Digital Archives

This image was taken by Alexis Garrett Stodghill on August 2013. In the picture there is a woman called Dr. Bernice King who is giving out a speech during the 50th Anniversary of the March on the Washington interfaith prayer service. Dr. Bernice King is Martin Luther King’s daughter and she was speaking in the church in memory of her father and his movement in 1963. This action from the church of receiving Dr. Bernice King to talk about the memory of her father is really significant since the church was founded by slaves and all Martin Luther King every dreamed of was equally between races.


In this image the mass that was being held was to reflect on the one-year anniversary of the shooting that injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed six other civilians. The image was taken by Matt Laslo on January 2012. The mass held was to reflect on what had occurred exactly one year earlier and as well to reflect on the amount of violence that has been occurring and ways to to stop these crimes committed. Violence around the streets needs to be contained so that innocent victims such as Rep. Gabrielle Giffords don’t get hurt.


This is how the inside of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington DC looks like. I actually good this picture from the church’s webpage while looking at the service times offered. From this image one can see how big the church is in the inside as well as the seating capacity. It is clear from this view that a lot of people can attend mass as there are two different floors. The glass windows and the designs they have are visible making the church look elegant not only in the outside, but in the inside as well.


This is one of four pictures that were taken by the architectural firm Penza and Bailey as a means to a portfolio. This firm was responsible of reconstructing the Shiloh Baptist Church after the fire occurred in the 1990s in the organ chamber destroying almost everything. This image is from a lobby in the inside of the church after it was restored. While restoring the church the architectural firm’s goal was to make an exact same replica of the previous design of the church, but in a more modernistic way.


This is an image that was taken by Jason Miccolo Johnson in 1998 of the Shiloh Baptist Church children’s choir. The reason why this picture is so significant and important is because it is currently in display in the National Museum of African American History and Culture here in DC. This museum opened less than a year ago on September 24, 2016 to portray the first ever African American museum. These young little children are singing in the church as the choir which represents that the Shiloh Baptist Church opens their doors to everyone who wants to help, contribute to the community, and learn the culture.

Commonplace 10

“For me, it’s always better to keep chasing down the guy in front and maybe finish second, rather than stopping altogether.” – Andrea Pirlo

This is a quote from soccer player Andrea Pirlo. With this quote he is trying to be a role model by saying that you should always keep doing their best under any circumstance. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, what matters is that you accomplish your goals by the end. Life is a marathon and not a sprint so it is okay sometimes to finish second or third or fourth because at least you tried to do your best. People shouldn’t conform with giving up just because they won’t finish first. By chasing down the guy in front you are motivated to do better the next time and aim for the first place. Competition is good to increase the desire of people winning, but just because someone doesn’t finish first then they shouldn’t give up on future chances.

Reading Analysis 4

In Part 3, Chapter 8, “Towards a New Sociospatial Dialectic” of City of Rhetoric, David Fleming discusses how social environments can affect how certain individuals resolve conflict and how we act. Fleming argues how the first two parts of City of Rhetoric describe “a human landscape beset by privatism… They told the story of a society, in which, for the past century or more, the most privileged persons, families, and institutions have fled to city towards the suburbs” (Fleming, 180). By saying this Fleming explains how this change has been affecting society in such ways that societies themselves are being divided and isolated. People do not know to interact with other social classes and communities leading to conflict.

There are place such as 1230 North Burling Street in which individuals pursue their own desire and work together as a community to make the city a public place to live and share. Correlations between an individual and and physical locations show the idea that a place matters. The relationship of these two is an idea that Fleming has incorporated throughout the entire book. “That places matter for civic life is that nearly everyone connected to the debate about Cabrini Green agrees that the physical organization of metropolitan Chicago is both cause and effect of intense social fragmentation” (Fleming, 191). Although it is difficult to change the culture or influence the people in an environment the best way to do so is by communicating like Fleming says. A proper living environment can not only benefit an individual, it can also help a community.


Work Cited

Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America. SUNY Press, 2008.

Annotated Bibliography 2

  1. Exhibit

Harris, Hamil R. “Shiloh Baptist Church Receives Threats after Comments from Sean Hannity.” Washington Post, April 27. 2011. Accessed March 27, 2017.

