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"Imitation of Life/HARLEM Hopscotch," video by Dianne Smith and "Harlem Hopscotch," poem by Maya Angelou

Author: Dianne Smith and Maya Angelou

1 additions to document , most recent over 1 year ago

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May-24-20 Maya Angelou's Harlem Hopscotch: Official Music Video | Oprah Winfrey Network

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Jul 15
Carl M (Jul 15 2020 1:45PM) : I agree on when she said playing music out loud on the sidewalk because where I’m from on some mines street people dance and play music publicly.
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Feb 3
OCEAN D (Feb 03 2021 9:49AM) : Sound techniques [Edited] more
I noticed that Maya Angelou ends every sentence with punctuation. This is a sound technique called end-stopping. It creates a sense of order. She uses this technique to make the line have a clear stop of what she is saying, this helps the reader dig deep into what is being said in a line where end-stopped is given

Imitation of Life/HARLEM Hopsctch from Dianne Smith on Vimeo.

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Harlem Hopscotch is part of my Imitation of Life Series which I like to call digital storytelling. The work consists of a compilation of videos and images.

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These images and videos are mostly what I have documented as I move through my beloved Harlem community. They are a string of day to day occurrences. They are simply a sum of my lived experiences, that together become very performative.

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The videos and images are layered, in a sort of stop motion like way. The aesthetics of the work speaks to a place that is textured, unique, spirited, animated and diverse. With this series I show the dichotomy of the community how the old or nostalgic view of Harlem is ever present, while the new seeks to alter its landscape.

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Often times walking up or down Lenox Avenue I feel as though I am gliding amongst the words of Langston, Zora, Maya and Baldwin. Or I am at the Red Rooster as the Deejay or live music vibrates across the space causing bodies to sway almost unconsciously or walking across 125th Street leaves you at times overly stimulated with repetitions of sound, textures, colors, and movements.

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At any given moment I can walk out my apartment and encounter a gospel trio on the corner in front of the bodega in song praising the Lord as if they were in church on Sunday morning. There is no other place I could live were music playing aloud on the street during a sidewalk flea market results in a one man dance performance.

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Apr 30
Terren V (Apr 30 2019 6:34AM) : I agree with Maya Angelou when she said "I could live were music playing aloud on the street during a sidewalk flea market results in a one man dance performance." I agree because i remember back in the old days kids used to stay dancing outside.
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Harlem is a vibrant, frenetic community that’s not without its complications. It’s an ever changing community, however with all of its transitions there are things that remain. The pulse, energy, and life fuels my creative practice.

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Apr 30
Terren V (Apr 30 2019 6:27AM) : shes saying that harlem is a place to her that fuels her creative juices meaning it inspires her to be creative. If you've been to harlem you would agree with this because harlem has been the home too a lot of creative movements

Harlem Hopscotch

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Feb 3
OCEAN D (Feb 03 2021 10:13AM) : Diction in the title Harlem Hopscotch. [Edited] more

The title Harlem Hopscotch maybe has something to do with poverty in Harlem and how the Black community used hopscotch to distract themselves from many challenges. Also, another example of diction is: in the first two lines in her stanza she rhymes.

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Feb 8
Kiran C (Feb 08 2021 11:36PM) : Yes, I see the rhyme in the first two lines of each stanza. Rhyme makes me hear the text’s ‘voice’, and feel its physical effect in my body. more

When there’s two boxes next to each other in Hopscotch, you can put two feet down. The rhyme in the second line feels like when you hop on one foot first and then get to put two feet down second.

Does the rhyme make you feel anything in your body?

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Feb 9
OCEAN D (Feb 09 2021 8:31AM) : what I feel is the need to nod my head because this poem is truly a musical, when she rhymes Maya pleasures the readers by rhyming, so maybe that's why she rhyme in this poem. [Edited]
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by Maya Angelou

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One foot down, then hop! It's hot.
Good things for the ones that's got.
Another jump, now to the left.
Everybody for hisself.

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Apr 17
ASHLEY P (Apr 17 2019 10:12AM) : Every 2 lines rhyme with each other. more

It has a meter which means that certain words have accents. That means that those words are emphasized.

