EDITOR’S NOTE: Straight Out Of Compton: The Good from the Hood

Here at Kismet Life & Style, We have designated This as the Year of The Finest and no one did their thing like the Compton Natives over the last few years, dominating and exploding on the scene in every area of art, entertainment & sports, as well as politics, education, ingenuity, technology and community development and giving.

I am so proud of the noise they made that I decide to dedicate the entire Black History Month issue to the efforts of these everyday locals doing extraordinary things to change the world through their inspiring actions. I felt they deserved a collective shout out, it seems when we do hear about the South Central part of Los Angeles it usually has to do with gangs or riots.

I hosted my first Young Voices Youth Forum for Black Boys in America at the Compton Library in response and to address all the challenges that seemed to be stacked against our males. It really is a beautiful city with a new young Mayor in place, the future is looking quite promising.

The truth is, as I have always knew about The Hood, we are resilient, creative and beautiful people, we are real and relevant and once we come to that conclusion about ourselves individually, then we can reclaim our hoods and our culture.

These beautiful black folk I present in this issue is proof of this, they have reclaimed and made relevant their community, their accomplishments are remarkable and awe-inspiring coming from any neighborhood, but just that more impressive coming from a community like Compton. I present to you February’s issue, “Compton’s Finest”. The first in the series; 2015: The Year of the Finest” .

Celebrate Culture. My People.
– Kim Afreeka

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K.I.M.S. Exclusive Video: David Olewoyo Cries Over 13 yr old Son’s Plight in America

I had the pleasure of participating in the AAFRM Film Screening & FORUM @the Downtown Independent Theater. The forum was in response to the Police Brutality that recently been broadcasted and the sparks of the many movements across the planet.

Hosted by the uber cool and perfectly brillant Director, Ava Duvernay, who is the founder of AAFRM and recent director of the critically acclaimed Movie ” Selma”. She was accompanied by the star of the movie who portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and her bud, David Olewoyo. He is beautiful and quite darling, I got a chance to chat it up with the two of them in the lobby after the screening

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I also was able to do a selfie with David and take a Sister Pic with Ava, (I couldn’t resist sharing a hug with them and capturing the moment.)  As we all watch, these two stars rise and ascend.
I also was able to capture some footage from the forum, kicked off by David’s moving story of having to ” have the talk” with his 13 year old son about being a black boy in America, he also discuss his experience wiith racisim on 3 continents.

I was overjoyed to have spent the evening hanging with these amazing kinfolks, the entire crowd was the bomb, representing a lot of the L.A. Indy film & art movement . I was able to expand my network and connect with like minds, that looked like me and felt like I did.
May they both continue to create great films and dialogue that moves us-  Kim Afreeka

check out my previous post for pics and look for my Special Editions: “Compton Finest” featuring Ava Duvernay.

A Ferguson Discussion in Black and White with Kim Afreeka

The Following is a candid and open discussion I had with a wonderful friend of mines who just so happened to be a White Male. It’s short and sweet & I thought it was worth sharing.

CHUCK: Soooo i understand what the Ferguson situation has done in the media and fb, but i cannot wrap my head around is chicago. Chicago has been a war zone of black on black violence. I know that its a different conversation, but Im hoping we all take a moment to acknowledge the senseless death of hundreds. I find myself in those young men. Trying to be seen, be heard, acknowledged. We are the same. I dont know how to bring my voice to the table on this. Fear of misunderstanding for not sharing the same pigment/melanin count. But it isnt right whats going on up there. They are killing each other. Talk about the deepest level of sabotage! Just reaching out…. Love your wisdom.

KIM: Thank You!…Your sweet sensitive soul yearns for truth and peace and love….we share that same desire…because we choose to be open to that part of our humanness. We are all spirit first….and this is a spiritual revolution.

