Saturday, December 8, 2012

2nd Batxillerat - HAVE WE GOT AN AFRICAN MIND?

This clip from BOFADACARA illustrates wonderfully the poem My african mind.
This time you are going to be a "passage person": Choose one passage from the poem below and (a) describe the way it is illustrated in the clip and say why you chose it.
Then, tell me, what do you think: have we got an African mind?


That is how we became they
They became those
Those became it
That is how a race was born
A race begun
Healthy black monster
Five finger, with thumb
Useful animal, so minimal
That is how the unknown became hostage
Simplicity became hostile
Healthy black monster, a different kind monkey
That is how culture became ritual
People became tribe… primitive
Language, no
Writing, no
How ignorance did become history
Well… so you I It thought so, well told story
Healthy black monster.


  1. On the one hand, I think that we can never have an African mind because they are poorer than us and that’s the main reason. Firstly, kids start to work too early and they are forced to do it and here instead of do it, we study first and after we work. Secondly, they haven’t a lot of money to spend, and that’s why they can bring the same lifestyle as we have, they have less resources. Thirdly, in Africa there are places where there aren’t school, and that’s why a lot of people don’t know how to read and to write.

    On the other hand, we think like they in the way of traditions and religion. Here we keep the traditions and respect the religion, here we have the “Semana Santa”, and one of the examples in Africa is the Ramadan.

  2. Firstly, I think that the African mind is to different respect the other minds. I think that because our society is different, so our ideas are different too. For example, in our society, all of kids go to the primary school to learn a lot of things (mats, languages, etc.)and later they go to the secundary school, and I think that any african people hasn't this privilege, or they need work to live, so they can't go to school to learn. It happens because Africa is poorer than other countries and they have to live in this conditions, but it's true that there are also organizations that they offer help.

  3. "Useful animal, so minimal"
    This is the passage I have chosen. It appears in the second minute of the video, written on a white background, and after this fragment we can see several drawings of indigenous African tribes, representing native Africans living in harmony with the nature, with the world. They represent the purity, the authentic way of live for which humans are designed. They are useful animals, because they survive only with nature's resources, and they solve their problems with ancient knowledge. They are healthier and happier than us. Yes, our life expectancy is longer, and our lifestyle is more effortless, but during their live, they are healthy and happy; neither our body nor our mind are designed to live under the conditions in which we live. Most people despise indigenous tribes's members, or maybe they don't despise them but they feel superior, and the reality is that our society is deeply ill, and we should learn a lot of things about they. They don't know the meaning of beggar, jail, suicide, pollution, poverty, famine, unemployment, junk food, stress, drugs... not to mention the thousands of diseases that we've got and they don't. Unfortunately, the majority of the indigenous tribes have disappeared, and the ones that still exist are more or less contaminated by our culture.
    We still have an african mind, but it's drowsy, it's in our subconscious and we never let it surface, due to Judeo-Christian tradition (essence of western culture) that considers everything passional, impulsive or visceral as something bad that must be pent-up. And they, with their African mind, understand and accept the human nature, this is the key, and this is why they don't need antidepressant pills. I chose that passage because I consider it the most representative of the idea that the author try, in my opinion, to express. In conclusion, everyone have got an african mind, everyone without exception, because we are actually africans.

    1. I agree with you J. Only one question: you say that our mind "is designed to live...", what does DESIGNED mean? Are you suggesting that someone intervened in the develoment of our mind?

    2. No way, anyone intervened in the development of our mind. When I said that our mind is "designed to..." I wasn't referring to someone, I meant designed by the circumstances in which humans have lived, and we are physically and mentally adapted to survive in difficult situations, to run, to hunt, to flee from dangers, and so on, and not to have a sedentary life eating processed food. So, natural selection is who designed our body and our mind; everything that is alive has been designed by it.

  4. In my opinion the best passage which gather the African poverty is “people became tribe… primitive“ and it’s represented like slaves, people without dreams, sunk in the misery, in an eternal routine.
    I think the most of us don’t have an African mind because we don’t know or we don’t understand the real problems they have. It isn’t only the problems like money or the primitive technology, there are some problems like the slavery or hierarchized society in which a few of persons are in charge and in which no are duties, and it is a difficult problem to solve.

    Pablo Rodríguez 2Bat. A

  5. Dear students, you are not adressing the initial question: Have we got an african mind?
    Let me give you a clue: Where do they say it all began?

