Wow, can't thank CAAM (Center for Asian American Media) Momo Chang and Roger Viet Chung enough for reminding me to take my family to see this incredible performance/film about what it means to be both fully Black and Asian. Still taking it all in. The cast gave so much of their full story and heart. I don't think I've ever been to a more affirming event in my life recently (culturally,ethnically). Wanted to ask a bunch of qs of the cast but could not find the right words and I like talking. A lot! Still processing. But anyone who has felt the pull between two races, nationalities, countries, religions or more can identify with some of the stories in this film/performance. if you come across them at a theater, HBCU, college, go see them! http://www.blasianproject.org Thank you ethnic studies gods for bringing this to light. All of my grand parents would have been very profoundly moved as I am. I asked the tween if he liked it and he said "eh, yeah I guess".
It’s hard to predict the level of protectiveness I would feel as a parent before this child was here. Actually it is hard to imagine the level of protectiveness I’ll feel with each developmental change. I think one of the things that amazed me so much when I became a dad was the level of fragility I felt. I wanted to shield and protect. I realized there was so much destructiveness in this world.
Kids are vulnerable to a lot with or without a guardian. Some of the danger we can control like a broken glass bottle in their path, or skipping a film you know is R rated. But some experiences we can’t even see. Humiliation, betrayal, or hurt feelings; how do you prepare a kid for that? I mean, you can prep them. Give them a pep talk. But there really is no way to learn how to cope with tough issues until you face them. So, many times recently because of a change in my co-parenting plan (involving him living away from me) I have felt an ever growing urge to arm my son. I mean physically and mentally arm him. Like Neo in the Matrix! I wish I could download kung fu, conflict resolution, or cooking lessons on fried rice.
I think of putting all the necessary items in his backpack before he embarks on a journey. And yet I can’t. I can prepare him a little, but I can’t give him armor so that the harsh blows of reality wont stun him too much. As a guardian or parent, have you ever felt this way? Like you’re not giving a child enough to equip them for this thing called life? What is something you wish your parents had given you?
At least I can say I started the downloading of martial arts. I enrolled him in a kung fu class and as evil as it sounds, I can’t wait til’ he starts sparring and gets whacked, and hits back in a safe environment.
A couple of months ago I was given the opportunity to do some editorial illustration for a new print and online publication called SF Sounds which covers music, culture, entertainment, culture, and politics in the Bay Area and beyond. Shout out to Matthew and Eric for the opportunity. Please read the full article on dating in the Bay.
A bit of process....
Ashay By The Bay now has a shop in Oakland. Go to 1411 Webster Street, Oakland, California 94589
Ok, here are some awesome bookstores run by independent families and creatives where you can purchase "Furqan's First Flat Top". Also, for those who would like to get the book into your library locally, you can tell your library that the book is available through "Brodart Company" which sells books directly to libraries nationwide! So, go to your local library or bookstore and request it please. Also, go to these independent bookstores and patronize them, so that we continue to have bookstores run by people.
In New Orleans, you can purchase the book at "Community Book Center" 2523 Bayou Rd, New Orleans, LA 70119 or on facebook.
St.Louis-Missouri Please go to https://www.eyeseeme.com/ 7827 Olive Blvd, University City, MO 63130
Berkeley, CA-Go to http://mrmopps.net/books/ 1405 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Berkeley, CA 94709
Also in Berkeley, CA- www.mrsdalloways.com 2904 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705
Phoenix, Arizona- www.palabrasbookstore.com 1023 Grand Ave b, Phoenix, AZ 85007
Baltimore, Maryland- https://redemmas.org 30 W North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201
Washington D.C. - www.sankofa.com/ 2714 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
Online/International- www.Booklandiabox.com A bilingual subscription service for spanish
If you're in the town (Oakland) you can also get the book at E14 gallery run by the East Side fam. Go to https://www.e14gallery.com 472 Ninth St Oakland, CA 94607
National distributor-www.brodart.com/ Based in Williamsport Pennsylvania they have been doing books for over
75 years. Hereyou can get your local library to purchase books from through them. Some folks like to
purchase through a distributor, so there you go.
If any one has questions about getting the book or getting it into your local spot please email me at
And please share the book trailer with your folks.
