Monday, December 15, 2008

EXCELSIOR AFTERSHOCK

2008 has been a crazy year, full of change. As a nation we are dealing with the aftermath of war and the transition of having a new (mixed race) president. This is the beginning of a new era in American History.

On a micro- level our communities have also experienced dramatic changes, we are also fighting a war, a war on gang violence, a war on drugs, a war on educating our youth, a war on race. All of which have claimed their victims. This year we have lost homies to stray bullets, stabbing, road rage, drug over doses, power, greed and hate. And just like after any disaster (tide wave, hurricane, earthquake, war) their is a need for healing and rebuilding our community.

Saturaday, December 20th 2008 is the beging of that process. It will take place at the Excelsior Boys & Girls Club located at 163 London St., in San Francisco. It will be an all day Youth Summit with workshops given by Youth Service Providers from the district.

Youth from P.O.D.E.R will be doing a workshop on Environmental Racism.

San Francisco based youth media group Youth Outlook will be running a workshop on Visiual Media.

The Excelsior Boys and Girls Club will be running a workshop on Digital recording in their fully equipped recording studio.

The Filipino Community Center will be running a workshop on Hip Hop

BHNC's Excelsior Teen Center will be holding a workshop on Herbal and Holistic Healing.

Students from June Jordan School for Equity will be holding a Screen Printing Workshop

And Youth Making a Change will be running a workshop on the Youth Activism and Organizing

If you know any youth that attend Balboa, James Denman, June Jordan, Philip Burton, or if you know any youth that live in the Excelsior send them out to the Excelsior Aftershock Youth Summit December 20th 2008 at the Excelsior Boys and Girls Club. Oh and there will be a SPECIAL GUEST PERFORMER for the youth that come through.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Nina Parks: Just a thought ... in higher education

What does it mean to grow up? Is growing up the same as growing old?

What rites of passage does America have?

America is a gift to everyone that has experienced injustices in their own homeland.... and has also been the cause of injustice. When I was in Europe one of my classmates, a young Norwegian man posed a very interesting question to me... or should I say made a statement that lead to a question... He said, "American's have no culture..."

What do you think cyberspace?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Eclipse--the catayst

I've always been fascinated with superhero stories. Draws Powers from the Sun Super speed Flight power absorption indestructible fire ice electricity telepathy empathy sympathy hate love growth maturity choices responsibility truth clairvoyant Lossing powers the power of having heart resilient self forgiveness Abuse of power Love Heroes give people hope It was already writen.... based on the choices in life of individuals it draws them together for a reason to learn a life lesson to gain an ablity to be given a different perspective on life. how good are you at playing the game of life? inner demons resentment,obligation Dr, Jekal Mr. Hyde

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Half Blood Prince

I can't wait! The new Harry Potter movie is on it's way... Every year my cousins and I would go watch some epic movie... We watched Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and hopefully next year we'll watch Harry Potter Muahahaha! =)

So let me explain why I love Harry Potter sooooo much! First let me give a big ups to the talented JK Rowling for creating this epic tale, a struggling single mother, Rowling was able to break down the aspects of life and create not only a reality for her children but a fictional reality for other children and adults to escape into. Not to mention that she finished each book in a timely fashion even if there were a few delays she got it done and didn't disappoint me.

I started reading this series in boarding school when I was 16. By then she was already 3 or 4 books into the series. My best friend at the boarding school was one Miss Christi Novak (RIP 2005) and this is how she got me hooked:

Harry has always an outcast for as long as he could remember, his parents died as protectors of the world that they loved and died protecting their child. Unfortunately their untimely end left Harry all alone in the world, except for his Aunt (sisters mom), Uncle and cousin, who treated him like a slave and abused him mentally, telling him that his parents died in a car crash, in an attempt to keep his magic life a secret from him. They mistreated him because they feared him and what he may become. (Very similar to many Greek and Roman Myths where the parents fear the strength of their own child and lock them away or vanquish them.)

Harry's always felt that he wasn't "normal" (I can relate) and on his 11th birthday his true calling in revealed. (To bad life doesn't make it that easy to find your true calling) He then begins to builds his own family, comprised of a best friend who is poor but rich in virtue and down to experience the world with him. A home girl who is born from no magical parents and is treated like a secondary citizen amongst those of purely magical backgrounds, but is the star student. This motley crew have their disagreements but they are always down for each other at the end of the day. Not to mention the wisdom and Mystery that you find in Dumbledor, the Weasley's, and the rest of the eclectic cast of characters. And and this story... you see Voldemorts story begin to unfold...and similar to Elpheba in the story "Wicked" good and evil is relative to experience and self.

The story's characters are resilient. JK Rowling pulls no punches as you experience the anxiety of adolescents, the pain of growth, the angst of teenage love and the responsibility Harry has with his life purpose that was prophesized before his birth. Daymn I can't wait for the movie...even though I read all the books already and know what's going to happen...Seeing the story play out on the big screen is still cracken! Especially, since the director and production staff do such an amazing job recreating JK Rowlings world.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nina Parks' Soundtrack of My Life #1:Thats Life

I'm making room for the next "Nina Parks ' Soundtrack of My Life" in my side nave.... ______________________________________________________________

Classic Sinatra... But if you didn't get what he was trying to say cause he's an old white guy =)

Ladies and Gentlemen Mr. Lou Rawls...And if you still don't get how timeless the lyrics in this song are...my blog my agenda LOL =)

The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin with Frankie Valli

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nina Parks: Just a thought... in higher education

So blogs are the new big "progress" in the direction in social change.... now we can be inside peoples heads... with out ever having met that person ever....

