One Drop of Love pays tribute to the one and only Prince with: June Snow (& Billy), G. Reginald Daniel, Paul Spickard, Nancy Fathi, Michael Prewitt, Alex Regalado, Chandra Crudup and Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni
Billy? How do you feel about Prince?
It’s always sad when such a talented person passes away at such a young age. I feel like when we lose an artist of my time, part of my youth is also gone with him and it just makes me sad.
Prince knew how to live. Prince understood his God given talents and he used those to better the world.
His whole life has been about challenging categories and I think he’s really undecipherable in a lot of ways because he’s a lot of different things
He’s an everything bender. He bends race, gender, expectations of putting this opinion with that opinion.
His music is a blend of all these antithetical music styles: pop, rock, funk, black funk and white rock – who would do that?
He understood his own intersectionalities. Which – I don’t think we understand – We understand that people have intersectionalities, but it’s harder for us to understand our own intersectionalities.
I want to be your brother and your sister too. I think I realized early on that he was messing around with this gender ‘thing.’ I did not conform to what I was told I should’ve conformed to, gender-wise, like – I played football. I just remember feeling, “Yeah, f** that. Look at him! And we all respect him. Why can’t we just…” it’s along the race lines too.
I will define what race means for me. I will define what being an artist means for me. And he wasn’t afraid of that and he allowed himself to be Prince.
The world has lost a lot but I think right now he’s bending life and death. Everybody is talking about him in the present tense, even though he died.
My father, he grew up listening to Prince a lot, so therefore I had a little relationship too. It’s just shocking to see that he died.
He was so known over such a long period of time and by so many people, that that’s going to be a loss that’s going to be really hard to come to terms with. And it was so unexpected on top of it.
Yeah, I heard on the radio about Prince and my heart just sank. And I had this emotion and I was kind of in shock, like “What?” I don’t even know any Prince songs. But I know who he is and I know how important he is to people. And it just really made me really feel it.
Purple Rain came out, and I was like, “What? This little guy” (laughs and gestures). We always did the dance “I knew a girl named Nikki I guess you can say she was a sex fiend…” (laughter)
I connect Prince with first love. That’s what it is and it’s like, “Oh my God.”
Prince was a big influence on music and in general. He had his own style. He changed up the game and brought a lot of people to do what he does.
“I would die for you.” It’s been a while.
“I would die for you.” Ah! I did it (laughter)
“I would die for you.” (laughter)
It’s weird, I was thinking I would say, “Do you have any idea how much you influenced people?” And the best thing about him is, YES HE DOES KNOW THAT! I think he was fully aware of his influence on people and had this amazing confidence that was why he could say and do everything he said and did.
Thank you for the talent. For sharing your soul. Thanks for the music. Thanks for the memories. You’ve given so much to the industry. To Black Artists. To women. Gosh, I’d hug him. (laughter) And wouldn’t let him go.
Frida Kahlo is my muse (0:00-1:26) (2:31-3:00)
NY Times review of 1992 Frida Kahlo documentary: http://nyti.ms/1SJonfY
University of Utah College of Social Work, Rose Wagner Center for the Performing Arts in Salt Lake City, Utah (1:24-3:15)
Museum of Tolerance 3/31/16 (3:17-4:48)
Venmo App = racist? (4:48-5:54)
50 Push-up challenge (5:55-6:17) http://bit.ly/20234gp
What are YOUR goals? (6:20-7:09)
So, do you know who Frida Kahlo is? I saw a documentary of Frida Kahlo when I was teaching Spanish to students in the 90s. I was teaching in a high school and my Supervising Teacher recommended that I show my students a documentary about Frida Kahlo, and I had known about her a little bit, I had probably seen her art but I didn’t know a whole lot about her life and I watched this documentary – I mean talking about the original Artivist – I mean not THE original because there have been other Artivists in the world and before her, but in so many ways her work and who she was as a person represents so much of what I want to be. Her work is both deeply personal, but also it talks about the power that women have when we share all of who we are, even when that feels very personal and you start to realize that you have connections to other people by sharing it and I love her. And this summer I was in Mexico and I found this bag, and I was like, “Yes. This is my bag.” And she just inspires me so whenever I travel to do the show I take this bag with me.
