Refa 1 & Mark Anthony Neal Speak on Trayvon, Black Male Image & Hip Hop

Refa1 and Mark Anthony Neal

Refa 1 and Mark Anthony Neal

HKR ..The other day we sat down with two long time activist/ educators and Hip Hop practitioners, Refa 1 and Mark Anthony Neal to talk about media images of Black people and how it impacted the George Zimmerman trial and folks in general being profiled. We also talked about Hip Hop and how its being used and misused and the steps we must take to push back on corporate dominance.

Refa 1 who is a pioneering aerosol artist who spoke at length about the importance of us controlling our own images and narratives. He noted that Hip Hop started out being something that we controlled and we allowed it to be turned over to corporate entities who literally turned its meaning and message upside down. he talked about the work he’s been doing with Black writers from all over the world to reclaim image and to set new standards for others to follow. He also spoke about the importance staying connected to the hood and doing work in the hood so that folks who are easily influenced can see quality work right in front of them..

Mark Anthony Neal is a professor at Duke University in North Carolina and the author of several  books including his most recent one ‘Looking For Leroy Illegible Black Masculinities‘  He talked about the ways Black men and Black boys in particular are recognized and not recognized by society at large. In short we are often prejudged and boxed in to fit a certain type of narrative and stereotype.

Neal kicked off our interview by citing an example of how we react when we see a Black boy with  basketball vs a Black boy with a violin.  He explained that for many watching the Zimmerman trial, seeing a black boy as thug has become the norm leaving many with very little leeway to see us any other way. Black boy and Black men are seen as people who have to be contained , policed and controlled.  He went into further detail as to how that plays out in other situations above and beyond the trial.

Both Refa and Mark talked about ways in which we must reclaim our humanity and how its been systematically stripped from us.. We talked about the ways in which Hip Hop and culture can help us heal and repair our image..

below is the full interview with both men.. Take listen they drop a lot of knowledge.

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HKR-Refa 1 & Mark Anthony Neal on Trayvon, Race and Hip Hop

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Black Panther Co-Founder Bobby Seal Speaks About Trayvon & Obama’s Speech

Bobby SealLOS ANGELES (Herald de Paris) — President Barak Obama said on July 19th, 2013 that Trayvon Martin could have been him 35 years ago. Oh how right he is.

In 1968, two days after Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered, { and to be portrayed in my feature film SEIZE THE TIME: The Eighth Defendant } Little Bobby Hutton was murdered by Oakland Police. Shot more than ten times. Bobby Hutton was our first member in my Black Panther Party after we wrote and finalized the TEN POINT PROGRAM. In fact Bobby Hutton was my part time after school assistant at the North Oakland Neighborhood Service Center, where I worked for the Department of Human Resources for the City Government of Oakland, California. I hired and took Bobby Hutton under my guidance. Getting him back in school. Teaching him to read better with an introduction of the Autobiography of Malcolm X.

I got Huey Newton to teach Bobby Hutton and several other youth basic points about the law and how to take an arrest so one dose not get extra charges resisting. Huey was in law school at the time. Hiring Bobby Hutton as my youth assistant became important to Little Bobby Hutton because he saw how I organized the summer Youth Jobs Program that also taught my One Hundred youth then a few introductory job skills. Getting the 18 year olds special class drivers licenses to drive the ten wheel dump trucks I would check out at the City Yard.

A year and a half later Bobby Hutton was the first Black Panther Party member murdered. In the Book Black Against Empire ( Political History of the Black Panther Party -by Joshua Bloom, UCLA & Waldo E. Martin, Jr. UC Berkeley – Jan 2013 ) the inquest on Little Bobby Hutton, one police person surprised the inquest by testifying that the other cops had literally “murdered Bobby Hutton” after Bobby Hutton had surrendered. Bobby Hutton walked out with his hands up and in between several policemen. One cop with his foot shoved Bobby Hutton in the back saying “run nigger.” Bobby Hutton, hands up stumbled forward a few steps and some five policemen all open up firing, shooting and murdering Little Bobby Hutton. I had been making plans with the Reverend Earl Neil to go to Dr. Martin Luther Kings funeral the night Bobby Hutton was murdered. Marlon Brando, Yes the movie actor, a very close friend of mine, had advanced all the money I needed to take my five member crew to Dr. Kings funeral.

The Stand your ground laws proliferated in more that twenty odd states is nothing more that armed vigilante laws allowing anyone regardless of color to profile and harasses, shoot and kill young black and brown youth, et., al.. We need a more profound progressive movement for greater people empowerment political representation to get rid of such Vigilante Profiling laws. For greater community control of police.

Thank you President Barak Obama.

Bobby Seale

Power To The All The People!