Friday, November 07, 2008

Now is the time!

I am proud to say that in my life time I was witness to history in the United States, as we all know November 4 was major win for black brown and mixed people in our nation. But what's next?

The fact is, just because Obama is the president elect, it doesn't mean it's changed the state of our nation, there is still so much more to do. This is only the beginning, Obama and his campaign has succeeded in spreading the word and the idea of change and hope on a mass level, but he is still only one man. We can not count on him to make things happen for us, we as a community have to be the Obama's in our perspective hoods.

Now is the time. The old smith saying "Strike while the iron is hot," means more to me now than it ever has.

NOW IS THE TIME! It's time make moves towards the change that we want to see in our communities and with in ourselves.

When I was a youngster I had mad issues, and honestly now that I look back from the perspective of a youth service provider, it's a common Urban story, now 6 years into my legal adult hood, I'm starting to truly see the importance of having a strong foundation as a youth, from family, to school, to peer groups . The importance of self value, and respect on all levels... and perspective... The importance of discipline, diligence, love, comprehension and critical reasoning skills, and name credibility. NOW MORE THAN EVER... at least to myself it counts.

I'm bull-headed and stubborn and prideful... so many things in life I've had learned the hard way and in one way or another it has left scars reminding me that I have to work twice as hard than most to apply those life lessons to my own life.

As a child I didn't understand fully... born into a relationship deteriorating in conflict, and negative energy allowed it to become familiar to me. I gravitated towards others with similar energy (mostly kids from broken homes like myself dabbling in delinquent behavior and getting toasted daily ), although many of those relationships were also unhealthy it was some how comforting to know that I wasn't the only one struggling. It wasn't until I was 15 years old that I became aware of greater struggles.

Oppression, suppression, personal digression, class status, California's prision industial industry; it wasn't until my 23rd year until I began to comprehend the factors that brought my family to the Bay Area, both of my parents came here... as many others have, looking for a greater opportunity than what they had, and I am here for that same reason... aren't I?

I used to bitch and complain at how I was dealt a shitty hand, as time passes I see those things that I had to work twice as hard to achieve are now my strengths. And only hope of progress along with some amazing individuals that did what they could even when they really didn't have to do anything, got me through those times when I thought that I wasn't going to be able to make it thru...

As Maya Angelou said:

Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone.
Those who didn't help me taught me how to help myself, and those who went out of their way to assist me have my respect forever. So now is my time to give that back. Seeing Barack's campaign and his ability to brush off his shoulders when Mccain's campaign did what they could to slander his name, was inspirational. Barack was insulted on a very public level... but you never saw him react like, " Fuck that mutha fucka, Imma get his ass back." or " Fuck that dude Imma beat his ass." Naw you saw him take it in stride kept his eyes on his prize and stick to the issues. That's strength and will power.

So now is the time to Barack yourself... step up and Obama your hoods! I'll do my best... and believe me it's an every day struggle to "KILL THEM WITH CLASS."

Saturday, November 01, 2008

How to eat at a sushi bar.

Gotta love that culture comedy.

Why Women Should Vote

I'd like to share another bit of wisdom that my Lady Bird Sistren passed on to me. Thank you Xuan. WHY WOMEN SHOULD VOTE

"This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920

that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.The women were innocent and unmenacing, but they were jailed for picketing the White House, carrying signs for the right to vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

> > > (Lucy Burns) They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

> > (Dora Lewis) They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.

> Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twi s ting and kicking the women.

> > Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, > when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

> For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

> > (Alice Paul) When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks > until word was smuggled out to the press. >

> http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/suffrage/nwp/prisoners.pdf > >

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because- > -why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.> > All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote.

Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, > saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk > about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself. 'One thought > kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said. >

'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.'

The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.' HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in > their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think alittle shock therapy is in order. It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse.

Alice> Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for> insanity.'

> > Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know.

We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote.

> History is being made. > "

I've been going over my absentee ballot, and honestly lagging till the last minute now I have to drop it off at the voting station.

I've been dreading election day because I have to be up at 7am on Mission reminding people to get out and vote for the non profit I work for. But after reading this I felt a renewed sense of responsiblity and am happy and proud that I have the opportunity to be able to so.

Get out and vote!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Don't undo all that they have fought for!

I found this while I was looking for press contacts, and I was blown away by the voice of the message.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Nina Parks Anaysis of a Beezie Part Deux

So for those of you who have been keeping up with my rants about "the beezie," which once again,

The Nina Parks' definition: Is a female who is primarily aware of her"self" through the attention and reactions that she gets from the opposite sex or... from her partner. (yes there are bi and lesbian beezies too).

Nina Parks' Disclaimer: I am not a man hater I am not hating on my fellow womyn. I am just so frustrated with some of the road blocks that I encounter in the world because of the history of the battle of the sexes. Where each sex has endured losses and battle scars. And as I gain more life experiences I am starting to understand the importance of healing from her/history's mistakes (personal and world).

