Feel Good Music (commonplace 15)

One of the only things that my father and I connect on is our love for music and discovering new music for the type of mood we are in. My dad is from France and is very into French rap music which he loves to share with me. Recently my dad introduced me to this artist named Krisy, his raps of the smooth melodic bass beats are something that intrigued from the very first time that I heard him. He speaks of love and romance in a way that is so mesmerizing that I was almost upset that I had not discovered him before my dad. After I finished listening to Krisy’s album I had one of the best conversations with my father. It’s funny how music can help me connect so deeply with my father. Though my father and I don’t have the best relationship it’s cool we can at least connect on this.

Rita Moreno – Driving Force (commonplace 14)

Portrait of actress Rita Moreno.

I’m currently writing a paper on the under-representation of Latinx (neutral term to refer to both Latinos/as) in my Reflection of American Society on Stage class. I truly had no game plan when it came to writing this paper, as a person who is Haitian (as stated in the previous post)  with Cuban descent I felt that it would be interesting to touch base on another part of my culture and ethnic identity. Similar to Blacks in America, Latinx have had similar experiences where they are not given the outlet to express their creativity and be respected in popular culture. However, when Latinx artist was given the opportunity show their talent, they did it very well. For example, Rita Moreno got the role of the fiery Anita in 1961 movie rendition of West Side Story. Though there was controversy over the depiction of Puerto Ricans in the movie where in reality many of the characters  (besides Anita) were being played by white actors in brownface. However, Moreno used her platform to show that she was a talent and a force to be reckoned with. From her performance in West Side Story, Rita Moreno won the Academy Award for her portrayal of Anita, becoming the first Hispanic actress to receive the coveted Oscar. Moreno was able to utilize and perhaps even transcend her initial image to become a respected performer with a long career.

A Sword. A Spear. A Shield (commonplace 13)

Quote from Elizabeth Acevedo

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of hearing Afro-Dominican poet Elizabeth Acevedo speaking on the topic of Bridging borders between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It was my first time seeing and hearing of this Acevedo, but for seeming reasons, I was struck by her intelligence and her ability to talk about such a controversial matter so gracefully. I as a Haitian immigrant stood there with a Dominican-American and we spoke to each other as people that understood one another. We understood our past, the stigmas that we had as children of immigrants, and the way we were brought up. As the presentation progressed we talked our conversations developed into other pressing matters such as the importance of raising the future generations aware and something she stated that I ended finding a direct quote was, “And I can’t trust this world to teach their sons how to treat my daughter.  So I will raise her to be a sword. a spear. a shield.” And that is such a powerful line for me that I will carry on and teach my daughter to be strong for herself no matter what other say about you. I will teach my kids to love and respect where they come from no matter what they hear in the news. I will teach my kids to be knowledgeable about what is going on in the world and have thoughtful conversations just as I try to do every day. 

Topoi for Shaw Area: 5th & O St NW (commonplace 12)

Inside of Greg’s Barbershop, established in 1913

Something that reminds me of my site (5th & O St NW) is a picture that I stumbled upon while I was doing research for my annotated bibliography collection. This picture I feel represents the topoi community. This picture was taken inside of Gregg’s Barbershop a that has been in the same location since 1913. Though there are such things

Annual Thanksgiving Dinner in the Kennedy Recreational Center in Shaw

as displacement and pressure to house the communities that are no longer able to live in the same areas as before there is a sense of needing to interact and have some sort of support system within the community of people that is left. Something that I realize throughout my research of 5th & O St and the Shaw area as a whole if the way that neighbors who have known each other for a long period of time interacted with one another. Their interactions were always on a family level, being there for one another no matter what. Through there are new groups of individuals coming in, settling themselves and creating a family, the natives live their lives understand the power of the meaning “love thy neighbor.” Though they might feel misunderstood in many aspects when it comes to the lack of privileges they have compared to their new counterparts, but they know how to survive and make a life for themselves the best they can.

