Final Blog Post: 1000 word essay

Walter Fisher is a 20th century Philosopher that created the Narrative Paradigm Theory. His theory says that that all meaningful communication is a form of storytelling or giving a report of events, and that human beings experience and comprehend life as a series of ongoing narratives, each with its own conflicts, characters, beginning, middle, and end. He also explains how the elements of nature, beliefs and behaviors, culture, rationality, and choice all connect to the different ways of communicating and or story telling.

The theme of our SC4SC class has been to speak our minds and find ways to better the world through the power of social media. Walter Fisher’s theory explains why we discuss the way we do and the best ways to go about our communication. Fisher claims that all humans are story tellers. When we communicate, we do it in a way that tells a story or shapes our opinion in the best way possible. I could not agree more. After these stories are told, it is up to the listener to see which forms of communication and stories he/she can connect to that matches their values and beliefs. This is something that i find so special because it becomes so individualized and shows how different every person is, and that is why there is not only one form of communication.

All semester long we spoke about how we send messages by nature and every form of communication can be seen as story telling. It took a while for me to understand that because i never really thought of story telling as anything else than some person writing a book, or writing in some way or form to get paid. My mindset was definitely fixed when it came to this. As i started to think deeper about how every time i speak to another human, whether its my friends, or my parents, or my coaches i am always sending my personal message and the form of communication is one person story telling back to the other. This brings me to the point of slavery and how story telling has influenced the way we learned about it in this class but in school all together. I was set on story telling when it came to slavery only being what slaves passed down to their young ones, and what people who were alive during that time wrote about it, but that is not it. All of the famous chants, and songs, and art that was created during that time period was a form of communication, and more importantly it was a form of story telling. It gets passed down like tradition and every single person can have a difference experience or take on what happened. The way that all of this information can stick when we learn it is to find a way to relate, and that is what story telling allows us to do. It allows us to relate to other people’s stories and it makes our own stories distinct from anything else another human has encountered. We are the authors of what comes out of our mouths and we write the stories.

The next step of the paradigm is the element of beliefs and behaviors with intentions of good reason. This was simple to me because i remember so many times when i was younger and either one of my parents sat me down and told me stories about their pasts. They would point out the bad ones more so than the good ones not to make a point, but to explain their behaviors and have a good reason behind it so that i would not make the same mistakes as them. Every single action has a purpose behind it, and like we’ve spoken all semester, with the power of communication we can limit these accidents from happening if we can connect it with our peers the right way. This process does not happen over night however, and it did not click with me until i became older and more mature. I just took these lessons from my parents as something they wanted to tell me and not so much as something they wanted me to register to my own life. I am so thankful that i have them for that and i am lucky enough to have that information retained in my brain.

The third element is the element of culture. This is the way we story tell within the properties of our culture. This might come as the most difficult elements to deal with because in the world we have this issue of accepting other peoples cultures. It is what causes wars across the world, and other unfortunate events and it comes as the biggest obstacle for the story telling to overcome. Humans tend to feel more comfortable around people of their own cultures that they can relate to, people who have dealt with similar circumstances and what not and this is a reason why when we are forced to learn about or accept other cultures it becomes uncomfortable and hard. The main thing about other people’s culture is to always have an open mind to where they are coming from. That leads me to the next element of rationality. It is easy to change your narrative and become irrational when adversity hits and things get hard, and a lot of times people like to change their way of story telling so it helps them out and shapes the argument.

The final element is what i personally think is the most outstanding, it is the element of choice. Ultimately as human beings everything can be taken from us, but not our power of choice. We can listen to whatever we want, and comprehend in any way we would like. We can hop on one bandwagon of a narrative and immediately switch to another once we feel like we do not believe in it anymore and that power is simply amazing. That all circles around to the main theme of this course, which is how we see social media, and the wonders it can do for us. With the click of a button we can follow somebody’s narrative, or create our own, and there is nothing anybody can do to take that away from us. With social media, you can decide what it is you want to hear or what it is you don’t want to read, but at the end of the day you will always circle back to opinion and thoughts that connect with your own culture.

 

Thank you SO much for such an awesome course!!!

LU

Blog Post #13: What happens if there IS no Social Media as we know it?

