Building Bridges

Building Bridges

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Breath, Eyes, Memory - creative extensions and other endings

The Blog experiment in an English 103 classroom.

In our English 103 reading class this semester, we started with the novel Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat. Our reading led to other kinds of readings (documentaries, movies, and articles) that focused on bringing marginalized voices to the center. 

Danticat gave us words and the students used them to look into society's structure and they examined the word "patriarchy." At the completion of the novel the students wrote extensions to the novel and some students rewrote the ending.  Examples are below.

As the facilitator of the learning process in these two reading classes the students email me their stories and assessments and I upload them to the blogs.  I do the final editing with the help of the students.  They read for errors too.  They are asked to enter the blog and read the various stories.  I also ask them about the design and they are encouraged to contribute suggestions and comments.

Seeing myself as facilitator and/or participant observer has given me different lens to view the learning process.  Blogs give students another reason for reading and sharing and it also opens them up to a larger audience and the idea of publishing.  I wonder what it does for self esteem, confidence, independence, building classroom community, inspiring an interest in knowing, etc?  I will have to ask the students.
Extensions to Breath, Eyes, Memory by Danticat

Emerson Malone
October 9, 2011
ENG 103
            My grandmother quickly pressed her fingers over my lips.
            “Now,” she said, “you will know how to answer.”
She wrapped her arms around me for a hug before we walked back to the service. Everyone was staring at us as we walked back, she was essentially holding me up with her frail arms and I kept my face covered by my hands for any lingering, residual whimpers.
That night, I had difficulty falling asleep again. I couldn’t think of resting at a time like this. My brain would not slow down. This time, I wasn’t thinking about if my mother’s death was my fault, but rather the initial act of her suicide itself. After Joseph and I visited her, she told me that her unborn child was calling her a “filthy whore” and it sounded like the man who raped her.
My mother’s paranoia and anxiety from her rape never decelerated. In fact, if anything, it exacerbated exponentially. Her fear of her attacker was always internal and it never left her. When we first started living together, I had to take care of her when she had her nightmares. Now it was much different. Her biggest fear had taken on a very vital role in her life. A tangible one, at that.
I remember she asked me if there was something left inside of her from the rape, and what she would do if the child looks like him. To borrow a cliché, my mother’s nightmares had become real.
It would be an utterly nonsensical if it were anyone else who came up with this idea. But since it was my mother, it was completely normal.
Her entire life was defined with this man who attacked her. She was so conscious of the man that she was thinking about him everyday. Soon her awareness of him as a threat grew from a hyperawareness to maniacal obsession. Finally, when she was pregnant, her baby eventually materialized the threat himself. The menace was literally growing inside of my mother, clawing away at her, and making her go insane. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this evil manifestation was the ultimate burden for my mother to bear.
 My mother weighed her options, and she chose to abort her child by stabbing herself in her bathroom. This obviously wasn’t the sanest of choices because she inadvertently killed herself in the process. She was not suicidal, but merely looking for solace from her stressful life.
With all of this in mind, I somehow managed to fall asleep that night.
In the morning following the funeral service, I made breakfast for everyone in the kitchen that I haven’t used for a number of years. I cooked a pot full of oatmeal with fruit. Marc woke up first, followed by Grandme Ife and Tante Atie.
The four of us were quiet during breakfast. It would have been completely silent if it were not for the continuous clink of silverware against the ceramic bowls. The mood was undoubtedly drained raw. The death of my mother was the elephant in the room. Although no one acknowledged it, we were all thinking about it. None of us could have helped. Although I still feel guilty (and may feel this way permanently) for the episode, it happened on my mother’s own accord.
Marc told me that he had to get back to New York to attend to business.
We headed back to Dame Marie the following day for our flight back to the United States. It was not easy saying goodbye to Grandme Ife and Tante Atie. I felt as though I were abandoning them. It was a strange feeling, to think that I was compelled to take care of those who once did the same for me.
When we hugged goodbye, Grandme Ife’s skeletal arms were strangling my neck. I could tell she didn’t want to let go.
We took a cab to Dame Marie. The airport was predictably chaotic. We took our flight to New York and took a cab from the airport to Brooklyn, back to Marc’s house.
It was there we said goodbye. I always thought Marc was slightly patronizing to me, and always treated me like a child. When I was leaving him alone in the house where my mother once lived, I saw in his solemn eyes that he has changed. The death of my mother certainly concerned many people, but I believe that it may have been the two of us whom it was the most taxing.
I returned to Joseph and Brigitte. I held Brigitte in my arms and greeted Joseph. He cooked dinner for the two of us. It was over dinner I realized that I couldn’t stop thinking about Grandme Ife and Tante Atie. I left them behind with no one but one another. Tante Atie certainly could not experience any more neglect in her life since Louise left her.
I suddenly had an idea while I was spoon-feeding Brigitte her dinner.
“Joseph,” I asked, “how do you feel about moving to Haiti?”
Kayla Keith
October 12, 2011
English 103
Mon. & Wed. 1 pm
Breath, Eyes, Memory Extension
And then Sophie woke up. Dripping with sweat and tears pouring out of her eyes, she frantically looked around the room to examine where she was. A wave of relief crashed down on her when she looked to her right to find Joseph sleeping peacefully next to her. She sleepily got turned her body to sit up and set her feet on the cold wood floor. Sophie grabbed the phone from her nightstand and quickly dialed her mother’s number.

“Hello?” A deep, half-asleep voice mumbled into the phone. “Where is my mother?” Sophie was quick with her words. Sounding confused, Marc told her that her mother was sleeping still for the first time he'd seen. Sophie demanded to speak to her anyway. “Sophie! I got rid of the baby!” Martine excitedly sang into the phone. “What? How?” “I had him aborted, Sophie,” she was the happiest sounding that Sophie had ever heard. “And now, the voices, Sophie, they’re gone. I can sleep peacefully now, for the first time in almost thirty years.”
Sophie hurried down the sidewalk, dodging through the business of New York City. She looked down at her watch and picked up her speed, attempting to run in her new wedges. She had sat in the store the day before for an hour contemplating buying these foreign objects, but had finally decided to get them for this occasion. Relieved that she had finally reached her destination as her feet began to ache, she pushed the glass door and rushed inside.

“Mom! You’re finally here! What do you think about this one? I think this is the one!” Brigitte glowed in the elegant white dress. Sophie was speechless as her eyes began to fill with tears and she couldn’t help but smile. “Oh, Brigitte. It’s beautiful. Where is you’re grandma? Has she arrived yet? She would love this.” “I’m over here, Sophie. We’ve been waiting on you, as usual,” Martine laughed as she sat on the big love seat behind Brigitte. “Isn’t she lovely?” Sophie smiled and sat down next to her mother. They gazed up at Brigitte as she twirled and giggled, watching herself in the three-way mirror.

They left the bridal store and walked through the big crowds of New York City. Sophie struggled to walk in her wedges. She watched her feet as she walked. Martine pulled her arm as they abruptly came to a stop. She looked up to see Tante Atie. She froze. Unsure if this was real, no one said a word, but just looked. Finally, Brigitte looked at them and said, “I had to. My wedding will be a big day for me, and for all of us. I only thought it was necessary to bring her here.” Still not sure if what she was looking at was true, Sophie ran forward to hug a much older looking Tante Atie.

