Thursday, December 31, 2009


I am honored to just recently join the team of OAKLAND IN BLUE (Do Dats projects with FRESHVIBE MEDIA) They are amazing and I can't wait to see all of the visions and plans for 2010 materialize.

Niema herself and yours truly along with the homegirl and talented songstress Dom Jones interviewed about OAKLAND in BLUE! And performances by SIAIRA SHAWN!
Definitly a magical night with DAT as the HOST, with no further a do OAKLAND IN BLUE:

Oakland In Blue Listening Experience Series :: volume 4 from FreshVibe Media ® on Vimeo.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Lifted. Gifted. Creative Minds on the Grind.

this is a flyer im working on thanks to the homie Eli and my homegirl Nina Parks
Ima make this short. WRENAGADE PROMOTION will be in full effect very soon on another level and no repeats in design (i can't because I lost my computer) expect WRENassance collection of art, earrings, t shirts all of it anything and everything. I wont stop cause it cant stop.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

this made my day..

This holiday season i have compared myself to the grinch a few times. Dont get me wrong I'm all smiles, i even sang a christmas song on sunday with the Homie Niema (after sippn on something lovely) and being serenaded by Siaira at Oakland in Blue i was even humming silent night to myself. But besides that i didnt really have to much christmas spirit. Could be a series of events that left me feeling without, or it could just be my way of recognizing that although i know things will all fall into place at the moment there is a lot still unsettled, before any celebrations can be done.
With that said im throwing away any negative thoughts for this lovely cup caken season and whole heartedly enjoy this christmas and holiday season (my family celebrates Hanukah, Xmas, and Kwanza) i got this in a txt from the homeboy Fire Thunder n'it made my day i found it funny...

(Click to see)

Things are on the up!!!
I wont be blogging as much with less access to a computer but you can holler at me on twitter. Ok back to creating the last of my xmas presents...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Waiting on the Pre(sent) this Saturday

THE VIDEO FOR GRACE. By Producer Singer Free Styler Spitta and wonderful person Mr. Amani. I am looking forward to painting faces and watching magic be created. If you havent already heard his album heres a lil listen...

<a href="">Waiting on the Pre(-)Sent (Always Arriving) by :::iamani:::</a>

(Grace Video and many more from my talented Brother from another coming soon)

Keep Coastin

He is really giving it to us, from DRAKE remixes to original songs the Bay Area's own A-1 is coming with flows. It is inspiring to see such a hungry artist eager to hop on the mic. Each song I hear it seems like he out does himself. I really like the passion of his rhymes and the inspiring message. It the homie A-1 with Keep Coastin

also I really like the visual elements in the video, simple raw and definitely added to the song and brought that city flavor.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

...just one of them days that a girl goes thru...

Don't take it personal. Its just one of those days...

So I had a pretty bad day. My lap top got stolen out of my casa while I was at! But any shit I got thru is my motivation to grind that much harder. I might be blogging less cuz ill have less access to a computer but no stolen lap top is gonna keep me down...

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Come join the fam of .:IAMANI:. and find your GRACE-
Video Shoot Next Saturday in SAN FRANCISCO...

send me your art made with love

In thinking of the new year I want to have focus in what I create and release, I want to walk in peace, and make art with love. One of the things that I want to do in the next year is have more art on this blog. I have a lot of current art projects in the works but nothing is done and I have been in on non sharing mood (i usually show process stuff all the time but i want to show it when I'm proud of it and its beautiful to me and nothing is quite there).

If your an artist and you want your art feautured please email me a small bio and pictures of your art work, any art shows/events your apart of that you are apart of to LOVE4ARTSINCE87@YAHOO.COM

One Love-Wren

(also friends please email me your address and you will get a custom print in the mail, i also always except inquiries for custom art work-even on a t-shirt-samples coming soon)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Freestyle Friday

I was scrolln thru youtube and wanted to post some freestyle videos. I wanna see more woman freestylen captured on video, cuz i've seen hella talent in freestyle sessions that wasn't recorded, and that is actually a new project of working onHavent done freestyle Friday in a minute but soon i will be posting videos of Bay Area spittas freestylen n coming with it, if your an emcee and you got a freestyle video you want me to post please email it to Happy Friday Enjoy!


