The world without social media

I think social media is a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you have the opportunity to inform people of the matters of the world within seconds. On the other hand, people have the capability of ruining people, groups, and organizations with lies, false information, and ridicule. However there is one thing that makes social media one of the most powerful tools in this entire world and that is the ability to connect with almost any person you want to. Therefore, if you take away social media, you take away a mass amount of connections that that have already been or going to be developed. In my opinion networking and connecting is one of the most important skills we have in our life. Connecting with people allows you to gain new perspectives and learn new information that was not already present in your life. Outside of all of the ignorance that happens on social media, it is also a great learning tool. You learn about what news is happening around the world but you also learn the stories of the people around the world as well. We as people feel comfortable with Our own environments and cultures and it is hard for us to venture out or open our eyes to accept other people or cultures. I think that social media forces us to hear the stories and see other cultures and bring us out of our bubbles. Whether you chose to accept those cultures or not is up to the individual but you cannot say you have any knowledge to it at all.

Everything is Everything

In this song Lauren is touching on issues of economic and social inequalities. She speaks about the struggle to bring a much needed change. Although change is slow and seemingly impossible at times she believes it is achievable.

“What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually”

“Sometimes it seems
We’ll touch that dream
But things come slow or not at all”

In these two verses, she’s saying that a better time for the under privileged is meant to come and this change is inevitable. Here at UVA it seems a lot of the time that this will always be how things are and change will never come. We must believe that as long as we keep fighting slowly but surely things will begin to become the way we envision it.


It seems we lose the game,
Before we even start to play
Who made these rules? We’re so confused

This verse to me speaks to the minority population at UVA. Although we are perceived to be equal to the white student population, that is not the case. There are various ways in which minorities are at a disadvantaged to whites at UVA but these issues go unsolved because it is not a problem that deems important to whites. The issues we face today are built into to the system so it is that much difficult to rid the university of. So its confusing to us because we put in all this effort to solve these issues but we don’t know where to start , who, or what to approach.

And the ones on top, won’t make it stop
So convinced that they might fall
Let’s love ourselves then we can’t fail
To make a better situation
Tomorrow, our seeds will grow
All we need is dedication

This verse speaks to the white population at UVA who doesn’t think it is necessary to help to help bring equality to the world. This could be out of hate or fear of losing their cultural dominance. Whatever the case minorities must stick together and fight to make a better future for everyone.



Women and Hip Hop

Women in hip hop play an important role in influencing how adult and youth females see themselves and also how they are perceived by men. In most cases, women are sexualized in songs and videos by a male group or lead singer. I believe that artists who do not feed into the norm of using “sex” to sell music are not as empowering compared to female artists who use the beauty of their mind and music to create a fan base. Artists such as Lauryn Hill, Beyoncé, Queen Latifah, and TLC all in their own ways use beauty as a form of showing strength and empowering their female followers. They don’t feed into the stereotypes of all females in the music industry have to sexualize themselves. They escape the pressuring idea of having to sell sex to be a successful woman in the industry and instead use their talents to convey beauty through their minds, music, and bodies.
Being that the hip hop genre is dominated by males; women who gain success in this genre become role models to millions of women around America. There are a lot of obstacles these women have to overcome to earn the respect from people in and out of the hip hop culture. When women make it big in this genre it brings hope to the women across the globe. It gives women this feeling of strength and this belief that they can stand next to men and be just as powerful and successful. I think Beyoncé is the greatest example of this. Her persona and what she brings to hip hop and pop is so powerful it unifies women’s and starts movements. It is amazing how much change her music can bring.As long as women continue to build on what the minds of women like this have created, then women  have a lot more to accomplish.


After watching the Uprising documentary, it rekindled the emotions I felt from the recent police brutality issues around the nation. For so long minorities have felt lower than white America and have suffered from this feeling both mentally and physically. Minorities have always fallen almost powerless to whites because of situations like this. Even when whites are in the wrong the system saves them. When events like this happen it angers minorities because for so long we have tried to become equal to whites but it reminds us that we are far from it. So when we feel as if there are no policies or speech that can bring us any equality what else are we expected to do. If anyone in this world has tried to do every peaceful strategy possible to gain something they deserve they are eventually are going to fight for it and that is every race or ethnicity. So when incidents like this happen and no justice is served people will riot. The combination of everyone’s emotions become too much to control so they let their anger loose. Something that was repeated a lot in the documentary was the idea that violence was the only thing that was going to get the attention of white America. When chaos all comes people get caught in the moment and gain another identity. They loot from stores and they burn things down. But one interesting idea I caught from the documentary came from Kurrupt when he said that they weren’t burning down or stealing from their own area. They didn’t feel like that was there are so they were destroying the whit people property. So even though it seems they were being savages they were only destroying what they felt was connected to the same system that beat Rodney king.