Martine had the family over for dinner that night. Sophie was still so surprised. When they walked in, she screamed, “everyone, look who’s come to visit for the wedding!” “Yes we all know,” Joseph chuckled as he got up to hug them. “Why was I the only one who was not aware of this?” Sophie asked. “We wanted to surprise you,” he said back. They all sat at the table. “Where is my fiancé?” Brigitte asked as Marc brought out a big bowl of pasta. “Oh yes, he said he was going to be running late and that he sends his apologies. He said to go ahead and start eating without him,” he sat and grabbed a piece of bread.

After dinner, everyone sat around the fireplace as Tante Atie confessed that she was finally moving to America. “Ever since my mother died, I have no purpose to not be here,” she told them all. The front door opened and they all looked over to see Brigitte’s fiancé. “Jason! Where have you been? You are two hours late!” Brigitte angrily looked at her soon-to-be-husband. “I know, I know. I’m so sorry,” he said with his hands behind his back. Brigitte looked at him curiously. He grinned and pulled his hands forward, holding a bouquet of yellow daisies. She jumped up to kiss him, forgetting at all that she was angry.

After hours of talking and discussing the details of the wedding, everyone went to head home. Brigitte was sitting in the passenger seat, staring in adoration at Jason. Feeling her eyes burn into him, he glanced over at her. He laughed and told her he loved her. When he looked back at the road, it was too late. The headlights of an SUV were coming directly at them, going 80 miles per hour. It crashed into them and the car flipped and landed on its side. Jason woke up in the hospital. “Where’s Brigitte?” he screamed at the nurse. “I am so very sorry,” she looked at him with pitiful eyes.

Sophie held Jason’s hand as he looked down at his shiny, black shoes during the funeral. When it was time to lower her casket into the ground, Sophie and Tante Atie threw handfuls of dirt onto it. With tears in his eyes, Jason places the little, yellow daisies onto the top of the casket. “Goodbye, my beautiful Brigitte. I’m sorry. I will love you forever.”
Arlene Reynoso
Eng 103/ 8:00 am
Chapter 36

“Ou libéreré?” “Ou libéreré?”…  I felt deep sadness, yet at the same time I felt graceful because I realized that the entire terrible event was one of my horrible nightmares.   I gave Merci to God for giving me the opportunity of awaking me to the sinister life I was living.
I remembered, the last few words my grandmother told me in her appearance in my nightmare.  “Now, You will know how to answer,” referring if I was feeling like a free person.  The answer is affirmative, “now I really know,” I told to myself.  I decided to leave all my problems behind.  I decided to help my mother to overcome her trauma, and heal herself as well as me.
I went to Brooklyn without saying a word to my mother.  She was surprised to see me there, “Ohh, Sophie!” “It’s a pleasure having you around here” “It makes me feel good knowing that we are now friends,” she said, while she was holding my face and looking me into the eyes.   “Manman I’m here because of the decision you made,” I said.  “ I’m afraid something will go wrong.” “I know darling, so am I.”  “Manman, you still have the opportunity to become a butterfly like in the story of the woman after her consultation with Erzulie.”  “Let me help you, please!”  “ I love you so much, and I don’t want to lose you.” “We are like the Marassas, remember?”
I made a confrontational therapy with my mother.  Rena was so glad because we were giving a huge step in our healing and acceptance process.   Also, my mother said that it was easier that she had thought, and she was hoping to continue going to therapy. 
Several months passed, and my mother gave birth to a beautiful girl.  She was wrong with the idea that her baby was going to be a boy.  She received the name of Daffodil; she received that name for two reasons.  First because that is my mother’s favorite flower, and second because of the Greek mythology of Narcissus.   Narcissus was a young man who fell in love of his own image reflected on a lake.  For the reason he was always looking into the lake, he fell and drowned.  Mysteriously, a flower grows up on the same spot he died.  This flower receives the name of narcissus or daffodil.   My mother and I have our own interpretation of the story.  We believe that it has to be a metamorphosis, a new life after another or a transformation of something prettier or a new renaissance.  “A new renaissance,” “that’s what it is,” I said to my mother looking her radiant face while holding her baby girl.  We kept the lights on the whole night.  We wanted to change the story my grandmother told me about when girls were born, and only the mother stay with the girl with the lights off.  Marc and Joseph brought some “It’s a girl” balloons and flowers.  Brigitte looked so happy that now she finally would have someone to play with.
Although, several things have change in the past few months, we still taking therapy with Rena.  Also Marc and Joseph have come with us for a while, and we have improved our relation as couples.  I am starting to have sexual connection with Joseph, but sometimes I have some flashbacks of the tests and it is impossible for me to enjoy him.

Ti Bo Lanmou
Soley Kouchan
Ti bouch ou
K’ap pentire
Syel grenn je-m
Fe dan-m siret siret
Nan dan-w
Fe dan-w siret siret
Nan dan-m
Fe mwen domi
Nan bra-w
Fe ou domi

Little Love Kiss
Sunlight recline
Your little mouth
Paint my eyes with
Flecks of sky
My sweet mango tender
Between your teeth
Your sweet mango tender
Between mine
I fall asleep
In your arms
You fall asleep
Down below me

