Monday, November 3, 2008

//All Power To The People..

This year Halloween fell on a weekend. But we were not trick-or-treatin with the Geto Boys, we were paying tribute to them Oakland boys and women who are some of my heroes. Because it was the We Love The Town party, I believed it was a must to represent Oakland. And who more timely and relevant (and "scary" hahaha) than our Oakland originals, the
Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, founded in October 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale (above). Peep game on this just-released documetary on the Panthers' roots at Merritt College (when it was located in West Oakland):

With the help of
Uncle Lester (2nd from left) it all fell into place. Uncle Lester is a longtime community activist, AC transit driver, middle school campus supervisor, and founder of the Cougar Cadet Corps. He was also a Panther from SF State back in the day, and at one point Angela Davis' bodyguard. Uncle Lester loaned us the berets and schooled us on the fashion: Oakland Panthers were well dressed, with black leather jackets, dress pants and nice shoes, and the shirt underneath was distinctly baby blue. East Coast Panthers were the first to adopt the more paramilitary style, with black army fatigues, for ruggedness and affordability (leather ain't cheap!). Uncle Lester also came through the party and celebrated his 60th earth day with us!

Regardless of fashion, what was most influential to me was the Panthers' revolutionary agenda which called for pride, power, solidarity among people of color and oppressed people, knowing your rights, an international anti-war stance, community-based programs like their Free Breakfast for School Children, and basically putting the ideology of Malcolm X into action. No wonder the Panthers were targeted by J Edgar Hoover's COINTELPRO, infiltrated, leaders murdered, and shut down from within. Their legacy, however, remains. It was an honor to rep the Black Panther Party.

...And no less revolutionary was West Oakland's finest and the costume winner
DJ Aebl Dee as The Black Hockey Player!

Plus big shout for the illest concept ever, the fam Arnizzle & Janizzle as BA-ROCKERS!!

Last but never least, a musical shot: one my fave late nineties 12" singles was Buckshot's (of Black Moon) take on Rakim's classic record "I Ain't No Joke." Pay attention to the first couple bars of the 2nd verse where Buckshot takes The R's lines
I got a question
As serious as cancer
Who can keep the average dancer
Hyper as a heart attack, nobody's smilin'

and flips it into:
I got a question
Who remember The Panthers?
Who can get the average man to
Think with a military mind prepare get ready..

Funkmaster Flex f/Buckshot - "No Joke" (Loud, 1997)

That's what's up. Many more photos from We Love The Town Halloween
right here. All Power To The People and 1neLuv..