Most of the course work in the class is derived from research on a Black American person, chosen at the beginning of the year, who we thought made a significant impact during the Black American Civil Rights Movement. “No pressure,” I quote from our dear professor.
Essay Draft 1 – The Influence of the Notable
Essay 1 – Racial Supremacy
I chose Jackie Robinson as the person to study in depth, because when I was a child I had a weight problem. I was around seventy pounds overweight, which led me to think of velocity as a unique and very desirable skill. Consequently, when our advanced class held at El Colegio Vasco de Quiroga in Michoacan, Mexico, first learned of Jackie Robinson and the amazing things he did as baseball player in the United States, I was intrigued. As we learned more about this figure from the States, I grew more interested by this player’s consistency to prove he was as capable to compete in any sport like his fellow white teammates. Robinson soon became an idol of mine. He was a great influence to me as a child in that he believed we are all equally competent regardless of anything, in my case weight. Every time I saw one of his pictures or read about what he had done as a baseball player, I could feel as if it was me running, making the double play, touchdown, or scoring the winning point for my team. I chose Robinson because he did what no one could, even when no one believed in him.
My research process was rather extensive with not as many results I had hoped for. At first, the process was frustrating since the majority of information and articles I could find were about Robinson’s baseball player career. However, afterwards I thought that it would be easier to find a book that focused specifically on Robinson’s post-baseball career, and had the brilliant idea of interviewing my boss for whom I had been doing an internship. My boss, Dr. Jim Garcia, aided in the process by helping me to refine my opinion on Robinson. He explained society’s view of Robinson at the time and the perception of him today. It was very fun to learn more since I had already some basic knowledge about Robinson. However, I had no idea of what he had done after his baseball career and was not aware of how smart and highly educated he was. I enjoyed learning about this idol of mine and seeing how, once more he proved to me that every human has a great potential, regardless of color. I learned that Jackie Robinson was busy sending and receiving correspondence when examining the book The Civil Letters of Jackie Robinson. I had no idea that Robinson was such an active and well-thought writer. I was stunned when I saw the deep thought that Jackie had put in each letter. As a result, my thesis changed several times since at first I was not that well informed of Jackie Robinson’s life, which led me to invest the time to watch a documentary about him. After I understood his struggles, I was far more comprehending of his hunger for racial equality and it was far easier to distinguish Robinson dedication post-baseball life, to make sure that racial inequality was heard of and acknowledged by politicians as well as the public. Robinson’s post-baseball career was much more integrated towards speaking up against injustices, contrary to his career in Major League Baseball in which he had to take insults. Otherwise he would risk the career in which he was making history. The process of doing this essay helped me engage in and value a respectful and free exchange of ideas. It made me demonstrate effective critical thinking and learn essential reading skills of college-level texts by having me read a variety of content rich articles. While revising drafts, I learned to make appropriate and effective rhetorical choices within specific writing situations during multiple stages of the writing process, including: invention, drafting, revising, and editing. I also learned to employ appropriate methods of development and support within their written arguments, engage in an effective research process, demonstrate effective use of quality resources and accurately and consistently cite sources using appropriate documentation style(s) in accordance with a documentation handbook, effectively employ and critically analyze the accepted conventions and formatting of academic writing. During the process of writing this essay I learned how easy it is to have more than one idea on a topic and how easy it is to get off track in wanting to express those ideas. I also learned,thanks to our amazing honors librarian, that when researching a person it is much easier to look for a biography or a bibliography and then research specific events on the persons life, which will be very helpful to me in the future, since this method allows for faster, more productive research rather than looking up a person.