Rhetorical Situations and Sentence Structures (commonplace 11)

American University sign for Inclusive bathroom

A sign such as this shows the new types of conversations that we are having in 2017. In our current society, we need such “inclusive” spaces because of the different types of people that surround us. To have a college campus, a place that is for the most part, whether a private or public institution sticks to traditions and a certain type of life that is structured and serious have the bravery to presents its willings to advocate and support a new type of community that is arising in this world is very transformative. There are such word such
as “inclusive” “appreciate” and such phrases as “gender identity” sets a positive dialogue among all individuals and groups that use our institutions everyday, while still making sure that everyone stays comfortable stating such lines as, “If feel the need to lock the room while using it, there is a lock located on the main door to this restroom” which allows individuals to now feel ashamed or feel judged for not being ready to be as open and quite willing to share such an intimate part of an individual’s daily life. It shows that American University is paying attention to all the people that are such campuses, it sets them apart presenting itself as a campus and community that is accepting. It starts the rhetoric or accepting and loving the person for not who/what they identify as but the person they are on the inside and what they are willing and can contribute to the A.U society. The same way that the saying “once, an eagle always an eagle” creates a sense of family and love such a sign and space as an inclusive bathroom does the same, it is a sense of comfort to all types of people in A.U. 

Music that would accompany the mood of the American University Inclusive Restroom Rhetoric would be…

Logo of The University of Georgia

“Shall property owned by the University System of Georgia and utilized by providers of college and university student housing and other facilities continue to be exempt from taxation to keep costs affordable?”

Property seems to be the root of this direct quote, the first words that are stated in the quote is, “shall property owned…” hence there is a sense of importance stressed on identifying what the property is and what is allowed to happen to it. There is an obvious entitlement, power and seriousness surround such conversations that will be sparked because of this question. There are such words as “property” “utilized” “exempt” and “affordable.” With the rhetorical situations that will be presented with such question one can say there will be obvious biases that are struck out on the side of the students and keeping the costs of what they “utilize” more “affordable”. This leading sentence has a speaker behind it that is specifically asking and in some ways demanding lower costs for the students which leads the person who is reading the question to assume that the speaker and creator of this question sympathizes with the position that the student is being placed in, which is one that is inferior to the university they go to. The use of “system” presents to the reader that there is an obvious imbalance in the actors that are connected to the question, which is then being called out as unfair. It then makes the reader assume that there is an overarching problem within the university’s community when it comes to the power struggle and voices that are being heard which then can be applied to not The University of Georgia but institutions throughout the nation.  

Music that would accompany the accompany the mood concerning affordable housing for students at The University of Georgia would be…

 

Little Piece of Home (commonplace 10)

A picture of my uncle and I. (Taken by my mother)

I got a call from my uncle (seen above picture) and I sat there for 30 minutes the other day and just talked to him about anything and everything. My uncle Darwin is turning 26 this year and as a kid,  he didn’t feel like an uncle, he was more so a brother because we grew up together. As the only child of my parents, I knew that I had Darwin to always be there for me to play, laugh and have fun together no matter where we were and what we were doing. As we grew up, of course, he took the uncle role being protective over me and making sure that I got what I needed and ensuring that I and the niece were doing what I was supposed to do. Darwin and I had a relationship where I could talk to him about everything whether it be politics, school, boys or family issues that we saw occurring in front of us. He was my best friend and my confidant with everything. As I talked to him over the phone catching up about everything with college I  couldn’t help but become extremely homesick and just miss being a kid and having fun with my uncle (more so older brother and best friend) Darwin. As I told him that, he told me there was no need to. That I was exactly where I was supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. He motivated me and encouraged me to keep doing me. And for that, I thank you, Darwin.

Love,

your niece and best friend.

