Humanities Moments

Humanities Moments

We’ve all had “humanities moments” — when our lives were made richer, more poignant, and meaningful because of the insights the humanities provide.

Browse Items (5 total)

by Alex Azzi, Student at TAMU
To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
Some would say music is the most powerful of the arts. The album To Pimp A Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar is just that, powerful. The overall theme of the album revolves around the black experience in America. This album is an emotional, gut wrenching roller coaster. With George Clinton and Thundercat production, To Pimp A Butterfly has an authentic Afro-Funk sound to compliment the layered, complex subject matter in the lyrics. Kendrick speaks in depth about how having slave ancestors affects him in an honest, and vulnerable way without…

by Lauren, 21, Student
Emancipation Memorial, Lincoln Park, Washington, D.C.
While in my English class, we look at an image of the Lincoln Statue and it showed Lincoln's hand above the head of a former slave. This image is supposed to represent freedom, but to me, it represents the level at which people of color are limited to be.

by Betty Reid Soskin
African American Park Ranger Sylvester Putman and Maggie Laura Walker Lewis at the July 14, 1985 opening ceremony for Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
At 95, Betty Reid Soskin is the oldest active U.S. Park Ranger. Having lived through wars, racial segregation, and other turbulent times in our history, she says empathy and world peace are possible through the humanities.To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other, California Humanities invited a group of 40 prominent Californians to explore what the humanities mean to them. For more information visit calhum.org/about/we-are-the-humanities.

by Ken Burns, documentary filmmaker
Portrait of young Abraham Lincoln
Ken Burns describes how lines from a historic speech given by 29-year-old Abraham Lincoln have “haunted and inspired” him for nearly 40 years. Expanding on what is revealed in those sentences, Burns discusses how they speak not only to Lincoln’s basic character and optimism, qualities that proved essential to his presidency. He goes on to note that Lincoln’s words, here and elsewhere, are suggestive of what is best in the American character.“A handful of sentences” from Lincoln’s 1838 Springfield speech on national security left a…

Portrait of Frederick Douglass
In the speech from which this excerpt is taken, Frederick Douglass delivered a powerful argument about the hypocrisy inherent in celebrating America’s founding while continuing to allow slavery. As he notes, “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.”
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