As far as my name being my name, I always knew that it was different but I didn't classify it as anything else. I said well my name is pretty unique... no one else has my name. I didn't really realize that my name was "ghetto" until I got to Howard University. It wasn't until someone said something like, "Oh! You don't really look like your name!" ...So I guess that's when I knew.Read More
I had been told by my parents when I was younger, that my name meant 'different.' But as I got older, I was given a more sort of poetic term for my name, which is 'unique.' 'Different' is still that outcasted sentiment that I felt for so long.Read More
I feel because people tell me, "Oh! You're name is so cool!" that I have some kind of standard to live up to. I don't think that I'm cool. I just do my thing. I love to draw and create and everything else, but I don't want my name to make me have to be someone or something. When I was younger people said, "With that name you have to be famous."
And I'm like no, I just want to be me.Read More
I was sitting at the side of the swimming pool thinking, “Oh, this so relaxing so good, well but then tomorrow I have to go to work again.” And it’s so boring it’s so tedious, in life. I tried to find a way, of how to get out of this tedious life. It’s like a circle. And I was afraid, what will happen. Will there be any next life? Will I become a human being or will I become a turtle?! Haha! And then I was really scared of the future, I was never scared of my future before because it was always successful. Until I began thinking, “What’s going to happen in my next life?” And then I realized, ah! Buddha said that you can get out of this samsara.Read More
"I went to public school but I went to school in Manhattan Beach. And they had the most amazing art programs. And I feel like if I did not have that I wouldn’t have known I was an artist. So being a kid in the LA Unified School District and not having art classes. Oh my God, I would be lost."Read More
"I didn’t really know what I wanted to call my clothing line at first actually. So it was kind of a nice exercise for self discovery. Like, “Who am I?” “If I had a clothing line what would it be called?” “Do I want it to represent me and who I am?" And that’s really what I wanted it to be. I was like okay, “Who am I?” I’m kind of rebellious. My parents raised me to be an individual and to “try” not to compromise my individuality as much as I could in today’s society. But you have to be kind of rebellious to do that."Read More
This is the second part of an interview with Kundalini and Self Awareness teacher Krishna Kaur Khalsa.
"Kundalini teaches you how to understand your relationship with the world. We can say a thousand times, “We are one.” But saying is not believing and believing it is not actualizing it in your life. And what’s missing as the cultures have evolved to the state where we have evolved to this point is a technique to being able to get back or to access that humanity."Read More
This is the first part of an interview with Kundalini and Self Awareness teacher Krishna Kaur Khalsa.
"What we don’t understand in this country, is the woman’s brain works differently than the man’s brain. Yes we have all the same components. But when it comes to how we make decisions, when it comes to how we communicate, when it comes to how we respond through our emotions...it’s different."Read More
America is indeed "unsure of how to care for us." We are miraculous in that we are a magnificent flower that grows in spite of the most unlikely and adverse conditions. Protests, movements and riots even are not sparked by Black people because we are violent. It is actually quite the opposite. It is because of our unique burden both historically and presently, as Alice Walker so accurately stated, "To be black, means to care." We care. We care about everything. Alice Walker's words are extremely necessary at this time, given that in the mediaRead More
Those in poverty have always had to live particularly creative lives. Not in the way of painters, artists or musicians but in a more instinctual way, generating resources where there are none. Making something out of nothing. And flying pigeons as a hobby proved no different.Read More
You know when you’re from Compton, California you’re mostly around Blacks and Latinos. When you start meeting people from different cultures and hearing different people’s accents you’re like wait, this ain’t just it. I don’t have to be in the hood with people who don’t want to do what I do. There’s actually people out there in the world you can relate to. You’re not the only one. It [modeling] definitely opened me up to a new world.Read More
Those who do not “see color” or believe racism does not exist threaten to keep us steeped in the underlying racial tension that brew in our everyday lives, and subsequently, rob us of the honesty we owe each other in candid conversations about race. We can try to deceive one another but the truth about how we really feel and who we really are will be displayed in our actions, at some point, as we have witnessed in Ferguson and other cities in America.Read More
