Loaner Life (lnrlfe)

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La Syreeta *May 17th* (Instrumental)
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Beast On The Right

» Trayvon Martin resonates with black Oakland youth

Our Amir Aziz was recently interviewed along-side black youth in Oakland by the San Francisco Chronicle in regards to the statement made by President Obama following the George Zimmerman verdict. In the article, Amir was asked to reflect on his own police encounters and the impact it has on society.

Amir Aziz, 20, said knowing the justice system was geared against him was simply part of growing up in Oakland.

Wearing a knit cap and his long hair in dreadlocks, Aziz said he’s heard from elders and friends his entire life how to respond when the police approach.

"Hands out, don’t give off a threat," said Aziz, a Laney College student. "Even though I shouldn’t have to behave that way, that’s what I know to do."

» Coming Of Age In The Era Of Oscar Grant And Trayvon Martin

Our Myles Bess recently wrote an article featured on Youth Radio’s website in response to the George Zimmerman verdict. Bess recalls what he was doing during the verdict and how he went to his community of Oakland, Ca in search of an answer to such an in-justice which mirrored the local catastrophe of the murder of Oscar Grant just a few years prior.

By Myles Bess

I don’t know how I should feel about the George Zimmerman verdict. I was the same age as Trayvon Martin when he was killed. It was the first shooting case that got national attention where I felt connected — like I could relate. When I first heard the story, it seemed clear: Trayvon Martin was young and he was murdered. I thought it would be an open and shut case. As time progressed, it changed. The more information came out, the more complicated the case became. And then the verdict was announced. I wasn’t surprised. But I was emotionless. Should I be angry? Should I be sad? I felt like goop. No shape. No structure.

I decided to go to Arnold Perkins, someone with deep roots in Oakland and the civil rights movement who is a mentor to black youth like me, hoping he could help me understand my feelings. He’s a former member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was also head of the Alameda County Public Health department.

I turned to Perkins because I honestly felt lost.

"Part of the lostness (is my generation.) So what has happened is that…I knew the way and walked away and left you. Or I’m lost and you followed me," Perkins told me. "We act as if…the situation our young people are in is of their making. It’s of the making of our generation. I came through the civil rights movement. We thought we were free through integration and then we set out to ‘get mines.’ I got mine and left you behind. And that’s what we’re suffering from now. We walked away from your generation."

I see another side to that. I wonder if it’s not just that the older generation walked away, it’s that the younger generation — my generation — didn’t step up to replace those civil rights leaders in the community.

So when something big happens, we don’t know how to respond.

And things keep happening.

I was 14 when 22-year-old Oscar Grant was shot and killed on a subway platform in Oakland.

In a lot of ways, the full significance went over my head. Now, I really get it in light of Trayvon Martin’s death. This kind of thing happens to people like me daily. My family has been telling me this since childhood, but now it has greater meaning.

I grew up in a neighborhood where on my block it was fine, but a few blocks over, it was more transitional.

As a fourth grader, every time I went outside — whether I was going to school or hanging out with friends — my Granny and my Mom would always tell me to be careful, and to look out for myself. As I entered middle school, their directions got more specific; “Myles make sure when you walk home you change your route, you never know who’s watching.” Up until that point, I thought they were just being overprotective, but now as an 18 year old I realize they weren’t worried so much about me. They were concerned about those around me and how they would perceive me. As a young black man, I’ll always have this cloud following me evoking fear, hate, and sometimes empathy. At 71 years old, Arnold Perkins is still living with that cloud. And it angers him.

"Racism has never rested," said Perkins. "There’s a string, a history of it going on from the time of slavery through now. Nothing has changed. You can take Oscar Grant, you can take Emmett Till, you can take Trayvon Martin, you can take them all. It’s the same pattern that goes on where people are afraid of us. I as an African American male walking down the street. A 71 year old African American male. We have to deal with that."

It’s the harsh reality. And the court system — even after we’re gone — won’t often look out for us. I asked 26 year old Pendarvis Harshaw: Why?

"Great question. Why? The potential that brews in you as an 18-year-old understanding this, and having the energy to do something, but not having the actual vision or direction to do so. There’s the potential for mass creation or destruction," said Harshaw.

That’s why what’s next is really important. I don’t want to shrug my shoulders and say ‘what can you do’? At any other time, there were obvious leaders, and obvious movements I could have gone to for answers. As I get older, I realize that stories like Trayvon Martin’s were always close to home, I just had to grow up to understand how they relate to me.

My Grannie’s warnings have a deeper meaning now. They weren’t just about rules — like looking both ways before I cross the street or not talking to strangers. She was telling me…I’m a target.

» UnderCovered: Y.T.F.L.I.N.S.T.O.N.E is for the Kids

check out this hella thorough article written by cypher league about our yung Wallah

Loaner Life (LNRLFE), an entity Wallah coordinated, is an Art Collective and Media Group that “[lends] our perspective, knowledge, and services to portray an accurate representation of our surrounding community’s achievements and history.” Loaner Life, now based out of the Bay-area, is clearly a group of like-minded artists with an open-mind and passion to succeed. 



Trayvon Martin: The Hood’s Perspective

On July 14th, 2013, a rally for 17 year old Trayvon Martin took place in Downtown Oakland following the “not guilty” verdict of George Zimmerman. Trayvon Martin was murdered by George Zimmerman after Trayvon was followed on his way home and confronted, which ultimately ended his life.

After the rally, the congregation led a march from 14th & Broadway (which is now dubbed “UpTown”), through the bottoms of West Oakland, and back around to the comfort of UpTown Oakland. Close to the same route Occupy Oakland took aside from the destination of The Port of Oakland.

The march’s purpose was to “take the movement where it needed to be the most,” yelled one speaker. Signs in hand, the group moved in unison towards West Oakland in the hopes of adding onto their group. Once we arrived in West Oakland, we were met with the usual spectatorship in response to irregular occurrence in your neighborhood—Eyes. “Justice for Trayvon!” the march yelled. “Yeah!” the residents responded.  Cars honked in agreement. 

As i watch these people i’ve never seen before nor heard of speak on social justice for black people (many not from Oakland), i was astounded by the diversity in the collective that claimed to be for social equality. I couldn’t help but wonder what these people do when schools are closing and during other local problems that impact us directly and potentially. Do you hear about them? Do you even live here? What about the future?

"We are all Trayvon Martin!" the crowd chanted.  I couldn’t disagree more. There are Trayvon Martin’s regularly in the black community and specifically in Oakland, Ca. These are not only black on black crimes, but PoC in general. These are direct social issues. The impact of the Trayvon Martin was great, but it’s concern derives from the political prowess and audacity of gov’t to be racist prejudice towards PoC—which we’ve had to put up with since we’ve been in this country.

What we all are, are seasonal activists when a tragedy with as much media representation as the George Zimmerman trial has risen. The energy given to these protests needs to go towards directly impacting the people whom they claimed to be marching for. A march through their neighborhood will not bring equality on a social level.  A march through their neighborhood will not keep schools open nor bring a decent education to the children. Read to them, teach them, help them. “We need help at the community garden.” One man said at the end of the march, speaking to the now smaller congregation in the middle of 14th & Broadway, with which received no response from the crowd.


Amir Aziz

(Source: amirazizme)