I feel like i always hear this question from adults who are not sold on social media and i see a bunch of articles on it. Frankly, if there was no social media it would suck, and for very obvious reasons. I think it is known across the board that Social Media is the greatest way to get updated on the news, hear about sporting events, and just the best way to stay up to date on the important as well as the unimportant events going on. For me, i use social media a ton. I love to tweet, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, all of it. It is one of my hobbies and always keeps me entertained even on the most boring of days. Vine is another form of social media and i always find myself laughing at the videos that are posted on there. It is a non-stop way to keep yourself occupied and gain knowledge at the same time. I have learned more and found out more information through social media than any other magazine or newspaper or news channel that I’ve seen. It makes learning more fun, and it is a never ending supply of information. Yes, it does come with its negatives of course. Not all the sources that you’ll see on social media are necessarily trustworthy, and a lot of the information you can find can be biased information. As long as you are smart with what you believe in, and not make social media your entire life, there is no way that it can be a negative. It has the power to promote incredible organizations and movements, it can keep you updated with your favorite sports teams and results, and it can connect people from all over the earth! How can i imagine in a life were there is NO social media?! It would suck!!

Blog Post #12: What has been the most impactful hashtag campaign and why?

Over the last couple of years there have been many hashtag campaigns that have carried their own power in many ways. We are lucky to live in a world where information and messages can be spread so easily. In a time where there is a lot going on in the world, these hashtag campaigns are even more important and the one i think stands out the most and has had the biggest impact on our society is #blacklivesmatter. This hashtag started right after the awful series of events in Ferguson Missouri. It united black people all across the United States as well as people of other ethnicities like myself and i think it was a great way to start spreading the information on an ongoing problem in our country. It occurs way too often in this country that black people are taken advantage of and face brutality for unjust reasons. The Treyvon Martin Case ended with a terrible outcome, the Michael Brown case ended with a terrible outcome and if we just let these things slide, more families and citizens will go through these horrendous situations. I first saw #blacklivesmatter on twitter and immediately i clicked on the link and read so many different opinions and feedback on the issue. People from all across the world were interacting with one another and having their voices heard. There is nothing stronger than a voice to the ears of the public. Without this hashtag i am sure that there would be attention given to these cases, but this hashtag has allowed the people who are effected most by it to come together as one and deal with it. Famous Professional athletes got on board and wore T-Shirts during the warm ups of their games, famous celebrities joined in on it as well and the messages were finally heard. Of course it was not something that changed over night but as long as the movement keeps going, great things will happen.

Blog Post #11: What’s the role of women in Hip Hop and Social Revolution?

I think the role of women in Hip Hop and Social Revolution is simply outstanding. In my other AAS class i learned about how difficult it was for women to have any kind of say in our society and their voices were pretty much unheard of. Many powerful women in the 1960’s and 1970’s had to become leaders and create change so the women in the modern days can be put in the positions they are in. There are many women in Hip Hop that are “running the game” and two examples id like to use are Nicki Minaj, and Beyonce. These are two women who came from very difficult backgrounds. There was little to no hope for them to make a name for themselves and they beat the odds. Beyonce has become an idol and inspiration to so many young women (white and black) and has also been an example for women all across the globe. She has always maintained her class, and has been one of the most consistent artists that the music industry has ever seen. She has acquired the nicknames “Queen B” or even sometimes just the “Queen” from how she carries herself and the way she lives her life. Nicki Minaj has also become an inspiration and shaped the way women are seen in Hip Hop today. Nicki Minaj is seen as rough, talented, and beautiful all in one. She has the incredible ability to carry this confidence about her and rap in a genre that is mostly males. She not only keeps up with these other artists but shines like a diamond. She gives hope to many women across the world that even if you are going up against men and the numbers are against you, you can become whoever you want if there is a will. These two men have done amazing things for females across the world and we are lucky to be blessed by what they do.

Blog Post #10: 10 video/songs that teaches or inspires

Music is extremely essential to my peace of mind as a human being. I turn to it in times of anger, sadness, happiness, and most importantly times where I’m in need of motivation or inspiration. Here are 10 songs that i can either relate to or get me going when i need it the most:

1. Dreams and Nightmares Intro- Meek Mill

2. Cold Blood- Yo Gotti ft. J. Cole

3. Lose Yourself- Eminem

4. Dear Mama- 2pac

5. Juicy- Notorious B.I.G.

6. Mirror- Lil Wayne ft. Rick Ross

7. Rich Forever- Rick Ross ft. John Legend

8. Started From The Bottom- Drake

9. In The Air Tonight- Phil Collins

10. Box Chevy- Rick Ross

final blog

Everything we have covered in class ultimately refers to the Walter Fisher Narrative Paradigm, being that the concept is adopted from storytelling. This concept relies on the belief that communication occurs in the form of a story between a narrator and a listener.

