Monday, May 29, 2006

Rodney King..

So let me do this before this computer I'm on shuts me down again...
I'm writing a paper on Black and Latino relations and comparing them West Coast and East Coast. I came across some info on the Rodney King Riots and found some Black and Whites on the Riots that I hella like..
I was 12 years old when this happened and I don't remember my parents or any of my teachers talking to us about what was going on.. I wish they did.. This story really moved me:

Cora Looney. Aged 102,
(as verified by her driver’s license)

After hearing on the news and on the street how officers were beating and shooting suspected looters, she went to every policeman she could find and pleaded for them to show restraint.

To not hurt anyone else. To please end the bloodshed and violence.

They laughed in her face.

She cried, but did not stop.

Accompanying Cora is her 78 year old daughter who drove her around in this 90 degree, smoke filled heat.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Life is great!

So, just as I was about to write my last paper, my computer starts shutting off and screen starts changing colors like its on "E" or something... I gotta get it serviced which means I won't be blogging for a minute.. which also means that those of you folks who are ready to purchase some pics.. just know that its gonna take a while before you get them cause I can't print them out... Sorry folx... :(

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Ok so my bank account has reached serious negative status. I've resorted to sellin some books @ Amazon (please don't try to search for some of the embarrassing books I'm tryin to get rid of!) and I'm gonna start sellin some of my photo prints online. Click on "Tigera's Photography" to the right to view some of my work. If you see somethin you like, on my blog there's a "paypal donation" button. I'm sellin 8 x 10 digital color prints on photo paper for 13 bucks a pop (you are welcome to donate a bit more if you can afford to). Black and White originals will be out soon after June 1st.. I promise!!! On the "Payment for" space you can put the name of the title of the print you want so I know which one to send you. Sorry I can't afford to frame them but I'm hopin that when I get to sellin my originals, I'll be makin enough to offer frames. If you can pass this on to other folks who are interested in photography or Dominican perspectives, please do. Good lookin' in advance yall! I'm hopin to have the time to finally put my stuff out into actual galleries once the semester is over!
P.S. I'm doing 12 x 18 now for 20 bucks a piece.. so specify what size yall want..the larger ones will take 3-5 business days to ship out but you will be poppin yo collar when u have visitors ova and they check out ur walls and say "nice crib yo!"

Saturday, May 13, 2006

When Ignorance is in Session, So is Self-Hate

This Article was written as an attack on the youth at the school I teach in and below is my response...

This is just another excuse to victim blame and criminalize youth. Of course the media will always pull the "pull the race card" phrase, clearly illustrating the fact that it is harder for some to accept the reality of institutionalized racism being alive and well, even by those affected by its internalizing factor, such as the black reporter himself. Colonization has run so deep as to cause us to alienate our own children, which is why they retaliate, even in ways that are self-destructive, only because the cause of their alienation seems to manifest itself everywhere and in everything. Many choose to blame our youth and look over the fact that youth of color are denied almost all the choices they have rights to (jobs, education, adequate health care, safe homes, justice) and are only perpetually left with means to live that continue to place them in stereotypes, these are not choices, these are tools of oppression.
It is easier to run away into the Oakland hills and pretend the problem is not there, that is the American Way. Make it to the top, and fuck the rest. The result as we see here is not only that we begin to turn against each other (divide and conquer) but that the problem continues to exist, and instead of healing the situation, healing those surviving in a world that continues to demonize them, instead those who have "made it out" adopt the oppressor's role and take steps to further stay in denial of the issue and push them along the sidelines. The mentality adopted becomes "they are not my problem" and so our youth are expected to either rot in jails, mental institutions, or "find some trouble" in the ghetto "but not in my neighborhood." Is it not true that these young people are the shapers of our futures? To not invest in them, is to not invest in our own futures. And so investing in our youth is an act of self-love, and those of us who criminalize and demonize our youth must stop to think what are the factors that have caused us to internalize self-hate. How is it that having a school open up in your neighborhood is viewed as an undesirable act? How is it that a school brings "trouble" and not assets for the residents themselves? The failure is to see that the "trouble" stems from the neglect of our youth's lives, not the institution that attempts to work with our youth and their families to work against the real problem. Our youth have seen young family members pass away, have been born into poverty, have been born into economically neglected neighborhoods, have been born into a state of violence, a war directed against them by the very institutions that claim to defend equality for all, and yet we are not all given those equal opportunities from the moment we come into this world, this battlefeild. But even in the midst of this war I've seen our youth find ways to cultivate love and hope, something most adults have difficulty identifying today within themselves. In a society that teaches them self-hate, they have found it in themselves to resist by becomming active in their own education and the education of others. I have seen them plan and talk about the future well-being of their people, the least they need is for their own people to turn their backs on them and give them one more reason to turn backs on themselves. If our young generation have turned their backs on themselves we can blame the oppressor, those who control resources, but we must also remember that the blame is to be put on ourselves as well, for not taking action to truely and genuinly understand the severity of their anger and the strength of their love, so that we may be better positioned to ourselves become assets to our own communities and agents of change.

Friday, May 12, 2006

At War..

