Label me a creature of habit in reference to my Spotify que. Here’s a number of my repeat ear jams which have been bursting out my headphones and car speakers time and time again.
Seeing face(s) to attribute to any artist, of unspecific form, is crucial to true understanding of them – especially when they’re as chilled as Noname. Understated, underrated; give ears to their sound (thank me later). Few words are favored over tangents when links linger above with all you need to hear about them from them.
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory: this is a name and significant date I hope you already know.
New York factory that caught fire, burned and killed 129 people that day in 1911. Not only was the building in flames but doors were locked and hoses kept to extinguish the blaze, valves rusted shut (no worry, the owners escaped with their lives.) The date is infamous, printed in history books to nerver forget the loss of our own but most importantly it sparked labor reform that continues to effect job affairs in the US today.
That was 129 unnecessary deaths.
What if it’d been 1,135 dead? What if it happened now? What if it already did?
And no reform followed? (If it weren’t our people, but our product would it matter? It should.)
Disturbing, right? Enough questions. In 2013 manufacturer of American clothing was undergoing production in Bangladesh, India when the factory collapsed. Not only did 1,135 die that day, another couple thousand were injured. Insane just years past the date and some are hearing of this for the very first time. I’m not shaming you for that – I merely found out myself, upset that I’d never before learned of it’s happening.
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory: you might know.
Rana Plaza: I’m going to take an educated guess and say you don’t. But we all should – nearly 8x as many people died that day in 2013.
No laws revised. Certainly no reform. No history significantly shifted (unlike Triangle Shirtwaist with almost 1/8 the casualties). Why’d absolutely nothing stop, change? People continue to be taken by this industry, often in factories in Bangladesh running so poorly even today, by means of the American dollar (or lack there of). Go ahead, do a Google search right now and I’ll wait – there was a factory fire killing 31 innocent lives not seven months ago, in September of 2016. This mass loss of life is a goddamn catastrophe barely reprimanded.
Recognize there is an issue (Step one), next…
What can you do? I’m sure most would simply feel disenfranchised and resume life untouched by this, the people in India are not so lucky. Don’t buy into it. Be a conscious consumer: think about where your clothes come from, maybe research it first (because I’m sure you’d feel uncomfortable, at the very least, knowing someone died making your t-shirt). Acknowledge that hands touched the clothing on your back, hand’s whom your garment wouldn’t come into creation without. Everything you buy has a story in it’s process of coming to be. Every time you buy, you make a decision to support a company and their values with the monetary value of your dollar; you then own those purchased values, taking them into your home even. Boycotting, done by our ancestors, is concept still secure and relevant. Learn from the past – you think it’s not yours but it is – since it’s the only way to move forward.
How’d I get caught in all this? I watched a movie – I know sounds laughable or foolish but I’m really only in the offset of all this. My words might mean nothing to you but if you do anything at all watch The True Cost by director, Andrew Morgan. It might alter you some real way, positively.
About the images: none of the photos used are my own but merely a product of google search.
So here’s a heavy topic:
Freshman year is labeled as true entrance into the world as an individual. We’re all around the ripe age of 18: new experience has swallowed whole our lives and turned reality. After graduation, we’re given best wishes, vaguely told of the wonderful newness and forgettable adventures moving forward. Mix of emotions defines this point in our lives. One prominent topic is left under discussed or for-warned: rape on campus.
The word sends chills down my damn spin. Entering second semester of freshman year, two close friends of mine were sexually assaulted. These disturbing acts corrupted chaos into these girls’ lives and was internalized by all those around with pleasure of knowing them personally. It altered my entire experience (& perception of my 1st year) and is a deeply-felt heaviness in my heart always I’ll carry. The most selfless time in my life – despite the absolute horridness of the experience, it was forced maturity with insane personal growth.
Attached above is a research paper I wrote (as a freshman undergraduate) out of my exposure to this national, even international, issue. The type of thing you don’t think can happen that is until it happens to you or someone you love. To believe it’s not occurring in your community or one near you is blindly ignorant. To create awareness and open eyes to some of my own understanding on the topic of college sexual assault, I encourage clicking on links above: my research paper (written during my experiences as a freshman) and if you’re not much of a reader -it’s only 10 pages though – a really kickass documentary.