Orukusaki Freestylen

..The other dude sounded like an angry misogynistic ignorant comedian, while RukSak came wit flow rythym and style..

Lady Luck Freestyle

(w)renagade freestyle
sounds like it was pre written but i love this beat so i had to post..

his flows goooo!

2pac Freestyle

Bambu Freestyle

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lady Spitta Miss Hopie

San Francisco's own HopieSpitshard stays speaking on it! She makes fresh music (produced by 6Fingers) and speaks out on issies within the community (still keeping her sexy). Check out her website for daily posts, music and more. Can't wait to see what this fly Lady Spitta has in store:

Yummy coming Soon

Black Girls Rock...

yeah I said it...

'BLACK.GIRLS.ROCK' is the title of the beautiful and talented original:
heres her video "Theres no way" via Lil Miss Nobody

Click the Pic Below to Download RES album

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What does a feminist look like to you?



YOU CAN PAINT ME AS A FEMINIST BUT KNOW THIS please don't put me in no boxes Im claustrophobic and that obnoxious, found round all people so put those labels down there lethal...

What is a feminist to you? Can she be feminine, can she be traditional? can she rap? can she paint? can she cook? can she think? can she dance? can she wink? can she wear a tight shirt and a short skirt? can she rawk a kangol with some hi top Adidas with a matching fit? can she sew or knit? can she get married? can she love? can she be white? can she look right? can she be black? can she laugh? can she be latina? can she be free? can she be asian? can she be amazing? can (s)he be a dude? can she be from the hood? can she be in the white house? the answers yes and than some, cause a feminist comes in all forms...

I just read Niema Jordans blog post over at "Twenty something Renaissance" and it inspired me to post this blog on What a feminist looks like. Gender Roles and Feminism is something i have written songs, poems, and even reports on, with a vision in my head that i wanted to tare down. I feel like a lot of people feel the Woman's movement is over but as my homegirl Wendy just pointed out to me it hasn't even been 100 years since women got the right to vote. Above is a slide show of images, some kind of random, but they all are feminists, some more controversial, some more famous, some are activists, some are arists, some are rappers, some are my friends, some are men, some are mothers, some are fathers, So make room for new images of what a feminist looks like this is my challenge to you...I'm sure I left some out. What is your view of feminism? Is it limited to people who are active or vocal about Woman's Rights, How has it changed over history, and how is it different amoung different cultures and races?

...The way we walk the way we talk!...

Love Cats:. 1O.ak Performing in LA.Getting it!

Oaktown Native Pride

Despite the view that native people are extinct there is a huge Native community in California and not just on reservations but in our very own urban Bay Area, Oaktown to be exact. From Pow Wows to sunrise ceremonies there are many traditional ceremonies that go on within this community, as well as new ones forming. This year for Thanksgiving I was fortunate enough to attend the Sunrise Ceremony at Alcatraz celebrating forty years since the TakeOver (a huge marker in Native American Activism). We ran into the folks that run the Native magazine SNAG. It was really fresh to hear them talk about how the magazine was formed and what they try to include, and dope that they support local artists and writers. In this economy it must be a struggle to keep an independent magazine running (with major ones dieing). I think it is really a testament to how hard they must work and that it is really for the love of it, which makes it even more dope.

They are having an event this friday that any artist should go to because there will be boards an paint to join in the art making. Please spread the word and come thru,
(the flyer features a Native aritst that is featured in the magazine)
There 6th issue of SNAG magazine features a article entitle "Free Leonard Peltier" :
by Joe Britton

In 1973, a shoot out between the F.B.I. agents and the AIM members took place at the Ogala Sioux Pine Ridge Rezervation. Two F.B.I. agents in separate cars followed a truck with about four AIM members in it because they were looking for a guy who had a warrant out and they thought he was in the truck. The agents followed them to the Jumping Bull property where more than a dozen AIM members were camped. The truck parked and the shoot out started.

