Category Archives: WRTGs17

HOME: Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

 

I remember just like it was yesterday how damn good it felt to be home. Or at least what what like home to me. I took this picture standing in the ocean in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. The journey to Providenciales became quite a soul searching journey for me. A lot of terrible things happened to me when I was on the island and a lot of beautiful and spectacular things happened to me while I was on the island. Despite the good, bad and in between I got so much closer to finding out whom I truly was and who I am meant to be. I have always been proud of being black, my racial identity is something I’ve held very close to my heart and cared very much about, On the other hand, I like many other black people in America do not know my ethnicity due to the history of slavery. I could be Jamaican, Somali, Sudanese, Nigerian, Trinidadian, Native, Guyanese, Cuban, Malian, etc. but me and my ancestors were robbed of that knowledge after my people were sold into slavery. So rather than being proud to represent my ethnic heritage, I was left with the choice to be proud of my racial identity, that was socially constructed by the white man and when people ask me what I am I simply respond….. ”I am black” not because Im trying to be secretive or curt but simply  because that is all that I know.

Due to this dilemma, my sister and I chose to do some research on our family history as much as we possibly could and it led us to this beautiful, stunning, miraculous place of Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. We found that more than likely, this is the place of our ethnic heritage and background. Given my last name “Tucker” which in itself is a slave name, most of the people sold into slavery and sent to North Carolina were from the Turks and Caicos Islands with the last name “Tucker” which why everyone on the Island thought that my sister and I were locals. Besides that evidence of the last name, my sister and I physically looked like all of the Islanders, the women had small, muscular frames with beautiful dark skin. The men looked just like my father, tall, broad shoulders, large eyes, strong cheekbones and dark skin. Although never having been to this place, it was ridiculously familiar to me, the people, the music, the food, the dress, the slang, everything just felt like I was suppose to be here and it was only a return rather than a visit.

When I look at this picture, I can still tasted the fresh Conch that Skylar and I would go diving in the ocean for and pull out of the water to eat raw. When I look at this picture I still remember dancing my heart out at the junkanoo every Thursday night with the island calypso and soca music and waking up to the sun hitting my face early mornings, when I look at this picture I am reminded that Providenciales, Turks and Caicos is HOME.

Problematic Pura Vida Bracelets

When I saw this ad on Facebook I was disgusted. It made me sick to my stomach. I don’t care what the heck they’re selling, this person in the ad has and Om symbol in his/her foot. How dare they? How incredibly rude and disrespectful can this company, Pura Vida be? In Hindu culture, the Om is a sacred symbol that is to be held to the highest esteem and is to be absolutely nowhere near the ground and especially NOT the feet, one of the dirtiest parts of one’s body. This image is hurtful and highly offensive, and it is evident to me that the marketing team and creators are culture competent. I did a bit of research on the team and one the creators, two young caucasian guys that are both recent college graduates. I am SO incredibly sick and tired and fed up of white people thinking its “cute” trendy” and “hipster” to exploit, disrespect and appropriate culture from people of color. This isn’t okay and there are a ton of advertisements and rhetoric like this and its absolutely absurd. There’s a difference between appropriation and appreciation. If one TRULY appreciated the culture they would know and understand that nothing about placing an Om on the foot is okay, this isn’t cool at all. I was so upset about this, I decided to give this company a call and after they chose not to pick up the phone, I decided to write a strongly worded email, to the marketing head of this company expressing my disappointment and disgust and asking them to remove this ad from all the platforms. I doubt that they’ll even acknowledge my email but I know I did something to speak out against something that I find disturbing and hurtful.

Analysis of Schindler’s Architectural Exclusion Theory Pt. II

In Part II of  “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Designs of the Built Environment,” Sarah Schindler outlines the various ways states and communities actively practice architectural exclusion which further perpetuate racism and classism. The methods of architectural exclusion are addressed were physical barriers, transit laws, placement of highways and one way streets, An example of a physical barrier that was used to keep a race of people out of certain area was the Long Island bridge that purposefully was constructed to hang low so that the tall public transportation buses couldn’t under them. The public transportation buses were typically used by the african american people and low income people in that area. Robert Moses, the architect responsible for the bridge actively made sure the bridge’s over pass wasn’t tall enough for buses to get through, the same way he made sure not to extend the railroad’s because all these pathways lead to Jones Beach an area he wanted to keep for only white upper middle class people and keep black people out of entirely. Moses as an architect willingly made it purposefully difficult for a specific race and class of people to physically enter a certain community.

Communities also engage in Architectural exclusion through the infrastructure of public transportation design and spaces. Many cities such as Washington DC, Atlanta, and San Francisco have middle class white residents voting to keep public transportation stops out of  their communities because of the fact that the majority of people that take public transportation in these cities are African American and/or low income. These communities are purposely voting again certain transit amendments to exclude people from their community based upon race and class.  

The placement of highways and one way streets also are part of architectural exclusion practices, these structures are placed in ways that separate one group of people from another and both of these structures make it more difficult to enter a community. Highways are placed in between affluent communities or towns and the urban areas that are majority low income making it inconvenient and difficult for those to the low income communities to travel and get across to the suburban affluent communities because of multi-lane highway danger. One way streets act in a similar way, where it is very difficult to get in and out of a neighbor due to a long winding road that is also a one way street. This inconvenient and confusing route of entry into neighbors deters people from entering that are not from those neighborhoods. The people that typically live in these neighborhoods are non-people of color that are in the middle class or upper class.

The supporting, defending, and constructing of these architecturally exclusive structures are problematic and detrimental in a number of ways. One way streets, physical structures, highways and transit infrastructure continue to isolate and marginalize people of color and people that are poor and low income. Racially prejudice and discriminatory acts are now just being disguised through these practices rather than being confronted, dealt with, and addressed justly.

 

Tory Lanez: Some Heroes Sing and Rap

 

I was at this concert, front row with floor seats. This night was absolutely amazing. Daystar Peterson, known as Tory Lanez is probably my favorite new artist right now, not because I feel that he is some incredible talent but  because of the way he shares his heart with others through his music in a way that touches those who are forgotten about by society. Whenever I see this photos I remember what a blast i had at this concert, but even more so than that i’m reminded of his heart. This photo was taken from Tory’s Instagram page, every show on the I Told You Tour he is known from walking on the audience and crowd surfing for more than half the show so no matter where you are in the venue you have a chance to touch his hand or see him up close! This eliminates the idea of class throughout the entire show; typically those with most money get to purchased the expensive meet and greet passes or they get front row tickets which allows them to be right in front of the artist. The people in the back of venue barely get to see the artist all all and these are also the least expensive tickets but Tory goes everywhere in the venue, so everyone at some point in the show gets a “front row” seat. Additionally, during this show he had the audience lift one of his fans up that was in a wheelchair at the show; he had the other people he was crowd surfing on move him to meet the guys so they could touch hands, this to me was so incredibly awesome. Based upon our race, social economic standing, physical disability, gender, sexual orientation or age, we tend to be forgotten about and it takes people to stand up and bring the light back our way when the rest of the world has forgotten about us in any of these identities. Tory Lanez was a hero at this show, not only did he make sure this young man wasn’t forgotten or left behind, he made sure he shared the spotlight with him.

Lincoln Theatre -Digital Archive 5

This is another image capture outside of the Lincoln Theatre, I wanted to capture another view of the theatre but the surrounding area as well and I noticed the older building across the street that had a faded Coca-Cola logo on the side of the building that was slowly disappearing. It makes be wonder what this area of U Street and around the Lincoln Theatre was like many years ago, to have a famous theatre across from what was probably a factory probably made this one of the busiest sections of U Street but also was probably where most people went to work, either at the Coca-Cola Factory or having a job at the theatre. In this area I didn’t see much of any housing or living quarters, but around the theatre in general are a lot of eateries and stores, the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl right next door to the theatre is sure to bring some traffic to the theatre as well.

Lincoln Theatre – Digital Archive 4

This image was taken down the street on the right side of the Lincoln Theatre. In the center of the frame we can see the awning as well as the Lincoln Theatre sign, I found this photo particularly interesting because of the bus that was stopped just feet away from the theatre doors. This is best for economic purposes of the the metro  as well as the theatre; people will pay for the metro bus because it nearly stops right in front of the theatre doors and people are more willing and likely to go see a show that the theatre because it’s easily accessible, making it economically fulfilling for both entities.

Lincoln Theatre – Digital Archive 3

These are the doors of the Lincoln Theatre, a dark burgundy red painted wood with a shapely glass window booth painted gold. Although it’s hard to see from the image captured, the floors in front of the theatre are a polished gray stone. The transparency of the doors on both sides of the theatre ticket booth are well fitted for the theatre decor but don’t necessarily allow one to see inside the lobby of the actual theatre because there is another set of doors past these outside doors which gives an appearance of inclusiveness but if one were to directly walk up to the windows to peer inside for a look, they wouldn’t be able to actually see in the lobby and evidently so realizing that its more exclusive than appears.

Lincoln Theatre – Digital Archive 2

This image was taken under the “Lincoln” sign on the front left side of the theatre. I wanted to stand under it to get an idea of just exactly how big the sign was by standing right next to it; naturally so its the biggest thing on the building. The outside of the building in is very well maintained, as old as the building is, the outside is in nearly immaculate shape, the stucco leading up to the light tan brick wall gives the building a classic but polished look. They way the outside of this theatre is keep makes the appearance of the building grand yet inviting and sets the tone of what one can expect once they step inside the theatre. The bulb lights in a line on the ceiling of awning creates a beautiful ambience at night time but even during the daytime the beauty of this building is still seen. After, I took this picture I noticed that social media facebook icon in the side window and to me this was very interesting because this building is known for its classic and historical style yet it was this touch of contemporary and modern advertisement to “like” them on social media which shows that even if the style hasn’t changed to management and and marketing of the theatre has been kept up to date with the times of today.

Lincoln Theatre – Digital Archive 1

Here is a photo of the Lincoln Theatre from the opposite side of the street by the metro stop closest to the theatre. This is someone’s first view of the Lincoln Theatre if they were traveling here by metro to see a show. The buildings and businesses around it blend in with the decor of the theatre fairly well, or vice versa the theatre blends in well with the buildings that surround it. The buildings seem a bit older in age but not unpolished, and a spectator is able to see the “Lincoln” sign from a quite a distance away and even much better at night when the letters in the sign are lit up. People are always walking around on U Street but on a Sunday morning around noon it is was very quiet, yet not deserted.

The Lincoln Theatre: Annotated Bibliography 1+2

Rany, Bob “In Concert at the Lincoln Theatre – Washington DC” International Association of  Jazz Record Collectors Journal Vol. 44 Issue 1, Mar 2011 p. 58-59

In this article, Bob Rany outlines that highlights Buddy Collete’s career; he was one of Jazz biggest reed players and one of the Lincoln Theatre’s most frequent performers. The article highlights what the careers were like of those whom played at the Lincoln Theatre, which was once a theatre for mainly black artist entertainment. I plan to use this article to help me form a basis around what the historical players and artists were like when performing at the Lincoln theatre in the past, this text will be useful because it is heavily focused on a black jazz artists that was celebrated frequently at the Lincoln Theatre over the many years that he played as a solo artist and as a leader of an all black quintet. This article will also be helpful in understanding the type of clientele the Lincoln Theatre hosted in the past because the type of acts they were hiring such as Buddy Collete, are reflective of the people the enjoyed his music; thus giving me a better read on who was attending shows at the Lincoln Theatre in the past.

 

Hanley, Delinda C. “Palestine’s Wishah Popular Dance Troupe Headlines Turaath.”The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, vol. 35, no. 1, 2016., pp. 45

 

The American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee hosted the 5th annual celebration of Arab Culture in America called a Turaath, and this big performance and hosted at the Lincoln Theatre. This event was co-hosted by the Palestinian American Organization. This event is a celebration of arab culture and traditions through music, acting and dance. Famous Iraqi-American musicians such as composer, Amir ElSaffar and his Jazz ensemble perform at this event every year accompanied by many other performers of Arab culture.

I plan on using this text to familiarize myself with the variety of acts and performances that take place in the Lincoln Theatre today, given the fact that these are more contemporary that what the Lincoln Theatre was known for which was black artists and black entertainment. This article will also allow me to have some more insight as to where politics stand in a space like the Lincoln Theatre because topics such as the Palestine and Israel conflict is an extremely charged conflict even for citizens of the United States right now.I am very curious about how this type of political debate fits into a place like U Street and even more specifically a place like on the stage of the Lincoln Theatre. I plan on using this source to also analyze the political bias of the owner of the Lincoln Theatre, maybe the manager of the theatre, or one of the theatre’s sponsors.