The Walter Fisher Narrative Paradigm relates to the four units we have discussed this semester of slavery, the civil rights movement, hip hop, and the progression of social media. Firstly, nature ultimately relates to the ways humans are inherently storytellers. We are all storytellers by nature. In reference to slavery, slaves would use songs and cryptic messages/stories to relay their point. An example of this is Harriet Tubman’s song “Wade in the Water”, which instructed slaves to get in the water in order to avoid being seen. In class, we also acted as storytellers by using a blog to relay our thoughts and stances on subject matters. Stories are constantly being told, whether it be catching up with an old friend and reminiscing about old times, or telling a friend about something that happened the past week. People are constantly relaying messages through stories.

Next, beliefs and behaviors, expound on the idea that human’s beliefs and behaviors are always for good reason. This “good reason” relies on the individuals themselves. This causes me to think of stories in which are only told to help others, such as motivational speaking. Hip hop for example is precisely stories being told, and most of which is for good reason in order to inspire others and speak on past events in which their personal situation or experience can be beneficial to others. Culture influences what one believes to be that “good reason”.

Culture involves that of customs, beliefs, stereotypes, and mainly, history. This causes me to relate it to the civil rights movement and history in general. Throughout the civil rights movement, African Americans were collectively working towards a common good of putting an end to discrimination and racial segregation. They used walks and protests in order to get their message or “story” across to others for “good reason”.

Lastly, is choice. Humans have a choice in almost every single thing they do whether it be what they physically do or mentally believe to be true. We can decide to follow one path, but stray from the path at any point. This causes me to think of social media in the fact that every single thing we post, like, favorite, retweet, etc. spawns directly from personal choice. What we upload to social media networks is what we decide to portray to the outside world; what we allow others to see/know, and eventually for them to create personal opinions of who they think we are.

This semester here at the University has been a bit of an experience. A lot of things have been going on across the nation involving black lives. In the past when instances like this occurred the only people I could talk these things over with would be my family and some close friends. SC4SC gave me another outlet to talk these things over with. From the first few days of class when we started to listen to music and tried to find the messages behind them, I knew that I would enjoy this class. This class was the first class I’ve ever been apart of that actually lets you keep it real. The topics in this class talked about things that relate to me.
Social Media is a sound platform to get a message to the entire world. Therefore, one can express personal views on social, political, and economical topics. Furthermore, individuals can listen to other individuals with different worldly experiences to educate themselves and gain a better knowledge of various beliefs around the world. Social Media can be the basis for spreading thoughts and knowledge acquisition. Social media poses a great platform for gaining a broader view of the world and expanding oneself. Social media is used for a variety of different things. When it comes to personal use, I believe that it is vital in order to stay up to date with current events, friends, and family.
Throughout the class I’ve noticed how things like social media and blog posts really connect people and groups. In some of the blog posts we had throughout the semester we had to get people from outside of the class to join in on our blog posts. When asking for their help with this they didn’t hesitate to give me their response. Many people loved the opportunity to voice their opinions on certain situations happening. SC4SC was exactly this to me. When situations were going on across the country that were affecting black, we got the chance to sit down and actually talk about what was going on, and see how it affects our community.
This class has taught me how powerful social media is. No matter who you are it allows everyone to have a voice. Social Media allows even the smallest of voices to be heard. Its an easy way to spread propaganda. With Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sources being of high use today social media can help people get on the same page. It can help start the process in cities and towns of social reform, no social change can be directly started by social media but it can be a huge stepping stone in creating social change. It has the ability to connect people, inform people, and become a start of social change people want to see. In the Martese Johnson incident that happened right here on the corner, social media was what gave this incident the national exposure. Social media helped spread the message throughout the community. Another example of this is the police brutality that’s been going on a lot lately in the past few months. Cameras, and phones have been capturing the violent acts that police have been doing lately. Twitter and Instagram and other medias have been exposing what has been going, and they trying to reach out to show that somethings needs to be done to stop all of this

“Femcees”

Women in Hip Hop?