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Apr 18
hatou b (Apr 18 2019 6:43AM) : so this person is a hopscother in which shes expaling how i goes
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Apr 29
KEVIN Z (Apr 29 2019 8:52AM) : shes going places, or she doesnt know where to go more

she goes to one place, and she goes to one place and doesnt work out, so she goes to another place and then that works out

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May 7
JAYLIN S (May 07 2019 10:34AM) : It has a good flow. It is for sure an attention grabber and is . who is she referring to when she says ''hisself''?
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May 13
ISAIAH H (May 13 2019 5:58AM) : She starts with a rhyme more

but then she tries to rhyme left with self, which can be argued that it is a rhyme but this is more of a slant rhyme.

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May 13
COLEMAN W (May 13 2019 6:06AM) : The first paragraphs structure is aa bb
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Feb 5
Drew H (Feb 05 2021 8:16AM) : The image I get from reading this poem are a group of kids on a empty street with no cars passing, playing Hopscotch. Until each time she/the person jumps, her mind floods with things she has to do/things her parents have to provide.
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Jun 10
TYLER V (Jun 10 2019 9:02AM) : Favorite game more

Was this the main thing for her to do when she was younger, like her favorite game? Did she do anything else besides this?

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In the air, now both feet down.
Since you black, don't stick around.
Food is gone, the rent is due,
Curse and cry and then jump two.

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Apr 18
hatou b (Apr 18 2019 6:45AM) : she feels sad more

since shes black she say that if your black dont stick around. i think this means that if your black you have to move on your own and try your best to pay your bills so you can stay at a place

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Nov 8
Edward M (Nov 08 2019 12:31PM) : I agree. What starts as something fun becomes very serious because of the realities of racism and its effects on the community.
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May 7
KEVIN Z (May 07 2019 11:27AM) : shes playing the game more

this means that shes playing the game in real life, and in real life she made it through one part of stage in life, and now she moving on to the next stage in life.

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May 8
ISAIAH H (May 08 2019 7:20AM) : She went from having fun to a quick change in mood more

She says" in the air both feet down" as in they are jumping and then she says “since you black don’t stick around. Food is gone rent is due” she seems like she start stalking about her life and how it’s a struggle

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Aug 1
Montrea J (Aug 01 2019 6:50AM) : I love how this stanza gives you an idea of what the people of the community deals with as a whole. Basically she's saying every man stands alone and fights a day to day life obstacle.
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Feb 3
OCEAN D (Feb 03 2021 8:34AM) : I definitely agree as soon as the narrator's feet are on the floor Maya Angelou immediately talks about the obstacles in life.
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Feb 3
OCEAN D (Feb 03 2021 8:30AM) : zooming in on the metaphors Maya Angelou uses [Edited] more

I’m not sure if this I right but based on the second stanza my analogy from reading this is that Maya Angelou is using metaphors to compare the struggles of life to hopscotch. She uses metaphors to explain a harsh reality for many black people and how many in Harlem used hopscotch to escape from that reality.

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Feb 8
Kiran C (Feb 08 2021 11:26PM) : Hopscotch would no way be enough of an escape, given the harshness of the reality you're talking about. And to suggest that it would trivializes people's "struggles of life". more

I do see what you’re saying — hopscotch could be a strategy for survival. But I see it as a strategy for jumping from one safe space to another, dodging the dangerous places. When we played hopscotch growing up, we would mark one space in the middle with the word “Safe”. Otherwise it would be too hard to get all the way to the end. You could rest on that step without getting “out”.

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Feb 5
Drew H (Feb 05 2021 8:22AM) : The insight I get is, While she plays this nice friendly game of hopscotch, It reminds her of the life she's living. As each person jumps it starts to feel like her issues and how she's overcoming one and then being bombarded by the rest.
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Feb 5
Drew H (Feb 05 2021 8:45AM) : This piece can be defined literary by it's use of tension, (The strain that results from forces pulling away from each other without reaching resolution) more

Because of it’s quick switch from playing a game with you feet to the accommodations of “living in Harlem”. Late rent, due to the lack of money. Need of food and even the constant arguments inside the household. I believe Maya was talking about how jumping between spaces reminded her of what was going on inside her family home/around the neighborhood. Or even how she may use Hopscotch as an escape from it.