"Women are the pillars of society," said Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat about the strength and importance of women in Haitian society. It is no doubt the women in Haiti play a vital role in the economy whether Haitian men wish to acknowledge it or not. Despite the anonymous images of Haitian women we see in the media, they do possess contributing roles in society, goals of their own and dignity. In spite of, the hardships women in Haiti have gone through for generations, their strength and resilience has not wavered nor has the dream of enhancing their quality of life.Read More
It was my Uncle Postelle's room. Photos of my Aunt Sally from her days as a model in Europe, lined the walls of this unlikely man cave. There was one particular picture that captured my full attention. In the photo, my aunt sat delicately on her knees between equally dainty women who wore gold jewelry and red chut thai. It seemed idiosyncratic of foreign places and people, it was fascinating and felt adventurous in spirit, and I connected with this energy instantly. Despite the halcyon days of my youth the occasional monotony of life was enough to fuel my desire to want to see and experience more. I unknowingly carried the image of my aunt in Thailand with the dream of someday exploring the world.Read More
History, I mean his story like so many others, circulate exclusively through oral traditions. Constituting a mere 2% of the population, his is a story an outsider may never know. Societal issues that epitomize injustice, however, naturally become the material of urban artists everywhere, who take what's happening in the street and project it to the masses. The most sincere and emotionally charged work stems from this adversity.Read More
With the Women of the World Summit well underway, I found myself asking questions surrounding the topic of wage equality between women and men. As with any subject matter I address, I typically approach it thinking I already know what I want to say. To prevent myself from creating generalizations and cliches, I generated questions that led me to become more aware of what was there all along.Read More
The scarcity I'm referring to is not in the quantity of food but in the quality of food. Sadly, on every corner there are at least two to four strategically placed fast-food joints at your disposal, or convenience, I should say. And when you look through the whole lens, areas occupied by people of low income—such as South Central, Watts and Compton—show an even more unpleasant reality: a literal lack of fresh food.
If you have ever wondered why or how the United States became a world power, part of the answer lies in the word, 'geography.' If you have ever wondered why slave revolts in the U.S. were unsuccessful, again part of the answer lies in the word, geography. Brazil however, in the 19th century, possessed the geographical layout that presented slaves with the opportunity to escape from their Portuguese colonizers into unmapped areas to create their own freedom within their own communities called Quilombos. As with the descendants of any civilization, the task of carrying the legacy of their ancestors is an inevitable responsibility. More often than not that work is challenged or interrupted by colonialism, war, slavery or--as in this case--structural racism. Although slavery in Brazil ended in 1888, the settlements of escaped slaves, also known as QuilombosRead More
I awoke in a panic, naturally, and checked the time. 6:35 am. I opened the refrigerator and grabbed the one pack of Polaroid 600 film I’d been saving for the last 6 months. At $24.99 a pack for 8 slides I couldn’t afford to use it on anything less unusual than this. And by unusual I mean in the most extraordinary sense. I was going to interview Brazilian graffiti artist Panmela Castro, aka Anarkia Boladona, and what better way to be creative with a creative than with a Polariod camera my mom kept since I was 3 years old.
Her presence was far more meek than I expected. Especially given a woman whose alias is Anarkia Boladona. Anarkia coming from anarchy and ‘boladona’ a Portuguese slang word for a woman who is bold and doesn’t take shit, basically. Perhaps it was just the slight apprehension that's normal when one is not speaking in their native tongue. Nevertheless her intensity showed in her artwork and humanitarianism.
Here’s my interview with Panmela Castro, Anarkia Boladona:
“According to Taleb, not only are Black Swan events difficult to predict, but we human beings have certain psychological limitations and biases that prevent us from foreseeing these events...”
Excluding Taleb’s belief of ‘certain psychological limitations‘ I agree with developed biases that inhibit us from conceiving infinite possibilities. One being the media for example, which has skewed our perception of favela life by only painting a tiny picture. Undoubtedly, the widely famous film City of God also aided in what we believe to be an understanding of the favelas. However, life here is much more.Read More