Archive for September, 2008

OBAMA’S SPEECH/ ZOE SALNAVE

THURSDAY WAS A HISTORIC DAY FOR AMERICA. BARRACK OBAMA, THE FIRST EVER AFRICAN AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL, GAVE HIS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH AFTER BEING NOMINATED AS THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE. HIS POWERFUL SPEECH COULD HAVE BEEN EASILY THOUGHT AS ONE OF THE MORE POWERFUL SPEECHES GIVEN BY AN AFRICAN AMERICAN MAN, UP HIGH IN THE RANKING NEAR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.’S “I HAVE A DREAM SPEECH” GIVEN 45 YEARS AGO THURSDAY. IN BOTH BARRACK AND MICHELLE’S SPEECHES, AUDIENCE MEMBERS WERE DRAWN TO TEARS BECAUSE OF THE POWERFUL AND PROMISING WORDS SPOKEN BY TWO POWERFUL VOICES. OBAMA PROUDLY SPOKE OF IMPROVING THE STATE OF THIS COUNTRY DRAMATICALLY, AS DID MICHELLE, IN HER SPEECH TO PROMOTE HER HUSBAND AS THE PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL. BUT ONE HAS TO WONDER, THAT IF IN HIS POSSIBLE 8 YEARS IN OFFICE, WILL OBAMA BE ABLE TO CORRECT ALL THAT HAS GONE WRONG IN BUSH’S DEVASTATING 8 YEARS AS PRESIDENT?

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ANOTHER WAY OF SIMPLE EXPRESSION/SHELBY WILLIAMS

ACCORDING TO DICTIONARY.COM, POETRY IS THE ART OF RHYTHMICAL COMPOSITION, WRITTEN OR SPOKEN, FOR EXCITING PLEASURE BY BEAUTIFUL, IMAGINATIVE, OR ELEVATED THOUGHTS. I AGREE WITH THIS DEFINITION BECAUSE, SPOKEN WORD IS A WAY FOR YOUNG ADULTS OF THIS GENERATION TO GET THEIR VOICES HEARD AND NOT TO BE JUDGED. LYRICALLLY AND EMOTIONALLY THEY ARE ABLE TO SPEAK THEIR MINDS AND WILL BE RESPECTED FOR PUTTING THEIR OPINIONS AND THEIR THOUGHTS OUT FOR OTHERS TO HEAR AND THINK ABOUT. AS A YOUNG AFRICAN AMERICAN, PERFORMING POETRY IS A WAY FOR ME TO SAY WHAT I FEEL IN FRONT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE OPEN-MINDED. WHEN I AM ON STAGE NO MATTER HOW LARGE IT IS I FEEL LIKE PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN WHAT I SAY, WHAT I THINK, WHAT I FEEL AND MY OPINION MATTERS AND THAT IS TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT. WHEN I STAND IN FRONT OF THE MIC, IT SEEMS THAT MY ENTIRE PERSONALITY CHANGES. I FOCUS JUST ON THE PERFORMANCE AND NOTHING ELSE IS GOING ON IN MY MIND. THE TONE OF MY VOICE CHANGES BASED ON THE WORDING, I INCLUDE A LOT OF HAND MOVEMENTS, AND FACE GESTURES CHANGES IN ORDER TO DRAW PEOPLE INTO MY POEM. AFTER THE PERFORMANCE, IT’S FUN TO HEAR THE AUDIENCE REACTIONS ON THIER LIKES AND DISLIKES OF MY PERFORMANCE. HONESTLY WHEN YOU ARE UP ON STAGE AND THE SPOT LIGHT IS SHINING ON ME, IT’S HARD TO THINK ABOUT THE AUDIENCE REACTIONS BECAUSE MY MAIN FOCUSE IS ON THE PERFORMANCE AND MAKING SURE THAT I STUMPLE OVER MY OWN WORDS.THESE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT I WILL BE COCENTRATING ON FRIDAY AUGUST 22, 2008, WHEN I’LL BE PERFORMING IN FRONT OF YOUNG POETS AND YOUNG PRODUCERS THAT WILL ALL BE SHARING THEIR TALENTS AMOGNST EACH OTHER.

