Week 6: A Review and Response

The most challenging part of this course was the constant and necessary awareness of my impact upon the object, that my own understanding of them would provide that vision to those who would read my descriptions, subject terms, and who was decided upon as a source versus a contributor. With this awareness of my impact, I believe it made the job both easier and more difficult: the ease came from my assurance of being able to use the language of the objects themselves to describe them; the difficulty came with narrowing that language down to subject terms. And so in terms of my generating the metadata as quickly and succinctly as possible, here is my method: 

Week 5: Representation: Re-presenting a Lexicon?

After only a little bit of time with the metadata of the materials, but with more time actually handling the materials while in Critical Methodologies last year, I find that it has become easier to provide tags to pieces of the material due to their correlation. With more experience with the materials and more reading of the materials I know the story of Watts in order to better see the connections between the pieces which then build or tell a more coherent narrative of the events of and leading up to 1965. With this in mind I know that reading the Gerald Horne text, along with viewing things like the documentary of Watts helped in my being better able to approach the material confidently. Last year when creating the metadata for an object, it was daunting to attempt to claim a voice or a stance to speak from for the materials, the people who wrote them, or the people who participated in the events. But with a broader (not deeper) knowledge of the events I thought more as a historian being able to weave the pieces together to create a more cohesive narrative, one that even if I was not a part of, I knew well enough to show the highlights of details. 

Week 4: Male Uprising

The main focus of the documentary was upon the men that participated in the uprising, on both sides. The documentary described the black community’s rioters as typically a 17 year old male, high school drop out, with no father, and the police and national guards (only made up of men) were also described, their male leaders sought out and interviewed for their opinion upon these black men. Both “sides” of the uprising were asked what had happened, but it was only in the times of asking the black community that we heard any female voice: the woman who explained that she needed a job, but needed a babysitter, and the cycle therein which was holding her back from a job. Other than this one woman, and the mentioning of the mother at the incident that started the revolt on August 11th, there was no major mention of females and the struggles that they had gone through, rather the focus was upon the men with no jobs, the men with no fathers, the men with only anger left after years of subjugation. The cry heard was for “brotherhood” and only heard by male voices, or the calls for “get whitey” played over the sound of burning cars was only that of males. While it was seen in the videotaping of the looting that black women, or the women being arrested to show that women were also taking part in the revolt to gain some footing in the events, the absolutely driving force (physically, verbally, and spiritually) was the black man demanding respect and finally taking it from the whites who held him back. As seen in some interviews, the men were explaining the demoralizing, and even unmanning, times that they were subject to police brutality; such as the only (and eventually first) black reporter that was sent into Watts, describing the humiliation of going on a date and being spread against a fence to be patted down while his girlfriend has to look on in silence, both unable to fight back or say a word. What this reflects is the loss of masculinity within the community of Watts and of any black man who had encountered the police. The documentary distinctly showed this type of imagery repeated when the last interviewed black man (whose face was never shown) played out the altercation between himself and police upon his arrest in the uprising, or the clips of men getting arrested. The documentary did not show women, did not seek out women for thoughts, only portraying the loss and downfalls of the black man. 

Week 4: Internet Social Space for Scholastic Socializing: The Highs and Lows of Facebook and Twitter for the Academic Discussion

In my own experiences, Facebook has been a benefit for my scholarly pursuits due to its ability to a) create groups dedicated to something, which allows for a variety of options (to be discussed), b) can be as open or exclusive as one would wish (I.e. We used them for group projects and instant messaging brainstorming with around 10 people, more or less in my own experience), and c) the archiving aspect of Facebook is, I would argue, easy to search through than Twitter (turning to Twitter due to our discussion the other day in which I shared that it was difficult for me to follow along and others agreed), whereas Facebook allows for you to search within the group/within Facebook in general. 
I’d like to break down the options of what Facebook does allow: it now allows for longer posts, and longer replies, creating a space for a richer discussion, one that can be as long as you need to express, divulge, or create your scholarly work. It is intuitive with the use of links, allowing for copy paste functions (without again the loss/confusing search of Twitter in my opinion, nor the loss of space to post). Facebook allows you to upload whole files and share them, much like a Google Drive account, but instead of having to seek out and select all of the email addresses of the Facebook group that you would like to share to through Google, Facebook instantly uploads to the group, from which you can instead edit out those whom you do not wish to see it, if that be the case.  Facebook allows polls with real feedback ability, of both numbers and opinions; it promotes the use of links, sharing, photographs, memes, gifs, YouTube videos quickly and easily.

Week 2: Challenging the Dominant Tech, a Lesson Plan

For a lesson plan to be most effective, there should be a goal achieved by the end by both the instructor and the students. At a high school level class, I believe the best way to approach the topic of Google is through the technology that we utilize of theirs every day, driving the point that it has already infiltrated and dominated our lives. The goal then of this lesson plan is to allow the students to be at least aware, at most cynical about the activities that Google produces in them, and an awareness of the value of good research (this coming from a Teaching Fellow that just spent a semester with Freshmen asking them to conduct sound and detailed research). As I said, I think the best way to do this is through the use of the product, and so I would go Google Chrome, which I do believe is the best search engine with the ease of my tailored needs, and explain that to the students, along with the access and programs available through a free Google account is incredible: Google drive to create, store and share all your documents, slideshows, graphs, tables, and more, which is of great importance as we have discovered in a digital age to have backups of everything available online (Box, Dropbox, and others are examples of non-Google driven storage).  Next, I would pull up YouTube, the Google owned and extremely dominant video upload cite, to pull search the video “Google Don’t Be Evil”. The first video that pops up is this: “Google’s Plan for World Domination.” Please, take a look.  

Week 1: A “Current” Counter-history: How Jet Magazine Countered The New York Times


As is discussed in question 2 posed for this post, Hartman’s interesting goal in her writing is to present the untold history of slave women as being “inseparable from writing a history of the present” (Hartman 4).  Considering she writes based on documents over 150 years old, Hartman is bringing these texts and their “count-historical” truths forward to reflect upon the present, saying “by which I mean the incomplete project of freedom, and the precarious life of the ex-slave, a condition defined by the vulnerability to premature death and to gratuitous acts of violence” (Hartman 4). The incomplete project of freedom is a powerful and true statement for the black communities of America, who continue to attempt to address their issues of poverty, inequality advantages, and other issues, as was discussed by Anthony and Kevin in our class last Thursday.