It's time to become aware of how far the female image has slipped, due to mass media and the Freudian truth that sex sells. My theory? That the constant sexual stimulus in our every day life and the promotion of sex as a vice and novelty has caused a the rift between the sexes to grow even wider. (don't get me wrong, I am guilty of this too, it's human, but stepping back and looking at it from a different perspective has presented a new frame to reference, as my young homie Sierra would say... "everything is perspective" and from this photographers point of view I couldn't agree more. ) Subsequently, each side has forgotten what's unique and for lack of a better non religious term... sacred about each sex. The world is harsh and explicit but that's why there such concepts like respect, and self-respect. So to clarify I am just pointing out things that I observe to be contributing to the loss of respect between the sexes. Please feel free to add your two cents on this subject only in dialog will there be understanding. To each their own.

Anyhow... on to the rest of the blog...

Yesterday Ms. Krish of Guerilla Busfare did a posting entitled "Another Poor Excuse" Where she responds to Entertainment Weekly's article which states that :

Next month, VH1 and BET will air lavish awards shows celebrating hip-hop's finest, including Lil Wayne, Kanye West, and Jay-Z. But here's the catch: Neither the Hip-Hop Honors (airing Oct. 6) nor the BET Hip-Hop Awards (airing Oct. 23) nominated a single female rapper. Next year's Grammys may also follow suit, since the Recording Academy nixed its category for Best Female Rap Solo Performance in 2005. Why aren't hip-hop's leading ladies getting their props? ''Quite frankly, it's a numbers thing,'' says Stephen Hill, BET's executive VP of entertainment, music, and programming. ''There were fewer than five videos submitted for the awards by female artists this year. None of them made the cut.''

Their reasons?...that female artist cost more money to launch and dress than their male counter parts. So major record labels are pushing away from women artists.

WTF! Ms. Krish did bring up one of the best points: if the industry (and let me add all industries) didn't have being slender and materially as well as superficially attractive as a prerequisite then we would see more woman's voices represented in the mainstream

.

So... they don't want to back female artists who have something to say, but they will pay for their male counter parts to have entire sets of video girls scantly clad and overdone in club make up, "clean ass whips" and the chains?

VH1 will produce "Flavor of Love" and "I love New York." but will not be recognizing women artists...? That's bullsh*t. Where I do understand it from the business stand point, they are trying to maintain ratings, but at what cost?... The integrity of a young population as well as their business.

Yeah I know it's entertainment, yes I know the difference between reality and T.V...but what is prevalent is the ratio of intelligent and talented women in the main stream to eye candy and mind junk food. And if junk food decays your teeth and weakens your immune system what do you thing constant consumption of mind junk food does to the sharpness of your mind. Especially if you don't brush and floss. ( Sorry about the dental references... I've spent a lot of time in a dental office as a kid.)

We are part of a suppressive system that places value on women when the fact is, what women have and will continue to contribute to the world is priceless. As mothers, writers, artists, business women, teachers, community leaders, spiritual leaders, warriors, weavers of life and environment. We as a people, if change is what we desire, need to be the change what we chose to take in. I've stopped watching TV and listening to the radio.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Excelsior Youth Push for Change

Photobucket

If you could please help pass the word that would be great! This is the third peace march in the Excelsior this year. Which goes to show that the youth in the community are calling for your support. The community has suffered a number of losses this year, as have many Bay Area communities. We as a people need to stand together in solidarity and make a stand. "Would you rather live for something or die for nothing?" lweitz@bhnc.org Photobucket Also a the Excelsior Teen Center is begging to provide more activities to bring the youth together. On October 17th we will be hosting an open Mic. If you know of any youth that would like to share something please let them know that this is available. If it goes well hopefully we can make it a monthly event, but it can only work if we have your support. If you have any questions Please Contact. Leah Weitz Excelsior Teen Center Case Management Girls Group Coordinator lweitz@bhnc.org

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Nina Parks on Sarah Palin

Personally, I think it's a joke, for the Republican party to have thrown Sarah Palin into the presidential circus.

I'm not too sure what her purpose is in this election other than to remind me as a women what I don't ever want to be... Of course I take into consideration that she comes from a very different background and experience than I do... But that is my issue, She is so far removed from my experiences as well as the experiences many other women in America.

And I suppose what irks me most about Sarah Palins presence in this election is that her very being is anti-feminine. She is a women in a way that follows the ideology of patriarchy and not in a way that is helpful to building a strong movement of successful women.

1. She was Miss Alaska... I can't stand pageants, what have they proven ever except that our culture is judging women on their walk, how they look in swim-suit and evening gown and what they would do if they could bring peace to the world. All the Pageant winners all look thin and slender, Not one of them looks strong or sturdy... so to me it's based on superficial beauty.

2. She is Pro-Life.... First off I hate the term Pro-Life. It makes it seem as if anyone who opposes to the ideology is against life. I'm all about Life but I'm also all about the right to choose. I feel that it is unfair to bring an unwanted baby into the world especially in the case of rape or incest, and especially if the parents of the would be child know that they are in no place with their own life to be able to support and rear a child. Unlike Palin many American parents of teenage mothers do not have the funds to raise their child's child.

