Phillip March 28, 2024 No Comments

HUM FPX 1150 Assessment 1 Cultural Artifact Analysis

HUM FPX 1150 Assessment 1 Cultural Artifact Analysis Name Capella University HUM FPX 1150 Cultural Understanding in a Global World Prof. Name Date Cultural Artifact Analysis Chosen Artifact The chosen artifact is the song “If I Can Dream,” composed by Walter Earl Brown and performed by Elvis Presley in 1968. My childhood memories are intertwined with my stepdad’s unwavering devotion to playing Elvis’s music, and I fondly recall singing along. Recently, after watching a movie, I found myself captivated by Elvis’s rendition of “If I Can Dream.” Surprisingly, this poignant and reflective song, unlike his more upbeat hits such as “Hound Dog” or “Burning Love,” now resonates with me on a deeper level. As an adult, I began to appreciate the lyrical content and its significance. Historical and Artistic Contexts of the Artifact Elvis Presley was profoundly affected by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which occurred on April 4, 1968, just months before the song’s release. The historical context of the song is rooted in Dr. King Jr.’s civil rights speech, emphasizing equal treatment for all individuals, regardless of their skin color, as famously stated in his 1963 speech (King Jr., 1963). In the tumultuous year of 1968, marked by significant societal changes and the assassinations of Dr. King and Senator Robert Kennedy, Elvis’s hometown of Memphis was a focal point. HUM FPX 1150 Assessment 1 Cultural Artifact Analysis The song “If I Can Dream” by Walter Brown was crafted from Elvis’s intense emotions surrounding these events. Upon first hearing the song, Elvis declared, “I’m never going to sing another song I don’t believe in. I’m never going to make another picture I don’t believe in” (Genius, 2022). The performance of the song was imbued with emotion, featuring jazz and percussion instruments along with backup singers, intensifying its impact. Cultural Values Conveyed Through the Artifact The artifact conveys cultural values centered on the importance of human rights. Growing up in a predominantly black neighborhood, Elvis was deeply influenced by African American blues and became a vocal advocate for breaking down racial barriers. His belief in equality is evident in the song. Another cultural value embedded in the artifact is social awareness, as Elvis sought to convey his acknowledgment of civil rights issues and his desire for equality. Personally, I resonate with these values, having experienced instances of prejudiced discussions within my family. Elvis’s commitment to equality resonates with my own beliefs, despite my fortunate avoidance of extreme racism during childhood. Shaping Perspectives Cultural artifacts play a pivotal role in shaping perspectives, influencing our understanding and attitudes. Actively listening, deciphering meanings, and delving into historical contexts contribute to social awareness and the development of cultural values. Different individuals may derive distinct perspectives from the same artifact based on their upbringing and values. Prior to exploring this artifact, it was merely another Elvis song to me. However, it has now become a profound symbol, significantly shaping my perspective and deepening my admiration for Elvis and Walter Brown for creating such a poignant piece during a challenging period for the black community. References Genius. (2022). Elvis Presley – If I Can Dream. Graceland. (2018, March 29). Elvis Presley’s “If I Can Dream.” King Jr., M. L. (1963, August 28). I Have a Dream. HUM FPX 1150 Assessment 1 Cultural Artifact Analysis

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