Monthly Archives: March 2012

National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum in Peterboro, New York

http://www.abolitionhof.org/home

The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum is a new exhibit in Peterboro, New York.  According to the website, the museum “honors antislavery abolitionists, their work to end slavery, and the legacy of that struggle, and strives to complete the second and ongoing abolition – the moral conviction to end racism.”  Frederick Douglass was one of the first abolitionists inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.  The website has information on other abolitionists and their work.  Feel free to check out the website or visit the museum the next time you’re in Central New York!

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Filed under Emily, Frederick Douglass Archive

“Only When”

A one-sentence poem by Emily Goldstein (2012)

 

Only When

Only when truth wins,

Beating “good enough,”

Can old falsities be abolished

To make room for the new –

I know, I know this can be mine,

This truth to find, behind the lies,

This truth will thrive

In mankind, in a tangible future –

And never forget,

What is possible for me

Is possible for you,

And your children,

And your parents;

Beginnings never determine

Ends, and neither do your ends

Induce your children’s ends;

For each year,

Offspring are more free –

Freer than leaves

Flying on dreams,

Reaching toward trees,

Sing sweet symphonies,

Soar on a high C.

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Filed under Emily, Our Poetry

Protests Through Our Laptops

In the twenty-first century, protests are more likely to be found through social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.  It seems like all Americans have access to the Internet and therefore, have the ability to post their opinions at leisure.  While this makes it easy to share opinions, this does not necessarily mean those opinions are necessary or important.  And these opinions are everywhere; it would be impossible to be fully educated on every valid opinion and social problem in the world.  Groups of opinions form protests and movements, but these movements are now through the Internet, not through face-to-face confrontation.

21st century America?

Because it is easier to form protests, the protests through the Internet lose their influence and power, because there are so many of them.  The more important ones could easily be lost in the ocean of non-important campaigns.  The most important campaigns (or at least the most famous) are those that protest in the old-fashioned way: rallies, picketing, marches, concerts, etc.  Large events will make a lasting effect on other citizens.  Posting opinions on the Internet will never be as important or memorable as organized events.  Organized events will always have more influence and power, because face-to-face contact is the best way to give your opinion.

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Filed under Emily, Social Media Movements

“I Have Sex”

In February 2011, Congress voted to defund Planned Parenthood.  This decision sparked debates across America.  Was Congress uncomfortable funding an organization that provided abortions?  Was this an attack on women’s health?  Was Congress uncomfortable funding an organization that supported sexual health?

America’s youth and emerging adult cohort was especially outraged, including those on college campuses.  In March 2011, students at Wesleyan University created a video to appeal to Congress on funding Planned Parenthood educates America’s youth.

After nearly a year, this video has 406,922 views on youtube, with 4,649 “likes” to 365 “dislikes.”  This video inspired other college campuses to create response videos, following the same “I Have Sex” format as Wesleyan’s.  Even the University of Michigan created a video.

The above video was made in April 2011, with 6,232 views on youtube, 43 “likes” and 5 “dislikes.”  UofM students and Ann Arbor residents explain how Planned Parenthood helps them.  There is even footage of a rally in Ann Arbor with representatives from Planned Parenthood.

This “I Have Sex” format allowed college campuses all around the country to unite in support of a cause that connected them all.  Youtube.com served as the vehicle for this cause.  Because these videos can be viewed by anyone, college students, parents, educators, and law makers all were able to view these videos and become aware of the response.

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Filed under Emily, Social Media Movements

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

Here is the site of Frederick Douglass’s home in Washington D.C.  Some really interesting insight in the photos here about the time period and how he lived.  Check it out!

 

 

 

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Filed under Arlo, Frederick Douglass Archive

Esraa Abdel Fattah- Egypt’s “Facebook Girl”

In 2008, Esraa Abdel Fattah became one of Egypt’s most renown internet activist and blogger.  She co-founded the April 6th Youth Movement, and started a Facebook group to support workers in an industrial town who were planning to go on strike due to low wages and high food prices.  The group became a popular political movement – at first only 300 people were invited to join the group, but quickly over 77,000 people joined (vitalvoices.org). She was also arrested in 2008 by the government, and during her time in prison she became an icon for human rights movements.

Her Facebook page, Twitter profile, and news correspondence during the 2011 nationwide protests that were calling for the end of Homi Mubarek’s regime aided online organization for protests.  Her use of the social media and technology enabled this information to be accessible and evoke feelings of empowerment to the general public.

Like Frederick Douglass used his speeches and reading skills to empower African-Americans to fight for freedom, Fattah has ignited the human rights movement in Egypt.

Below is a helpful article about Esraa Abdel Fattah’s efforts and timeline of her experience.

http://www.vitalvoices.org/node/2247

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Filed under Carolina, Social Media Movements

“Words to the Crowd”

                      The soul that is within me no man can degrade.  

 

I shout, I yell, I all but propel

My whole heart and soul into these words.

 

                      Power concedes nothing without demand.  

 

His words echo in my mind

And my heart swells with agreement.

I think to myself

 

I am so sick of being stuck.

 

Stuck in my roles

Stuck under control

Stuck in my soles

Of these shoes that can’t run away.

 

I’m scared.

 

Your words contain so much defiance.

But I want to join this alliance and start talking too.

 

                      The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of whom they oppose.  

 

I will not obey their rules anymore.

I abhor their dictation on me and my life.

I want to be free, I want to stand tall

I want to be a part of liberty and justice for all.

So even though you are afraid

Nod and pray

 

And let us start talking as one.


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Filed under Carolina, Our Poetry