Fire In Little Africa reviewed in Rolling Stone Magazine!

Music Video for “Keep on Shining” from Fire In Little Africa

“Jerica Wortham, who closes out “Shining” with a fantastic verse after strong appearances from Dialtone and Ayilla, begins with a direct reference to Greenwood Avenue, the center of black life in Tulsa before the massacre. “We’re what it looks like when we got our own backs,” she continues emphatically. “We’re what it looks like when we build it back black/We’re what it looks like in a hundred years’ time/Got the audacity to walk up out these ashes and shine.”

If Bartleby the Scrivener were a Gamer . . . what Game/s Would he Play? What would his Avatar be?

GameStop seems to connect to so much of what we’ve read (and didn’t get to read) this semester. Here, GameStop is compared to Occupy Wall Street, which relates to Bartleby the Scrivener: a Story of Wall Street (Bartleby being arguably the first instance of someone “occupying” Wall Street) . . .

“Redditors successfully ‘Occupy Wall Street’ – or do they?”

“In September 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement took the United States by storm as protestors “occupied” different physical locations — most notably New York’s Financial District — throughout the nation for months as a form of protest against income inequality. Nearly a decade later, we’re learning of the story of GameStop, which proves that the 99% could actually fight the 1% by harnessing the power of social media. Well, kind of.

Despite all the 2011 occupants’ cries against the greed of the top 1%, substantive change was made virtually impossible by the movement’s lack of organization and leadership. Occupy’s total absence of infrastructure made support (financial or otherwise) difficult and made the movement’s actual goals murky at best.

The legacy of the movement lies not with specific policy change but rather in popularizing a broader movement in opposition to the extremely wealthy. The Occupy movement is at least partially responsible for shifting political rhetoric toward discussions of $15 minimum wage and wealth taxes, and for kickstarting the presidential campaigns of Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Most recently, the sentiments that inspired the Occupy movement have seemingly relocated from a physical plane of protests, sit-ins and poster boards to the virtual plane of the r/wallstreetbets subreddit. Though the subreddit has been around since 2012, it gained notoriety in January 2021 as the propellant behind an explosion in the price of GameStop stock, an explosion that uniquely hurt some notable hedge funds.

Blindsided by the GameStop fiasco, Melvin Capital, a hedge fund that managed $12.5 billion at the beginning of the year, lost 53% on its January investment and saw the money it manages plummet to $5.25 billion. Though the company was aided by a $2.75 billion injection from both Citadel LLC and Point72 Asset Management — a separate hedge fund which lost 15% itself during what Bloomberg dubbed the “Reddit revolution” — the losses are absolutely staggering. Other hedge funds like D1 Capital Partners took losses of 20% in the fallout.

But how did this happen?”

Many of these large hedge funds shorted GameStop stock right as the Redditors, a group of mostly young men in either their teens or twenties, grew in enthusiasm about the promise of GameStop stock.

In order to understand exactly what that means, imagine that your friend lends you a jacket that is currently worth $20 for one month. If you believe that jacket will be worth $5 a week from now, then you can sell that jacket for $20 now, and buy it back for $5 in a week’s time. This way, you can return the jacket to your friend and make $15 during that month. But, if you sell the jacket for $20 and a week later the jacket is suddenly worth $400, then you’re losing $380 because you have to buy back the jacket at its current price in order to return it to your friend.

The hedge funds sold the stock at around $20 per share, expecting to buy it back at a cheaper price.

But r/wallstreetbets had other plans. CNBC reports that GameStop was the most-shorted stock on the market at the time. The redditors saw that large hedge funds were shorting a huge amount of GameStop stock and rallied their troops to “short squeeze” the stock.  If enough of them bought GameStop stock, the hedge funds would be forced to buy it back at a high price. And it worked — the stock became so popular among redditors that hedge funds were forced to buy it back at prices as high as $483 per share. Only, hedge funds didn’t sell just one share, they sold thousands of them. GameStop accounted for nearly 20% of an $80 billion net loss for short sellers in the month of January. For comparison, the amount short sellers lost in January 2021 alone is already about a third of what was lost the entirety of 2020.

The redditors saw that large hedge funds were shorting a huge amount of GameStop stock and rallied their troops to “short squeeze” the stock.

As the impact that redditors were having on these massive hedge funds became increasingly obvious, the reasoning behind GameStop’s momentum changed entirely. Initially, it seems redditors were genuinely enthusiastic about GameStop’s potential, especially since the company evoked a nostalgic sense in the mostly young, mostly male day traders that populated the subreddit. However, as GameStop’s meteoric rise became a national story, many bought in to support what was billed as a common man’s fight against Wall Street and hedge funds.

