Author: sumyiad

The Facts about Gentrification

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Gentrification can be compared to the move westward in the late 1800s and the takeover of the territories from the native people. This act mirriors that of the gentrification process occurring today. When people move the native inhabitants from there current lands to create a supposed better land we can see how the current situations happening in our inner cities is practically a genocide of the culture, the simple way of life in which one lives, the established economy is destroyed to make way to better only those taking over. This creates a shadow cast over the existence of that once native people.

This power point illustrates the history and the fortunate and unfortunate facts about the process of gentrification.


Barbershop Owner- Michael Thomas on Gentrification

Yesterday I met a man that owns a barbershop. The name is simple and explains his mindset, “Million Dollar Kutz.” It is located at 247 Market Street.


He had no issue talking to me about his ideas when it came to gentrification and how it potentially affected his business. His exclusive interview shows that he does have an issue with the specific idea of race or even pulling the race card. In fact, he believes that it is an excuse!


Because this is a blog I am more conscience of my form of writing. What I will point out about this process of gentrification is that there are many that are not afraid. Many can still see the light at the end of the tunnel.


As Michael Thomas stood with me for an hour discussing his ideals, he mainly focused on the fact that African Americans do not support each other in business. He described how those that are of African decent must place a person of another race at the store front in order to generate a less biased income.


This was very interesting to me considering a majority of businesses owned in the downtown Newark area are black owned. How do they succeed?

Jazib Hujip: Bar and Restaurant owner in Newark..Apart of the Gentrification Process

Jazib Hujip is a restaurant business owner from India. His family worked hard to obtain their current property on Washington St. in Newark, Unfortunately Hajip has been asked for much more money to purchase the building that he is currently leasing,


He also understands that if he does not buy soon her will lose his property and take a major fall financially. This is his story..


The average Newark resident expressed his ideas of why gentrification was necessary. His passion showed the other side to the posed question about gentrification when asking if it is necessary.

Yusef Baye’s Interview on the Gentrification of Newark

Long time street cart owner, Yusef Baye had a different outlook on how the process of gentrification affected the community. In his eyes he simply understood that once again gentrification had no color. Yet, he still felt as though those that have an infinite amount of money are more able to control the little people and cities like Newark.

“Gentrification is cooperate takeover and once we being to understand what cooperate takeover is we will understand gentrification.”


He believes that in the next 5 to 10 years Newark will sky rocket and at some point black people will not want to come to the downtown area to shop.


He also spoke on the era of the 1960’s in which African American storeowners maintained their wealth by buying and selling to each other.


Would this not be a perfect time to reorganize and recreate what was lost 54 years ago?


Final Project: The Process of Gentrification of Newark

My final project gives an overall perspective of the affect of gentrification in Newark., NJ. By interviewing the various business owners and one Newark resident, the ability to look through the eyes of different people effected by this process was possible.

Not only did I meet interesting people that had no issue pouring their hearts out to me, but I also was able to feel the effects for my self by listening to their stories. There is truly nothing that we can do to stop this process. Nor is their anyway that we can “take back” what we have had for so long. It is easier to understand the process and how we can survive throughout.


What I learned is that we must support the smaller businesses that are striving to stay alive. We must also educate ourselves on the past history of this process. This has occurred on so many immediate cities in the surrounding area. This is the time to revitalize the communities that have held such a rich history without the help of outsiders. It is truly our time to go to other urban cities and shine.

Newark Resident Speaks on the Current Gentrification Process


A Newark resident, Anthony John, age 31, expressed his ideas of why gentrification was necessary. His passion showed the other side to the posed question about gentrification when asking if it is necessary.


School reform was his topic. He also pointed out that not every family could afford the charter schools that are being implemented right now. He talked about his parents being in danger of being hurt by Newark locals by stray bullets. This occurrence would be in there own apartment if necessary.


There are always two sides to every story. It seems as though many have a bad taste in their mouths for the idea of the process of gentrification. This is his point of view…


Gentrify Newark in Full Effect

With the title of Downtown Newark being changed to the “Central Business District,” as opposed to simply, Newark blows ones mind. Their is a reason for it and I am going to take an intense look at the effects gentrification in Newark.  I will be interviewing different business owners and asking them important questions about how they feel in regards to to the change in Newark.  This will be in blog form and I will write about my experiences while posting well edited videos shot by me of my ventures. I will identifiy which businesses were kicked out as opposed to bought out. I will give a sample of the cost of living in a luxury loft while shopping at whole foods. I will also compose man on the street- like interviews where I speak with citizens of Newark. This may become a bit intense with the Newark locals considering many have mixed emotions about some of the up coming projects. With Joes Crab Shack already stacking its claim, a new Whole Foods Grocery store, Dave and Busters, and Chipotle grille it is happening right in front of our eyes.


