(Read And Initiate Discussion)

UNST 220C: Understanding Communities

Dr. Martha J. Bianco

Winter 2006

RAID No. 3
due in Mentor Session Week of 7 March 2006

General Instructions:

Answer two questions (the first one and one having to do with one of the song lyrics below), using the guidelines at http://www.marthabianco.com/Courses/Cities/RAID.html.  Be prepared to be randomly selected to lead and/or actively participate in discussion about any one of the questions during your mentor session, particularly if you have not yet led a RAID (including the Emergent Issue RAID); this will be the last RAID this term and, hence, your last chance to be a RAID leader.  

If you are a leader, you will be graded on how prepared you were to lead the discussion, how well you succinctly presented your responses and arguments, how professionally you handled the process of facilitating group discussion, and your overall response to the question. If you are a participant, you will be graded on how attentive and responsible you were during the leader's initial presentation, how well (extent of preparedness, ability to respond, etc.) you engaged in dialogue about the topic after the leader finished, how professionally you participated in discussion (not taking up too much time or interrupting), and your overall grasp of the subject matter.  Each student will also be graded on the written RAID response: format, content, thoughtfulness, professionalism, etc.

Please include each question (you can just copy and paste from here) or a short (paraphrased) version.  Your discussion points for each question should not be much longer than one page (per question).  Remember a Works Cited page and MLA format if you paraphrase, cite, or refer to material to substantiate your assertions.

I.    Understanding Community

We have spent a great deal of time discussing the concept of socioeconomic class, and in doing so, we have followed a thread that weaves its way from the changing economy of the Industrial Revolution, the first and second waves of immigration to the United States, the emancipation of slaves, urbanization and suburbanization, further changes in the postindustrial (technological) economy, the growth and persistence of ethnic enclaves and inner city ghettoes, and a persistent gap between the "have-gots" and the "have-nots."  

What has all of this meant, for you, with respect to understanding the concept of "community"?

As you attempt to address this question, be sure to review Chapters 6-11 and 18 in Phillips, thinking about how the following concepts, terms, and phrases relate to the issue at hand:

II.    Message in the Music

We have listened to and/or viewed films about hip-hop music and (sub)culture.  These include Gangsta King: Raymond Lee Washington, Letter to the President, and Do the Right Thing (you can find citation information on www.imdb.com; refer to an MLA style guide for citing films).  

Choose one of the following hip-hop songs (2Pac's "Me Against the World" or Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" --  one of the main "hip-hop nation anthems," and a recurrent song in Do the Right Thing) and deconstruct the lyrics, looking for ideas and issues related to what we've been studying in class. Feel free to use the "deconstruction word bank" terms listed below (most of which come from Phillips or class discussion) to talk about what you think the lyrics are saying (don't just guess at the meanings of the terms, though; look them up in your text).  There is no "right" or "wrong" way to do this.  Just as you might try to find the "deeper meaning" in a poem or a painting, look for the "message in the music" in these lyrics.  Use the Internet to find the full citation information about these songs and an MLA citation guide for citation purposes (do not use the Internet to help you do the job of deconstructing the songs; that will probably just result in plagiarism, and you know me:  I'll catch you :-)

Deconstruction Word Bank:

central city    inner city    anomie    "us" versus "them"     pecuniary nexus
alienation    "dream up and blame down"   "ending welfare as we know it"    oppression
acculturation  assimilation  grassroots activism/empowerment zone    hegemony  
stewpot    civics versus ethnics    peoplehood    minority-as-victim    symbolic ethnicity
Grand Canyon    underclass    ghetto    generational shifts    class consciousness
ideology    minimize involvement/maximize social order    functional interdependence

Artist: Tupac Shakur (2Pac)
Album: Me Against the World
Song: "Me Against the World"

Can you picture my prophecy?
Stress in the city, the cops is hot for me
The projects is full of bullets, the bodies is droppin'
There ain't no stoppin' me
Constantly movin' while makin' millions
Witnessin' killings, leavin' dead bodies in abandoned buildings
Carries to children cause they're illin'
Addicted to killin' and the appeal from the cap peelin'
Without feelin', but will they last or be blasted?
Hard-headed bastard
Maybe he'll listen in his casket -- the aftermath
More bodies being buried -- I'm losing my homies in a hurry
They're relocating to the cemetery
Got me worried, stressin, my vision's blurried
The question is will I live? No one in the world loves me
I'm headed for danger, don't trust strangers
Put one in the chamber whenever I'm feelin' this anger
Don't wanna make excuses, 'cause this is how it is
What's the use unless we're shootin' no one notices the youth
It's just me against the world, baby


With all this extra stressin'
The question I wonder is after death, after my last breath
When will I finally get to rest? Through this supression
They punish the people that's askin' questions
And those that possess, steal from the ones without possesions
The message I stress: to make it stop study your lessons
Don't settle for less - even the genius asks-es questions
Be grateful for blessings
Don't ever change, keep your essence
The power is in the people and politics we address
Always do your best, don't let the pressure make you panic
And when you get stranded
And things don't go the way you planned it
Dreamin' of riches, in a position of makin' a difference
Politicians and hypocrites, they don't wanna listen
If I'm insane, it's the fame made a brother change
It wasn't nuttin' like the game
It's just me against the world

Artist: Public Enemy
Album: Fear Of A Black Planet
Song: "Fight The Power"

1989 the number another summer (get down)
Sound of the funky drummer
Music hittin' your heart cause I know you got soul
(Brothers and sisters, hey)
Listen if you're missin' y'all
Swingin' while I'm singin'
Givin' whatcha gettin'
Knowin' what I know
While the Black bands sweatin'
And the rhythm rhymes rollin'
Got to give us what we want
Gotta give us what we need
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
We got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say

Fight the power


As the rhythm designed to bounce
 What counts is that the rhymes
 Designed to fill your mind
 Now that you've realized the prides arrived
 We got to pump the stuff to make us tough
 from the heart
 It's a start, a work of art
 To revolutionize make a change nothin's strange
 People, people we are the same
 No we're not the same
 'Cause we don't know the game
 What we need is awareness, we can't get careless
 You say what is this?
 My beloved lets get down to business
 Mental self-defensive fitness
 (Yo) bum rush the show
 You gotta go for what you know
 Make everybody see, in order to fight the powers that be
 Lemme hear you say...

 Fight the Power


Elvis was a hero to most
 But he never meant shit to me you see
 Straight up racist that sucker was
 Simple and plain
 Motherfuck him and John Wayne
 Cause I'm Black and I'm proud
 I'm ready and hyped plus I'm amped
 Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps
 Sample a look back you look and find
 Nothing but rednecks for 400 years if you check
 Don't worry be happy
 Was a number one jam
 Damn if I say it you can slap me right here
 (Get it) let's get this party started right
 Right on, c'mon
 What we got to say
 Power to the people no delay
 To make everybody see
 In order to fight the powers that be

(Fight the Power)
Any questions, contact me at biancom@q7.com.

Good luck, and have fun!