Lessons From The Apartheid - 2.18.21
I chose to attend the West Hartford Public Library’s Lessons from the Apartheid with speaker Manju Sani. Manju is an author of a book and I found her to be a very interesting woman to listen to and learn from. At first she started to talk about how diamonds and gold were first found in Africa. Sani also came up with an amazing definition of the word apartheid. She found that when you search up the word apartheid the definitions you get from the internet are not symbolic of what she believes it means. She said that apartheid is a “system of laws which was designed to exploit black people’s labor for the creation and retention for wealth of white people.” She also shared with her audience how she could relate to the topic in which she studies. One thing that I found most interesting about the talk was how she talked about the idea of “black face.” This is a term that people still use today. In 1990 the term “black face” made its first appearance. When white police officers would put on black face and claim that it was “black on black violence.” I find it interesting how today there are still kids and adults who do this as a joke. Another thing I found interesting about the talk was the statistics in Connecticut when it comes to the population and the population of prisoners, which were categorized by race. 40% of prisoners do not actually need to be in prison and America has the most prisoners out of any country. In CT, the population of white people is 66% and the prisoner percentage is 6%. The black population is 12% and 51% are in prison. The Hispanic population is 17% and the percentage of prisoners is 27%. This makes me more and more worried about the prison system. It makes me more aware that there are people in prison who do not even need to be there, which is very concerning.
Bethel Woods - 10.21.21
Bethel Woods was an inspiring place and I admire the mindset of everyone that was part of this event. Given that America is considered to be a “loose” country, the reaction to this event was all positive. People traveled miles and miles to share one common thought, that consisted of peace, love and music. The expansive lineup at this event created a significant spike in the expected attendance. What looked to be the expected number of guests (100,000) in the end, turned out to be four times that. In a tight country, this would never happen due to the strict rules. I am grateful for America's loose culture and ability to work and ultimately accept counterculture. The fact that four men were able to pull this off with few problems is very impressive. I would have loved to be part of Woodstock. At the museum, I watched two of the mini-films and the videos taken during the concert were so cool! The music was non-stop, people were dancing, sleeping, eating and somehow they all managed to survive and stay healthy in this crowded environment. After I saw everything that was going on I instantly wished I could have been there and unfortunately I do not think something like this will ever happen again.
Quincy Amarikwa- founder of Black Players for Change - 2.24.21
Listening to Quincy Amarikwa left me questioning the job of being a professional player for sports teams. I found it very interesting how he related signing to a sports team to slavery. Where the teams own you, dictate what you can do and where you go but it is all your choice if you want to be a part of the team. I think that players all over the world especially for soccer have such a strong love for the sport, that the love for the game takes over them when it comes to signing with a team. It feels like there is little you can do and a large amount of your freedom is taken away from you. I wonder if other teams around the world have the same strict rules, limiting players' lives. I also found it interesting when he talked about oh, how it might be hard for players to speak up on issues. players may feel as though they might be targeted or lose their contract with teams based on their personal views and ideologies. I think it is very important for people to express how they feel, and when they have a platform to do it on, they shouldn't hesitate to speak up. When Quincy talked, it felt like he was a motivational speaker. He came out with all these amazing words of wisdom that really inspired me. One thing that he said that really stood out to me was “Before you become a physical player you need to become a mental player.” as somebody who plays soccer I find this to be very true. It is important that you are a player on the team, but it is also important that you look out for your teammates and even your coach and mentally prepare yourself for what they game and entails and ask for. I would love to hear him speak again, and learn more about other teams around the world that he has come across and what his views on them are.
CT Forum Debating Immigration - 10.18.20
While listening to the CT Forum there were a few points that stood out to me while listening. One of the most interesting things that was said was by Jose Vargas, he said “we are locking kids up because we don’t know what we want.” I found this sentence so interesting, because it is very true. America as a whole does not have a solution to illegal immigration and is stuck when it comes to finding a quicker and easier way for people to become legal citizens. I also found that an important part of the debate was when they all talked about prioritizing the people who get deported and who are targeted. Deporting the people who are harming America is one thing, but there are good people who are losing their children because they are escaping harm and danger elsewhere. So prioritizing who is deported was also something I found interesting.
Communication comes into play when debating immigration. The way America communicates their fear and negligence to immigrants causes so many problems. They take away their kids and separated families. If there was a better solution I believe that the communication between people who are legal citizens to illegal would be more peaceful. The communication consists of fear which helps no one.
Reflection on the American Dreamers - 10.27.20
As someone who was not born in America I am very interested in learning about many different stories on how people came to America. Showing different scenarios was interesting to me. I believe that one of the hardest things to be is an immigrant. I found American Dreamers to be an interesting approach on the different things that go into the decision of granting someone citizenship. I found it to be fun, I really liked how they incorporated the audience into the show, and how they allowed people to ask legitimate questions. I also enjoyed the skill set part of the show, when they had the three men show us their skills. Connecting this to human rights, one of our Global Studies themes has to do with my belief that everyone should be given the right to work towards or should be given the chance to become a citizen. I think the show touched on good points such as knowing basic facts about our country, showing us skills and defending their past and present situations. The ending was a little abrupt and interesting to say the least, but I definitely learned a few new facts and enjoyed watching.