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Barriers to a Stable Community - English W130

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Neil Healy

English W130

Final Essay

April 20, 2011

Barriers to a Stable Community

Since the beginning of time humans have formed communities to increase their chances of a better life and survival. A community is not just a group of people that share similar beliefs and lifestyles, but it is a family that relies on each other to survive. Sadly, not all communities find success, but if they are managed correctly they can become extremely powerful and influential. The author of "Good Noise: Cora Tucker", Anne Witte Garland, writes about a black woman who is a model citizen in her community. She suffers through her own personal problems in order to benefit the community. Joan Morgan, the author of "From Fly Girls to Bitches and Ho's", writes about a weak hip-hop community that suffers because of their influences. Finally, Gary Colombo writes about a solution to curing the 'weak community' epidemic that has started to take over many modern day communities. In order to build a strong community the individuals that make up the populous must have determination to help the community grow and the willingness to sacrifice personal benefits for the development of the community they live in as well as strong a leader to steer the people in the right direction and the critical thinking ability to fix problems that arise in the community.

Communities have continually become more complex over time and it has proven to be extremely important for strong communities to have a strong leader as well as complete dedication of its average citizens. As communities come and go a gap between the strong and weak communities become more and more evident. This leads to the question, what categorizes a strong vs. weak community? A strong community is one that has its fundamentals down, starting with an exceptional leader and the dedication of its citizens. Just like geese and their "flying v's" need a leader, so does a strong community. The natural goal of a community is to gradually build itself to be better and to better serve the people that make up its population. In the Essay "From Fly-Girls to Bitches and Ho's" Joan Morgan shows the other end of the spectrum by portraying a weak community. The hip-hop community is a weak community that does not benefit its individuals; instead individuals search for personal benefit rather than dedicating time to helping the whole community. While explaining about the hip-hop community, she says, "When brothers can talk so cavalierly about killing each other and then reveal that they have no expectation to see their twenty-first birthday" (p. 603). Morgan argues that the hip-hop community is a prime example of a weak community. The "brothers" lack the necessary qualities of a strong community citizen. Rather than having the determination and willingness to sacrifice personal benefits to create a stronger community they have the determination and willingness to sacrifice other lives for personal benefits. In "Good Noise: Cora Tucker", the main character Cora, a black sharecropper, grows up poor but increases her quality of life with the help of her community as she ages. Garland claims, "Cora lived in places that were cold, windowless, and broken down for the majority of her life. She was able to improve her living conditions by earning enough money to purchase her own land and house. With the help of other individuals such as her husband and other members of the black community she was able to improve her living conditions immensely" (p. 356). Garland suggests that Cora's community is strong because of the citizen's dedication to each other rather than to themselves which is the case in Morgan's hip-hop community. With Cora's dedication to the community she was able to better her life by using her strong community to her advantage by using her recently established rights as a woman to earn money to purchase the land she had always dreamed about. Although strong and weak communities appear to be opposites there are only a few components such as leadership, determination, dedication, and sacrifice that separate the two communities.

Although a community is generally led by a selected leader, it takes a lot of dedication and loyalty from each individual to have a thriving community to inhabit. A community consists of a complex 3-d structure. A leader is important but a dedicated populous is just as essential. The populous must have a sense of self-respect, the willingness to make sacrifices and take risks, and finally the determination to help the community succeed. In "The Power of Cultural Myths" Colombo discusses how easily a community can be manipulated by what is popular, or in other words the cultural groove. Colombo says, "[A]s we grow up, we accept ways of looking at the world, ways of thinking and being that might best be characterized as cultural frames of reference or cultural myths" (p. 3). Colombo suggests that can be manipulated by the lifestyles of the famous individuals and how the majority of the community live their life. Being manipulated by what is popular is falling victim to the "cultural groove". Falling into the groove can lead to a weak community. In Joan Morgan's essay she talks about how the hip-hop community fell into the cultural groove of idolizing famous rappers such as NOTORIOUS B.I.G., Tupac, and Snoop Dogg who were heavily involved in gangs, drugs, and violence. Falling into the grove can usually lead to a weak community as well as unnecessary pain and suffering. Following the examples of NOTORIOUS B.I.G. lead to trouble in the community. The chorus of "Everyday Struggle": I don't wanna live no more/ Sometimes I see death knockin' at my front door revealed



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