Desmond Marrow is a 30 year old ex-NFL athlete who was a victim of police brutality in early December of 2017. Recently he has come forward with the video of the assault he endured and has been rallying for justice against the Henry County Police Dept. as well as the officers who assaulted him. I saw the video for the first time a few days ago and I was honestly disgusted, in the video Desmond Marrow is clearly posing no threat to neither officers and his handcuffed with his hands behind his back. Despite him being restrained the officers still slam him head first into the concrete (apparently knocking some of his teeth out) and then one of the officers chokes him until he is unconscious. The police officers attempt to defend their handouts actions by saying they were under the assumption that Desmond Marrow had a gun, it turned out to be his cell phone. I am absolutely sick and tired of seeing black men like Desmond Marrow become targets for police brutality it’s a scary to think that simply because of how we look I can not trust “officers of the law” to protect me, my brother my cousins, my friends ect. Although its a damper on my day to have to scroll down my timeline and see things like this it is well needed reminder to me and everyone that sees it of the state that this country is in and social media is a great platform to spread awareness for injustices like these so we can get something done about it.
Cass community Social Services has kick started their plan to construct 25 “Tiny homes” on their 2.5 block plot of land on Detroit’s west side. This will be great for the city of Detroit because the idea behind the tiny homes project is to help Low income families or individuals specifically the homeless be able to afford to keep a roof over their heads. Cities across America have began to take the steps to develop tiny home districts for their low income communities. The difference in Detroit is it is the first city to do more then simply rent out the homes for a low price, they have set in place homeownership options. Having homeownership options allows for individuals to own these homes without a mortgage. In lieu of a mortgage tenants pay off the house month to month for the price of a dollar per square foot. This will give people with low income the ability to not only independently pay for their own home, but it will also provide them with the opportunity to acquire wealth and improve their current situation. in The City of Detroit black people make up 49% of the homeless population. This tiny homes project has the potential to drastically raise the economic standing of the black community in the city of Detroit.
Season 2 of the series “Dear White People” is now availible on netflix. Dear White People follows the experience of several different black students at a predominately white institution and how they navigate in the face of social injustice. It does an excellent job of exploring intersectionality, as it chronicles how different students adapt when their identities are challenged racially and sexually. The series dispels the notion of black monolithism, as it explores how black students with different backgrounds and experiences organize on campus, often conflicting with each other on the solutions they come up with to fight social injustice on campus. The series follows how the students relationships develop, and are tested by these concepts. The satire in the series will make you laugh, but will not take away from the severity of the issues it highlights. Dear White People is a must watch for anyone interested in seeing how identity and racism interact through multiple perspectives with a satirical twist.
Zora Neale Hurstom’s “Barraccoon: The Last of the African Cargo,” the story of Cudjo Lewis is told through his own words. Cudjo was believed to be the last African to be brought to the United States as a slave. Hurston began interviewing Cudjo in 1927. The book was never published due to the vernacular dialect it uses. Publishers wouldn’t except it. Hurston has used this approach in works such as “Their Eyes Were Watching god.” I remember reading TEWWG as a freshman in High School and disliking the use of vernacular in the book. It made for a rigid, difficult read. However, I did not have the knowledge and understanding that I do now, and believe that the use of vernacular is an authentic approach to story telling. It makes for more rewarding read, as it brings you closer to the story tellers and gives you an opportunity to learn from the dialect itself.
Another book I read in the class World History in the Year 1900 was A World History of Rubber: Empire, Industry, and the Everyday by Stephan L. Harp. It discussed the time period around the 1880s to the 1940s. I found this book interesting because it connected the struggles of people of color during the production of rubber in different parts of the world, from Sumatra, Indonesia to Akron, Ohio, through the study of a commodity. For example, it explains how plantation owners in Southeast Asia would call the workers of color “boy,” similar to what African Americans were called in America, thus emphasizing a power dynamic based on age and also on lack of manliness. These hierarchies were emphasized by the belief in scientific racism, that some races were naturally better than others.
When discussing Akron, also known as the Rubber City, the book discusses many of the things we discussed in class, like how African Americans migrated to the North for work, and how these power dynamics were complicated because in the North there were other immigrants that also got a lower status when seeking jobs. African Americans faced discrimination, as they were prevented from building tires until after World War II, and instead often worked in the mill room which had toxic fumes. They were also the first to be laid off and last to be rehired, and their lower pay reflected their status. The cafeterias were segregated and the Goodyear company featured minstrel shows. I admit these last points shock me a little, I think because usually when learning history it is emphasized to just blame the south for racism, which is highly problematic. The other reason it shocks me is because I know several of my (white) ancestors lived in Akron at the time, so it becomes a bit more real and personal than when reading about other places.
Harp’s organization of the book, putting it in sections like “race” or “gender” and then talking about various places in the world, reminds me of W.E.B Du Bois’ ideas on race, as he often discussed it from a global perspective. I would recommend this book if someone was interested in seeing the world through a commodity and have it focus on the global interactions. However, I think the book could use more substance and examples. The book does mention Wooster once, which was fun to read.