About four AIM members were arrested and went to trial and Leonard Peltier was one of them. Leonard Peltier has been imprisoned for 33 years and was recently transferred from Louisberg to Canaan Penitentiary. There he was attacked and was brutally beaten by other inmates. A protest was then organized in San Francisco about what had happened to him. The protest was to demand Leonard’s freedom and to have him transferred back to the prison he was at. He was transferred back to Louisberg and was named a hero in the Indian Community.

I think what took place at the Canaan Penitentiary was fixed by officers and the security guards of the prison. Peltier is now going up for parole and I think the system is trying to keep him until he dies. What happened I think was because he is going up for parole and because his people have not forgotten about him and will keep fighting until he is free or at peace. My personal feelings are that because Leonard Peltier is such a huge part of the Indian community they want to keep him locked up until we forget about him and the AIM is no more.

For me and my family to be able to participate in this event was an honor and we are very proud that Indians are still fighting for this individual. It is something that I would get heavily involved with and would put most of my time trying to stay involved. I’m very proud that my family was a part of the rally. It shows my little siblings what is going on in the community and to their people and what they could learn from events like this. Introduce other people to the problem and educate more about what is happening to native people in the prison system. Teaching the younger generation to stand up for their people, and trying to make a difference at the age they are at will make them stronger in the future, and get them more involved in their community events on helping our people out such as the the GONA {gathering of native Americans} and other native resources that help out our families.

Leonard Peltier going up for parole is a huge achievement for us who protested and for the ones that did not lose faith and stop fighting. We were not fighting for nothing and will not stop until he is free. There is still anger from what happened and feelings of racism and unfairness of color of skin. Anger of how many years he lost of his life because of imprisonment. In spite all of this, I think it makes young Natives today stronger and willing to stay together and stand up for their beliefs and their people.

This story by Joe Britton, 17, was featured in SNAG Issue #6. He is Washoe, lives in Hayward and is part of SNAG's workshop team.

Also if check out La Pena for Leonard Peltiers art it's been up for a while and its coming down soon so check it out

and check BIG DAN's new video via 38notes:

Whats Good?

Soldier of Love


Monday, December 7, 2009

Cause everytime I'm around you want me

.:Rafael Casal DEBUT VIDEO:. GIANT:.

On the day after I dropped my record, one of my students came jogging into my classroom (for a different class) and stopped at the door. He threw his arms up and said "Thank you for GIANT. really? REALLY?" or something to that effect. Until then, I hadn't played that song for much of anyone - I thought it was a bit too "out there" but I liked it and felt it deserved to be on the record. Its simplicity is powerful to me, and we felt we could give it a visual that did it justice. Most importantly, we had a story we thought we could tell, and we here at The Getback love telling stories with our music.

We shot this in 7 hours on a sunday, and stayed up all night editing. We tried so many different techniques and angles to make this work, and in the end we are just happy we could pull off this scale of project(get it, scale??).

It is a fun video to watch for the effects and concept, but there is so much in it to discuss. It continues this dialogue that we hope to provoke about men in transition. The idea of being a MONSTER. Of existing as the absurd, all the while walking amongst each other trying to cloak the incomplete. In this case, investigating THE GIANT. The ego, the superiority complexes and fluctuations in relationships that we all experience. As always, this song is another snapshot of a moment. an angle of humanity without the cloak, materializing through the towering imagery of a giant in need of resizing.