After my grandmother died, Tante Atie came to New York to live near us.  She is still writing her poems, but this time love ones.  She looked for Louise, and now they are living together.  They have been in love for a long time, but they were afraid to confess their feelings to each other.
I decided to write my biography book to encourage the voiceless and powerless people, especially women to overcome whatever challenge is in their lives.  There is always hope, and someone who loves you.  Don’t be afraid of doing whatever passion is in your heart.   Always listen to your heart.  I did it, and I could save my mother of the terrible nightmare she was living.  Finally, my mother and I stopped, at least in our family, the horrible tradition of testing our daughters.  We want them to enjoy a healthy lives that we hadn’t had until now.  As my mothers said once, “ Us,  Caco women, when we’re happy, we’re very happy.”  And seriously, we are really happy. 
Lupita Garcia
English 103
Breath, Eyes Memory – Novel Extension
            After Martine’s death, I continue my life alongside of my husband and my baby Bridgette in Providence. Aunt Atie and Grandma Ife stayed in Haiti. I tried to convince Atie to come live with me but she refused.
            I continue to meet with my therapist as well as attend my sexual phobia group. “I’m sorry about your mother”, said the therapist while putting out her cigarette. “I really don’t want to take about the issue at the time”, I replied dolefully. I did not want to talk about my mother although in strange way I was happy for her. I was happy she was relieved from the nightmares and pain my father caused her.
“That is perfectly fine Sophie, although I encouraged you to alleviate your anger, but any who, how is your relationship with your husband.”
“After Martine’s death, it has seemed things are more difficult for Joseph and I, even though he is very patient with me, I loose patients to myself. He is helping me with baby Bridgette yet I feel so overwhelm. My sex phobia group is going okay but Martine’s death has impacted me more than I thought.”
“That is great that Joseph is considerate about your feelings and he is being patient, he understands your pain. So tell me what happen to your mother lover’ Marc”
“I have not heard of Marc after the accident. And I don’t really want to know about him.”
“You are still in denial and blame him”
“Sure.” I replied.
The relationship between Joseph and I was not going very well. He loved me greatly but I couldn’t be with him anymore. We decided to separate. Bridgette and I have moved into my mother’s house in New York. While we are distanced I hope to be able to recover from the phobia and be able to be with my husband.
It has been a year after Martine’s death. Grandma Ife was very ill. Bridgette and I made another trip to Haiti. We had not gone since Martine’s death. Ou libere, I’m free, at least is what I have been able to live with the thought that I am. Returning to Haiti has brought back many painful memories for Martine and well as for me. My grandmother was an old woman who always felt displaced and her stories consoled her. Aunt Atie and I would rub black pepper on her upper lip so she would sneeze. It was believe if an ill person sneezes they would live. As I rocked baby Bridget to sleep in the porch I watched for a falling star. When a star falls out of the sky it was meant some will die. The next morning Grandma Ife had passed away. She believed that no one really dies unless they are remembered. Now two great women in my life, Martine and Grandma Ife, both rest peacefully in the hill of Guinea, where someday we will all reunite.
“Sophie will you stay longer time with me, do not leave me alone.” Aunt Atie insisted for me to stay but Haiti was fill of mixed memories one much stronger than others.
“Aunt Atie, why don’t you come live with Bridget and I to New York”
“No my child, Haiti is where I belong and where I will die.”
I agreed to spend a few days with Aunt Atie. I approached the time I had to go visit my mother. In the way I made a quick stop in the field to place a crucified, that way I would finish burring memories that yet remain. After doing so, I felt relieved.
The next morning I packed my belonging and started to head off to New York for the third time. As Aunt Atie, Baby Bridget, and I rode the taxi to the station, the hill of Guinea faded in the distance, saying a prayer for the strong women who survive a long fight and now live calming in Guinea away from any harm.
On my returned back to New York, I arrived home to find Joseph in the porch. He really does love me. I invited him to come inside and spend time with baby Bridget, who was growing very fast. We talked.
“Sophie, please come live with me, I need you and our Baby. I know things are difficult for you. But we can both keep trying and live through it together”
After burying all those horrifying memories in Haiti. I felt the white elephant in the room was gone. I did no longer felt agonized by the situation. Therefore I agree to Joseph proposition. But I wanted to live in my mother’s home as a memory of her.
Fifteen years have passed. Bridget is growing into a beautiful young lady. And for Joseph and me, our relationship has been going great. We have come to manage and repair all the damage that was cause. As to mention, I was expecting another child, another blessing. We have stumbled, but we have not fallen. Ou libere, I’m free!
Siobhan Crevecoeur
ENG 103
Extension to Breath, Eyes and Memory
It seemed the entire village was watching me tear through the cane. My grandmother’s words echoed in my head as we walked back to the house. Was I free? Will I ever be? I struggled with the idea. My mother was never free, she suffered every single day. Was that my fate? Tante Atie was solemn as she walked behind Ife and me. I wondered what she was thinking as the tears flowed never ending from her eyes. “Strong as mountains.” I said to her “My child, there are no mountains like Martine. She was the strongest of them all.”  I wondered if that was true.
When we got back to Grandme Ife’s house, people from the village had left pots of ginger tea and baskets of dried flowers. The air was thick and warm, and the moon shone bright over us. This bothered me for some reason. I was afraid to sleep in my mother’s room. Would the nightmares now become mine? Would I now fully know what tormented her for so many years and made her take her life? There was only one way to find out. I walked out on the porch and had a cup of tea. In the distance I could hear people singing songs to honor the dead. Their voices carried on the breeze and were strangely comforting. As I wiped the tears from my eyes Tante Atie came and sat down next to me. We sat in silence, listening to the wind through the trees and the chirping of the crickets. “Rest my child.” she said and handed me one of my mother’s old sweaters “Do not cry for her, she rests now with no more dreams of this place. She is at peace now.”
I walked down the dirt road, daffodils blossomed all around as the sun shined warm on my skin. Through the tall grass I heard the trickle of the stream. I sat on the bank of the stream and put my feet into the cool water. In the shade of the trees I laid down, a crown of daffodils around me. I was somewhere I’d never been, but somehow knew. A lark perched in the tree above me and his song was beautiful. I wondered where I was and why I was there, but in my state of calm I did nothing to find out. Brigitte cooed softly and pulled a daffodil close to her mouth. Moments like these make life more beautiful. My mother came and sat in between Brigitte and me. Her skin was a soft brown, her eyes seemed brighter and her hair was down and longer than I’d seen it before. I made a chain of daffodils and put them in her hair. “Mother…” I began “I am alright Sophie.” she interrupted. Her words seemed final and certain and I looked over at Brigitte who was sleeping sweetly in the grass.
I opened my eyes and found myself wrapped in my mother’s sweater. I did not have the nightmares my mother did. But was I safe forever? I wished I could have stayed by that stream. I felt more energized, I knew my mother was alright and I couldn’t wait to see Brigitte. There were no kids in our yard this morning and the leaves had begun to pile up. Tante Atie was in her room and Grandme Ife was in the wash room. I gathered my things and put them in my suitcase and instead of packing the sweater, I put it on. I knocked on Tante Atie’s door but there was no answer. I wanted to tell her about my dream. How real it felt, and that my mother was at peace.  I walked out the front door and put my suitcase on the porch. The cab driver should be arriving soon to take me to Port Au Prince for my flight back to New York.
Ife came out to sit with me. “Is Atie going to be alright? I knocked on her door and she said nothing.” Ife’s face seemed desperate to answer my question. “Atie is a strong Haitian woman, but your mother’s death is too much for her just now. Give her time and she will be the same Atie again.” My heart suddenly felt heavy and I held back the tears that tried to leap from my eyes. Outside I could hear the neighbors talking and I knew the cab driver was coming up the street. I felt as though I was paralyzed and did not want to leave the porch. The cab driver honked twice and Grandme Ife stood up and waved to him. I put my suitcase in the backseat of the car and hugged Grandme Ife tightly.
I knew I would be back in Haiti soon; I needed to stay close to the strong women I had left. I gave the driver money and got in the car. We started to pull away from the house I could see Grandme Ife watching me drive away. I saw Tante Atie fly out of the house and run after the cab. “Stop! Please!” I said to the driver and he pulled over. Atie was running towards me, tears streaming down her face, and I began to run to her. When we met, she threw her arms around me and held me so tight I thought I’d burst. “I could never let you leave without saying goodbye.” she said “It’s bad luck.” She looked into my eyes waiting for me to say something. “She is alright. She told me in my dreams and I believe she is right.” Atie looked at me with such relief, as if she was waiting for me to tell her. I hugged her again, smelled the orange oil on her skin and kissed her cheek. I got back in the car as Grandme Ife walked up and stood with Atie. They both became smaller figures in the distance as I left Dame Marie. This time, I was not sad; I was not scarred or worried of what life will be like without my mother. She was in a beautiful happy place full of daffodils and quiet streams. She was happier than she had ever been in life, and knowing that gave me the strength to smile even when I thought it impossible.