FOR YOUTH RADIO I’M SHELBY WILLIAMS, TO HEAR THIS COMMENTARY AND MORE VISIT WWW.YOUTHRADIO.ORG

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MYSPACE ADDICTIONS/ Larea Pulley

MYSPACE STARTED IN 2001. AT FIRST IT WAS SLOW TO BEGIN, BUT LITTLE DID TOM KNOW IT WOULD BE HUGE. IN 2005 MORE AND MORE, PEOPLE STARTED TO SIGN UP AND TELL OTHERS ABOUT THE WAY YOU COULD MESSAGE AND COMMENT YOUR FRIENDS FROM SCHOOL. SOON EVERYBODY WAS TALKING OF THE SPARKLING GLITTER GRAPHICS, THE CUTE & COOL LAYOUTS, UPLOADING PICTURES, AND ADDING NEW SONGS. MYSPACE WAS THE TALK OF THE TOWN. EVERYONE WAS APART OF IT.TODAY THERE ARE ABOUT 36 BILLION MYSPACE USERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. I HAVE A MYSPACE MYSELF. I CAN ADMIT THAT SOMETIMES I CAN BE A LITTLE OVER OBSESSIVE BUT I KNOW WHEN TO QUIT. I USED TO BE ON MYSPACE FROM THE MOMENT I WOKE UP, UNTIL I WAS READY TO GO TO SLEEP. I HEARD ABOUT MYSPACE FROM A FEW PEOPLE, SO I DECIDED TO CHECK IT OUT. I WAS NEW TO THE ONLINE COMMUNITIES SO I ASKED FOR SOME HELP. ONCE I GOT STARTED THERE WAS SO MUCH STUFF I WAS TRIPPIN’ ABOUT. LIKE: WHO’S CHECKIN’ MY PROFILE, WHO’S MESSAGING ME, WHY AREN’T PEOPLE REQUESTING ME OR LEAVING ME COMMENTS? PRETTY SOON I GOT TIRED OF MYSPACE, AND STARTED DOING OTHER THINGS AND WORRYING ABOUT MY RESPONSABILITIES. SEEING AS MYSPACE IS ALMOST EVERYWHERE, WE ALL MIGHT AS WELL TAKE A BREAK FROM ON LINE BECAUSE MYSPACE AIN’T GOING NO WHERE. FOR YOUTH RADIO I’M LAREA PULLEY, YOU CAN LISTEN TO THIS COMMENTARY AND MORE ON THE WEB AT WWW.YOUTHRADIO.ORG

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JOSHLYN PATRICK/ OFFENSIVE WORDS

DURING THE SLAVERY PERIOD WHITE PEOPLE USED THE “N” WORD TO OFFEND BLACK PEOPLE. THEY LOOKED DOWN UPON BLACKS. THEY THOUGHT BLACKS WERE IGNORANT MONKEYS. NOW SOME PEOPLE THINK IT’S OK TO USE A WORD THAT WAS ONCE USED TO DISRECPECT BLACK PEOPLE. IN MY OPINION, IT’S NEVER OK TO USE THE “N” WORD. I HAVE NEVER BEEN CALLED ONE, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S NOT OFFENSIVE. I HAVE TO ADMIT I DO USE THE WORD SOMETIMES, BUT THAT’S A HABIT I’M TRYING TO BREAK. IF YOU’RE AN AFRICAN AMERICAN USING THE “N” WORD, YOU’RE BASICALLY DEGRADING YOURSELF, YOU DON’T RESPECT YOURSELF. I’M UPSET WHEN I HEAR PEOPLE WALKING DOWN THE STREET REFERRING TO THEMSELVES AND THEIR FRIENDS AS THE “N” WORD. IT’S DISRESPECTFUL. BUT THAT’S NOT THE ONLY DISRESPECTFUL WORD OUT THERE. THERE’S THE “B” WORD ALSO. I DO NOT WANT TO BE REFERRED TO AS A FEMALE DOG. AGAIN, I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT MY FRIENDS AND I DO CALL EACH OTHER THAT, AND THAT IS STILL A HABIT I’M TRYING TO BREAK. ALTHOUGH I MIGHT LAUGH WITH MY FRIENDS WHEN WE CALL EACH OTHER THAT, IN MY HEAD I’M THINKING WHY DO WE SAY THAT WORD. WHY AM I SOMEWHAT OK WITH MY FRIEND CALLING ME THE “B” WORD, BUT I GET UPSET AND WANT TO FIGHT WHEN A DUDE OR SOMEONE WHO IS NOT MY FRIEND CALLS ME THAT WORD. FOR EXAMPLE, ONE DAY I WAS AT THE PARK AND I WAS WITH SOME FRIENDS, AND THIS BOY TRIED TO TALK TO ME AND I DIDN’T WANT TO TALK TO HIM, AND HE GOT UPSET AND CALLED ME THE “B” WORD. I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT. I WAS UPSET, MAD, AND SHOCKED ALL AT THE SAME TIME. THE BOY LEFT AND I WAS JUST SITTING THERE THINKING THAT WAS SO DISRESPECTFUL, BUT THEN I THOUGHT “MY FRIENDS CALL ME THAT WORD ALL THE TIME”. IT MAKES NO SENSE. NO WORD SHOULD BE SO SACRED THAT ONLY A CERTAIN GROUP OF PEOPLE CAN USE THE WORD. IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW YOU SAY, WHO SAYS IT, OR WHO YOU SAY IT TO, THE “N” WORD AND THE “B” WORD IS DISRESPECTFUL, AND NO ONE SHOULD REFER TO ANYONE IN THAT WAY.

