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

The Black Bruins Essay

1276 words - 6 pages

In November of 2013, there was a typical occurrence with an unusual subject matter. Simply put, a Youtube video went viral. In my generation, that’s a common enough occurrence; nothing to raise brows or start a controversy. But this was no ordinary viral video of cats playing the piano; for once, someone in our generation used his voice to talk about what matters. Sy Stokes, a black UCLA student, wrote and performed spoken word about the myth of individual merit the year after affirmative action was removed from the admission process. Stokes and the rest of the “Black Bruins” originally intended to reach the community of UCLA, but the video spanned worldwide and started a petition for ...view middle of the document...

He stands with a small number of black men behind him who hold up the statistics, and as the performance goes on their number creates an impact. The viewer realizes that they represent twenty-two percent of the black students in Stokes’ year, thirty-one percent of the black men who will graduate in his year. It’s easy for the viewer to get overwhelmed by the shocking statistics and ignore other important features in the performance that say more than any number on a chart.
The opening title could be missed the first time around, so I’ll call special attention to it now: “John Huggins and Bunchy Carter, UCLA students and members of the Black Panther Party, were assassinated inside Campbell Hall on January 17, 1969.” The slide was followed by an image of Campell Hall and a boulder with the student’s names engraved on it. This is an important visual for many reasons. First, slide with quote is black with white words. For once black is overwhelming white, which sends a message to the viewer before the piece even starts that the fact that they thought that font setup was odd proves his point. The second is that Campbell Hall stands untouched by the disaster that occurred there. The boulder that is meant to be a tribute to the students also doesn’t give a description of the horror. In fact, it doesn’t even put the students’ full names on it. It reads “Carter-Huggins 1969”. Stokes views this as the University’s attempt to sweep the disaster under the rug, so he calls attention to it.
Going along with the use of black and white in the opening, “The Black Bruins” also uses colored film as a visual aid. In the beginning of the piece, Stokes is reading straight-forward statistics and the film is shown in black and white. This not only reiterates the distinct segregation between races but also comes across in a face-value way. By that I mean that there is very little depth to a black and white photo. It calls to mind old things, boring things, and things that no longer matter. When Stokes begins his poetry, the screen fills with color. These thoughts are no longer statistics on a page; they’re living, breathing kids. It makes the viewer realize that these statistics represent actual human beings, not just black numbers on a white page. The use of color also alerts us to the fact that this is happening now. Not twenty years ago, or forty, but today.
Before I get to the second use of visual aid, I think the text itself needs to be looked at. Throughout his performance, Stokes makes a metaphor that set black students in opposition with white university students and faculty. The first...

Find Another Essay On The Black Bruins

Unwritten Black Heros Essay

3933 words - 16 pages . The Nation Track and Field Hall of Fame inducted Smith in 1978 and Carlos in 2003. Now here we are, 45 years later. About 3 weeks ago, Sy Stokes, an UCLA athlete caused a stir when he uploaded a spoken word video on YouTube titled “The Black Bruins.” In this video, Stokes, through poetry, discussed the concerns he had about being black student on campus when only 35 percent of them are predicted to walk across the stage. On the other hand, UCLA

History and Rules of Basketball Essay

3952 words - 16 pages the title 7 straight. The NBA began to change its rules to remove the Mikan factor, widening the three-second lane. ( George Gregory Jr. became the first black All-American basketball player at Columbia University in 1931, and William Garrett was the first African American player in the Big Ten Conference when he joined the Indiana Hoosiers in 1947. In 1948, Clarence Walker became the first

Racism in the Sports Pages

2854 words - 11 pages years after Jackie Robinson entered Major League Baseball. It took UCLA eight whole years to make a stand and put a black player in a position of leadership on their football team. The school missed the boat the first time around, as Jackie Robinson, himself, lettered in football for the Bruins. He was a star on the team as a running back and from all reports was a man of great character, yet was passed over when it came time to elect the