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Feb 5
Drew H (Feb 05 2021 1:14PM) : The Diction I get from this poem is Symbol ("An object or action that stands for something more than it's literal meaning; generally contains several layers of meaning often concealed at first sight") more

I say this because of her using the steps you take in hopscotch to talk about the things she may have had to deal with, rent, less food, loosing jobs, etc. Every time the person jumps to their next position she tells us something new about the poverty around.

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Feb 5
MARIO N (Feb 05 2021 1:22PM) : sound technique [Edited] more

alliteration is repetition of sounds. she using h and h here and other same starting letters throughout like g g and c c.

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Feb 16
Kiran C (Feb 16 2021 6:06PM) : Yes! I hear the repetition of the "h" that you're talking about in the title, "Harlem Hopscotch"; and the "g" in "Good things for the ones that's got"; and the "c" in "Curse and cry". more

But so what? Those alliterative "g"s definitely seem to ground a reader in physical reality – they order the muscles in the back of one’s throat to clamp down on each other to make their hard
“g”. Sort of like in hopscotch, when you come to two squares next to each other and you can come down hard on both feet. So the alliterative "g"s in “Good things for the ones that’s got” emphasize the idea that “the rich get richer.”

Now, how do the alliterative "c"s in “Curse and cry”shape the meaning that a reader makes of the poem?

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Feb 11
cristin t (Feb 11 2021 3:12PM) : she feel upset.
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Feb 11
cristin t (Feb 11 2021 3:12PM) : you could tell how she change her mood real quick.
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Nov 11
Rebecca S (Nov 11 2021 6:18PM) : Hopscotch vs. Double Dutch more

It’s interesting seeing the images of young women playing Double Dutch. Having never been much of even a basic jump-roper, I have marveled since I was a little girl watching the coordination required both for moving the jump ropes and moving ones feet. It is a coordinated effort and one that requires teamwork – contrary to the idea of “Everybody for hisself” from line 4.
I also imagine Double Dutch represents the feeling of navigating Harlem at the time Dr. Angelou wrote this poem.

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Apr 18
Terren V (Apr 18 2019 6:44AM) : back in a time of racism white people didn't want to be around black people
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Apr 29
Ocavio (Apr 29 2019 6:28AM) : E more

the tone of the poem changes here. It went from talking about a game of hopscotch to talking about racism.

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Feb 5
MARIO N (Feb 05 2021 1:39PM) : comment more

The tone did shift here.But I think she was talking about racism and hustling the whole time not really just hopscotch.

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Feb 16
Kiran C (Feb 16 2021 4:10PM) : I agree. The tone shifts, but the content is the same. HOWEVER, that tonal shift clues you in to the content that you just skipped over, and makes you re-read the first five lines.
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Apr 29
Quantel B (Apr 29 2019 8:45AM) : it was very racist to me when they say this
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Apr 30
hatou b (Apr 30 2019 5:55AM) : why did she say this?
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Feb 5
MARIO N (Feb 05 2021 8:51AM) : Since you don’t stick around make me wonder of a negative connection of stereotypes where people think bad stuff about you because of the judgment of your skin
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Terren V (Apr 18 2019 6:48AM) : i could relate to this because this like growing up in the projects and the rent always overpriced
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Jun 10
TYLER V (Jun 10 2019 8:52AM) : a child compared to adult more

The poem went from talking about things that she did as a kid to then talking about the problems that an adult might have to struggle through.

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Feb 5
MARIO N (Feb 05 2021 9:02AM) : Food is gone the rent is due portrays that people who live in Harlem because of their colored their skin are considered under the poverty level they can’t survive by buying foods for their family because they can afford in paying the rent
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Feb 3
OCEAN D (Feb 03 2021 9:09AM) : When both feet land Maya Angelou talks about the challenges in life. So maybe What Maya Angelou is communicating is: that adults have a lot of problems to deal with so they distract themselves by playing a child's game. [Edited]
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Feb 5
MARIO N (Feb 05 2021 9:06AM) : the author tone here says that she feel that being black is a curse to her poverty that she is going through.

All the people out of work,
Hold for three, then twist and jerk.
Cross the line, they count you out.
That's what hopping's all about.

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Apr 17
ASHLEY P (Apr 17 2019 10:29AM) : The author hops around the poem with the same rhythm. [Edited]
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Apr 18
hatou b (Apr 18 2019 6:46AM) : this aouthor seems to like hoping so much
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May 1
COLEMAN W (May 01 2019 6:55AM) : The author changes from back and forth form talking about something from real life (racism) to hopscotch (a motif). [Edited]
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May 1
JAYLIN S (May 01 2019 11:00AM) : They are all family until someone crosses the line more

They are all family until someone crosses the line.They all have each others back. Cool just for protection.

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Feb 5
Drew H (Feb 05 2021 8:56AM) : The sound techniques in this poem, makes me think about it's rhythm, ("Rhythm makes language musical, emphasizes ideas, creates mood, and contributes to tone") more

Because of the constant reference back to the Hopscotch game while she talks about the struggles of Harlem living. “One foot down then hop”, “In the air, now both feet down” , “Hold for three, then twist and Jerk” . She comes back to it as if we are in one location and then stop and think about in debt meanings, then continue onto the next space.

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Jun 10
TYLER V (Jun 10 2019 8:59AM) : Figurative or literal? more

What line would she be crossing. Is this figurative or literal. Also who would count you out

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Both feet flat, the game is done.
They think I lost. I think I won.

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Apr 17
ASHLEY P (Apr 17 2019 10:32AM) : The author used 2 different ideas in the last line.
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Apr 18
hatou b (Apr 18 2019 6:48AM) : ooo i like this one more

so its a competition and she passed the land but, people say she lost

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Apr 29
Quantel B (Apr 29 2019 8:54AM) : what does that mean to the reader ?
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May 13
COLEMAN W (May 13 2019 6:07AM) : The end is a turn because she goes from saying she lost to she won
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Feb 5
Drew H (Feb 05 2021 8:28AM) : A question I have for Maya according to this poem is.. She talking about her own living situation and the constant hissing she had to herself when she became an adult? Or is she referring back to when she was a child and heard her parents arguments.
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Feb 5
MARIO N (Feb 05 2021 1:35PM) : diction more

She acts like she is talking about hopscotch but she is really talking about life being hard and how it is like a game to win.She is using symbolism.

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May 29
KARLA T (May 29 2019 11:24AM) : Was they playing a game called hope / scrotch
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Feb 5
OCEAN D (Feb 05 2021 4:34PM) : I wonder what she meant by "they think I lost. I think I won" I think there is a deeper meaning behind that sentence. more

Maybe this is a competition. Where this game represents life, and people are racing to the finish line.

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Feb 8
Kiran C (Feb 08 2021 10:55PM) : I like this interpretation. [Edited] more

Why do YOU think SHE thinks she won?

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Feb 9
OCEAN D (Feb 09 2021 7:45AM) : Maybe, Hopscotch represents the struggles of black life so when she loses, she won because she is now escaping the struggles of life. [Edited]
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Apr 29
Quantel B (Apr 29 2019 8:51AM) : cause they did
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TYLER V (Jun 10 2019 8:55AM) : confidence? more

is her saying “i think i won” after saying “they think i lost” supposed to display how even though people may think that she may be down, she may have the confidence to stay hopeful for herself

Maya Angelou, "Harlem Hopscotch" from Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie: Poems by Maya Angelou. Copyright © 1971 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House, Inc., 1994)

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Apr 30
hatou b (Apr 30 2019 5:55AM) : maya is very energetic.. more

maya ran so much you would think she was running a marathon.she even said " just give me some water before i die" in which she was out of breath

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Apr 24
cristin t (Apr 24 2020 8:56PM) : i agree with you she was out of breath and maybe she was dying already.a
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DMU Timestamp: March 29, 2019 18:11

Added May 24, 2020 at 8:33pm by Paul Allison
Title: Maya Angelou's Harlem Hopscotch: Official Music Video | Oprah Winfrey Network

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DMU Timestamp: May 11, 2020 21:16

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Apr 29
JAYLIN S (Apr 29 2019 8:13AM) : Techniques that I want to grab from Angelou's writing: more

1. Topic is what people DO in the person’s favorite place. (play hopscotch)

2.

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