In cases of those who lived through the 80's and crack epidemic...I'm a 90's kid so I can't even begin to tell you what it was like but what I can tell you is what I live and observe in my everyday life, which are the residual effects of the time period. We have many single mothers, due to the fact that their baby daddy's are dead or in jail from their involvement with crack. We have women that have kids with multiple fathers because the fathers are just like the baby daddies, dead or in jail. We have mothers that hate some of their children because they look so much like their fathers. Which in turn leads to lives plagued with, self hatred, resentment, regret, guilt, knowledge of being unwanted... Sarah Palin says that her and her husband believe that every baby is created for a purpose, as fine and dandy as that sentiment is, will she come down to help young hood kids recognize their full potential. Psha... Doubt it.

The legalization of abortions provides women with a choice and who is anyone to deny women the right to chose the path they want their life to go. Although I must say I don't believe that abortion is an alternative birth control.

Which brings me to..

3. She is against "explicit sex-ed" and opposed to making birth control easier for youth to obtain.

Look... teenagers are going to have sex that's not new. Before technology and the advancements of health care people were having families earlier. Sex happens (it's a very strong natural urge). But, proper Sex Education will lead to more educated decisions in regards to sex and finding a partner. And if you haven't noticed we spend half of our life trying to find a significant other to have sex with. So why isn't their more of a push for Sex Education.

4. She's opposed to "explicit sex education" but she is an advocate of educating youngsters on responsible gun use. WTF! Nuf Said.

5. She wants to drill Alaska for Oil including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge:

Where I do believe that we should be looking at ourselves to produce what America needs I also believe that we need to preserve our Environment so that we have an America later on.

Over all as an America and as an individual from Frisco and as a women. Sarah Palin is an awful person to have representing me and other women everywhere!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Benzino vs. Kim Osorio

So for those of you who do not know Miss Kimberly Osorio ex-editor and chief of The Source Magazine sued The Source for sexual harassment. And that thanks to Miss Krish @ Guerilla Busfare and Miss Kendra G. We have two interviews straight from the source... so to speak. I still have to read the book, but honestly it is a messy business the be a journalist and attracted to people that you interview that's where professionalism comes into play. The lesson I learned is that when you are doing your job you are a in a way in human because the job comes before the wants (don't shit where you eat).

Benzino... You light weight hitting on Miss Kendra G. towards the end of the interview... was a bad look but a great window into the behavior of "rappers" or just in dudes in general who get interviewed by an attractive assertive go getter women. LET THE WOMEN DO THEIR JOB! Making comments about the way they look in the work place is uncomfortable and makes for an awkward work environment. WITH RESPECT REMEMBER THAT. PEACE

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lady Bird SF ft. Lady Bloom x Amanda Lynn At Chillin' October 4th 2008 Don't Miss Out

Over 50 FASHION DESIGNERS!!!

Live Music by: Little Yellow Perfect (www.littleyellowperfect.com)

DJ's DJ Felina (www.djfelina.com) Rondo Brothers (www.rondobrothers.com) Russell Vargas (www.myspace.com/russellvargas) Dave Madix (www.kingkeymusic.com) DJ SCHATZ (www.chillinproductions.com)

Visuals by: www.amovertone.com

Art exhibit by: Captain And Commander New Works By Henry Lewis and Keli Reule (www.111minnagallery.com)

* 944 Magazine will launch it's first addition of their Arts and Culture Issue! (www.944.com)*

When: Saturday October 4, 2008 8:00pm-2:00am Where: 111 Minna Gallery (www.111minnagallery.com) $6 at the door Must be 21+ ID

For more info go to: www.chillinproductions.com

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nina Parks' Sunday Movie Night.

Jim Jarmuschs' "Dead Man" 1995

With an all star cast of charaters: Johnny Depp, Crispin Glover, Gary Farmer, Robert Mitchum, Gabriel Bryne, Eugene Byrd, Iggy Pop, Billy Bob Thornton,Lance Henriksen and more.

Jim Jarmuschs' mastery of the classic film noir makes it an instant classic and a story that make you think and feel. Perfect for a Sunday evening.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Eye Came I Saw I Conquered

What up world come through I'll have a few photo's in the show.

The name of the show is "Vini Vidi Vici" latin for "I Came, I Saw, I Conquered."

I've been working some long nights and a lot of soul searching to come up with my entries for this show. My concept...? 3 Queens. I picked 3 of the 4 queens in the tarot.

(click the links to read the symbolic meaning of the characters. I felt that there descriptions best fit the energy of each of the women photographed. But due to copy right laws I didn't want to cut and paste on to the blog.)

The Queen of Cup/ La Reyna ng Cups-

The Queen of Swords/ La Reyna ng Sable-

The Queen of Wands/ La Reyna ng Wands-

I chose these three because they are the three areas of my life I have been focusing on the most. There is one more Queen who was omitted for now but not forgotten and she is the Queen of Coins. I need more time to meditate on who she is and how to best represent her.

Don't miss out on this.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Exact Change Only

Don't miss out. Here is some footage from Bambu's last performance a Fat City last Month.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

1333 Minna is out of the Box

Some things are meant to be kept secret, but then again some secrets are meant to be unleashed only when the time is right. It's been along time coming but some heart is being brought back to the hat game and 1333 Minna is being let out of the box.

Hats have always been a defining accessory in fashion and in history, helping to illustrate the personality of the wearer while still conveying an air of mystery.