In this article, author Hamil R. Harris discusses how the Shiloh Baptist Church has been receiving serious threats from Sean Hannity. Sean Hannity works at Fox News and he aired a tape of a speech Reverend Wallace Charles Smith gave. In the speech, Reverend Smith talks about the Jim Crow Era amongst other things. Since the speech, the Shiloh Baptist Church has been receiving threats from many individuals through fax and emails. As well, in the end of the article the author shares how Sean Hannity invited Reverend Smith to Fox News to explain the things he said in the article and the Reverend declined the invitation.

This article will help me because it will serve as a source in which the church has been receiving threats and they are getting handled. By viewing how the church handles the threats then it can be connected to the outside environment and how threats are managed in the neighborhood. With this source then I will be able to get information and share it in my second essay that relates to the outside environment surrounding the church.


  1. Background

Social Justice Ministry. “Social Justice Ministry Overview (Social Justice).” Shiloh Baptist Church. Accessed March 27, 2017.

This article is from the webpage of the Shiloh Baptist Church. In the article an overview of the Social Justice Ministry is given as well as the goals of all the Shiloh churches. The main goal of the Social Justice Ministry is to promote and facilitate Awareness, Advocacy, and Action. Other goals from the ministry are to project and protect the identity of the Shiloh, maintain conscientiousness, make maximum use of the church’s physical facilities, maintain close contact with local government, and engage in sustained community activities.

I plan to use this article to share the ideas and goals of the Shiloh Baptist Church throughout my second essay. In my essay I will give out some of the goals and explain their uses with regards to how they affect the environment and the neighborhood in which the church is located. This sources’ relation to my other one is that in the other source it talks about how the church has been receiving threats and how they are handling it, while the last goal from the Social Justice Ministry is to engage in sustained community activities which means that there can be a connection between those.

Commonplace 9

During Spring Break I went back home to the Dominican Republic to spend time with my family for the week. I arrived there on Saturday night because in my connecting flight from Newark to Santo Domingo the plane’s navigational system was damaged and we couldn’t fly above the ocean, so after around two hours flying we turned around and headed back to Newark. Instead of arriving at 2pm I ended getting there at 8 or 9pm. I was exhausted since I had been awake since 4am and had not eaten anything at all that day. When I got home I showered and spent some time with my sister because she was leaving the next day back to US. Throughout the week I spent time with my grandparents, but mainly with my mom and dad. With my dad I started watching a series called Billions which is about a hedge-fund company that gets investigated by the District Attorney’s office due to corruption. It is a really good show and I was entertained with it. Besides this I didn’t do much else except see a couple of my cousins. In the end my Spring Break was well taken and I got to sleep and relax as much as possible.

Reading Analysis 3

“The Ghetto”

In Part 2, Chapter 4 “Ghetto” of City of Rhetoric, Fleming discusses the reasons why Chicago had become a ghetto city by the mid-1990s, due to the high amounts of poverty, unemployment, violence, and crime rates. This ghetto culture served as a way for the communities in Chicago to start isolating themselves which caused less social gathering.

The Cabrini Green families were primarily led by single mothers who did not have a job. These women had one duty and it is was to raise their children in the best way possible by giving them all of their time and buying necessities such as food and clothing. This led women not participating in the outside world. As well, the communities were isolated in the built environment, which meant that there were a lot of black families with whom there was no contact.  “Ironically, within a large, diverse, and highly mobile post-industrial society such as the United States, black living in the heart of the ghetto are among the most isolated people on Earth” (Fleming, 88). This segregation limited the Cabrini Green family to create a functioning public sphere due to the high amounts of social inequality between classes.

In Chicago, the “terrorization” and violence in public spaces made it difficult for people to go out into the streets and discuss with neighbors or other civilians. Public spaces such as elevators, lobbies, stairwells, and laundry rooms were the greatest targets of crime. “To be in public in places like this, in other words, is to be at risk for one’s life” (Fleming, 89). This made it useless to encourage public discourse since there were not safe places for the civilians. Not only were there no public spaces, but also the new “ghetto” that imposed fear and violence created a more isolated community.   