I spoke with Sonja Morris, a Newark Public School teachers Aid. “The Whole Foods is not for us.  They don’t care if we starve! They want this city back and unfortunately we are have to hand it over. Corey Booker did that.” search-5

To blame one mayor for politics that have been ongoing in Newark for years is ridiculous, but this is how the people feel. Not as well informed about certain facts while absolutely correct about  others, the people pf Newark deserve to be heard. The process in it self must be documented. Below are sample videos of how I will conduct my interviews and place them in video format on my blog.

Sexist music IS Sexist Advertisement


search imgres-1   Women being objected to sexist ads has occured since advertising was discovered. In relation, music is also a form of advertisem ment that has women knowingly reciting lyrics to catchy tunes that express the same level of disrespect. Last year, Robin Thicke’s funky hit, Blurred Lines, encouraged many to dance while others chose to listen to the lyrics and music in depth. Feminists have also taken a stand against the lyrical content provided by Robin Thicke and hip-hop artist T.I. or Clifford

Journalist Tricia Romano, from the Daily Beast coined the phrase  “rapey” to describe the song. She states that the phrase, “I know you want it,” is verbalized almost 18 times. This term ignited multiple reactions from bloggers and vloggers. YouTube videos were created to counteract the original video/song. Robin Thicke’s reaction to a television reporter from BBC acknowledged the negative claims and responded.

“For me it was about blurring the lines between – two things – one between men and women and how much we’re the same. Like my wife, she’s as strong as I am, as smart – if not smarter, stronger and she’s an animal too and she doesn’t need a man to define her or to define her existence. So the song was really about women are everything a man is and can do anything a man can do. And then there’s the other side of it that is the blurred lines between a good girl and bad girl, which, you know, even very good girls have a little bad side to them. You know you just have to know how to pull it out of them.”

Unfortunately, as the author Wolf states in the book, “The Beauty Myth ,” she states that, “culture  stereotypes women to fit the myth by flattening the feminine into beauty-without-intelligence or intelligence-without-beauty; women are allowed a mind or a body but not both.” This is extremely depressing. Just as Robin Thicke expresses that it just needs to be, ‘pulled out of them,’; this also implies that women are idiots that do not know what they want. This is the true misconception that women face through the eyes of advertisements and music

. A product is being sold by a major corporation by way of down grading women and making them look like sexual deviants. They actually learn that, “beauty is amoral: if a woman is born resembling an art object, it is an accident…. From the beauties in male culture, women learn a bitter amoral lesson-that the moral lessons of their culture exclude them.”


In an interview with GQ magazine, Thicke explained the inspiration behind writing the song with super producer Pharrell Williams. “We started acting like we were two old men on a porch hollering at girls like, ‘Hey, where you going, girl? Come over here!’ ” The question has now been presented of how far this idea of women not being able to decipher if, “ they want it,” or not is truly the message of Thicke’s popular song.If we don’t advocate against this type of thinking displayed through music we will not be able to stop this cycle of objectification and abuse in our school.


Whether popular music, television or simply life’s examples are the reason behind students encouraging racy music, studies have been conducted to inform the public of how this behavior has effected many young women at alarming rates.Colleges and universities across the U.S have been requested to do more to prevent sexual assaults.” According to Sarah Lawrence College ( At least 1 in 4 college women will be the victims of a sexual assault during her academic career.

Also according to the Bureau of Justice of Stats, “48.8% of college women who were victims of attacks that met the study’s definition of rape did not consider what happened to them rape.”

Specific songs that speak of women being naive and vulnerable allow many of the opposite sex to misconstrue what the majority of society truly wants. Although the song evokes an emotion of ‘good times,’ it is difficult to separate the good feelings generated from a song versus the perception of the song. Music lovers and students a like, should have a higher sensitivity regarding sexual abuse. Robin Thicke’s summer hit simply opened the eyes of a younger generation encouraging them to listen more and dance less. This has also enticed many to pay closer attention to their daughters in universities across the country, always engaged in popular music with no thought of what other youth take away from each


Wolf, Naomi. “Culture.” The Beauty Myth. London: Chatto & Windus, 1990. 57-60. Print.