1333 Minna is a collective of artist based in the Mission District of San Francisco, who's aesthetic is rich in craftsmanship and who's products are like nothing I've ever seen before. The Master minds behind this endeavor... world renowned graffiti artist Steel and fourth generation hat maker Ben Goorin this unlikely team has created a new level of millinery craftsmanship fusing family and culture and fashion with the help of other art "G's" such as Reyes ,Ewok, Miss Amanda Lynn, Norm, Retna, The Mac, Ben Belsky, with their look book shot by Dylan Maddox. And with a list that grows each season. I can't even explain in words how FLY these hats are ... Just Check it out for yourself and if you're in San Diego for the Agenda Trade Show stop by their booth they will be giving away a limited amount of the of Limited Edition Posters that they hand sceen printed for the trade show. (Damn!) And here are a few shots of their creations.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The First Talking Shop With Nina Parks on www.ohdangmag.com

Hip hop is a 38-year-old cultural institution with its roots firmly planted in South Bronx, initially filling a void left in the spirit of the community after the creation of the Cross Bronx Expressway in 1971. Imagine if San Francisco wanted to build an expressway from City Hall to Golden Gate Park. It would plow through Hayes Valley, Fillmore and some of the Richmond district, dividing the communities further, lowering property value, driving out businesses and home owners, leaving only an impoverished community behind. Hip hops' creation in the New York borough’s despair innovated a new approach to life, creating a new style and swagger in the process. Now 38 years later, it has extended itself into American business, with Russell Simmons and Diddy at the forefront, dealing in music, fashion, and lifestyle, evolving hip hop from the street corner to a house on the hill.

As a child Anthony Marshall found inspiration in the rap game. Seeing individuals like Andre Harrell, Russell Simmons and Puffy pushed him to have big dreams as well, aspiring to be the youngest entrepreneur in the music industry. In 1991, when Ant was 15, he and his friend Danny Castro founded the now legendary Lyricist Lounge. Starting in a little loft space on the Lower East side of Manhattan, a young Ant Marshall and his partner unknowingly took the first steps to achieving their dreams. Seventeen years later, Ant reflects on what that experience meant to him. "Something happens when you give people space. If people don't have space, they don't have anywhere to go to create. Someone gave us a space and we did something with it, now you fast forward and we're still in it," he says.

Ant has now moved west, working as a host and producer for Current TV while teaching a class, The Art and Business of Hip-Hop, at San Francisco State University. I was able to sit down with this busy man and the fellas at West Side Cuts in the Fillmore to discuss the progress and state of hip hop as a business.

Check out the interview at

www.ohdangmag.com

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Beezie Tendencies: Part I

According to the Urban Dictionary

Beezie- is a word meaning b*tch made popular by Andre "Mac Dre" Hicks mostly used in the Bay Area and Northern California.

Over the past 2 months I've been been researching Carl G. Jung's theory on the human psyche, his studies on symbolism, dreams mythology and character archetypes seem to fill in the holes in Freud's analysis of the human mind. Acknowledging the existence of a symbolic conciseness that links us all. I'm currently reading a book called "The Feminine in Fairy Tales" written by Marie Von Franz, one of Jungs col luges who's writing on " Analytical psychology, most notably on fairy tales as they relate to Archetypal or Depth Psychology, most specifically by amplification of the themes and characters," has presented a new way of viewing the mystery that is the human mind. Especially the great complexity of the feminine mind. Which according to Von Franz has been dormit for hundreds of years and has recently woken up with in the past 60 years or so. Think of all the fairy tales that we have been told about the damsel who gets locked away in the tower or the dame who is put under a spell and falls into a deep slumber.

I'm only 4 chapters into the book, but I wanted to share some very "eye" opening tid bits from my studies so far.

I. The Existence of the "anima" and "animus"

From what I've come to understand the anima is a mans feminine alter ego that is influenced by the women that are in a mans life and is what makes up his vision of what a women is suppose to be like.(both positive and negative.) The animus is a women's masculine alter ego (I'll discuss this in another blog entry) .

And in the same way that women influence a mans anima, the anima also influences a women. Some women will adapt to a mans anima and in doing so, they become conscious themselves only as "...mirrors of the man's reaction.Their Lover at the time will tell them they are wonderful, but if there is no man around they feel as if they were nobody." According to Von Franz theory "It is the man's reaction that make them aware of their feminine personality.

Jungians refer to this character as the "Anima Women" in our culture (Bay Area Hip Hop) we call this women a Beezie.

We deal with this personality characteristic everyday and see it in it's entire manifestation in the hyper sexualized eye candy found in music videos, at car shows and when we step out to paint the town. And many of us are very guilty especially as a youth in America of falling into this category when we first start exploring romantic relationships with those of the opposite sex.

As mentioned earlier real women effect a man's anima, most commonly a man's anima has many characteristics of his mother since she is the first experience he will have of a women. A mans anima will also influence his connection to his own emotions. According to Von Franz a women can have a transforming effect on a man's anima,

"If she can stand for her human rights with out animus, and if she has a good relationship with the man she loves , she can tell him things about feminine psychology which will help him to differentiate his feelings...,women in general will have a strong influence in forming and building up a man's relationship with his eros function."

