Friday, June 29, 2007
Integration's Twilight and Brown V. Board's End
Yesterday was a huge news day, with the third Democratic debate focusing on race issues, the fallout from the end of the immigration bill, the US Social Forum, not to mention the Warriors trading J-Rich (who will always be remembered as one of the greatest Warriors ever). But it will be written in history for the de facto end of Brown v. Board. Yes, while everyone worried about Roe V. Wade, we (literally) lost the race.

Lots of reading here (more to be posted as it comes in):

-RaceWire says the real issue is that schools are more segregated than ever

-Junichi loses his mind

-Adam B. in the Kos, including discussion of Clarence Thomas's crucial role and Breyer's fears

-Is Juan Williams on crack or truth serum?

-The whole enchilada (PDF)

-Harvard Civil Rights Project, center of ongoing research on education and segregation. Their studies show, for instance, that white students make up 58% of the nations's public school enrollments, but the average white student attends a school that is 80% white.


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posted by Zentronix @ 8:23 AM   1 comments links to this post




Fans Revolt Against Lauryn Hill In The Town

Save Me :: Lauryn does Nina Simone


The saddest thing we've ever known? Nah, it's probably the drugs. Lee Hildebrand breaks down the fan revolt at Lauryn Hill's Oakland concert:

Her hair in an unkempt rust-colored Afro, Hill wore a green-and-yellow plaid jacket that appeared to be made of wool and an ankle-length black skirt, looking not unlike a bag lady one might encounter at a taco truck on International Boulevard. She held a microphone in her right hand and a black handkerchief in her left, frequently wiping sweat from her face as she paced the stage.

At one point during the show, the singer tripped and fell, landing flat on her backside. "That's what I get for wearing high heels," she said as she rose to her feet.

...

Some concertgoers who had paid as much as $89.50 for tickets were requesting refunds even before Hill hit the stage -- two hours and 15 minutes after the concert's scheduled 7:30 start and 80 minutes after the opening act, Jupiter Rising, had finished its set...Other patrons started their exits during her first song, and the trickle turned to a flow after a speech late in the show during which the vocalist attempted to explain her new musical direction.

"When you're young, gifted and black -- and female -- you have to have a lot of endurance," she said, borrowing from the title of a song made famous by Nina Simone, a singer who'd had a somewhat similar meltdown more than three decades earlier.

"I can't fit into a stereotype that makes me comfortable for you," she added. "If that makes me feel uncomfortable to you, I need to find some new company."

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posted by Zentronix @ 8:13 AM   4 comments links to this post



Saturday, June 23, 2007
Journalism, Like Hyphy and Hip-Hop :: Not Dead
From last week's Chronicle book review, a great piece about the future of media by Todd Oppenheimer. And not incidentally, both a fine argument for the continuation of book review sections (if you miss my meaning, check this) and a nice counterpoint to my last screaming post on the topic. Long but worth the read:

Even if all these moral issues were resolved, we still would be left with a gaping practical question: How will news producers make money tomorrow, as they increasingly move online? The question leads to another, at the heart of the media's chicken-and-egg dilemma: Is the gradual decline in newspaper readership and network TV viewership forcing big media to make the cruel financial decisions we all read about -- such as laying off reporters and editors, rolling over for advertisers, cutting back on investigative work and other valuable but expensive "products"? Or is big media losing its audience precisely because it's making such choices, which it does to maintain the 25 percent profit margins that were viable only in the pre-digital age? Unfortunately, both scenarios are true. And fortunately, both also miss the real story in new media, which is that morality and money can walk hand in hand.

In a scattering of metropolitan areas, including some of our smallest ones, a few smart newspaper publishers and TV news producers are stepping quite profitably into the digital future. And they're doing so while maintaining, even reviving, traditional journalistic values...

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posted by Zentronix @ 3:27 PM   3 comments links to this post



Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Hillary Picks Theme Song, A Nation Cringes
Complete with Sopranos-style introduction, here it is.

Quote of the day from Maureen Dowd: "It doesn’t bode well for the cultural health of the country that Hillary picked a song by Celine Dion, who combines the worst of Vegas and Canada."

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posted by Zentronix @ 11:56 AM   2 comments links to this post




Barefiles Is Back
Dubsteppas rejoice! Check here.

posted by Zentronix @ 10:10 AM   0 comments links to this post



Monday, June 18, 2007
Matt Birkhold on Hip-Hop and Patriarchy
Great piece in WireTap Magazine today by Matt Birkhold:

By the end of the 2005 Feminism and Hip-Hop Conference, it was clear that hip-hop was central to the identities of many people present. After Joan Morgan, author of When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost, said that hip-hop as she knew it was dead, many audience members grew visibly upset. They were further angered when Black Noise author Tricia Rose said that, because the music had internalized capitalism and misogyny, it was time to let hip-hop go.

The intellectual conflict between those angered by Rose and Morgan and those who were not was apparent during a panel that included video model Melyssa Ford and video director Jessy Terrero. Ford argued that there wasn't a problem with her portrayal in videos because she was in control of her image. Terrero stressed that women were portrayed in videos in a manner that guaranteed profit for both the director and the label.

Terrero's "sex sells" position was interrogated during the question-and-answer period, when Tricia Rose asked panel participants, "If having the Klan come through your video and lynch black folks is going to make you money, are you going to do it?" Terrero responded "No." Rose followed up by saying, "We have drawn a line with race. When will we draw a line in regards to gender?" Terrero responded evasively (and elicited applause) by saying that if education were better, viewers would be equipped to make informed viewing choices and women dancing in videos would peruse other options.