FOR YOUTH RADIO, I’M JOSHLYN PATRICK, AND YOU CAN LISTEN TO THIS COMMENTARY AND MORE ON THE WEB WWW.YOUTHRADIO.ORG

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JOSHLYN PATRICK/ IS BEING GAY NOW SAFE

BEING GAY IN THE 1980S WAS NOT SOMETHING YOU TALKED ABOUT. GAYS WERE TARGETED AND LOOKED AT AS A DANGER TO THE PLANET EARTH. GAY MEN WERE LOOKED AT AS THE CATAYLIST OF AIDS. THEY GAVE IT TO EVERYONE ELSE, WHICH IS NOT TRUE. PEOPLE COMMITTED HATE CRIMES TOWARDS ANY GAY PERSON THAT THEY DIDN’T LIKE. IN 1998, MATTHEW SHEPPARD, A JUNIOR IN COLLEGE, WAS KIDNAPPED, ROBBED, TORTURED, AND TIED TO A FENCE IN A RURAL AREA. THEN HIS ATTACKERS LEFT HIM THERE TO DIE. WHEN MATTHEW WAS DISCOVERED HOURS LATER, HE WAS IN A COMA, BUT ALIVE. A FEW DAYS LATER HE NEVER REGAINED CONSCIOUSNESS, HE DIED. THEN IN 2002, GWEN ARAUJO, A TRANSGENDER WOMAN, WHO THOUGHT SHE WAS BORN INTO THE WRONG BODY, WAS BEATEN TO DEATH, AND BURIED IN THE WOODS. A STORY THAT JUST HAPPENED MARCH OF THIS YEAR, TORE ME UP INSIDE. A 15 YEAR OLD GAY BOY, NAMED LAWRENCE KING, WAS OPENLY GAY. HE LET HIS WHOLE SCHOOL KNOW. AT FIRST THE KIDS DIDN’T CARE, UNTIL HE CAME TO SCHOOL WITH HIS NAILS DONE, AND WITH EYELINER AND MASSCARA ON. THEN HE ASKED ONE OF HIS CLASSMATES, A 14 YEAR OLD BOY, TO BE HIS VALENTINE. OF COURSE THE BOY WAS OFFENDED, BUT THAT DOES NOT MAKE UP FOR WHAT HE DID. THE 14 YEAR OLD SHOT LAWRENCE IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD IN THE COMPUTER ROOM. ALL OF THESE STORIES ARE ACTS OF HATE. HATRED TOWARDS PEOPLE WHO JUST HAPPENED TO BE DIFFERENT. OF COURSE THE MURDERERS WERE PROSICUTED AND SENT TO JAIL, BUT THAT DOES NOT BRING BACK THESE PEOPLES LIVES. ALTHOUGH THIS LAST ATTACK HAPPENED RECENTLY, I CANT HELP BUT THINK THAT BEING GAY CAN BE SAFE IN CERTAIN PARTS OF THE WORLD. ESPECIALLY AT MY SCHOOL. I GO TO BERKELEY HIGH, AND A LOT OF THE PEOPLE WHO GO TO THE SCHOOL ARE GAY. AND PEOPLE LOOK AT THEM AS IF THERE’S NOTHING DIFFERENT ABOUT THEM, WHICH IS A GOOD THING. AND NOW THAT GAY MARRIAGE IS LEGAL, I SEE THAT PEOPLE ARE REALLY LOOKING AT BEING GAY AS SOMETHING NORMAL. BUT I CAN’T SAY THAT EVERYONE IS LOOKING AT IT IN A POSITIVE WAY. THERE ARE STILL A LOT OF HOMOPHOBIC PEOPLE OUT THERE. I JUST PRAY THAT PEOPLE WILL SEE THAT YOU CAN’T HELP WHO YOU LOVE. IF YOU FOUND SOMEONE THAT YOU TRULY LOVE AND THEY LOVE YOU BACK, YOU’RE A LUCKY PERSON AND IT SHOULDN’T MATTER WHAT GENDER THEY ARE. SO TO ANSWER THE QUESTION: IS BEING GAY NOW SAFE? I DON’T KNOW. I COULD ONLY PRAY THAT PEOPLE WON’T LOOK AT ME DIFFERENTLY. AND THAT THEY WON’T LOOK AT ME AND SEE HATE.