At the end of the chapter, Fleming discusses how the isolating atmosphere of the ghetto made the community a quiet place. Due to high crime rates the citizens of Chicago went to the streets few times and instead stayed home protecting themselves and their families. A code of silence was implemented on its own due to isolation within the community. Fear was everywhere in the city of Chicago as the new ghettos grew.

Work Cited

Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America. SUNY Press, 2008.

Commonplace 8

This is a video of a famous song called 7 years. It was written by Lukas Graham in 2015 and it is really inspirational. I like the lyrics of the song because it tells the story of a person and how they grew up to be who they are now. During the song, there are several years mentioned and in each of them then either the mom, dad, wife or kids is mentioned to show how they have touched the artist. These individuals that were inserted in the lyrics have played different roles in the artist as each person made him better. The mother raised the kid and made him become a social person leading to new friends. The father taught the boy that he needs to find the correct woman to love and have a lifetime together. Finally, his wife gave birth to children while these children are there for him always and serve as inspiration. I really like this song because it shows what a person should grow up to be like and the purpose he has in life.

Essay 1

The Shiloh Baptist Church  

As the car drove farther from American University the environment started to change. The buildings colors and shapes were transforming as I passed through Embassy Row in the car towards my destination. All I could see were dozens and dozens of flags from all around the world while the driver had some rap music on. Drake was singing to the beat while the driver was speeding towards P and 9th Street. As we moved through the city every building and every place was transforming from clean to dusty and old. From the clean, white American University buildings to the small embassy buildings, until I arrived at the brick buildings location in DC. All buildings were brick and with their own style. Some were brick with a touch of modern, while the Shiloh Baptist Church is a huge all-brick building.

“The Shiloh Baptist Church was founded in 1863 by twenty-one slaves during the Civil War” (SHILOH BAPTIST CHURCH WASHINGTON, D.C. RECORDS). During the war, these individuals migrated from Virginia towards Washington DC in order to construct the church. Reverend William J. Walker was the first man to become responsible for the church and take care of it. He was the founder and the man who inspired many other slaves to build this holy place so that civilians from all around the city could attend. The current reverend, Wallace Charles Smith, is trying to do the same by inspiring so many people around the community by helping them.

This church is located in a place I didn’t even know existed. It is close to Logan Circle and in the downtown area of the city. This is a place I had never been to since I’ve been to DC and it is very warm location. The majority of the places in the surrounding are made from brick with the exception of some. The Shiloh Baptist Church itself is a huge brick building with some unique distinctions. Most of the doors in this place are solid bright red, while the glass windows are all disguised in art. The art covered in the glass windows are not people from the bible, but instead it is great amounts of different shapes such as squares, diamonds, or circles that give the church a much more fascinating look from the outside.

In front of the church, there is a restaurant and an apartment. It is a mix of both as the restaurant lies on the bottom floor and the other ones are for rental. Not only is the food in the restaurant really distinct due to its location, it is also really good. This Japanese Ramen restaurant has a variety of delicious plates that can be served with different kinds of vegetables. One can even sit in the outside area of the restaurant and enjoy the view of so many different buildings in the surrounding. Chaplins is a brick building covered in some modernistic black walls with a touch of glass. This place gives a touch to the community as it is different from the rest. Crossing the street from Chaplin’s there is an old building under reconstruction.

Besides the Shiloh Baptist Church, there is a small, grey-colored liquor store. The liquor store is interesting because of all the products it sells. It is weird to see a store that only sells alcohol, cigarettes, sodas and things like these are set right in front of a church. One can even contrast these two buildings across each other in P street. It can be this sort of parallel place in which the street is Earth and us the humans and civilian decide whether we want to go to heaven, which is the Shiloh Baptist Church or hell, the liquor store. This is a weird comparison that can be accounted upon due to that fact that my site is a church and in the bible, it says that underaged people cannot drink or else they would be sinning. So, in reality, it probably is accurate to say that weekly many teens go there trying to get alcohol sold when in reality they do not have the age. These kids are basically sinning by choosing to go to “hell” instead of heaven in this parallel universe.

The Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington DC has over one hundred and fifty years of existence; therefore, it is older than most churches I know. Actually, it has been reconstructed once in its history. This was in 1998 after a fire in 1991 destroyed part of the church in the inside. The fire was caused by an organ during a practice. The fire forced the church to be rebuilt and the opportunity was taken by Reverend Wallace Charles Smith to create a more modern and renewed place. “This building is a reaffirmation of our belief in the city of Washington, and this is just a beginning of our renewed effort to address issues in our community such as poverty, social justice, and homelessness” (Harris, Hamil R and Bill Broadway).