  6. "That is how the unknown became hostage"
    This statement is shown in the video after some pictures of black people living freely and then two pictures, in one of them appears a white man talking to the black people and the other this black people are slaves. After that the statement appears with dark letters and a white background.
    I have chosen this sentence because it describes the beginning of the slavery: when the white people knew about the existence of black people they transform them into hostage.
    Nowadays there are a lot of people that still thinking the back people are inferior than them, but I disagree with them because I think that everybody is equal and have the same rights, I’m also in agreement with Jesús Cañizares when he says “everyone have got an african mind, everyone without exception, because we are actually Africans” and I believe that any race is superior to any other.

    Claudia Pavón
    2 Batxillerat A

  7. I choose a passage that appears in the fifth minute. This section talks about all the help that richer countries send to start wars between African countries. They do it because they earn a lot of money selling weapons. This kind of help is not the one that the poorest people need. The people of those countries are asking for the tools needed for have a worthy live, for example: health for everyone, education until age 16, minimum working conditions,...but the problem is that this type of aid is not interested in anything to the leaders of African and Western countries, for that reason are so important ONG's that helps selfessly.

    On the other hand, I think that the mentality of an African is different than European because the environment in which we lived hasn't been the same, this doesn't mean that we are more intelligent than they.

    Xavi Macià
    2n BAT B

  8. "Healthy black monster
    Five finger, with thumb
    Useful animal, so minimal"

    I choosed this passage because ilustrates how the settlers felt scared with the African natives because of the color of their skin (Healthy black monster) even though they were normal people (Five finger, with thumb). The settles forced them to work as a slaves with no rights (Usefull animal, so minimal).
    This passage appears in the video with lots of images of African natives working for the settlers.
    Nowadays there are still lots of people that thinks that black people are inferior to them only because in the past white people feel superior and colonized them. So I think that not everybody have an "African mind"

    Alberto Moragrega
    2 Batx A

  9. "That is how the unknown became hostage
    Simplicity became hostile
    Healthy black monster,
    a different kind of monkey...
    ...That is how culture became ritual
    People became tribe... primitive"
    I think this passage express the real cause of the settlers making hostages African people. These people thought African people were a "kind of monkey", a monster, only because their skin is black. They did not have any more reason, so they made them hostages because they could do it.
    Answering if have we got African mind I would say yes in the case of that we are referring "African mind" to if be descend of them. We have African mind because the hominids appeared first in Africa, so ... Do we have African mind? In part yes.
    Moreover, if the question refers if we think like them, absolutely no. They have a different way of thinking, they live giving more importance to the little things and they are happier than us. In the other hand, there are some of them than can not be calmed because there still are some people that make their life a hell.
    Finally, quoting a film I will say that there is a lot of people that currently think black people is worse than white people. "Nigger you just fucked with the wrong bull... COME HERE! you should have learned your place on the fuckin' basketball court, but you fucking monkeys just never get the message! [...] I'm gonna teach you a real lesson now motherfucker, put your fucking mouth on the curb...PUT IT ON THE CURB RIGHT NOW!! (The car thief puts his teeth on the curb and bites). That's it, now say goodnight! (jumps on the head of the carjacker)" (Shouting to a black man. We can see the word monkeys to refer to black men like in the clip).

    PS: I'm sorry for the bad language in the quotation.

    Alberto González
    2 BAT A

  10. You're mostly right, especially when you say that we can see the same old racist common places again and again. However, there is some "romantic" view about life in Africa: the simple and happy savage. if you just watch the news, you'll see that millions of people are struggling for life; and many of them come to the wealthy first world only to do the same thing. I'm afraid that romantic views are dangerous as well in the sense that they do not give a complete view of the issue.

  11. Firstly, I think that the African mind is much different respect the other minds in all the world. "Generally, our society have all the things which we want". With this sentence I would say that we have a much good luck because we have homes, food, water and the basic things which need us to life daily.
    I think that like our society is different, so our ideas are different too. Any african people hasn't this general privilege. It happens because Africa is poorer than other countries and they have to live in worse conditions.
    In the video, it's interessant how in four lines tell us all things. "A race begun, healthy black monster five finger, with thumb, useful animal, so minimal". This passage ilustrates how the settlers felt scared when they arrived in africa by the skin color of natives. However they were normal people. In fact the settlers forced them to continue working for them as a slaves with no rights.

    Finally I think that we wouldn't have to complain so much and we have to think about all those people who unfortunately have lives much worse that ours.