Sunday, December 6, 2009

Oaktown Wrennasance: Oakland In Blue

Its Sunday night, I always get the Sunday night Blues, but Im feeling blessed (a lil stressed) but blessed to be alive Right Now, and in this place Right Here, in this (Pre)sent moment, where grace is all around me, and I Am in the company of some astounding folk, from Emcees, to organizers, singers and all around artistas, beautiful people. Please Check the events put on by FRESH VIBE MEDIA! Ya boi in the video (skip a post down) can be found hosting shows in Up Town and he gets Down with flows, captures by ID who goes (without moving) so in case you have been snoozing Wake Up and check out OAKLAND IN BLUE! this next show has one of my favorite singer/songer writer extrordinaire hailing from San Francisco and residing in Oakland Siaira Shawn...gaurenteed to be a beautiful show. I will be there enjoying the musica, lovely company and collecting emails, please come thru.

if im keeping it 100..

I have a lil girl crush on Ms. Paula Patton. It all started when I was in line at a record store to get Robin Thicke to autograph his album and she was behind me in line (as a sweet surprise which i thought was really cute) she stole my attention (over Denzel) in the movie De then there was her appearance in her husbands music's been an ongoing thing since then.

I think she is an amazing actress and the roles she's cast in just keep getting better and better. I had mixed feeling after talking to folks about the translation from (the Book) 'Push' to 'Precious' but it didn't change the fact that I loved her on screen. I just saw some new photos of this fly girl that I wanted to share, it also goes along with a conversation I was recently having about the double standards of bi-sexuality between men and women. While women are repressed in many ways, we are free to explore our sexuality, admit our attraction to women, and we are never rejected by men and for the most part other women for doing so. But if a man does this he's considered not manly and lets keep it treal How many women want to date a bi-sexual man, or a man that's been with other men? Even in the crazy world of acting this one sided standard occurs: It was not such a huge shock when Alicia Keys or Paula Patton played roles in movies where they were bi or gay, but when a leading man like Will Smith or Heath Ledger plays a gay or bi-sexual man its a big shocker of course..

Here are some photos of the sexy Paula where she poses both femine and masculine:

There were other pictures of her in the more feminine poses but i wasn't feeling them as much. It was very obvious with the contrast that the girly ones were submissive poses and the tom boy ones are empowering (here hair was all messed up and she looked almost injured), whats up with that? not that I have never seen a powerful pose of a woman in a magazine but clearly its still normal and considered sexy to put women in these helpless type looking poses, which i don't find appealing at all. I'm not saying it hasn't improved but just trying to point out the ways we are subjected to these traits attrached to gender roles sometimes without even being aware of it...I think no matter what this girl wear she's beautiful and mostly because of her charisma, heart warming smile, and lovely spirit.

"I think movies do it better than any other form. A movie is painting, it’s photography, it’s literature -- because you have to have the screenplay -- it’s music. Put a different soundtrack to a comedy and it’s a tragedy. A movie combines all those forms and forces you to pay attention for two hours with a group of people. And people aren’t as well-read anymore, so we share a common knowledge through movies" -Paula Patton

Here's the video of Lost Without You:

Heaven Knows...

Heaven Knows By MISTAH FAB

&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=""&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Heaven Knows by MISTAH F.A.B.&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;g

MistaFabby himself at his best, speaking about the pain of loosing homies to the streets, finding strength to love people who may not treat you with kindness or love.

"I got love for a lot of people I could never see myself hating someone,I dont even hate the person that gave my father AIDS"

Thats a beautiful and positive statement to make. It goes along with the saying that I got from a service at east bay that; "No one is worthy of your hatred but everyone is worthy of your prayer"

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fresh Vibe Presents OAKLAND IN BLUE

Oakland in BLUE which is held at SOMAR BAR (located in Downtown Oakland) is what it sounds. Its a revival it has elements of Harlem (w)renassace style, Oaktown Hip Hop at its finest, a liberation, a reflection of Oakland's brilliant and beautiful as well as diverse culture. The vision was started by Dat and I stand as one of the many people in his corner and on the team to promote that vision. About nine months ago when Oakland made the National news in the face of too much violence a good friend said to me when I conveyed mixed feeling about moving back to the hood that raised me that "Oakland needs Love, and its our job as artists to paint a picture of Peace in these times" This movement is a great way to do just that, to have a whole bunch of beautiful Town people with no violence all getting down to good Jams and celebrating life and expressing themselves. Check out the OAKLAND IN BLUE promo (more coming soon CHECK BACK)

Oakland In Blue Listening Experience Series Promo // produced by Vernell Harbin from FreshVibe Media ® on Vimeo.

