Felicia Purcell: Newscaster

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Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Felicia: I am, 45yrs now

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Felicia: 20 years ago

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Felicia: When I stopped being scared and confronted dance. I was inspired through a performance you did with Mingus Amungus at the Elbo Room.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Felicia: First vinyl was The Silvers, something relating to disco. Lol. Horrible album!

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Felicia: This was fun! Thanks for choosing me, I feel so exposed and vunerable..heehee

http://www.sportsinthebay.net/

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DJ Emancipacion: “So Lovely” resident DJ and owner of Super Juiced

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Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Emanne:  I moved to the Bay Area from Alexandria, Egypt when I was a teeny tiny little thing– age 18. I’ve lived in the Bay longest of all the cities I’ve lived in, so all though I’m not originally from the Bay Area, it feels most like home. I pretty much grew into myself in the Bay. I hella heart Oakland ❤ !

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Emanne:  I’ve been obsessed with creating an alternate universe, one that’s beautiful and just and full of magic and creativity ever since I was in grade school. I had the best teacher in 4th and 5th grade– Mrs. Woods– she encouraged us to be different, to follow our hearts and be inspired by life. I’m a Gemini too, we get bored easily, so I’ve always been excited to try different things– performance art, film, fiction writing, spoken word. But it was my love for music that captured my imagination in a big way. And boy did it stick. Not to sound trite, but music really was my saving grace. If it hadn’t been for those tapes of Madonna, Prince, and Michael Jackson in my Walkman at age 11, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. I still remember the smell of a brand new tape cassette freshly peeled from its plastic wrap…heavenly.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Emanne: The epic 3rd world people’s movements for freedom and justice inspire me everyday. My people in Egypt are waging a fierce struggle against US imperialism as I write this, and I just can’t wait to get home to Oakland to get into the studio! The dedication people have to changing their lives and their future is so inspiring. I’m dreaming of the day I can say the same about the United States in a large scale way. Can you imagine if we all rose up against Washington tomorrow?

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Emanne:  I grew up admiring my dad’s small vinyl collection from afar (us kids weren’t allowed to touch it!) so vinyl had always been a sort of enigma to me until I started saving to buy my first pair of Technic SL-1200 turntables. My first piece of vinyl I picked up was Black Gold by Nina Simone, literally dug out of a box of giveaways in a friend’s grandma’s basement. Score!

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Emanne: find me and follow me at…

soundcloud.com/dj-emancipacion

http://twitter.com/#!/DJEMANCIPACION

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/DJ-Emancipacion/52865768116

Paul Skee: BBoy, CEO at Mighty4 Worldwide

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Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Paul: I was born in San Francisco, my mother and father were raised in the Mission, lived in Daly City then resided to Union City when i was 5. We would go to the mission on weekends for decades until my family all moved out to the north bay. straight up San Franciscan Bay Area representa! (been there, lived there, got fam and respect there up and down the Bay as my mom and dads (rip) family is huge.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Paul:  as early as i can remember 5 years old when i first saw my older cousins strutting and breakin at fiestas in sf. blew my mind -that and everyone would throw money at the too lol.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Paul:  inspiration to me comes from the next generation and from the wisdom that elders from these beautiful street art forms that teach me direct, or indirectly.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Paul: bought my first piece at musicland in southland, was a corny bootleg compilation on some exploitation shit but the two dopest songs on there it had was jam master jay (run dmc) and roxanne roxanne.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Paul:  Even the Greatest Masters remain the Greatest STUDENTS. 

http://www.alwaysastudent.org/

Amy Nabong: Party Maker, Co-founder of thePeople Party

Amy Nabong“Hapa” by Tuffgyal808


Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Amy: Yes, I am native to the East Bay. Seems like a rarity these days. I was born at home in Berkeley on Berkeley Way and Grove (now MLK). Raised in the Rich, aka Richmond, California.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Amy: Our first event “Soul Tempura” began in the year 2000, named after Peven Everett’s record who we were heavily into at the time. This marked the birth of Relevant Sound. I’ve been promoting underground global-soul music ever since.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Amy: L O V E. I love the music. I love my crew. I love the East Bay. It’s an incredible time right here, right now. So many beautiful folks 100% invested in making (((where we live some place we want to be))). It’s truly incredible. Blessings around every corner.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Amy: I was 6 years old. I remember this well because my brother was a DJ and was always trying influence my purchases … so that he could snag my 45’s for himself! My first vinyl purchase of my very own consisted of four 45’s: “Lies” by the Thompson Twins, “Pass the Dutchie” by Musical Youth, “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye and “I Like It” by DeBarge. back then I listened to my records on my Mickey Mouse record player that I could close up and carry around with me. Mickey’s glove was the needle. Pretty cool. Much cooler than my current portable turntable 🙂

