1. Digital Archives: Interior and Cultural

This picture is of the Beacon House Community Ministry Falcon football team. This football team is for children 5-18 years old and is sponsored out of the BHCM. This ministry was founded in the height of the crack epidemic in Washington D.C. in the midst of one of the most open air drug markets in all of D.C. Therefore, this program has been an outlet to escape a life of crime that was and still is associated with this area of D.C. It targets a young audience from a very young age to do something constructive and to be a part of something that is larger than themselves.

 

 

 

Annotated Bibliographies 3 and 4

“Suh,Heise, Stephen, Kia. Re-Evaluating the “Culture of Poverty” – The Society Pages. https://thesocietypages.org/roundtables/culture-of-poverty/. Accessed 27 Mar. 2017.

In “Re-Evaluatiing the ‘Culture of Poverty'”,  Suh Heise and Stephen Kia explicate the culture of poverty in a way that is understood by the reader and an opinion becomes elicited. When reading the article, one develops an understanding of how people may be “stuck” in a situation that does not let for social and economic advancement. Heise and Stephen explain this when saying, “The “culture of poverty” prevents the poor from economic betterment despite social programs designed to assist them.” (Heise, Stephen 1). Therefore, having an understanding of what the culture of poverty is based on their article gives meaning to how people fall into the culture of poverty and how they are like prey to the predator that the culture of poverty is. This coined term has been seen as racist with good reason. Rather than the true, crippling reasons of the inequality that a black person may feel in their poverty, it is just that these poor people adapt to their lifestyles and pass it on for their survival.

This will aid in my research because it gives an inside view as to what a person in a poorer area of D.C. for example may or may not be experiencing, especially in the Edgewood neighborhood. Edgewood is home to several low income families in either apartments or federally subsidized housing. The culture of poverty is a deep seeded plant in the garden of reasons as to a poor community and why it is poor. Being poor can have mental tolls on a person that can only be understood if that person is in that experience. This article keeps the situation one its toes and very apparent to a reader. Hence, this source brings this barrier to the forefront to be analyzed and understood beyond its discourse community of the poor area that the culture of poverty may be in. 

Arnold, Tiffany. “The ‘Beacon House Effect’: D.C. Nonprofit Uses Sports to Put Youths on Path to Empowerment.” WTOP, 11 Apr. 2016, http://wtop.com/living/2016/04/the-beacon-house-effect-d-c-nonprofit-uses-sports-to-put-youths-on-path-to-empowerment/.

In ““The ‘Beacon House Effect’: D.C. Nonprofit Uses Sports to Put Youths on Path to Empowerment,” Tiffany Arnold reflects on the Beacon House Community Ministries athletic program and what it does for children in Washington D.C. Instead of the typical social program that gives food and shelter, the Beacon House Community Ministry  gives a unique effect that unites and inspires its participants. Monica Ruiz, an assistant research professor at George Washington University’s Department of Prevention and Community Health, explains this unique effect as the “Beacon House effect”. Ruiz also explains, “The kids know that this community has their back” (Tiffany 1). This program is sponsored out of the Edgewood Terrace Apartments, and so, knowing that their community is behind them is a special sentiment that is all thanks to this program. The “Beacon House effect” goes beyond just a simple social program, but it creates the effect to realize one’s true potential, and in doing so, a new and improved way to combat poverty is born.

This article will be helpful for my research because it gives an example. The “Beacon House effect” is an example of a social program that inspires change rather than just giving it. Poverty can psychologically be embedded in someone’s mind based on their surroundings, but can be combated. An inside view is obtained as to how people that live in the Edgewood Terrace Apartments live their day to day lives being in this program as well when one reads this article. This is important in my research, as learning how the residents of Edgewood see life is important in understanding why the “Beacon House effect” is what it is to these residents.

