Free Essay

Song of Freedom

In: Other Topics

Submitted By itsjuliahng0
Words 682
Pages 3
Song of Freedom
Knowing that this film Song of Freedom was made in 1936, I was very surprised to see how the film was formed. When watching this film, I based it upon what I grew up learning about segregation between whites and blacks and how difficult and long it took for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to pass. Not knowing much about European countries, I was confused to see that black and whites were working together and better yet sharing hobbies with one another such as singing.
While watching this musical film, I realized that it strongly relates to what we are learning in this Pan African Studies course. What I saw that really caught my attention was Paul Robeson playing John Zinga’s character. In this film, John was a great example of twoness. John was an African American man that grew up in London and was unsure about where he came from exactly. He never had a true understanding of what type of person he was which was why he strived to reach his goal of returning to Africa. John was caught between what he grew up learning which was westernized and the African traditions he was born with.
Although this film was not allowed to be aired in the United States, I feel that it sent out a really strong message to people which is a sense of respect and friendship between blacks and whites. I also strongly believe that it changed many people’s views about racial segregation and got people to be more accepting about the changes that were made in society. In addition, even though Song of Freedom may cause a big uproar if it were allowed to play in the film industry in the United States, I still believe that it would have ended slavery and segregation much sooner by helping people realize through visualization.
Overall, I really enjoyed this film in the way it used music from the start of the film and incorporated it into the end. Instead of not having a clear storyline like most musicals, Song of Freedom had a purpose to the songs that were sung which ultimately distinguished the theme, purpose, and meaning of the film. In addition, I feel that the authors of this film did a great job in incorporating a lot of symbolism and visuals to emphasize and to help us as the audience understand the setting of the different scenes as well as point out the most significant factors of the film itself. For example, the only thing John brought with him to England from Africa was an ancestral medallion and a rhythm to a song. The medallion John wore was an ancestral item that helped lead him exactly back to where he came from. It was the first step in helping him establish his other half of being African. Furthermore, John put in his own lyrics to a song that he couldn’t find the exact words to and eventually comes to an understanding that the song he has been singing for years played a strong role in defining what kind of family he came from. The so called “king” song not only help establish that he was a descendant, but also helped him gain the respect of his people in Africa with the acceptance of his western traditions.
Toward the end of the film, John Zinga displays a change in his character. I noticed that when John was first performing, he was not himself in the way he was presented because he did what others wanted him to do. However, after John returned from Africa as king, he decided to do one last performance, and when doing so, I was able to differentiate that he was much more confident about himself than he was toward the beginning of his musical career because of how he was dressed and portrayed on stage. Ultimately, John Zinga transformed into a complete different man, one who knows and feels confident about himself, as well as someone who knows could greatly influence his community and make a change.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Speechless Freedom

...Speechless Freedom Robert Landrum COM/156 August 28, 2014 Adam Meehan Introduction Music has been a part of American culture since the early sixteenth century and during that time period musicians had the freedom to use their music as a medium to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas without the threat of restraints or punishment. In this day and time, musicians are held to a totally different standard because some people perceive music as being a form of art and literature while others view music as being immoral and detrimental to the Christian principles that are so prevalent in our society. Music censorship was introduced in 1927, by way of the Radio Act, which prohibited the use of obscene, indecent or profane language on radio airways. In 1934 the Federal Communications Commission was created by Congress and at this point, censorship encompassed not only music but all public mediums for artistic expressions. Censorship has been used as a tool to suppress artistic expressions from entertainment to literature and even though the First Amendment affords us the right to freedom of expression, censorship still has the power to dictate how we express our thoughts, feelings and ideas. The debate over censorship deals mainly with the First Amendment and whether or not it is constitutional for opposing groups or individuals to impose their beliefs upon our fundamental right to exercise freedom of speech. Music censorship has become a mainstream social issue......

Words: 1501 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Sound Tracks to My Life things once were an indication of how things are, and a view of where society is headed. Music is a direct reflection of the picture of society. Music can be a way to deliver messages, a poetic medium, a fine art, or nothing more than a source of entertainment. No matter what it is used for, music is the perfect art and my life would be that much less complete without it. Two songs come to mind when I think about all these sources of completeness for myself. First is “Proud to Be an American” by Lee Greenwood and “You and Me” by Soldier of Jah Army. I often think of the words of Lee Greenwood’s song “God Bless the USA” in which he states:”And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free....” I wholeheartedly agree. My heart swells with gratitude to God and this wonderful land where, regardless of whom I am or what my goals are, I have that priceless gift of freedom. Freedom to pursue my dreams. Freedom to worship. Freedom to get an education. One thing that many people take for granted in this country is their freedom, life, and pursuit of happiness. Every time I listen to this song, I think of what an amazing life I have been given and that I am very lucky to be living in such an incredible place. My father, , served thirty years in the military and dedicated his...