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote?
Amy: PLEASE SUPPORT THE LOCAL BEAUTY!
*Buy ART from local artists!
*Buy RECORDS from your local record store!
*Support your local MUSICIAN!
*Support your local DEEJAY!

Let’s keep it movin’ everybody.

One love, amy nabong

www.thepeopleoakland.com
http://cali.podomatic.com/
http://www.djcecil.com/music.html

Bridget Goodman: Filmmaker

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Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Bridget: Yes, native to San Francisco

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Bridget: I think it has always been with me so I believe I have always been on it. It feels like a continuing memory from something always here.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Bridget: From everything – thoughts, something I’ve encountered, life’s conversations, nature, sounds and culture.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Bridget: James Brown’s, Hot Pants! I was 6. I just had to have it.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Bridget: “Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.” -Sophia Loren, Venice, 1955

Mini Interview with DJ Leydis

Leydis

photo by Tuffgyal808

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Leydis: No. Originally from Cuba but I have lived in the Bay since 2006…  it feels like home.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Leydis: I grew up with a record player in my house… That was the favorite sound system of my mother to listen to music and we were listening to all types of music. I was in my first Hip Hop dance group when I was 10 years old and after that I kept it for all my life ” I Love Music”

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Leydis: Like I said first, from my mom in many different ways… Growing up with a strong Black Woman, hardworking/willing to support me in all my dreams, she never stopped me and always said “yes you can.” After her I can say that I’m inspired every day and from so many people!

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Leydis: 🙂  one of my favorites as a child was “Menudo” but we did not have many options to purchase records in Cuba as here in the US but when I moved and got taken to “Rasputin” in Berkeley, that was the trip .

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Leydis: There’s something I would love to share you…

“A Message To my Sista ”
At this time I’d like to say a few words especially to my sisters: SISTERS. BLACK PEOPLE WILL NEVER BE FREE UNLESS BLACK WOMEN PARTICIPATE
IN EVERY ASPECT OF OUR STRUGGLE, ON EVERY LEVEL OF OUR STRUGGLE.I think that Black women, more than anybody on the face of the earth, recognize the urgency of our situation. Because it is We who come face to face daily with the institutions of our oppression. And because it is We who have borne the major responsibility of raising our children. And it is We who have to deal with the welfare systems that do not care about the welfare of our children. And it is We who have to deal with the school systems that do not educate our children. It is We who have to deal with the racist teachers who teach our children to hate themselves. It is We who have seen the terrible effects of racism on our children. I JUST WANT TO TAKE A MOMENT OUT TO EXPRESS MY LOVE TO ALL OF YOU WHO RISK YOUR LIVES DAILY STRUGGLING OUT HERE ON THE FRONT LINES. We who have watched our young grow too old, too soon. We who have watched our children come home angry and frustrated and seen them grow more bitter, more disillusioned with the passing of each day. And We who have seen the sick, trapped look on the faces of our children when they come to fully realize what it means to be Black in Amerikkka. And we know what deprivation is. How many times have We run out of bus fare, rent money, food money and how many times have our children gone to school in hand-me-down clothes, with holes in their shoes. We know what a hell-hole Amerikkka is. We’re afraid to let our children go out and play. We’re afraid to walk the streets at night. We sisters, We have seen our young, the babies that We brought into this world with such great hopes for, We have seen their bodies bloated and aching from drugs, scarred and deformed by bullet holes. We know what oppression is. We have been abused in every way imaginable. We have been abused economically, politically. We have been abused physically, and We have been abused sexually. And sisters, We have a long and glorious history of struggle on this land/planet. Afrikan women were strong and courageous warriors long before We came to this country in chains. And here in Amerikkka, our sisters have been on the front lines. Sister Harriet Tubman led the underground railroad. And sisters like Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hammer, Sandra Pratt and our Queen Mother Moore have carried it on. Sisters, We have been the backbone of our communities, and We have got to be the backbone of our nation. We have got to build strong family units, based on love and struggle. We don’t have no time to play around.