Fleming: Physical Location, Keeping Space in Mind

Matthew Matos

Professor Hoskins

WRTG 101 027

27 March 2017

Physical Location: Keeping Space in Mind

David Fleming, author of City of Rhetoric explains the pessimism behind progress and city life in his chapter, “Toward a New Sociospatial Dialetic.” This explication outlines how exactly cities across the United States can be divided and what exactly the consequences of such division are. Fleming argues the forces of “decentralization, fragmentation, and polarization in this country” (Fleming 184). It is often difficult to imagine a country, when thinking from this perspective in a positive light. These words show such strong opposition to the creation of a democratic sphere as Fleming puts and thus, making a better society. This is important in understanding how exactly the persistence of space within society can be integrated into this discussion Fleming brings up.

The concept of space is consistent, meaning that no matter what occupies the space, the space that is occupied never changes. As a result of this realization it can be understood why exactly space and rhetorical well being are hand in hand. The space that one lives in  can determine their socio-economic status, and can determine what their impact is on people’s lives. For example Fleming discusses the different places in the country and what their impact might be on a person. To describe this, Fleming explicates, “…different places in this country offer residents different chances for health, prosperity, and happiness. “(Fleming 184). Places matter, because where a person is from can identify who they are and what role their upbringing has had on him or her.

Fleming also discusses how place can affect a person socially. The “strong links between housing and overall economic well-being…have obvious implications for rhetorical power.” This is important because it can tell how a person lives their life can have an impact on their social life and overall health. Having a secure job and having the secure resources of what to expect in life are the key to being successful. Thus, Fleming states this to understand how people think and naturally act.

References:

Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric. SUNY Press. 2009.

 

Commonplace 9: Odell Beckham Jr.

I am a diehard Giants fan, my brother is a diehard Giants fan, mother, and especially my dad. The New York Giants have been a part of my family for as long as I can remember. When OBJ came to the Giants roster in 2014, I was excited to see new faces on my team, and was excited to see how this new

 

Odell Beckham Jr.’s  Instagram post from April 18th, 2017

wide receiver would play 3 years later, Odell Beckham Jr. has become my favorite football player and still is today. He inspires me with his dedication to his team, and is just a natural leader and inspiring person. I really could go on and on about why I love OBJ, but I digress to his quote. This quote was posted on his Instagram account, and it discusses how the things that we truly need to do and care about in our lives can easily get deterred by things that may provide some momentary comfort. This procrastination is dangerous, and therefore, OBJ is saying that we must remember to keep the things that are really important in mind, and prevent so many things from deterring our goals. I think the fact that this quote has no commas, or anything and is just a regular sentence is what makes it stand out. It tells a simple message, and does so that the message stays with the reader. It is easy to comprehend as well because of the style that it is written in. And of course, it is inspiring to the reader, especially if they are a fan of OBJ like I am.

Works Cited

Beckham Jr., Odell. “Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) • Instagram Photos and Videos.” Www.instagram.com, https://www.instagram.com/obj/. Accessed 24 Apr. 2017.

 

Suburbia: More than a Dream

David Fleming, author of City of Rhetoric explains stigmas of suburban and city life in his chapter, “Suburbia”. Typically, suburban neighborhoods are a method of describing the white, “good life,” with new housing units and thus higher rates of homeownership, multiple cars, quietness for most of the time, and overall a way to escape city life. As a result, Fleming compares city life to suburban life in saying that “suburbia is still a useful category for comparison with…metropolitan scenes like the urban ghetto.” (Fleming 97). In other words, even though the suburban life is constantly evolving, the thing that remains immutable is the fact that suburbs can still be a direct comparison to the more metropolitan life that is encompassed by city life. This is important in understanding how Fleming’s previous method of discussing space comes into play.

Space is immutable, even though it changes physically. In other words, what one area may have been at one time does not mean it cannot change. The space is still there, except the atmosphere of that said space is now different. This is what the suburbs are all about as well. Fleming discusses the various types of suburbs and how they may vary in their space. Such an example is the comparison between Yonkers, NY and what Fleming calls “bedroom-developing communities (Fleming 97). Yonkers is a suburb yes, but does not fit the “mold” that a suburb is associated with. It has an at risk segregated status with high concentrations of minority children in public schools, and is slow growing. In comparison, bedroom-developing communities are fast growing, and have low minority and poverty rates.

