Blog Assignment #1 Modern Media Griot

21 Feb

Preserving History

A griot is a West African story-teller that uses the oral tradition (story telling) to preserve history or tradition. Many are musicians, singers, and poets. In Farenheit 451 the professors that Montag meets towards the end of the book serve as griots (in their own right); as they will retell the stories/ information from the books that have memorized. For this assignment consider some of the issues that we have discussed in lab and lecture ie..resistance, literacy, as they relate to World, American, or personal history and create or find an image (still or video) or piece of sound that tells a story that you wish to preserve.

Please respond to this post by: February 26, 2012


25 Responses to “Blog Assignment #1 Modern Media Griot”

    • makiaharper February 26, 2012 at 4:42 am #

      Can you provide your name and a short description of the picture?


      • yarunlin February 26, 2012 at 5:12 am #

        Yarun Lin
        In this picture, a crocodile tried to swallow a big book. In our first impression, crocodile represented evil and cruel. It could destroy anything without thinking and to satisfy its own feeling and enjoying using its power to hurt anything weakness. Same with the book, the authority abuse of power to burn the books, and smash the heart to reading and learning literacy and limited their way to development their knowledge.

  1. hdornblum182 February 26, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    Coming from California I always find it interesting when people talk about “all of the earthquakes in California.” Throughout my life I can barely remember any, nothing more than just a couple of shakes, nothing really devastating or severe. However, I have been hearing my whole life about what happened with my family during the Northridge earthquake of 1994, when I was 1 year old, that was a 6.6 scale and was one of the most violent shakes we’d had in many, many years. I don’t remember, of course, but I find it interesting now, and certainly worth preserving, this kind of video that documents the damage and reminds me of how serious this quake actually was. I know these freeways, I know these schools, buildings- Northridge is only about an hour away from where I grew up. Anyways, my mother told me that the night it happened, very early in the morning, I was asleep in my crib, that our bedroom just started shaking and she woke up so confused, as you’d imagine. She said the lamp fell off the dresser and she could barely feel the ground steady beneath her feet but she managed to get to me, in my crib across the room, and hold me until the shaking stopped. She said it felt like an eternity before it finally settled and our house looked like a whirlwind had been through it. I want to preserve this memory to remind myself and others how powerful the earth is, how easily all of this man-made society could just crumble underneath of it. I was a part of this history, I don’t remember but I was alive and there, so it is interesting to me. The video really documents just how horrible the Northridge quake really was…

  2. marixa1790 February 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    Strange Fruit sung by Billie Holiday. One of my history teachers in high school played this song for us while we were learning about the events leading up to the civil rights movement. We were also handed the lyrics and read along. Afterwards the whole class was silent, you could feel uneasiness in the air. Like we all swallowed something horrible and were about to throw up. We learned about lynchings in the south that took place, read about it in our textbooks. For me it wasn’t until I heard this song and read these lyrics that I could really feel the injustice and sheer evilness of these events. To this day I still cannot believe that it was tolerated for as long as it was, and the fact that people actually did this to other people, for sport. It’s a disgusting mark on American history and shameful.

  3. andreeres February 27, 2012 at 12:35 am #
    This picture of 50’s style hipsters is a screenshot from a post Soviet Union movie, representing the realizations of the world outside of their own during the regime. The film makers themselves are trying to preserve history

  4. allisonw1986 February 27, 2012 at 4:09 am #

    Allison Wright
    Section 084

    This video deeply disturbed me…it’s one of the videos where girls post vlogs on YouTube for verification on whether they are ugly or pretty. She’s wearing make-up, talking provocatively and the video caption says” Who like me and wants to be my bf?”. The girl shown is this video is probably no more than 10 years old, and is exposing herself to the possibility of being molested by a sexual predator.

    I chose this video because people need to realize that this is a real problem. The Internet is helping and hurting these girls (boys too). Parents need to be there more for their kids when it comes to their self-esteem, and schools need to spread awareness.