Words: 1465 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Politics You See

...English 1 B – assignment due 11 or 12 September in tutorials. Essay question Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” is a political poem that needs to be understood contextually for its full meaning to be revealed. Write a 5 paragraph essay (introduction, 3 paragraphs in the body of the essay and a conclusion) in which you discuss the following: 1. The relevance of the history of slavery to understanding this poem. Your answer should include a discussion of the images and repetition that Marley uses to make this point. 2. The poem says: “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; None but ourselves can free our minds.” Discuss how these lines encapsulate the main message of this poem. Your paragraph should connect to Marley’s broader context. 3. Bob Marley was a deeply religious man. He uses many references to divine intervention in this poem. Discuss the effect that these lines have in creating the overall message of the poem. Your answer should include a discussion of the figurative language he uses to make his point. Your answer must include quotations from the poem that you reference by counting the lines (i.e. number the lines for referencing purposes) and by using the following in your bibliography: Marley, Bob. 1980. “Redemption Song.” Uprising. London: EMI Records. When quoting from the poem within your paragraph, make sure that your sentences are grammatically consistent with any quote that you embed. Also make sure that you reference your......

Words: 761 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Tim Mcgraw

...------------------------------------------------- Top of Form March 02, 2013 Tim McGraw Sees 'Two Lanes of Freedom' by Mary Morningstar Country star Tim McGraw spent the past few years battling in court to end his career-long relationship with Curb Records.  McGraw is finally on a new record label with a new CD. “Two Lanes of Freedom” is McGraw’s debut album for the Nashville independent label Big Machine Records.  He shares the Big Machine roster with such superstars as Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts and Trisha Yearwood. McGraw was under contract with Curb Records for 20 years.  Following the release of his final album for Curb, “Emotional Traffic,” he signed with Big Machine and soon found himself being sued by his old label for breach of contract.  A Nashville judge ruled in McGraw’s favor in 2012. Curb sent the case to the Tennessee Supreme Court.  Two weeks after the release of “Two Lanes of Freedom,” the court signed an order denying Curb’s appeal. McGraw took a new approach in the recording studio that allowed him to make what he describes as “a pivotal album” in his career. ​​​​“What I wanted to do with the record is I wanted to go in, because I’d worked with every musician on this record individually and some together as a group, but as a whole these guys had never all worked together at one time," he said. "I thought that was interesting to start with.  But, I also wanted to go in and do about two weeks straight and do 10 to 14 hours a day, start in the morning......

Words: 672 - Pages: 3

Free Essay


...Spirituals Swing Low, Sweet Chariot If you view the song as carrying a religious message, explain what the chariot represents. What is meant by the word "home"? What is the overall subject of the song? The chariot represents death. The poet asks it to come carry him/her home. Home means heaven. The subject of the song is being tired and wanting to die peacefully. This is an old slavery song and is sung in many churches. If you interpret this song as a protest song, depicting a slaves desire for freedom, explain what the chariot represents. What is meant by the word "home"? What does Jordan, the river that formed the boundary to the Promised Land in ancient times, represent in this case? What does the "band of angels" represent? I do not view this song as a protest song, but if it were, the chariot would mean rescue and home would still mean heaven or a place of freedom. Jordan would represent the gate to heaven and the band of angels would represent a rescue party. For what types of situations would people write protest songs today? People might write protest songs about events like the attack on Paris or about certain political figures. Give an example of a modern-day protest song (name and artist who performs it) and briefly summarize what message it contains. (You do not need to provide the lyrics.) An example of a modern-day protest song is “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day. The song is protesting the Bush Organization and 9/11. Go Down,......

Words: 452 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Close Look at Bob Marley’s Redemption Song

...Close look at Bon Marley’s Redemption song “Redemption song” was written and sang by the legendary Bob Marley. He was known as a reggae artist who mostly sang about social and political issues. His songs touched people all around the world. This song particularly, could be interpreted in so many ways; quite literally, it could be regarded to some people as a song about slavery in the 18th and 19th century. But the way the message in the song is delivered, the repetition of some key words and the artist’s main message through out his career, indicates that this is a song about being a slave to the modern world where many of us feel almost hopeless. The first element is the delivery of the song. The beginning could easily mislead the reader and give an impression to set the tone for the whole song. Bob tells a story and uses words like: “old pirates”, “sold I” and “merchant ships,” historically referring to the European slavers trading Africans with certain traitor African dealers. In this first part of the song, the artist gives a vivid picture by telling a story in first-person. Black slaves used to sing Negro spirituals, while or after work, to comfort and motivate themselves through their suffering. They would also sing about freedom, restlessly hoping to get out of the misery. “We forward in this generation Triumphantly” explains how their dreams and constant beliefs came to life, by the abolition on slavery in America. The Artist......

