Labels: brown v. board, immigration rally, immigration reform, racewire, supreme court
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."
Labels: fugees watch
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...
Labels: journalism, keeping hope alive
Labels: Hillary, presidential elections
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.
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
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