As mentioned, the church was built by slaves and thus has some significance to the black community. Freedmen found solace in the church in the late 1800s and civil right leaders held meetings in the church. Therefore, the church also contributes to the history of DC. Over the years, the congregation has learned to live as one and continues to protect the rights of the disenfranchised people (Harris, Hamil R and Bill Broadway). For this reason, the church has been proud to reach out to as many people as it can and Reverend Smith hopes to continue to do so.

Reverend Smith uses the church as a way to promote prosperity around the community. He is trying to give hope to those that have lost it and inspire those in need of help. The Shiloh Baptist Church is a means that can help many poor and homeless citizens become even better and prosper in the community. In a way, it was good that the fire occurred due to the fact that the church was remodeled and this served as a way for Revered Smith to demonstrate that the church wants to help those individuals that need help.

Additionally, the need to double the capacity at the new unveiling shows the need for the Reverend and the church as a while to reach out to the people of the community. Shiloh Baptist is not just a worshipping center but a haven for the community. As the article states, there are a group of lawyers from Shiloh that provide counseling to the congregation. Other than that, other professionals provide their services to the worshippers when in need. Hence, the church is an all-round wholesome experience that is meant to nourish the people spiritually and among other realms.

Some people might think that placing so much importance on a building even if it is a place of worship may be too much or unnecessary. But, the church has some significant historic roots and has remained in the lives of the people living around it. A person seeing and even worshipping in the church on a daily basis makes it very important. Reverend Smith understands this notion and thus made its unveiling a very important affair.

This church is a symbol of hope in the community. Those homeless or poor people who need help can go at any moment to the church because they know that the people working there will be of service. It is amazing what a site can do in a community. This place has tried to help the surrounding civilians become better people. Until the day I visited The Shiloh Baptist Church I didn’t know this place existed in the city of DC. I had never gone to the Downtown area of the city, much less a specific place and it is extraordinary how a site can change everything. The environment built around the church has been changing throughout the years due to the church’s effort in making it that way. The brick building is much more than brick, it is a place where place can be assisted and taught to become better, it is a place of prosperity.

Works Cited

Harris, Hamil R and Bill Broadway. “A NEW PLACE FOR AN OLD CONGREGATION.” Washington Post, 1998. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.

Montas, Juan. Photo 1. 18 Feb. 2017.

Montas, Juan. Photo 2. 18 Feb. 2017.


Commonplace 6

Part 1: 

The basketball rolled across the gym floor.
In this sentence the main subject is basketball while the designated verb is rolled. The meaning of this sentence is to portray that there are basketballs rolling through the floor. In this sentence the relationship between the doer and the doing is that the verb describes an action done by the subject in the sentence above.

Part 2:

David Fleming concludes his City of Rhetoric by arguing that “education [should be] oriented to the ‘strong publics’ of decision making rather than the ‘weak publics’ of opinion formation” (205). For Fleming, then, composition courses, which traditionally have asked students to write about a designated place or location, should instead have students visit that place and take pictures.  In other words, the students need to learn about the place.

Part 3: The Polymath

Ethos: How credible and trustworthy the author is. Not everyone trusts other people with the response they make or what they say.

Pathos: How emotions get in the way. Some students might get scared to raise their hand and say that they do not know the answer to the question.

Logos: Whether something is logical or not. It is not logical to have the teacher make all students raise their hand even if they don’t know the answer to the question.


Commonplace 7

In Worstward Ho!, Samuel Beckett writes the following:

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

Samuel Beckett’s idea of failure is that it is likely to happen to everyone in a moment of their life but they need to stand up and try again until succeeding. This matters because the key in this quote is when it says “try again.” By trying over and over again then you are not giving up, instead one tries to accomplish their goals by trying. Simple structures are used because there are times when simple words give away a big message or meaning like in this case. It doesn’t always have to be a long quote or several sentences that give away a great structured message. The structure in which the sentences are arranged affect the way we read this and different punctuation usages change how we read the sentence as well.