Sunday, February 22, 2015

on returning (BAL Blog Post #5)

i am not ready to return, but life happens, even when you're not prepared.  as i spend precious hours with both kids asleep planning (instead of sleeping), i know that everything is going to be okay.  i have memorized the curve of her cheeks, her smile will be illuminated throughout my day, his curls and his curiosity will follow me back to work.  they will be well-loved and taken care of, and i will go back to my routine of splitting my time between my separate selves: NY/NJ, work/home, personal/professional, teacher/mother, listener/writer, feminist/wife.  i live my life in transit between two halves, and i have made a career out of tight-rope walking between identities.

we are reading a really difficult piece this week - and i want to start by telling you that, because it will be rough at first.  there will be words you don't understand, dictionaries to consult, annotations may be mostly questions, there will be things we have to stop and discuss.  however, i think it's worth it to read this piece, because it sets a historical framework to what we're experiencing today - from stop and frisk, to the racial tension with police in NYC, in Ferguson, in Detroit, Chicago and Baltimore, from school-to-prison pipeline to stereotypes about race and culture.

i am stepping back a bit in history because i am also searching for answers.  as i comb the news and see race-related stories of violence and prejudice almost everyday, as i see the inequality that still exists in our society, i often wonder if slavery is really over.  has it ever been over?  do we know what a world could look like without people trying to gain power over one another?  i often think about laws as necessary to keep peace and order, but as i re-read this essay, i've been wondering, what if the laws are the problem, and not a solution to the problem?  it seems like the laws keep changing, but the inequality that exists in our society remains the same.  does changing the law ever change how people think or act?  or do we change how we act by our own choices?  or something in between?   again, i have more questions than i do answers.

here are the questions we will think about as we read (PRE-READ the questions, remember PUKE?) this excerpt from Michelle Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow.

1. Can legislature (or laws) change how people act?  Why or why not?
2. What were the purpose of Jim Crow laws?  How were they different from slavery?
3. What were "black codes"?  How were they used after slavery was over?
4. What are two examples of positive achievements of the Reconstruction Era?
5.  Is this essay an example of informational writing?  Why or why not?

i'm curious to know how your thinking has changed in these few months since we've been examining literature and current events in America.  your response below can address question #1, or you can also respond with your prior knowledge or inference about what Jim Crow laws are, or you can choose another topic for your response.  we will also be looking at adopting a government structure in our 2nd semester classroom, so you can also tell me what you think about that!  how do you think the government should function in our classroom?

i may not be ready, but here i am!  are you ready for what's next in ELA?

xo
Ms. Lauren

19 comments:

Briana S. said...

Yes, legislature can change the way people act because most people are afraid of what the world may think of them based on laws and they don't want to go to jail. Because of this they do the right thing based on the laws and they are often in a strict situation to act a certain way because it's mainly and always the right thing to do.

Derrick RICHARD said...

Yes they can change laws just the way people act because they can and they can become more good. For example in the whiskey rebellion in the 1800 people was protesting on the tax of whiskey and Thomas Jefferson and John Adams agree to make a new law act so they people can act good and not violent. It can make a community more better.

Weldy G. said...

Usually when I hear a new topic being brought to class, I somehow somewhere have heard about the topic. However, when concerns United States detailed history, for example specifics history events, most of them are new to me. Anyways, I don't know much about the Jim Crow's laws. AND, concerning the way the government classroom I think that there should be more discussion with the class as a whole so we can hear what each other has to say. So when can agree or disagree, certainly sharing the spotlight across the classroom.

alice said...

I personally think that slavery never really stopped it was just fit in a sort law to make believe that it stopped but again we have to stop and think about what's been going on. Mike Brown shooting, Eric Garner the law was made to end slavery but it was also made to be against those whom been slaved.
_Alice

Anonymous said...

In these past few weeks I don't think I would notice if my thinking process drastically changed or not. What I did realize which affected the way I view things is the discussion of racism. I learned that there are different types of racism, and have acknowledged these types and it has changed the way I viewed certain things.
I feel that laws can change the way certain people act to a certain limit. If there is a law that stops people from drinking water, then many will have to eventually stop, but that does not mean they will not try to drink the water. The law only works to a certain extent, because the government makes the law, but only the people can carry it out.
-Janee

Anonymous said...

Devin natera says...
Laws can change people because they take away peoples freedom and rights.

Linda. O said...

I think that legislator change the way people act because they make laws, and certain people feel that some laws aren't really useful so they go against it by protesting about it.L

alice said...

