1.8 Significant Connections:

The effect stereotyping has on individuals. Everybody thinks that equality comes from identifying people, and thats not where quality comes from. Equality comes from treating everybody the same regardless of who they are. Living in a world where us as humans choose to believe what labels say about a certain person.

The song changes written and sung by Tupac Shakur, as an outsider of the ‘black’ perspective, most readers of this text (or listeners) would struggle to understand how the colour of your skin can effect your everyday life. The song changes explains deep emotion of the writer and what he believed life was like growing up in the world being a ‘black’ person. Throughout reading/listening to this text the reader will develop a sense of understanding towards how being black affected whatever they chose to do, good or bad. An example of this is a quote in this song where Tupac states that “I see no changes, all I see is racist faces misplaced hate makes disgrace to the races.” When Tupac wrote this line of his song, its as if he was making a statement, trying to get out to the world that nobody is doing anything to help the fact that every black person is bad, or poor or is in a gang, he wants to break the stereotypes and stop the war between white and black. As a reader, when I hear and read these song lyrics, it tells a story, a story of what I have not experienced, a story of whom black people struggle with everyday.

Another important quote to address in the song changes, is “Im tired of being poor, and even worse im black.” As a reader of this sentence Instantly It goes straight back to the ‘black’ stereotype, as soon as a black baby is born they go into a box, a box where they are instantly called horrible person for what SOME people of the same skin colour have chosen to do. A baby didn’t come out of its mothers womb saying “hey everybody im black”, he was taught to be black, and we were all taught to call him that, along with whatever else we call ourselves. They are just LABELS!” And by this statement it links in to what the message was behind Tupac’s song changes. Changes teaches the reader about how society has put certain skin colours in a stereotypical box, that we all look down on if we are not that skin colour, as Tupac stated, we need to see changes.

Freedom writers. (movie) Written by Richard LaGravenese shows that even if you are ‘black’ you can still achieve great things, you don’t need to keep the stereotypes going. You CAN and WILL do great things in your life.

This was shown to the viewers when teacher Erin Gruwell shows a massive interest in her students lives. Mostly black, growing up, in and around gang violence and a war of who owned the ‘streets’, nobody even knew how it started, it was always just there. An example of this is when This was shown to the viewers when teacher Erin Gruwell shows a massive interest in her students lives. (Mostly black), growing up, in and around gang violence and a war of who owned the ‘streets’, nobody even knew how it started, it was always just there. An example of this is when student Eva goes to visit her farther of whom has been locked up since she was a young girl, he quotes “You got to take your victories when you can, because you are going to loose another day.” In the movie, this was when Eva came to a realisation that she didn’t need to follow the previous stereotypes, and with help of her teacher Ms Gruwell coaching her that life wasn’t always about following what you’ve been taught to know. Erin taught her students that if they believe in themselves, then they will go far in life without giving up. Eva went against the stereotypes to prove a point, to break the cycle, This teaches the reader that you should always do what you have to do if it is the right thing to do no matter what happens.

Another good example to support this statement is when Erin states “that you shouldn’t let the actions of a few determine the way you feel about an entire group.” In this case, this statement structures a good understanding for ‘black’ and any other raced stereotyping. The movie Freedom Writers is much like Changes by Tupac Shakur because of the relation between the people in both texts. With Freedom writers it was/is that the students came together to break the cycle of stereotyping, and like Tupac did. They both made a change to the way they saw life, they didn’t let being ‘black’ effect the choices they made anymore, The effects stereotyping has on individuals can have an end result of good or bad. It takes something bad to happen to realise what the good is in it, and this is what us as readers need to take away from both of these texts, they teach us that stereotyping is never going to fully stop. But we can all develop skills to help us push through, like Erin Gruwell taught her students to not be a sheep, to be their own person and never let that go.

Same Love (song) written and sung by Macklemore, shows that no matter what or who you love, no matter what colour or culture they are you are allowed to love and love deeply, the world that we live in can not tell you that you can’t!

They way Macklemore chose to express his feelings on paper toward the ‘gay’ stereotype, really does have a huge impact on all the readers/listeners who heard it. Same Love, was the first rap song to be about ‘gay’ stereotypes. A quote from this song is when Macklemore states a question “Have you read the youtube comments lately?!, ‘Man thats gay’ gets dropped  on the daily we’ve become so numb to what we’re saying.” This quote relates back to the topic of stereotypes, and how they effect people who are classified under one of them. An example of this is within that quote, Macklemore mentions about the gay stereotype getting used in a different way, in an offensive manor and how society has gotten so used to saying it in that way, that we don’t think about how much it can effect the person that it is actually about. Stereotypes can kill! this is not an understatement, many people who can’t change who or what they are fall into the line of depression, which is a serious illness that will lead to suicide if not dealt with or fixed properly. 

