IS VIOLENCE EVER AN APPROPRIATE SOLUTION FOR RESOLVING CONFLICT?
From “Murder to Excellence” by Kanye West (with Jay-Z)
I’m from the murder capital, where they murder for capital
Heard about at least 3 killings this afternoon
Lookin’ at the news like dang I was just with him after school,
No shop class but half the school got a tool,
And I could die any day type attitude
Plus his little brother got shot reppin’ his avenue
It’s time for us to stop and re-define black power
41 souls murdered in 50 hours
- Does Kanye think violence is an appropriate solution for resolving conflict? Support with evidence from the text.
- What does Kanye mean when in the first line?
- What does Kanye mean when he says “No shop class but half the school got a tool”
On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke the following words:
“There is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.”
- Does MLK think violence is an appropriate solution for resolving conflict? Support with evidence from the text.
- MLK was a preacher. Based on this passage, who do you think he patterned his behavior from?
- Which is more effective in the end: non-violent protest or violent protests? Explain your reasoning.
From Mahatma Gandhi:
“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world go blind.”
- Does Gandhi think that violence is an appropriate solution for resolving conflict? Explain your reasoning.
- Where does an “eye for an eye” come from? Why do you think Gandhi would use this allusion?
From Talib Kweli
Promise I’ll always love ya, I love to kiss and hug ya
You and your brother should be looking out for one another
I’m so blessed, man, ya’ll the reason I got up
Somebody put his hands on you I’m getting locked up
- Does Talib Kweli think that violence is an appropriate solution for resolving conflict? Support with evidence from the text.
- Does someone messing with a loved one or family member change your attitude on whether to respond with violence or not? Explain your reasoning.
- From the four passages that you’ve read, rank them from least violent to most violent.
DOES MONEY BUY HAPPINESS?
I got money, fresh start money
I want Saudi money, I want art money…
Dreams money can buy
They told me it’s like a high, and it wasn’t a lie
- What is Drake’s point of view about money? Support with evidence from the text.
- What is the difference between “fresh start money” and “Saudi money”?
- What does Drake mean when he says “they told me it’s like a high”?
From Lauryn Hill
You can get the money
You can get the power
But keep your eyes on the Final Hour
I’m about to change the focus from the richest to the brokest
I wrote this opus, to reverse the hypnosis
Whoever’s closest to the line’s gonna win it
You gonna fall trying to ball while my team win the pennant
- What is Lauryn Hill’s view about money? Support with evidence from the text.
- What does she mean by the “Final Hour”?
- What does the last line mean?
From the Journal of Consumer Psychology
“Why doesn’t a whole lot more money make us a whole lot more happy? One answer is that the things that bring happiness simply aren’t for sale. This sentiment is lovely, popular, and almost certainly wrong. Money allows people to live longer and healthier lives, to buffer themselves against worry and harm, to have leisure time to spend with friends and family, and to control the nature of their daily activities--all of which are sources of happiness. Wealthy people don’t just have better toys; they have better nutrition and better medical care, more free time, and more meaningful labor--more of just about every ingredient in the recipe for a happy life. And yet, they aren’t that much happier than those who have less. If money can buy happiness, then why doesn’t it?
- What is the author’s view about money? Support with evidence from the text.
- “The best things in life are free.” Does the author agree with this? Support with evidence from the text.
- What do you think the author believes is the key to happiness? Explain your reasoning.
From Jesus...Luke 6:20-21
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”
- What is Jesus’ view about money? Explain your answer.
- What do YOU think Jesus thought about rich people? Explain your reasoning.
- Do YOU think money buys happiness? Explain in a paragraph.
HOW DOES LANGUAGE GIVE PEOPLE POWER?
From the song “Ebonics” by Big L
Jealous is jelly, your food box is your belly
To guerilla means to use physical force
You took an L, you took a loss
To show off mean floss
I know you like the way I’m freaking it
I talk with slang and I’ma never stop speaking it
- Who is the intended audience of this song? Explain.
- What is the author’s tone of this song?
- What could be a negative consequence of using slang?
- What could be a positive consequence of using slang?
From Todd Boyd
“Hip-hop is inherently political, the language is political. It uses language as a weapon--not a weapon to violate or not a weapon to offend, but a weapon that pushes the envelope, that provokes people, makes people think.”
- What does the phrase “pushes the envelope” mean?
- When they author says hip-hop “uses language as a weapon” what does he mean?
- Do you agree that hip-hop artists don’t try and offend with their lyrics? Explain your answer.
“I think hip-hop has done more for racial relations than most cultural icons...You see it all the time. Go to any club. People are intermingling, hanging out, having fun, enjoying the same music. Everywhere you go, people are listening to hip-hop and partying together. Hip-hop has done that.
- What is the author’s attitude towards hip-hop? Explain with textual evidence.
- Who is the intended audience of this passage from Jay-Z?
- Do you agree that hip-hop has done positive things for racial relations? Explain your answer.
WHEN IT COMES TO CULTURE...ARE WE ALWAYS FAIR??
From the song “My Land” by Litefoot
Now I’m a make it all fair again
If you ain’t a Indian, fool, then you really ain’t American
The cavalry celebrated victory and glory
I read it! It’s history! Nah, it’s his story
Picture a beautiful country with green trees
Living in peace--you see thousands of teepees
Living off the land and our own laws
No presidents, deficit, or government flaws
But now our people are living in poverty
And they taught us a word they call property
- What is the author’s tone in this song? Explain with textual evidence.
- What is the author’s attitude towards the Native American culture? Explain with textual evidence.
- What is the author’s attitude towards the U.S. government? Explain with textual evidence.
From Malcom X:
“We’re not Americans, we’re Africans who happen to be in America. We were kidnapped and brought here against our will from Africa. We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock--that rock landed on us.”
- What is the author’s tone? Explain your answer.
- Why do you think Malcolm X felt this way? Explain your answer.
- Who do you think his intended audience was?
From the song “Prayers in a Song” by Tall Paul
Inner-city Native raised by bright lights, skyscrapers
Born with dim prospects, little peace in living
As a child, hot-headed bout’ the fact I wasn’t wild
Like they called my ancestors, imagined what it’d be
To live nomadic off the land and free
Instead I was full of heat like a furnace ‘cuz I wasn’t furnished
With language and traditional ways of my peeps
- What culture does the author feel like he’s missed? Explain with textual evidence.
- What does the second line mean?
- In your own words, what kind of child was the author? Explain with textual evidence.
- How does the author use the language in this song to establish a point? Explain.