Jessica Matthews is inventing new ways to make use of everyday happiness to produce energy. Jessica is from Poughkeepsie New York. Her parents are Nigerian and she is a dual citizen in the US and Nigeria. She is a graduate of Harvard and is an inventor. I found Jessica through Blavity's "Afro-Tech" conference which highlighted Black folks doing amazing things in the tech world. While in school, Jessica used some of her course work and projects to create a project that would be inspired by her many visits to family in Nigeria. Millions of people live without regular electricity, something I take for granted. They use kerosene lamps and gasoline powered generators. Jessica found a way to use a soccer ball to generate electricity. After many prototypes she invented a soccer ball called "Soccket" that when played with generates and stores electricity that can later be used with lights, cell phones, radios, etc. Since the invention, she taught herself some things about electrical engineering and she co-founded a company called "Un-charted Play" that re-envisions everyday objects like a luggage wheel, jumprope, pants (rubbing together), and the soccket to create electricity. Jessica has been featured in various publications and invited to many places such as Forbes, The White House, the Harvard Foundation, and Black Enterprise.
You can purchase this original piece ($40 includes shipping) by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Blavity/Afro Tech, The Aspen Institute, UnchartedPlay.com
Sources: We Code Harvard, Medium, Mercedes Benz, Twitter, triketora.com
You can purchase this piece, email me at email@example.com $40 (includes shipping) , i will donate a portion to Tracy's next mission to promote diversity.
Kimberly Bryant is the founder of "Black Girls Code". She is an electrical engineer from Memphis, Tennessee born in 1967. She earned her degree at Vanderbilt college and began working for companies like Westinghouse, DuPont, Pfizer, and Genentech. But Parenthood has a way of opening your eyes to things that were not as noticeable before. BGC was founded because Kimberly's daughter took an interest in computer programming, but could not find a program as diverse as her city. So, she made one. It started in Oakland in 2011 at the HUB with Bryant teaching her daughter and some of her friends some basic coding. It has expanded to other cities in the Bay Area and has gone across the U.S. teaching young women of color in more inclusive spaces that reflect them rather than turn them away. If you are unaware, in the last 3-4 years large tech companies we use everyday started releasing their numbers and much to the tech communities surprise the number of Black folks and people of color were tiny. Founding BGC was a ground breaking move because it helped spark a conversation in the Black community, a movement of girls of all backgrounds to get into coding, and it helped Bryant secure funding to bring the program internationally. If you can see it, you can be it. And if an invite is extended people will come. Kimberly has been recognized by Forbes Magazine, Business Insider, the White House, Fast Co, Tech Crunch, and more.
You can purchase this original piece ( 8"x8" mixed media on paper) email at firstname.lastname@example.org. A portion will be donated to BGC!
Sources: SF Chronicle, BlackGirlsCode.org, Wikipedia
Ruth Asawa was born on a farm in southern California in 1926. She and her family were interned around the time of World War two. When she could, she left to study at the Milwaukee Teachers College. Later she would spend time at La Universidad de Mexico. In Mexico and while interned she learned to make art with whatever materials she could find around her. After Mexico she studied at an experimental college called Black Mountain great artists such as Ora Williams and Willem de Kooning. She made at continuously from a very early age up until when she passed. She is most famous for her sculptures of orb like tear drops that sit or hang from the ceiling. But she also created large scale metal sculptures, some of which still stand today in San Francisco. Her work is abstract to me. In addition to making art, she also served as an arts advocate for the city of SF, and for arts programs in schools. She helped garner funding and start art programs in schools. She had six children and passed away in 2013. Her work has been exhibited countless times and is still in collections and being viewed today.
You can purchase this original $40, 8"x8" mixed media on paper, please email at email@example.com
Sources: Kqed, Oakland Museum, Wikipedia, http://www.ruthasawa.com/
Yolanda Lopez is a Xicana artist from San Diego, California. She was born in 1942 and came to San Francisco in the late 60s around the time of some serious social movements with the Panthers, recent the United Farm Workers, and the SF State strike to put in ethnic studies in the school (which she was involved in). The first time I saw Yolanda's work as a painter it was "La Virgin" piece that she did of a woman running with a flag using the same backdrop as the famous "Virgin de Guadalupe". This painting was part of a series depicting every day women of color and it hit because there were not many artists depicting brown women like that. The next time I saw her work was the famous illustration of an indigenous Aztec man pointing with the quote "who's the illegal alien pilgrim?!". That blew my mind when I saw it, because I'd heard folks talk about Raza that way, but never saw someone flip it on Europeans. In addition to being an illustrator/painter she produced films too! in fact she is also an amazing photographer. Most recently at the Mission Cultural Center I saw some of her photos of homegirls hanging out, from car clubs, probably some who were family too. Her photos provided a glimpse into San Francisco and Xican@ culture that I'd never seen before so vividly in photographs. She is an inspiring artist and a teacher of many. And her son Rio happens to be a dope artist and human being too.
