Chief Raymond Two Hawks Watson is also a rapper and a lover of hip hop. Check it out he made the beat, video, and wrote the song.
Reason #1,209 why I love Oakland: The ridiculous amount of public art that is all over the place. If you don’t have money to go to a museum in San Francisco, you can walk around the streets of Oakland and be treated to a world class gallery.
Oakland often times gets a bad rap. People talk about how screwed up things are here, how violent it is, etc. And all of that is true. But Oakland is also one of the most amazing cities I’ve been to, and it a place I am now proud to call home. The culture, the diversity, the food, the music, the art, the people.
I decided a while ago to go all over the city to document some of this art. What I thought would be a fun one-day project turned into three days in the streets. It’s one thing to notice all of this art as you’re going about your day, but it’s a whole different thing to actually sit and appreciate all of it and it took way longer than I thought.
This post has nothing to do with nonviolence, really. But one thing we do talk about in our work is the need to change the narrative. We so often talk about what’s wrong and what we don’t want and what we want to tear down, and sometimes we forget how amazing our communities already are. So I may be posting a few more of these “Why I Love Oakland” posts. There’s a lot to love here.
The New York Time recently named Oakland the #5 places to visit in 2012, and cited much of the new developments around downtown as the reasons to visit. And it is true that these new restaurants, bars and lounges have brought some good things to Oakland. But Oakland was a pretty cool place waaaaaay before these new businesses showed up, and the arts and culture scene was thriving loooooong before any of these new clubs showed up. You just gotta know where to look.
Below are just the highlights of my travels around Oakland. It’s hard to believe that all of these pictures below are just the highlights and that it’s all from just one city, but it’s true. You can see the entire album by clicking HERE, but make sure to check out the highlights after the jump.
“I wish you were there that night when I let anger get the best of me, maybe I wouldn’t be here. Homies in my hood don’t speak the same language as you. I want to learn more so I don’t make the same mistakes again”, one of the men from the San Bruno County Jail shared after reviewing the 6 Principles of Kingian Nonviolence and the “Pilgrimage to Nonviolence’.
This blog will share with you the participants evaluation of the Kingian Nonviolence 2 day workshop, audio of the men discussing racsim, and positive peace poetry describing where they want to go, PPWN’s next steps and what we were able to accomplish over all.
On April 9-10, 2012, the Positive Peace Warrior Network conducted the first 16 hour Kingian Nonviolence 2Day Core Intoroductory Orientation. As this workshop was approaching I was reminded of one of Dr. Martin Luther King, jr.’s speeches titled, “The Drum Major Instinct”.
Excerpts from the The Drum Major Instinct delivered By Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr on February 4, 1968.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, in 1968,”And so before we condemn them, let us see that we all have the drum major instinct. We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, JR, “Drum Major Instinct”)
Check out positive peace warrior, Kingian Nonviolence trainer, and freedom singer Miss Lori LeChien’s first studio recording!!!! This song is called “Lost At Sea.”
Spread the word about this powerful artist, big things to come for her!!! Much of of Miss Lori in our Videos section, go check it out!
Check out this poetic recitation of the 6 Principles by Kingian Nonviolence Trainer Brandford Davis.
Press Play Here:
Are you a product of your environment or is your environment a product of you?
Do you realize the amount of power you hold?
But, understand it’s what you choose to do.
Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
Listen to my words, your perception, no need to deceit you.
I have my training, I’m going to replicate and teach ya.
Vernacular so powerful, I’m on my soapbox, Kingian Preacher.
What’s your hoods characteristic; emotional, mental & physical feature?
Because, the beloved community is the framework for the future.
Grab hold of the present to enforce this positive upheaval.
A lot of people are going to try to stop us but we not seeking their approval.
We are going to attack forces of evil, and not persons doing evil.
Were rewriting the wrongs of justice and making them equal.
There some people that won’t like what were doing, that’s going to turn into a mole.
May attack us and say our freedom they hold.
But we have to accept suffering without retaliation for the sake of the cause to achieve the goal.
Through this process we will strengthen our mind, body, and soul
To avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as, external physical violence.
When it’s all said and done our critics will be silenced.
More said and done our critics are nonviolent.
But more done than said our critics work to eliminate violence.
For those that don’t understand, it may seem mysterious.
Understanding Kingian Nonviolence, you’ll see how serious
Six principles will make it work. So trust this,
Cause the universe is on the side of justice.
-Brandford Micheal Davis- Level I Kingian Nonviolence Trainer 2011
The very existence of Hip Hop has always been political. It is a culture that grew out of a people that were told that they didn’t have a voice. That their concerns and their realities didn’t matter. So I often get frustrated at the dichotomy we create between “conscious” rap and “mainstream” rap. It is all political.
That said, I do want to give special recognition to artists like Jasiri X, Rebel Diaz, Lupe Fiasco, and others who continue to take strong stances in support of movement work. Here are some “Occupy” themed songs that have come out recently, check them out.
“Occupy (We the 99)” by Jasiri X. My favorite one. Make sure you check out his other videos too.
“We are the 99%” by Rebel Diaz, who blessed us with a performance recently at this event at Occupy Oakland.
“99 to 1″ by Marcel Cartier
“Occupation Freedom” by Ground Zero & The Global Block Collective
“Better Days” by Rob Royalty & Flick Millan
“We are the 99″ by Sgt Dunson
“Revolutionary Hip Hop: Occupy London” by DCP
What are your favorite Occupy Movement anthems?
On 11/17, I was honored to help organize this vigil to honor our ancestors at Decolonize/Occupy Oakland. This event was organized to remind us of the shoulders on which our struggle stands on, and to remind us for whom we continue to struggle.
I’m anti-coke and anti-crack
I’m anti-labeling weed as “whack”
I’m anti-cigarettes and toxic goo
And, don’t forget, I’m anti-Bush and Cheney too
I’m anti-oil and anti-gas, anti-coal and anti-trash
I’m anti-litter that pollutes our streets
I’m anti-education that’s incomplete
I’m anti-slums and anti-bums, anti-war and anti-guns
I’m anti-monopoly and special interest needs
I’m anti-tax breaks for the wealthy breed
I’m anti-propaganda and political abilis
I’m anti-corruption and media lies
I’m anti-hollywood and glamour scenes
I’m anti-makeup and child beauty queens
I’m anti-organizations that misuse their funds
And, I’m certainly anti-religions that molest the young
I’m most definitely anti-rape and violent disputes
In essence, I’m anti-criminals and distorted truths
I’m anti-fraternities like the NRA
And, if it wasn’t yet obvious, I’m anti-supremacy and the KKK
To be blunt, I’m anti-racism and ignorance
To be begged, I’m anti-destruction and belligerence
I should say I’m anti-peer pressure all throughout society
And, man, I’m anti-stress and anxiety
So, well, you read I’m anti-this and certainly anti-that
But, I’m absolutely pro-American, so don’t obscure the facts.
By Gypsy Rhymes