It is beautiful to see an artist like DO DAT repping for Oakland in such a fresh way. Along with his sister Isis G and many other fly artists to share the stage he has created: Oakland in Blue (following his second solo album titles just that) His flow/style/lyrical talent is ridiculous. He is a true artist continuing to explore new sounds while staying true to himself.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Coco gotta a mixtape yall

At the Listening Part Coco Peila herself revealed that this is going to be a series of MIXTAPES a collaboration project. Basically the Bay has hella talent, people here are gifted and proud of our uniqueness. The Real Nerds Series is a way to really sho that in a beautiful way.
Check out this crazy girl on Youtube (she stays making video blogs just type in here name)

Friday, November 27, 2009

...they made many promises but they only kept one they promised to take our land and they did...

This sunrise ceremony was especially meaningful because it was the 40th year anniversary of theTakeover. The experience was very spiritual. Like all Pan Indian movements all tribes were welcome and non-native folks, to the beat of a drum and the burning of sage and tobacco. Although in the original takeover demands were not met, it was succesful in the sense that it raised awareness to native rights issues, and led to many other non violent protests through out the nation led by native people. More info Pictures and interviews coming soon from Youth Radio writer Bianca Butler coming soon...

Friday, November 20, 2009

try sleeping with a broken heart

"Why don't you hold me
Need me
I thought you told me
You'd never leave me"...

The concept is based on the movie Hancock
or any super hero flick
where two people have immense power
so much so that they can't be with eachother
or they will harm eachother or take away the others power
this video is really well done im feeling it,
I love when the video adds new meaning to the song,
the 90's samples are uplifting and inspiring to me,
the double screens add to the interesting visuals,
it was kinda creepy when she tried to touch dudes face
and veins popped out
but it captured the lyrics perfectly
she looks fly on the motorcycle
it makes me want a motorcycle even more

I love it
Keep em coming Alicia

Performing Live:

I'm gonna find away to make it without you tonight...
I'm gonna hold on to the times we had, tonight.
You know I'll always love you. So tonight. Hold on.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


via BambuRants

this is dope i am inspired i would love to do musical illustrations like this!

the Break Up

written by Rafael Casal, anyone who has gone through a break up from along term serious relationship can relate to this. As hard as it may be to realize, sometimes its best to be on your own. Which to me is easier said then done. The memories of lovely times spent with your partner in love can haunt you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

an artist I like...

Michael Vasquez paints some really amazing pieces. His use of color and style is ridiculous.
My work explores issues in contemporary family structure. My experiences growing up as an only child of a single parent mother provide the foundation for the development of my ideas. I look to analyze the sociological impact that the lack of a father figure has in a boy's 'coming of age' years. Within this investigation lie multiple related bodies of work. One body involves aspects that reside in the household itself such as mother / son relationships that include shared feelings of bitterness and abandonment brought on by my father's leaving. Other times I aim to pay homage to my mother for her fulfillment of both parental roles. Related are works that explore the reasons, impact, and dynamics of neighborhood street gang acceptance and involvement: such as the allure of the 'extended family' to a fatherless, only child, and its accompanying values that addressed issues of respect, pride, protection, and loyalty; all of which seemed to instill a certain level of manhood and masculinity beyond a mother's capability.

I build my paintings through a unique set of marks that seem to mirror those of graffiti and territorial 'tagging,' striving for a seamless marriage of content and execution. These marks are often made of broken color that when viewed up close seem as foreign as the figures' hand gestures; yet optically assemble themselves from afar. Many of these marks aim to capture the atmosphere of the figure's environment and are neither a part of the figure nor the background; yet somehow inform them both. I aim to be able to slip in any color with any type of mark, anywhere on any painting and have it accepted and functioning.

