Leila Day

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5:51pm

Wed March 11, 2015
Arts & Culture

The Spiritual Edge: Afro-Cuban movement with meaning

Dancers at Dance Mission Theater
Thomas Levy

Some people who take dance classes regularly have a saying: “Dance is my church.”

Dancer Stella Adelman says just that about going to Afro-Cuban folkloric dance class. “There’s a release to it,” she says. To her, it’s a place where she can reflect and find some clarity through movement. To some practitioners this clarity comes from being active and getting exercise, for others, it’s literally a spiritual practice.  

The Bay Area is home to many instructors of Afro-Cuban rhythms. Music and dance lovers come from all over the world to participate in workshops taught by some of the most loved teachers and dancers from the Cuban Diaspora. Many of them have found home here.

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5:59pm

Tue January 27, 2015
Politics

The problem with "sounding white"

Alyssa Kapnik Portraiture

 


We are always adjusting the way we sound. It especially depends on the social situation we are in. Linguists call it "code switching," a term originally used for people who would switch between two different languages like Spanish and English. But the term has evolved to embrace the tone, accents, and inflections that we use when talking to people. Many of us do it.

Growing up, I heard plenty of jokes about the way I spoke. But I couldn't help the way I sounded. It’s a default voice, just how I speak. You see where I grew up, in Las Vegas, there were two types of black kids in school: those who hung out only with other black kids and those who bounced back and forth between black and non-black friends. I was in the second group. With all of that switching back and forth, my voice switched too. And it still does. For example, when I’m on the phone with my sister, the “sistah” comes out. It's not something I’m always conscious of. Sometimes it just sort of happens.

Now as an adult I have fun with it, but as a kid it wasn’t always this way. Finding my voice was just painful. At school, being told I “sounded white” meant only one thing. I wouldn’t be eating my corndog and tater tots at the black kids’ lunch table.

But that was then. Nowadays, in some schools, corn dogs and tater tots have been replaced with tofu dogs and green salad. It got me wondering if the conversation among teens may have changed too. So, I went to a place where I thought I might find some black teens who’ve been accused of “talking white”: the skate park.

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5:28pm

Thu December 18, 2014
Arts & Culture

A park ranger and Buffalo Soldier

Yosemite National Park ranger Shelton Johnson in uniform as a "Buffalo Soldier"

The Buffalo Soldiers were some of our country’s first park rangers. They proudly wore their uniforms with wide brimmed ranger hats and navy blue jackets adorned with gold stripes.  Just after the Civil War, the US government formed these regiments of black soldiers to patrol and protect nationally designated park land, claimed after the Indian Wars. And their journey started right here in the Bay Area where the Buffalo Soldiers gathered in San Francisco’s Presidio before heading into the mountains of Yosemite and beyond.

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1:46pm

Wed December 10, 2014
Arts & Culture

Gaming museum warps players through time

Alex Handy

Lots of people talk about how addicted we are to our screens. We spend our days staring at smartphones, tablets, and computers. But the first digital addiction came before most of us even imagined a home computer: video games. 

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5:56pm

Mon November 17, 2014
Arts & Culture

Calle 24 - The official Latino Cultural District of San Francisco

Sara Brooke Curtis

Every place has a history hidden that lives beneath what you can see on the surface. Just take the Mission District. The Bart Station at 24th street and Mission is called Plaza Sandino by some -- because in the 1980’s Pro-Sandanista protesters would rally there. Right down the street, Potrero del Sol Park is better known to those who grew up here as La Raza park -- back in the 70’s it was a major gathering spot for low rider cars. This neighborhood has also been called the birthplace of Latin Rock.

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