In other words: Ladies realize your capabilities and your inner powers. The more that you know and understand about yourself as a person and as a women you will have the control over what the views men have on femininity in our culture. Ask yourself... Am I a Beezie? do I have Beezie tendencies? (once again the new Nina Parks definition of the word beezie is a female who is only aware of her"self" through the attention and reactions that she gets from the opposite sex.) And if yes then look deeper into yourself and take control of your "true self."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Andrea Zamora

It's been a while since I did a photo shoot so today I decided to shoot my girl Andrea Zamora. A young up and coming performing artist form the Bay Area.
"Wrestling with Darkness" Be the light in the dark.-Nina Parks
All images are the property of Miss Leah Weitz.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Keynote Message from Paulo Coelho for the Meeting on Youth@the Crossroads - a future without violent radicalization

"I’m writing this text today because I feel this is my way of acting in this world, of fighting against the violence."

When I was invited by the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Ko├»chiro Matsuura, to write about the radicalization of today’s Youth for the UNESCO Meeting under the high patronage of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Bahrain, I felt a great deal of responsibility and, I will not hide it, grief.

Even before sitting at my desk to write this text, sad images started to crowd my mind. I could see an army of children, bare foot, walking down a dusty path that would lead them to their certain death. I could see some of them actually smiling, holding carelessly their light AK-47s, and heading towards war.

In a blink I would be transported from the reality of children soldiers in Sierra Leone or Uganda to the landmines of Angola. I remember once reading about children being used as human shields and sent by adults to “un-mine” mined fields.

But I don’t even need to go as far as Africa to have a clear picture of abandoned youths – I can walk in the streets of my city Rio de Janeiro and see this reality. How many countless times did I see children begging for food, sleeping on the sidewalk, having nothing besides each other bodies to protect themselves from the cold night breeze?

But let’s not fall into the trap of thinking that these abandoned youths are only to be found in Africa or Latin America. Recently the cover of Time Magazine was dedicated to the increase threat that youngsters represent to adults in the UK. You could see their empty eyes against the backdrop of poor neighborhoods, having no prospect in front of them, no dreams to aspire to, no goals, basically, no way out of the cycle of violence.

When I look back in time – I can see children being used in coal mines in 19th century Europe, slaves in colonial houses, being enrolled in II world war … I see children, across all ages, being used as objects, human shields, slaves, weapons.

These extreme examples of a destitute youth – of abandoned children that unfortunately have known only violence – are, as you well know, not isolated pieces of a nightmare. This violence has been with us for centuries now and the ranks of poverty and violence keep on rising. For instance, Human Rights Watch estimates the number of children soldiers in the world at around 300 000 and this number will continue to grow with the increased instability of Asian and Africans countries.

Beyond the reality of open war, we still see children being used as work force – almost as slaves. In Asia, for instance, the number of children forced to work is around 120 Million according to the International Labour Organization.

The unbalance of the world, represented by the fate of our youth can also be seen in the following: in one part of the world we see the remnants of slavery and in the other part of the globe, in the “rich nations” - youths are the first ones to be touched by unemployment and precarious work conditions.

Wars, forced work, unemployment – these are the different facets of the same recurring problems: carelessness, indifference and greed.

When we see a child baring a gun, we know that we are in front of the consequence of a bigger problem – not at the root. Indeed, how can we see these youths as responsible of their actions? The choice was not made by them – but for them, or better said, against them.

I keep on seeing these images and the feeling of powerlessness grips me. What can one do against a rising number of children soldiers? Of children slaves?

It seems so overwhelming to be face to face with these numbers, these nightmarish realities that very quickly we seem to lose sight of the light, of faith in the world. And yet, from this turmoil a very simple story comes back to me.

It’s about a father reading a magazine and his child bothering him with constant pleas for attention. The father exasperated by the hyperactive child decides to give something for the child to do and leave him alone. He decides then to rip a page of the magazine in which there was a map of the world. He then rips the page in many pieces and gives it to the child to sort it back again. He knew that the child, being too small and having no knowledge of geography, would be incapable of solving this puzzle quickly and he could already anticipate in delight the quiet moment ahead of him. Yet, 5 minutes later, the child comes back with the recomposed Mapa mundi. The father, impressed by the feat of the child asks him:

- But how did you manage to do this so quickly?

To which the child answers:

- I saw the face of a man and had only to put the pieces back again.

His father took the page off the hands of his son and turned the page – behind the world, rested the face of a man.

We forget too often that the world is ourselves and the children our future.

This man delicately put together by the hands of a child, brought back from the chaos of the world by innocent hands, needs to act. This Man is you and I and the world in each of us.

I’m writing this text today because I feel this is my way of acting in this world, of fighting against the violence.

Therefore, today my pen writes for these children that are in dire need of a chance.

A chance to have a real choice.

A chance to step out of the cycle of brutality and exploitation.

But in order for them to be able to chose, we need first to look at the root of the problem – and this problem is ourselves and our lack of vision.

What I propose to you today is this: we need to give ourselves a chance. We need to choose to act in favor of the world’s youths, using our resources and, above all, placing our faith in our future.

The reason for this is as simple as putting together the face of a Man in a magazine – because it is only through the children, through the youth, that we will be able to recompose ourselves, to recompose the World.

Author(s): © Paulo Coelho for UNESCO 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Vapors

I was recently took a position as a production assistant for a mini documentary on Big Daddy Kane AKA the Smooth Operator. And in the midst of brushing up on my BDK trivia, I stumbled across Biz Markie's 1988 song the "Vapors," redone by Snoop Dogg in the 90's on the other side of the country going to show that some things never change.