Nico Cabildo
English 103

            I was watching the news on TV as the phone started to ring.  I quickly hoped off of the couch to pick up the phone in the kitchen. 
“Hello, mom?”
“Yes how are you, Sophie?”
“I’m fine.  How did the operation go?”
“I did not get it.  I can’t do it.  I woke up this morning and thought to myself, how could I ever kill this child?  What if I would’ve gotten an abortion with you?  I could’ve missed out on raising another wonderful daughter. “
“That is very true.  I am glad you decided to keep this child.  You will not be alone during this time.  Joseph and I are always just a phone call away.”
“I know, thank you Sophie.  It’s getting late, I’m going to go get ready for bed.  Goodnight.”
“Goodnight Mom.”
            It was nice talking to my mom.  Hearing her voice put me at ease.  I was worried about her I thought something had gone wrong.  I’m glad she didn’t get the abortion.  She’s right, what if she had gotten an abortion with me.  I wouldn’t be here right now.  No one would know or love Sophie.  That idea gave me the chills.  She could have easily decided to abort me and that would be the end of me.  Any possibility of me being able to experience life would be taken away from me.  And I would have no say in what happens. The thought was stuck in my head all throughout the night.
            I woke up to Brigitte crying early that morning.  I fed her breakfast and started with my day.  Joseph was making coffee while waiting on our toast.  We sped through our breakfast and split to our daily routines.  I wanted to see my mom so I took Brigitte and we went for a drive over to her house.  We arrived to a nicely baked apple pie she had prepared for us. 
“How’s Joseph?” Martine asked
“He’s good.  He couldn’t be here with us right now because of his rehearsals.”
“I understand.  This pregnancy is going to be very tough for me.  No matter how hard I try I can never forget his face.  His voice is always speaking to me in my sleep.  I stay awake most of the nights now.  But I will keep trying.  I know you are all here to support me.”
“Of course were here for you.  Have you told Grandma Ife?”
“No I can’t yet.  I don’t know how.  But I know I must, she will know soon enough. “
We had some tea along with some small talk for the rest of the afternoon.  As I arrived home Joseph was on the couch watching TV. 
“Your mom just called.  She asked that you call her back right away.”
“How long ago did she call?”
“About 20 minutes ago.”
I gave him Brigitte and picked up the phone to call my mom.  After only a few rings she answered.
“What is it? Is something wrong?”
“Your Grandma Ife is dead.”
“What? How?  When did this happen?”
“Your Tante Atie called me right after you left.  Apparently she died in her sleep.  She was old, and she knew that her time was coming soon.”
“I loved her very much.  Now she is in a better place.”
“Yes, she is with my father again.  She will be happy to be reunited.”
            After the phone call with my mom I just sat there in silence.  No one close to me has ever died before. I didn’t think I would have to return back to Haiti so fast. At least I was able to spend time with her before she passed.  Seeing her face and hearing her voice for the last time is something I will cherish along with her memory.  She raised two wonderful women who would have the biggest impact on my life.  She paved the road for the women of my family and is an inspiration to all of us.  She must be so happy now to have her soul finally set free.

Breath, Eyes, Memory - Student family histories

The Blog experiment in an English 103 classroom.

We started with the novel Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat. It led to readings that focused on bringing marginalized voices to the center. Chief Seattle helped us to look into family histories and students interviewed family members and shared their stories.

Danticat gave us words and the students used them to look into society's structure and they examined the word "patriarchy."

The students also wrote extensions to the novel and some students rewrote the ending.


Michael Buchmiller
English 103 
Family History Story
Zachariah Hardy, was born in Belfast, Maine on 12 March 1779. He was trained to be a carpenter and ship builder. With his later family he heard the gospel and moved to Nauvoo, IL to join in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The first person they met upon their arrival at Nauvoo was the Prophet Joseph Smith with whom     they became intimately acquainted. Zachariah Hardy was chosen to be a bodyguard for the prophet and held this position until the Prophet's death.
At the time of the martyrdom of the prophet, Zachariah was among the first to reach the scene of the tragedy. This event threw the saints into grief and confusion until Brigham Young took command of the Church, determined to lead them west. Immediately they were caught up in preparation to move. Part of the preparation was building flat boats large enough for horses and wagons to board. These flatboats had to be ferried across the river. Originally because the Hardy's were carpenters and shipbuilders, Zachariah was called to go with the first company as rafts and bridges were needed to cross the many rivers going west which would be swollen in the early spring, but later because of his seamanship skills Brigham Young asked him to stay and run the ferry boat across the river to assist the fleeing saints who were being driven and persecuted by angry mobs.
On February 9, 1846 with the wagons lined up down Parley Street, his own family among them he began ferrying the wagons across the mighty Mississippi. He ran the ferry day and night for three days as he could not depend on help. On the night of February 11, 1846, a terrible storm arose. The chilling winds of winter swept down upon them with a force that rivaled the terror of the mobs. Zachariah never wavered from this calling. The next morning when the ferry had not returned, the found him lying on the ferry, his beard and hair matted with ice. He had a very bad cold that developed into pneumonia from which he died on the river bank with only a wagon bed covered and placed on the ground as a means of protection. In this same wagon-bed lay his sick wife, who had there delivered a baby five days earlier and their other five children, the wagon-bed being the only shelter the young family had.
As they dared not return to Nauvoo in the daytime, his brothers, Joseph and Lewis and brother-in-law, Abiah Wadsworth and a son, William took his body and buried it at night. This left his wife Eliza, along with six children, with very little to live on until spring. Emma Smith, the prophet's wife, opened her home and cared for them until Eliza was able to travel and then said, if she would give up her trip west with the saints she could have a home with them and she would pay for the children’s education, but Eliza refused.
          Lewis took his family with the rest of the Hardy and Wadsworth's to a small town about fifty miles farther on. Here they remained until the spring of 1849 when the moved to Council Bluffs. They started their journey west on the 10th of May 1851. Eliza's oldest son, William now being 16 years old they joined Captain Day's company, consisting of about 50 persons. Eliza had a small team and an old wagon in which she had all her earthly possessions. William drove most of the way, while the older children walked and pulled a cart and the two younger ones rode in the wagon.
         It was a long tiresome trip and Eliza was often so tired and footsore at night that she found sleep impossible, but she was never heard to complain of her sad lot, always ready with a smile and cheer for those around her. Their trip was uneventful.  Although, they were troubled by some wandering tribes of Indians and they often had to stop and repair bridges or build rafts to cross the swollen streams. All went well with them and they reached Salt Lake Valley which to them was indeed the "Land of Promise," September 18, 1851."

Emerson Malone

Since the 1820s, American settlers populated Texas, a land owned by Mexico, soon outnumbering the Texas-Mexicans themselves. Mexican dictator Antonio Opez de Santa Anna enforced new, strict laws to reduce the numbers of the colonized, including abolishing slavery. The American settlers rebelled against the new laws and began to seek independence beginning in October 1835, the month the Texas Revolution began. The most famous battle of the Texas Revolution was the battle of the Alamo. The siege is so famous because it is key to the creation of how Texas won its independence as a state.

My ancestry can be traced back to both Daniel Boone, the famous pioneer who explored and settled in what is now the state of Kentucky, and the monolithic battle of the Alamo in 1836. This story begins with Tabitha Callaway, the daughter of Jeremiah Boone and Flanders Callaway, was the paternal granddaughter of Daniel Boone. She married Abraham Darst.

Abraham and his brother Jacob Darst came to Texas while their seven siblings remained in Missouri. Abraham came to Texas with Stephen F. Austin’s second colony in 1829, while Jacob came with the DeWitt colony. Green DeWitt, of Missouri, had a contract to settle 400 families in an area west of Austin’s colony and west of San Antonio Road. The San Antonio Road was the route that connected Nacogdoches, Texas to San Antonio to Mexico City to more eastern parts of America. The DeWitt colony established the town of Gonzales, Texas. Jacob settled in this town and was one of the 32 volunteers from the town who fought and died in the Alamo.

Abraham and Tabitha begat five children, one of whom was named Lorena, born in 1811. Lorena married Samuel Damon in 1834 at Damon Mound, which became historically significant as the first white settlement in Texas. Together, they had six children. In 1873, Tyra Taylor Damon was born. He had two children: Bess Lucille Damon, and her brother, Leslie Damon who married Abby Coleman. Abby was later married a second time to Ernest Napoleon Malone. He was born in Provencal, Louisiana on March 28, 1892. This is my paternal great-grandfather.

