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Transcript of New Beginnings
through the trappings of life, such as the binds of slavery, financial problems and difficult living PHYSICALLY:
through fierce winds, rain, and flooding AND In the midst of these times it is difficult to see a way out; however, out of the destruction and devastation hope will prevail. From the rubble, a new beginning can arise. Everyone experiences difficulties and disasters in life, but through these hard times a fresh start can be found, whether in this life or the next. Dealing with unexpected disaster is second nature to the residents of North Carolina who lived through Hurricane Floyd in 1999. In the wake of this natural disaster, people were left with nothing. They were forced to dispose of all their belongings and start again from scratch. Photographer Martha Daniel documented this devastation. In her photo, various mattresses, appliances, pieces of furniture and trash are thrown over each other forming a mound of damaged belongings. The location appears to be a dumping site situated at an abandoned gas station. As people slowly begin to clean up their damaged homes and businesses, the pile becomes larger. The previous image resulted from a horrific event and clearly encompasses the devastation experienced by a small southern town after a natural disaster. Much like the people in the previous image, the residents of this house in North Carolina were also forced to start over due to the damage of a natural disaster. The image, “Flooding in Rocky Mount” captured by Martha Daniel depicts a destroyed house that has been torn in half and greatly damaged. The house is no longer in living condition and no longer a home. The residents of this house have been forced to evacuate and left with no choice but to rebuild, both their home and their lives With the destruction of their house came the loss of all their belongings and the comfort of their old lives. This family is forced to come together and start again from scratch, despite the difficulty and complexity that that entails. It is at this point that this family will have to rely on things stronger than material goods to keep holding on. When all else fails, their LOVE for one another will be the overcoming power to pull them through this dark time and start again. COMMENT: I moved the video above the text because it was on top of the video, covering up the text.
Smooth transition from the previous examples about the difficulties from physical disasters to the difficulties caused by people.
It would be better if you included more detailed evidences from "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" because this is one of your main resources. DIVIDE INTO TWO SLIDES Unfortunately, in life people encounter more than just physical disasters and roadblocks. Some people, like slaves, are born into lives of pain and hardship When faced with such a situation it is often difficult to see a way out; however, these people still sustain a hope for better days. They yearn for freedom, both in the physical and spiritual sense. The spiritual “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” is a prime example of this. In “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” the lyrics reference a physical journey of crossing the Jordan, a river in Israel. The song says, “I looked over Jordan and what did I see? Coming for to carry my home” (line 5-6). According to William Andrews, editor of "The Literature of the American South," “in spirituals, crossing the Jordan symbolizes transition from slavery to freedom and/or death to new life” (1099). These storms that life throw at us can be documented and depicted in many different ways, such as through images and songs. Photographer Martha Daniel photographed the physical destruction of Hurricane Floyd in North Carolina in 1999. Similarly, the spiritual “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and the gospel “Amazing Grace” by John Newton both sing of life’s hardships. However, the image also represents the victims attempting to make a fresh start, relying on the ones they love and the community to pull them through this time of trial. Out of something horrible, something good can come. With fresh starts come new beginnings, and with new beginnings come new opportunities and outlooks on life. For these people trapped in slavery, their religious beliefs are what pull them through and help them to begin again after the storm ceases. Once aware of God’s great power and ability to grant spiritual freedom, the slaves are no longer living for earthly gains, but for their heavenly reward that will be greater than any earthly desire. The end of the storm can come upon entering free land, as in the case of the enslaved Egyptians, or entering the kingdom of heaven. This craving for something greater than what life has to offer is clearly seen throughout the gospel “Amazing Grace” by John Newton. The song clearly relays the struggles and pains of everyday life; yet, the lyrics praise the power of a spiritual relationship and the ability they provide people to overcome these difficult times. Living many years as a non-believer, Newton understands what it means to be transformed by God's grace. Newton writes, “Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come; ‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home” (lines 9-12). As a new believer, the speaker is positive that God will assist him through the rest of his days on earth, just as he as in the past. Throughout the song the speaker also views death as something to look forward to. He is aware that earthly live is fleeting and temporary. He says:
“Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace” (lines 17-20). In this gospel, the speaker has realized that his home is not of this earth, but of heaven, and this idea is what will lead him through the storm that he calls life. In life everyone is subject to storms of all kinds, but it is how we face these storms and chose to start again that defines us and gives us a chance to find a new, better beginning. Storms force us to dispose of things, such as material objects, previous beliefs and values, and sometimes even our own lives. Yet, it is this disposal that allows us to begin again with a clean slate. From the ashes a new life can rise. These new beginnings may seem difficult at first, but they are a blessing in disguise. Works Cited
Andrews, William Ed. The Literature of the American South. New York: Norton, 1997. 1099. Print.
Newton, John. "Amazing Grace."The Literature of the American South. Ed. William L. Andrews. New York: Norton, 1997. 1104-1105. Print.
Daniel, Martha. Flooding in Rocky Mount. Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Digital image. Documenting the American South. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 199. Web. 14 Oct 2012. <http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/K-0279/ladder.html>
Daniel, Martha. Storage units all over town were flooded; all contents ruined and piled on the streets. Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Digital image. Documenting the American South. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1999. Web. 27 Aug. 2012. <http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/K-0510/storage.html>.
“Swing Low Sweet Chariot.” The Literature of the American South. Ed. William L. Andrews. New York: Norton, 1997. 1099-1100. Print.