Category Archives: Hip Hop Ambassador Work

On Planet FM 94 Today! Islamabad Represent!

HIP HOP WORLDWIDE!  I’m doing an interview on Planet 94 FM in Islamabad, Pakistan 2p EST today. We’ll be playing music, talking about hip-hop culture and my work as a Cultural Ambassador. You can listen online.

http://www.radio.gov.pk/cms/index.asp?PageId=30

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Alphabet Kids bring MUSIC FOR THE WORLD!

 

So I am here in Portland, Maine for the screening of Music for the World, a documentary by Patrice Samara of Alphabet Kids. It chronicles the journey of 28 girls and young women who landed here in Maine as a part of various resettlement programs for immigrant refugees. They come from places as far away as Sudan and Cambodia. Grammy award-winning musician/composer Con Fullam, directs the choir and has turned his love of music into a powerful tool for healing and transformation. The event, sponsored by the NAACP, is this evening at 5:30pm at the Portland Museum of Art. Check out

www.alphabetkids.com

OSU Hip Hop Conference

I’ve enjoyed not having to travel much during the Mercury Retrograde period.  It was a wonderful time to go into at-home-grind-mode.  The month of May brings a workshop series I’ll be facilitating with the Caribbean Culture Center in New York and a quick return to the state of Ohio.  I was at Wittenberg University and Central State University early last month. This month I’ll be performing and facilitating a Rhyme like a Girl Workshop at Ohio State University for a conference featuring the likes of Daddy-O from the legendary Stetsaonic and scholar and media personality Marc Lamont Hill. Dr. E (Elaine Richardson) is activating hip-hop elevation so let your folks in and around Columbus know…check the link below:

http://www.donewaiting.com/2011/05/02/osu-hip-hop-literacy-conference-ft-daddy-ostetsasonic-toni-blackmanus-envoy-more-may-19-20

Naturmania 2011

On April 18th, I led the Nature Raps Station at New York Restoration Project’s (NYRP) Naturmania!  The event is held in Swindler Cove Park in NYC during spring break.  Lots of kids come out in school groups, with parents and community organizations. They learn about animals, ways to protect and preserve nature, about composting, recycling, gardening, etc. It’s a wonderful approach for teaching urban youth,who mostly grow up without backyards and trees of their own, to value nature.  NYRP is doing such beautiful work as they groom an entire generation of enviromentalists, Green heads and green thumbs.

Bravo to Akiima Price and her team! I had a lovely time leading Rhyme like a Girl workshops with the young girls and also worked with a few boys during my day out at Swindler Cove. The pics include me and some of the girls, two of the girls sharing their first rap, and a b-girl from Full Circle Productions who led a dance workshop outdoors with the kids.

2011 is unfolding quite lovely

Rhyme like a Girl (RLAG) was launched as a project when I was selected to be an Open Society Institute Fellow with the Soros Foundation.  The organizational structure has changed, but the mission is still the same–to use hip hop as a way to empower girls and women!  Here are a couple of flicks from the day of the video shoot for RLAG’s biggest youth project to date.

Visual Musings

I snapped this because I swear he was saying, "Take my picture!"

As I sit near the window watching the wind blow snow and tree branches back and forth, I can’t help but think about where I was a few weeks ago.  I’m meditating on the sunshine and the warmth of Botswana.  The people I met, the new music and artists I discovered, and the places I visited are forever imprinted in my memories.  Going through my photos I’m noticing just how many pics I took of animals and nature.  I’ve never thought of myself as an ‘earthmama’ in the literal sense, but being so close to so much nature was powerfully healing.  I came home feeling grounded, balanced and clear.  The guy in the photo above stood outside of the restaurant at a game reserve in Ghanzi.  He shifted his position several times and looked directly into the camera.  This was my favorite shot of him.  I love “postcard pics”.

“Get Up & Go Tour” BOTSWANA 2010

Toni Spittin' & Speaking in Kang, Botswana

Toni traveled to southern Africa to do U.S. Hip Hop Ambassador work with the “Get Up & Go” project.  The “Get Up & Go Tour” traveled through the north of Botswana November 15-December 1st 2010.  Visit www.africanhiphop.com for the full story.

photo credit: douglas seremane