The Power Behind a Capitalistic Society: Through the Lens of Popular Music

It is easy to assume that American culture, through media, has altered the worlds ideas of acceptability of norms in society. American big business has become the leader of cultural hegemony and on many platforms, they have destroyed basic societal norms that cultures have built to maintain a moral code within their own communities.   Just as in  the power behind media through music, television, movies and printed material penetrates popular culture to the extent that underlying hints of sexism and racism go undetected. If  they are noticed and or are blatant, somehow they are excepted and circulated throughout the world forcing the consumer  to claim some type of ownership over something that does not reflect their basic makeup.

This is because, “societies function by masking their ideologies as “natural” systems of value or belief. As a consequence, it is easier for us to recognize ideologies of other times and cultures than within our own.” (51 Struken) This idea, in fact, is not the fault of an individual artist or subject. They are simply pawns in a capitalistic society. In the piece, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind, Sociologist Gustav Le Bon points out that, ” The ideas of the past, although half destroyed, being still very powerful, and the ideas which are to replace them being still in the process of formation, the modern age represents a period of transition and anarchy.” Although Le Bon speaks in a more political vein, it still holds true within the politics of mass media.

The transition that american culture continuously goes through effects the world. In fact, ” It is only by obtaining some sort of insight in to the psychology of crowds that it can be understood how slight is the action upon them of laws and institutions, how powerless they are to hold any opinions other than those which are imposed upon them and to be led, but by seeking what produces an impression on them and what seduces them.” (LeBon xiv)This idea speaks towards the powerlessness of the mass consumer. This also points a major finger at the producers carelessness when creating content for consumption. If they are more worried about the popular idea, at some point quality is neglected. This idea can also speak to artists that create music that reflects nothing but what the masses enjoy, begins to lack positive messages while promoting cultural immorality.

The mass consumer has no choice but to except the ever changing norms produced and fed to them.  Theorists Karl Marx thought of, “ideoalogy as a kind of false conciousness that was spread by dominant powers among the masses, who are coerced by those in power to mindlessly buy into the belief systems that allow industrial capitalism to thrive.”  (51 Sturken) When looking through the lens of popular music many recognize R&B artist Beyonce Knowles  as a master of her craft and a genius business woman. A course has been developed at Rutgers University focused on Knowles. Not many artists have such power and influence on popular culture but because of, “how hegemony works, with the dominant culture in constant flux as it works in tension with marginal cultures,”(69 Sturken) Rutgers University has added a course that will generate intrest in attending their University, thus, creating more capital.

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One must ask how rich in substance this course will be. Not only has Knowles made female empowerment songs, she has also created songs and videos distastefully exposing black women in media. As of recent, Knowles generally is being depicted as overly sexual. Some of her songs such as, ‘Partiton’ and ‘Drunk in Love,’ from her recently released self titled album are not songs that should be analyzed on a midterm as an example of insightful or enlightning music. On many levels, this ill representation does show that their is not a a complete shift in how far the producer of media within a capitalistic society  will go to keep the spectacle going. The spectacle is the production of mass media consumed by every last person in society, forcing us to continuously forget that, “in reality they are part of a sexist continuum, necessary for the maintenance of patriarchal social order.” (Bell Hooks Essay: Sexism and Misogyny: Who Takes the Rap?-Misogyny, Gangsta Rap, and The Piano) This idea in turn, deems Beyonce Knowles the prefect representative for a group of people that have always through music,television, and film over sexed and inherently lacking in morals.

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Courtesy of

Unfortunately, when someone as talented and beautiful as Beyonce Knowles is used as an example of how black women should not be portrayed it is simply hard to except. As consumers we are interpellated, or  by definition, “images interpellate or hail us as viewers, and in so doing designate the kind of viewer they intend us to be.”(53 Sturken)  Knowles just as many other artists are also apart of this process and in turn become a player in the spectacle.  it is easier to understand that, if we are always already defined as subjects and are interpellated to be who we are then there is little hope for social change. The representatives will constantly change while the conversation of acknowledging  the power behind the producer will continue and remain the same.

Hey Guys!!

Hello all! My name is SuMyia Dabney and I am a graduating senior. I am a journalism major that adores music and and art. I am so excited to take this class and take a deeper look into our society through the eyes of media. Watching the Super Bowl commercials shed light on how America operates and how we are slowly progressing (i.e the interracial family cherrios commercial)

I have been an entertainer-singer for 15 years and I am currently in a band titled, “The Replicants.” My day days are long but performing is my life and every minute is worth it. I cannot wait to graduate and pursue my career ventures, whether that be singing full time or writing for an up and coming magazine.