Season V ‘REDUX’
March 13 – December 31, 2017
“Who are you?
Are you in touch with all of your darkest fantasies?
Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them?
I have. I am fucking crazy.
But I am free.”
― Lana Del Rey
from 1992, Ice Cube
w/ Today Was A Good Day
The 2017 Season-ending Show
and the REDUX Finale
by Kendall F. Person
In 1775, two years after the Boston Tea party, the colonists had enough of British rule. They tapped George Washington to take control of the Continental Army and lead the American Revolution, to fight for a type of freedom, that would give rise to such a Union. 1775 over 160 years before World War II and the re-integration of America’s Armed Forces. How quickly it was forgotten, the strategy to victory as the ugliness in defeat reverted Negro soldiers back into slaves. Reaching across the aisle remains our best chance to heal a broken heart, but 1775 is what fuels the red & blue hate, and keeps the resistance alive.
“It always appeared a most iniquitous scheme to me to fight ourselves for what we are daily robbing and plundering from those who have as good a right to freedom as we have.” – Abigail Adams
I am as proud as can be of Miles Morales, a young Black Latino that hit superhero primetime when casted as Spiderman. From a comic book family like mine, only Batman and Superman hold sway when spidey is on the big screen. And while I look forward to noting how Morales the young actor plays such a high-profile role, I liked Peter Parker and I love the idea of our imagination creating brand new superheros. like Jarmon created by actor Ricky Bell Jr. But even more so than reimagining a true classic movie and flipping the script a little bit, which I have no issues with, and while it is true that Morales will no doubt be a kickass wall crawler, but by referrals of the first Black Latino Spiderman, minimizes Black Panther who came into existence 51 years ago in The Fantastic Four. We must take better care of history, which means taking better care of truth and relevance today.
In 2014, The Neighborhood under the leadership of the 1st Chair Kirby Workes, sent a search party for a young, White rapper in Missouri named Keenan Rucker aka ke3No. We soon found him via his sister and after 4 years we still can’t let him go. Some artists find us and it just works out, like Rebecca Lemke who fits beautifully into this category, and is White. Others, not so much like the talented, but troublesome Charles Okpere, who is Black. Some artists, we find them and while those relationships tend to be more challenging, it doesn’t matter – the color of their skin, for once inside – unless expelled – they can always come home. The Neighborhood was built as an all-inclusive collaborative for young artists and an audience that adores our high-wire act.
But alas, I am a realist, with absolutely no hang ups or shortcomings or embarrassment about the color of my skin or discussing it. Besides, even if I tried to outrun it, it is so embedded in the fabric of America that no one can dig more than a few inches without hitting someplace it hurts. But we must forge onward, rather we believe it possible or not, that America can ever get passed the race dance, even though most of us are tired of playing — but the music plays nonstop. So what becomes the answer? Can only war against a common foe reduce the nonsensical race debate forever? I do not not have the answers just yet. But one thing is assured, that no matter how much I say it, to defeat our staunchest enemy is anything but a one man show.
These past few months, have been particularly silent on the subject, instead choosing to surrender to the NFL headlines. The topic is rarely publicly discussed, perhaps each demographic too afraid to set off the wrong chain reaction. But I see it as moment of common ground and an opening to talk. The above the law loathing by a small but loud percentage of law enforcement, their communal ire, seemed once reserved for young Black Men, has targeted White America with alarming efficiency. The brazen mistreatment of a nurse in Salt Lake City; the young white man in Arizona. whose video death was so psychology disturbing, we initially believed it was a scene from Saw, rather than a legal execution at the hands of the law.
From 2004 – 2008, I worked for Mothers Against Drunk Driving who partnered with Law Enforcement across the USA. When I spoke before a packed house honoring Officers in an all white Chico Police Department, I realized then they were just like us, and as the cherry, my brother became a cop. So by no means do I think there is a larger conspiracy, but something has run amok. The fact, that there is still no comparison or recognition that Black America was in trouble and were not at fault in many cases for the spate of random police shootings, demonstrates how daunting our task. Does White America believe that if the two epidemics are indeed comparable, than the notion of systematic injustice would also deem true, and force them to face a lifetime of myths and lies? And does Black America stay quiet, because as much as we wish that I now tell lies, we take a psychological stagnating comfort in the victims syndrome role?
It is this story and others like them, where the details are lost in a blinding, non-stop crusade of Trump and his love/hate reporters, that national media seems almost blinded to the infiltration of the not rights into respected law enforcement communities. The idea of race actually not being at the heart of our problems, stops the dialogue from every happening. But not here and no longer.
In the forthcoming 6th Season, we will take the uncomfortable stand of addressing ugly head on. Never allowing an opportunity to pass, if we believe a discussion is merited for the greater good of man. But as artists in artistic performances – via The Neighborhood – is how the race dance will be delivered until we finally win or lose.
Happy New Years. Season VI begins April 1, 2018 but in the meantime, donate to the cause or chip in for the value of knowledge and entertainment.
Season V now over. Goodbye.
Much love. More peace. Most Imagination to the artists community known as Deviant Art.