You can purchase this original piece $40, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 8"x8" mixed media on paper
Sources: http://mamiverse.com/, Wikipedia, Mission Cultural Center
This is dope! First it was Marley Dias, now Sidney makes an organization called "Books n Bros"
Heres a link to the VIBE Article about the boy and here's a link to a radio interview with Sidney and his mother.
Kara was born in Stockton California in 1969. She grew up there until she went to college at Atlanta College or Art, and later Rhode Island School of Design. She is currently a professor at Columbia in NYC. The first time I saw Kara's work was at Parsons in New York City while finishing up my BFA there. Her piece "event horizon" caught my eye and it wasn't until I was taken on a tour of art galleries in Chelsea that I saw an entire show of her work. There I was blown away because I'd never seen someone do art like that. I kept wondering how the hell she got these uppity art folks to let her get down like that, speaking on racism and the treatment of Black folks in such a in your face, no apologies, satirical way. Kara has worked as a painter, but she's best known for the paper cut outs she's done. Most recently, her show "Domio Sugar" had hella people I know posting about its use of similar subject matter and the scale to which she took the sculptures. She's had over 40 solo exhibitions in places like Oakland, Austria, The UK, Spain, Italy, and so many other places across the U.S.
You can purchase this piece. Email me at email@example.com 8"x8" mixed media on paper
Sources: Art 21, Wikipedia, WalkerArt.org
Lucia is one of the greatest fighters to step into the ring. Hailing from the Netherlands, Rijker was born in 1967. She started fighting at the age of six beginning her training in Judo, moving on to fencing, kickboxing, and boxing. As a muay thai kickboxer she has over 37 fights, 36 wins, 25 by knock out, and one draw. As a boxer she had 17 fights , 14 she won by knock out. She was the subject of a documentary called "Shadowboxing" about women in boxing and has appeared as a fighter in the film "Million Dollar Baby" and various other films and tv series. She was inducted into the international hall of fame. She has fought fighters from all over the world and has amassed a collection of titles starting in the early 80's and lasting until she retired in 2007. Looking at footage of her fight I see extreme power and intense focus. Besides lending her expertise and voice to this day she is also a practicing buddhist.
If you would like to purchase this piece please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , 8"x8" mixed media on paper.
Sources: Shadow Boxers (film), Sporteology.com, doghouseboxing.com, Wikipedia
Lady Sensei is a black belt in ninjutsu and has earned several other ranks in weapons and self defense training. She has been studying martial arts for 10 years and started training as a student of the great Ronald Duncan. In addition to her martial arts training, she is a licensed firearm carrier and shooter. And she has skills in de-escalation of conflicts. She teaches and is still training in martial arts. She is one of the highest ranked women in martial arts today.
If you would like to purchase this piece, please email me at email@example.com $40 (includes shipping)
Sources: Ladysensei.com, ancientfuturecollective.com
Born in 1988 in Rudbar, Gilan- Iran. Khoshjamal-Fekri is an olympic winning Taekwondo fighter. She has fought in Germany, China, Thailand, Korea, England, Iran, and many more places. She started competing in 2006 at the age of 18 and has won several bouts. But more interesting and important, she is the first Iranian woman to qualify and represent Iran in Taekwondo.
I started this series of illustrations for Women's history month last year and plan to continue doing them for this year 2017. I invite any of you (artist or not) to join me in celebrating women from all walks of life, religions, genders, and nationalities. In light of the current climate of prejudice, racism, sexism, and more against Middle Eastern and African folks, Muslims, and women I would like to start off the month with some fighters to highlight their achievements and to promote self defense and "take no shit" attitude from anyone no matter who they are or what office they occupy attitude. Keep fighting back. Kick ass! Celebrating women of the past and present. Tag or mention someone who is a fighter (w/words, fists, paint brushes, etc)
If you would like to purchase this piece, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org $40 (includes shipping)
Sources: Wikipedia, taekwondodata.com,