Leah Kuenzi's Blog

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Kennedy & School Desegregation: Research Proposal April 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lkuenzi @ 8:59 pm

Hello All,

I have attached my proposal in a Word file to preserve original spacing and footnotes.



Research Proposal Abstract: Kennedy and Civil Rights April 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lkuenzi @ 11:02 pm

During John F. Kennedy’s presidency, many critiques were raised about his policies and leadership in regards to the Civil Rights Movement. Many did not believe that his administration took a radical enough approach in eradicating segregation and violence against Blacks in the South. Though legal segregation in schools was overturned in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education, many Southern schools ignored this law and continued their practice of having separate educational facilities. Though his administration eventually brought forth new legislation that would turn into The Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing segregation of public schools and facilities such as restaurants and buses, Kennedy remained hesitant to intervene throughout the course of Blacks’ struggle for equal rights in the South. Though Brown v. Board of Education outlawed segregated public schools in 1954, it took nearly ten years for legislation to arrive that would enforce this law definitively. I intend to explore the complex interplay between national and Southern political climates at the time of John F. Kennedy’s administration to search for answers as to why the Kennedy administration was slow in delivering the freedoms demanded by Civil Rights leaders, such as Martin Luther King, Jr.


Janis’ Roots: Scars of Sweet Paradise April 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lkuenzi @ 8:30 pm

             According to Echols, Janis Joplin’s wild ride to fame was drastically different, for many different reasons, than any others of her time. Major contributors to her unique experience of finding fame was an alienating childhood and adolescence (both at the hands of her own insecurities, and from lack of acceptance from parents and peers), and her inability to assimilate to the social and cultural “norms” of her time. Though she didn’t experience fame for long, only becoming well-known after the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and dying in October 1970, she made a big impact on many people. These impressions were both negative and positive, for her style of dress, outspoken personality, and refusal to please anyone but herself. Joplin was also a pioneer of the Beatnik counterculture movement, and arguably one of its most controversial members.

            It is very easy to dislike Janis Joplin as a person—she fired her mouth off at everyone around her for the most minor annoyances, and reveled in self-martyrdom. However, throughout reading this book, one of the main things that made Janis Joplin an admirable and endearing personality was that she never really left her roots. Though her roots appear to have been a conventional life in Port Arthur, Texas, Echols establishes early on that Janis had her own idea of what roots were. It seems apparent that she never betrayed her most initial inclinations of standing out in a crowd. As illustrated by a story about Janis as a young child, sleepwalking clear out of Port Arthur and claiming that she was going home, it seems as though she may her never made it there. Despite her desperate need for peer- and self-approval, Janis’ life was extremely isolated. But there were certain things that never changed. From the first time that Janis headed west to San Francisco, she developed an affinity for making a scene, standing out, speaking out, and showing out. Even when she became famous and wealthy, she filled her house with used furniture and bought a used Porsche. Janis, at the very least, never became what she said she’d never become.