Assata Shakur~

Mama Ayanna: Activist, Healer

Ayanna

“Mama” by TuffGyal 808

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Mama Ayanna: No i’m not a Bay Area Native although i had a spiritual affinity with the Bay Area and i knew i was going to live here since i was a child. i have lived here in the Bay Area for most of my life, for over 40 years. My family has lived in the Bay Area since about 1860 or before.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Mama Ayanna: My current creative path began as long as I can remember. As a child i would talk and walk with the Ancestars. i was also able to talk to animals and considered myself their protector, going around destroying traps and leaving food for animals in the wild.

i and my sistars used to play in the woods, by the streams and ponds where I grew up, so i developed a relationship with the natural world at an early age as well. i was raised in a family with organic gardeners and farmers and grew up a an ecologist.

i began writing poetry when I was nine years old, but didn’t step out with the spoken word until I was about 23 or 24. i entered my life as an activist at the age of 18 and joined the Pan African Student Union when I attended San Francisco State. I became a member of the National Black Human Rights Coalition shortly afterward and was a founding member of Black August in 1979. I began producing at KPFA in 1985. i was also a founding member of the Oakland Chapter of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement in 1993. i have worked with and formed several women’s organizations including New Afrikan Women for Self Determination and the Conscious New Afrikan Women’s Healing Collective which created the Black Women’s Retreats and the Black Women’s Health and Healing Conferences. i find no separation between the political and the spiritual life. It is all life. As a mother of 7 children (6 sons and 1 daughter) it was important to me to work for the betterment of my community in to try to leave the world a better place for them and for the generations to come.

My level of spiritual leadership began to evolve when i (along with Rashidah Tutashinda) put the call out for a sistar’s healing circle and our first circle brought together about 60 women. i have been leading spiritual ceremony and participating in healing and talking circles since then. It was also during that time period that I began my spiritual study starting with Babalawo Fagbemi Ogundele and other spiritual teachers. Shortly after that I began to practice as a medicine woman. I was initiated into leading the “Sweat Lodge” or what I the “Purification Lodge/Ceremony” was part of my spiritual path.

My path really intensified when i (and Shaka At-Thinnin) opened our business “The Flowing Gourd”. It was one of Oakland’s first “green” businesses. i began practicing herbalism and aromatherapy. From that point on, my practice evolved as my knowledge evolved and Ayanna’s Magic Garden evolved from “The Flowing Gourd”. i received my Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2007. i am currently natural and Holistic Health Practitioner, Herbalist, Aromatherapist, Nutritionist, Massage and Tui Na Therapist, Doula and Spiritual Life Path Consultant.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Mama Ayanna: i find my inspiration in nature, especially from the ocean, the Bay, the rivers and mountains of California. i also get my inspiration through daily meditation, from the love of my man, the love of my family, and from my wonderful community.

i am especially inspired by how much creativity and genius i see and experience among the young people in the Bay Area.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Mama Ayanna: i believe my first 45 was Dionne Warwick’s ”Walk On By” (i still think i can sing like Dionne Warwick, lol). My first 33 was Wes Montgomery “Bumpin On Sunset”, such a nice piece.

I’ve been listening to Jazz and Blues since i was a child. i remember singing Billie Holliday’s “Motherless Child” when I was 4 or 5 years old.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote?

Mama Ayanna: “i believe in living.
i believe in the spectrum
of Beta days and Gamma people.
i believe in sunshine.
In windmills and waterfalls,
tricycles and rocking chairs;
And i believe that seeds grow into sprouts.
And sprouts grow into trees.
i believe in the magic of the hands.
And in the wisdom of the eyes.
i believe in rain and tears.
And in the blood of infinity…

i believe in living
i believe in birth.
i believe in the sweat of love
and in the fire of truth.”

– Assata Shakur
From her poem “i believe”