Lily’s Questions

Questions for Blog #1:

1) As future educators, how might Bishop’s “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass” affect your selection of books for your students/children? How will you choose your book? What qualities does it need to have?

2) How might the purpose and plot of a book as a mirror, window, or door differ for young adults in comparison to children?

3) How was your reading experience as a child? Where you able to be exposed to books of different culture/race/world?4) In her article, Bishop focused more on the importance of books as a mirror, window, or door for children. How will you apply her ideas to young adult literature? What is similar, and how might it be different?

Quotes for Blog #1:

1) “When children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative, or laughable, they learn powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part”.

2) ”We are realistic enough to know that literature, no matter how powerful, has its limits. It won’t take the homeless off our streets; it won’t feed the starving of the word; it won’t stop people from attacking each other because of our racial differences; it won’t stamp out the scourge of drugs. It could, however, help us to understand each other better by helping to change our attitudes towards difference”.In the first quote, Bishop brought up the importance of books for children, and more importantly, how the children are depicted in the book, if they are even depicted. I thought it was important because I think it is the core to choosing books that serve as mirrors, windows, and doors. A book can really build up one’s knowledge and how they value themselves, especially when they are able to build connections with the characters in the book. A book can build up a child’s knowledge of the world and of themselves, so it is important for the book to have the “right” value that is beneficial for the children. Diversity is necessary, but not at the cost of ridicule that devalues one individual or community through scandalization. Therefore, as a future teacher, I would want to pay close attention to what the children are exposed to from the book to see if it can build the correct value for them. In addition, I really like the second quote because it was an answer to a question I was often asked and would ask myself many times. Why do you need books? How is reading books beneficial for your future? It is like Bishop said—a book is powerful, but it is also limited. The effect of the book is long-term; you might not see any immediate changes, but it allows us to understand; it slowly changes our attitudes, which I believe is the most basic cause that brings about the effect of racial and economic difference. In conclusion, I chose these two quotes because I think both are very inspiring and are core meanings of books, explaining why this society needs books and why we need the correct books.

Danielle’s Questions

  1. In the book, we see Chris mature and eventually become an ally for black causes. Do you think he would’ve achieved this progress if Star wasn’t his girlfriend? Why or why not?
  2. If Star still attended Garden Heights and maintained that close relationship with Khalil, do you think she would’ve been so hesitant with speaking out and letting others know she was a witness to his murder? 
  3. When the kids are sneaking DeVante out of King’s house, Iesha distracts King so they can all get away without any trouble. Did you view this as her last act of motherhood to her kids or the start of Iesha turning over a new leaf?
  4. The book closes out with Starr saying “Khalil, I’ll never forget. I’ll never give up. I’ll never be quiet. I promise”. Do you think this was also meant to serve as a message to readers to never be quiet when it comes to injustice?

1. “What’s next? You want me to apologize because my ancestors were slave masters or something stupid?”

“Bitch—” I take a deep breath. Way too many people are watching. I cannot go angry black girl on her. “Your joke was hurtful,” I say, as calmly as I can”.

 I picked this quote because it’s so relatable and really speaks to me as a black woman. I can tell you right now that I’ve been in this exact situation, from the ridiculous comment from a white person to mumbling “Bitch-“ to taking a deep breath and speaking calmly so I can beat the “angry black girl” allegations; it’s all too real to me.

2. “We just got off the phone with Ms. Ofrah, who said the grand jury will announce their decision in a few hours. She claims only the grand jurors know the decision, but I’ve got a sinking feeling I know it. It’s always the decision.”

I picked this quote specifically because of the last two sentences where Starr thinks “…but I’ve got a sinking feeling I know it. It’s always the decision”. This quote was, for lack of a better word, so real to me because it’s quite literally our reality today and has been our reality for centuries. It was the same feeling I had while watching George Floyd’s trial, but I was pleasantly surprised when the officer was convicted and sentenced to prison. That situation was an anomaly in which a white person got held accountable for their actions in this country but besides that, when a situation like this happens, we always know the decision because “It’s always the decision”. 

The Hate U Give; Continued Tyra.M

Discussion Questions:

1.Throughout the book when Starr is called brave she is quick to deny that she is. Why do you think Starr was so against people saying she was brave?