Navarro, Daniela
English 103 
                                    My Family History
             My family history goes beyond a few generations.  I have met my great grandparents from my mother’s side, which have made me realize that we have it easy.  My great grandma had 16 kids, all of which she had to raise on her own.  The older kids helped raise the younger kids.  Of course, this was in Mexico, in a small town called Toyahua.  My grandpa was born in that town 67 years ago.  He was the oldest of the 16, so he had to raise his siblings and work at a very early age to help his mother.  He would milk the cows at dawn, so they would have fresh milk by the morning.
             My grandpa would tell me that how hard he worked for his family.  He told me about a time when he was coming back from milking the cows that he almost got robbed.  It was still dark out, when he was about 2 blocks from his house, when he spotted 2 suspicious men.  I guess these men were criminals.  My grandpa was on his horse, when these men pulled his legs, trying to pull him off his horse. He was frightened so he made the horse run as fast as he could all the way home.  He also told me the story of how he met “La Llorona.”  She was a ghost that would call for her children every night, crying her eyes out.  My grandpa met my grandma, in the market one day, and they decided to run away to a nearby village.  This was the village that my grandpa’s grandparents had grown up in.  A few years later, my mom was born, the eldest of 5.  It was the tradition that she had to help with the younger kids.  My mom was born on a bed of hay in a village that they named “The infiernito,” “the little hell.”  I imagine they called it the little hell for a reason. 
My dad’s family also came from Mexico.  His family was from a town called San Martin Hidalgo, in the state of Jalisco.  His parents were not a traditional Mexican family.  They were never close to their relatives.  My dad was born on a street called “calle 16,” 16th street.  His parents divorced when he was about 3.  His mother immigrated to America in search of a new life for her and her 4 children.  My dad, the only male among 3 sisters had it tough.  He had to work to take care of his sisters.  That was what his mother, and his grandparents expected of him.  My grandmother would send them money monthly, so they could eat and go out and buy goods.  My grandpa was never in my dad’s life until just recently.  My dad then immigrated to the United States when he was about 17, where he quickly accustomed to his new life.  By then my mom had also emigrated from Mexico, and settled into the same apartment.
           I am proud to say that I know where my family comes from, and I’m proud of the sacrifices that both my parents and my grandparents made to give me a better life and better opportunities.  Now, my brother and I are in college, working part-time and trying to figure out our future.                
Arlene Reynoso
Eng 103/ 8:00am
  My Grandmother
       My name is Arlene Reynoso, and I am 25 years old.  I was born in Santa Barbara California, but I was taken to Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico when I turned 11 months. I was raised there until I decided to come back last year. Both of my parents are from the state of Jalisco, but they met here in Santa Barbara.  They got married because my mother got pregnant of my older sister.  Consequently my grandmother never gets along with my father.
                     I am going to talk about my incredible grandmother Josefina.  She is my mother’s mom.  As the matter in fact, she is the only of my grandparents alive.  I admire her so much; she is a symbol of strength and wisdom for me.  That is the reason I would like to tell her story in order to others get to know her.
                  She is 84 years old.  She was born on March 19, 1927 in the town La Milpilla, in the county of Teocuitatlan de Corona, Jalisco Mexico.  She is the only daughter in a family of five sons.  She only went to elementary school, but she did not finish.  She only did until 5th grade.  When she was a child, she always helped her father in the land work.  Her family has corn land and grassland.  Unfortunately, when her father passed away, he did not leave her anything because she was a woman; women for him did not need to have anything because their husbands suppose to give them everything they need.   She got married at the age of seventeen.  She was really in love with him, and got pregnant.  Unfortunately, eight months later, some gangsters killed her husband.  He did not even have the chance to know her son David.
                 Ten years after of the murdered, my grandmother got married again.  Her mother in law gave her an advice to marry with her husband’s uncle who was also widow.  She followed her advice and did it.  With this marriage she had three children, on of they is my mom Rosa Isela she is the middle one; also she has my uncle Martin who is the oldest and my aunt Patricia who is the youngest.  Their marriage last around eight years because my grandfather was so jealous and one day he beat her.  She decided to leave him even though in that time it was not well seen.  Marriage was suppose to last forever, until dead separated them.  She moved to Tijuana because she got a job there. She left her three children in her town to send them money, but the oldest one, David, went with her to help her work.  She worked out side cantinas selling chicken wings to people who were getting off of there.
             There she obtained a passport to come to California to buy and sell chickens.  One day, she came to California and decided not to come back to Mexico for better opportunities.  She arrived to the city of Santa Barbara where she found a job in a house.  There she cleaned, did the laundry, cooked, ironed, baby sit, etc.  She did not have a day off and have to work all day with that family.  She was like a slave.  She stayed at the garage with her son.  One day, the family she used to work, had some guests.  One of them found that about my grandmother situation, and tall her that it was not okay the treatment she was receiving.  She told her to get out of that place, and sent her with other people who could help her.  Later, my grandmother found another job as a housekeeper   with better payment and with days off.  She stared to make more money to send their children back home.
            Some years after, she paid someone to help her children come to the USA.  She worked very hard in order to her children went to school. She did not want them to pass the same situation as her.  She was illegal for several years.  Fortunately, she met U.S citizen man who offered to help her to be legal in this country.   However, they got married to start that process, he could not help her because he did not make the sufficient income immigration requires to support another person.  He passed away.  My grandmother sent an application to immigration and finally they accepted and became a US citizen.  One of the reasons she could make it is because she was married with an American citizen.  Another lost for her was her son David who was involved in a car accident, and died instantly.  She has never recovered of that.
            Nowadays, my grandmother is retired.  She spent some months of her time in Mexico and some months here in California.  She is really healthy and strong, she seems to have more energy than me, she never complains of anything.  She likes to be very active.  She likes to walk and go shopping.  I can talk with her of whatever I want.  That is the reason I admire her so much, I would like to be kind of her when I had her age.
Siobhan Crevecoeur
ENG 103          
My Ancestry
         My great grandparents emigrated to the U.S. from Ireland and experienced the famous Ellis Island routine. Though I don’t remember their birth names, I know my great grandfather was known as Al. B. White and my great grandmother as Myrtle White.
         My great grandfather Al opened a restaurant in New York City near the railroad tracks. This was not uncommon except for that all the other shops and businesses there were on the right hand side of the tracks because passengers entered and exited on the right side of the train. Al playfully named his restaurant “Al B. White’s Wrong Side of the Tracks” and set up shop on the left side.
         The restaurant thrived! Myrtle was a beautiful actress in local plays and performances on the stage. Their apartment was located directly above their restaurant and my aunt tells me stories about watching her grandmother Myrtle rehearse upstairs all the while smelling the delicious food be cooked downstairs.
         The restaurant still exists today in New York but is now a soulful jazz club style called “The Moonlight Lounge”. My uncle recently went to visit and the new owners really enjoyed the history lesson about how it all began. I’m very proud to have such a happy story relating to Ellis Island and my family’s journey into the United States.

