Research Project 2- Jacob Hendrix

I decided to work with the Greene County Youth Development Council(YDC) for my community outreach. I had previously worked with YDC when they first began in the summer of 2014 as an intern to the board/camp leader. Originally, we were simply a summer camp dedicated to providing a fun, safe environment to lower-class children in the community. While most kids enjoy a summer break filled with trips, sports, going to the pool, and other activities, these carefully selected students indicated they had no plans other than hanging out at home. YDC was able to provide food, supervision, and other services that parents may not have otherwise been able to afford. Through social, personal, and academic aspects, we attempted to give these kids power.

The students were racially diverse and were going into grades third through fifth. Due to all of our camp leaders being white, we brought in my friend Dashon, who is black, lower-class, and was raised by a single mother. He was able to describe his journey to becoming a division one football player at Richmond and the struggles he faced. His ability to relate to each child on different levels was irreplaceable and allowed each student to see potential within themselves. Next, the students met with their local police officers, who recognized several of the kids. In a relaxed environment, both the students and officers were able to ask each other questions in order to understand one another better, which helped gain important trust.

Instead of forcing schoolwork and reading down their throats, we attempted to teach them games like chess and challenge their minds. Most of the students admitted they were sent to the principles office, most more than once, which(this class has taught me) takes away from their education. With numerous volunteers, we possessed the ability to work one-on-one with those struggling and provided positive feedback, which they rarely received.

As the council developed, we were able to receive funds for each student, in order to assist them in partaking in an activity. Most received equipment for sports, such as cleats, or parts necessary to build soap-box cars. Most importantly, the kids were able to connect with members of their community who could provide them with transportation and someone they could trust. The day I attended this semester, the students created care packages for needy children with toys and clothes donated to the school. Each student was excited to put the coolest toys into the packages, never asking if they could have one. The reason this was so important, was that most of the students involved would be receiving a package for Christmas.

By providing social capital to the children, we are attempting to give them hope for a positive future. The YDC has already fundraised enough to grow from third-fifth grade, to third-eighth grade. Every student has the ability to break away from their class norms, YDC just attempts to provide them with the resources and power to do so.

“In Due Time” is Out of Time -Jacob H #3

     Our recent reading from the New York Times titled “The Consequences of the 1960’s Race Riots Come Into View” references economic historian Robert Margo. Margo speaks about his desire to talk about the different riots during the 60’s, but he preferred soon rather than later. About fifty years later, riots are frequently happening again, due to out lack of understanding and change over time. Too often are quotes such as, “in due time” and “doesn’t happen overnight” used to delay action. Abu-Lughod explains why riots happened/are happening and the issues that need to be addressed now.

      In our viewing of John Oliver, he says that everywhere in the world has experience racial tension. The mayor of Ferguson clearly either is ignoring the problem, or is blind to his own city. Cities that fail to acknowledge that tension will fail minorities, as will cities such as Harlem who attempted to forget theirs. Between 1925 and 1930, Harlem’s black population grew dramatically, causing Abu-Lughod to call it “a city within a city.” Over the next several years overcrowding became a citywide issue, but few areas were as congested as Harlem. This created anger and distrust within the black community. However, the problem was not immediately addressed, because even though racial tension was obvious, “they were more harmonious than in other urban centers.” As overcrowding occurred, schools began to overflow with students. These schools were already dealing with a lack of proper materials and “unsympathetic white teachers,” which only meant weaker education for more students. Instead of addressing this issue from the start and funding urban schools and hiring qualified teachers, our country has allowed poor education to continue. Black leaders in Baltimore spoke out about education being a pivotal concern of the protestors. Their lack of quality education leads to lack of opportunity, leaving young people trapped in an environment they cannot succeed in.