2.Why was Maverick’s change of heart towards moving out of Garden Heights such an important part in the book? 

3.What are your thoughts/ feelings on Iesha by the end of the book? Do you believe she loved her kids? Why or why not?  

4.The book ends on a rather optimistic note despite the grim events that took place the night of the grand jury’s decision. Why do you think author Angie Thomas decided to end the book that way?

Quotes;

“I think it’ll change one day. How? I don’t know. When? I definitely don’t know. Why? Because there will always be someone ready to fight. Maybe it’s my turn.Others are fighting too, even in the Garden, where sometimes it feels like there’s not a lot worth fighting for. People are realizing and shouting and marching and demanding. They’re not forgetting. I think that’s the most important part.” (457)

“And to every kid in Georgetown and in all “the Gardens” of the world: your voices matter, your dreams matter, your lives matter. Be roses that grow in the concrete.”(462)

I thought this quote was important because this is essentially the lesson Starr learns by the end of the book. She learns what it truly means to use her voice and how her voice will continue to be her most powerful weapon in fighting for what she believes in. Which I think is what author Angie Thomas wants us to take away from the book. Only time will tell when police brutality against black people and people of color will truly come to an end. However, as long as people continue to keep hope alive and keep fighting against racial injustice, eventually their voices will be heard. But until that day everyone should continue to #Saytheirnames.

I chose this quote because of how beautiful the message author Angie Thomas writes in the acknowledgement was and how it tied up the end of the book. Not only is “The Hate U Give” a book that teaches its readers about important topics such as police brutality and microaggression; this book has such a strong representation of what it means to be black and a person of color in America. There are people in the world that feel they need to split themselves in half the same way Starr did at Williamson and at home. There are people that are currently growing up in a place similar to garden heights. There are people who once knew a Khalil or a Natasha. Thomas’s decision to end the book, telling readers to be the rose that grew in the concrete, speaks directly to those that relate to this story in some way. This message celebrates the people who grew up or are growing up in a place with few resources; that they matter too, despite the odds that are stacked against them.

Blogging Assignment #2: The Hate U Give

The song “The Bigger Picture” by Lil Baby relates to the plot of the novel The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. The novel’s main plot revolves around the shooting of Starr Carter’s childhood best friend, Khalil Harris. This occurred after a shooting broke out at the party that both Starr and Khalil were attending. Khalil offered to give Starr a ride and while driving, they got pulled over by a police officer which they referred to as “One-Fifteen”. After Khalil questions the reason for the stop, One-Fifteen orders him to get out of the car and searches him twice. After finding nothing on him, One-Fifteen orders Khalil to remain still and goes back to his car. In order to check on Starr, Khalil opens the door and he is fatally shot by One-Fifteen.

I associate the song “The Bigger Picture” to the novel because the main message is the same one as the novel, which is that black lives matter. Lil Baby brings awareness to the systematic racism and police brutality that occurs in America. The music video uses clips from real life protests which occurred when George Floyd was brutally murder by a police officer. Similar to when Khalil was shot by One-Fifteen. In the novel, we read about protests that had occurred when the community wanted justice for Khalil. He sings, “I find it crazy the police’ll shoot you and know that you dead, But still tell you to freeze.” He plunges headfirst into the insanity of the police mindset. His remark exposes the police’s lack of empathy and shows how their way of thinking puts their own safety ahead of the communities they are paid to serve and swear an oath to defend. This reflects in the novel when One-Fifteen claims he reacted in self defense because he thought Khalil was reaching for something that looked like a gun in the car door, in actuality, it was a hairbrush.

Lil Baby conveys his resentment towards police failures by saying “I see blue lights, I get scared and start runnin’, That shit be crazy, they ‘posed to protect us, Throw us in handcuffs and arrest us, While they go home at night, that shit messed up.” Both quotes truly resonate with the novel as it’s about the police wrongdoings. The song depicts that it doesn’t matter the colors of your skin, ‘it’s bigger than black and white’, it revolves around the injustices that are occurring to innocent people such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and numerous others. Personally, I think the music videos speak a lot of volume in getting justice for the victims and holding police officers accountable for their wrongdoings while conveying a message of unification amongst all demographics.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VDGysJGNoI

Lyrics:

Protests and growing national outcry continue
Over the death of George Floyd
Last night, people protesting in Minneapolis escalated
As demonstrators were lashed by tear gas and rubber bullets
The main message here, the main message here, the main message here
Is that they want to see those officers involved
They want to see those officers arrested
Officers arrested
(I can't breathe, I can't breathe)

Trade my 4 x 4 for a G63, ain't no more free Lil Steve
I gave 'em chance and chance and chance again
I even done told them please
I find it crazy the police'll shoot you and know that you dead
But still tell you to freeze
Fucked up, I seen what I seen
I guess that mean hold him down if he say he can't breathe

It's too many mothers that's grieving
They killing us for no reason
Been going on for too long to get even
Throw us in cages like dogs and hyenas
I went to court and they sent me to prison
My mama was crushed when they said I can't leave
First I was drunk, then I sobered up quick
When I heard all that time that they gave to Taleeb
He got a life sentence plus

We just some products of our environment
How the fuck they gon' blame us?
You can't fight fire with fire
I know, but at least we can turn up the flames some
Every colored person ain't dumb and all whites not racist
I be judging by the mind and heart, I ain't really into faces
Fucked up, the way that we livin' is not getting better
You gotta know how to survive
Crazy, I had to tell all of my loved ones
To carry a gun when they going outside

Stare in the mirror whenever you drive
Overprotective, go crazy for mine
You gotta pay attention to the signs
Seem like the blind following the blind
Thinking 'bout everything that's going on
I boost security up at my home
I'm with my kind if they right or they wrong
I call him now, he'll pick up the phone
And it's five in the morning, he waking up on it
Tell 'em wherever I'm at, then they comin'
I see blue lights, I get scared and start runnin'
That shit be crazy, they 'posed to protect us

Throw us in handcuffs and arrest us
While they go home at night, that shit messed up
Knowing we needed help, they neglect us
Wondering who gon' make them respect us
I can see in your eye that you fed up
Fuck around, got my shot, I won't let up
They know that we a problem together
They know that we can storm any weather

It's bigger than black and white
It's a problem with the whole way of life
It can't change overnight
But we gotta start somewhere
Might as well gon' 'head start here
We done had a hell of a year
I'ma make it count while I'm here
God is the only man I fear

Fuck it, I'm goin' on the front line
He gon' bust your ass if you come past that gun line
You know when the storm go away, then the sun shine
You gotta put your head in the game when it's crunch time
I want all my sons to grow up to be monsters
I want all my daughters to show out in public
Seems like we losing our country
But we gotta stand up for something, so this what it comes to

Every video I see on my conscience
I got power, now I gotta say somethin'
Corrupted police been the problem where I'm from
But I'd be lying if I said it was all of them
I ain't do this for the trend, I don't follow them
Altercations with the law, had a lot of them
People speaking for the people, I'm proud of them
Stick together, we can get it up out of them

I can't lie like I don't rap about killing and dope
But I'm telling my youngins to vote
I did what I did 'cause I didn't have no choice or no hope
I was forced to just jump in and go
This bullshit is all that we know, but it's time for a change
Got time to be serious, no time for no games
We ain't takin' no more, let us go from them chains
God bless they souls, every one of them names

It's bigger than black and white
It's a problem with the whole way of life
It can't change overnight
But we gotta start somewhere
Might as well gon' 'head start here
We done had a hell of a year
I'ma make it count while I'm here
God is the only man I fear

They trainin' officers to kill us
Then shootin' protestors with these rubber bullets
They regular people, I know that they feel it
These scars too deep to heal us
What happened to COVID? Nobody remember
It ain't makin' sense, I'm just here to vent
It happen to one of your people, it's different
We get it, the system is wicked, just learn how to pick it

Knowledge is power, I swear I'm a witness, I know that I'm gifted
I won't go too deep 'cause I'm scared they'll get me
Ain't scared to admit it, some shit I can't mention
It's people who can, well, here's the chance
I won't take the stand, but I'll take a stand for what I believe
Must not be breathing the air that I breathe
You know that the way that I bleed, you can bleed

I never been a fan of police
But my neighborhood know I try to keep peace
So it's only right that I get in the streets
March for a reason, not just on GP
Our people died for us to be free
Fuck do you mean? This was a dream
Now we got the power that we need to have
They don't want us with it and that's why they mad, yeah