So I took this bag with me to our show at the University of Utah, which we did on Tuesday. And we had an incredible time. So the show was the closing act of the 10th anniversary of the University of Utah’s College of Social Work Social Justice series. This is put on by this incredible woman teacher, Educator, powerful woman there named Irene Ota. She invited Chandra and me to see her class and she’s doing a class social justice advocacy for social workers, and they’re creating toolkits for social justice advocacy and all of their projects were incredible. One woman is doing a support group for Transracially Adopted kids in Salt Lake City. Another woman is creating a website for parents to know their rights, the educational rights for themselves and for their children. They were just so great and amazing and inspiring! It was wonderful.
And then the best part is that then Irene took us out to dinner – we had dinner with some of the students and faculty before the show – the night before the show. And we’re walking up to dinner and Chandra goes, “Oh! Fanshen! Look at the name of this restaurant we’re going to!” and the name of the restaurant is ‘Frida Bistro’ and I got this gorgeous t-shirt from Irene – thank you Irene! That is at Frida Bistro in Salt Lake City, Utah, which was just a wonderful restaurant, the food was great and we were sitting there blessed by Frida herself.
I got to speak with quite a few people after the show and they were really moved and had lots of follow up questions, and I’m so proud that we were able to do the show there. So if any of you are watching from the University of Utah – thank you for having us – it was really inspiring.
OK this morning I did the show at the Museum of Tolerance here in Los Angeles. And it was so nice to go from – you know that I had big audiences, 1500 students a week ago and then Utah a really big stage, and then here it seats about 115 people or so, but generally these are smaller groups so probably about 35 or 40 people and I’m really up close to them and it makes a difference – it’s a very different feeling of the staging, but it’s really nice because it’s intimate and I can literally look right into people’s faces and interact with them directly. So it’s always nice to be back at the Museum, and also one woman who came today has seen the show there before, and she said, “You know I saw some new things here today,” so that was great – so she’s noticing that I’m making changes.
Now also by the way we have two new slides. So I talked a little bit about pacing last week, and how I’m looking at places to pick up the pacing, but I also realized that there’s a slide that can help situate the audience a little bit more when my father and I are both traveling I’m paralleling our trips to Africa together, so I’ve included a slide of when my father went to the Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Now interestingly, I’m using Venmo – Venmo is an app that you can use to pay people quickly. I asked my graphic designer Heather Fipps (who’s amazing – thank you Heather!) – I asked her to create a new slide and when I paid her on Venmo you write a little note like a memo on a check and I wrote “ODOL (One Drop of Love) Slide Sudan Ethiopia.” Well they put a flag on the payment and I just got an email from Venmo telling me they had to investigate my payment and they needed to know exactly what this payment was for, since I had used the words ‘Sudan’ and ‘Ethiopia.’ Interesting. Racist? I don’t what to say. All I can think of is, “My God, if you are Sudanese or Ethiopian, what life must be like for you now. And I am sorry for people who prejudge you – not that I have to apologize for what they do, but I’m sorry for what you have to go through.
OK this week I’m going to do a physical goal. A friend of mine posted on Facebook a 50 Push-up Challenge and so it takes you through – you start out with 5 push-ups then you move on to 10 and you get rest breaks and then you move on to 12, and then you keep moving on and you do 50 push-ups eventually! So that’s my goal.
How about you? What are your goals? Are you writing? Are you performing? Are you workshopping your work? Are you sharing your work with other people? Are you sharing your story? Someone said today, after the Museum show, “Y’know, your story is incredible,” and I said I didn’t know that until I started sharing it with people. YOUR story is incredible too. You just gotta get it out there – and find out about your parents’ stories, and their parents’ stories and it’s so important to hear someone else’s narrative, so that we are not stuck in what we believe they are just based on what we see on the outside. OK. Thank you for watching #ThisWeekasanArtivist. I hope you have a wonderful week, and I’ll talk to you next week. Bye bye!
Artivists! What’s up you all? How you doing? OK. So much to tell you.
(0:05-2:04) First of all One Drop of Love – so many great things. First of all Chandra booked us in Tempe, Arizona at Marcos de Niza High School. We did two shows back-to-back with high school students. 1500 students. So about 750-800 each. Juniors and Seniors first, and then Freshman and Sophomores. It was just fantastic. I got a t-shirt! Oh my goodness my t-shirt collection is growing. And I got a coffee mug!
