I scraped my Knee on my way to my soapbox.

I have had beef with media since 9-11. I think I’ve had it for longer than that, but it has really gotten to me since that time in our history. What I’m about to tell you isn’t a new story, like the movie Avatar, no surprises here. But I want to show you how the media has the power to influence how we view things and that just aint right.
There is a community center in Oakland California called The Oakland Green Youth Arts and Media Center. I first heard of this center while surfing the net, through an article posted on the SFGate website, home of the San Francisco Chronicle (link to article here).
The article starts like this:

“The walls are freshly painted in blues, browns and whites, the bamboo dance
floor is polished, andthe sound equipment has been tested again and
again. All that's left is opening day for one of the more ambitious
enterprises of musical, video and performance-art creativity that Oakland has
seen. It's the Green Youth Arts and Media Center, and when it officially
starts business on Telegraph Avenue on Jan. 14, the center will offer much
more than a building full of professional-caliber recording studios and new
computers loaded with high-end multimedia software.”

Reels you in, peaks your interest, then it goes on to talk about its financial contributors, the Peapod foundation created by the Black Eye Peas, whom I love pre and post Fergie. Next it focuses on one of the teenage “got it together stories” of a young man who turned to rapping after a shooting ended his chances of attaining a tennis scholarship. It goes into detail about him being a music producer now and helping the other kids produce music. Feel good story I guess. BUT wait, lets back up, in the beginning, the article said “the center will offer much more than a building full of professional-caliber recording studios…”, yet the article only focused on the recording studios and turning inner city, at risk or already risky potential gangbangers into rappers. Hmmm…I instantly gritted my teeth. I mean, record studios are a dime a dozen nowadays, like liquor stores and churches (the building and the chicken). Why the heck would this be beneficial for this particular demographic? Do we think grooming inner city at risk youth to become rappers is a good way to meet the needs of the youth? My rage forced me to dig a little deeper. Because like I said before, I like the Black Eye Peas. I like what their foundation does, and with some of the members being inner city youth, I thought they would come a little better than that. My research lead me to another article about the center, from the center’s website.

The beginning of this article says (link to article here):

“The Oakland Green Youth Arts & Media Center is one of the first arts
and multimedia centers dedicated to both ecological awareness, as well as
artistic and professional development for underserved youth in the nation. By
working as a coalition with other non-profit partners to offer media arts and
green job readiness training with wraparound services, this Center
aspires to prepare youth to join either the entertainment or green industries. Further, through business/entrepreneurial mentorship, it will prepare its constituents to enter the marketplace with business-to-consumer and business-to-business ventures. The Center will provide the basis for training, operations,
structure, and resources — all that is needed to achieve the success of
youth businesses incubated at the Center. Eventually, peer-to-peer training
and networking will carry both the Center and it’s constituents forward.
Green For All strongly believes that the Center will serve as a model for
other cities and community development entities, and that its management – who
is also participating in our Business Coaching Program – can exchange stories
and best practices with similar
centers across the globe.”

Much flipping better! This I can get behind. This I can support. This is something I wouldn’t mind getting involved with.

My point in showing you this is that you can’t, simply CAN NOT believe everything you read. You have to dig deeper. The media isn’t out there to keep you informed, it’s out there to keep you in place. It’s out there to make sure you are feeling and are perceiving the world in the way that best suites the powers that be. Am I taking this to a whole other level? Perhaps. But it’s already understood that what I think about…the way things work. I just say, look a little deeper, all that appears bad, probably isn’t, and all that seems easy and sure fire, probably isn’t.

3 comment(s) thus far...:

sugahoney said...

Very interesting. This is right down the street from my old spot and I hadnt heard about this at all. Im definitely shocked that they didnt mention their connection to the Green movement...that is HUGE out here and gets alot more attention than burgeoning hip hop artists. Thats weird. Thanks for bringing this to my attention though.

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