This was one of those weeks where I swear I heard/felt every gunshot wound, every mother's cry, every husband's blow to the face, every woman's trauma in the midst of violation, every child's neglect, every loss of job or eviction due to the oppressive state that goes as far as to steal from a poor man trying to feed his family. It was one of those weeks where I became aware of every past and present, hidden and overt, mental and physical act of violence that my people have experienced throughout generations, I experienced them all simultaneously like spirits conjuring up speechless words to remind me their stories. I crept up in my own dreams, becomming my own enemy. The world was hard to look at.. everything was a reminder of the still living conquistador.

The cracks on the sidewalks could have opened up to some hand, raised from one of the many sacred indigenous burial sites gone ignored by manifest destiny and the industrial movement, to grab hold of my ankle and take me further into the depth of all this. Every brand name hanging from shoulders, necks, waists, and feet were invisibible chains, the modern-day work world the plantation. I could have declared war with a one person army, myself, except I saw that the colonizer has crept within the depths of me as well. I was filled with anger at the fact that I have never known what it is like to be free or to even comprehend a moment of it, because having been born into a slave state as an enslaved woman, has never afforded me the chance to know myself, my potential, my love, my spirit, outside of the confines of mental, spiritual, or physical colonization. I was filled with rage at the fact that at 25 the concept of bringing forth life is such a sin and an oppressive state to be in, although my ancestors, having lived a day where children were celebrated blessings, are asking me questions about my life. Every tear that rolled down my face was a "fuck you!" to the colonizer that I could not vocalize, for there was no one tangible target to cap, shank, or tear to pieces. And I cried myself into war with myself, the enemy that has crept within me, wanting him out, wanting him exorcized, wanting the self I had never known, feeling I could never be genuinely loved without having known that true self to introduce to others and a true self to truely know.

I have been surviving since my mother's thigh wet with the ocean, and I have only known myself as a survivor, a warrior. A warrior ignited by anger, because violence was introduced at a young age and I began to know it well. The world has always been an open battlefield, always vulnerable to attacks, no hills to hide over except denial itself. Denial I think is what keeps people sane and in some ways complacent, because I could have taken up arms right there on the train, right there on campus or in class, right there on the sidewalk, in the supermarket, right there on the crosswalk or while jaywalking the freeway, right there in front of five Oh in the hood, right there in the classroom in front of my students, right there in my livingroom or in the bathroom while sittin on my toilet, right there on the papers they think I write for a mere letter grade... The war never leaves my mind. The war never leaves me.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Makin Do

So you know them days when you haven't gone food shoppin for more than a month either because there is no money or no time or both, so you just stop by the supermarket on your way home from work/school and pick up a potatoe, an apple, or a few carrots or whatever u got cash for at the moment?

Those are them days you be comming up with some really good original food to eat! Well, just the other day I looked at my almost empty fridge and grabbed me a sweet yam, a left over half cut ball of red onion, one of those 79 cent cans of tomatoe paste, and whatever is left of my peppercorn. I looked at the ginger I had stole a few weeks back but I thought it'd be doin too much for this combination.. So I cut and fried up the yam till it got a little brown on it, added them onions chopped.. by then it was already smellin so good! Before the onions cooked all the way I added the tomoatoe paste and swirled it around, and my what an apatizin sight that was! I added the peppercorn while it was still on the fire and then threw it on ma plate.. I spotted some nutritional yeast that someone had given me in a ziplock bag and sprinkled it and wala! Buen provecho!

I just tried the same thing but with a red potatoe instead and it was not as good :( so the sweet yam really made a difference.. Just thought I'd share one of my newly discovered po' person's recipe.. got any of yours?
Does this count as a blog for fun post? Can I get an extension?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Somethin to celebrate..

...its good to be reminded that the long days and nights of study are giving me something back to get to where I need to be.. just this morning at 5am I opened my e-mail and got my acceptance to IRT ! I'm excited and hoping to meet more beautiful people dedicated to the cause in education! Its a program that recruits POC into graduate schools with the mission to get into teaching in marginalized urban neighborhoods..

Friday, May 05, 2006

Fuckin Pist Off!

So I'm working on a paper for community development and I'm looking at initiatives that root from the voice of the people vs initiatives that gentrify and perpetuate CULTURAL GENOCIDE and the lack of integrity for a community. While I have some criticisms about some of the things he says, I think this article can give yall a pretty clear picture of what's going on in Harlem..
  • Who Owns Harlem?

  • I feel fired up enough to incite a riot!
    I am finding that there is SO MUCH curruption and structural violence that took/ is taking place to "rebuild" Harlem..
    All those great African artists that sprung out in Harlem and Malcolm X must be rollin in their graves and I hope they will be with me spiritually when I come back home....

    What its still striving to look like now:

    What they're turning it into:

    BTW, None of these pix are mine...

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    Great Nerdy Ways to keep me distracted from FINAL PAPERS!

    Aside from blog hopping and looking up interesting tangent information based on my papers...

    This shit is crazy!! (I'm glad it ain't on real time tho... that would be too creepy)..
    Its called Google Earth...
    It will show you images of any spot in the world from the sky and outter space...
    Type in your address and see how close you can get to detail...
    Couldn't help but check out some terrain like the Grand Canyon too...
    maybe this could have gotten me excited about geography in middle school...
    Share it with kids if you've got any and let me know what they think!