This is all important because having a background in suburban life in comparison to city life makes for an easier understanding in how to “put a dent in the problem of urban poverty and joblessness” (Fleming 119). It outlines a fine balance that a suburb should have to not become too much like a city. In doing so, the atmosphere of a suburb can be understood, and with this understanding, used to attempt rectification of social issues.

References:

Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric. SUNY Press. 2009.

Commonplace 8: Like Toy Soldiers

Commonplace Assignment 8

“Bit by bit, torn apart. Never win, but the battle wages on. For toy soldiers.”

Category: Commonplace

Song: “Like Toy Soldiers”

Artist: Eminem

This song is like a grit and nails song. Adapted from Martika’s “Toy Soldiers,” Eminem makes a rap version that is classic Eminem style with rock solid emotion and poignant power. One can actually feel themselves getting a sense of pride in their work when listening to this song. I like to listen to it when I work because I feel such a sense of nail and grit attitude. The short independent clause sentences show that it is a simple thought that Eminem is making. The thought is to either keep moving, or die. People try to accomplish things when they are easy, but give up at the first sight of trouble. To keep going from this and to never quit is the message from these short syntactical sentences. This is also why I like it. When fatigued, one can only think in short syntactical sentences. Thus, the raw emotion is said without even saying it in this quote. This is powerful, and nonetheless inspires me and other people.

The Edgewood Terrace Apartments: Mirror Reflection over Time

 

The Edgewood Terrace Apartments: Mirror Reflection over Time

Social programs at the Edgewood Terrace Apartments are a great reflection of a past and future  Washington D.C. Located right off of Rhode Island Avenue in the Northeast region of the District, it is a place where people once scored drugs. Violence over money and power in the drug world is the result of the apartment’s status in context. Now, it is an area that thrives with after school activities and social programs. These apartments have a certain endemic atmosphere to them as well. The people that live there seem to all be in a close community, and therefore watch out for each other. Taking this into consideration, this is the reason why this matters. Social programs are the future in leading a community out of crime, and thus, should be accounted for when learning about a community that fits this mold.

Rachel S Karas, a reporter for The Washington Post, reports an article about a social program that is sponsored out of the Edgewood Terrace Apartments. Once known as “Little Beirut” for its violence, the Edgewood Terrace Apartments has seen much change within the past two decades. The Post has a sentiment that it shares what is important to know in the District of Columbia, and how it affects D.C. residents. Therefore, its endemic nature shows reliability, and trust with news. The first line of that article reads, “What was once an open air drug market near Rhode Island Avenue is now a room alive with learning and laughter, chatter about spelling homework and schoolyard gossip.” This, in turn, shows how there has been a social transformation of the area thanks to the aid of social and afterschool programs. It has been the future the Edgewood Terrace Apartments and what was needed to lift themselves off the ground and pull themselves out of “Little Beirut” status.

The location of where the Edgewood Terrace Apartments is mentioned, which in turn, is vital to understanding the social impact this had on the drug market in the 1990’s District of Columbia. The apartments are literally right off of the Rhode Island Metro station.

Looking rhetorically, this means that anyone who wished to buy drugs at this open air drug market only had to take the Metro, walk about 2 blocks, and they are right there. This is almost scary to think that a person had that much easy access to such a dangerous neighborhood and dangerous situation. Also, the Metrobus stops right alongside the apartments, meaning that either through Metrorail or Metrobus, a person had extreme easy access to this once war zone in Northeast Washington D.C. This means that at one time, a person could score drugs easily. However, a person can now score a social program designed to keep peace and drugs off streets and in turn make a safer community. A sign that explicitly stated the consequence of buying drugs in that in area in 2017 would mean says all the change the neighborhood has undergone.

Its harsh tone shows that there is little tolerance for what the area used to be like and what it is now. The first line in The Washington Post article explains in short what the area was once like and what it is striving for currently. Its concise comparison opens the doors for what the article is then written about.