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages Introduction: Chemical equilibrium is a crucial topic in Chemistry. To represent and model equilibrium, the thermodynamic concept of Free energy is usually used. For a multi-component system the Gibbs free energy is a function of Pressure, Temperature and quantity (mass, moles) of each component. If one of these parameters is changed, a state change to a more energetically favorable state will occur. This state has the lowest free energy

Revolutionary Work of Art

1890 words - 8 pages Walter Benjamin emphasizes in his essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” that technology used to make an artwork has changed the way it was received, and its “aura”. Aura represents the originality and authenticity of a work of art that has not been reproduced. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is an example of a work that has been and truly a beacon of art. It has brought a benefit and enlightenment to the art

Enlightenment Thought in New Zealand Schools

1594 words - 6 pages In this essay I will be looking at how the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment have shaped New Zealand Education. I will also be discussing the perennial tension of local control versus central control of education, and how this has been affected by the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment. The enlightenment was an intellectual movement, which beginnings of were marked by the Glorious Revolution in Britain

Psychological Egoism Theory

2240 words - 9 pages The theory of psychological egoism is indeed plausible. The meaning of plausible in the context of this paper refers to the validity or the conceivability of the theory in question, to explain the nature and motivation of human behavior (Hinman, 2007). Human actions are motivated by the satisfaction obtained after completing a task that they are involved in. For example, Mother Teresa was satisfied by her benevolent actions and

How Celtic Folkore has Influenced My Family

1587 words - 6 pages Every family has a unique background that influences the way they live and interact with other people. My parents, who emigrated from Ireland to the States with my three brothers in 1989, brought over their own Celtic folklore and traditions that have helped shaped the way our family operates and lives. One aspect of folklore that has helped shape my family dynamic is the Celtic cross—both its background and what role it has played in our lives

Julia Margaret Cameron

1406 words - 6 pages lens just slightly out of focus hence the reason the soft edges of the figures in her images and the somewhat fuzzy appearance that would appear in the majority of her photography work. Cameron's Freshwater studio was carefully organized to allow a flexible and narrow stream of light. She used only a narrow stream of top and side illumination and diffused the remainder with white roller blinds (Cox 68). Cameron typically used black cloth to drape

Evaluation of School Improvement

1403 words - 6 pages The evaluation process should be progressive to incorporate overall planning, implement changes, which contribute to success. In order to focus on school climate and norms, the evaluation design must include the students, instructions, and outcomes to improve communication and building-level concerns to be address in this response. School Climate and Social Norms The school principal, other staff leaders, and personnel set the tone and the

Similar Essays

Affirmative Action Essay

641 words - 3 pages Recently Affirmative Action has garnered national attention with Sy Stokes “Black Bruins” video and the Michigan case, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, being in the Supreme Court. Since Slavery many Afrikans believed getting an education was key to liberation with in the Afrikan community. However In today society getting an education has become more complex. The system has become increasing competitive. This past year The

Jackie Robinson Essay

1761 words - 7 pages Throughout his professional career, Jackie Robinson, received criticism for being the first “black” player to play the game. Not only did Jackie Robinson manage to live up to the criticism, he also changed the face of America’s greatest past time forever. With his entrance into the MLB he opened the path for great black players like Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, and Ozzie Smith just to name a few. In crossing the color-barrier in

"Blackness Of Athletes" Essay

3480 words - 14 pages What does it mean to be a black athlete? 60 years ago, one would say that being a black athlete in a professional game dominated by whites was a blessing. "The athlete has proven himself worthy of crossing the color line."(KELVIN SIMS) In other words the ideology that they are a threat to white society is disappeared. This is not the same in today's society. A key issue in the neo-nationalization of the black Society is the creation of the sense

Alcohol Reflection Essay

1339 words - 5 pages are several risks associated with alcohol that can put me at a quarrel with death. Even so, drinking does not always need to be deadly, and by keeping in mind the well-being of my fellow bruins and the skills mentioned in the article, I can find a balance between drinking for fun and drinking till death. According to the article The Deadly Drinking Mistakes Smart Girls Make by Nicole Blades, there are several risks an individual runs when