Black Girls Do Hike: Muir Woods

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I can’t believe I waited until the end of summer 2013 to hike Muir Woods.  Even as a Bay Area native, I have  heard about this national monument, seen it on TV, but have never made the drive to visit. People come from all over the world to see the beautiful redwood trees and so I’m glad I had a chance to experience it right in my own backyard.

Muir Woods is located on the Pacific coast about 12 miles north of San Francisco in Marin County.  I went with a friend and we drove from the east bay for about an hour to get to the park. Parking was kind of bad and there were a lot of tourist buses and hella people from all walks of life. We decided to bypass the tourist stroll and do the Dipsea trail which is about a 7 mile loop around the park, moderate to strenuous uphill, and took  us about two hours. I won’t babble on about my experience because my pictures can explain it all, however just know that this was definitely one of my best hiking experiences in the bay!

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Art Radar: Chicago Street Artist Hebru Brantley

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Photo Courtesy Kristie Kahns Photography

A couple Ebony issues ago I came across this Chicago bred artist and thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite pieces of his. What I love about Hebru Brantley’s craft is the influence he takes from comic books, Japanese anime, and street culture and paints a picture that tells a thousands words.

“Brantley draws influence from an array of pop culture icons, comic book heroes, Japanese anime and the bold aesthetics of street art pioneers Jean Michel Basquiat, Kaws and Keith Haring. Brantley’s recent focus is to share energetic narratives— moments of reality from his life and the lives of his peers, mixed with fantastical fiction— to create a fragmented environment of make believe. Spray paint is often at the forefront of these mixed-media illustrations, working in part to de-contextualize the levity of cartoon imagery, and bring a critical edge into the white cube. From this, Brantley has developed his own unique style and identifies as an Afro-Futurist.”

I hope to see his work next time he exhibits in San Francisco!

For more of his work check out http://www.hebrubrantley.com

This week at The New Parkway Theater: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty

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Have you ever found yourself  in a situation with a guy/girl where you have been placed in the “friend zone”? What about if you’ve reached a grey area in your relationship and you have no idea how to get over that hump of emotions? Well, filmmaker Terance Nance makes an accurate attempt to display these emotions in his film”An Oversimplification of Her Beauty“.

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This past Friday I went to The New Parkway Theater to see the opening night screening of this film. (By the way… it was my first time at the theater and I happen to fall in love with this hidden gem in Oakland)  The film documents an interesting relationship between a man (Terance Nance) and woman (Namik Minter) where the guy is trying to get with the woman and make it official. This is not much of a spoiler alert because in fact, as you watch this disaster unfold you see the signs and emotions that any person would go through when the person they are falling for isn’t on the same page as you.  What struck me the most about this romantic limbo was Terance Nance did an awesome job with the visual effects, textures, and sounds.  The 1970’s animation was probably my highlight of the movie for me! Anyways, this film has sparked some interesting dialogue amongst my friends and then some.

If you’re in the Bay Area you still have a chance to support this film in Oakland on Wednesday 7/24!

For more details click here

MISSSEY’s 2nd Annual Inspire Change Gala – June 15th Oakland

Hello Readers and Supporters! If you are in the Bay Area this month I encourage you to come out June 15th to MISSSEY’s 2nd Annual Inspire Change Gala at the Oakland Rotunda Building. MISSSEY (Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting, and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth) is an organization that advocates and facilitates the empowerment and inner transformation of sexually exploited youth by holistically addressing their specific needs.  They have direct services, training/workshops, mentorship programs, and even an employment programs that support at-risk youth.

This year they are celebrating their 2nd annual Inspire Change gala which will feature a live auction, feature two keynote speakers, Minh Dang, Executive Director of Don’t Sell Bodies and Jessica Midkiff recognized by Los Angeles County Probation Department and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for her work and dedication. A lot of leaders in the community have sponsored and supported this evening so the Rotunda building will be filled with nothing but positive energy.

If you’d like to attend, purchase tables, or would like to have your business/brand sponsor or donate please visit the gala website for more information. http://missseygala.weebly.com/

Make sure you follow MISSSEY on twitter @misssey_org and “Like” their Facebook page to get involved.

Which Demographics Use Social Media?

