Complete Name of Student
Complete Name of Professor
10 November 2013
Socrates Fortlow, History, and Anna Deavere Smith
The story “History”, in Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, takes a special significance on what can be considered as one of the most concerning and persistent problems of mankind: the social injustices caused by disenfranchisement based on race and culture. Walter Mosley, the author of the story, reflects a special tie to what Anna Deavere Smith considers as the greatest lost that could possibly arise in an artistic work: that is, reducing the reality in how a story is being transferred from the actual to the duplicative form.
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One particular contention that is being subtly reverberated is how the truth about the severity of street violence, discrimination, and white racism towards the Blacks are reduced by the transition of these real events into texts or videos or whatever medium used to record a historical event.
History does not necessarily tell the real events that have occurred in the past. There could be a lot of things that will be lost in translation or be left out deliberately. Nevertheless, the perspective or context in which historical texts are written provide clue to the network of issues or problems that blighted the past, and which can still be in existence up to this moment. Socrates stresses the importance of studying history and literature because it is in the texts that careful thinking is carried out in order to ensure that the voice of the past will still be the voice of the present. The way we understand history is based upon the ideas that we read on historical books; and without them, there is no reason for us to critically imagine about the past. While there are many media that could keep details of history such as videos and pictures among others, oftentimes, these media are misrepresented.
This is the point that Anna Deavere Smith would likewise want to stress out: “the video of Rodney King Keating, which seemed to "tell all", apparently did not tell enough, and the prosecution lost, as their lead attorney told me, "the slam dunk case of the century. The city of Los Angeles lost much more” (Smith xxi). Smith believes in the power of literature to be able to reiterate perspectives of the past to the present. However, in the case of Keating, who was a victim of beating, the jury favors to convict him even...