  5. gklizentyte February 27, 2012 at 4:17 am #

    This is an image of Louis Armstrong on a state sponsored trip through Africa and the Middle East in 1961. It was taken at a time when the American government was looking to improve its negative image among the nations of Africa. America was at an unease during the Cold War and did not want any nations to reject their help in order to control the spread of communism. But in Africa, there was a great amount of resistance to American political overtures, due in large part to our poor treatment of black citizens here at home. Images like the one above were meant to counteract the negative images that had been captured the same year, such as, the Freedom riders bombing.

  6. enuttt February 27, 2012 at 4:18 am #

    The Laramie Project is a play by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project that was created as a reaction to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student living in Laramie, Wyoming. Matthew had been kidnapped, severely beaten, and left to die, tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, only to be found 18 hours later by a bicyclist. The act was denounced as a hate crime, and the media broke out into a frenzy. A couple weeks after the murder, members from the Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie and conducted over 400 interviews based on people’s reactions as the reflect on the crime. The play, which was formulated from these varying interviews, tells the story of a young man through the eyes of the people around him. Every piece of literature, no matter how objective it wants to be, will have the tendency to tell the story from a certain point of view. This play was able to give the various perspectives that the towns people and the media covering the story had on the event. This play preserves a piece of history that most of the people in it want to forget. In a way though, it is an important to hold on to this, because I feel that people have the tendency to learn from tragedy.

  7. Halima Haider February 27, 2012 at 4:24 am #

    This photo was taken during an #OWS march on October 5th of last year. Angered by the rise of tuition and interest rates on student loans, CUNY and SUNY students held a walkout at 12 P.M. that day to join the #OWS protesters. I attended the march as a journalist from my former college and the photo above was taken by me for my article. This photo preserves multiple messages for me from a personal standpoint, however just a general observation can provide a robust piece of history to everyone. This photo depicts an unforgettable movement in history as it captures a moment displaying sentiment of inspiration and engagement that accounts for the significance of the #OWS movement. This photo surely preserves a story worth remembering.

  8. samcatapano February 27, 2012 at 4:26 am #

    This is a picture of my family. This is a part of our history that will be shown to our future generations. We are all present in this picture, and it shows how genuinely close we all are!

    /Users/samanthacatapano/Pictures/Gian Carlo and Thresa’s Wedding 2011/SAM_4581.JPG

  9. gabbykliz February 27, 2012 at 4:35 am #

    This is an image of Louis Armstrong on a state sponsored trip through Africa and the Middle East in 1961. It was taken at a time when the American government was looking to improve its negative image among the nations of Africa. America was at an unease during the Cold War and did not want any nations to reject their help in order to control the spread of communism. But in Africa, there was a great amount of resistance to American political overtures, due in large part to our poor treatment of black citizens here at home. Images like the one above were meant to counteract the negative images that had been captured the same year, such as, the Freedom riders bombing.

  10. Lyndsi Vasquez February 27, 2012 at 4:43 am #

    There is so much political/social conflict happening right now in the Middle East. As someone who cares very much about what happens in that part of the world, I cringe everytime I hear leaders from other countries make comments about the Holocaust and Israel. I think over time, people have also come to view this time in history as just that.. forgetting that each and every person who experienced it had their own personal story. To many people, the Holocaust is deeply personal. It is a time in history of struggle, pain, loss, torture, and so many of the ugliest words that we could use to describe it.
    This is the story of a Holocaust Survivor, Olga Rosenberger. The website,, was purposed to preserve the stories of people who survived.

