Malcolm X Articles

In the 2nd article, “The Greatest at Rest,” it says, “He never stopped calling himself The Greatest, and he never stopped saying God is Great. He somehow reconciled with these assertions.”

This statement left an impression on me because it showed that even with his fame and glory he stuck with his religion which I find powerful. It’s so easy to get caught up in fame. Fame often results to drugs, insanity, anxiety, etc. But Muhammed Ali always turned to his religion which is really rare and I find it admirable. But at the same time this statement potentially makes him come off as conceded. Is he saying he is greater than God? For being such a religious man, this is odd.

I slightly lost respect for him after I read this because to hear about someone claiming they are greater than God is a weird, uncomfortable, and cocky statement. But when I read the other article, (“Cassius Clay, Cassius X, Muhammed Ali,” by Robert Lipsyte) I felt better about him. On page 1, Lipsyte tells a story of a news reporter confronting Ali.

“‘Hey Cassius!’ yelled a television cameraman.

‘The name is Muhammed Ali,’ mumbled the champion tiredly.

‘Okay, Ollie, okay, how about a little, ‘I’m the greatest, I’ll beat the Bear in two,’ huh?’

Ali stared at the cameraman and he mumbled: ‘Most of my campaigning was not really me. Now, I don’t have to talk like that…'”

This made me think, maybe he isn’t conceded after all? This comment he made about his campaigning not being him, made me really think about all of these famous people we look up to. (Or even the famous people we don’t look up to.) Every celebrity has an agent, a PR team, or something of the sort. They are often telling them what to do or say to win their crowds hearts. It makes me think about all the iconic quotes that were forced out of peoples mouths from their PR teams.

Revising My Essay

I have finally gotten some emails back from students with their opinions on my essay, and I am feeling really grateful for it. I had started my essay but I knew it needed something more. Having it be a narrative essay, it is hard to view the story from other people’s perspectives. I put quotations around statements without specifying who said the statement. This was an amateur move because the people reading the essay were not there, and they don’t have an idea of who is saying what. I have clearly not written a lot of narrative essays considering I didn’t figure this out, which is why I’m happy about this assignment. I clearly need more experience with this form of writing.

Another thing that a student pointed out is that I mix up my ‘tenses’ in the story, which has always been one of my weaknesses. I used to always have my mom read over my high school essays, and she would usually fix this problem, so I need to get better at paying attention to this on my own.

 

I look forward to delving deeper into this essay, and improving my writing and my story. It is a powerful story so it needs a powerful portrayal.

Performance Art Response

Today I saw a musical group play at Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg. It was a musical group called TOEBOW and I absolutely loved it. I wasn’t sure what to expect, because I have never seen or heard of them before. But afterwards, it made me want to do this a lot and just go explore new and exciting artists that are trying to make it in New York. I would definitely say this was an engaging form of performance art. Their music was very unique; The group had dueling guitars, synths, 4-part harmonies and acoustic/electric percussion. Their music channels a variety of musical influences. It involves many different genres and decades of music, from Frank Zappa to West African Guitarists. My two favorite songs were  Mr. Tony and Burnt Bread. But even with the music aside, seeing their relationship with the audience and observing how the audience interacted with the musicians was a performance in itself. I could practically feel the passion that was coming off of each and every body in there. Everyone was happy to be there. You could tell that they were there for the music, and I found that truly beautiful. I want to be up there some day.

Response to Travelling

Link

We experience some of our best memories while traveling, and we also can experience our worst. You learn a lot about yourself, and the people around you, when you are in an unfamiliar place, being confronted with unfamiliar situations. The excerpt from, “Travelling,” by Grace Paley, describes two different scenarios that portray this phenomenon very well. It is a girl reflecting on a story of her mother who stands up for human rights on a bus, and she looks back on her own response to when she was once faced with a similar situation.

This story had me reminiscing on my personal experiences while traveling. I have spent a lot of my time and money going on trips around the world, and when I look back on each of my ventures, I can think of at least one positive or negative memory that I consider unforgettable.

I once found myself face to face with a woman I couldn’t keep my eyes off of. She was a woman on the streets of Hong Kong, who possessed all the wrong things. She had a drug addiction, a sidewalk for a home, and a baby girl. In the streets of New York I always try and avoid eye contact with the homeless, but this woman with her baby had my attention. She had the most beautiful, bright, yet saddened eyes that one could imagine. I wish I could have known what she was thinking in that moment. Did she hate me? Did she spite me? Did she think I was judging her? I always wonder what that women thought of me and I’ve always wondered why. She most likely didn’t even think anything of it- just another person poking sticks through her cage. But those eyes, that scene, and that baby’s gaze is something I’ll never forget. So I bought her a cup of bubble tea, and I swept myself away.