Friday, November 6, 2009

u think u see me but...

...The homie Do Dat himself im feeling it as always coming with
the freshest flows...

check out his new slapper
Produced by 6 fingas

fuego en su cuerpo

the long awaited video is here. check it out the homies Los Rakas:fuego

Thursday, October 29, 2009

silence the violence SPEAK OUT!

Richmond High Responds to Homecoming Rape from New America Media on Vimeo.

WRENAGADE: Never been afraid to speak on it, Never would stand by and not protect a sister getting assaulted, forever working hoping and praying that this world is safer, better for the next generation, especially for young girls and my future daughter...any women who has been assaulted, harassed, raped, through out history, whether by a soldier, or someone that's supposed to protect you, a preacher, or a stranger, you are not invisible. We are all victims unless we speak out.
First off I am filled with a lot of emotion about this incident that happened in the near by Bay Area city Richmond, California, to a young 15 year old girl. Especially, but not just because of the fact that, it is reported that there were by standers that did nothing and even cheered on the attacker. My first reaction is just that this is one act of horrible violence, that is one of way too many. I have too many friends who have confided that they too were raped. I have heard too many stories through out history of soldiers raping women, not just in some foreign land, but also right here, the American Holocaust. Too many in history that is not what you read in the books, too many in my life time, and too many who have felt invisible, and stayed silent. Too many communities with out unity. Too many young people exposed to violence. Too Many young girls staying silent. Too Many victims who feel they can never heal that there power is taken from them, and they wish to hide to never reveal. Too Many women have been assaulted, and felt it was there fault, or known that people would look down on them, as if they brought it upon themselves. Too many have kept silent, held back pain, supressed the crimes done to them. Its 2009 and its time for any hidden crimes to shine so that justice can be reached. Rapist have no face, n they are definitely not 1 color (although statistically in the U.S white male rapists are the highest percent) I dont know the whole stoy of went down in Richmond but ive already heard ignorant voices about Richmond and Race and the crime that went down and people assuming. All i know is what i heard that 2O something people stood by while a young girl was raped, i dont have words to describe how out of pocket that is.

This incident is not a local problem and it should mos def not be what richmond is known for, no matter what the media spins on it, this is an injustice that is found around the world and will continue to go on unless people speak out everytime it occurs and demand justice. Forget what you may think, and think of your children and your wish for her or him to be protected.

According to the LA times:
Bay Area girl gang raped at school while witnesses watch but do nothing October 26, 2009| 5:41 pm A 15-year-old girl who went to her homecoming dance was repeatedly gang raped and beaten at Richmond High School for at least two hours while more than a dozen witnesses saw the assault but failed to call police, authorities said today.The attack occurred Saturday around 9:30 p.m. after the girl had left the dance and was waiting for a ride from her father. She saw a male student she knew, who took her to a dark alley behind one of the school buildings, Richmond police said.Police said alcohol was consumed but were awaiting toxicology tests.The male student and about six others began raping and beating the girl. As she struggled, more than a dozen witnesses passed by or watched what was going on. The ordeal lasted 2 to 2 1/2 hours, police said."The victim was beaten, sexually assaulted and robbed," said Lt. Mark Gagan. "What's equally disturbing is that other people saw what was going on and did nothing."Police were finally called after a female student overhead people talking about the rape. She called 911 and told dispatchers what she had heard, according to Gagan.The girl was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.A former student, Manuel Ortega, 19, was arrested a few blocks away Saturday night and booked on charges of rape, robbery and kidnapping, Gagan said. Ortega was being held Monday on $800,000 bail.

For this young victim and for anyone who has been raped, you are not invisible, and there is no shame in speaking out against the horribe crime done to you, you are not damaged, the only one in the wrong is the person that commits the rape, or anyone who stands by and lets it happen.