Everybody blames the law, the people in power etc am not saying that they aren't to be blamed, because this generation have this idea of light being prettier in other words superior, so before everybody starts to blame the law, let's ask ourselves how many times we thought of lightness in race aspect, color etc being superior. Society has it's mind and the law has another just similar. Slavery not only live in in the law or Caucasian, but also the Black/ Minority. Like we all know racism, stereotyping and discriminating is all part of the slavery. So even if the law was to change, a part of slaver will still be alive.
-alice

lolosita said...

Very interesting thoughts so far, guys. It's so good to be back. I hear what Briana and Derrick are saying, that we can change the laws and people will act accordingly, but I also have seen many examples of the laws changing, but people's actions not changing. I guess I also want to know, if people change how they act, do they also change their perspective/how they think? I think a lot of people may act or say something to be perceived in a positive way, but really feel differently in the privacy of their home or inner circles of friends. Janee, I think this is what you were getting at. For example, "I'm not racist" (said by every white person ever), followed by racist and ignorant comments when they think they're "safe" (in all white spaces). Weldy, we'll learn more about Jim Crow and the government tomorrow! :) Alice, I think the laws changed to fit the times, but slavery is still alive and well today. :( Guys, remind me to go back to Jay Smooth and the 4 kinds of racism, so we can use that framework as we analyze. Linda and Devin, please elaborate, with examples. Thanks for responding, everyone. -Ms. Lauren

kevin paredes said...




1.I believe laws cannot change how a person thinks it only changes what happens to the person if they break a law. For example the law that a person cannot smoke weed many people still do it it dose not change how they think.

2.Jim crow laws were made for the separation of African Americans and whites. In that time era many whites disliked the idea of being in a closed public location with an African american. Because of this the Jim crow laws were created to separate them this had many similarity to slavery in slavery blacks and whites were already separated.


Anonymous said...

Devin Natera says.... I think that the Jim Crow lawas were law to restrict the freeedom of Africian Americians. These laws segregated Blacks and Whites from each other not just within school but also out in Public.

Anonymous said...

Xavian said...

Legislature or laws can change how people act because people might not want to be in trouble so they will follow the laws. The purpose of Jim Crow laws were to segregate or isolate African Americans from white Americans. They were different from slavery because during slavery whites and blacks were interacting and with the Jim Crow laws they weren't.

Anonymous said...

i have been separated from many people in my life. 50% of them either turned on me and we are not friends anymore, or we just dont speak at all. I think makes a good speech is the way you say it and how you persuade them to like what your talking about. The speeches were powerful because of the words they used to persuade the people who watched it.

Christopher E. said...

Legislature is a state's internal decision-making organization that chose laws that affect people on a positive or negative way . Government structure in our 2nd semester classroom would be a good way of experiencing new leadership,how a student could help the teacher and other students to do work or help them when help is needed. This could some of the problem we have in class by the power of the class no only one person going to have it (Teacher) it would be separated(students so it would be more organize for the teacher and students. This would help us experienced how a election work.

Gloria García said...

Laws simply CANNOT change the way people think because that's their belief and it cannot change their actions because if they see it as forbidden it will motivate them more to do it. In the United States, the Jim Crow Laws were created to enforce racial segregation, it included laws that would prevent African Americans from doing certain things that a white person could do.

William B said...


The purpose of the Jim Crow laws was to keep blacks and whites separated from one another. Slavery was a white person owning an African American for labor such as cotton picking,growing crops,and being sold. These two acts are different from one another because in Jim Crow these are laws to keep blacks and whites separated from each other and slavery is one person being owned by another person.

Anonymous said...

Luz Al. said,
My last impression for this class that I will take in the future is that everything has a pattern and there is a reason for everything you may not see it but it may be there even if it is years or a lot of time behind there is a reason and a connection to everything.

Jesus Jimenez said...

Jesus Jimenez said ............

I feel like Jim crow laws left the government along time ago but i didn't leave people minds, meaning that people, black people still think that they are inferior to white people. Only some black people tho. Ummmmm what im going to do as vice president is work relentlessly to amke the class easy but fun at the same time and work with the president which is janee and how i feel about the class government is that is a smart idea and i love it and i feel like it will make our students participate and be excited for class. I think the government in the class should function in a democracy so letting the students have a voice !

Unknown said...

i think slavery did stop because its not like mothers get taken away from there babies after breastfeeding anymore. i think certain laws are meant to be respected but other might be absurd to other people.Some cops abuse the power they have to much and its not right because everybody should be treated equally.