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Andean priest and spiritual leader, Don Fabian Champi Apaza. Photo by Tom Pablo, Andes & Amazon Semester.

pre-course assignment

I found the music video and the excerpt to be interesting because they each shed a different light on the same issue: colonization and capitalism taking advantage of the people and resources of Latin America. The excerpt provided an in-depth account of the history of European colonization and injustice, whereas the music video offered a more modern outlook: how do the people of Latin America continue to face this issue today? I found that both sources highlighted the connection of the people to their native land, something so strong that, even after many centuries of mistreatment, it remains present. This theme was especially evident in the music video through the many images of people, land, and a beating heart.

In terms of my own community, I live in a small, rural town where, on the surface, there aren’t many terrible problems or injustices. However, there is a somewhat hidden history of resistance against slavery and racism. Mumbet (or Elizabeth Freeman), the first African American slave in Massachusetts to sue for her freedom and win, was freed just down the road from me in 1781. W.E.B. Dubois, a founder of the civil rights movement, was born two miles from my school. Despite the undeniable value of this history, there are still many people who choose not to acknowledge it, and some even actively resist efforts to bring it to light. For example, in order to study W.E.B Dubois’ writings, my peers and I had to create an independent study project since no teacher includes his work in their curriculum. We have come a long way, but my community still has a lot more work to do in order to fully acknowledge all that has taken place here.

See you all soon!!