Nico Cabildo
Family History
The history of my family has always been something I’ve been very familiar with.  Ever since I was a young boy my grandfather always told me stories of his own father and grandfather.  My great-great grandfather and grandmother met on the small island of Basilan in the southern Philippines.  My great-great grandmother came to the island pregnant and ready to start a new life.  In the province of Lamitan, Basilan she met my great great-grandfather, a lieutenant in the Filipino Army. They had seven children, 5 boys and 2 girls, including my grandpa.  When World War 2 came along my great-great grandfather died in the war alongside with his American allies. My grandfather, the second oldest of his siblings, was forced to grow up early and help keep his family together.      
When my grandfather was growing up he had a goal for success.  He did well in school and eventually went to law school.  After school he met my grandmother who worked in the postal office. My grandpa was a lawyer in his younger years and eventually was promoted to be the head attorney of the island.  My grandma and grandpa had five kids.  The first four were girls and my uncle was the youngest of them all.  My mom was the oldest of everyone.   My grandpa always made sure they would do extremely well in school.  He even made my mom and aunts major into the medical field so they can someday work in American.            
My mom went the island of Cebu to go to college when she was 17.  She studied physical therapy and was very successful in school.  She met my dad shortly after college.  My dad was studying to become a doctor at the time.  My mom got pregnant around the time my grandpa brought his entire family to the states.  The move separated my mom and dad.  My dad has his own family in the Philippines and is currently a professor. 
My grandparents, mom, three aunts, and my uncle all moved to Florida together where I was born shortly after.  After I was born we all moved to Minnesota for a year and eventually settled in Walnut, CA.  My grandpa’s brothers all lived in Walnut so our entire family was reunited again.  My grandpa’s younger brother Tony was the mayor of Walnut City a couple years after we settled in.  I started kindergarten in that city and at the same time my Uncle Ian, a skinny 19 year old, enlisted in the navy with high expectations and future opportunities.  He was in a fireman aboard the USS WASP.  I remember him coming home for a few short weeks and then leaving for deportation again.  When he got out of the navy he finished college and got a degree working with computers.  He currently works with the F.B.I in the cyber terrorism unit. 
My aunts all work in the medical field.  I don’t specifically know what their careers are but I know it’s something to do in that field.  They all married husbands working in the same field of work.  My entire family practically works in the medical field.  They’re all very successful so I know my family has high expectations with my future.
When I was seven my mom got a job in Bakersfield, CA.  The two of us moved to our new home for the next eleven years.  I consider Bakersfield my hometown.  It’s where I grew up and became the person I am today.  I started my second grade at Hart Elementary where I met some of my best friends that I still hangout with on a daily basis.  In fourth grade I started playing football and was very competitive with other sports.  At the same time I was always skateboarding for fun.  Once junior high came along I quit sports and started skating a lot more.  I played football throughout high school but always remained the skate rat I always have been.  My families always been by my side and that’s why I try to figure out so much about them. 


Breath, Eyes, Memory - Student self assessments as project preparation

The Blog experiment in an English 103 classroom.

We started with the novel Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat. It led to readings that focused on bringing marginalized voices to the center. Chief Seattle helped us to look into family histories and students interviewed family members and shared their stories.

Danticat gave us words and the students used them to look into society's structure and they examined the word "patriarchy."

The students also wrote extensions to the novel and some students rewrote the ending.


Daniela Navarro            
English 103           
Edwidge Danticat Project        

Edwidge Danticat writes for the “voiceless, the oppressed, and the greater good for the community.”  In my opinion, the voiceless, and the oppressed are those who have no voice, or opinion in society.  They may be afraid to speak the truth, or they simply are not taken into consideration.  There opinion is worthless and does not count.  These might be people who are overruled by a higher figure of power, and simply cannot voice their opinion, or concerns.  Danticat also writes to help us understand the situations and the hardships being dealt with.  She acknowledges the concerns that these people may have, and wants to help them by telling stories so the world can comprehend their point of view and their everyday life.          

There are many examples in our society today, of people that cannot voice their opinion, or are not valued in society.  One example is how women are being treated in the middle east.  These women and children are being treated worse than animals.  The women and children are not allowed to say anything, not allowed to voice their opinion because they are considered a minority.  The men are in power, which means that the society is a patriarchy.  The men rule everything.  Another group of people that are “voiceless” are the homosexuals.  They are not treated equally like everyone else.  They cannot express their opinion without being maltreated in our society.  They cannot speak their mind because our society does not believe in same sex marriage.  They are afraid to say what they want because they don’t want to be rejected by the society.         

In the article, Full Frontal Feminism, by Jessica Valentini, she argues the positive aspect of feminism.  Violence is her main focus, due to the uprising problem in our society.  She discusses that violence against women is becoming normalized because the men in our society have been raised to think that women are objects.  This article relates to Danticat’s purpose for writing because Valenti is writing to help the poor women who are suffering from violence.  She is standing up for the women who are afraid to speak the truth, and the women who are vulnerable to the actions’ taken by the men.  Men tend to think that they are in a higher place in society, higher than women, which make it easier for the men to commit crimes against women.  Women are the ones to blame for the action’s committed by the men, which is truly unfair.  Full Frontal Feminism also relates to the meaning of Patriarchy, that society is dominated by those who are in power, usually males.  The men in our society are being taught that “violence and sexual assault are okay” states Valentini.  They think that they can do whatever they want, and that their actions‘ don’t affect others.          

Danticat’s writing for the voiceless also connects to Chief Seattle’s Speech-My People.  In this excerpt, Chief Seattle, wrote a response letter in accordance to the proposal that would change the lives of many.  The proposal was from the governor, who wanted to buy their land, so chief Seattle’s people would have to move to a whole new land.  He was skeptical at first, but the considered taking the offer.  Chief Seattle's  people were forced to migrate and start a whole new life in different town.  This relates to Danticat because Chief seattle is also writing for those who cannot voice their opinion, the ones who are afraid to speak the truth.  “Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation my people”.  Chief seattle mentions that his people are the ones that dominate that part of the land, and they shall never be denied the right to visit their ancestors.  His people are afraid of the greater power, the government.  The government dominates the land, which means that they have more power over chief seattle and his people.  This relates to the idea of Patriarchy, the ones in power rule.  In this excerpt, the ones that ruled and dominated was the government.          

Ellis Island, by Irving Howe also depicts the reason why Danticat writes: for those who are voiceless.  Ellis Island was the point of entry for immigrants, from 1892 until 1965.  This excerpt is the experience and the trauma that the European immigrants faced, while entering Ellis Island.  “No previous difficulties roused such overflowing anxiety... as the anticipated test of Ellis Island.”  As they entered the port, they were marked or or numbered for classification to determine the category they were put in.  The immigrants were inspected to see if they were allowed entry.  Those who did not pass the inspection were sent to different doctors to determine the mental issues that were assumed they had.  Most of the immigrants were in search of a better life, but their fear overpowered it.  Howe, like Danticat,  writes for those who feel  oppressed, and for those who feel that their opinion does not matter and think that their voice is worthless.    Patriarchy also plays an important role in this excerpt because it shows how the society is dominated by  the ones in power, usually males.           

We are Ugly, but we are Here, by Edwidge Danticat, she truly expresses the meaning of her writing purpose.  She reflects on her own childhood to tell us the story of where the saying “we are ugly, but we are here” comes from and what it means to her.  This article is the article that will best represent why Danticat is writing for the oppressed and for the voiceless.  Her ancestors were voiceless, which ignited a spark in Danticat to write.  This article reflects the meaning of patriarchy because Danticat writes about the hardships that her family experienced while back in Haiti, before they had migrated to the United States, and who was in power during that time.         

