This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Johnny Cash: The Man In Black

2541 words - 10 pages

Most of us know of Johnny Cash, the Man in Black. But do we truly know who he is, the legend in the darkness? Not many are able to answer with a solid yes. Some can say he was a great country performer, being completely unaware of how his music, as well as his image, had a tremendous impact on their own lives, including the music they listen to. Johnny Cash was an influential person in American history because his “Man in Black” image helped solidify his place as a music writer and performer, he was able to rebound from the depths of drug addiction, and he pioneered many different genres of music although he was a country singer.
Johnny Cash’s main reason why he and his band wore black is quite laughable. Of all the clothing options they had, black was the only common color. It also became a well-known stage standard once the song, “Man in Black,” became extremely popular in 1971. Wearing black, to Cash, is a method of conveying a message, a sign. This message was for the weak, the downtrodden, the sick, the hopeless, the lonely, and those that just deserve more in life. Was it hope? Only Cash would know. Unfortunately, the message was stolen by the powerful clutch of Death.
Johnny Cash’s household image in the United States, and eventually, the world, was that of an outlaw, a criminal. This is a very common misconception about Cash’s life. Interestingly, he never served a prison sentence. Additionally, as well as ironically, most of Cash’s fan mail came from those in prison. His seven one-night stays in jail lasted only that, one night at a time. Rumors about Johnny actually doing time were simply rumors. Another example that works against Johnny’s image is his songwriting. The song “Folsom Prison Blues,” for example, has lines stating Cash shot a man only to watch him die, but this is purely imaginative, not biographical.
From the 1980’s to today, there has been a reputation with hard rock bands, like Mötley Crüe, and hotels. These reputations aren’t what most would call pleasant. Cash is linked to the beginning of such tomfoolery, and therefore blames himself:
I’ve done no direct physical violence to people, but I certainly hurt many of them, particularly those closest to me, and I was hard on things. I kicked them, I punched them, I smashed them, I chopped them, I shot them, I stuck them with my bowie knife. When I got high I didn’t care. If I wanted to let out some of my rage, I just did it. The value of whatever I destroyed, the money it cost, or its meaning to whoever owned it or used it didn’t matter one bit to me, such was the depth of my selfishness. All it cost to me was cash (if that) hands off. Somebody else, usually Marshall Grant, had to actually face the people and do the paying… … It’s disturbing, too, to confront the fact that, in many eyes, the kind of motel vandalism I pioneered is now a kind of totem of rock and roll rebellion, a harmless and even admirable mixture of youthful exuberance and contempt for convention....

Find Another Essay On Johnny Cash: The Man in Black

Casting Judgment in “Big Black Good Man”

865 words - 3 pages Riggins 4Lisa N RigginsLakeya JenkinsEnglish 102-0228 September 2014Casting Judgment in "Big Black Good Man"In our everyday lives, we as normal human beings cast judgment upon someone without even realizing we are doing so. In most cases we do this without even knowing anything about the person or people we are judging. Richard Wright's "Big Black Good Man" is a good example of this. The story takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark where there are

The Idea of the Hypersexual Black Male in the Invisible Man

698 words - 3 pages In the Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, the narrator’s view of women is generally pessimistic. His negative view of women is also reflected by women, specifically of Caucasian ethnicity. Their societal depiction of black men considers them to be hypersexual objects and incapable of anything else. Emma, Brother Hubert’s wife, and Sybil, are three women in particular who possess negative character flaws that allow the narrator to deem them

Johnny Carson in the 1970’s (Historical Context)

1095 words - 4 pages Johnny Carson is one of the most renowned performance artists of recent time, being one of the most recognized icons in the United States through his night talk show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. His fame was already present in the late 1960’s, but his peak of influence was during the early to mid 1970’s. This period of time was host to a lot of turmoil and change in the culture and views of the United States, which is reflected in

The Invisible Man as a Black American

1648 words - 7 pages Invisible Man Final Essay Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” focuses an African American living in Harlem, New York. The novelist does not name his protagonist for a couple of reasons. One reason is to show his confusion of personal identity and the other to show he is “invisible” to both himself and others. Thus he becomes every Black American who is in search of their own identity. He was a true representative of the black community in America

The Civilized and Self-Cultured Black Man

2789 words - 11 pages The Civilized and Self-Cultured Black Man In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself, Frederick Douglass faces the problem of detailing his transformation from slave to man in a manner which is acceptable to both his audience and his own authorial purpose. Douglass must walk the thin line between being powerful and being threatening to his white audience. He attempts to avoid becoming a threat by