Chicago, has also been a brewery of industrialized and systematic racism on the darker, poorest and less educated people in their Eco structure. It’s fact. It started when the migration from the South took place…it was a spin off of the South’s Jim Crow. Chicago Leaders at the time, needed the cheap labor, but didn’t want to live amongst the niggers, so they created pockets of ghettos…many social experiments were tested on them…

My only point from the different angles I see it from…is there is no quick fix…we try to band aid everything…it’s bigger and deeper than the media and society…and it’s not a societal issue…it’s a cultural/spiritual one…as a black race we have strived so hard to assimilate into the larger culture that we have totally forgotten our own heritage that makes us whole, we on some level still have a plantation mentality that underlines OUR LIVES ARE NOT VALUABLE. WE ARE 3/4th of a man… not only do Blacks suffer from Plantation Mentality, White America does to. We all suffer in some way or another…

I feel and hear the sincere concerns & fear that Modern Day Progressive White America has…it’s hard to make sense out of it all…from the outside looking in…it’s such a fragile issue…how do we even begin to address it…it’s not your fault or battle…but your support and love is greatly needed….one thing I want to share with you is this…We were taught and encouraged to HATE & KILL OURSELVES.. We Hate our heritage, our skin, our hair, our bodies, etc….we kill our babies & each other for many many many years and across many waters…indirectly and directly, We were taught this and we believed it. (During slavery the Slaveowners literally use to pit the men together like dogs to fight to kill, it was a good side hustle for them, but still plays out in today’s interaction among black male)
I also know this first hand from growing up as a little black girl in the 70’s…I remember the subliminal undertones & messages I received, that without proper awareness of self, you can not fight it.

It’s psychological, spiritual and generational, we are a broken and dysfunctional race, we are melancholy and emotional and disorganized and disturbed/ we have so much healing to do…no one is responsible for our healing but our selves…

Every Other race seemed to have learned how to balance integration with maintaining their culture awareness or pride. I see the Koreans and Mexicans do it and other people of color that has shared similar plights to the Black community.

CHUCK: I have recently been exposed to the idea of english being a slave language. That english thoughts keep us in mental slavery. Thoughts on that?

It is a spiritual problem. It makes no natural sense. Im trying to figure out who i can be, rather than what i can “do” to foster and create space for all humans to flourish.

KIM: Yes I can see that having some validity…Christianity and it’s English or early American interpretation as well can be said to have been used as a tool, too. Once we just take a step back and look…we can see so many parallels and strings of ideologies of that mentality, it’s within all of our systems…from the schools to the justice system, just within the similarity in the program designs, you see it, it’s quite amazing…these systems need to change dramatically (radically) … We are living and operating from an old broken system…that only worked when a group of Egotistical Uptight Middle Age White Male Dominated…it was a FUBU system and every one else was second, women, children, other races. As our Human Ecology evolves globally…and demands better of us…we are being called to write the wrongs and bridge this divide and tell the truth. we are all one, truly and we are all in this together wether we like it or not..there is room here for us all and once we all understand that…that’s when we ALL will truly begin to Thrive!

Black Community: We Have To Do More Than Raise Our Hands

KINFOLK: Can someone tell me what raising our hands gonna do for us? we are a responsive, reactive bunch during the Uproar…instead of being responsible and proactive when the sensation is all-over…( we were wearing hoodies, same time last year).

CHANGE.
the only way we are going to change the system, is if WE CHANGE the system…that takes unification, dedicated work and those same hands, getting dirty out here in these streets. We have to reclaim our own communities and rebuild our pride in our own heritage.

MOVEMENT.
Emotions & Talking is fine, they help you identify your values and passions, but by all means, we must take serious strategic action to solve this social ill that has been festering for people of African descent all over the world, for centuries.

I AM A MAN.
We are not animals, we are human. Our lives are of value, our babies are of value…our rituals and language is of value, our skin tones/hair texture is of value, our heritage is of value….WE ARE A VALUABLE RACE & CULTURE.

GOD SPEED.
And once we really begin to value ourselves and work collectively, we will be on our way to healing, growing and building! #powertothepeople

Editorial Magazine

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