Thursday, February 24, 2011

CARTOONS! And race....

Watch these cartoons!

Now, think about the ways that each race is portrayed in each cartoon. Do these cartoons rely on racial stereotypes to create a plotline, humor, or a point? Is this done in a way that is offensive or inoffensive? Why? What do you think about the cartoon's handing of race? Does it confirm ideas/stereotypes you already have of the mannerisms, behavior, or culture of certain races? I am not asking you if you think that either show is an ACCURATE portrayal of anything. I am asking you to look at HOW race is portrayed in each show. If King of the Hill was your only window into "whiteness" and The Boondocks was your only window into "blackness", what would you think of each of these two races? Post a well-written, well-constructed paragraph as a comment below. DUE FRIDAY BY NOON. Your paper assignment will be posted here TOMORROW BY NOON.

Race Paper Topic Options

You have a five paragraph essay due next week. Here are your topic options:

1. Describe a scene in the movie Crash. Does it bring a particular social problem or issue to mind? Argue whether it does or does not do a good job of highlighting this issue and why.
2. Discuss the evolution of a character from the movie Crash. How do we see them change from the beginning of the film to the end? Is their personal change meant to be symbolic of a change that would/should/could happen in society?
3. Compare the portrayal of race in King of the Hill and The Boondocks. Is the subject of race more obvious in one than the other? Does one of them rely more heavily on racial stereotyping to make points and jokes? What is the effect of this difference on the audience?
4. Discuss racial stereotyping in either King of the Hill or The Boondocks. How/when is it used? Does the show use racial stereotypes in order to challenge them? Or does it use racial stereotypes as a convenient way to make a point?
5. Discuss an experience that you have had that challenged your personal ideas about race or racial stereotypes. Warning: Although this option is expository, it must still have an argument and be presented in a well-constructed five paragraph format. Because this is the most flexible topic, I will also be grading it the most critically.
Paper Format
Your paper must be typed in 12 pt. Times New Roman font. It must be double-spaced, except the header, which should be single-spaced on the left-hand side of the paper and contain: your name, the date, your course and section number, and my name. You should have a title for your paper and it should be centered. Your last name and the page number should be in the upper right hand corner of each page. This is called MLA format and you can google it if you need to. It looks like this:
Writing a Five Paragraph Essay
If you aren't completely comfortable with your understanding of what a five paragraph essay is, you should check out these links:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Racism VS Racial Stereotyping

As we discussed in class, it can sometimes be difficult to parse out the differences between racism and racial stereotyping. Here are the Wikipedia definitions of each:
Read the Wikipedia entries, think about what we discussed in class, and as a comment below write one paragraph discussing what you think the difference is between racism and racial stereotyping.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Racial Sterotyping

Watch this video and check out this link:
Stuff White People Like
As a comment, post a link to something you've found on the internet that uses racial stereotyping to make a point, a joke, or sell you something. Make sure to include your name as it is listed on the roll. Also check out at least three other links.
*Be careful about your choices. Blonde jokes, for example, aren't really racial stereotyping. I would say that they are more about gender.

Monday, February 14, 2011

CRASH Review

Check out these reviews of the movie we watched in class, Crash:
Which review do you think does the best job of interpreting the film? Why? What did the reviewer get right, and what did they get wrong? What would you add to the review? Post your response as a comment below.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Because it seems like the weather is going to get significantly worse today, our class will not be meeting. In lieu of class, you are required to complete the assignment below.

In class today, we were going to workshop each other’s papers. That means that you would be assigned a partner who’s paper you would read and make corrections on. First, we would have all read ONE paper so that we could come to an agreement about what constitutes good grammar and good writing. Since we can’t meet together, we are doing this all by email, so be careful to follow the instructions. I sent this to the email address that you gave me on the first day, so you are going to need to check that in order to find out who your partner is.

1. First, think about what I will be looking for when I grade you: grammar, organization, structure, thesis statement. My two main concerns are that you write something INTERESTING and that you have a specific point that you back up. Make a short list of things you think you will be graded on.
2. Read this paper, taking into account the grading criteria you listed. There is a hard copy of this paper on the desk in the classroom if you want it. Otherwise, you will need to print it to correct for grammar or use the comments option in word and then print it to bring to class. POST your overall impressions about the paper as a COMMENT. What did this person do well, and what could they do better? Here’s the paper:

My Natural Hair is Better than Your Relaxed Hair

You know those people who seem to change their hair like they change their socks? I’m one of them. I’ve had relaxers, short bobs, henna’d hair, braids, weaves, wigs, texturizers, and pressed styles. Recently, I decided to forgo the chemicals and fake hair and wear my own natural, unaltered hair. Looking at all the females who rock relaxed hair, I can say with righteousness that my natural hair is better than your relaxed hair.

A relaxer is a chemical process that is applied to kinky hair in order to “relax” or straighten it. For those who want to maintain a straight style with relative ease, a relaxer is the go to product. It isn’t without its drawbacks. The chemicals in a relaxer are highly caustic, and are known for causing mild to severe burns if left on exposed skin. Also, because the hair must go through such a drastic change from its original state, relaxed hair is usually much more fragile than natural hair. It is especially susceptible to breakage which hinders any length the wearer may be trying to achieve.

Natural hair is hair that has not been chemically altered. Relatively few females with kinky hair wear their hair in its natural state. It is the healthiest state of hair because it undergoes minimal manipulation. Most females who wear their hair naturally also use organic hair products which nourish their hair and allow it to flourish. Styling natural hair can be time consuming, and finding a hairstylist in Baton Rouge who knows how to do more than either braiding it or straightening it can be a challenge. Regardless, the women who wear their hair in it’s natural state love it, and so do I. It’s healthy, it’s uniquely me, and yes, it’s better than yours.

3. Find your email on the class list (the people this email was sent to). Email your paper to the person who is listed before you. (The first person on the list will email the last person). When you receive your partner’s paper, read it, correct it, and comment on it. Send them back an email with your comments.
4. Based on the comments your partner made, make a list of THREE changes that you will make to your paper before Tuesday in order to improve it. I will be checking these papers on Tuesday to make sure that you have made changes.
Have a great weekend,