Hey, Reesa here! I haven’t been on my blog  in months and although I have plenty of excuses, I just don’t think there is a right answer as to why I haven’t been writing. With my budding PR career and amongst the community projects I’ve picked up on, just haven’t given me the time or desire. But after I read a few comments about missing me you know I had to give ya’ll something.  So, If you insist on my real-time commentary about what’s going on in the media or local community I’d highly suggest you stalk my Instagram or twitter. (See links below)

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I read a recent article on Mashable, covering the social media demographics and it really sparked my curiosity to dive into the results.  If you look below at the infographic you will see that based on the research survey by Pew Research Center, hispanics and AFRICAN AMERICANS are in the lead as the race that uses social media the most. What does this have to do with you or I? Well, if you’re a business owner, artist, journalist, or work in any industry where you’d like to take your brand to the next level I’d highly recommend you hop on the social media band wagon. Whether we like it or not, black people are the biggest consumers of all things trendy (and then some) so of course it makes sense for you to publicize your brand, cause, company, or art through social media.  Not only do I find social media entertaining, but the way it has shaped my generation (20 somethings) is pretty remarkable. I’ve seen movements in my area, met some interesting game-changers, and I feel more in tune as a (part-time) journalist. I won’t make this a tech nerd rant,  so please let me know your thoughts, how are you using social media?

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Kony 2012 – Jason Russel Video Goes Viral

If you own social media accounts and have checked your timeline recently, you might have seen the buzz about “Kony 2012” and if you’re wondering what is that? The name Jason Russel has your answer.

Last night the “Kony 2012” produced by Invisible Children went viral and I watched as the power of social media unfolded about an idea.  Filmmaker Jason Russel has been has been working for serveral years in central Africa to stop the rebel army and their leader Joseph Kony.  In this 27 minute video he explains more in-depth his misson; speaking to lawmakers, congress, community members, and people like yourself all over the world.

Watch here:

Russel’s new idea to stop Kony and give these innocent children their freedom was to take to SOCIAL MEDIA.  In my opinion, this media tool is the most powerful form to bring an idea together and make people aware.  Immediately after watching the video I was inspired to help out in any way that I can.  Just by tweeting #StopKony and #MakeKonyFamous we are showing awareness of this issue.  I’ll be honest to say I never heard of Joseph Kony, however I am very familiar and saddened by the rebel army and war that uses innocent children to kill and fight in Africa. So whether you have no idea what’s going on in Africa or can’t figure out a way to take action, Jason Russel has made that possible for you.

 

Here’s how you can do your part to help:

Donate to Invisible Children: https://www.stayclassy.org/checkout/donation?eid=14711
Purchase KONY 2012 products: http://invisiblechildrenstore.myshopify.com/
Sign the Pledge: http://www.causes.com/causes/227-invisible-children

LaLa – MsRyanNicole

I don’t know how I missed this release of MsRyanNicole latest music! You may have seen her recently perform at the Life is Living Festival where she rocked the stage in Oakland or you might have graced her presence at Monday Soul. Either way, She’s one of the dopest female emcees that I know in the Bay Area so its only right that I share with you her latest installation. Check out “LaLa” and share your thoughts! Love it or leave it?

 

National HIV Testing Day: Know Your Status

 

If you haven’t noticed, today is National HIV Testing day!  There are free testing centers everywhere open for anyone who wants to come in and know their results.  There are so many people who take HIV/AIDS so lightly and think that just because they don’t feel sick or aren’t as sexually active or loose, they will not be affected.  I was searching for centers, activities and campaigns, when I came across “Karaoke, Condoms & Cocktails” at the Everett & Jones Q lounge happening tonight from 8-12 am.  Bay Area’s radio station 106 KMEL is sponsoring and there will be free HIV/AIDS testing on site.  So you can seriously grab you a cocktail, condom, and get tested all during karaoke night.

I believe just these little incentives to get tested are what is needed in the black community.  Shout out to colorlines.com for this interesting statistics form pretty much explaining that blacks are the least likely to know they are infected. So people, before you lay down again, just know.


Musiq Soulchild x MusiqintheMagiq (Review)

I find the month of May such a refreshing time in my life and the release of Musiq Soulchild’s new album “MusiqintheMagiq” is a perfect representation of all things beautiful that can go on in one’s life.   Without a doubt Musiq Soulchild has created music for lovers all over and true fans of his craft will enjoy his newest project.  With all the R&B artists out there fighting for originality, Musiq has made sure to keep the “Soul” in his voice and the love and affection in his lyrics.

Musiq Soulchild paints a melody using descriptions of the earth with “Like The Sun” and “Silver and Gold” to magnify his love for someone.  The best thing I can appreciate about “MusiqintheMagiq” is there’s a song for everyone that they can relate to. Whether you are experiencing a desirable friendship with “Be Friends” or you are deeply in love, ready for the next step with “Say I Do” this album was definitely a breathe of fresh air to your life. Hope you enjoy it!