  11. mikejdoherty February 27, 2012 at 5:03 am #

    The above is a link to the song “Uprising” by the band Muse. Written and released slightly before the Occupy Wall Street movement, the song could easily be used as the #OWS anthem. it’s politically charges lyrics and upbeat drive perfectly capture the angst and determination of the Occupy movement. The lyrics read as follows:


    Paranoia is in bloom,
    The PR, transmissions will resume
    They’ll try to, push drugs that keep us all dumbed down
    And hope that, we will never see the truth around
    (So come on)

    Another promise, another seed
    Another, packaged lie to keep us trapped in greed
    And all the, green belts wrapped around our minds
    And endless red tape to keep the truth confined
    (So come on)

    They will not force us
    They will stop degrading us
    They will not control us
    We will be victorious
    So come on

    Interchanging mind control
    Come let the, revolution takes its toll
    If you could, flick the switch and open your third eye
    You’d see that, we should never be afraid to die
    (So come on)

    Rise up and take the power back
    It’s time the, fat cats had a heart attack
    You know that, their time’s coming to an end
    We have to, unify and watch our flag ascend
    (So come on)

    They will not force us
    They will stop degrading us
    They will not control us
    We will be victorious
    So come on

    Hey, hey, hey, hey
    Hey, hey, hey, hey
    Hey, hey, hey, hey

    They will not force us
    They will stop degrading us
    They will not control us
    We will be victorious
    So come on

    i feel the the last verse fits #OWS particularly well: “Rise up and take the power back /
    It’s time the, fat cats had a heart attack / You know that, their time’s coming to an end /
    We have to, unify and watch our flag ascend.” The entire Occupy movement is centered around the voice and strength of the people. And by ‘the people,’ i mean the everyman, the honest, hardworking American who has been strangled by the grip of financial institutions. Truly, it is time that the “fat cat” has had a heart attack and allowed everybody else a chance to enjoy the country they work so hard for. This song acts as a cryogenic freezer for #OWS, preserving both it’s message and it’s might in a 5 minute epic.

  12. Nusrat Choudhury February 27, 2012 at 5:05 am #

    I have always found this image so powerful and the story behind it is even more powerful than the picture itself. The first time I was introduced to it was my sophomore year of high school during history class. It shows 15 year-old Elizabeth Eckford as she endures ugly racist taunts in Little Rock, Arkansas on her way to Central High School in 1957. The incident is referred to as the “Little Rock Nine”. It was during the civil rights movement and Central High was known as a “whites only” school at the time, but that didn’t stop Elizabeth and her fellow African-American classmates. Many of the students and parents came to protest, and what amazes me is the anger of the one girl in particular. It just speaks volumes about how how ridiculous the whole situation was and just raises so many questions. Did the color of Elizabeth’s skin really affect this girl and the rest of the students so much? Was their really any reason to blame this girl for wanting an education like the rest of you? It just shows such a messed up time in our country’s history and shows us we should never make such a mistake ever again. (yet we still do i.e. gay rights) But I think the most amazing and powerful thing about this picture is that the same angry student behind her later, as an adult, asks Elizabeth to forgive her. Which shows that she not only acknowledged what she did was wrong, but she now realizes how terrible it was, and this in a way represents our American history. That we can mistakes and that we aren’t always right, but one way or another we can fix them and can look back upon them and think, wow was there really a time where things like this happened?


  13. Nessa February 27, 2012 at 5:21 am #

    I love Incubus, and their song “talk shows on mute” would be my choice to preserve through oral tradition because the whole song is a warning for what our future might
    look like the further we let technology and media run our lives. It’s also very fitting since technology only advances further and further. The lead singer brandon boyd expresses his inspiration from this song which happens to be his fear, “I was on an airplane when a talk show began playing on the TVs. I decided to start narrating for the people, which is a really great game if you’re ever bored enough. I realized a time will probably come when television will watch us if we’re watching it, if that hasn’t already happened, figuratively or literally. It sounded like some sort of pseudo-Big Brother nightmare, so I wrote it down.” The lyrics express nightmares that are already very real today such as people being “still and transfixed” on many television shows that show the most pointless topics. They also express, however, nightmares that have yet to happen if we don’t stop being “electric sheep” who follow what others around you are doing like a herd, being like “moths edging in towards the flame” which is our television, magazine, and radio which burn our individuality. “Big Brother” is a reference to 1984 by George Orwell of a totalitiarian oligarchy called “Big Brother” with cameras watching every one,everywhere at any time. It is my favorite book mentioned in a song by an amazing band. So much meaning and information is embedded in this 4 minute song, andit’s the best choice to preserve because of that.