It's bigger than black and white
It's a problem with the whole way of life
It can't change overnight
But we gotta start somewhere
Might as well gon' 'head start here
We done had a hell of a year
I'ma make it count while I'm here
God is the only man I fear

It's bigger than black and white
It's a problem with the whole way of life
It can't change overnight
But we gotta start somewhere
Might as well gon' 'head start here
We done had a hell of a year
I'ma make it count while I'm here
God is the only man I fear

Blogging Assignment 2 by Jack cisar

The song I have chosen is “Say Something” by A Great Big World, featuring Christina Aguilera, as it discusses how one can lose someone that they love. The singer songwriters behind this song stated that they both were experiencing intense situations with people in their lives. In the “The Hate U Give” we know that Starr loses Khalil to gun violence, however, this song connects to Starr as she realized that Khalil was always in love with her, and she was unwittingly in love with him too. The song “Say Something” is about the struggles of losing a relationship with someone you loved, as you will see in the music video relationships come in many different forms, even your relationship to the dead. While this song was not included in this particular book or movie, it was included in “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman, where a young girl is the only one in her family to survive a terrible car accident but is left in a coma. The song “Say Something” is universal for depicting loss in all forms as seen through Starr as she never got the chance to say something to Khalil, however, she did get the chance to say something for Khalil. 

 


Say something, I'm giving up on you
I'll be the one, if you want me to
Anywhere, I would've followed you
Say something, I'm giving up on you

And I am feeling so small
It was over my head
I know nothing at all

And I will stumble and fall
I'm still learning to love
Just starting to crawl

Say something, I'm giving up on you
I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you
Anywhere, I would've followed you
Say something, I'm giving up on you

And I will swallow my pride
You're the one that I love
And I'm saying goodbye

Say something, I'm giving up on you
And I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you
And anywhere, I would have followed you, oh-oh
Say something, I'm giving up on you

Say something, I'm giving up on you
Say something

Blogging Assignment 2: The Hate U Give

Throughout the novel, Angie Thomas uses the phrase THUG LIFE from Tupac. THUG LIFE in his eyes means, “The Hate U Give Little Infants F**** Everybody.” This theme is brought up multiple time throughout the novel, the first being when Khalil is listening to Tupac within the first few chapters. Starr later explains to her dad that she doesn’t think it’s just about the youth, but the oppressed. I felt that to continue with this theme that Tupac inspired I would use a song from his first group, Thug Life. The song is “Cradle to the Grave.”

Within this song, Thug Life raps about how it is instilled from the cradle that the only way to make a living is joining in on “thug life”. In Mopreme’s verse it is most prevalent that a lot of young people don’t have a lot of options and feel as though they have no choice but to turn to thug life. In Big Skye’s verse, he asks “One in the chamber, for the anger that I build inside/For the mothers that cried, for my homies that died/The beginnin’ is an endin’, am I just a slave?” Asking if there is any chance at all to be out doing something different from what he is. Is he a slave to the system that keeps him down?

When people are given no options and are being fueled by what is pumped into their communities, they turn to what they know around them. Khalil was never a King Lord, he turned them down and only sold to help pay back for his mother’s addiction. In chapter 10 when Maverick and Starr have the conversation on T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E., he asks her to think about what it means, how things happen and why they happen. Specifically from where Starr says “‘Khalil said it’s about what society feeds us as youth and how it comes back and bites us later,’ I say. ‘I think it’s about more than youth though. I think it’s about us, period.'” to when Starr says “‘I hear you, but Khalil didn’t have to sell drugs,’ I say. ‘You stopped doing it.'” This passage speaks on Tupac’s vision and understanding of T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. and even goes deeper into what the oppressed really experience. Connecting it to “Cradle to the Grave” gives another views from voices who really understood it and had to go through it.

