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Through

art, important social justice messages can be conveyed. Listening to the blues
song I made with my group, it will be noticed that it talks about torture, which means that a
form of art (piece of art or music) can share a message about human right violations very well.
The reason why blues got created is because African slaves were forced to work, and got
beaten and whipped in the fields. To share their emotions, they started singing while doing
their work.
Torture happens all around the world at all times. It can be because people don't do as
they are told, because someone wants revenge, or simply because people want a population to
feel fright and terror. Nowadays all kinds of people are being tortured like in Sri Lanka, Iran,
Pakistan, the republic of Congo, and many more.
According to Amnesty International, up to three-
quarters of the world has reported on torture. But at
the beginning of the blues, people were getting
tortured in the south of the USA, in Mississippi and
Louisiana, which is where it all started.
Around the world people were not just
physically tortured, but also mentally, which was
bringing fear into their minds. The blues originate from
plantations in the deep south of the US, like Mississippi
and Louisiana in the 20th century. African slaves worked
mainly in cotton or vegetable fields, where they had to
stay the entire day. They worked in harsh conditions
and got treated very badly. If someone tried to
retaliate, they would face a horrible punishment, which
included getting whipped, beaten or even killed. The
slaves didn't have much money or anything, so they had to resist the beating to get fed. The
slaves got physically tortured, and only rarely did this happen mentally.
While the African slaves were working in the fields, they were prohibited to talk. If they
did they would get punished, since
it distracts them from their work.
They then started singing, to
express their emotions and their
love. It started off just like this, but
when blues started spreading,
more things got applied. For
example, people started playing
the guitar while singing, they
started thinking of the idea of
choruses, thy started thinking
about their verses and how they
should get written, etc. In the lyrics
of their songs they expressed their
love for someone, their hate,
misery, and any other emotions
they were feeling. The slaves also started dancing to their music, just to be somewhat healthy.
Some owners encouraged the singing and dancing, since they thought that it would make the
slaves happier. They thought that this might reduce the chances of them wanting to runaway.
But other owners started to forbid this type of art, because they were scared that it would
spread a message, and maybe find its way to people who knew nothing about this slavery.
Although music and dancing was interdicted by some masters, it still managed to spread
throughout the US. 1910 was the beginning of an internal migration to urban centers, mostly in
the north, like Chicago. By 1940, a lot of people had settled in urban areas, and had taken the
blues with them. Of course this type of art changed through the time, and around 1940 rhythm
and blues started developing. Its like blues, but with some jazz influences. Around the 1950s,
rhythm and blues started changing into rock and roll.
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The first and the second stanzas of the first verse point out, how the African-American
slaves had no way out of slavery. The best thing they could do, was imagine the world outside
of where they were. The third stanza explains why they couldn't live why they wanted. In this
case it's because the wealthy people were torturing them if they didn't work like they were
told.
The first two stanzas of the second verse describe where they work. Very clearly, they
are forced to work in fields, but what is told here, is that all their memories of these places are
bad ones. The fields are where they got whipped, where they were forced to labor, and were
they had no freedom at all. Through the third stanza you can understand, that to the wealthy
people, the slaves are unworthy, undeserving people.
The third verse explains how many slaves didn't know where their lives would go.
Maybe they would be slaves for the rest of their lives, or they would find a way to escape. The
third stanza tells you, that they didnt like their life as slaves, and that some of them would
rather not have lived.

Before this unit, I was unaware that making connections between subjects useful or
necessary. Every single subject was a different class for me, and I didn't even think about
making links between them. For this task we looked at I and S and Music, and how the
development of blues actually started because of the violation of human rights. Studying an IDU
wasn't too hard for me, but I learned about all the skills that are necessary. Now knowing how
to make connections between subjects, this will help me in the future, when I will have to link
different information.
I didn't face any problems or challenges during this IDU task, but now that I know about
comparing different subjects, I might do it too much. It could happen that I think there is a link
between two subjects, of course not only I and S and Music, and that I think about their
similarities and differences. This could give me a whole other perspective of the subjects, which
could start confusing me, if my connection was incorrect.
As an IB learner, I now feel comfortable comparing and reflecting on an IDU project. I
am very open-minded to new ideas, and so I liked how we were learning to compare different
subjects. It was pretty easy for me to catch on, and I fairly quickly understood how to make
connections. While learning about IDUs, I gained more knowledge as of why it is better to have
this skill, and to be able to apply it not just between different subjects. I have thought about the
fact that in everyday life, completely divergent areas can be closely related, even if it might not
seem like that. Like I already said, the fact that I am so fond of this idea might get me confused
if I apply it too often. I might make wrong connections, and get completely off track. To avoid
this, I will use my knowledge about the fact that this could happen, and I will be extra
thoughtful while making links.
The blues originate from Afro-American slaves that were working in fields around
Mississippi and Louisiana. They were living in awful conditions, and got most of their rights
taken away. They got beaten, whipped, sometimes even killed which is torture, they got forced
to work which is slavery, they didn't have much knowledge which is no education, and there
were many more rights which they didn't have. Since they were also not allowed to talk while
doing their work, they started singing to share they emotions. This singing started developing,
and during the migration to the north around 1910, instruments and everything started getting
added. Blues then started changing to rhythm and blues, which later led to rock and roll. The
violation of many human rights back in the fields, was the reason why the idea of blues started.
This IDU task proves the inquiry question right, since through art (a piece of art or
music) important messages about social injustice can be conveyed. When comparing the blues
and human rights, it is clear, that the blues lyrics were mostly about human right violations and
being treated horribly. Through these songs, messages are shared with the world of how awful
things were done to these Afro-American slaves.


Appendix
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Verse 1:
I had a dream not to be whipped or beat,
I had a dream no to be whipped or beat,
Ohhh wealthy man I will never get my dreams complete.

Verse 2:
Im trapped in the land of fear with no escape
Im trapped in the land of fear with no escape
Ohh Rich Man You live in a big house but for you im a nasty mouse.

Verse 3:
I dont know where mah life will end
I dont know where mah life will end
Maybe, ohh baby, I dont want to live this life no more.

Works Cited

Hwang, E. "2F Evaporator CP class instrumentation uncertainties evaluations." (1994):

n. pag. Web.

Kopp, Ed. "A Brief History of the Blues." All About Jazz. N.p., 16 Aug. 2005. Web. 27
Mar. 2017.

Kopp, Ed. "A Brief History of the Blues." All About Jazz. N.p., 16 Aug. 2005. Web. 27

Mar. 2017.

Mcadams, E. T., and J. Jossinet. "Tissue impedance: a historical overview."

Physiological Measurement 16.3A (1995): n. pag. Web.

Shmoop Editorial Team. "Race in Blues Music History." Shmoop. Shmoop University,

11 Nov. 2008. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.

"Stop Torture." Stop Torture. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.

"Where does torture happen?" Freedom from Torture. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.