Words: 1101 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Music Censorship

...|Music Censorship | |Final Draft | | | | | | | |Emilee Westerfield | | | |University Composition and Communication II/COM156 | | | |11.18.2012 | | ...

Words: 2028 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Ransom Theory made complete sense. They had their own interpretations of Mark 10:45 which says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” According to Origen this scripture reference referred to Christ’s death as a ransom paid to Satan. He believed that the sin of Adam and Eve caused God to abandon humankind to the Devil, who then exerted his power over humanity. When God decided to reconcile with us, he agreed to pay Satan a ransom for our freedom from Satan. The agreed-upon payment was Jesus' death on the cross. After the crucifixion, Satan kept his part of the bargain by releasing us from his power. As we all know and see in later scripture, Satan was fooled in that he did not have the power to hold Christ permanently when Jesus Christ arose from the grave. When it came to finding songs and hymns that properly fit with the ransom theory, our group struggled at first. In my opinion, this is probably the hardest theory to find songs that specifically relate and state somewhere in the...

Words: 1135 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

A Change Is Coming

...During the days of slavery songs helped them to escape. For Africans wanting to escape slavery, their songs were used as a map to freedom, especially during the 1400’s through the mid 1800’s, as this was the period of slave trading in the United States. These freedom songs continued until 1836 when slavery was historically abolished. Due to the fact that slaves were not allowed to be educated nor were they allowed to read, they used the slave songs because the songs served so many purposes including that of expressing emotions. The old Negro spirituals were also a part of the underground railroads with individuals like William Still an African-American abolitionist from Philadelphia along with Harriett Tubman who were major conductors on the Underground Railroad. Songs like “Go Down Moses” was one of the many songs they sang. There were songs of communication which was used among the slaves “Steal away to Jesus” and “Wade in the Water”. These songs were used as an escape map. Kendrick Lamar songs on his To Pimp a Butterfly album reflect the past, present and the future. The past as noted in his lyrics are related to William T. Sherman's Field Order No. 15, which set aside 400,000 acres of land confiscated from slaveholders in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida for settlement by African Americans which described by Kendrick Lamar as the elusive 40 acres and a mule states “I need 40 acers and a mule….not a 40 ounce and a pit pull”. Freedom or the lack of it from......

Words: 471 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Song of Solomon: Gender Roles

...Song of Solomon Analysis: Gender Roles and Freedom Racism divides communities, but sexism deserts individuals. American history is ridded with oppression on the basis of race and gender that have left individuals and communities alike subjugated and isolated. Toni Morrison, through her fictional novel Song of Solomon, tackles the desire for belonging that so many faced during the oppressive 1960s. Appeals to equal rights for African Americans were met with hateful discrimination and bloody discourse—ultimately dividing people from within groups. But Morrison pushes her discussion beyond just the confines of racism to the treatment of black women in society; the tyrannical repression they faced. Throughout Song of Solomon, a reoccurring theme of dependence and abandonment of women presides. Toni Morrison exploits women’s belonging to men and yet, also, their burdens for men’s freedom. In order to conquer the quest of the novel, the main character must recognize and overcome such female injustices. Foundational to the their societal repression, black women suffered not only from racial segregation but the social obligations to men, children, and their community. Women were the guardian of the family in the 1960s, and lacked the free-will retained by men. The man they married, the structure he created, defined a woman. Song of Solomon directly touches on the heavy racism circling the times. Milkman and Guitar actively talk about racism and the cruelty of the white......

Words: 1788 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Lost Identity

...have been around for centuries to be enjoyed by its many readers, keeping them enthralled and mystified at the same time. Authors that write literature generally write with the intent of conveying a message to their reader. Not all messages are easily conveyed and many times readers develop their own interpretation of what the author’s meaning or the moral to the writing is. Literary works are written as short stories, poems, dramas and plays incorporating different elements, such as the setting, theme, characterization and conflict to tell their story. In the short stories “Shiloh”, by Bobbie Ann Mason, and “Story of an Hour”, by Kate Chopin along with the poem, “Lost Sister”, by Cathy Song a common theme is shared, a theme of women seeking individuality and later being met with a new freedom. Although, the literary works are not from the same genre or share common historical context the woman’s place in their society is exhibited. In this paper I will show the comparisons of how each woman is bound by a certain restriction which is released at the end of the writing. There is something special about every individual and that is their personal identity. It is hard to live a life when your personal identity is taken away from you to satisfy the needs of others. When one loses their identity at the hands of another they lose the connection to one’s self. When this connection is lost the anticipation of living through life experiences is far less gratifying, as if living...