10 songs that inspire

I Get Up : J. Cole

“I’m a provide for my seed I’m the soil
I teach em’ bout’ loyalty
I teach em’ that his skin black like oil that’s for royalty”

Hey Mama: Kanye West

“As we knelt on the kitchen floor
I said mommy Imma love you till you don’t hurt no more
And when I’m older, you aint gotta work no more
And Imma get you that mansion that we couldn’t afford”

Good Day: Nappy Roots

“The world is all yours
But still we all bound forever
In a day the choice you make is really all fine”

Black Boy Fly: Kendrick Lamar

“I used to be jealous of Aaron Afflalo
He was the one to follow
He was the only leader foreseeing brighter tomorrows
He would live in the gym
We was living in sorrow
Total envy of him
He made a dream become a reality
Actually making it possible to swim
His way out of Compton with further more to accomplish
Graduate with honors, a sponsor of basketball scholars
It’s 2004 and I’m watching him score 30
Remember vividly how them victory points had hurt me
Cause every basket was a reaction or a reminder
That we was just moving backwards
The bungalow where you find us”

I Can: Nas

“You can be anything in the world, in God we trust
An architect, doctor, maybe an actress
But nothing comes easy it takes much practice”

If I Ruled the World: Nas

“Still nobody want a nigga having shit
If I ruled the world and everything in it, sky’s the limit
I push a Q-45 Infinit
It wouldn’t be no such thing as jealousies or B Felonies
Strictly living longevity to the destiny
I thought I’d never see but reality struck
Better find out before your time’s out, what the fuck??”

Love Yourz: J. Cole

“It’s beauty in the struggle , ugliness in the success
Hear my words or listen to my signal of distress
I grew up in the city and though some times we had less
Compared to some of my niggas down the block man we were blessed”

Keep Ya Head Up: 2pac

“I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women”

Murderer to Excellence: Jay Z and Kanye West

“In the past if you picture events like a black tie
What’s the last thing you expect to see, black guys
What’s the life expectancy for black guys?
The system’s working effectively, that’s why”

Juicy: Biggie Smalls

“We used to fuss when the landlord dissed us
No heat, wonder why Christmas missed us
Birthdays was the worst days
Now we sip champagne when we thirst-ay”




What is happening now

I first heard about the incident on the corner from campus security while taking safe ride to practice. I wasn’t given all the exact details at first, so figured it was a another drunk student on the corner being out of control. As the morning went on, I started hearing more pieces of the story from my teammates. One of my teammates is in the same fraternity as Martese, and by the way he carried himself that morning what happened that morning was a serious deal. My teammate told me that Martese was arrested and put in a hospital from head injuries from police but he also did not have the full details. My teammate knew that his fraternity brother was not the person to cause an issue that would force the police to react in a way that would result in Martese going to a hospital. He described him as a well mannered person and someone who is smart enough to handle himself in a respectable way. After hearing this about Martese a was a little upset and confused to how this could have happened. I wanted my questions answered immediately. After receiving the email from Black Dot about what actually happened to Martese that morning I was distraught. I would have never thought that an event such as this could have happened at my university. The events associated with police brutality that have happened in recent were upsetting, but none of them hit me harder than what happened that morning.

What was really eye opening for me was the way that the university responded to this event ( students and administration). Regardless of a student’s race, if something tragic such as this happens to his student I think we should support him as a fellow colleague rather than ridicule him or put him at fault. Even if he was in the wrong, I don’t think any student has the right to bring him down further anyway by making cruel jokes or defending the officers. I was also upset at how administration handled the situation. I believe abandoned their support of Martese by not acting more swiftly on the situation and not properly addressing the incident.

One thing I do not want to come from this incident is for this to completely divide the university by race. I completely believe there is a race issue at this university however I do not think all whites think the same way. I think this incident can be used as a way to open the eyes of people that refuse to see this race issue or even notice an issue at all. You cannot blame someone for what they do not realize and by us blaming the entire white population at the white university, I think it divides us even more. And a lot of whites feel they are a being blamed for this incident or they feel they are a part of the problem rather than a part of the solution. If we invite all races to open their minds and help blacks to solution then I think it will help the university now and in the future. Listening to the opinions of some white students in my classes and on my team I found that they can’t truly experience black struggle so they can’t understand white privilege. If we invite them to open their minds so we can help them see what black struggle is.




