Morganlee's Blog

Dec 09

March #4

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Dear John Lewis,
When reading the closing section of your book we saw the final parts of the civil right movement and the perseverance you had to be able to accomplish your goals. In this section we see the nighttime march for James Orange after the rallying by C.T. Vivian which also ended in a deadly shooting. We also go to see your thoughts Malcolm X’s assassination and those of MLK. One of the most hopeful moments in your book is your meeting with Barack Obama, which bring the story full circle. We get to see a time where black people could not even vote and a transition to the first black president. This I like seeing that all the suffering was worth it.
Even through reaching this point in history shows so much progress. It is depressing that this was even a battle that had to be fought. The fact that so many black people were dehumanized and treated as second class citizens is awful and has no justification.
When reading the section where you cut ties with the SNCC in order to participating in the march I had many questions. Did you completely separate from the members? Or was it a one-time thing? Being a part of a group like SNCC is amazing and it must have been a hard decision.
Although look back over such depressing time can be sad, I am glad that I got to read this book and see the determination and resilience of black people during this time.

Morganlee Blake 

Nov 18

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As a college student at Georgia State University, I witness many of my fellow students constantly consume unhealthy food for the sake of saving money and getting a convenient meal. The space that I chose to observe is the dining area outside the Panda Express in the Student Center, which is a place that displays the destructive dependence that college students have on easily accessible fast food. The reason why I chose to observe this area is because I am very familiar with this place. I come here (to the Student Center) almost every Monday and Wednesday after mt critical thinking course to wait until my English class. It’s more convenient than going back to my dorm, and it is a good place to finish some last-minute work and grab a bite to eat. Since I live in the University Commons, I often cook for myself without a meal plan to rely on. Because of this when my schedule is busy, and when I have back to back classes, this dining hall in the Student Center is the place I come to get a quick and easy meal. This causes the issues of eating unhealthy fast food to also be a personal problem that affects my life. As a political science major this issue is also very important to me because the main goal of political scientist is to continually improve and protect the quality of life within a group; in this case it is to improve the quality of college students live by pointing out the unhealthy food choices the make. 

When walking into the student center, the faint smell of inauthentic Chinese food being to pervade the air. The scent gets stronger and stronger as you walk closer to the dining area. When you walk down the stairs and get to the main dining section of the area, you are presented with a large open area filled with tables for the students to sit and eat. On a huge wall to the side of the dining area there are two large projections that display events going on campus and the other displays a daytime TV show.

The Dinning Area in the Student Center

This is the Dinning Area in the Student Center during one of its not busy and packed times

None of the students, however, are paying attention to this projection. Their eyes are glued to their computer screen rapidly typing up whatever assignment they have due soon or glued to their phones scrolling through different social media apps and texting their friends or catching up with friends. Most of them are waiting in large lines to get some lunch. There are two main places that you can get food inside the court; the first is the Courtyard which looks like a mini convenience store with all kinds of drinks and snacks. Two cash registers sit at the front of the sectioned of store for customers to pay for their items. The walls are lined with sodas, sugary juices, chips, and candy. A few students walk in then walk out with some kind of soft drink or junk food in hand. The Courtyard does offer some healthy food options.

Fruits in plastic containers on a shelf

This is a photo 123rf.com used to represent the fruit in the Courtyard

There is a refrigerated shelf filled with fruits and yogurt and salads prepackaged in plastic containers, but those shelves remain full as students go in only picking up and purchasing the junk food. There is also a Panda Express. The Panda Express is by far the busiest. The line of students waiting to get there order is so long that it wraps around and curves like a snake the extends passed some table and stops at the staircase.  The people in line are fidgeting and tapping their feet as the repeatedly look at the clocks on their watches or their phones. The people closer to the register glare up at the menu signs with their eyes moving back and forth from each item of the menu. Each person goes up to the person taking orders and orders their individual serving of sugar-filled calorie-filled MSG-filled Panda Express. Once a person pays for their order, they go to find seating in the overcrowded seating area. Seating is very scarce because there are so many people which causes random people to sit with people they don’t know. Everybody comes here at the same time for the same purpose at the same time. 

When you take a glance of the sitting area, all you can see is a sea of fast food logos littering the tables. Not only are people eating their processed Panda Express, but they also bring in unhealthy fast food from other places. Bags of Chick-Fil-a and Steak and Shake are sprinkled around the court; grease can be seen soaking the bottom of the bag making. Everyone can be seen slurping up large ups of carbonated drinks and going to get refills from the fountain machine. There are people chomping down on fried chicken sandwiches and greasy burgers and melts and drinking milkshakes and eating ice cream stating that it’s there moment to “treat themselves”.  In another area of the court, there are four microwaves that are there for the people that want to bring their own food to eat. But every now and then a few people go up to the microwave and heat up some food that they’ve brought in the own personal container. actually, bring their own food to eat, and of those few, even fewer are eating healthy homemade food. Most are bringing things like leftover oil-soaked pasta and pizza. 

As one student sits down in the court she lets go of a heavy sigh and smiles at her meal in front of her. On the table lies large Styrofoam container filled with chicken glazed in sweet orange sauce, beef with teriyaki sauce drizzled on top, greasy Lo Mein, and fried rice. Next to the container was a 24 oz Monster energy drink complemented with a large cup of frozen yogurt.

Panda Express Meal

This is a picture from total-takeout.com used to represent the meal the student is eating in the Analysis

The friend this student is eating with gives her a questioning look. “What”, the student says, “I haven’t eaten all day, my schedule doesn’t allow me to eat before class.”  Her stomach then growls in response. “Was the frozen yogurt needed though?” her friend questions. “I’m just trying to treat myself,” she replies then digs into her food. 