Another important quote to address within this song, is when Macklemore quotes “A world so hateful, some would rather die than be who they are.” As a reader of this quote, this comes under the bar as being ‘strong emotive language’ if someone read this line it could easily be a reminder of their past, future or present, (something that is happening now) it shows to the audience how judgemental our world/society is, that we can’t let love, work or do something because of their culture or skin colour. One of the main reasons why the quotes Macklemore has used in his song Same Love has an effect on he individuals whom are under the gay ‘stereotype’ or not (in a good way) is because of how strong of a point he follows with, how Macklemore knows what is wrong, and how he wants people to know that they have to change they way they/we address every situation. This is how “Same Love” is like “Changes”, because Macklemore wants everyone to know that tey/we should see a huge change in the made up stereotypes and labels of todays society, they both connect together because of how both artists state that there needs to be something new, that our world needs to pick up its game and make sure everyone feels as if they belong, because nobody is different, and everybody has something to share with the rest of the world.  

We Real Cool. (poem) written by Gwendolyn Brooks We real cool, we left school, we lurk late, we strike straight, we sing sin, we thin gin, we jazz June, we die soon.

We Real cool is a poem about a teengage gang, the tone that is set for when reading this poem is defiance against all odds, its stubborness. This is a group of outsiders who would choose pool over school, they would rather drop out than do study, and late alcoholic nights on the streets. (these people are black) the first quote relating to this text is stereotypically- “Im a drop out, I hate science, maths, english, love p.e, music, dance and drama. I will probably never graduate, and if I do then I will be the first. I will always blame the governtment and everyone around me… but never myself because I am brown, and whenever someone trys to breach my comfort zone, or whenever I dont have anything else to say in defense in an argument, im just gonna say… You’re racist! That your words are a mockery to my skin tone.” This quote written by a 16 year old boy named Joshua Losefo, he was trying to prove to his audience that whatever the other stereotypes are in the world, we can’t always define them. This relates to this poem because the gang of teenagers want to define society, they feel as if the don’t belong because of their skin colour, because they don’t believe they have to work for what they want.

Another quotation which links to We Real Cool is “when you let an artifical label define yourself, then my friend you have chosen smallness over greatness, and minimized yourself.” This quote relates to We Real Cool because of the poem being about ‘black’ teenagers who are going against society because of the label this world has given them. Who would you be if the world never gave you a label? The teenagers in this poem represent an excellent example for this statement in this poem, this also links back to the overall statement ‘the effects stereotyping has on indivduals’ In this case, stereotypes had a bad effect on the teenagers that this poem was about. There is a connection with this text (which works oppositly) to “Changes” by Tupac because the teenagers did not want to change themselves for the better. Instead they brought out they stereotype that had once been created because of someone (like them) who had once done something bad. These teenagers didn’t feel a need to change they way they were because of how they were brought up in this world believing that because they are placed under a stereotype, or a label, then they are allowed to defy what was said.

Throughout the overall statement the effects stereotyping has on individuals, the four texts show us (as readers) that in this world, there are always going to be different stereotypes, and peoples opinions/generalisations but as the people in the majority of the texts above, but we are always able to get through it, and stop letting things that happened in the past effect their/our choices of what happens in our lives today. It shows the readers that if you want to see something change or if you want to do something you can do it, it helps us understand that the people under these specific stereotypes have been through a lot being able to explain their stories through a movie, writing a song or even a book. These people all have courage. These people are strong willed and know why they were put on this earth. This is what they have in common, this is why I have chosen to connect them together, they had something to say and it was published in the correct way, through fame. These people show us that its important to make the most of every memory because they didn’t know in their life when there was going to be another good or even bad one.

Finally don’t be defined by the ‘label’ you have been stereotypically placed under, we are all better than that, and it is an undeniable fact that where there is division there will be conflict, and conflict starts wars therefore, every war has started over the use of labels, its always US vs THEM so the answer to war, sexisim, racisim and every other ism is so simple that every politition has missed it. Its the labels.

Truth is, the ultimate power. When the truth comes around, all the lies have to run and hide. The texts above all have very powerful messages on the effects stereotyping has on individuals and how all these individuals have explained it in their own way that connects these stories together. It is power. And power teaches people a stronger message then words ever will.

Who would you be if the world never gave you a label?

By Ruby Armstrong

One Reply to “1.8 Significant Connections:”

  1. Ruby, some of your final statements about what the reader/viewer learns from sections of the text are very good. However, make sure that you revisit your core themes of “The effect stereotyping has on individuals” and “Equality comes from treating everybody the same regardless of who they are” throughout your points on the texts – Revisiting these themes will focus your essay.

    Also, watch any generalisations; keep your discussion specific to your textual evidence and prove what this evidence says.

    Lastly, when making your connections be specific to moments in the texts. I see that you have some quotations but you have not stated when these appear in the texts.
    * Please speak with me in class if you have any questions about these comments.

Respond now!