Food for thought: For folks who are out there trying to make it, don't get discouraged, keep pushing and remember who supported you on the way up. But sometimes the people that don't help you push you to help yourself. Just as long as you're not the one with the vapors.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

R.I.P Bernie Mac

If you haven't noticed yet I love standup comedy. For me it's the most realistic and honest form of social commentary of our time. Uncensored, unrated, unrated. We've recently lost a great presence in the entertainment industry, Mr. Bernie Mac, born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough, died at the age of 50, from complications from pneumonia.

I remember seeing Bernie Mac on Kings of Comedy, and thinking... "That one bad mutha f*cker." But I don't think I really understood his contribution to our culture until I took the Sex and Family class at City College of SF with Art Nishimura. Art worked "The Bernie Mac Show" into his cirriculum, as and example to the "New American Experience"(or so I call it), addressing issues such as drug abuse, surrogate parenting, family values, and several differents studies on learning how to except, work with and raise children that have different personalities. Bernie Mac was cut from a different cloth earning himself a position as a cultural a icon and a Peabody Award. You will be missed but your legacy lives on.

"I came from a place where there wasn't a lot of joy," Mac told the AP in 2001. "I decided to try to make other people laugh when there wasn't a lot of things to laugh about."

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Nina Parks's Life in Black and White: Take Me Out to the Ball Game

For my cousin Mark the ball parks is on of the closest things to heaven on earth. The fresh cut grass, the smell of hot dogs and the soothing sound of ball parks chants and cheers coming from the bleachers ( which is one of the only way to experience a baseball game, unless you have seats behind home plate.) To me... I head straight for the Garlic Fries and $7 Heineken (Yikes! but well worth the entire experience. Mark and his friend Phil have been coaching San Bruno's Jr. Giant's team since they were 15 years old, now going into his 20's Mark has come to realize what a huge role the game and the kids play in his life. Here are some high lites from Monday nights game.

Spreading the Good Life... August 15 Come out and Support

WWW. MYSPACE. COM/GOODCAUSE If you've ever wanted to give back to your community AND get a lil somethin' for yourself... You could win: diamond earrings, 6 Flags tickets, clothing, gift certificates, A's tickets & more! We make it EASY!! Your $20 (or more) donation gets you in for a night of music & fashion. Then place your bid at the silent auction & you just might go home with that GGI diamond encrusted watch you had your eye on.... Still not convinced? Well the first 100 guests receive GOODie bags filled by our sponsors. And don't forget about the talented performances by the sultry songstress Netta Brielle (Def Jam Mega Star Search Winner), the multi-talented musician Kev Choice (Best of the East Bay 2008)& the souful hip hop head Boondox! That's right ladies: get those dresses ready & gents: it's time to get suited. Oh yeah & of course your donation is tax deductible (just save this 501c3# 94-3252009 & the amount you donate for your taxes). So, come on, do something GOOD.... Our goal is to raise $45000 total for these 3 non-profit organizations: Based in Oakland, CA The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights is a strategy and action center. MOTTO: "Working for JUSTICE in the system, OPPORTUNITY in our cities & PEACE in our streets. " Based in East Oakland, Ca Youth UpRising is a state of the art building that offers a wide range of free programs and services that develop youth leadership in order to transform the community. Based in San Francisco, Ca Visions of la Moda is a free high fashion, hands-on youth program. MOTTO: "Invest in today's youth for tomorrow's success" Go to going. com/GOODcause to purchase presale tickets & check back here as we are still adding sponsors. Platinum Sponsors Grown & Sexy Inc JE Media Group Oakland Box Theater Historic Sweet's Ballroom Beautiful Hustle Inc BayUp Tv B.L.A.C.K.M.A.N. Ent Inc Vixxen Ent KMEL 51OAK 360 Fashion Group DJ Backside Lady Ray of KMEL Kev Choice Netta Brielle Boondox Golden Mean Music Urban Vintage Style Management Gold Sponsors Deshawn Mitchell Presents Stunna Beverages Play Area Codes Seductive Ent Chris Rachal Presents E Money Presents D&S Ent Wild Seed Presents Bay Area Breedz DJ Defilade H&H Graphics Oaklandish Marketing Brings Results KMEL & BayUp TV's D.C. SBC DJ's Johnny Hollywood SBC DJ's Us Gurlz Ent Duke Jr. Locke & Key Ent JJ PR Personal Touch STASH Magazine Silver Sponsors Phatcat Photography Proshot Studio C&H Sugar Essential Soles Retail Therap-e itunes Pandora Radio Bakesale Betty Meezy Art Queen B Chronicles Promotions Xpress Sponsors Donating to Silent Auction Grown & Sexy Clothing Oakland A's 6 Flags Discovery Kingdom Beauty & Attitude Lingerie The Cheesecake Factory GGI: Fine Quality Timepieces Effie's Heart Pink Lemonaid Clothing Co Verse Sneaker Boutique Highline Custom Jewelry Urban Vintage J Richell Clothing Homeygrown Clothing BrealBfunny #1Urban Comedy Oaklandish Clothing A Diva's Closet Seductive Looks Alchemy Skin Spa K Antoinette Collection TRUE Clothing

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Nina Parks's Life in Black in White: R.I.P Ivan Miranda