FOR YOUTH RADIO, I’M JOSHLYN PATRICK. YOU CAN LISTEN TO THIS COMMENTARY AND MORE ON THE WEB WWW.YOUTHRADIO.COM

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AHMINA JAMES/ AFRICAN AMERICAN TRENDSETTER

I BELIEVE THAT AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE TRENDSETTERS IN MUSIC, FASHION, AND DANCE. I KNOW, THERE ARE OTHER ETHINICITIES WHO ARE VERY INVOLVED IN TRENDSETTING. HISPANICS, FOR EXAMPLE, CAME UP WITH REGGEATON. REGGAETON IS ORIGINATED FROM PANAMA. AND IT’S SOUNDS CONSIST OF A MIXTURE OF SALSA, BOMBA, AND LATIN POP, REGGAE, HIP HOP, AND R&B, WHICH TO ME IS VERY CREATIVE, BUT I STILL THINK THAT AFRICAN AMERICANS HAVE MORE PUBLICITY AS FAR AS TRENDSETTING. WHEN IT COMES TO DANCING IN TODAYS GENERATION, ONE OF THE MOST TRENDSETTING ARTISTS IS SOULJA BOY. WHEN HE CAME OUT WITH “CRANK THAT” EVERYONE WAS DOING THE DANCE, FROM KIDS TO GRANDPARENTS. IF YOU GO ON YOUTUBE JUST ABOUT EVERYONE COMES OUT WITH A CRANK THAT SONG AND DANCE. EVEN WITH MY FRIENDS THEY CREATE THEIR OWN CRANK THAT DANCE FOR EVERYTHING THEY DO; WHICH I THINK IS EXTREMELY WHACK. THE REASON I SAY THAT, BECAUSE YOU DON’T NEED TO COME UP WITH A “CRANK THAT” DANCE SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU BRUSHED YOUR TEETH. AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE ALSO TRENDSETTERS IN TERMS OF FASHION, WHEN MC HAMMER CAME OUT WITH THE PARACHUTE PANTS IN THE 80’S EVERYONE STARTED TO WEAR THEM. I’VE NOTICED THAT AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE TRENDSETTERS WHEN IT COMES TO MUSIC. FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN ICE-T CAME OUT WITH “6 N’ THE MORNIN” IN 1986, A SONG THAT WIKIPEDIA CONSIDERS TO BE ONE OF THE FIRST GANGSTA RAP SONG, WHICH I CAN AGREE WITH. I ALSO THINK THAT ICE-T HAD A LOT OF INFLUENCE IN THE WAY RAPPERS PORTRAY THEMSELVES IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY NOW. IT SEEMS LIKE WHEN I TURN ON THE RADIO OR GO ON YOUTUBE SOMEBODY IS TRYING TO BE A GANGSTA RAPPER; WHICH IN MY OPINION IS WHACK AS WELL. NOT EVERYBODY NEEDS TO BE A GANGSTA RAPPER IN ORDER TO MAKE A NAME FOR YOUR SELF, ESPECIALLY SINCE HIP HOP IS VERY DIVERSE. EVEN IN MY GRANDPARENTS TIME AFRICAN AMERICANS HAD A LOT OF INFLUENCE EXSPECIALLY DURING THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE. VERY FAMOUS ENTERTAINNERS SUCH AS JOSEPHINE BAKER, BILL ‘BOJANGLES’ ROBINSON AND BILLY HOLIDAY. I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS WILL CONTINUE CHANGING AND AFRICAN AMERICANS WILL HAVE SOME TYPE OF INFLUENCE IN THAT CHANGE.