The process was really fun, since like gossiping in a way one can really see at how a person was seen at the time. My biggest success, I believe, was to understand how different people had different views on Jackie Robinson for many different, often personal reasons, which made me very happy since I could now prove that Robinson was important for different reasons at different levels. I did however fail to find much if any information on some of Robinson’s recipients. When researching I tried to engage most of the biggest, most noticeable minorities, wishing to have a complete argument which shows the importance of Robinson’s influence among different groups Therefore I not only looked into what Black Americans were saying, but on what Black Muslims and not only on what, dominantly, the white culture thought, but some oppressed white minorities as well. I learned that many of the leaders admired and thanked Robinson for his contribution to the Black American civil rights movement, but also that there were many that saw him as a potential danger to the future of the very people he was trying lift, since he was really politically involved yet had no real understanding on how many of them worked. I learned that Jackie Robinson was very good at using his recognition as a weapon to those that he saw as a treat to his cause. When considering the publication source, author, and audience I felt as I understood the motivation on why the sources published the work, the author’s reasons for writing in the way and side they favored, and when I thought about the audience it really helped me think of why they were writing in a certain way in addition to understanding some terms and having a richer context of the situation. In addition to that, when paying careful attention to language/rhetorical choices I learned that sometimes the author was making some side commentaries that not everyone understood. This led me to fully get the authors argument, which in some cases meant the complete opposite when not paying as much attention I felt as if the course goals that worked on meeting the most during this assignment were to identify differences in rhetorical strategies and systems and consider why these differences exist, develop an understanding of the features and uses of Black American rhetoric and examine the social, historical, cultural, economic, and legal framework of rhetorical systems, since I was asked to examine at Black American rhetoric, look into a specify year of event that fitted my contact zone and describe how they affected the influential effect Robinson had on Black American history. This will be of great benefit to my research process. I learned that when researching the sources and authors one can very easily describe the reasons on why they write a certain way and write certain things in addition to that one can also infer an audience which will then tell one how to think in terms of perspective and experience.
Essay 2.0 – The Minority Influence: Infringing the Dominant Culture
I chose Jackie Robinson in 1963, because he succeeded doing something, which I am currently trying to accomplish. Like Jackie Robinson I am in a space in which Latinos, are not seemed as important, but by constantly proving how I can do just as much as any other person. I feel as if this space is not for me and in many of my classes I have to pay extra attention, since I feel I am not the intended audience in the lecture or assignment. Jackie Robinson went through all of this and proved to all the folks in the dominant culture wrong when he influenced not only the dominant culture but also the other minority culture to recognize his importance even if he was a minority. My research process like the first, extensive with not as many results I had hoped for, which at first discouraged me. However, I later, with the help of the most amazing librarian, Jen, found a book that had dated letters from and to Robinson. I was elated to learn what people from groups in the contact zone were saying about and to Jackie Robinson. This was in my opinion like gossip, but from a wide variety of angles, which again, in my opinion, was like a trip to Disneyland. My thesis was to be about the contact zone and Robinson and I was very familiar with system oppression, since I am researching the topic to form and teach a middle school. The point being, that I want to teach the kids how to approach academia in their own culture. I want to teach them that like Robinson they can infiltrate and change the system in which oppressors in the dominant culture are the ones in charge. Robinson made changes for the better of the Black American community everywhere he went, but by influencing other groups he changed the view, at least and greatly contributed to teach folks about the Black American experience in the 1960s. When writing this essay I once more worked on the respectful and free exchange of ideas, demonstrate effective critical thinking and reading skills of college-level texts by having me read a variety of text to which most referred to certain with an inference of an already built background on the topic, make appropriate and effective rhetorical choices within specific, writing situations during multiple stages of the writing process, including: invention, drafting, revising, and editing, employ appropriate methods of development and support within their written arguments, engage in an effective research process, demonstrate effective use of quality resources and accurately and consistently cite sources using appropriate documentation style(s) in accordance with a documentation handbook, effectively employ and critically analyze the accepted conventions and formatting of academic writing. I will certainly keep working on my researching skills, since I learned that although I am good at identifying good sources my researching skills are very modest. I also learned that when I write about topics that I am so emerged in, I tend to lose track of time and stop not at page nine or ten but until I have explained enough so that all folks, regardless of group can understand.