But, in order to keep screwing over these hedge funds, the redditors needed two key trends to continue.

First, enthusiasm over GameStop stock had to keep growing in order for the stock price to keep going up, meaning people had to keep buying GameStop stock even when it was already at a price that experts believed to be unsustainable. And while it looked like this might actually happen for a short period in January, GameStop stock came crashing down by the end of the month, falling from $483 per share to $60 per share after the first week of February. One major blow to the continued growth of GameStop was the internal turmoil of one of the major stock trading apps: Robinhood. A significant portion of the GameStop buyers were using Robinhood to drive stock prices up, but investment had accelerated so rapidly that Robinhood simply did not have enough money to keep up, prompting the company to restrict trades on GameStop and other stocks.

Second, those that had bought GameStop at lower prices had to refuse to sell their stock for the squeeze to work, even despite the enormous profits that some stood to make from buying the stock low and selling it high.

While it is true that some hedge funds lost enormous sums of money, it is equally true that many among the ranks of the small-time investors lost devastating fractions of their personal wealth.

This is where the ghosts of Occupy’s past came back to haunt those now entrenched in the GameStop saga. The movement’s leaderless nature practically guaranteed that stockholders would not act in unison to bleed out hedge funds, as seemed to be the goal of many late investors. Instead, many of the early investors cashed out, plummeting the stock’s value and destroying the often inexperienced small-time investors.

While it is true that some hedge funds lost enormous sums of money, it is equally true that many among the ranks of the small-time investors lost devastating fractions of their personal wealth. Caught up in the social media fueled mania, people used their rent money to buy GameStop stock in some instances, making the losses suffered among smaller investors all the more painful.

It’s not even entirely true that the common man was the biggest beneficiary of this entire debacle. Though the most fortunate among the redditors made millions, the real winner was the asset manager BlackRock. BlackRock had the largest shares of GameStop stock and has made billions in the past few weeks.

The reality is that taking down hedge funds by day trading is a lot like trying to take down a casino by gambling big: The house always wins. It has been proven time and time again that day traders lose money to bigger financial institutions that have more capital, resources and information.

If those who invested in GameStop truly want a lasting fight against the ultra-wealthy, they will find it nearly impossible to do so through the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Instead, their sentiments will have to prove powerful enough to influence those on Capitol Hill, a legacy that Wall Street’s 2011 occupants proudly claim. The question is whether Washington, D.C., will view GameStop as the new Occupy or simply a passing moment of Reddit rebellion.

Contact Lucas Yen at <ahref=””></ahref=””>

Present PRELIM 9b as a Movie Pitch or Movie Trailer!

How to Write PRELIM 9b as a Movie Pitch or Movie Trailer:

* Be Brief + Detailed + Specific + Concise [2-3 minutes]
* Include significant information w/succinct language + keyterms
* Set a Tone appropriate for your research Topic-Focus-Motive-Stance-Emerging Thesis/Argument
* Incorporate Important Research Keyterms
* Write for an identifiable Audience . . . to Persuade them
* Use questioning or other hook strategies to draw that Audience in . . .
* Imply Motive (why is the topic/potential argument important?)
* Evoke Stance (To what extent am I invested in this topic+ why?
* Exhibit credible ethos, but be interesting, provocative, controversial
* An Audience should want to read your essay after hearing your Movie Pitch for your project!
* Note the Conversation(s) you are entering
* Gesture to a specific Thesis argument or possible arguments
* Don’t give it away! (No Argument Plot Summaries or Spoilers!)

You will deliver your Research + Argument Presentation  as either a Movie Pitch or Movie Trailer in class: you can either read/share live or record your Pitch and then play it in class

If you want to you can try to sound like Movie Man Voice!

“Meet the Epic Voice Behind Movie Trailers”

Movie Pitch Text + Movie Trailer for The Last Sumurai

Official Movie Trailer for The Last Sumurai

Example Trailers


Pulp Fiction

Blair Witch Project

Forrest Gump

Opening for the original Star Trek TV series

Space, the final frontier
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise
Its five year mission
To explore strange new worlds
To seek out new life
And new civilizations
To boldly go where no man has gone before

Example Student Movie Pitch as a Movie Trailer


The Architect of Largest Ponzi Scheme in History has Died . . . in Jail . . .

Bernard Madoff, Architect of Largest Ponzi Scheme in History, Is Dead at 82 His enormous fraud left behind a devastating human toll and paper losses totaling $64.8 billion.

“Bernard L. Madoff, the one-time senior statesman of Wall Street who in 2008 became the human face of an era of financial misdeeds and missteps for running the largest and possibly most devastating Ponzi scheme in financial history, died on Wednesday at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C. He was 82.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed the death.