I’m leaving for Utah Monday morning because we are doing the show for the University of Utah School of Social Work and this is their Voices of Diversity Social Justice Series and it’s their 10th anniversary and One Drop of Love is the closing act for that. So I’m very excited. That’ll be this Tuesday night 6PM in Utah. And then the first week of April I’m doing the Museum of Tolerance and then Philly. Philadelphia. Abington Friends School and that’s going to be for their ‘Many Voices’ diversity series and that’s going to be for parents at the school. And then at the end of April, I am the Keynote for the Mixed Heritage Conference at UCLA! So my goodness SO much going on for One Drop and it’s all incredible and exciting. Chandra noticed that the show is running a little bit over. Usually it’s an hour and it’s been running about an hour and 7, an hour and 8 minutes. So I want to look at what’s happening. Is it pacing? Does it have to do with the number…of course when there are more people it takes longer because I’m going out and I’m interacting with the audience. That’s something that we’re looking at – whether the pacing needs to change, or whether it’s ok – because when we perform for a school we have to keep that in mind because students have to go to another class or at least they have to know how long it’s going to take ahead of time.
(2:04-3:29) OK I have some recommendations for you. First of all have you seen Zootopia? I want to know what you think of it. I mean, I…the first time I saw it I read a friend’s Facebook post who I really respect and admire, and she was like, “Zootopia is all about racial profiling.” And I was like, whoa, whoa, whoa – WHAT, WHAT? Really? For real?” So I went and saw it by myself and I cried because I loved it so much. I thought it did a really great job of bringing up questions around gender and race, class in ways that young people can understand and adults…they were very, very clear and accessible, but also using some challenging themes to get their point across and I just thought it was really well done. But then I texted with my brother and he was like, “Well I don’t know – were the predators only supposed to be the Black people?” and I don’t think so because, remember in the beginning there’s that fox who was the bully and he was…he had a southern accent that sounded White southern and again – here I go with my stereotypes – but anyway I’m really curious what you thought. Especially if you have children – how did you feel about this movie? Tish Arana – what did you think? I’m dying to know. Is Zoey Fanshen – would this be a good movie for her to go see? I’m really curious.
(3:29-3:48) Another recommendation is Mashable did an article: 9 Youtube channels that will make you smarter about social justice. So first of all you KNOW – first of all I was following – I was already subscribed to ¾ of them, but there were some that I didn’t know about, so I went ahead and subscribed, so I’m putting a link. Check those out.
(3:48-4:26) OK another thing: check out Suzan-Lori Parks. She’s a great playwright and she’s doing this series called ‘Watch me work’ which is that she goes into a space and works – writes a play – and you have the opportunity to watch her work and write a play and watch her process and interact with her and ask her questions…and it’s just…SO great to allow people to be there and watch and learn from what she’s doing. It’s so encouraging. So I’m putting a link to the videos of her doing ‘Watch me work.’
(4:26-5:54) Alright I want to shout out some folks that are watching the videos, so Carol Banker – what’s up girl!? Alex Regalado – she’s our Editor for One Drop of Love, I think I’ve told you about her before. She’s got this great video, there’s a link for that. Also she did it with her team from the website called TWIGG How-To, which you should also check out, and there’s a link to that. Go, go, GO Alex – I’m so proud of you! DO it and I’m voting everyday and getting other people to vote, so let’s get you to win this and just keep making more amazing content, like you are.
OK last thing – I freaked out this morning because…one of my first…like and early This Week as an Artivist video I talk about LaGuardia Cross, who is a famous Youtuber and does these great videos with his toddler. And he started off with this great statement about success and a specific goal that he had – that was how he started vlogging – this goal that he had and he was going to reach the goal and he was saying it out to the world – so that he could be held accountable and I talked about him in that video – in the #OscarsSoWhite video and he left me a comment today! So – oh my goodness – thank you so much for walking it, and thank you for your work – you are inspiring. Thank you for the comment.
Alright everybody, that’s another This Week as an Artivist. I hope YOU have a great week. Thank you for watching and tuning in. Thumbs up if you like it. Subscribe if you like the videos and also tell me what I should watching and tell me what you’re up to. I would love to help support everybody as well.
FANSHEN: Recently I asked my friends, when was the first time they learned about the one-drop rule, and their answers were incredible, so we’re sharing them with you here, and we’d like to hear yours. So send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us, anything, and let us know: When was the first time YOU learned about the one-drop rule?
