Monday, October 4, 2010

Will the mix of chocolate and vanilla satisfy everyone? Will it satisfy the chocolate fans even though it isn't full chocolate but they can still relate to it. Or will it satisfy the vanilla fans who aren't use to that extra chocolate mixed in but will accept it due to the resemblance to their usual vanilla? In the early 1900's, the mentality of people were as so, between the controversial issue of race in America. Black and White America in the early 1900's were very much different from each other, bot culturally and economically. So one could imagine that the mixing of the two was a heated debate between the two parties. It was seen as almost insulting to people both black and white if a person was of mixed race. They were often looked down upon. In the late 1800's, around 1850 and on to 1890, there was a huge increase in the number of mulatto people in the USA. "The distribution of the mulatto race, at all times for which the facts are known has been in general accord with the ratio of the races." The reason for their discrimination against them was the fact that white people in this time tended to accent on the fact that they were still black and black people accented that they were not "real black" people. They were often referred to as mulatto, a word used to denote someone with a white parent and a black parent. As time progressed, the entertainment business was becoming more and more prominent in the early 1900's, many African Americans become the driving forces in the industry. However, white audiences has strong feeling about why their children shouldn't be listening to "these black people sing. In 1959, one of the most impacting historical monuments were built and housed the studios that many of our legendary icons today. It was Barry Gordy's, Hitzville USA better known as Motown records. This music took a while to earn its respect but eventually became one of the most historical events musically.
The chocolate and vanilla swirl in the entertainment industry may have been some people's only way of accepting African American music. It seemed as though the white audiences accepted people black people who were of a lighter complexion or resembled closely to them. So these lighter skinned black people and even the "Mulatto" people were better accepted in the music industry. It was the reason for some African American a
rtists' success. For example of this was the American born, singer, dancer, and actress Josephine Baker. Josephine's light skin played a major part in her success in this time. There was still a struggle for Black equality in this time period so a black woman being in a motion picture was a major accomplishment. Being coined with the names "Creole Goddess" and even the "Black pearl" and being referred to as beautiful at this time by a white audience was very rare and one could credit that to her resemblance to them with her lighter complexion. This is not to shadow Josephine Baker's talent at all. All of her acco
mplishments were very influential to many artists today such as Estelle and Beyonce.
The evolution of African American in the entertainment industry has grown significantly over the years. The success of Black entertainment is on a rise and has yet to reach its peak. Even the deviation from the whole light skinned vs dark skinned idea has waned. The time period his changed completely and it is a whole new splurge of thinking and ways to create music and brand new ways of thinking. I believe i will call it a new renaissance for music. Making music a piece of cake!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rivers that lead to Happiness

James Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902. Overall he had a very simple life and began to write his poetry in Lincoln Illinois. He did attend Columbia University in Mexico and than took on a few odd jobs as an assistant cook, launderer, and a busboy, and than traveled to Africa and Europe working as a seaman. Reading his biography i noticed that Hughes claimed Paul Laurence, Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman as his primary influences. He is particularly known for his insightful, colorful portrayals of black life in America from the twenties through the sixties. I felt that is important to realize that all of the poets named above influenced his writing. Each one of this individuals had an important impact on the way that Hughes wrote and i felt that it was important for one to understand how each one of the poets influenced Hughes in their own way.

Paul Laurence was one of the first African Americans to gain national recognition. During his day he freed slaves from Kentucky. Both of his parents separated shortly after his birth, however Laurence would talk about the stories of plantation life throughout all of his works. Even though Laurence was a fine student he was unable to attend college because of his finical situation so he took a job as a elevator operator. He went on to make a self published collection called Oak and Ivy and sold copies in his elevator for a dollar for the people that rode his elevator. With that being said he had an overall successful carrer but i feel influenced Hughes because of his writing about life on the plantation. In Hughes poem The Negro Speaks of River he talks about many rivers and how life was during the time period in which he lived in. This poem was talking about how dangerous the rivers were during this period because slavery was very popular. One could be sold down the Mississippi River and be working for the rest of their lives. I feel like Hughes had a direct affect on Hughes poetry because of him describing the slavery life, like Laurence talked about in his poems of the days on the planation.

Carl Sandburg was a poet that had a different life. His life was a rough one and he had emigrated from Sweden. His family was very poor and Carl left school at the age of 13 to take on odd jobs from laying bricks to dishwashing to try to support his family. He traveled to Kansas as a hobo, than served in the Spanish American War. He attended Lombard for four years and was able to become known as a poet. Over time his work became known by others and he was starting to write in the free verse like Whitman had cultivated in college. I feel like Carl Sandburg contributed to the way that he wrote because of his free verse poetry. There was no one structure to the way that everything was said. It was all freely put into a poem and had a lot of meaning that was built deep inside of the words.

Last but not least Walt Whitman was the last influence that Hughes had. He had a family with 9 sisters and brothers. At the age of 12 he began to learn the printers trade and fell in love with the written word. He was a man that taught himself most of the things that he learned and he read a lot becoming familiar with the works of Homer, Dante, Shakespeare along with the Bible. He founded a newspapers called the Long Islander and edited a large group of Brooklyn and New York papers. There is not a doubt in my mind that this man could not have had any affect of Hughes. He worked hard all of his life and did everything himself. He did not go to others for help and basically self taught himself everything he was able to accomplish. He was very successful writing in many places and becoming well known. I feel that because of his reliance on nobody it helped Hughes to write poetry that way and to not have to rely on anyone to get the things he wanted done.