Link to song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_km4tI2BYVg

Lyrics:

From the cradle to the grave
Life ain’t never been easy
Livin’ in the ghetto
From the cradle to the grave
Life ain’t never been easy

[2Pac:]
June 16th, 1971
Mama gave birth to a hell-raisin’ heavenly son
See, the doctor tried to smack me, but I smacked him back
My first words was, “Thug for life!” and “Papa, pass the MAC!”
I’m bustin’ on these mother f*ckers ballin’
Listen, you can hear my mini fourteen callin’
From out the window of my drop top
I got my Glock cocked, bustin’ at n*ggas; when will it stop?
Now, tell me, are you scared of the dark?
Can’t close my eyes, I see visions
And even with this thug livin’, will I escape prison?
Penitentiary chances was an all day thang
The only way to advance; and if you slang
Then you’d better have your Nikes on, ’cause when we fight, it’s in the middle of the night with no lights on
Hey! There must be a God, ’cause I feel lucky
Paranoid, out my mind, ’cause motherf*ckers tryin’ to rush me
Am I goin’ to jail? Look at me bailin’
Comin’ out the court house, all about my mail and bank
Never die, I’ll be a hustler, motherf*ckers
Makin’ thugs out you suckers, from the cradle to the grave

From the cradle to the grave
Life ain’t never been easy
Livin’ in the ghetto

[Mopreme:]
From the cradle to the grave, since a little bitty child
I’ve been known to get ill and kinda buck wild
Pop pop! Just like the part that’s in my walk with street talk
I’m runnin’ up the block in the dark where lead spark
Surveillance on a n*gga every day
Waitin on my daddy just to take his a** away
Now Mama always workin’, tryin’ to make ends meet
So now a young n*gga’s being raised by the streets
And then the only other one that ever showed me love
Was my dope fiend uncle, strung out on drugs
A straight thug, just me, my mama out here on our own
So I got two gats, one black and one of chrome
Now, I don’t wanna hurt nobody, but I must defend mine
It’s all the f*ck I got, so stop and walk a thin line
Young n*ggas be brave
And keep on thuggin’ from the cradle to the grave

From the cradle to the grave
Life ain’t never been easy
Livin’ in the ghetto

[Rated R:]
From the cradle to the grave, I’m glad to say I made it this far
Many G’s died, hogs
And all they got was they name hit up on a wall
It’s sad thinkin’ about the times, life goes on
I’m steady lost in this land, that’s the war zone
I gots no home, don’t have no friends neither
It’s just me by my lonely, so I married my Nina
I keeps her wherever I go, I love my ho*
Never leave home without my sugar, I’ma have to plug a n*gga
Mama told me not to trust no punks
And kick his a** if he lay a hand on me
Since then I been knowin’
Sometimes I think my own self stupid
‘Cause I stay shootin’ at marks
Get twisted up in police reports
Since the cradle, I’ve been ungrateful
My first toy was a gun
I got sprung and learned to love weapons
But now I’m through with money
And through with street fame
Somebody peeled my cap, and put me in my grave

From the cradle to the grave
Life ain’t never been easy
Livin’ in the ghetto

[Macadoshis:]
March 18th, a rainy day my mama gave birth
To a baby boy trapped in Hell on Earth
From day one it wasn’t fun, I never had a crumb
Daddy worked two jobs and Mama won’t stop drinkin’ rum
I tried to cope, loc, but my family’s broke
And my pocket’s short, so now I got ta slang dope
In the game filled with pain, it’s a f*ckin’ shame
The white man got a motherf*cker slangin’ ‘caine
So now it’s on from dusk to dawn, I’m gettin’ my serve on
Always in the spot with my Glock, slingin’ rocks at the Rox
The shit don’t stop, I’m steady dodgin’ cops
I never flip-flop, hear my Glock cock, thug ’til I drop
And if I hit the pen, I gotta do my time
Sittin’ on my bunk, reminiscin’ ’bout the good times
It’s f*cked up a n*gga gotta grow up doin’ dirt
But from the cradle to the grave I’ma put in work

From the cradle to the grave
Life ain’t never been easy
Livin’ in the ghetto

[Big Syke:]
Time’s movin’ fast; will I last another day?
So I pray and I lay with my AK
Did I sell my soul as a young kid? All the things I did
Wishin’ someone held me, but they never did
I can’t take it; will I make it to my older age
Before I’m shot up or locked up in a f*ckin’ cage?
Lord, help me, guide me, save me!
‘Cause that’s the way that Daddy raised me: crazy
Do or die, n*gga, pull the trigger, don’t give a f*ck
You’d rather be in jail than get yo’ a** bucked
Nobody cares, it’s me against the world
Keepin’ murder on my mind and my TEC-9
I got nothin’ to lose, payin’ dues, n*gga, you wanna die?
I get high and then my mission is a walk-by
You’d better jet when I hit your set, ’cause I’m comin’
Start runnin’, yellin’ “evil mind” as I’m gunnin’
One in the chamber, for the anger that I build inside
For the mothers that cried, for my homies that died
The beginnin’ is an endin’, am I just a slave?
So I got to be brave, from the cradle to the grave

