Monday, March 09, 2009


Ghetto Bastard cyber-posts

Freewrite: Respond to #31 "Ghetto Bastard" by Felicia Pride in her book "The Message." Look at her reflection from a personal point-of-view (POV)and from Obama's POV expressed in Dreams. How does Obama miss the tragedy that is Treach (a character in the song)? How does Obama's mother and other women help him see faith and hope as something tangible? Cite page numbers or stanzas?

What is the point here?

My reflection:
I think Felicia Pride's thesis is in the last paragraph where she states: "We're all prefilled with the power we need to survive. Can you feel it?" And Naughty by Nature's protagonist echoes this point when he asks the question over and over again: "Why me huh?" It is as if the character wants to do better but seems stuck on a social treadmill and can't escape the curse, the mandate, the destiny, society dubbed him when he was born to a "mother who couldn't afford us all, [so] she had to throw me out with [the trash]."

I don't think the protagonist's mother, who says her son is "priceless" really throws him out, but perhaps she is emotionally unavailable and this is what makes her son angry because he is a child and can't manage life without her guidance.
Is everything really going to be all right for him? No, it is not when we meet him.

In the second stanza the protagonist seems to change; this person says being "priceless" means he can't afford a gun, that he is the one kid in the 'hood who is nice which translates as the one kid who doesn't eat. He is also the one kid who feels worthless, if value is the person who is feared and has showy of enviable possessions. Treach even feels suicidal and wishes he could afford a these ill conceived "treasures" as he keeps asking the same question: Why me, why me, why me?

As long as Treach can ask the question, the song seems to state that everything will eventually be all right. It might take a while but the kid in the story is thinking, he is reflecting on his life and his situation and even though he is emotional and angry about life and what it has offered him up to this point, there is a potential for change.

Treach is looking for answers inside himself because all the advice from people outside is useless. He states out of frustration: "If you ain't never been to the ghetto/ Don't ever come to the ghetto/ 'Cause you wouldn't understand the ghetto/ So stay the f-- out of the ghetto/ Why me, Why me".

His name,"Treach," which contains the words: reach and teach is not coincidental.

Obama, on the other hand, was born into a two-parent family which eventually became a single female head of household. He knows his father intellectually, if not emotionally right now in the book. His mother tells him about his father, he carries his name, he can speak to him on the phone and his father visits him.

Another important difference between Treach and Obama is that Obama was not born in the ghetto. Single parents with money and support from family do a lot better than those without. Obama was also born into white skin privilege by association--his mom and grandparents. His mother and grandparents shield him from the "two-word mandates" Pride mentions (81). Obama's Dreams speaks to the complexity Pride and Naughty identify in "Ghetto Bastard." This is his quest and this is why he writes the book.

At the end of the journey, when Obama identifies his "dream" even if he doesn't actually find it was the journey worth it? How many of us can capture a dream once we awaken?

When Obama's quest ends is everything all right? How is that so, how does he reconcile the pain and doubt and perhaps even anger at his father and American society?

Today in class
Students turned in their three paragraph freewrites to me to read. I read a couple. I'll return the others on Wednesday. Bring in Pidd and Dreams. Students turned in Essay 2(afternoon class). The morning class should bring their essays in for a peer review. We will be reviewing pages 108-126. We'll write an essay in class next week on Synthetica and begin Essay 3.

Read up to chapter 10-12 by Wednesday also pp. 248. We will look at key characters and do some analysis. Students who have not turned in Essay 1 have until tomorrow to get it in. Email me and call me to let me know you have sent it to me: Identify yourself in the subject line: Name, class, assignment. You can attach the essay so it doesn't loose it's formatting. Include an checklist.

Visit¤t=YouTube-NaughtybyNature-GhettoBasta.flv to see music video of Naughty by Nature performing "Ghetto Bastard."