    Jordi Alemany Bartomeu
    2n Bat A

  12. The passage that I have chosen is the last one which talks about justice, rights and about war too. I’ve chosen this because I really think that in those countries, especially in Africa because is the continent that is explained in the video, lived black people and still live and they have been treated as a slaves. There exists a lack of this matters considered really important but that is forgotten in other places of the world.
    The clip illustrates this passage showing pages of newspapers or magazines connected with terrorism, arms and war. We can see it in that way the extremely poverty that are suffering in undeveloped countries.
    Concerning the question: “Have we got an African mind?” my reply is no and the main reason is that we live in an advanced country and they live in others quite different, in undeveloped countries. That’s why we can’t think as they do. We have the life much easier for the simple fact to have been born in this country, we can think in the future too and we have objectives and dreams in our lives to fulfill. In poor countries, however, their only concern is how to survive day by day. I mean, they only think in the present.
    The law, the human rights are supposed to be alike for each inhabitant of this planet just only to the fact of belong in the human race. Although, as we can see, it isn’t true at all. It is sad to say that, but we all know that the human behavior is governed by selfishness, hypocrisy and economic interests.

    Cristina Muñoz
    2nd BAT B

  13. That is how the unknown became hostage.
    This part in the video, we can see different images the slaves Africans. We can see images the Africans in freedom and after, the slaves Africans for the white humans. I think it's horrible that enslaves a person to another person just by the color of their skin, or because they think differently, because, for me, it's a person like you. The worst of it is that today there are still people who think so, that Africans are slaves and that are inferior to us, in my opinion, is horrible to think that, and we must change the mindset of many people to everything better.
    I’m agree with Jesús Cañizares and Claudia Pavón when he says “everyone have got an african mind, everyone without exception, because we are actually Africans” and I believe that everyone is equal, we are people and we must respect each other, and that any race is superior to any other.

    Anna Jiménez García
    2n BAT A

  14. "Five finger, with thumb"
    This fragment appears at minute 1:16 followed by images that give reference to how the white man came to Africa and treat them as inferior beings enslaved by force, forcing them to do tasks that we were not willing to do, submerged in a world of bondage where their only function was to serve his master in any task that you send.
    Our mentality can not be compared to that of an African, because that we do not appreciate what we have, we believe that what we have will always be there and we have become dependent on technology, the inhabitants of an African tribe still live today as before know the technology but do not need it, living what's to the earth produces and follow the same religion and traditions that their ancestors. African mentality for me is much better than our because value and appreciate all they have. Is a shame that so many years have suffered slavery of the white man.

    Marçal Blanco Martí
    2n Bat B

  15. “People became tribe… primitive“ I choose this passage person because here we can see a lot of things. We can see that some people have a behavior like an animal, no have feels, etc. We don’t think that, but we’re so fortunately because we live in a city, with rules, with people who have feels, we not suffer, etc.
    At the clip, all the images are negatives. We can see a lot of violence and sad people. I think that we haven’t got an African mean because we’re not wilds in this context. I think too, that we have to help all these people because it’s not fear that a lot of good people are suffering and people who only thinks in herself are living a very very good life.

    Andea Contreras 2n BAT A

  16. "Healthy black monster, a different kind monkey"

    Firstly, I think that we can never have an African mind, because we have other culture, and our lives and our society are very different.

    I choose this passage of the poem because in my opinion express the inculture, the racism, the mind of the stupids persons that thinks that African persons are all primitive and poor persons only for the color of her skin.

    Second, In my opinion Africans are real fighters and I think that we should learn more from them.

    Finally I think that African mind in despite of known a lot of his culture but lack discover more.

    In my opinion our society should change her mind and learn more about other cultures.

    Patricia AP. 2n Batx.B

  17. "Simplicity became hostile"
    In my opinion this is the passage which express better the motive of the racism in the past.
    They believed that if they weren't developed, they couldn't be happier, or probably they believed they weren't people, they were beasts, therefore the white people could abuse Africans people and forced them to do the hard work. I think also explain very well the racism from the point of view of Africans who were happy with their simple lives until the colonizers arrived. In conclusion, this passage is the best way to describe all the points of view of racism, using the minimum of words as possible.
    In the video, after say this passage, appears a lot of comics which contains scenes with Africans and If we look this comic now, we think that the illustrator was very racist, but in these moments it was very normal, and it's been precisely what we must avoid. Racism cannnot be the most normal thing another time.

