Beat movement essays

Shifting from being front and center to an observant spectator, I began to see beyond myself, picking up the art of people-watching. As if placing an invisibility cloak on, I would quietly sink into the blue armchair, discreetly watching peoples’ behavior and interactions with one another. I found myself creating whimsical backstories of circumstance for each passerby, intertwining chance encounters and meaningful exchanges. People-watching not only helped me to become more aware of those around me, was also as an opportunity to explore undiscovered parts of myself.

An essential feature of religious experience across many cultures is the intuitive feeling of God's presence. More than any rituals or doctrines, it is this experience that anchors religious faith, yet it has been largely ignored in the scientific literature on religion.

"... [Dr. Wathey's] book delves into the biological origins of this compelling feeling, attributing it to innate neural circuitry that evolved to promote the mother-child bond...[He] argues that evolution has programmed the infant brain to expect the presence of a loving being who responds to the child's needs. As the infant grows into adulthood, this innate feeling is eventually transferred to the realm of religion, where it is reactivated through the symbols, imagery, and rituals of worship. The author interprets our various conceptions of God in biological terms as illusory supernormal stimuli that fill an emotional and cognitive vacuum left over from infancy. 

These insights shed new light on some of the most vexing puzzles of religion, like:

In addition to Brooks and Walker, Robert Hayden and Melvin Tolson provide glimpses of protest in their poetry of the 1940s through the 1960s. Hayden’s signature poem, “ Middle Passage ,” looks backward in its protest to the point of African enslavement in the New World. In a beautifully crafted poem of multiple voices, Hayden explores what the transportation of black bodies meant to the transporters as well as to those enslaved. For the captives, the Middle Passage was a “Voyage through death/ to life upon these shores,” though the quality of that life is dramatically diminished. In Harlem Gallery (1965), Tolson paints a panorama of Harlem and its elusive “Negro” inhabitants: “The Negro is a dish in the white man’s kitchen/ . . . a dish nobody knows.” 16

106 Not only were more blacks registered to vote, but also more ran for and won state and local political office. In 1965, in the 11 original Confederate states, there were just 72 black elected officials. A decade later, 1,587 held office. From 1966 to 1967, the number of blacks serving in state legislatures essentially doubled to 152. The effect was most dramatic in states that were once the strongholds of segregation: in Georgia, African Americans went from 0 to 11 seats in the state legislature in one election cycle. See Congressional Record , House, 94th Cong., 1st sess. (2 June 1975): 16241; John Allan Long, “Negroes Widen Political Power,” 4 November 1967, Christian Science Monitor : 9.

Beat movement essays

beat movement essays

106 Not only were more blacks registered to vote, but also more ran for and won state and local political office. In 1965, in the 11 original Confederate states, there were just 72 black elected officials. A decade later, 1,587 held office. From 1966 to 1967, the number of blacks serving in state legislatures essentially doubled to 152. The effect was most dramatic in states that were once the strongholds of segregation: in Georgia, African Americans went from 0 to 11 seats in the state legislature in one election cycle. See Congressional Record , House, 94th Cong., 1st sess. (2 June 1975): 16241; John Allan Long, “Negroes Widen Political Power,” 4 November 1967, Christian Science Monitor : 9.

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