Well I feel like I am not necessarily equipped to speak about “Women in Hip Hop” beacause my exposure to female Hip Hop Artists is extremely limited.

But two emcees that poo into my head is

1. Lil Kim

The Queen Bee is number one for obvious reasons… see my first blog post

And

2. Nicki Minaj

As she has a monopoly on the female rap game at this time.

Yet, I admire but am troubled by the very things that have catapulted them to infamy.

These two women are clearly hypersexualized, however I do not always see this as a negative thing. Yes, I am aware of the controlling Jezebel image of black women and this is a tool of dehumanization as we are valued for our parts rather than our person.

But

Women are sexual creatures.

And to deny this fact, I believe is also to deny our humanity as well.

So I can appreciate a woman, especially a black women who is not afraid of expressing their sexuality.

However, what I do take issue with, is that in hip hop, the ways in which female sexuality is represented is towards appeasing the male gaze. For example, Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda”  the content of the song and its accompanying video makes it clear that it is (in  my opinion) geared towards the arousal or stimulation of heterosexual men. Now, it is completely her prerogative to present herself in this manner, but I only question why is this the only or most prominent ways in which we are able to view female sexuality?

How do we change this? Is it worth changing?

Zion

I really have not had the most positive experiences since enrolling at The University of Virginia. I transferred to UVA after completing my freshmen or first year at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.  I decided to transfer, not because I did not like Emory, or thought it lacked in any significant way uncommon to universities across the country, but because it was not necessarily the college experience that I wanted.

You know I think I was duped in part by the media and societal expectations of what college is supposed to be like.  All of that “college is supposed to be the best days of your life” stuff had me tripping. Like I guess I fed into the hype.

So, maybe my expectations were a bit too high when coming here.

I mean it been okay I guess, being a transfer student welcomes its own specific problems, and then being a black student compounds this issue even further.

So a song off the The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill that relates to my UVA experience eh…..

Lol

I guess if I did have to choose a song that symbolizes my attitude towards UVA it would be “To Zion”.

The song is mostly about “going against the grain”, committing to something unconventional, following your heart etc.

And while I would not classify my move to the University of Virginia as some rebellious act, I think my attitude towards life has morphed in response to my consistent dissatisfaction (which did not start while at UVA).

I see all these bumps in the road as a means to an end, I feel as if I am not suffering in vain (dramatic right ?) and eventually all roads will lead to Zion.

Back to ’99

I mean I have lived in a world without social media (shout out to my early 90s babies) so its not very hard to imagine.

And I don’t think life was that hard back then. I mean it was easier to lose contact with people when their physical proximity to you became great, but on the flip side I think that relationships meant more in the sense that more effort had to be made to maintain such connections. However, I do not believe that advancements in social media are overwhelmingly good or bad.

I do think that people would be crippled if there was a sudden elimination of social media because we have become very dependent on it, but then things would regress to how they were in like ’99 which was pretty fun if I might add.

HIp Hop Text Book

If I had to use songs to teach a lesson, I would use Kendrick Lamar’s new album “To Pimp A Butterfly.” This album can probably be compared to the influence of Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” without much criticism or hate. To be honest, I am still breaking down this album so I’m not quite sure what my lesson plan would entail beyond the current socioeconomic and political condition of the black community from the perspective of a young black man. Lets be honest, the perspective alone is enough reason to teach. Kendrick is from Compton, CA and has a very interesting way of criticizing the governments role in the oppression of black people and black people role “in their own demise.” I’m not saying I completely agree with all of his opinions and his stance, but I think the complexities of his songs and viewpoints would call for very intriguing conversations. This album would also be a great tool to compare “hip hop then and now.” A lot of people criticized hip hop for “dying off” but there are a particular group of rappers of this “younger generation” (maybe 4 to 5 tops) who argue that hip hop is very much alive. I will not list these artists because I am not interested in debating anyone about who belongs and who doesn’t. 🙂 It is however, interesting that Kendrick is often listed in this top 5 rappers and he does not consider himself a rapper. Kendrick is a complex artist and he creates impeccable and intriguing music and I think this 16 track album would be great to use as a text book.