    -Vanessa Rodriguez

  14. skbeecher90 February 27, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    This is an image of the front of a building located in Brooklyn, NY. Painted onto the building are the letters “E R F E C T.” When I first saw this image on another blog a few weeks ago, it took me a while to understand the context. At first glance I couldn’t decide whether or not ERFECT was the name of the store or company that owned the building or whether it once said “PERFECT” and one of the letters had fallen off. Running into the same picture a few nights ago, I decided to take a closer look. In this picture the letters appear to have been painted on, and even if they were molded onto the building, there are no discolorations in the paint or any left over screws to assume that there was a “P” in the beginning of the world to start with.
    There is NO Perfect. Perfect does not exist. The owner of this building had the opportunity to have these sculpted and mounted “perfectly” on his building, but he left out a letter to show passerbys that the idea of perfection is a misleading idea that has been socially construced. When given enough thought, this image can teach its viewer about awareness and acceptance.
    Overall, I honestly think that these letters were painted onto the bulding to send a message. We’re not perfect, no one on this earth is. We all have to be aware of that. No matter how hard you try and how close you get, there will always be something keeping you from obtaining that status of perfection. As human beings we have to accept that; we will all make mistakes, the important part is to allow ourselves to learn from them.

    • skbeecher90 February 27, 2012 at 8:22 am #

      forgot to put my name:
      Shauna-Kaye Beecher
      section 009

  15. kaseyburgess February 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    Growing up in southern California, there were always wildfires every summer affecting the surrounding neighborhoods of the urban suburban city of Orange. Orange, Anaheim and Fullerton were the cities within the county that were usually hit hard every year.
    The reason I wanted to conserve this historical memory is because since it happened so often, it really wasn’t documented in a way that makes someone who hasn’t experienced it not full comprehend how scary it really was.
    It was rough because almost every year of my childhood our neighborhood would be evacuated because we lived on a hill and the other side of the hill was full of dried brush. But most of the district of my school consisted of kids who houses and apartments we on the surrounding hills so evacuation was a common thing and even schools closed down were regular. As a kid, we would pack up the car, headed to the local shelter and rarely stayed for more then a day. In an away, when I was young, I thought it was cool to camp out and miss school but when I got older, it was scary that we could loose everything in the matter of minutes.
    Since it was so common, after it was over no one really talked about it because someone always knew someone whose house was burnt down or whose land was scared, and because everyone knew someone, the tragedy wasn’t a novelty.

  16. taracelis91 February 29, 2012 at 5:07 am #

    I choose the image representing a protest against violence and rape towards woman known as the “Slut Walk”. This is a walk that involves rape victims who are trying to show society that it is never okay to rape someone no matter what they are wearing and no woman ever “ask’s” to be raped just by her choice of clothing. I think this is an important part of history that no one should forget because this shows the strength and power that rape victims have. It displays societies insensitivity to this issue and it should not be silenced.

  17. katiedaugerte March 3, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    i chose this image because although when Latvia was being emancipated from Russia (i was born in Latvia) i was only three and dont remember how big of a deal it was to regain our freedom, however with images such as these i can always look back and absorb the magnitude of it without having to actually be there.

    • andreeres March 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

      We are in the same class at different times. Check out our griot’s-Hilema, mike d, allison. Hopefully you have teamwork also

  18. danstuckey March 4, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    [embed width="240"][/embed][embed width="240"][/embed]

    Here is a piece by Richard Serra, Tilted Arc, that after its 1981 became infested with rats, tagged by graffiti artists, and brought to the center of a heated political topic concerning its removal. While public money of over $150,000 had been poured into its installation, Tilted Arc’s fate fell into hands of more New York City bureaucrats, who displayed their latent powers through the destruction and ultimate removal of Serra’s piece.

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