     Police brutality has obviously been the major trigger point in recent riots. Several white police officers have shot and killed unarmed black teens and too often are found innocent. The Los Angeles riot of 1992 was sparked by the beating of Rodney King by four white police officers. After several delays and changes in the process leading up to the trial, the police officers were acquitted. Immediately, the city was filled with rioters who needed to be heard. After another incident black girl was killed and her shooter let free with a fine, a survey was done. While all races felt similarly about most questions, they greatly differed on the question about whether they found the verdicts right. Almost 100 percent of blacks disagreed with the verdicts, which can be viewed as a desperate cry for help. About 75 percent of Latinos and Asians disagreed with the verdict. Finally, whites answered with just under two-thirds disagreeing with the verdicts. However, twenty percent of whites agreed with the verdict. Again, there was no immediate action taken to prevent this from happening again. Discovering who is racist is not an easy task, but we have clearly seen that over twenty years later, white police are targeting blacks, especially young black men. How can we continue to expect the black community to stay peaceful and obey authority, when those sworn to protect and serve do just the opposite.

     I cannot even begin to try and explain all the factors that go into a riot, or better yet a angry, desperate protest. The New York Times article explains that while average salary between races has narrowed slightly, total net worth has actually began to widen since 1970. Also, urban homes owned by blacks are valued (as of 1990) at almost half of urban households owned by whites! From what Abu-Lughod and others have written, we appear to be setting ourselves up for more of the same. Now is the time to take action on the matters in an attempt to prevent further distrust, damage, and loss of lives.  As the Huffington Post article declares, we need more than a “conversation” or a “dialogue” about race relations. We need a plan. Now.

Importance of Media- Jacob H sec2

The importance of media during protests and riots cannot be overstated. We depend on media to bring us the events taking place. Whether we choose to believe what we see and what we’re told is up to us. Determining what is accurate and credible is difficult, but determining whether something is a riot or a protest may be more difficult.

Useem explains the ideas of breakdown theory and resource mobilization and when they are typically used. Breakdown theory is essentially when the mechanisms of social control(cops) lose restraining power and are disruptive to daily life. This theory is often associated with riots, due to the fact the events seem to be taking place based on pure emotion. Breakdown theorist do not see this as goal oriented, rather just a reaction typically meant to cause harm and damage. Resource mobilization, typically associated with protests, is when groups do things because they have a goal. These groups typically have the ability to acquire necessary resources and have planned out their actions. These two theories fail to mention the ideas that most “riots” are planned and that those involved have a plan of action. Events leading up to the uprising, typically some form of oppression, have backed groups against a wall causing them to resist. Enter the media, where any single person can shape the way the nation views the events. Whether news anchors decide to call the groups “thugs,” or “protestors” can change opinions. Whether someone on twitter posts a picture of someone taking food labeled “looters,” or “survivors” can change opinions. Peaceful protests do not grasp and hold the nations attention the same way “violent riots” do, so the best interest of news outlets is to spin the events in a way that will make people want to tune in. However, many protests/riots do contain violence and damage, which is frowned upon by a large majority of the country. President Obama, our nations leading voice, agrees saying “The president declared that justice could not be achieved by using anger at the Michael Brown verdict”(Aljazeera America). While violence may not always be the answer, many people forget the necessary violence which led to so many triumphs in our country. My favorite example of necessary violence is seen during the civil rights movement and how the government decided that Dr. King’s non-violent approach was much more favorable than the violence of Malcolm X. Due to so many of these “riots” forming in largely African American cities, we have come to typically associate the two together. This often leads to many news outlets linking Dr. King’s words to the “riots” and wondering why they wouldn’t act in the same manner as the leader of the movement.

Until America, starting with major news sources, recognize their racism, “riots” will continue to be a black issue and “protests” a white issue. Until constant oppression and inequalities toward blacks is corrected, they are going to continually decide enough is enough and resist. Until then, the media gets to decide who is rioting and protesting and who is labeled what.

Jacob Hendrix Sect 2 “Stadium Construction”

Stadium Construction

In our viewing of Brooklyn Matters, we saw the citizens of the community feel many different emotions toward their new basketball stadium. Many were excited over new job opportunities or a new team, while others were angry about the loss of public space. Working-class citizens, many of which were looking for a job, believed the construction needed for the stadium would create opportunities that were lacking. Others thought they could receive a job working inside the arena after construction was over. Many locals viewed the new stadium as extra traffic and an obstruction of space.