In conclusion, this food court represents how many big fast corporations are all around college campuses, and how their relationship to the collective of college students can be seen in this dining hall. Through this relationship we can see the dependence that many college students have on these fast food restaurants; we see these students rely on the convenience and cheapness of the food despite the negative effects it can have on your health. These corporations come to these college campuses knowing that students are dependent on their cheap food and that it will lead many college students into an unhealthy lifestyle. Healthy Food always tend to be way more expensive than cheap junk food, and college students often times have many expenses that they prioritize over their food budget, so with all the fast food places where ever you go on campus it is easy to fall into the trap of an unhealthy diet. Even though this is the circumstance for many students, it is important food student to prioritize their health and attempt to eat as healthily as possible using their budget, and not fall into the trap of the fast food corporations. 

  

Nov 18

March Response #3

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Dear John Lewis, 

I am writing you this letter because I recently read pages 110-173 of your book March. In this section of the book we see the struggles of African Americans as the fought for the right to vote. One thing that really struck a chord with me was when Fannie Lou Hamer explained the poor treatment of many other African Americans and herself when the were simply fight for their rights as citizens, which is something that The United Stated claimed to be an act of heroism when non-people of color when doing the same thing in the founding of this country. In this section we also see many leaders of the Black community, as Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X, come together and work for a common goal even though they had different approaches.

               Seeing the obstacles, suffering, and dehumanization that many African Americans had to go through honestly angered me. Even though we constantly learn about the Civil Rights Movement throughout our lives as students, I am always disturbed by the hatred and discrimination during this time. The ides of not only hating someone but also denying them of their rights simply because of there race is disgusting.  Thinking about this hatred makes me wonder how many anti-black pro-segregation people acts as normal people in our society today without anyone remembering their past. It also makes me think about how hypocritical the American people can be. Simultaneously calming to be the land of the free where all men are created equally while also treating people as second-class citizens.  

 

In this section I think you are trying too display the hardships African Americans went through in order to gain their rights. I think you are doing this to Show us that is we also persevere we can face injustice in today’s day.

Sincerely,

Morgan-Lee Blake

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 14

Dear John Lewis,

Sit In

http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2013/may/23/real-violence-50-years-ago-woolworth/

            I am writing you this letter because I recently read pages 25-80 of your book March. In this section of the book we see the struggles of African Americans as the fought for the right to vote. We follow you as you go to different protest like the sit ins at diners the were organized by SNCC and Freedom Day.  

There was also a mock election that was created so that Black people would have the chance to see what it was like to go through the voting process. We also see you meet with different civil rights leader like Fanny Lou Hamer and Ella Baker. Also, during this time President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated; this discouraged many voter rights activists because he drafted the Civil Rights Act. Luckily President Johnson decided to carry on his legacy by signing the Act into law. I as I read this, I was pretty numb; all my life I have been learning about these events and I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t even allow myself to fully feel the way this injustice makes me feel. When I think about the different types of discrimination black people have gone through, I tend to focus on how resilient the people of that time must have been and not how cruel and ignorant the oppressors of the time were; if I did, I would be in a constant state of rage. I think your intent was to display this resilience and show that in order to get change we must persevere. Even though I know these events to be true I often find myself wondering how people have the determination to withstand this kind of treatment and how any human being can treat people in such an awful way. I think that something we can learn from this story is that when we face injustice, we should continue to fight and be patient and diligent.

Sincerely,

Morgan-Lee Blake

 

Sep 23

A Letter to John Lewis

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Dear John Lewis,

I am writing you this letter in response to the opening section of your book March. In this section, the story begins with scenes from the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Mississippi which was a violent protest from white supremacist who were against black people trying to gain the right to vote; this occurred on the same day as a youth rally hosted by the church and four little girls were killed in the blast. We then see the funeral for the girls; this event led to chaos in the community which brought about a division which eventually lead to a police shooting and the murder on a young boy.

While reading this story, I couldn’t help but to notice the reflections of these events that we see in society today. The church bombing could be compared to the Charleston church shooting which was a mass shooting also committed by a white supremacist; nine African Americans were murdered during a prayer service at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Another example are the many cases of deadly police brutality instances of the years like the deaths of Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, and Philando Castile. This gave me an uneasy feeling; I wondered why things like this are still possible given the many years of activism and progress that we have many as a country and is they will ever stop occurring. Was it your intent to have the audience make these connections?

Photo and Mugshot of Sandra Bland

Photo and Mugshot of Sandra Bland

Although I am still unsure if it is possible to fix these problems that are deeply rooted in the history of our country, I believe that if we as a country true acknowledge our wrong doings and treat racism as am unacceptable form of bigotry that has no place in our country; we can combat the issue in a productive way.

Sincerely,

Morgan-Lee Blake

Sep 16

Genesis

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The first memories I have of  experiencing  literature is listening to my mother read children’s versions of bible stories and reading them Sunday school. I remember always being interested in the different stories in the bible and trying to understand the different lessons they were trying to teach and how these lessons could be applied in real life. The stories that I remember being told the most were the stories of David and Goliath, Noah’s ark, the creation story and the story of Adam and Eve. I remember the descriptions of the stories an how they could apply to my life; i was taught that even tho the circumstances were different and that i was just a child that the were morals that i could apply to my everyday life and have an impact on my surroundings.

 

Sep 08

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