    Ferran Martinez
    2nd BAT A

  18. "Healthy black monster
    I choose this passage because that says a lot in few words.
    First says "Healthy black monster", this means the fear to the Africans , for being different, for the color of their skin. Today, that fear, we call racism...

    On the other hand i like that passage "People became tribe… primitive ", beacause the settlers treated the people like an animal, the black people were slaves...
    this passages appears in the video with different images of "slaves" working for the white people.
    There are currently too racist to say that people have an African mind.

    Diego Díaz 2n BAT A

  19. Useful animal, so minimal
    That is how the unknown became hostage

    I choose this passage because I think that describe in a good way how the people who came to Africa and met other race they enslaved this native people only for be different because they thought that this people were like animals.
    In my opinion we don't have an african mind because we are used to the easy life and we can't think like they for solving the problems that they have for live well in their home like search food, water... And we also are used to the new thecnologies so it's worse because things became easier and we don't appreciate what we have.

    Andrea del Puerto 2n BAT A

  20. The passage that I have chosen is “That is how the unknown became hostage”. I have selected this one because I think that it shows clearly how Africans have been treated, being slaves only because the black color of their skin.
    In my opinion we can't have an African mind because we have never suffered this kind of bad experiences related with racism. Africans are also living in very poor conditions, very far from the occidental ones in which we are immersed.
    Firstly, we have to take into account that people of Africa don’t have money, being impossible for them to reach the same standard of living that we have.
    Secondly, we have also to consider that there are a lot of villages in Africa without school; this is the reason why there are a lot of Africans that never have learned to read or to write.
    Thirdly, it is noticeable that some companies have eight years old kids working in their factories with low security measures and with a very low salary.
    Based on all of that, my conclusion is that can have an African mind, because we are not living in these sad conditions.

    Rubén Alvarez
    2 Bat B

  21. "Healthy black monster"

    I selected this paragraph because say that the blacks are monsters, and represents the racism. Some people treat at people the black colour with the inferiority, like inferior beings, but not they are inferior beings, we are all equal regardless of color.

    Esther Boix
    2 Bat A

  22. Minute 2:22. Language, no writing, no. How ignorance did become history. Well… so you I It thought so, well told story. Healthy black monster.

    In my opinion this sentence reflect the poor live that people of Africa are living.
    I think that we can't have an African mind because in our country the economic situation is better than the economic situation of Africa. In Africa kids start to work at eight years old with an louw wage and their conditions are very bad.
    In this country there aren't a lot of schools and this is the reason because many people don't know write and read.
    I haven't an African mind because I have a normal economic situation and a good education.

    Laura Delgado
    2 BAT B

  23. "Healthy black monster, a different kind monkey
    That is how culture became ritual
    People became tribe… primitive"

    I have chosen this passage because I think that the African mind is different respect our mind or the others minds, our society is different and our ideas are different too. Because of the poverty they cannot do everything what we do. The poverty also influences in his homes, in his nutrition and in his education.
    For the lack of needs that have these culture, they live in a way more primitive than we.
    Also for them to be blacks, there are persons of our culture that sees them as if they were of a different race, but they are mistaken, since we all are equal.

    Noelia Ramos
    2 Bat B

  24. "That is how the unknown became hostage
    Simplicity became hostile"
    I've chosen this passage because it illustrates how changed African tribes after been colonized by Europeans. The video shows some different groups of natives that live in harmony with Nature. They have their own traditions and a rich cultural legacy, as we can see in how they wear and decorate their body. After they meet the settlers, it shows the Africans living in poverty and tied with ropes.
    The settlers came to Africa and discovered that humans already lived there. They didn't recognize those people as the legit dwellers of that new land they were starting to control. They didn't know their traditions nor culture. And instead of cooperate with them, they tried to dominate them. Why? Because we don't use to like the unknown. Unknown things can't be controlled, so they treated them as animals. Then, those people who used to live in Nature became slaves. Those communities who used to work to themselves started to work under inhumane conditions to other people. They were took off their land without explanation, because they were considered animals. Settlers had economical interests in this continent (nowadays Africa is still a source of raw material). With their sophisticated technology controlled the tribes, whose simple way of life had survived for centuries.
    I think most of people doesn't have an African mind. Our society is hardly ever in harmony with Nature, and we don't appreciate enough simple things. I thing that we should try to be closer to Nature, to forget about consumerism and mass, and live intensely. But we should neither fall in the cliché, we shouldn't idealize this way of life because it hides the reality.
    Irene Cuxart, 2nBat A

  25. We can’t have the same mentality than Africans, because the consumerist and capitalist system that we have in the European society forbid it. These differences in the habits, religion… make an imbalance of life conditions between the different territories and that hide a little bit that the system is untenable. I think that generally the people can’t think like Africans because as the history says, we’ve been very different because they had been colonized and we had been the colonizers.

