As I said in an earlier post, last Sunday I had the pleasure to stand with a group of ladies (and two gentlemen) during the First Annual Anti-Street Harassment Day, which coincided with the international Anti-Street Harassment Day. As part of our outreach, which consisted of "taking-over" the intersection of 52nd and Market streets in hopes of creating a safe space for women to not get sexually harassed (you know, cat-calling, grouping and all that unpleasant jazz), we interview passersby, of all ages and gender, about their thoughts on street harassment. As such, I got some interesting points of views, most of which really illustrated why this issue is important.
And after a minor delay (thanks in part to fiddling around with Windows Live Movie Maker, which after hours in vain of trying to get the piece of shit program to work, I dumped for Windows Movie Maker 2.6), I finally got the video done. I won't go into too much detail, as I have already written extensively about it for The Atlanta Post
. But I would like to just reiterate how important it is for people, of all genders, to take a stand against this type of harassment - not just for the sake of our young girls and women but also for young men, who (as you will see) have been conditioned to believe that this sort of behavior is alright. I would also like to thank Nuala Cabral,
for organizing this great awareness campaign in Philly. Can't wait to do it next year.
Also note that the young men in the video are also the same guys in the picture (above), so they are not necessary bad kids, just a little misguided.
Just wanted to share this pic from the first annual (?) Anti-Street Harassment Day in Philadelphia, which happened on Sunday, March 20th 2011. The ladies and I met at the intersection of 52nd and Market streets, for a day of community outreach in hopes of raising awareness to the point that sometimes, what some would consider playful flirtation borders - if not crosses - the line of harassment.
I will have a video of the event sometime in the next day or two - once I figure out how to use the new Windows Live Movie Maker. *scratches head*
A few weeks ago I was at the Art Garage for Electric Relaxation, which was having a salute to the year 1988 and the movie School Daze (okay, I was at a party). I was grooving along, shaking, jiggling and grinding to the sounds of some old school Hip-Hop and R&B when suddenly, and most unexpectedly, the DJ lowered the music, turned up the stage lights and open the mic. Now, having been to my share of 'hood parties, I had just assumed that either: A). a fight has broken out or B). the cops had shown up to shut things down. But this wasn't exactly that kind of crowd. To the contrary, this party was a Liberation Family and Blake Montgomery
-sponsored event, which meant that this party came with a purpose. A few moments later, (Leah) Keturah Ceasar aka Ms. K, a locally-renowned hip-hop dancer, activist and filmmaker,
along with her partner Kash Kuumba, another local hip-hop artist, stepped to the mic. At first I thought they were about to rap, to which I would have taken that as my cue to go to the bar. Not that I had something against them rockin' the mic but I had worked up a sweat on the dance floor and could have used a brief intermission to refill my glass. But instead of spitting a hot sixteen, the two used the platform to speak about the need for neighborhood transformation, better education and job creation. Then they did something totally unexpected: The two Hip-Hop artists, mostly known around town for beats, breakin' and rhymes, had officially announced their candidacy for Philadelphia city council.Simply put: They wanted us to not only vote for change but to cast our vote for Hip-Hop. My refill would have to wait for a few minutes more, as I needed to get closer to the stage to hear them better. I was both intrigued and excited.
With Hip-Hop dominating all aspects of U.S. culture - scratch that, international culture - is it possible for Hip-Hop to make the leap from the streets to City Hall?Later that evening I approached Ms. K about her (and Kuumba's) run for public office. I asked if we could hook up later to talk more about this budding Hip-Hop Party. She agreed and
the following weekend, we met at Kaffa Crossing
, Philadelphia's favorite Ethiopian coffee shop, for a little lunch, a little politics and a little hip-hop. Listen below as Keturah aka Ms. K, one-half of the Hip-Hop Party for city council ticket, speaks about the Hip-Hop Party and why we should definitely take their run for office serious.
