Racial Discrimination


After many decades of fighting for civil right, many black still suffered from discrimination.  I believe that Foner did not discuss the issue of racial discrimination enough. As many of my classmates stated blacks still suffered with unequal pay, and job opportunities, but it is important to know that in 1991 congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1991, this protected individual od intentional discrimination at work.

Brenda Patterson an African American woman was laid off from a bank that she worked at as a teller.  She sued the bank because they refused to promote her because of her race.  Taking this to trial sparked a change in the US… yes I know that Foner discussed black struggle a lot but this Act plays a role to all minorities.


“Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” and “World Wide Suicide”


With the lyrics composed in 1956, “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” was a very influential song during the black civil rights movements in the 1950s and 1960s. It was one of the protesters favorite song during their organized walk outs. Although the lyrics of the song is rather subtle, since it did not refer to any specific events or movements, the intention of the song was, nevertheless, apparent to the singers and listeners. The melody and the repetition of “eyes on the prize” were very effective in reminding the protesters to continue to pursuit their ultimate goals.

Pearl Jam’s “World Wide Suicide” (2006), on the other hand, is a song that was written to express the population’s anger toward the Iraq War. In contrast to the subtle “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize,” “World Wide Suicide” is a little more explicit in the message. There were many key words, such as “war,” “man-made hell,” and “President writes a check, while others pay” that were apparent to the audiences during war time. Moreover, compare to “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize,” “World Wide Suicide” is more of a song of complaint than a song of encouragement for the protesters.