Find a hole. Go through it.

It’s about finding a hole, and going through it.

I realized that when I was on the freeway. Standing on Interstate 880. With about 200 other people.

Image

I promise I didn’t plan on being there.

I just wanted to finish my article, eat the burrito I had purchased at noon and then go watch the Home Run Derby.

I knew Cespedes would show out on the baseball field that night. I just knew it. The plan was to make a beeline to a TV. It was 6pm. I had a couple of minutes before the Derby started.

I had just finished recording a story on Trayvon Martin for a local NPR affiliate, a radio station named KQED. On top of that, other news outlets filmed me recording. San Francisco’s CBS outlet and NBC Bay Area were there. They initially came to do a story on how Youth Radio’s facility on the corner of 17th and Broadway had been damaged during the protests the night before, but both outlets did stories with slightly different angles.

After I did the interviews with both crews, I made my move.

I walked on to Broadway, and saw a bunch of people marching toward the police station. My journalistic instincts took over. Within seconds I was marching along, camera in hand, choosing which angle would give me the best photo.

Image

I followed the march down to the police station. They stopped and rallied at the station for all of five minutes– enough time to backup traffic coming off of the freeway.  And when the protesters stopped the traffic, they took advantage:  they walked on to the freeway. And I followed. ( I’m a journalist, what do you expect?)

Image

It was a successful protest. It disrupted the flow of the post work traffic. It made people take notice. It made the helicopters reroute to get a good shot.

But I was there first.

On the freeway! Burrito in my backpack. Missing the home run derby. Taking photos.

The excitement of being on the freeway was crazy. All I tweeted was “this shit is crazy.”

In the midst of my color commentary on the situation, “this shit is crazy” summed it all up.

Image

Image

And then the cops came…

I was reporting. I had been reporting all day. But when the cops came, I knew there would be no way to separate myself from any of the other people on that freeway.

So, I looked to evacuate. Expeditiously .

Everyone moved. It was an exodus!

I ran towards the next exit, just as everyone else did. From Broadway toward Jackson St.  And then we realized we were trapped. There were cop cars coming up the Jackson St. ramp, and cops on feet blocking the Broadway exit.

There was a small gap between the off ramp off and the freeway. The dirt hill with the steep grade was a risk to slide down, but I went for it. And people followed.

Image

After jumping the gap, we slid down the hill.

Image

Image

Image

Image

And that’s all it’s about.

Finding a hole. And going through it.

So others can follow your lead.

Image

After I took a couple more photos, got away from the crowd.

I found a place where I could sit down, enjoy my burrito while the Home Run Derby was on. At a local bar, you know– a hole in the wall.

6 East Coast Rap Songs 4 the Hard Times

 

East Coast Rap

East Coast rap is the most graphic musical example of “the struggle” of Black America since the invention of the Blues. period.

Here is a short list of some of the songs I let rock during the hard times…

Ghostface Killah’s “All That I got is You”

classic line:  “check it: 15 of us in a 3 bedroom apartment/ roaches everywhere/ cousins and aunts was there/ 2 at the foot, 2 at the head/I didn’t like to sleep with Jon-Jon/ he peed in bed.”

KRS-1’s “Love’s Gonna get’cha”

classic line: “I got 3 pairs of pants, and with brother I share/ so there in school- Im made a fool: with 1 1/2 pairs of pants you ain’t cool!”

Jay-Z’s “Anything”

Classic Line: “from the stoop, to the big dudes stopping us from playing hoops/ and us getting mad, throwing rocks off the roof”

Freeway’s  “what we do”

classic line: “if my heat stop working/ then my heat start working/…IMMA ROB ME A PERSON!”

Notorius B.I.G.’s “Everyday Struggle”

classic line: “I know how it feels to wake up fucked up/ Pockets broke as hell, another rock to sell/ People look at you like you’re the user /Selling drugs to all the losers mad Buddha abuser.”

DMX’s “Slippin”

Classic line(S): *This is one of my top 5 favorite songs of all time, therefore its hard for me to choose just a couple of lyrics- this whole song is exemplifies inner city juvenile struggle to a tee…but if there are any lines that stand out, these two would be them:

“I’m ready for the world or at least I thought I was/ Baggin’ niggas when I caught a buzz/ For thinking about how short I was”

” Sayin’ to myself that could’ve been yo ass on the TV/ Believe me it could be done something’s got to give/ It’s got to change cause I’ve got a son/ I’ve got to do the right thing for shorty/ And that means no more getting high drinking forties”