Tag Archives: Oakland

WE ARE ALL OSCAR GRANT……..

14 Jun

PHOTO BY T.A.E. HOFFMAN .....WE ARE ALL OSCAR GRANT

Sunday I went to the rally held in downtown Oakland protesting the release of Johannes Mehserle , the Bart cop who murdered Oscar Grant in front of crowds transiting through Fruitvale Station early morning New Years day 2009. I am a recent resident of California and an even more recent resident of Oakland. I live in the Fruitvale area and I was sickened and saddened the more I came to know about this particular miscarriage of justice. All the same, and I hate to say it, but this is not anything new.  Desensitization is at an all time high and  I can say from personal experience that the barrage of blatant abuses of our human and civil rights can be numbing. It seems like every time I turn around there is another story about police brutality. Another life gone. Another exclusive clip taken from a security camera or cell phone of the police beating the crap out of young black and brown men and women ,or a wheelchair bound drunks, or in instances like the tragedy that took place at the Fruitvale Bart, murdering unarmed civilians. Being someone who has felt outrage concerning the wrongful deaths  and beatings of my people at the hands of thugs with badges,  and the system’s disregard for the value of our LIVES,  I wanted to go and be a physical presence at this event.

It was peaceful with few casualties, as I believe there were a few arrests made during the march to downtown.  The experience was phenomenal for the most part. There were some low points. There were a few folks that seemed motivated to grab the mic for personal gain rather than being genuinely moved by the sentiment of the occasion. Mistah Fab was pretty much booed during his whole speech and the crowd momentarily dipped into bicker mode when a young man stepped to the mic calling people out for getting on Mistah Fab’s case. Overall I picked up on a sense of people wanting to feel the heat and fire of protest but not necessarily wanting to listen to people who stepped to the podium and spoke with general calm and introspection.

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STREET ART [TELEGRAPH AVE]

30 Mar

Been taking the photography a little more seriously and actually getting out to do some test shots. Right now I have no formal training, but I’ve been working on subject matter and composition. Lighting and other techniques will come later. I’m working with a Nikon Cool Pix, so the quality isn’t that great, but I still like the end results. These were taken a couple of months ago during my first stroll down Telegraph Ave in Oakland.  Oakland has a beautiful street art culture. There’s so much passion and creativity on display on trash cans, walls, newspaper dispensers; it’s very inspiring. The imagery in these three pieces was very powerful to me. I have an affinity for R.I.P murals as morbid as that might be. You can sense the love that goes into the creation of something like that. It’s truly a monumental way to honor the passing of a loved one, and everyone who has the chance to view that feels that energy in one way or another. This is an ongoing series so I’l be posting more pics soon. 

Artist Unknown

 

Artist Unknown

 

R.I.P Anthony Fossett

California Dreamin…..

21 Jun

 Found these dope photos by RJ Shaughnessy from his set entitled “Oakland”. They struck me because Oakland will soon be my city of residence and I’m more than ready to get out there. I’ve never lived anywhere outside of North Carolina so I figured I better do it big if I was going to do it at all. I had been thinking about making a move to the west coast for a while, about a year,  and I had a coversation with a co-worker in May that changed my life.   See I had put a very precise plan into place that involved me waiting around for another year or two, getting an apartment and saving up money to move. I mentioned something about trying to wait for the ‘right time’ and she says, “You know it will never be the right time as long as you stay, we both know this place is a black hole. Sometimes you just gotta get up and go.” and I thought to myself, “You know what, she’s right.” You’d have to be from my city to understand , but what she said hit home. Don’t get me wrong Fayetteville is cool, the experience of growing up in a military town has been valuable to me. I grew up with kids from all 50 states, of all different nationalities, all bringing a little somthing different to the table. On the flip side, Fayetteville is a place of many stuggles; poverty, violence, racism (despite all the multi-culturalness) just to name a few. My biggest dilemma is that the city just isn’t designed to support someone who wants to grow professionally in the arts or entertainment industries. The biggest vocational opportunities down here are in the armed forces, or any technical field like nursing or electrical engineering. To be honest, the thought of moving so far away from my homebase makes me a little apprehensive but, I believe that risk-taking is a necessity for a life well lived.