Hotel Rwanda: David Dean and Andre Flemmings Collab Project


It has been about 5 years since I Have seen Hotel Rwanda, and after watching it again for this assignment I realized a few ideas that related to our own American society. I believe this film does not nearly capture the actual brutality of the Rwandan Genocide but it’s similar to the Selma film in a way because it dramatizes the tragedy in a way that the viewer is sympathetic for the victims. By the director giving awareness to the people unknowing of the event and accomplishing this feeling of sympathy, he compels viewers to become self-activists or at least understanding to a point where they can prevent something of this sort from happening again. Politically, I believe this film expresses how we as individuals we become comfortable with the safe places we are and fail to understand the danger that some people live in throughout the world. Living in a country such as America, we live so free and safe we go through our daily lives without thinking about the possibility of losing our lives or ability to walk the world and say what we please. When we see issues happening outside of our lives such as Rwanda we don’t think to take action to help because it has no way of effecting our own life. I realized that what happened in Rwanda in a way has happened and is happening still in our own country. Families and individuals living in poverty battle with issues of gang violence, proper education, and proper living conditions. The LGBT community continues to struggle with respect, equality, and acceptance. But American citizen’s and politicians ignore these issues because it does not affect them in any way. And that is one political statement this movie wants to make. Although issues such as these may not involve everyone, as human beings we must sympathize with the victims struggling with injustice and social issues so we can stand with them and help bring change.

The is work of art because of it’s story. A story like this can take place anywhere it’s because any country with poverty and social injustice people will always relate too. And when you feel what people are going through just with sounds and images, I think then you can call it a work of art.The film plays it’s politics like a chess game every move people make, effects everyone the pawns, the knights and the king. Everything has a cause and effect. But I don’t feel they show enough political expression I wish this wasn’t a movie based on Hotel Rwanda, it would work so much more effectively has a documentary but the story of Hotel Rwanda does work, I just feel like the political expression while there it’s not that strong because while threatening, it doesn’t tell me how it happened, if this country was corrupt before or not it goes into a little bit of detail but that’s the keyword a little bit. Film and TV is more romanticized, it’s played up more for intensity and laughs. If the person in real life was told too act a certain way it wouldn’t be natural but with TV or film you can exaggerate it or downplay it. While it is based off a true story doesn’t not all the events happened word for word.




Broadening Our World

I believe in order to broaden our individual world’s we have to venture outside of our own personal bubbles. If you want to expand your network and broaden your individual bubble I believe you have to do two things. One, you have to learn and understand other people’s cultures and societies. Although, I myself have never had the opportunity to see much of the world, I believe that by seeing the world it helps you understand how different your life is from other peoples. By seeing and learning about other cultures and societies you could possibly develop a view of the world through the eyes of someone else. I have noticed in my own life I become so caught up with my own personal life and goals, I don’t think about anyone or anything else but myself. Therefore, I believe if we venture outside of our bubbles we learn so much more and create opportunities to meet new people and possibly change their lives as well as your own. Second, I have a notion that everyone was put on this world with a gift or passion of some sort. Some people may take this gift/passion for granted  or may never discover it at all. But for those who do, i think it is important we use it to help and influence others. So many people find out their gifts and use them only for self success without realizing the potential impact they could have on the world. Most people only concern themselves with their own personal goals, but in order to broaden your world you have to use your gift to touch other people’s lives. If every person touches at least one other outside of their own bubble. There is a chance that a lot of people’s lives could be changed for the better. I’m not talking a bout a family member or a best friend but someone that you don’t even know. You’re supposed to help a family member or a best friend but when you touch a complete stranger there is power in that.  We broaden our networks by making effort to understand others, communicate, influence, and help those outside of our lives.

J.Cole and Sam Cooke

The two songs I used for this assignment were Sam Cooke’s 1964 hit “A Change is Gonna Come” and a J. Cole’s “Be Free”. Although the songs are aesthetically different, I think the message and power of the songs are similar in ways. The powerful concept both these songs speak to is change. The 1960’s was a time where the people of America were persistent in their ways of bringing about change which resulted in multiple monumental events in our country’s history. 50 years after Sam Cooke’s single, black America still faces issues similar to the 60’s. The issue’s black’s face today may not seem as severe as they were then, but they are still issues that are needed to be addressed and solved. In J. Cole’s song he addresses the issues black America faces and he calls for the change he has failed to see in light of the recent issues black America has faced. Aside from blatantly pointing out the issues that needed to be solving, Sam Cooke called for a change as well. Through his voice, he conveys the pain of all blacks experiencing the problems they had to face in a racist America. What makes these two pieces of art so compelling is the power of their voices. The listener can almost feel the pain they have been through by just hearing them perform the songs. It sends chills through your body and forces you to really hear what they are saying. Hearing and Understanding is important with these songs because they hold messages that the artists want the world to hear. If you can’t understand these messages then the songs are meaningless and powerless. It is interesting how in 2014, America looks at itself as such a free country, but it still suppresses its own people in concealed ways.

A Change Is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke, 1963

J. Cole: “Be Free” – David Letterman