And you can keep up-to-date about the Hip-Hop Party's progress by visiting here
So, a couple of days ago I was shifting through the piles of books on my bookcase, searching for textbook, which I was suppose to lend out to someone working on a thesis about black boys transitioning into manhood. I couldn't find the textbook but I did come across a cookbook, I'd purchased about a year ago. It's called Vegan Soul Kitchen
by Bryant Terry. I had a nice chuckle to myself. I am no way near a Vegan. Hell, I even put meat on my salads. But I remember being inspired to get the cookbook after a author's discussion of Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Eating Animals, at the Free Library of Philadelphia. After hearing about the abuse and mistreatment of the food, which end up on our plates, I had decided that I would become a
vegetarian - and after I mastered vegetarianism, I would become a full fledged Vegan. I figured, it would take me about a month and a half to accomplish both. That lasted about two weeks - and if I am being honest, not even that long. Sometimes you just have to realize your limitations and admit that maybe your convictions have yet to match your will power - yet. But during that time, I had ordered the Vegan Soul Kitchen off of Amazon because if I was
going to make the transition, I might want to learn how to cook something more than salads, minus the meat. Anyway, I dusted off the cover and cracked the book open. At the same time, a Facebook "friend" (in quotations because it's Facebook and how well do you know some of these folks?) of mines updated her status that she was looking for some Vegan friendly recipes. Well I don't know about you but that sounded like a sign from the Vegan gods. So I decided forgo the meat and try something new - at least for just one meal. And without any further adieu, I present to you a recipe from the Vegan Soul Kitchen for Uncle Don's Double Mustard Greens and Roasted Yam Soup.
So, I found my duplicates of my passport photo, taken back when I was sorta skinny (a size 8) and wore my hair straighten. I think I was 27 or 28(maybe 26) at the time.
Today, I feel like I look so different now - almost unrecognizable.
This is my attempt at recreating the 20-year oldish self picture, which I posted above - even down to the earrings (I was trying for straight-face look and FAILED).
You know, they always say that youth is wasted on the young. I think there is some truth to that.
I remember being so sad, & insecure about everything back then. I was so concerned with what other folks thought of me (mainly the men I had been chasing around) and was equally scared to take chances on myself, fearing that I was bound to fail.
If only I knew then how beautiful and talented of a person I was? Imagine all of the great things I could have done?
Now, a few years older (I'm 33 and a 1/2), I do feel much more confident in myself. Everyday I find news ways to challenge myself and every other day, I find news ways to exceed those challenges. And while I am definitely more happier and secure than I was in my 20s, admittedly I am little heavier than before...
I just wonder how I will feel about my 30-year oldish self, when I reach 40?
Solar Powered Umbrella
Aaron McGruder, who is the iconic creator behind The Boondocks
comic strip and television show, isn't the only black cartoonist pushing the limits of political and social commentary and telling the experiences of Black America - one comic frame at a time. Let me introduce you to Jo
nathan Edwards, the creative mind behind Solar Powered Umbrella
No seriously: check him out NOW
because this brother is bound to blow up. By Day, Edwards works as a social worker in the heart of Washington DC and by night he is transformed into a savy social commentarist, who scribbles the
stark realities of a black life, using only a piece of paper, some colored pencils and an objective lens (Actually, I don't know if that's what he does at night. I mean he is married so I imagine that some of his evening is spent doing chores around the house and spending quality time with the Mrs. But yeah, he has to squeeze his drawing in at some point in the day, right? Whatever, just play along.). Edwards has been drawing for as long as he could remember. However it was his experiences as both a high school student at a top-tier prep school, where he encountered white people with incredible affluence and access, as well as a student at Morehouse
College, where he had first come to fully appreciate the true diversity of black folks, that ultimately propel him to take a more serious tone in his artwork. And after a successful yet short-loved stint of selling his powerful illustrations on t-shirts for fellow classmates around campus, Edwards decided to create Solar Powered Umbrella, in hopes of giving people around the world a chance to not only experience but connect with his art.
Check out more of what Edwards had to say about being a cartoonist, his influences and the Solar Powered Umbrella below: