Putting the Neighbor Back in the Hood: The Good and the Bad of a Changing Neighborhood

Usually in the United States, when an urban neighborhood experiences real business development and growth it usually means the displacement of the poorer families who lived in it before this investment or gentrification. These videos show different people’s views on what normally happens:

“Community is only relevant because of people” — Kai, There’s No Place Like Home

“Gentrification is not the same as Revitalization”–Stacey Sutton, “What What Don’t Understand about Gentrification” TEDX

Lord Jamar and Sadat X on Gentrification in NYC , “Where there is more money there is more care for the people.”

But is this what has to happen? The group Purpose Built Communities is trying a different approach using community health, mixed development and a holistic approach to education that focuses on pre-k to early college to revitalize whole communities.

We can do something like this in Baltimore. Watch: East Lake, Atlanta

Join us Saturday, February 21 at the Terra Café in a discussion about community development and putting the neighbor back in the hood.

#cohousebaltimore #GMGPSHOW #ShameekaDream2015 #beautifullbaltimore #PuttingtheNeighborBackintheHood #Terracafebaltimore

–Love Love

Where in the World is Shameeka Dream?

Here’s your first clue:

Here’s your second clue:

If you guessed Jacksonville, Florida you’re right. She’s continuing a tour that started earlier last year to make the Monument Quilt’s goal of blanketing one mile of the National Mall a reality while bringing hope and healing to countless survivors of rape and abuse. Read all about her journey through her own words here.

Help reach the goal of #1000quiltsby415.

Also join us as we continue Conversations Around Consent Saturday, April 4 at Terra Café. This conversation will be focused on helping young people navigate consent and make healthy relationship choices.

#GMGPSHOW #WhereintheworldisShameekaDream #ShameekaDream2015 #conversationsaroundconsent.

–Love Love

We Can Be Neighbors, Cohouse With Us

What is cohousing you ask? The Cohousing Association of the United States define it as “a type of intentional, collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their neighborhoods.” It’s not giving up privacy. It’s private houses with shared open spaces, courtyards and common facilities.

Pedestrian Street, Lancaster Cohousing; Found on reshaped.uk.com

Pedestrian Street, Lancaster Cohousing; Found on reshaped.uk.com

Why do we have to make it work on our own. I agree with Talib Kweli when he said “Get yours first, them other niggaz secondary. That type of illin’ that be fillin’ up the cemetery”. Why do we insist on trying to do this on our own? I want to return to a style of life that embodies the African proverb of it takes a village.

I want to live with and near friends. I want my home, my neighborhood to be a refuge. I want to share in the experience of parenting with like minded parents. I want to walk outside and be in a beautiful place. I want to develop my community.

People all over the world are doing just that. They’re harnesting the power of collaborative planning to develop their own communities in partnership. Examples of this can be found in small communities in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver and Colorado and Lancaster, etc.

If we work together we can create the community we desire. Join us on Saturday, Feb 21 from 1 to 3 pm at Terra Café to discuss community building through development. Let’s discuss Putting the Neighbor Back in the Hood:

  1. What’s an ideal community?
  2. How do you buy property as a collective?
  3. What do you need to turn around a community successfully?
  4. What are attributes of an ideal community?
  5. What do you contribute to your current community?
  6. What do you need in a community?
  7. What do you know about community development?

#cohousebaltimore #GMGPSHOW #ShameekaDream2015 #beautifullbaltimore #PuttingtheNeighborBackintheHood #Terracafebaltimore

–Love Love

Urban Cohousing in Portland; Found on capitolhillseattle.com

Urban Cohousing in Portland; Found on capitolhillseattle.com

Read more about cohousing:

The basics

In London

vancouver's low-income housing made of recycled shipping containers; http://www.designboom.com/architecture/vancouvers-low-income-housing-made-of-recycled-shipping-containers/

Vancouver’s low-income housing made of recycled shipping containers; http://www.designboom.com/architecture/vancouvers-low-income-housing-made-of-recycled-shipping-containers

First in a Series of #ConversationsAroundConsent Gives Us Food For Thought

Good Music Good People Show hosted Conversations Around Consent at Terra Cafe in Baltimore on Saturday, January 3, 2015. It was a lively discussion and the point that is clear is that the conversation is very necessary. 

Before the actual event, we asked some questions via social media, and got MANY responses! Super EXTRA SHOUT OUT to DJ BLACKROOT (so dubbed by Marc Evans) for contributing over a dozen songs to the list! Such songs as….

Look out for a link to the playlist that we are creating from the submissions!

Some of the major takeaways from Conversations Around Consent

were:

  • we need more conversations around consent. Many people want a quick clear yes with an explanation of what yes is/looks like, but do not always know what that looks like from person to person. We need to cultivate safe spaces for conversations to happen so that men and women can define, educate, and mitigate discrepancies in their perspectives and meet on common ground, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or proclivities.

  • we need to create a bridge between younger and older people. Young people are saying that they are starting the conversations around consent on their own via social media channels such as tumblr, but really want guidance in these conversations around consent and moving forward.

  • we need to know what loving and respecting ourselves look like first in order to understand our own boundaries and what consent means to us. We need peer sex educators, particularly for high school students. Also, we need to push the conversations forward, and to advocate for consent education to be a part of sex education curriculum in schools.

The parting question is one YOU can answer as well… What are your sexual commitments to yourself this year? Post your comments below, and share this article! Reblog it so that others can start to participate in this conversation as well!

What is Good Music Good People Show doing?

  • We are listening! That is why the next #conversationsaroundconsent is already scheduled for April 7! This time, we will be talking about bridging the generational gaps, based on feedback and demands from one young man at the first conversation.

Calls to Action

  • Research! Look for articles, new reports, and first-hand accounts related to consent, and the many issues surrounding it. Better yet, focus on a point that resonates with you, and become a specialist. This is especially true in terms of how you get involved/contribute.

  • Share! Talk to your friends, family, and peers/colleagues about consent. What are their understandings of the term/issue? What questions do they have? Have they been impacted by an issue around consent? How? Do they need support in some way? What resources do they need? Share what you find, your questions, and your thoughts! Make sure you tag with #conversationsaroundconsent so that everyone can have access to the information!

Special acknowledgements to Hannah Brancato, co-founder of Force and the Monument Quilt for helping to educate where we were less informed, Sharon Immatellmuva Childs, for inviting Good Music Good People Show into Terra Cafe, and to all of the participants in the conversation, for pushing up to learn more and do more about sparking #conversationsaroundconsent!

Conversations Around Consent

Consent FlyerJoin us in Conversations Around Consent.

What is consent? Is it always clear between two people? The New York Times recently wrote an article, “Accusers and the Accused, Crossing Paths at Columbia”. The article highlighted an incident where a young woman accused a male student of rape. Columbia cleared the young man of responsibility. The young woman, in an effort to make the university and other students see the pain she carried began carrying around her mattress with the words “carry that weight” taped on it. This sparked a large movement across multiple campuses. What’s interesting and necessary to discuss is that not surprisingly both students have very different views of what happened and both feel like the university let them down. She feels he should have minimally been removed from campus and he feels as if she has been allowed to create a movement where a large sect of the community has publically bullied him for something he has been cleared of. Read the entire article here.

This incident begs the question–how are we preparing young people to navigate these tricky situations. When you have “the talk” with you kids, does consent come up as part of it? Is consent part of the sex education curriculum in schools? Should it be? All too often when discussing these very complex situations, there’s a tendency, if discussed at all, to focus on the obvious and the stranger. But what is really needed is a discussion on how to handle situations that involve those people who are close, who we know, who we trust. While calculating the frequency is fraught with challenges, estimates indicate that 1 in 7 women will experience some sort of sexual assault before they graduate college. When choosing a college for yourself or your kids do you think about sexual safety or the university’s practices as it relates to this?

There have been groups like Ultra Violet pushing for including how a university handles  sexual assault allegations as part of the college rankings that groups like the Princeton Review puts out. Read more here.

Also, these conversations have a tendency to be one-sided. When the truth is that they are very complex. It’s vital that we have the same conversations with our young men and our young women and are inclusive of our young people who are involved in same sex relationships as they have the same level of complexities when  it comes to these  issues.

Join us Saturday, January 3 from 1 to 3 pm at the Terra Café located on 101 E. 25th Street to continue the discussion.

For now post your comments and thoughts below, on our facebook page, our facebook group, or send  to us @ GMGPSHOW on twitter.

Prelude 2 Procrastination… A Review and Interview in 3 parts

Prelude 2 Procrastination, the debut EP by Black Root, is a breath of fresh air.  From beatboxing to emceeing, to singing, go-go to blues to hip-hop, the album is replete with hotness.  We were blessed to sit down with Black Root and Wendel Patrick, who produced the album, for a conversation about being artists, how this project happened, what stereotypical is, and integrity among artists.

This article is written in 3 parts.  The first is simple- an album review.  In parts 2 and 3, we will dissect the interview, and some of the issues that came out of it.  So, without further procrastination, the album…..

It starts with an introduction that surprises me because I was not expecting so much- so MUCH.  Prelude 2 Procrastination is that funny commentary on the project itself.  Wendel Patrick’s production, starting with the ridiculous beatbox and harmonies that create the track to the title piece- I won’t even START with the inclusion of a didgeridoo.

Let me back up to…. the album artwork itself.  Between Tya Anthony ‘s photography and Stan Robinson’s graphic design, it is clear that Black Root is very concerned with the quality of his presentation- no wonder he procrastinated; sometimes quality takes time, lol!  Yeah, I had to make that quick note- now back to the album.

Rock 2 It takes you UP!  The intricate lyrics, coupled with a RIDICULOUS track that reminds me of Jimmy Hendrix and Prince shedding with some bad ass musicians in a basement just because they feel like making music.  Why?  Because Quinton Randall, one of my FAVORITE guitarists EVER (he doesn’t know it though) is SLAYING the riff.  The lyrics are distributed to the populous and make you rock 2 it, like he says.  Black Root throws in wisdom, like knowing where your money is going, working out, disagreeing peaceably, and recognizing that the sky is the limit.  There’s more- being an emcee versus “rapping” and- nah, I’ll let you listen to it to get all of the magic.  The boom bap is unmistakably hip hop, but the musicianship and talent is beyond genres.

PG Representative actually reminds me of Substantial, for two reasons- one, the obvious, these emcees truly represent for Prince George’s County (that’s what the PG is, for New Yorkers, and pretty much everybody not from the DMV).  Next, the hop skip and jumping that happens over the beat while giving you something to move to and think about.  And… let me not forget the list of almost all things PG (Parasuco’s, go-go, and more)!  Make sure you listen until the end to hear a virtual who’s who of the arts scene in Baltimore…

And then he sings.  My Mom’s Hands, a blues tinged ode to the lessons and methods Black Root’s mom imparted,reveals a surprise- Black Root can sing!  His voice is smooth and deep, extremely masculine yet filled with the emotion of a heart filled with adoration and respect.  His mom’s hands clearly helped to mold this brother, who identifies as a father, husband, cousin, brother, grandson, nephew, friend, rapper/emcee, teaching artist, musician, and personal trainer.  She urged him to police himself, which he does- you can always seek council from him from a man’s perspective and know that the response is well thought out, unbiased, and honest.

The final track of this EP- I Be is a return to the Black Root that I initially heard of- the spoken word artist.  He runs through the gammut of non-cliche metaphors that will kill your entire paragraph with his thesis statement.  It’s a one-way ticket to a dictionary if you are not well-read, and it might take you a few months to realize how intricate and well-thought out the verses are- his turns a computer keyboard and social media hotspots into nouns, verbs, and direct objects, and gives punctuation lessons in the same rhyme!  I do wish the tongue twister led to an entire song- I rocked that much 2 it!

The five-track EP makes you wish he wasn’t procrastinating the full release- but you can play it on repeat until he does.  Give thanks to Black Root for making good music!

Make sure to return for parts 2 and 3!

Click here to listen to and buy Prelude 2 Procrastination