{by singer, song writer, all around fly artivist: Siaira Shawn}
What does it mean, if things obscene seen and no help you bring
The song I sing, silenced, the quiet violence or the noisy love
To both you shrug and ignore the blood

Am I invisible or do you just not care to look
Am I expendable, do you care when my life is took

Sweep things under the rug, until they have to be dug, from under
Appalled at the plunder, slumber on it, but still condone it
Treat us like enemy or your opponent

Am I invisible or do you just not care to look
Am I expendable, do you care when my life is took

her thoughts on writing this piece:
SIAIRA SHAWN:I wrote this awhile ago, it was sparked by an incident that happened to a young women who went to Mills and she was attending school in New York. She was living with roommates and they discovered her dead body in the room days later; she had been beaten to death by her former boyfriend and left for dead.

Around this time other violent crimes against Black women were happening as they have for centuries and there was no or little media coverage or outcry. It seems that when something happens to women of color we are supposed to take it and be silenced, we are not valued or respected and that is why things like this young girl in Richmond getting beaten and gang raped while people watched can occur. What are we teaching our men, our women, ourselves? These things must not be allowed to go on!


*Statistics indicate that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men will become victims of sexual assualt during their lifetime *36% of new victims served by the Rape Crisis Center are between the ages of 0-17 *Every two and a half minutes someone in America is sexually assaulted *More that 1/2 of sexual assualts go unreported, (last year Rape Crisis served 313 victims, so just imagine how many more victims are out there that never reported the crime!) *False accustations of sexual assualt are estimated to occur at a low rate of 2%- similiar to the rate of false accustations of other crimes *The chances that a woman will develop PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) after being sexually assaulted are between 50%-95% (Proving that this is a serious crime, and not something that happened in one night and someone can get over easily!)

For more information and statistics visit:

After posting a note about this incident I was outraged to find out that based on a law that diferentiates between victims that are 14 vs 15 (the age of the victim) those people people that stood by and laughed while this crime was commited will not be charged with anything:
Catherine-Mercedes Brillantes Judge

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

California police now say as many as 20 people were present at the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl outside a high school homecoming dance last weekend. 10 people were involved in an assault in a back alley at the school that went on for more than two-and-a-half hours. 10 people stood around and watched without calling 9-1-1 to report it. Police say some witnesses took photos, while others laughed.

Police say a student at Richmond High School was gang raped outside during a homecoming dance.
Police say a student at Richmond High School was gang raped outside during a homecoming dance.

California law makes it illegal not to report a crime against a child, but the cutoff is 14-years-old. Since the victim in this case is 15, cops say they can't arrest the spectators. The law needs to be changed immediately.

Meanwhile this horrific rape of a young girl follows that brutal beating death caught on video of a 16-year-old honor student in Chicago.

That case has been hampered by the refusal of witnesses to come forward. These kids in Chicago also stood by and watched this teenager murdered - beaten to death in broad daylight - and did nothing.

Experts say the reason crimes aren't reported could be a social phenomenon known as "the bystander effect" that means the larger the number of people involved in any situation, the less will get done...

One famous case happened in New York in the 1960s - where people watched or heard a serial killer rape, rob and murder a woman named Kitty Genovese. At the time, one witness said: "I didn't want to be involved."

Here’s my question to you: Should people who witness a crime, like the gang rape of a 15-year-old California girl, face jail for failing to report it?

Beautiful Resistance ft. Eligh - Mystic

Beautiful Resistance
(inspired by @thatgirlmystic 's songs, albums, and beautiful spirit)

he Tried to devour my soul today
They tried to take my power away
Feels like I dont have a choice
But its still a beautiful resistance
Born into this world
Hurled into it
I can smile thru tears
Because I cry flowers
Seen friends killed with my own eyes
So I know violence
Too wise for the lies
Heard my mamas cries
ReLiving being raped
Vowed to be my families protector
at the age of 8
For the young girl who stayed silent
When he said dont tell
For the woman who still
Lives with the memory of Hell
For wives who stay silent
thinking it wont be considered violence
For anyone thinking that its accepted
For the young girl neglected n molested
For the victim who blamed herself
Because she was reckless
For all women who wear shame like a necklace
The only one shamed or in the wrong is who did it
or anyone that didn't put up a Beautiful Resistance
Speak on it because the world needs to hear you
Speak on it cause every young girl hurled into this world
need to hear it
No one can take your beautiful spirit.