RUDY GUEVARRA, JR.: I took an undergraduate course at the University of San Diego – Intro to Ethnic studies and that’s where I learned about it. As somebody that was mixed race it really made me interested into how that functioned with identity and larger issues of race relations. And that course gave me that information and that one thing got me interested in understanding how race functions. I’m racialized Chicano and oftentimes when I’ve had conversations, I’ll say I’m Filipino, or I’ll say I’m Mexipino and they’re like, “But you’re Chicano,” and I’m like, “Yeah, but I’m this too.” And the fact that, I think that I have this ‘drop’ – but more so the phenotype that comes with that drop, I think that there’s a conversation that I have to push back on sometimes, from people. Sometimes, and in particular within the Latino community, in particular the Mexican or Chicano community, they don’t often think that…or there’s not so much…there is and there isn’t…this association with Blackness and these connections and intimate relationships with Blackness that I engage in and always felt this engagement with, that I get questioned on sometimes.
But, I’m going to love who I love – and I don’t care what anybody says.
CHANDRA CRUDUP: Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to keep up with the latest One Drop news and other videos. Do you have ideas for more video content? Tell us what you’d like to see. We’ll see you next time to share more drops of love. Be sure to tell us by commenting here and on twitter @onedropoflove andfacebook.com/ondedropoflove how YOU are spreading drops of love.
TANYA: I have a question in terms of the understanding of what being “biracial” is. And now that it is “presidential” (laughs) and people in this country see a person in power who is of mixed race, what have you seen in terms of the different concept of what being biracial is now compared to when you were growing up, and people not really knowing what “mixed” meant?
FANSHEN: I have to say I’ve kind of come full circle. So you saw some of my identity search and conclusions growing up, and then for a while I was very involved in the mixed community, and proud of being mixed, and I started to see that there was this issue of privilege in that community too, that wasn’t being recognized, and it’s problematic.
One of the things we would do a lot is complain about being asked “What are you?” well, the truth is, that’s a privilege. Because when someone asks you that, they want to be relieved by finding out that you’ve got some white in you, right? And they want to determine where they’re going to put you on a hierarchy. And so I’m more careful about what being mixed means.
Some people that I work with, we have a non-profit called Mixed Roots Stories, and we want to encourage the personal narratives, but within a critical framework. So: understanding history, understanding privilege, understanding that this is all part of an evolutionary process and that if we’re not about doing some good, dismantling of some racism, then that’s not cool. And President Obama publicly stated that on the Census he chose African American. That’s how the world treats him. That’s how he’s seen, and he’s proud of it. So – the biracial folks, and mixed folks, I’m like, ‘yeah, yeah, cool, but just don’t let that determine that you have decided now that you are exclusive of, or better than.
CHANDRA: One of the best parts about the post-show conversations is when people feel compelled to share their own stories. In this clip, Ashley shares what it’s like for her as a Black female traveling through the Dominican Republic.
ASHLEY: One of the things that really resonated with me was the dynamic with race in other cultures. As a Black individual I’ve had the experience to go live in the Dominican Republic and there’s this racial dynamic between Haitians and Dominicans and oftentimes I was cussed out in four languages, by Haitians – they were telling me I’m denying my Haitian roots. The Dominican family I lived with, they had problems with my braids because those were identified as Haitian. Especially as a Black American you go on these journeys to really figure out who you are because you DO have so many people trying to tell you who you are – or what it means to be Black, or what it means to be this and, you think – well I had the perception that if I go overseas, I’ll be able to connect more, and I’ll be able to just be me, and it won’t have to be about race or how dark I am or how I sound and, just hearing that my experience wasn’t the only experience like that. That it really didn’t matter, like I didn’t find that oneness, that wholeness that I was expecting to find. I found more divisions. And hearing that in the story, it was sad.
Because I’m actually a Youth Pastor at an all-White church (laughs). At an all-White church. I never share that story. I always kind of tread on light water because I always have this feeling that…I know that my being here is a great thing, but it ruffles some feathers as well. And it’s like you never know when you’re put in these environments how you’re supposed to be. What’s uncomfortable? What’s not comfortable enough? What’s too, what’s saying too much? How bold can I be? Our congregation is older, white individuals, it’s a highly conservative church and things that are just uncomfortable? We don’t really do.
PATTI: And that’s the show. Like, if it’s uncomfortable…
ASHLEY: You just gotta deal with it yourself. You’re uncomfortable within yourself because you can’t find any comfort talking about it. But, with this show I appreciate it because you realize how many people have similar stories. Even if it’s just a little part of her story resonates with someone else, you realize that, OK. I’m not uncomfortable by myself. People ARE talking about this. And…one story DOES make a difference. The stories are never the same but the themes are always recurring. It’s human nature.