This occurs so much broader than just the Brock Turner case.
Please further investigate these topics; I cannot emphasize enough.
Since you’re well aware of my appreciation for quotes, here’s some from my friends, anonymously named.
Do you feel safe?
Victim A: “It’s scary that you have to watch over your back every single day and every single minute because you’re worried.”
Victim B: “One hundred percent no, they made it worse honestly because they didn’t do anything.”
Victim A: “Someone can come up from behind you, and you do not know what any one of us is capable of.”
Victim B: “…he jokingly called me a victim… I [even] had to go to UP myself after it happened [instead of them coming to me.]”
Do you feel justice was established in your case?
Victim A: “No, I mean I was pretty much forced to leave campus; meanwhile this kid can simply walk around here free.”
“They didn’t offer me any services here. They just told me to deal with it and help myself.”
“It’s not fair and it’s not right that we basically have to walk on glass and eggshells here because we’re all worried what will actually be done and what won’t.”
When leaving your visit with University Police, what’s the last thing said to reassure you?
Victim B: “‘Good luck.’ Oh yeah, reassured that I’ll have to protect myself. I [now] walk around with pepper spray.”
Note: I no longer attend this school which is in-part why I disclose this.
Information on the header image: Columbia University Mattress Protest in 2014-2015. Not my image.
You can tell I’m a reader (if you judge me off my web address choice.) Below is an unconditionally favorite quote of mine that does enough speaking for itself – still I urge you to read further. Ralph Ellison is a black literary genius who unquestionably deserves a read, many. I once, occasionally still do pronounce Invisible Man as my champion novel – first read 4 years ago, yet these words hold water still for me.
The first chapter of Invisible Man – which this quote is included in – was primarily released as short story under name, (of the above title or) Battle Royal in the 1960s. Personally, I love to hear words read aloud, I feel like it almost gives even more life to the words on the page.
What’s been stuck on repeat yet not tired. Just listen.
Understand I’m no typical radio listener, happy with any orthodox tuning of channels. If you’re anything like me in this sense, Soundcloud can quickly become a love affair in your music life. What I listen to easily lends itself to the days and sometimes comes with an expiration date from over-listening. The search for new music never stops, hope yours doesn’t either (but of course never forget the classics.)
*Static image used above is not my own art work of any kind.
In short, I’m going to be introducing some of my more creative written pieces onto this platform since I don’t keep them anywhere much more thrilling than my google drive account and ink-stained pages of my writer’s journal. Below here, is one of my first poems ever written, admittedly for class assignment. I’ve thought about including some background on what went into it’s writing and intended meaning but I think I’d rather prefer to leave open for interpretation.
It was an escape
For many a northern refuge
From a life they know no
A change of pace
From the goddamn race
Of a forced fast-pace (urban life)
Born into without consent.
“Borne into this family, no
choice in the matter.”
Little did I know
So familiar would become
Faces of the bruised and battered.
Their palm in mine
Unfathomable circumstances that
Choke one up in the throat
Not pleasantly breathless but
Almost a haste suffocation
So strong no gasp capable of escape
– Break the pace
Heal cosmopolitan citizen face
Caked with blood
Now dried, though wounds of an everlasting
Freshness, sore to touch.
Thy pain erase,
Undying is their strength.
Repenting sins of a forced hand:
“My apologies” (worn thin)! No,
You’ve long endured Enough,
Shakily I state.
Girl? What can
She know of me and my? No
One is I, but another 1
Of the forgotten faces faded,
Brutalized beyond recognition, NO-
w features bloody, masking
Skin without escape.
We’re apart of a race,
A faceless breed,
Captivity in categories whose color concealed
Beneath disfiguring wounds
Bleeding, bleeding, bleeding
Til lost are features, jaded; hidden categories.
Makeup of a man lost to commonly-held blood: faceless.