The after school haven tucked inside the Edgewood Terrace Apartments has been the saving grace from several people in the Edgewood Terrace Apartment area. A secondary proponent of the social change that has rooted itself in the Edgewood Terrace Apartments, the Beacon House Community Ministries also takes into account social changes. The BHCM helps at risk children in a program that is designed to enrich them with knowledge and learning so that they may not end up on the streets and strengthen the issues that once severely plagued this community. This ministry offers USDA approved meals to children, tutoring services with homework, and an after school activity.

A program like this one is much like social programs described in David Fleming’s City of Rhetoric. Fleming discusses the social change that Chicago has undergone in the past few decades thanks to urbanization and social change. While Fleming’s claims focus on social changes such as gentrification and urbanization, they nonetheless do something similar to Karas’ Post article. They both reflect change and in cities that have hidden rhetoric to them in their structures.

Another endemic part of the Edgewood Terrace community through this after school program is the  Beacon House Falcons football program. It gives many young men the opportunity to be a part of something greater than themselves. Being on a team and playing something that many of these kids since they were 5 years old have wanted to do has given these young men a new light. This article reflects change in the area, and its message about the after school program, whether it be the highly successful football program or the science club, this ministry has been the saving grace for many children and parents in need.

The founding date of 1991 amidst the gang and drug violence that plagued the apartments shows the catalyst of the social change. It was originally a small donated apartment building that grew into being a program that could house over 120+ students. Knowing its history, and knowing the history of the area and D.C. at the time, the context of the situation of the old Edgewood Terrace Apartments makes perfect sense. The community is painted well to reflect the social change that the apartments have undergone in the last 20 years. From a rhetorical standpoint, this means that social change is and has been the saving grace for this area.

The actions of today reflect the social change that the area has undergone. Today kids can be seen tossing a football around innocently and not slinging dope around looking like they have not a care in the world. They laugh, make jokes, hoot, and holler until they are called inside to eat. Having something to take pride in and having that self-esteem is what makes those kids so happy. Thus, it is the solution to what the kids need to keep them off the streets. This article outlines a bright future, and it is hoped that programs such as the Beacon House Community Ministry will thrive in making a better tomorrow for children in D.C.

The location of the Edgewood Terrace Apartments and the people that live there is a factor to be explored when looking at social change. Sarah Schindler, author of “Architectural Exclusion; Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment” in the Yale Law Journal explains that people are “architecturally excluded”often times in cities. This is important to the Edgewood Terrace Apartments because while this area is very accessible to the Metro, there is a running path that cuts right alongside the apartments. This is not done on accident. The path is isolated from this community because of the apartments status coming from a social and economic viewpoint. Schindler writes “sidewalks and bike paths are rare and do not connect to those in other communities inhabited by residents of lower racial and social status” (Schindler 21). This shows that the Edgewood Terrace Apartments are viewed as problematic even today through architectural exclusion. Hopefully, this may change one day by altering the path route, or if not changing the attitude of the apartments.

When describing the old Edgewood Terrace Apartments, the BHCM website calls the area ‘Little Beirut.” Named after the Siege of Beirut in the Lebanese War, it was to explain the violence that plagued this area that was stuck in the heart of the crack and drug epidemic of 1990’s D.C.

The Siege of Beirut was a part of the 1982 Lebanese War that killed hundreds of innocent civilians and wrecked havoc on both sides of Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The Siege was an all out war, just like how the crack epidemic in Washington D.C. was like a ‘Little Beirut.” The article and the associated website with BHCM all explain how things really were in the neighborhood and how there was little to no hope for a young mind to grow up in a situation like those of the children in the 1990’s Edgewood Terrace Apartments. The Beacon House Falcons won the 2010 National Peewee Football Super Bowl. The founder of the program, Reverend Donald E. Robinson, even said after the win, “They used to call it Beirut because there was so much violence.” To hear it directly from another source shows how exactly the nickname given to the area was so important. It gives validation that the area has changed, and it is all thanks to the after school program started by the reverend.  In addition, the article is explaining how these children are being set up with this program to compete with anyone, and to know that the sky’s the limit.

