Beat Nation – Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture

I had the pleasure of seeing an excellent hip hop exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was such a powerful show. The picture below is a still shot from my favorite piece. It was a video made from a group of skateboarders living on the rez in Arizona. The video was poignant and moving, but also clever and light.

Dustinn Craig, 4wheelwarpony bro team, 2007, production still. Courtesy of the artist, from Ariane Design blog.



Five benefits of divorce

Please know the decision to divorce was a last resort, after we had exhausted every other option.  I was married for eleven years and we went to marriage counseling for the last two years in an effort to keep our family together. I was willing to do anything to preserve the union for the kids, even if it meant sacrificing my own happiness. But there came a point when I realized that despite a lot of love, commitment and our best efforts, the marriage was irreparably broken. For those of you who are considering divorce, in the middle of a separation, or facing divorce proceedings, I offer you this light at the end of the tunnel.


How do we check our privilege?

Taken from Checking your Privilege 101 published by the Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois.

Action steps to checking privilege:

1) Acknowledge that the privilege exists, 2) move away from immobilizing guilt, 3) understand that your privilege will not go away until the root systems that give you privilege are abolished, 4) be an ally to communities you are not a part of, 5) recognize how and why your privilege can destruct community empowerment, 6) use your privilege to benefit groups you are not a part of, 7) educate others with your privilege to check themselves, and 8) call people out and embrace being called out about privilege.

After the jump, New Black Woman breaks  it down for us all.


The elephant in the room

This week’s Stranger  has an outstanding piece on racism in Seattle that made me want to jump up and cheer. Finally, someone who is willing to address the elephant in the room on the Space Needle:

“Seattle people, we are really nice on the outside,” [says Ron Ruthruff], “The problem, I would argue, is that many of the things we struggle with regarding race in Seattle are covert. What do I see? I’ll be really honest. I see two school districts in Seattle, one in the north end, one in the south end. You know what kids in the community call Garfield? They call it the slave ship, because the white kids are on the top two floors and the black kids are on the bottom two floors. I see my [white] son walk into a classroom with his [African American] best friend, one receiving the benefit of the doubt, the other being questioned—same thing in a movie theater.”

Sean Johnson, False Identity 1 & 2, 2010

After the jump, why having black friends is just not enough. It’s time for white people to acknowledge that American history is 300 years of affirmative action for… white people. And that’s where we need to be doing the hard work.


No woman, no cry

Amazing how fast life can change on you. You are plugging along and you wake up one day and everything changes. Well, we had three days like that last week. Funny how when it rains, it pours. And all you can do is just keep plugging along, knowing better days will come.

I have been reading Rita Marley’s most amazing book No Woman, No Cry. It’s amazing to hear the stories of Bob Marley as a young man in love, father and visionary. It was inspiring to hear Sister Rita’s story of self-discovery, growth and healing. She had to face such darkness and difficulties, yet she came out with her head held high.

After the jump, wisdom from Nana Rita’s most excellent book, as I seek to bring healing to myself, my family and our global village.


Get thee to the library!

I heart the library so much. Now that we are having serious cutbacks, we go at least once a week, sometimes more.

After the jump, 5 reasons why the library should be your new best friend.


Bonita Appleblog’s On-line House Party

Let’s chase those holiday blues away. No matter what you are doing tonight…going out, staying in, snowed in, whatev. I’ll be live blogging tonight and tomorrow.

So come on, let’s get our jolly on! If you subscribe to the blog, you will receive email notifications each time I post. Just click the I gotta have it button in the right hand column. Peace and joy!

Joy don’t cost a thing: holidays on a budget

So we are cutting back and looking for ways to celebrate the season without spending a lot of any money. Tonight we had a magical evening, we took the kids on a Christmas Lights Pajama Cruise. Cosmic Mama and I loaded all the monkees in her van and took the kids out to tour  Olympic Manor a neighborhood known for its Christmas light extravaganza. We wrapped the kids up in blankets, put on some holiday music and off we went. We sang carols and ooohed and aaaahed at the people’s loving handiwork. We marveled at the nativity scenes and stars, mixed in with the polar bears and peace symbols. It made the season feel bright and hopeful.

Reindeer Alley

The loving handiwork

I highly recommend you steal this idea. And there  are many more great ideas courtesy of Cosmic Mama, the Jezebel commentors and your truly. So, after the jump, tons of ideas on how to bring some holiday spirit to your heart, home and family for FREE!


Let’s do something different this year

Our pastor shared this graph during his sermon last Sunday. The $438 BILLION DOLLARS represents consumer spending in this country in November and December this year. The other three bars show what it would cost to eliminate the most devasting problems facing our world population:  clean water, hunger and poverty.

Consumer Spending vs. World Needs

It’s shameful ya’ll, it breaks my heart. How can such a small population have such a disproportionate amount of the wealth? How long can we keep this up despite the fact that it is wrong for so many reasons.

We have to do something different, we can’t keep this up. I don’t want to overspend this year. I don’t want to set an example of over-consumption for my kids. And I want to feel good about addressing the issue in the graph above, rather than just turning a blind eye to this gross inequity.

So after the jump, the why and how of doing something different this year.


Thanksgiving kick-off party

I’m so ready for everyone to get home so we can get this holiday weekend started RIGHT. I have started celebrating, but at the moment, it is a party for one. So I decided to take it to the interwebz. So we can all be alone together while we get holiday going. So whether you are packing, traveling, cleaning, cooking, working or denying, won’t you please join me? I have picked this as our Thanksgiving kick off party theme song. This is a great ass shaker, no matter what you are doing.

Would LOVE to hear from you in the comments section. Let’s hear what you are thankful for. Allow me to begin:

I am thankful for everyone of you who reads this blog. I am so honored that people like to hear what I have to say. After years of complaining about all the negativity in the media, it is so powerful to be able to put something positive out there. And the fact that you read it and respond to it, makes my heart so happy.

I would also like to thank Ian, a pasty, funky scot limey [don’t ever call him a scot – editor] who turned me on to this clip. I’ve never been able to get Boo ya tribe and now finally, yes I can.

So after the jump, a hip hop video that references Seinfeld. It will make you smile and shake what your mama gave ya.


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