Unfortunately in Brooklyn, the outcome of the stadium was viewed as negative, due to outside construction companies taking over the project. While the film focused specifically on the events leading up to the stadiums opening, I plan to explore what happens both before and after opening.

During major construction events, many civilians are uninformed, often by choice, about the events taking place. Without reading about the causes and effects or discovering who is directly effected, most people rely on what they are told by others. “The majority of individuals therefore rely on others (in particular the media) to assist them in the formation of a political opinion (Paul and Brown, 2001)”(Greenberg, p.11).  Media typically talks about what they are paid the most to say, which in cases such as this the elites are behind the words. Knowing that public support won’t come easy, they allow news outlets to speak about only the benefits of “new advancements.”  “Messages presented by the powerful leaders of referenda shape citizens’ attitudes about the issue”(Greenberg, p.11).  Without knowledge of any potential risks or damages, the uninformed allow the elites to sneak by. While Greenberg and others remain focused on the negatives presented during construction, they fail to grasp the positives that follow.

Driven From New Orleans tells us about the suffering of the city before and after Hurricane Katrina. While the black community suffered before the hurricane, blacks as a whole were essentially left to fend for themselves during and after. However, one place attempted to help the community, no matter what race, during the disaster. The Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints football team, sheltered anyone who needed refuge. While conditions may have been haunting, the dome kept them alive. The worsening conditions eventually led to a sense of community for those trapped there. “As evacuees faced these external forces, their internal stories and experiences reflected a sense of community and family support. One overwhelming similarity between accounts of being in the Superdome focused on people relying on each other, helping each other out, and sticking together”(Knoettgen, p.81).  After the hurricane passed and the media was able to capture the images of the city, the image of a beaten Superdome became the image of the city. The stadium was ripped apart, trashed, unusable, but still standing. After over a year, the stadium was refurbished and hosted one of the most monumental sporting events in our nations history. For those who were able to come back to New Orleans, this was their moment of realization that “Once an emblem of all that went wrong, the Superdome has since been used as a symbol of success in recovery”(Knoettgen, p.83).  Knoettgen describes how he saw whites, blacks, latinos, men, women, children, elderly, gay, straight, and disabled fill the seats. While most of these spectators were likely not the ones trapped inside during the hurricane, the stadium gave the feel that all people could unite in support of the Saints.  As Knoettgen explored New Orleans, he found that “The concept of the Who Dat Nation did more for the New Orleans community than simply creating the appearance of similarity during Saints games. The collective acts contributed to the creation of a Who Dat identity that transcended football games and was on display throughout New Orleans daily life”(Knoettgen, p.123).

Many in New Orleans still suffer today from the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Others may suffer due to any jobs or housing possibly lost during the construction of the Superdome. Unfortunately, no plan is perfect and someone, typically the poor, suffers for the benefit of others. While many people struggle to regroup after these constructions, we cannot speak of the bad without at least providing the good.


Greenberg, M. A.A game of millions: Professional sports facilities and the media’s influence on the agenda setting process(Order No. AAI3414907). Available from Sociological Abstracts. (862599380; 201112304). Retrieved from http:// 862599380?accountid=12299

Knoettgen, C.We are the ‘who dat’ nation: City identity, narratives of renewal, and football fandom in new orleans public realm(Order No. AAI3525522). Available from Sociological Abstracts. (1520318899; 201421591). Retrieved from http:// docview1520318899? accountid=12299

Jacob Hendrix- Black Lives Matter

To detail the history of the Black Lives Matter movement, I used movies and a show dated throughout American history. I started with 12 Years a Slave, followed by Selma, then Straight Outta Compton, ending with an episode of Scandal. I attempted to describe themes I felt were important to the movement, such as betrayal of powerful men, importance of music, and lack of national acceptance. I found that certain language and appearances by black people made them guilty in the eyes of the law. Detailing the injustice towards the black community as a white man was not easy, as I tried to speak as a student of the topic, not an educator. While I describe these themes on a national level, each issue can be found locally as well. The Black Lives Matter movement is not something we can identify as neutral for, you are either with the movement, or against it. Sitting around indifferently means we don’t care enough to help, it means we are dooming those who speak for equality.

Black lives matter