Mr. Madoff, who was serving a 150-year prison sentence, had asked for early release in February 2020, saying in a court filing that he had less than 18 months to live after entering the final stages of kidney disease and that he had been admitted to palliative care.

In phone interviews with The Washington Post at the time, Mr. Madoff expressed remorse for his misdeeds, saying he had “made a terrible mistake.”

“I’m terminally ill,” he said. “There’s no cure for my type of disease. So, you know, I’ve served. I’ve served 11 years already, and, quite frankly, I’ve suffered through it.”

Click on this  LINK to read the full article.


Write PRELIM 10: Evolving Annotated Bibliography as a Blog Post or Page

Would you like to earn double credit for PRELIM 10: Evolving Annotated Bibliography by creating a Blog post or Page on your Blog in addition to turning it in on Canvas? Below are some instructions on how to do so!

First, sign in to your WordPress website (or other blog host program if you’re not using WordPress to host your Blog).
Second, choose “Posts” or “Add New” located in the left hand menu of the Dashboard.

“Add New” (to start with a completely new Blog Post)

You can add text by copying + pasting from another text file (i.e. MS Word, .pages, etc.) OR by typing in the window. For example:

Dick, Philip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Thorpe, Ulverscroft,  2018.
[Novel Chapter] In a future where most animals are a rare commodity, bounty hunter Rick Deckard tracks deviant androids, hoping to earn enough money to purchase a living sheep (as opposed to the robotic one that he already possesses). In the process, he falls in love with an android. Struck by this unprecedented dilemma, Deckard struggles to differentiate between humanity and inhumanity as he reassesses his situation. Since my essay focuses on the portrayal of robots in media, this classic felt like the perfect reference point. As Deckard realizes the dangers associated with making androids as human as possible, I see a chance to analyze why the androids even need to be human-like in the first place. The book also provides an opportunity to define androids in the context of classic fiction, setting a reference point for the reader audience. Plus, the novel opens the following discussions: What makes a human? What about the androids makes their emotions so uncanny? Why give them the ability to emote in the first place? Are they meant to be better than us? If so, again, why give them emotions? And so on.

If you have images, upload them to the Media library by clicking on the Media item in the Dashboard menu. Then choose “Add Media” at the top of the composition window menu to add them where you want to place them in the Post. Here is an example::

  • You can include an image or link to a video or other source in the annotation beneath your bibliographic citation. When you add sources or links to sources to a Post, you can edit the entries on the Post by revising or adding annotations, and also by making to annotate your own Post.
  • If you have links to web-based sources you have found doing your own research, such as web-pages, images, or audio or audiovisual material,  you can include them in the Post by clicking on the “link” icon in the composition window menu, typing the URL, and typing title information for the source. For example: “She’s a Replicant” from Bladerunner (1982).
  • PUBLISH your Post or schedule your Post to be published on a particular date. You can also un-publish a Post while you are in the process of revising entries or adding new entries to PRELIM 10.
  • You can also create a PAGE and add it to your MENU and write PRELIM 10 (i.e. add any of the above information by copying & pasting or uploading a PDF of PRELIM 10 to the page).

Book of “recovered photos” of Tulsa race massacre + “Justice for Greenwood” virtual lecture

‘This is still being suppressed’: OU professor’s book of recovered photos preserves history of Tulsa Race Massacre

“After half a century without pictures of the massacre readily available, OU professor Karlos Hill compiled images like the ones of Mount Zion and others as part of his latest project, “The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History.” His photobook is centered on the experiences of Black survivors and is intended to contextualize images taken by white participants.

In his research on the massacre, Hill has seen countless images depicting destruction, damaged buildings and, simultaneously, the wrecking of the hopes and dreams of a prosperous Black community. But in his mind, one stands out from the rest — an aerial image of a smoky sky above a smattering of buildings, with a caption scratched across the bottom of the picture.”

[Click on the link above to read the entire article and to access additional links to articles published by the OU Daily.]

Also, click here for information about a Justice for Greenwood Virtual Lecture that will take place on 23 April 2021.

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum hosts virtual round table about the Tulsa Race Massacres & the Oklahoma City bombing

The OU Daily reported that the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum recently hosted a virtual routable about the Tulsa Race Massacre and the Oklahoma City bombing.

“The “Better Conversations” event included discussion between the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum’s Executive Director Kari Watkins, Memorial Board Chair Bob Ross, 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission Project Director Phil Armstrong, 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission Chair and Oklahoma state Sen. Kevin Matthews (D-Tulsa), and hip hop artist and community activist Jabee Williams.”

Click HERE to read the OU Daily article. Click on the title “Better Conversations” to be hyperlinked to the Oklahoma City Memorial & Museum home page where you can watch a recording of the virtual round table.