. . . Cuz It's Got to be Real!
At a previous college where I taught, the tuition was VERY high. When the university began struggling financially, there would come a point in the semester where students' bills weren't paid for any host of reasons--- loans were not approved yet, scholarship money was not in yet... always some kind of bureaucracy getting in the way! To address these financial delays, the university would simply drop students from their classes. This means they could not access campus email, course blackboards, their ID... nothing! I am not someone who gets angry, upset, or ashamed because I grew up poor, but I do resent people and institutions who try to punish and alienate me because of it. That's when I taught myself website design. None of my students could reach my digital university pages after they had been dropped from courses, making it more difficult for them to stay caught up with the work. Well, guess what? Anyone in the world with a phone or computer can reach this space now. "Knowledge reigns supreme"...and it don't have to cost a thing. And those university pages were so ugly and cumbersome that I ain't never missed any of it since I left it behind.
The digital work of my classes is not difficult but it could possibly be different from your other classes. Here's the motto: if Carmen can do it, anyone can! Seriously! I am very basic and simple. If there is something I want to do better (like use videos and music in my classes), then I will exploit the available technology to do it. (I never even did facebook. I have no interest in the foolishness my friends and fam do up in there.) No one ever taught me how to do word art, rip videos and remix them, embed, or change code to suit my own needs, but I managed to teach it all to myself. Like I said, if I can do this, really, anyone can.
This website also comes with a kind of soundtrack. That's right, my classes often have a soundtrack . . . if a movie can have a soundtrack, why can't we?
In the words of Cheryl Lynn (check her out here lip-syncing on Soul Train): "It's. Got. To. Be. Real!"
This website is, in many ways, a Black Cultural Experience given the language, images, and sounds. However, that does not mean that you need to be Black to understand this site or learn from its experiences. Black people have never created cultural experiences in this world that were exclusive to only them whether it be Jazz, Reggae, Soul, Gumbo, or Hip Hop. I am simply trying to walk what I talk here: you do not have to give up who you are to make meaning where you are and to survive and thrive in that space. I hope this makes sense...and I hope there are some things here that even make you smile and laugh from time to time.
Despite all this tech stuff, I still like the feeling of textile designs, spray-painting on brick walls, colored pencils, oil paints, and crafting. I am not giving that up for digital cultures... especially the wonders of purple ink.
Why A Website for this Class?