Twas down in Mississippi no so long ago,
When a young boy from Chicago town stepped through a Southern door.
This boy's dreadful tragedy I can still remember well,
The color of his skin was black and his name was Emmett Till.
Some men they dragged him to a barn and there they beat him up.
They said they had a reason, but I can't remember what.
They tortured him and did some evil things too evil to repeat.
There was screaming sounds inside the barn, there was laughing sounds out on the street.
Then they rolled his body down a gulf amidst a bloody red rain
And they threw him in the waters wide to cease his screaming pain.
The reason that they killed him there, and I'm sure it ain't no lie,
Was just for the fun of killin' him and to watch him slowly die.
And then to stop the United States of yelling for a trial,
Two brothers they confessed that they had killed poor Emmett Till.
But on the jury there were men who helped the brothers commit this awful crime,
And so this trial was a mockery, but nobody seemed to mind.
I saw the morning papers but I could not bear to see
The smiling brothers walkin' down the courthouse stairs.
For the jury found them innocent and the brothers they went free,
While Emmett's body floats the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea.
If you can't speak out against this kind of thing, a crime that's so unjust,
Your eyes are filled with dead men's dirt, your mind is filled with dust.
Your arms and legs they must be in shackles and chains, and your blood it must refuse to flow,
For you let this human race fall down so God-awful low!
This song is just a reminder to remind your fellow man
That this kind of thing still lives today in that ghost-robed Ku Klux Klan.
But if all of us folks that thinks alike, if we gave all we could give,
We could make this great land of ours a greater place to live.
Songwriters: Bob Dylan
The Death of Emmett Till lyrics © Bob Dylan Music Co.

Monday, March 20, 2017

PBS Liberty - Blows Must Decide


Please watch the above episode from the PBS Film Series, Liberty. In this episode, Blows Must Decide, colonists undergo a transformation from Englishmen to Americans. A series of events push the colonists closer to severing ties with Great Britain. Create a timeline of the important events that push the colonists to sever ties with Great Britain and lead up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.