Matthew

While conducting research in downtown baltimore, my friend and I stopped at a building downtown in a primarily black community. We proceeded to interview some of the members of the community standing outside of the building. My friend started first with her interviews. Her interviews included a man from Africa that had recently moved to the area. Mine on the other hand included to local members that I interviewed with the questions assigned.
My personal response to this project was that I was nervous about going into a downtown area in an unknown random place in Baltimore and approach and interview people that I would not normally encounter on a daily basis on campus. I’m not very good at approaching people in these situations, but I ended up doing two of the interviews and was surprised at the willingness of the participants. One woman said “yes, I’ll answer your questions.” with a smile on her face before I could even explain where I was from or what I was doing. It was a good experience to go out and interact with downtown residents and see their opinion on such a unique time in politics.
I admired the optimism and respect they showed towards president Obama. They all seemed to have positive attitudes towards him, said he represented “hope”, and wished him the best of luck. But at the same time one of the agents I interviewed did not see any changes that directly impacted him that he could tell as far as housing goes in inner city Baltimore. Although the members I interviewed did not have much to say about president Barack Obama’s presidency and what impacts it has had on them, they still seem to respect and admire him based on the message of hope he brings to inner city Baltimore and the situations many of the residents have to face on a daily basis, such as homelessness.  Overall, It was an interesting to do anthropological work and how open and willing to learn and approach people you have to be. You also must accept that they could reject you or react in a negative way when asking them to participate or when interviewing them. This was only a small hands on experience in this type of work and I find that doing extensive documentaries, interviews and research on other people, cultures, and issues takes a person who is open, able to work and react “on the fly” and also willing to approach any type of person in any type of environment and be comfortable with it and that the research or interviews could end up in awkward or undesirable circumstances.

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