Terrero's response is problematic because it indicates an unwillingness to take responsibility for the sexist images he creates which are then televised around the country to a market that awaits subhuman, hypersexual images of black women. The crowd's approval demonstrates their unwillingness to hold him accountable and also illustrates that they too would rather engage in a conversation concerning the failures of education than discuss the ways in which hip-hop has internalized patriarchy and sexism.


This squares with my recollection of the event as well.

A small sidenote: in Ms. Morgan's defense, I've been on several panels with her since the 2005 conference. She taught a class on hip-hop journalism this past spring at Duke, and has told her students and her audiences her personal truth, which is that she no longer is as passionate a hip-hop fan as when she was in her 20s. I think she might say that, even though she said what she said at the University of Chicago, she certainly doesn't believe hip-hop is dead.

posted by Zentronix @ 2:22 PM   3 comments links to this post



Friday, June 15, 2007
USA TODAY: Can rap regain its crown?
Cover story on USA TODAY: Can rap regain its crown?

Response from Hip-Hop World: Yawn.

posted by Zentronix @ 9:09 AM   12 comments links to this post



Thursday, June 14, 2007
For Lovers (Of Art and Democracy)
So you say you were a lover--before this war? Fall in love again Friday night at the Picture Progress 2007 event tomorrow night in San Francisco. Serious art (Judy Chicago?!) and serious change will be afoot to benefit some of our favoritest hellraisers at the the League of Young Voters.

posted by Zentronix @ 11:04 PM   0 comments links to this post



Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Eric Arnold :: Hyphy Not Dead Yet!
The debate over whether hyphy is dead continues, with Eric Arnold weighing in on the subject in The Chron. Here's an excerpt including my mane D-Sharp:

Take Super Hyphy 17, an all-ages, alcohol-free event held Memorial Day weekend at Petaluma's Phoenix Theater. That's where about 1,000 youngsters of various ethnicities went dumb, shook their dreads and made thizz faces all night to live performances by Mistah F.A.B., Zion-I & the Grouch, the Pack, Haji Springer, J-Billion, J. Diggs and other local acts.

A palpable surge of energy moved through the crowd when the DJ spun the late Mac Dre's now-classic 2002 anthem "Thizzelle Dance"; live renditions of recent hits like the Pack's "Vans," Zion-I's "The Bay" and F.A.B.'s "Kicked Out Da Club" were greeted with equal exuberance. Though the tightly packed crowd was "in the building and feeling itself," as they say, the negatives associated with hyphy were absent -- there were no fights, no gunshots and nobody spinning doughnuts after the show.

"Is hyphy over? Not in Petaluma," said concert promoter D-Sharp, looking around at a hall full of excited youngsters sporting multicolored hoodies, special-edition Oakland A's hats, shiny grill pieces, Thizz Fo Life T-shirts and the oversize sunglasses -- called "stunna shades" -- which have become ubiquitous to hyphy culture.

Backstage, even more of the culture was on display, much of it emanating from Mistah F.A.B. The 25-year-old Oakland native who's become hyphy's official spokesman held court, dressed in a brightly colored airbrushed T-shirt bearing his likeness and sporting a matching bejeweled chain.

"How can hyphy be dead? They ain't seen hyphy yet," F.A.B. insists

posted by Zentronix @ 6:07 AM   2 comments links to this post



Monday, June 11, 2007
Why It Sucks To Be A Journalist Now
These days the color is pink, and not Cam'ron Pink or Code Pink, mind you. Truth is, as outgoing managing editor Robert Rosenthal put it to disheartened SF Chronicle staffers recently: "We all are caught in the greatest upheaval our industry and the institution of journalism has ever faced."

Rosey, whose office featured a massive picture of an African lake covered with pink flamingos, at least went out with truth on his side. He told Editor & Publisher: "The reality is that in the last 10 or 12 years, the biggest creators - the journalists - have not been part of the conversation, the decisions...Most newsrooms are getting smaller. The industry for 12 years has been in retreat."

The Chron has begun the process of laying 100 of its 381 people in the newsroom, including 20 management positions and 80 staff positions.

Deputy Managing Editor John Curley announced his departure last week here on Flickr.

The Chron has started a blog to mourn the layoffs, with the somewhat grotesque but typically Bay Area-earnest title of "Colleagues Remembered".

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posted by Zentronix @ 12:33 PM   2 comments links to this post



Thursday, June 07, 2007
Marley Marl Has A Heart Attack
Nobody's smiling. Article at AllHipHop.com is here. Link via Noz.

posted by Zentronix @ 9:48 AM   1 comments links to this post



Wednesday, June 06, 2007
This Weekend For Bay Heads

Summer weekend, lots of great music to go around.

Tune in Friday night to the Uhuru Maggot's long-standing, definitive History of Funk show, 10pm on KPFA FM 94.1. We'll be getting behind the Betty Davis story.

And on Saturday night, at The Independent, the Writer's Block DJ crew--that loose-knit federation of writers who DJ and DJs who write organized by Weyland Southon of Hard Knock Radio, and featuring a growing cast of folks like Susie Lundy, DJ Ripley, DJ Emancipacion, Eric Arnold, the tragically Bosux-loving (1-3 vs. the A's this year) Adam Mansbach, and yours truly--will be warming you up for the great Meshell Ndegeocello!

Come early to catch the vibe...

posted by Zentronix @ 10:50 AM   0 comments links to this post

 

Previous posts
Coming Soon!
Notes On The Eve Of Day One
Students Occupy The New School
Farai Chideya's News And Notes on NPR Has Been Can...
I Am Nixon
Shouldna Lef Ya...
2G2K Is Back! :: On Hillary, Again, And Foreign Po...
The Impact of The Hip-Hop Vote
UCLA Education In Action Keynote Speech
A Great Day In Baseball History


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