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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

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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 Veira (Apr 30 2019 9:34AM) : 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 Veira (Apr 30 2019 9:27AM) : 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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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 PARKINSON (Apr 17 2019 1:12PM) : 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 batchilly (Apr 18 2019 9:43AM) : so this person is a hopscother in which shes expaling how i goes
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Apr 29
KEVIN ZUMBA (Apr 29 2019 11:52AM) : 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 SANTIAGO (May 07 2019 1:34PM) : 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 HARRIOTT (May 13 2019 8:58AM) : 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 WILLIAMS (May 13 2019 9:06AM) : The first paragraphs structure is aa bb
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Jun 10
TYLER VIVAS (Jun 10 2019 12:02PM) : 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 batchilly (Apr 18 2019 9:45AM) : 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 Menghi (Nov 08 2019 2:31PM) : 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 ZUMBA (May 07 2019 2:27PM) : 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 HARRIOTT (May 08 2019 10:20AM) : 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
Ms. Montrea Jackson (Aug 01 2019 9:50AM) : 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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Apr 18
Terren Veira (Apr 18 2019 9:44AM) : back in a time of racism white people didn't want to be around black people
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Apr 29
OCTAVIO LAZARO (Apr 29 2019 9:28AM) : 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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Apr 29
Quantel Branch (Apr 29 2019 11:45AM) : it was very racist to me when they say this
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Apr 30
hatou batchilly (Apr 30 2019 8:55AM) : why did she say this?
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Terren Veira (Apr 18 2019 9:48AM) : 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 VIVAS (Jun 10 2019 11:52AM) : 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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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 PARKINSON (Apr 17 2019 1:29PM) : The author hops around the poem with the same rhythm. [Edited]
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Apr 18
hatou batchilly (Apr 18 2019 9:46AM) : this aouthor seems to like hoping so much
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May 1
COLEMAN WILLIAMS (May 01 2019 9:55AM) : 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 SANTIAGO (May 01 2019 2:00PM) : 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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Jun 10
TYLER VIVAS (Jun 10 2019 11:59AM) : 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 PARKINSON (Apr 17 2019 1:32PM) : The author used 2 different ideas in the last line.
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Apr 18
hatou batchilly (Apr 18 2019 9:48AM) : 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 Branch (Apr 29 2019 11:54AM) : what does that mean to the reader ?
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May 13
COLEMAN WILLIAMS (May 13 2019 9:07AM) : The end is a turn because she goes from saying she lost to she won
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May 29
KARLA TORRES (May 29 2019 2:24PM) : Was they playing a game called hope / scrotch
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Apr 29
Quantel Branch (Apr 29 2019 11:51AM) : cause they did
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Jun 10
TYLER VIVAS (Jun 10 2019 11:55AM) : 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 batchilly (Apr 30 2019 8:55AM) : 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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DMU Timestamp: March 29, 2019 18:11

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Apr 29
JAYLIN SANTIAGO (Apr 29 2019 11:13AM) : 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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