From the cradle to the grave
Life ain’t never been easy
Livin’ in the ghetto

I also wanted to add the clip of Tupac explaining T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCEf557fNYg

Blogging Assignment #2: The Hate U Give

“Black, Brown, and White” by Big Bill Broonzy was written as a protest song “which addressed the experiences of black war vets and the painful issue of preferential treatment by gradations of skin color.”

I first heard this song when watching the documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript. I chose this song because both the song and the book (also the documentary) discuss/portray/reflect the real situation of black people in America; how they are still experiencing injustice because of their race. It is just like it is said in the song

Your white, your alright

Your brown, stick around

Your black, you stay back

In both the book and the song, you can see/hear how the blacks are mistreated while the whites are “protected” either through the shooting of Khalil(book), the unequal payment(song), unjust society, etc.

Lyrics:

This little song that I’m singin’ about
People you know it’s true
If you’re black and gotta work for a living
This is what they will say to you
They says if you was white, should be all right
If you was brown, stick around
But as you’s black, m-mm brother, git back git back git back

I was in a place one night
They was all having fun
They was all byin’ beer and wine
But they would not sell me none
They said if you was white, should be all right
If you was brown, stick around
But if you black, m-mm brother, git back git back git back

Me and a man was workin’ side by side
This is what it meant
They was paying him a dollar an hour
And they was paying me fifty cent
They said if you was white, ‘t should be all right
If you was brown, could stick around
But as you black, m-mm boy, git back git back git back

I went to an employment office
Got a number ‘n’ I got in line
They called everybody’s number
But they never did call mine
They said if you was white, should be all right
If you was brown, could stick around
But as you black, m-mm brother, git back git back git back

I hope when sweet victory
With my plough and hoe
Now I want you to tell me brother
What you gonna do about the old Jim Crow?
Now if you was white, should be all right
If you was brown, could stick around
But if you black, whoa brother, git back git back git back

Blogging Assignment # 2

The song I chose is Childish Gambino’s This is America this song talks about the gun violence situation that is happening currently in America which could be seen in the Hate U give in which Khalil and Natasha both die at the hands of a gun. Not only that but it speaks on the high mass shootings happening , as well as social issues that can be correlated to the historically systematic discrimination and racism that has happened in our history , The music video alone is a powerful statement to everything that has occurred over the years in America.

Here are the lyrics to the song ,

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, go, go away
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, go, go away
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, go, go away
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, go, go away

We just wanna party
Party just for you
We just want the money
Money just for you
I know you wanna party (yeah)
Party just for free
Girl, you got me dancin’ (girl, you got me dancin’)
Dance and shake the frame
We just wanna party (yeah)
Party just for you (yeah)
We just want the money (yeah)
Money just for you (ooh)
I know you wanna party (yeah)
Party just for free (yeah)
Girl, you got me dancin’ (girl, you got me dancin’)
Dance and shake the frame (ooh)

This is America
Don’t catch you slippin’ now
Don’t catch you slippin’ now
Look what I’m whippin’ now
This is America (woo)
Don’t catch you slippin’ now
Don’t catch you slippin’ now
Look what I’m whippin’ now

This is America (skrrt, skrrt, woo)
Don’t catch you slippin’ now (ayy)
Look at how I’m livin’ now
Police be trippin’ now (woo)
Yeah, this is America (woo, ayy)
Guns in my area (word, my area)
I got the strap (ayy, ayy)
I gotta carry ’em
Yeah, yeah, I’ma go into this (ugh)
Yeah, yeah, this is guerilla, woo
Yeah, yeah, I’ma go get the bag
Yeah, yeah, or I’ma get the pad
Yeah, yeah, I’m so cold like yeah (yeah)
I’m so dope like yeah (woo)
We gon’ blow like yeah (straight up, uh)

Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, tell somebody
You go tell somebody
Grandma told me
Get your money, black man (get your money)
Get your money, black man (get your money)
Get your money, black man (get your, black man)
Get your money, black man (get your, black man)
Black man