The Homeland, Aztlan, by Gloria Anzaldua, is about the immigrant experience that she experienced when she was young and how that particular experience shaped who she wanted to be in life.  “As an openly lesbian Chicana writer and activist”, gloria’s life revolved around the culture and the voice of the women of color.  This was Gloria’s passion, so she fulfilled it until her last days.  She mentions that the border was two worlds emerging, and she talks about those who were in power: the whites, and “those who align themselves with whites.”  “ The symbolic sacrifice of the serpent to the “higher” masculine powers indicates that the patriarchal order had already vanquished the feminism and matriarchal order.”  Gloria refers to the meaning of patriarchy, that the whites and the males were the ones in power, the ones that dominated society.  Gloria also speaks in behalf to those who were oppressed and those who had no voice in society.  She is speaking for all the immigrants that have gone through the same experience as she has, and wants to tell her story and her outlook in respect to the immigrant experience.   

In the article, The Silent Witness, by Raquel Partnoy, also discusses the immigrant experience, and her family hardships.  Her ancestors were Russian-Jewish immigrants who settled in Argentina in 1913.  She talks about her childhood, and what she witnessed as a young and innocent girl.  As Raquel grew older and more mature, her passion was Art.  Her paintings reflected the experiences and her heritage.  After Raquel’s daughter had been taken away from her, and taken to a concentration camp for 5 months, She started painting more pictures that reflected her emotions.  Raquel’s daughter, Alicia, had gotten married and conceived a baby girl.  The baby girl, Ruth, witnessed her mother being caught and taken away from her.  Ruth went to live with her grandparents.  As this tragedy occurred, Raquel also noticed that her son was suffering from depression.  She produced a series called “Clothes”, to represent his son’s life, until he could no longer bear it, and committed suicide at the age of 25.  Raquel became very focused on the lives‘ of many and what they had suffered throughout their lifetime.  Eventually, Raquel and her husband reconciled with her daughter and her family.  These paintings represented all of the experiences and the memories that she had.  This was a way for Raquel to speak for those who were oppressed and those who could not voice their opinion.  This was a new way to come across, how her life had changed through her own self-experiences.  Raquel painted several series to represent the different times in her life.  This story reflects the idea of patriarchy, because her grandparents had migrated to a better country in search of a better life.  They wanted to get away from a place that had no opportunities.         

Gloria Anzuldua’s article, The Homeland, Aztlan, connects to Chief Seattle’s speech, because they both address the immigrant experience.  Gloria talks about the borders being like two worlds emerging, and Chief Seattle talks about how they were forced to evacuate their land.  The article helps me understand the speech in a distinct way, that it is not all about the bad experiences, it is about the positive attitude that comes from that negative aspect.    

Rosa Castillo
English 103
Individual Reading Assessment
1)  Edwidge Danticat is a Haitian writer, who speaks for the voiceless, oppressed, marginalized, powerless and the silent one. Danticat’s books and article say the unspoken. There are many people around the world who suffer many discriminations, they are violated, and have no one to tell to, because saying something might mean dying.  Women and men keep their problems to themselves, and no one ever knows what they see or go through. Danticat speaks for these people she knows if no one ever speaks no one will. She believes that the only way for helping others is to speak up, and let the world know what they are going through. She says the struggles of people who are powerless to do so. She tells the world, the suffering of the people who cannot speak, and are not heard. People who are discriminated, who are beaten because of their religious beliefs, sexuality, color of skin or race, those who are looked down by society. She also talks from experience and knows that it is important that people around the world know that there is more that meets the eye.
We live in a world where society plays a huge part on our life. Society influences us in many ways, whether it is in the clothes we wear, how we act in public, or simply on the type of music we listen to. However, we often look the other way when society discriminates those who are different than us, and don’t meet the standards of our society. Two groups of people who are look down, discriminated, and are voiceless are illegal immigrants, and lesbians/gays. Illegal immigrants come to the U.S in search for a better life for them and their families, but instead they find a place where they are treated badly, and discriminated against.  Many illegal immigrants work under poor condition, are treated badly by their bosses and are even paid less than minimum wage. They are often called names, and are treated with calling immigration on them. Not only are they discriminated by the people around them buy also by the government. Such example is when the government implies harsh laws on them; one of them was The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. This act prohibited Chinese people to work in mines, and also banned them from California. Illegal immigrants cannot rely on the government to protect them, because to the government there aren’t really here, and are criminals who broke the law and are here illegally.
Another example in our society of people who are oppressed and are discriminated are lesbians and gays. Lesbians and gays are a group of people who are extremely discriminated against simply because of their sexual preference. They are label as “weirdoes,” “faggs,” “queers” and so on.  People harass them in many ways, whether is emotionally, physically, or mentally, gays live in fear most of the time.  Our society cannot accept them, because most people are dogmatic, and cannot accept those who are different from them. Gays and lesbians are often to pushed into living in fear, and forced into hiding their sexual preference. Immigrants, lesbians and gays live in fear, and are judge by our society. They have no way of speaking up, simply because they never know what will happen to them, just because of the fact they don’t meet our society standards.
2)  Danticat is a writer whose main purpose is to write for the voiceless, people who cannot speak up. She knows that they are many people who are oppressed, by their government, their family, and other reasons; therefore she tells people their struggles. She opens the eyes of the world. In Chief Seattle we see the natives being oppressed by the white man. The white man is kicking them out of their land, and if they do not obey their rules they get killed or beaten. These people cannot speak up, because they can’t, and if they do they will get hurt. Another example of native being voiceless is found on the article Homeland by Anzadula, the writer speaks on the history on Native Americans, and how poorly they were treated. Natives have no way of speaking up the horrors they lived, because they either are dead or are afraid of being killed, these people live without a voice.  In this situation Danticat would write about, detail by detail, and would make sure that the world know what they are going through and how they are been treated.  In the short articles Full Front Feminism by Jessica Valenti, We Are Ugly But We Are Here by Edwidge Danticat, speak of women being raped and how they are blame for such a crime. Women have always been seen as inferior beings, They have no one to tell because if they do, they are judge by something that is not their fault  and is implied in the article full front feminism by Jessica Valenti “women are still being blamed for being the victim of violent crimes” (65). In the article Ellis Island by Howe, immigrants are being abuse and treated poorly by the working staff in Ellis Island as Howe affirms the following “Ellis Island, which sometimes allowed rough handling of immigrants and even closed an eye to corruption” (71).  The silent Witness by Raquel Partnoy talks about the government oppressing their own people and being killed for unreasonable reasons, and if they try to fight back they will be put in jail or worst killed. All this people are considered voiceless, because they cannot tell anyone they suffering, hardships, the things they see, because if they do there are risking their own safety. This is where Danticat will helps them, by writing their stories and letting the people know that there is more in the world than a television show.
3)  Patriarchy means that a society is dominated by males, it doesn’t mean that they rule the world simple that they have a more privilege than women. Women in our society are still considered a minority. We live I a world where men are still considered the more “powerful” than woman.
4)  Anzadula’s Article and Chief Seattle both relate on the sense they talk about natives and their struggles they faces. Anzadula writes about how natives arrive first to the U.S, and were forced to abandon their home. She says how they have the right to live there, and the immigrants in this case the British have no right what so ever to kick them out, for the natives settle first, years before them. In Chief Seattle speech he address the natives and tell them how sad, and mad he is to see his people fall. Chief Seattle says that the land they had called home for so long, is no longer their but the white man’s land. Both relate to each other, because Anzuela and Chief Seattle want to let the people know of the natives’ hardship, not only that but to say their home is being taken away. No matter how hard they try to erase the Natives, they will not be forgot because they leave their footprints on the land, and cannot be erase, something both Anzuela and chief Seattle make clear.