    Roger Niubó Clavé 2 Batx B

  26. “Healthy black monster, a different kind monkey” I have chosen this passage which is illustrated with lot of images where appear “Tarzan”, animals, African natives and withe men explorers fighting each other.
    The reason I have decided to take this passage is because it expresses how people with different colour skin aren’t considered persons, used as slaves to do hard works, abused like animals... it expresses what racism is.
    I think that the words “African mind” means the people’s ability to adapt to adverse situations and the research of solutions. Based on this I think everyone has, on a lesser or higher degree, an "African mind".

    Daniel Domínguez
    2nd BAT A

  27. "That is how we became they
    They became those
    Those became it"

    I've choosen this part of the poem because it shows in a very simple way how we start discriminating a group of people with no reason, wich is the origin of those kind of problems.

    To answer the question of whether we have an Africand mind, I tried to imagine what would happen if people of our culture, our society, our race, suddenly started to life in Afrincan's conditions.
    After thinking about it, I'll show you some examples showing that the difference between our mind and their would make our existence impossible.

    The first one is that kids in here nowadays can't stop using computers, whatching TV or playing videogames for a day, while kids there are working since they are six years old and have no entertainment.
    The second one is the facilities we have here. There, running whater is only possible for the luckiest families, and eating three times per day is just a dream.
    The third one are the health and education services. All the kids here get an education until they are sixteen, and if you get ill, you can go to an hospital to be healed. This is unthinkable there.

    The main difference between they and us, is that they can live with not so many luxuries and they still survive. Our culture is used to living with all these facilities and we still find it difficult.

    That's why I think we absolutly don't have an Africand mind.

    Guillem Zafra
    2nd Bat A

  28. Healthy black monster, a different kind monkey.

    I have chosen this passage because I find it horrible. So, directly, African people are not humans? Only because they've got diferent colour skin they are not humans? I think that, in all history, that's one of the most important and terrible inhuman acts: to treat people like animals. And more than that! To treat people like monsters! If we look this like a philosophy issue, people in the past starts to say and show that African people were less desenveloped to use them like animals to do the hard work. And it also says "a different kind of monkey", talking about African people like if they were the Yeti of the jungle.

    In the clip, the first image that we can see after this passage it's a white man (Tarzan I think) and a brief text "La justicia de la jungla". Then there appear a lot of images of white people fighting with black people, and those are always the enemy. After, also appears a lot of images from comics where black people are just slaves. And now, after watching this clip, we think: oh man, that's so racist. But I'm sure that, before, everybody have averlooked this detail. Was the drawing racist? Are we racist to find it normal? In my opinion everybody have an African mind because, like some other things and during hundred of years, society has put this idea in our minds: African people are less developed than us, they are not humans at all, they don't know about writting an some oter things, they live and have to live in the jungle, they musn't have the same rights as us... And society wins. In my opinion everybody've an African mind, but we are not always concient about it because we find it normal. And it must stop. Everybody have to know why we think in this way and open our eyes to respect this race how it have to be, like all the others. And if we don't do that, this horrible story will continue and it'll be worse. So as fast as we stop that, as fast we will see them absolutely like us.

    Anna Garcia Cuxart
    2 BAT A

  29. "That is how the unknown became hostage"

    I've choosen this passage because it's show the moment when Europeans started colonizing Africa and they see african like hostages, despite the hostages were Europeans not Africans.
    I'll answer the question "Have we got an african mind?", but firtly I need to describe wht's for me an African mind. For me an African mind is the tribe's mind, primitive, like animals. This kind of mind we all have it, because animal reations are in our biology. If he are afraid or someone try to hurt us, we wil be violent with that person, primitive. That's sounds for lot of people a bat thing, but it's biology it's natural being like that. Anyway, our society have changed and now, we things being like thet it's unpolite and we try to behave diferent, I things that's why lot of people have problems of behaviour because being polite and respecting people who tries to hurt us aren't in our genes. So, yes we have an african mind.

    Maria Calabuig Fuster