seattle Tag

Seattle Urban Book Expo Aug 14th

5th Seattle Urban Book Expo video roster from Jeffrey L Cheatham II on Vimeo.

Check this out. I’m happy to share that I will be a vendor at the 5th annual Seattle Urban Book Expo this year in Seattle Washington. If you have family, friends, or colleagues in that area please let them know about this event which will feature writers kid lit, fiction, writing groups, and educators.  For more information visit their website HERE.

Here’s an interview w/ the founder of the Expo: Jeffrey Lee Cheatham II

Dig this? Check out some fotos from the last Social Justice Children’s Book Holiday Fair  I co-organize in the Bay Area.

Kindred Journey 34 – Blue Scholars

Blue Scholars (play on Blue Collar) is a pioneering hip hop group from Seattle Washington and met at the University of Washington in 2002. They’ve had a prolific career as a group, solo artists, and as  founders of other groups. Their self titled first project dropped in 2004 and they’ve released three LP’s and four EPs. Geo (Pinoy) brings a deep voice, incredible delivery, lived and studied experience to the mic as a rapper, educator, and former poet. Sabzi ( Iranian) is a versatile musician/ producer whose beats bring a cinematic storytelling element to each song; spanning many genres. Geo started rapping in high school and worked as a community organizer in addition to the Wing Luke Museum. Sabzi is a trained pianist who also was a punk music drummer. These cats have performed all over sharing stages with big names and hitting the on stages at Rock The Bells, Bumbershoot, SXSW, and the Sasquatch fest. Some of the projects were released with labels but most has been done independently. Good old bars, hip hop culture, race, class, imperialism, cultural heritage, and their native Seattle are common topics.

Sabzi has produced for many artists. He co-founded “Common Market” with rapper RA Scion and “Made in The Heights” with singer Kelsey Bulkin. He’s got his project called Town Folk (Because both Seattle and Oakland call themself “The Town”), and has put out a bunch of instrumental albums.

Geo (Prometheus Brown ) is now a Dad and co runs a bakery called “Hood Famous” with his partner, chef Cherla Amlag. Besides that he started a group with LA native Bambu called “The Bar”, signed to Beatrock Music, and has a project called “Rappers with Cameras”. 

Although I know Seattle for its indie rock scene. I have to remind myself about how big the hip hop scene there is with cats like The Physics, Macklemore, Canary Sing, Good Medicine, Jake One, Mario & Malice Sweet, Thee Satisfaction, and the OGs Sir Mix-a-lot and Ishmael Butler (Shabazz Palaces/Digable Planets). Please listen to Blue Scholars and support their respective projects. Fellas, visited last year and I love your city. Respect.

Sources: KEXP, Seattle Times, Hip Hop DX, Okay Player, Chris Jespersen, The Word, Wikipedia
Fav Song: 50 Thousand Deep

Did you see the last one I did of Raveena?
What about the painting of The Mountain Brothers?

Kindred Journey 16 – Kshama Sawant

I heard of Ms Sawant several years ago and with the onslaught of information one receives daily (sometimes voluntarily, sometimes not) I swept her to the back of my mind. When researching her for this I realized what an incredible feat it is to be an open Socialist elected official in a US city. As she has said in interviews, many young people do not have the same anti-socialist , red state, cold war view of Socialism that their grand parents once did. In fact they are the youth all over the US and the world who are protesting, occupying, and asking questions. Kshama is a teacher, activist, software engineer, and now a seated member of the Seattle city council which makes decisions about the direction of that city. Sawant was born in 1972 in India. She came to the US in 1994. She studied economics in North Carolina and became politically motivated by the incredible disparities between classes both here in the states and in India. She joined the Socialist Alternative (a nationwide crew of socialist activists) in Seattle and ran for US house of representative for Washington. She lost but won a seat as a city council member in Seattle in 2013 and was re-elected in 2015. One of the greatest victories she has been a part of among several losses is the winning of a $15 an hour minimum wage which so many other cities and states then began fighting for.  This is a quote from her while she was talking about past examples of socialist societies, why socialism is no longer such a dirty word, and why it is important that working people have excellent access to healthcare, education, safety, and more:

Socialism cannot survive in one country. If you have a really successful example of a workers economy, what would happen? Working class everywhere would look at that economy and say hey we want that. And thats very dangerous for the ruling class because as long as there is a successful example of and people clamoring for that they’re not going to have that kind of control that they have now over the working class” -Kshama Sawant

Sources: Richard D Wolff, Wikipedia,  Talking Stick