Everlasting Memories of a Time Long Past "The Man in the Black Suit" by Stephen King

1214 words - 5 pages Temptations come in many different shapes, sizes, and forms. Giving into these temptations can have a lasting effect on the human mind. In “The Man in the Black Suit”, Stephen King used multiple literary devices to support his central idea, that once a man turns away from good and journeys into evil, that man will forever be impacted. King’s story started with an old man in a nursing home writing a journal about his childhood

The Devil And Tom Walker" By Washington Irving, And "The Man In The Black Suit" By Stephen King Comparison

781 words - 4 pages The Devil has been the subject of many stories, always represented as an evil being, a cursed creature that preys on the souls of humans. He is described in many different ways, just like the many forms he takes in many stories. Two famous stories that deal with this fearsome creature are "The Devil and Tom Walker" by Washington Irving, and "The Man in the Black Suit" by Stephen King. Both suggest that the Devil always pursue the human

The Woman In Black

1789 words - 7 pages the Play "The Woman in Black" in relation to Peter Brooks "The Empty Space". This essay will argue that The Woman in Black is a form of Holy theatre with hints of the deadly and the rough theatre.The Woman in Black is a play adapted from the book of the same name by Susan Hill. The interesting approach the play has, is that it looks incredible simplistic, for instance the set is an old theatre stage with a hamper a table and two old chairs as the

Mystery and Menace in Black Veil and Signal Man

1996 words - 8 pages If you are setting this submission as Premium, then please enter a short description of what the essay is trying to achieve. Word Count. Compare how Dickens creates a sense of mystery and menace in the ‘Black Veil’ and the ‘Signal Man’. Explain how he uses these theories to explore his theme? The opening of both stories are quite different. The Black Veil is written in the third person and The Signal man is written in the first

Essay on Race in Invisible Man and Black Boy

1162 words - 5 pages The Question of Race in Invisible Man and Black Boy      In the early twentieth century black American writers started employing modernist ways of argumentation to come up with possible answers to the race question. Two of the most outstanding figures of them on both, the literary and the political level, were Richard Wright, the "most important voice in black American literature for the first half of the twentieth century" (Norton, 548

        Thurgood Marshall was the first black man ever to be

1129 words - 5 pages . Marshall's father was the first black man to serve on a grand jury in Baltimore. Marshall was named after his grandfather, a former slave who changed his name to "Thoroughgood" upon joining the United States army during the Civil War. At the age of 16, Marshall graduated from an all black high school. He continued his education at Lincoln University in Chester, Pennsylvania. It was at this time in his life that Marshall first participated in the

Similar Essays

A Common Man: Johnny Cash Essay

1180 words - 5 pages see what it's like. Both times it was for pills, Dexedrine. Second time I woke up in a Georgia jail not knowing how I got there. Could've ended up on a chain gang, but the jailer was a fan of mine and he let me go.” (Johnny Cash – Biography). Johnny was always know for wearing black and was nick-named “The Man in Black”, which was also a title of one of his albums, which some attributed to his outlaw persona. But Johnny was known as saying that

The Man In The Black Suit

900 words - 4 pages , anyone, and that I can get some type of release before I pass. This is my story of my encounter with the man in the black suit, in the winter of 1935: A year before my encounter, my sister Faith and I were behind our house about a mile deep into the woods. We were playing hide and go seek, and iit was my turn to find her! I couldn’t find her anywhere and then thats when I saw the bush. It looked trampled so I ran to it, only to find my twelve

Young Goodman Brown Vs The Man In The Black Suit

728 words - 3 pages The stories "Young Goodman Brown" by Hawthorne and "The Man in the Black Suit" by King are very similar and touch upon many of the same key points in literature, including good versus evil and allegory. However, they do have their differences, which make each story unique and interesting. Both stories are allegorical and have the main theme of good versus evil. They also have prominent characters that help to project the images of the devil, and

The Theme Of Black Leadership In Invisible Man

579 words - 2 pages      Ralph Ellison's interest in effective black leadership is directly reflected in Invisible Man. The characterization of Bledsoe in the beginning of the story is that of a ruthlessly self-serving black leader (McSweeny). In chapter five, a "mythic model" for black leadership is outlined in the eulogy of the founder of the college, which is given by Homer A. Barbee (McSweeny). While Invisible Man is residing in the apartment of Mary Rambo