Yadira Cisneros, Moises Martinez,
Robert Palmer, and Luis Garza
English 103
M-W, 8-10:20 a.m.
Group Discussion
            Voicelessness happens by not talking, and not speaking up for yourself or others.  For example, a woman can be voiceless when a rape has occurred by someone she knows.  That woman can decide to be voiceless or she could speak up.  But in many cases women choose not to speak for fear, shame and powerlessness.  Voicelessness mostly happens to women or men that live in poverty and are powerlessness.  It happens to any type of person from the mentally ill to the disabled, ages and ethnicities.
            If people had equal rights society would work better and be better.  If different ethnicities and social classes were not divided so much, it would be easier for people to get along and there wouldn’t be so many problems in society.  If there were more equal opportunities for everyone there would be no violence or hate in the world.  If men and women were treated equally then society would be one and not be divided into two worlds.
            We learned that women are not treated equally.  We learned that women don’t have the same opportunities as men do in society.  Women are treated as the weak sex and cannot be more than men.  We learned that families support one another in the hard times.  For example, Sophie supported her mother when she had the nightmares and she also gave her advice about keeping the baby.  We learned that even though a lot of women are afraid to speak up many women speak.  People who speak give other people awareness when they tell their stories and speak up for themselves.
            We learned that the information we gathered talked mostly about women and the lack of power they had in society.  As we were doing this project we learned that men have more opportunities and suffer the less women.  As we also did this project every member in the group got to share memories and look for pictures and quotes from the articles that related to women.  Some of us did articles of men’s power been taken away in the past.  We also learned that there is still a lot of violence towards women and men.  While we were doing the project we learned that the world is voiceless until someone actually speaks up.
Siobhan Crevecoeur           
ENG 103
Question 1:
(A): Danticat’s words are meant to speak for those who cannot. This doesn’t mean that the “voiceless” have nothing to say, only no way to say it. “Watching the news reports, it is often hard to tell if there are living and breathing women in conflict-stricken places like Haiti.” This quote, from Danticat’s, We Are Ugly, But We Are Here, points out that there are those whose voice does not count in their culture or society. This is based heavily on cultural traditions, religion, societal circumstances and sometimes simply based on gender.
(B): There are many examples of one who are “voiceless” in society today. I find this to be true for gay, lesbian and transgender people and the evidence is still very recent in our country, our state, and even our city of Santa Barbara. The gay community’s voice with basic human rights for example, is currently being silenced. Viewed by some as flawed, perverted, and dangerous people, their sexual orientation is what discredits their rights as a citizen of this “great” nation and denies them the right to share in the ultimate act of love, marriage. As a 26 year old gay woman I know that by the time I am ready to marry, I will be able to. It is inevitable at this point, but until that day, my voice doesn’t count. The only thing I can do for now is use it to educate people about the issue and eventually gay marriage will be legal in America.
Another example of “voiceless” people, some don’t consider people at all. Orphaned children, foster kids, group home kids; victims of child abuse or neglect, children raised by drug addict parents, starved children, you would think their little voices would reach us, but they really don’t. As a victim of abuse from a parent, I have seen my share of group homes. I’ve seen kids tossed to the side and their voice quieted. As a victim of molestation within a group home, I was moved from one home and thrown in somewhere else, with not so much as a slap on the wrist for the individual who did it. That foster mother accused me of lying, convinced my social worker, and adopted that boy four months later. As for my parent, she suffered no consequences either. No therapy, no fines, no jail time, no payments to make, not even an apology was requested. No matter the things that had been done, no matter that again I was violated in a place I was supposed to be safe, nothing happened. Children are important, they are the future of this country, and so why then are we teaching them at a young age that what they have to say doesn’t matter because they are just a kid. Foster parents are a whole different story for another time, and not a good one either. 
Question 2:
The article from Full Frontal Feminism relates to Danticat’s writing because women, the victims of sexual, physical and mental abuse, are the ones who are voiceless. “We’re so accustomed to seeing violence against women that it’s become normalized. We accept it as an inevitable fact of life, rather than an epidemic that we need to fight on a large scale. And that’s not okay.” (pg63) Many women who suffer abuse do not speak up about it, and so it continues to happen. Women subconsciously prepare themselves to fight abuse by carrying pepper spray, holding their car keys between their knuckles, locking the car as soon as they get in, just in case something might happen and they get attacked. Women should be able to feel safe at all times, and the only way that can happen is if the women who are attacked speak up, then, creeps like that will get punished for what they’ve done!
The article from Now and Then, titled My People, is a speech by Chief Seattle regarding the rights to his land and the beliefs of his people. This relates to Danticat’s view of voiceless because the rights of the Native American people were definitely silenced. Any high school history book can prove that. The natives were promised specific rights to their land but nothing was to come of it. They were separated from their families, killed, imprisoned, forced to learn English and abandon their native traditions. They became voiceless. Chief Seattle’s word in this next quote were meant to serve as a warning, and only now are we heading it; “Let him be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not powerless.”
In the article from Now and Then, titled Ellis Island and written by Irving Howe, show’s Danticat’s voiceless people as the immigrants who flocked for entrance into America. “It’s a sad irony,… that under relatively lax administrations at Ellis Island, which sometimes allowed rough handling of immigrants and even closed an eye to corruption…” (pg 71) Those seeking to come to America at that time were treated more like livestock than people. Their voices did not count because they were from another country. Regardless of the fact that they were trying to become American citizens, the fact that they weren’t citizens yet, worked very negatively against them.
We are Ugly but We are Here, by Danticat is her own view of the voiceless that she often speaks for. She comes from the poverty stricken and dangerous country of Haiti where woman are viewed extremely negatively. They sometimes greet each other with that phrase as a way of coping with their fate. “It is always worth reminding our sisters that we have lived yet another day to answer to the roll call of an often painful and very difficult life.” (pg26) The violence against women in Haiti, and the “normalcy” of it all is what keeps these women voiceless today.
The Homeland, Aztlan, written by Gloria Anzaldua is about the border between the U.S. and Mexico. It relates to Danticat’s view of voiceless because it shines light on how Mexican immigrants are treated while trying to enter our country. “Do not enter; trespassers will be raped, maimed, strangled, gassed, shot. The only “legitimate” inhabitants are those in power, the whites and those who align themselves with the whites.” This quote is colorful and paints the picture that the immigrants are indeed mistreated and not able to exercise their voices. The controversy at the border is ongoing and has been escalating in recent years. The border is being used as a barrier for people, not just to define the dotted lines of this nation.
Question 4:
Patriarchy is evident in all of these articles. In Full Frontal Feminism, the men are more powerful than the women, which is also true in, We are Ugly but We are Here because women consider themselves ugly. In Chief Seattle’s speech, the article The Homeland and the article on Ellis Island, we see the people in power, primarily white men, which is a clear distinction of patriarchy. The ones in power always seem to be men, secondly, white, and third, American. 
Question 5:
Anzuldua’s article relates very closely to Chief Seattle’s speech. Both are speaking on behalf of their people. They are choosing to use their voices to be the voice of all their people. Chief Seattle spoke of his people as dear and special and that their requests are carried out, while Anzuldua speaks of her people as the ones who are shamed and unclean. In the end, both peoples were and still are, discriminated against and voiceless in defending themselves against the wrongs of our patriarchal society in America.