This is America (woo, ayy)
Don’t catch you slippin’ now (woo, woo, don’t catch you slippin’, now)
Don’t catch you slippin’ now (ayy, woah)
Look what I’m whippin’ now (Slime!)
This is America (yeah, yeah)
Don’t catch you slippin’ now (woah, ayy)
Don’t catch you slippin’ now (ayy, woo)
Look what I’m whippin’ now (ayy)

Look how I’m geekin’ out (hey)
I’m so fitted (I’m so fitted, woo)
I’m on Gucci (I’m on Gucci)
I’m so pretty (yeah, yeah)
I’m gon’ get it (ayy, I’m gon’ get it)
Watch me move (blaow)
This a celly (ha)
That’s a tool (yeah)
On my Kodak (woo, Black)
Ooh, know that (yeah, know that, hold on)
Get it (get it, get it)
Ooh, work it (21)
Hunnid bands, hunnid bands, hunnid bands (hunnid bands)
Contraband, contraband, contraband (contraband)
I got the plug on Oaxaca (woah)
They gonna find you like blocka (blaow)

Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, tell somebody
(America, I just checked my following list and)
You go tell somebody
(You mothafuckas owe me)
Grandma told me
Get your money, black man (black man)
Get your money, black man (black man)
Get your money, black man (black man)
Get your money, black man (black man)
Black man (one, two, three, get down)

Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, tell somebody
You go tell somebody
Grandma told me, “Get your money, ” black man
Get your money, black man (black man)
Get your money, black man (black man)
Get your money, black man (black man)
Black man

You just a black man in this world
You just a barcode, ayy
You just a black man in this world
Drivin’ expensive foreigns, ayy
You just a big dawg, yeah
I kenneled him in the backyard
No proper life to a dog
For a big dog

Blogging Assignment #2: The Hate U Give By Angie Thomas

The song “Freedom” by Beyonce feat. Kendrick Lamar is linked to the challenges and distinctive qualities of African-Americans. The song is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Beyonce’s voice emphasizes female empowerment, while the initial focus of Kendrick Lamar’s verse is on the difficulties that Black men in America confront, including racial profiling and the possibility of being murdered. He later acknowledges his “mom,” who could be either his mother or his lover. In essence, he is advising her to maintain her composure and positive outlook despite whatever may happen to him. 

Recording of the song on Youtube

Tryna rain, tryna rain on the thunder

Tell the storm I’m new

I’ma walk, I’ma march on the regular

Painting white flags blue

Lord, forgive me, I’ve been running

Running blind in truth

I’ma rain, I’ma rain on this bitter love

Tell the sweet I’m new

I’m telling these tears, “Go and fall away, fall away,” oh

May the last one burn into flames

Freedom! Freedom! I can’t move

Freedom, cut me loose! Yeah

Freedom! Freedom! Where are you?

‘Cause I need freedom, too!

I break chains all by myself

Won’t let my freedom rot in hell

Hey! I’ma keep running

‘Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves

I’ma wade, I’ma wave through the waters

Tell the tide, “Don’t move”

I’ma riot, I’ma riot through your borders

Call me bulletproof

Lord, forgive me, I’ve been runnin’

Runnin’ blind in truth

I’ma wade, I’ma wave through your shallow love

Tell the deep I’m new

I’m telling these tears, “Go and fall away, fall away,” oh

May the last one burn into flames

Freedom! Freedom! I can’t move

Freedom, cut me loose!

Freedom! Freedom! Where are you?

‘Cause I need freedom, too!

I break chains all by myself

Won’t let my freedom rot in hell

Hey! I’ma keep running

‘Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves

Ten Hail Marys, I meditate for practice

Channel 9 news tell me I’m movin’ backwards

Eight blocks left, death is around the corner

Seven misleadin’ statements ’bout my persona

Six headlights wavin’ in my direction (Come on)

Five-O askin’ me what’s in my possession

Yeah, I keep runnin’, jump in the aqueducts

Fire hydrants and hazardous

Smoke alarms on the back of us

But mama, don’t cry for me, ride for me

Try for me, live for me

Breathe for me, sing for me

Honestly guidin’ me

I could be more than I gotta be

Stole from me, lied to me, nation hypocrisy

Code on me, drive on me

Wicked, my spirit inspired me, like yeah

Open correctional gates in higher desert (Yeah)

Open our mind as we cast away oppression (Yeah)

Open the streets and watch our beliefs

And when they carve my name inside the concrete

I pray it forever reads

Freedom! Freedom! I can’t move

Freedom, cut me loose!