Words: 2635 - Pages: 11

Free Essay

The Power of Freedom

...The Power of Freedom “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed” (Martin Luther King Jr.). Just like Martin Luther King Jr. said people who faced oppression couldn’t wait around expecting to be given freedom. Instead, in order to earn it, they would need to fight and demand for it. The same ideas are portrayed through the writing of a fellow activist, Maya Angelou. In “I know why the caged bird sings” by Maya Angelou, the idea of freedom is explained through the use of metaphors and imagery. To begin, the metaphors used compare two perspectives of life. The poem itself is one large extended metaphor with other metaphors dispersed throughout. The main metaphor explains the lives of two barricaded races; “The caged bird” representing those who lacked freedom and “The free bird” representing those with freedom (Angelou). A caged bird could be a metaphor for any group of people facing oppression while the cage represents physical barriers. The freedom appointed to the free bird is opposite to that given to the caged bird. To show how the caged birds dealt with this segregation Angelou writes, “The caged bird sings/with fearful trill of the things unknown/but longed for still/and is tune is heard/on the distant hill for the caged bird/ sings of freedom” (Angelou). The caged birds “fearful trill” represents the bird’s worry that it will never have a chance to experience that same freedom. Though he’s fearful and his ambition is......

Words: 580 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Iwt Task 1

...Great Migration from 1919 – 1926 in which African Americans began moving to northern cities to find employment and a better way of life. The musicians of this era were very influential in renewing the culture and history of the United States. Jazz, race, and class divided Harlem and New York cities. Some historians have said the best way to understand the Harlem Renaissance is by understanding the music (; With the roots of jazz coming from slave songs, it is truly an African-American invention. This newly formed music utilized the dissonant “blue” note. This modification to the to the standard major scale allowed the musician to play the note flat; usually the third, fifth, or seventh note of the scale. Music critic Sidney Finkelstein stated, “It expresses the hope and struggle for freedom, the vitality which enables a people to wrest joy out of misery and to assert the triumph of human beings over the obstacles that would grind them down.” ("MindEdge," 2014) Jazz was the sound of the 1920’s; with the Roaring Twenties, individuality blossomed along with the pure jazz sounds from Harlem. Nightclubs began opening in New York. Many black musicians were employed to perform in these New York nightclubs, but none were allowed admittance (Hilliard, 2014). Per Ted Giogia, “Middle-class and upper-class black families were, at best, ambivalent about embracing...

Words: 2036 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Conflict Diamonds

...Wunderlich’s class that much!). For this assignment, you will create a CD that lists your song titles. The song titles will all reflect the chosen amendments below. (i.e. you do not need to do all 27 amendments…just the ones listed below). Also, your CD will only include the song titles, NOT the whole song. To create your CD, think of a particular type of music you want to do (country, classic rock, hip/hop, rap) and create a cover that represents that theme. Then , look at what each amendment discusses and create the title of a song that would be about that amendment. For example, a song about the first amendment might be “I say, I say, I say what I want” which reflects the idea of freedom of speech. You may not use the name of the amendment as a song title. For example, I do not want to see Track 1: Freedom of Speech, Track 2: Right to Bear Arms. When you list your song titles, the track numbers must match the number of your amendment. For example, a song about women voting needs to be track #19. *Your CD must be of high quality and well put together and colorful. CD’s that are written in pen or pencil on lined sheet of paper will not be graded. To reiterate, this is what you will turn into me: CD with 19 song titles that match their amendment numbers with a cover that reflects a genre of music and the theme of the CD. CD Project The amendments you are to create song titles for are: 1 point......

Words: 435 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

The Responsibility Act

...The Responsibility Project Deonne Gadson ETH/316 October 17, 2012 Brittany Diggs The Responsibility Project The film viewed is based on the freedom riders. The freedom riders were people who used interstate transportation to oppose the segregation laws in the south. This film showed two different organizational issues. The issues in the film are important, and as a result some of these issues affected the outcome of history. The social pressures of this film impacted the strength of the organized freedom riders and what they desired to accomplish. The outcome of what could happen to people if they participated in this movement affected the organization and their personal decision who got involved. The legal and ethical responsibility of police are both enforced and disregarded in this film. The two organizational issue facing this period were the freedom riders who opposed racism, and the police enforcing the Jim Crow laws and upholding racism. The two organizations had very different views during this movement. The freedom riders cause was clearly stated, and people defending desegregation and equality took action. Segregation during this period, in the south, was highly enforced. The freedom riders used song to communicate and strengthen their spirits. They received mistreatment from authorities because they would not allow their spirits to be broken. The police at this time felt the riders came down to cause trouble. Their organization issue was to stop the......

Words: 752 - Pages: 4