In thinking about this incident as what it represents as problem in our community, just like any problem of violence or harm, as an activist I begin to think of solutions. I have had many conversations with close friends who like myself organized at the Ella Baker center against Police Injustice and the murder of Oscar Grant. One thing that we all noticed was that the amount of women organizing for justic for this young mans life was way more than the men that chose to come with us. In thinking about this injustice to this young woman I thought about that, more in theory than in actuality. What if men protected us in the ways we protect them? I just read an amazing poem by someone I am honored to call a friend, and his words brought my questions to actuality. There are men out there who are wise and willing to teach, and it gives me hope when I hear men speaking out like this:

To the Young Men who Watched and Said Nothing
By Josh Healy
I went to the Peace March this part Saturday that was organized in response to the recent gang-rape at Richmond High School. It was a healing event for a lot of folks. Despite the tragedy that brought us together, the spirit of love and solidarity was strong. Dennis Kim gave one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard at a rally. Youth Speaks had a contingent out to support, and I felt good about our presence. But something strange happened as well. First once, then twice, and finally almost a dozen times, I was approached by women in the march who said to me, “Thanks for being here.” Almost like it was a surprise that I, a man, was there to take a stand against violence towards women. There were a decent number of men at the march, but I realized that, amongst many other things, we really do need men speaking to other men about this issue. Despite the media hype, the Richmond High incident unfortunately is far from isolated. This shit happens all the time – and not just in Richmond. It does no good to further criminalize East Bay youth. The question is: how can we stop sexual violence against women EVERYWHERE? As someone who’s had the privilege of working with some brilliant, amazing students (young men & women) at Richmond High, and across the Bay, I wanted to talk directly to the folks who I think could make the change we need. To the Young Men who Watched and Said Nothing i call you young men,not boys.but i don’t mean thatas a compliment. boys play freeze tagand three-on-three.young men watcha mob assaulting their classmateand go home to watch MTV. i don’t know your names,but you knew wasn’t Jane Doe. i know this shithappens heard what the football teamdid to that girl in El might have been pushedagainst a wall yourself once.pants pressed to your ankles,forced to turn around and take itlike a man. you know what rape is. you should have been inside at the dance.getting your off-beat grind onor standing awkwardly in the cornerlike teenage boys are supposed to. but you went outside, to the courtyard.and you saw what they were doingto her. you said nothing. you watched them:punch, scratch, choke, violate herfor one hundred and twenty seven minutes. you said nothing. you left to go to the bathroom,came back, and they werestill at it. you said… and i know you were scaredthat you’d get jumped.get called a snitch, a bitch, a punkwho’s as white as his tall tee. but what colors did you see that night in Richmond?do you remember the reds of her knuckles? the blues in her eyes?the blacks of her throat as she screamed for Someone, Anyone? i am not perfect. not evenin the same area code as perfection.i am a young man myself, after all. i have never hit a woman, but thatdoesn’t mean i have never hurt one. i was raised by my mom,grandmom, aunt, and my little sister-cousin.she is 16 now. the same ageas the girl you saw in that courtyard.who do you think i thought of when i heard?can you look your own sisters in the eye? and i was raised by my saint either, but he was with meat my Bar Mitzvah, the day that i became a father is a good man. he loves me. and i still love a brother, who’s fucked upin ways I couldn’t have imagined.l ike a student, who’s brilliant but got caught up in some horribly stupid a young man,who isn’t a boy no more