I’M AHMINA JAMES WITH A COMMENTARY FOR YOUTH RADIO, YOU CAN LISTEN TO THIS COMMENTARY AND MORE ON THE WEB AT WWW.YOUTHRADIO.ORG

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LIFE CHANGES/KYLE GREENLIE

I’M 16 YEARS OLD AND I’M JUST STARTING TO THINK OF WHAT COLLEGES I WANT TO ATTEND, MY FUTURE GOALS, AND WHAT I WANT TO PURSUE IN LIFE. WHEN I WAS YOUNGER ONE OF MY FRIENDS WHO BARELY MANAGED TO GRADUATE FROM BERKLEY HIGH WAS ABLE TO CHANGE HIS LIFE AROUND AND ATTEND A FOUR YEAR COLLEGE. DURING HIGH SCHOOL HIS COUNSELOR HAD LITTLE HOPES TO SEE HIM GRADUATE FROM A UNIVERSITY. BUT DURING HIS WINTER BREAK HE THOUGHT HARD ABOUT WHAT HIS COUNSELOR HAD SAID. HE WAS TOLD THAT BEING AN AFRICAN AMERICAN THE CHANCES OF SUCCEEDING WERE ALREADY SLIM. HOWEVER, WITH PRAYER, FAITH IN GOD, AND SOME CONFIDENCE HE GRADUATED COLLEGE WITH HONORS AND WAS VALIDICTORIAN OF HIS CLASS WITH A 3.75 GPA. SOON AFTER HE RECEIVED CALLS WITH JOB OPENINGS IN ENGINEERING WHICH LANDED HIS CURRENT JOB AT M.I.T. MY FRIEND WENT BACK TO HIS COMMUNITY, TALKED TO YOUNG PEOPLE ON HOW GOD HAD CHANGED HIS LIFE AROUND FROM NOTHING TO SOMETHING. THAT’S WHY NOW, MY FRIEND’S STORY HAS MOTIVATED ME TO ACOMPLISH MY GOALS AND DREAMS. MY GOAL IS TO COMPLETE HIGH SCHOOL NOT JUST PASSING; I WANT TO PASS WITH SATIFYING GRADES. WHEN I GET OLDER I WANT TO DO MORE WITH JOURNALISM AND MAKE A CAREER IN THAT POSTION AND TAKE IT FARTHER THAN BEFORE. I ALSO WANT TO GO TO A GOOD FOUR YEAR COLLEGE WERE I COULD GET A GOOD EDUCATION THAT WILL GET ME ONE STEP TO ACCOMPLISH MY DREAMS. DOING THESE THINGS LIKE ACCOMPLISHING MY GOALS AND DREAM IT WOULD DEFINALTLY BE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT TO MY FAMILY AND THE PEOPLE THAT ARE IN MY C0MMMUNTITY, AND JUST LIKE MY FRIEND I WANT TO GO BACK TO MY COMMUNITY AND SHARE MY SUCCESS IN HOPE TO ENLIGHT ANOTHER YOUNG PERSON WITHIN MY COMMUNITY.

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