The text explored gives a window of past and present to an area that tells a story. The Edgewood Terrace Apartments are not as grand persay as the Capitol Building. But what it does have just like this famous monument is a story. The story of how it was once “Little Beirut,” and how gunshots were as normal to be heard as birds singing or cars honking in the distance. An in depth textual analysis reveals a story that tells what has become of Little Beirut, and hopefully, the bright future it has ahead of itself. Only time can tell what will become of any situation, but when human effort is put into a task, the outcome of the effect of time will most often be great. It can only be hoped for the Edgewood Terrace Apartments that flames like the BHCM do not die out, but conquer the whole grass field.

 

Commonplace 7: Worstward Ho!

Commonplace Assignment 7

In Worstward Ho!, Samuel Beckett writes the following:

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

Beckett says that failure is to be expected. Beckett explains that with failure comes a choice to either not continue or to keep going. If one fails once again, at least they failed better than they did before. This matters because it is an important life lesson, and it gives meaning to the words that Beckett is saying. The form in this sentence is important because its anaphora structure gives short, syntactic method to the words. It almost screams, “this is how it is in life, and do not dare to challenge it.” As a result, this quote runs deep, but its meaning is simplified because of the syntactical structure. This is why one of the world’s great writers styled this sentence this way. It creates an effect, an effect that portrays the emotion that is very difficult to express through paper, and often times must be done orally. The sentence structure affects how this is read because a person reads each clause as a simple sentence. Psychologically, we read the sentences to get the effect that Beckett hopes to elicit from the reader. The impact would be different if the sentence was in a DC and IC form. This is because the sentence would not have that simple, “this is how it is” “pop” to it. Instead, the sentence might be read as just another quote with no emphasis on the meaning. If question marks were used after the first two sentences, it would make the reader think critically and analyze if they were actually asked that question. An exclamation mark would again, give more of a personal tone from Beckett, and makes the reader feel as if they are having a coffee with Beckett when failure is being explained.



Commonplace 6: The Show Goes On, City of Rhetoric, Professor Delany

 

Part 1:

 “Even if they turn the lights out, the show is going on.”

-Lupe Fiasco, “The Show Goes On”

DC, IC

The “Even,” which is a subordinate conjunction, makes this clause a dependent clause. This is because this part of the sentence does not make sense when it is alone, as the thought does not sound complete. The “Even” makes for the “they” in the clause to be explicated to show that “they” is who is turning the lights out. The IC, or independent clause then follows this dependent clause or DC makes the sentence complete with a whole idea. Even if someone turns the lights out, the show will still go on. Nothing will stop the show of Lupe Fiasco, which explains why the song is named, ‘The Show Goes On”.

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 simple essays, should instead have students take a stand on an issue and apply it to their beliefs and interests. In other words, actively engaging in the issue at stake gives the public a stronger sense and with opinions comes reflection for change.

My project has me mapping out the Edgewood Terrace Apartments and the Edgewood neighborhood in Washington D.C. It is not enough to write a simple essay about this area, but rather this area should have a backbone to me and shown, and not just reported on. In other words, making someone truly feel like they are walking around in the neighborhood should be the exigence, according to Fleming, of my project instead of just reading about it online.

Part 3:

After watching the clip, I have taken the obvious position given my current state. I am a 19 year old college student. I do not always know the answer, and most times that I do not raise my hand, it is because I do not wish to answer the question or I just simply do not know the answer. It puts students on a hot seat to have everyone raise their hand, and more importantly, censors the answers of some students. Professor Delany makes a strong pathological argument with his weepy voice when explaining his sentiments. He clearly knows what he is talking about, and this gives him credibility, however, his claim does not appeal to the student perspective. Nobody likes to be wrong, so when a student is placed on a pedestal undeservingly, it causes for anxiety to be felt. As a result, this could elicit a false or hasty answer from the student rather than a complete and confident answer. Also, students that actually know the answer could be censored if everyone is putting their hand up. A student that does not know the answer may keep passing the baton to another person who does not know, and while this process is happening, a student who actually knows what to say is censored. Thus, with all of the credibility and passion Professor Delany has, it is missing the other perspective, and that is the students’.