Sabah Said
English 201B
Mon/Wed 10-12

Free Write: Responding to # 31 ghetto bastard by Felicia Pride’s the message. Look at it from a personal point of view and from Obama’s experience in “Dreams” and how his moth and other women help him see faith and hope as something tangible. Cite page #

It is more difficult for the child being fatherless. Even though “everything’s gonna be alright”, is used, that something I don’t agree with because it’s not true. You could support and comfort a person but saying that doesn’t do anything. That’s just something used to tell people to make them feel better. Obama was raised similar to how Felicia was. Obama struggled in his life without a father there all the time. Obama had his mother, and grandmother there to help him encourage help, if it wasn’t mainly for them he wouldn’t be where he is know Obama is a confident person with his mother and grandmother parent, support and love with school family, problems etc. pg number 75
Shaela Saunders
English 201A
Mon/Wed 10-12p

Obama and Treach's state were very different but similar at the same time. Obama was without a father figure throughout his life also. He longed for male interaction and attention and also advice. In Treach's world, it seems as though he wasn't given any hope from the beginning, "the infant is judged before ha can talk. His success in life is already concluded by outsiders." The Messages...(pg. 81)

Although Barack Obama had his mother and grandma in his life, he still missed out on the fatherly figure that he needed, and although his father was not there all the time, he still was able to percieve, progress, and transpire without him physically being ther.
Whitney Felton

obama does have the same problems as ghetto bastard due to the fact that he was also prejudged by others from the second he was born. Obama's mother and father were married but they were also different races; surely someone raised a few eye brows when they laid their eyes upon obama. To add to the melting pot, Barack was raised my his mother, thus adding another stereotype to his upbringing. Both him and ghetto child have problems that they have to face. Issues that only a father can solve in a fatherless world. It is unfortunate that there is a lack of understanding that the ghetto bastard is no different than the "standard" bastard; they both have ails and pains, all due to the abstance of their father.
Lauryn Helling
ENG 201B MW 1-250

In Felicia Prides' "Ghetto Bastard" she talks about the struggles of being a new-born and people around predicting the child's' future and making pre-conceived notions about them. the sad part about all of this the people are predicting the future solely based on the people that are present for the birth or the way the mother might look or what she does for a living.
In my opinion, I think it's very rude to say or assume something of that sort. The people talking are making a personal attack on a new-born who can barely open their eyes let alone defend themselves. Every family has their problems and stories to back it up, and the person talking should feel terrible because they don't know the first thing thats going on. The thesis in "Ghetto Bastard" is "the hook, however, is straight fro the silver-lining train of thought that 'everything's gonna be alright'". (p.31 2nd P)
Naughty by Nature's "Ghetto Bastard" gives a true life scenario of a young man being kicked out of his house because his mother can no longer afford him. He is left to fend for himself. He can't get a job because he can't afford a haircut to properly present himself professionally. His true life struggles and the hard-work it takes to survive on your own without the help of a parent or friend is an everyday occurrence.
Yeju Munankarmi
English 201A
Mon/wed 1:00-2:50

"Ghetto Bastard" is a song about a child who has not his father and is hated by society. Felicia Pride in her book,"The Message" has wrote her reflection of the song. Its all about those children whose mom are poor, father has gone and whose future is predeclared. The thesis of the song is "And I'm always amazed at those who are smaller than me who yield twice my strength and hope. We're all prefilled with the power we need to survive. Can you feel it?"
Singer asks us the question that is 'why me?'. In the song singer gives a character that was going through all those difficulties that Felicia Pride has written in her reflection. These parentless children who are born in a hospital where doctor does not see any future of those children. Since their birth, everyone start to think those children as a threat to the society. Everyone has hope to be a destination in their life but destination of those children are decided by people around them. These children are called with "ghetto bastard," 'African orphan," "child slave," and "crack baby," (81-82).They are not the bad people. They have the good qualities and they are also allowed to survive in this world.

We can compare the song with Barrack Obama's life. He was a child grown up by only his mom and his grandparents. Its only their great effort and Obama's goodness that he is president of USA today. There might be the same condition as in song in his life but with the combine love and effort of his mom, grandmother, his wife and he himself today he is in the top of the success. This is called the hope. Because of him the world can say that there is something like"everything is going to be alright." (82) as Felicia Pride wrote. Thus, the life of Barrack Obama can help to change the mind of the people toward a black child.
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