Midnight Sirens
The sirens wail but no one flinches
mesmorized by T.V's and computer screens
fast images and violent or over sexualized content
It was 1 am me and my best friend were discussing
the function of life experiences, mistakes we made with no take backs
life lessons, and thankful that we've made it this far
No car just bus passes, viewing the street as life passes
the Excelsior fell silent.
The words Hopie said still fresh in my brain she said she didn't feel safe walking the street at night. Shoulders tense, fist clenched, face hidden under a hoodie. Is the attire in our city.
The sirens wailed but no one flinches. No one runs towards the siren sounds, but the streets are calling.
He lay there love by his side, blood and his life drifting from his eyes. And I on the opposite corner one block down. Loosing my dinner into a toilet after drinking too much sake and beer.
The morning was thick. I left to work early and as I stepped out my gate there stood a few kids in black hoodies walking toward were the siren had sounded.
And I...to work were there in my email inbox told the story of what my ears wittnessed.
The Midnight Sirens

Friday, August 01, 2008

Excelsior News

Photo taken from the Examiner Website. Early-morning dispute leaves 14-year-old dead Aug 1, 2008 3:00 AM (12 hrs ago) by Mike Aldax, The Examiner » 12 hrs ago: Early-morning dispute leaves 14-year-old dead «

Early-morning dispute leaves 14-year-old dead Aug 1, 2008 3:00 AM (12 hrs ago) by Mike Aldax, The Examiner » 12 hrs ago: Early-morning dispute leaves 14-year-old dead «

(Mike Aldax/The Examiner) Mourning a friend: People gather where 14-year-old Ivan Miranda collapsed after suffering multiple stab wounds. Miranda’s death is the 59th homicide this year in San Francisco Filed under: SAN FRANCISCO , Mike Aldax , Ivan Miranda

SAN FRANCISCO (Map, News) - Mourners gathered on the corner of a quiet residential block in the Excelsior district Thursday afternoon to grieve the death of a 14-year-old Mission High School sophomore who was fatally stabbed there in the dark hours of morning.

Ivan Miranda, 14, of San Francisco, became The City’s youngest homicide victim this year after suffering multiple stab wounds at the corner of Persia Avenue and Madrid Street at about 1:30 a.m., police said. He was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Just minutes before the late-night stabbing, the boy had been walking down the street with a girl at Persia Avenue and Lisbon Street when the two were confronted by four teenage boys, Sgt. Neville Gittens said.

The girl told Miranda to run, and even pushed one of the attackers who demanded money from her, police said.

When the group fled, she caught up to Miranda at Madrid Street and found him suffering from stab wounds, police said.

No arrests have been made in the case, Gittens said.

The boy’s death has left a chill on the quiet, breezy neighborhood block where the attack occurred. Family and friends lit candles and laid roses in two separate ceremonies on the northernmost corners of Persia Avenue — one on the corner where friends believed Miranda was stabbed, and the other across the street near a stop sign, where they said Miranda had collapsed from his wounds.

Trails of Miranda's blood remained in the shadow of the stop sign, beneath the rustling trees of the suburban-style residential block.

Friends said the suspects knew Miranda and that the killing was the result of an ongoing dispute. They said they didn’t believe the incident was gang-related.

“It's just ongoing beef between people,” said one friend, who declined to give his name. “It’s just the way it is. It’s a cycle.”

As of Thursday, authorities had not confirmed a cause for the attack. An investigation was underway, Gittens said.

The homicide was the 59th in San Francisco this year. At this time last year, there were 64.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

More on the Ludacris Contoversy

HIP HOP BREAKS FURTHER INTO THE POLITICAL FORUM: The world is ready for a change because Obama is here...

Ludacris's song "Obama is Here" caused an uproar in political blog forums from NPR to CBN's the Brody File

As for Miss Nina Parks:

Thank you Luda for stepping up and putting your current political beliefs out there. It's rare that Rapper's with in the mainstream will stand up and take a political stand in their music. Where I understand that expressing your political belief at dinner is unpolite and bad for digestion the air waves are a tool that we have in hip hop to reach our cultural mass. And if you are a rapper with no political beliefs then you aren't doing your part as an american citizen and you need to balance out your life.

Luda is right... "...The world is ready for change cause Obama is here..."

If people weren't ready for a new face for America then Obama wouldn't be in the running. His shear presents is testimony enough to the change in the American people. It's been a long time since English Protestants landed on Plymoth Rock trying to escape religious persecution and the monarchy. Since then America has established itself as an independent nation, developed it's own systematic government, had the slave trade using slave labor to build this nations industries for free, a civil war, womens lib, two world wars, vietnam, a civil rights movement, and now the oil wars. America has moved from fighting trying to build a nation where we are free to live the way we want to live to fighting to get more. All we have seen in the Bush Administration is a nation blinded by greed and gluttony and it reflects in it's people all the way down to the block boy. America obliterates it's competition and enemies by force. So the American people do the same thing in dealling with each other. America holds the celebrity in high regard just as long that celebrity perpetuates the illusion

The murder rate in Oakland is up 80% this year San Francisco is none the better. Last night's dinner conversation was my younger cousin (20) describing one of the most liberating nights of his life at a house party in San Jo that took an ugly turn when he found himself fleeing away from the party when gun shots broke out after someone had gotten stabbed.

This is normal conversation amongst people my age and demographic. Which is young urban adult of mixxed race.

Ludacris is an artist and apparently an effective business man as well as an active member in his community as well as an active member in a global community.

Something that I would like to aspire to with in my own career.

"The World is ready for change because Obamam is here..."