College Student Blues (commonplace 9)

As a college student, I sometimes struggle with the stress and pressure that I get from wanting to make my family proud and be successful in life. Knowing the second semester of my freshman year of college is coming to an end gives me major anxiety. With the closing of my first year of college I feel and know that more responsibility is coming. I also know I will feel more pressure to do and be the best that I can be. I am in an institution where for the most, part everyone is on the same playing field, we are all smart students that got into this university based on our skills and knowledge, which in return means we have to work twice as hard than we were before. For the longest time, I didn’t think that was possible for me, from my perspective I always thought I worked pretty hard and I have the accomplishment of being accepted to this university to prove it. I always knew that part of the college experience would involve a involve a couple of things; competitive nature with my peers. I also know that there will be more night os no sleep, tears among other bumps on the road. I have dealt with that to a greater severity that I had ever imagined. I don’t say this to discourage anyone or myself as I am writing this but instead I write this, to be honest with myself and understand that college will honestly only get harder and more stressful but because of the passion I know I have and the drive and determination that is in me I know I will get through it.

Yeezus Mommy and me (commonplace 8)

 

I was listening to this song with my mother over spring break. It was a regular (or so I thought) driving to run errands with her since I was in town for the week. As we were listening to the Life of Pablo album the song FML came on and per usual we were quiet listening to the song since we are both Kanye West fans. As he was rapping the first verse of the song West sang stating, “I been feeling all I’ve given, For my Children, I will die for those I love.” After that line, my mother stopped the song and finally said something to break the silence. She looked at me and said, “I connect to that… when you have children, you will do everything in your power, even die to make sure that they are alright in the end.” My first reaction was shock my mother all 19 years that I have known her has never talked in such a serious tone with me. The way she was talking to me was both as a daughter and a woman that would in the future feel the same way about her children and loved ones. It seemed to me that this was one of the first of many moments where my mother and I would truly understand one another and the role we played in each other’s lives

Failure is a gain not a loss (commonplace 7)

In Worstward Ho!, Samuel Beckett writes the following:  

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

From how I interpreted this particular quote,  what Beckett is saying about failure is that if you are doing something with purpose, something worth your while, something people will learn from and be impacted by  – succeeding will not be the only reason you are doing it. It is more than the “if you fail, try try again” it’s about the progress and what is learned from the failure. What truly matter with failure is the knowledge and experience gained from that, not the fact that you did not accomplish the goal. The form of the sentence is simple, straight to the point the idea of, it is an IC, DC cause, and effect comma structure. This sentence though written by one of the world’s greatest writers is simple because it is a simple idea that can be interpreted in so many different ways. It a concept that does not need a complex structure to have a powerful message and Beckett is aware of that. Even if it was a DC, IC form and the beginning started with “Fail better…” the power of the sentence would still be there. The context and purpose of the word are still the same. If there was a question it would be a phrase that would automatically stimulate an internal conversation. If it were to end as an exclamation point the tone of it would be one of excitement, one where the is determination and enthusiasm when it comes to the gains of failure, it would introduce the concept as not a negative thing.

From Poverty to Oscar Gold! (commonplace 6)

HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 26: Actor Viola Davis, winner of the Best Supporting Actress award for ‘Fences’ poses in the press room during the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

There is deep inspiration and gratitude in my heart seeing this picture of Viola Davis. Here is a woman who mainstream media love to put on spotlight on the fact that she went from “poverty to Oscar gold.” The first African American/Black woman to win an Oscar, Emmy and Tony. And the reason why she has such awards if because of her talent, her hard work to become in the place she and in the process remembering who she was, acknowledging herself as a black woman in an industry that doesn’t necessarily appreciate or pay attention to people that look like her or me and other black boys and girls of the world. This picture is so powerful for the to see, for me personally, though I don’t want to be an actress I want my voice and my hard work to be recognize. Ms. Davis worked decades in the industry to just finally be recognized and appreciate and be seen as an accomplished actress that can play more than these stereotypical people of color roles. I am in awe of her and all the people of color, both men and women that continue to pursue their dreams and be recognized for that. So to Viola I say….YES!