Freedom! Freedom! Where are you?

‘Cause I need freedom, too!

I break chains all by myself

Won’t let my freedom rot in hell

Hey! I’ma keep running

‘Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves

What you want from me?

Is it truth you seek? Oh, father, can you hear me?

What you want from me?

Is it truth you seek? Oh, father, can you hear me?

Hear me out

I had my ups and downs, but I always find the inner strength to pull myself up. I was served lemons, but I made lemonade

The Hate U Give depicts many critical social issues that many people of color, unfortunately, are still dealing with in today’s day. Racial injustice should not be tolerated, and neither discrimination and violence toward communities of color. In the rising action, when Khalil is shot three times in the back by One-Fifteen, Khalil falls to the ground as Starr stares in terror as her friend spouts blood. As he passes away, she sprints from the car to his side. She is told not to move, and 115 aims a gun at her. His death is bloody, brutal, and pointless. The intensity of 115 is demonstrated by the fact that he immediately aims a gun at Starr. The chorus of this song speaks the most powerful part that highlights Thomas’s message:

Freedom

Freedom

I can’t move

Freedom, cut me loose

Singin’, freedom

Freedom

Where are you?

‘Cause I need freedom, too

I break chains all by myself

Won’t let my freedom rot in hell

Hey! I’ma keep running

‘Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves

“’Everybody wants to talk about how Khalil died,’” I say. “’But this isn’t about how Khalil died. It’s about the fact that he lived. His life mattered. Khalil lived!” I look at the cops again.’” (179) Khalil is more than just a victim in the novel. With this drastic turn, Starr goes from being a sorrowful and timid person to a fearless campaigner. Starr is anxious and unsure of whether the correct words will come to her even after she boards the police cruiser. However, Starr ultimately just talks from the heart, and her fervent appeal moves the crowd that the protesters pay more attention to Khalil’s life than his death. Despite the tragedy of Khalil’s death, it is important to remember that he was a real person with his own hopes and goals. Starr is aware that even unintentional dehumanization of African Americans results in violence and fatalities at the hands of authorities.

This book brings up the ways in which racism and violence against black people are justified by societal preconceptions of them. The way One-Fifteen excuses himself for killing Khalil is where we can see this discrimination in action. Other than One-Fifteen’s assumption that Khalil is violent because he is black, there is no other reason for him to believe that Khalil’s hairbrush is truly a gun. Therefore, Beyonce’s song “Freedom” seeks justice, just like how the main character wants to protest for the Black community. There are many messages from Beyonce from the lines like “I can’t move, Freedom, cut me loose!” and “Won’t let my freedom rot in hell!” She is referring to both the post-slavery era and the parallels between it and the present. She promises to march and walk. She will continue to move forward each day by passing white people.

In response to some questions

Question #1: I was asked whether you can use the “I” (first person) in your Opening Response, as in “I believed this and now I believe….” Yes, you certainly can, and you can use the “I” in your formal essay as well.

Question #2: For the second blog assignment, what are the due dates and requirements for each post?

You are only required to write three posts for Blog Assignment #2. We are reading seven books but you only need to do music posts for three of them.

If you choose to write on The Hate U Give, the due date is Sept 26th. I will not be too strict in enforcing the deadlines for Blog Assignment #2, but I recommend getting them done while we are discussing the book. Here are all of the deadlines (remember you only need to do THREE of the books):

The Hate U Give: Sept 26th
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass: Oct 17th
Challenger Deep: Oct 26th
The Poet X:  Nov 2nd
The Realm of Possibility: Nov 9th
Feed: Nov 21st
Bomb: Nov 28th

Here is a sample post:
https://yafall2022.commons.gc.cuny.edu/the-hate-u-give-marvin-gayes-whats-going-on/

In every post for this exercise, you should include:

  • the basic information about the song
  • why you associate the song with the individual YA book, ie why you chose it
  • a link to a recording of the song or video for the song
  • lyrics of the song