My Written Task 1 in Part 1 is based on Language and Social Relations in the IBDP Language and Literature course. The main focus of this written task is centered on a YouTube video titled ‘The History of the Black Lives Matter Movement’, uploaded by Bloomberg on 17th July 2016 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMedqlxbFfM). This video is centered around what the Black Lives Matter movement, which began as a hashtag on twitter and is now a national American movement. The idea of blacks being less than whites in society was initially seen as a dominant belief among the white majority living in the United States of America.
This belief, which stems from the colonial days when africans were taken from their homeland to work as slaves in foreign countries, has since led to many racially motivated killings across the country. The movement was a way to bring to international attention the crimes and help end them. The video was uploaded on YouTube to reach a larger audience.
My creative piece will be in the form of an informal letter to my friend Kelvin, a white friend who is strongly against the Black Lives Matter movement, because it will give me room to freely express my personal thoughts on that topic. The aim of this is to highlight the importance of the black lives matter movement and equality. The “Stop Racial Profiling” image (attached) will also help me achieve this aim. I am writing as a teenage high school student who is very much interested in issues surrounding racism.
This written task also seeks analyze how audience and purpose affect the structure and context of texts, a learning outcome in Part 1 of the Language and Literature course.Tema International School, P.O Box CO864, Tema, Ghana. 3rd January 2019. Hello Kelvin! How have you been? I know you miss my jolly and spontaneous personality. It’s been 3 years since I visited. I hope Molly is doing great as well. Well, let me move to the main reason why I am writing this letter. I am very much aware of your unique and sometimes bizarre beliefs, especially when it comes to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. I have tried my best to veer you away from such thoughts and actions related to it, but it seems all my attempts have been in vain. I believe this letter I’ve written may help change your mind. You know how I usually spend my after-prep moments in school watching YouTube videos till my next study session begins? Yea, last night, was one of those nights.
While watching some YouTube videos, I came across a video titled ‘A History of the Black Lives Matter Movement’, which essentially sums up the issues revolving around the beginning of the movement, as well as the timeline of events in its existence. After viewing the video, I’ve never been so happy yet sad at the same time. The #BlackLivesMatter movement campaigns against violence and racism towards black people. I’m sure you must be wondering, why this particular video? Why not any other black lives matter related piece? But get this, I understand how much you hate reading extensively on such issues, so I thought it would be a good idea to show you a video which sums up what you might call the fuss about this issue. In most white-dominant countries, it is widely believed by some supremacists that whites are more superior to blacks. They have strong faith in these beliefs, yet, pay very little attention to the unjust crimes against blacks and other ‘inferior’ races in their own country, which is very appalling I must say. The video begins with a series of mini clips showing many instances of violence against blacks. It was terrible, the brutal beatings and the gruesome look of the blood-stained white T-shirt. Four bullets through his chest just because of a skin pigmentation he inherited due to no fault of his own. As the video progresses, viewers are shown more saddening images, as well as various facts about the history of the Black Lives Matter Movement, which began in 2013.
The words that make up the hashtag which has been trending for a while, have a meaning and can evoke emotions when posted in threads, especially on twitter. The inclusion of the word matter highlights the importance and value of black lives in the USA and globally. However, this choice of words has brought about arguments, seeing as it only fights for black lives, and not lives all over. Beliefs of white supremacy began centuries ago, during the era of the slave trade, where Africans were sent to various European and American countries to be laborers on plantations of their white colonial masters. Stressed and overworked, these slaves also abused. Tortured by their white slave masters who often received joy in their pain. As a result of this, most whites grew up with the mentality of blacks being far less superior, and these beliefs I believe have rubbed off on you a tad. Sure, if that’s your opinion, as a good friend I would have to respect it. But this is a case where in an era of racial equality and the eradication of segregation, there are still some who still believe that causing harm to people for crimes and offences they have committed is the right way, basing their judgement only on race! And though there are some who are trying to fight such racism, other huge political figures are also using their huge media presence to increase it sadly. Influential personalities like the American President Donald Trump, tend to make racist tweets from time to time which often raises alarm but can also influence those who support his notion and also create disagreements which can lead to clashes between groups.
I also came across a poster last night. On it there was an image showing half of two faces. One of a black man, the other of a white man, both driving. At the bottom of the poster, the words “Stop Racial Profiling” is written out boldly in red. On the black man’s half of the poster, he is seen driving with a police man right behind him, while on the white man’s half, whatever that’s behind him seems to have been blocked out by the color black. This shows that though in the same conditions, the black man, who has not committed any crime is still seen as suspicious and has law enforcement on his tail monitoring his actions, while the white man must not worry because he doesn’t have the same situation as the black man. This poster also highlights the very same message as the YouTube video, which is racial discrimination.
Though the aims of the video and poster might seem to cause commotion among audiences, they are also able to appeal to the emotions of their audience and help them understand why equality must exist to promote peace in our societies, hence achieving the purpose of these texts. Once this purpose has been achieved, it affects the society in which the purpose has been identified. Most often it causes those in the targeted audience (blacks) to begin fighting for equality, whiles those outside this audience who believe blacks do not belong, may take actions which would harm or offend the blacks. Hence, Kelvin, I would just like to consider my perspective, and take my views into consideration and move for the equal and fair treatment of people living in your society, regardless of their race. What may seem like a harmless rude word or insult made on social media now, can influence many and lead to the mass deaths of many.