Chapter 8

NOTE THIS NEED TO BE DONE BY SUNDAY 6PM the 26th of Feb Watch- Family Across the Sea on folkstreams,net, watch Booker T. Washington High grad Deonte Bridges Valedictorian speech.WMV on youtub and Curtis Martin Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech | PittLiveWire on youtube Post a general response to the videos. Were you surprised by the existence of the Gullah people? How far can you trace your own genealogy? Do you have an interesting story you’d like to share, about your roots? In your opinion, how important is it for African Americans to trace their roots, and to make a connection to their African heritage? Why or why not? What message(s) are embedded in the graduation and Hall of Fame speeches? What can we learn from both of those gentlemen? What was most poignant about each speech, to you? Part 2 Make a positive response to classmates post Post 1 I was shocked to of what I just learned about the Gullah people. I even did my own research on this matter. Out of all the years that I have rubbed elbows with African American History, I have never heard of this culture that has not only been hidden, but a secret if you will. IT is interesting as they have held on to much of their roots and customs as it relates to traditions and language. Unfortunately I can not trace my geneology to far. I know that my fathers mother and father were born and raised in Mississippi before coming to Chicago. It believe that it is important for African Americans to trace their roots as it gives them a sense of identity and pride if you will. I see every other culture express their country of origin in the US. We however do not. I believe that this lack of identity in culture and customs makes us prone to but into some of the deviant concepts and assimilate into some of the most dysfunctional dynamics of our society. The messages embedded in both speeches were a dynamic of hope, and not letting certain socieconomic factors and adversity disable both these men. Basically, the detours that their ancestors or community has taken was not their destination. In the graduation speech, the important factor was the adversity that was overcome. I identified with his pain of being stereotyped. In the hall of fame speech the most important part to me was that this man used football in which he said he knew nothing about to take part in the American Dream. Both of these speeches were good. However the graduation speech was such a powerful display of the struggles of The African American youth of today Post 2 Hi class, The videos posted for this week were much more pleasant than some past videos we have viewed for this course, I enjoyed them both. The points made by both doctors in the Voices from the Village videos were very accurate. “I think that if you observe what happens to many young people in the African community right now is that many of them are literally raising themselves.” (Voices from the Village pt. 2 :00-:18). The lack of guidance that should come from within the house hold leads some youth to seek it from other sources, they then fall victim to gangs, drugs and other negative influences. Their views on why this has happened are similar to my own opinion. The illusion of freedom and inclusion has lead the African American community to let its guard down. In 2008 we elected the first African American President in the history of this nation yet Blacks still face relative deprivation, intuitional discrimination, redlining and many other prejudice that are oppressing in nature. I was surprised by the existence of the Gullah people. I was impressed by the way that they adapted and preserved their culture. It was interesting to learn of the similarities between Krio and Creole and delighting to see how they natives in Sierra Leone welcomed the members of the Gullah community back home. I can trace my roots back four generations. My great-great grandmother was born in Yazoo, Mississippi in 1907. In 1926 she married my great-great grandfather and the moved to Chicago to establish a life together. Recently my family has discussed looking further back into our lineage. I think it is important for African Americans to trace their roots to make the connection to their African heritage so that they may develop a better sense of self. They can become enlightened to the trials and triumphs that helped to shape the life that they are able to live today. From this possibly gain a great sense of pride in themselves and a drive to achieve greater things. In the graduation speech, the most poignant point in my opinion was Deonte Bridges being faced with the diagnosis of his mother and the death of his brother. Despite the obstacles, he faced he didn’t let these things stop him. He recognized that he comes from an oppressed people who were resilient and he possessed the strength and determination to achieve greatness. Dr. Bobby E. Wright most poignant point was that “they have the institutions and we have the people, as long as you control the institutions you can control the behavior of people…” (The Man and His Mission 5:11-5:24). In this schooling structure individuals are being groomed to think and act a certain way, even when those actions are against the best interests of the Black community.

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