Back in December, I received a call from my acting teacher who had been given the responsibility to cast a promo for the California Innocence Project. I quickly agreed after hearing that this promo was to serve as yet another way to get the attention of Governor Jerry Brown to consider adding any of the California 12, or CA12, to his Christmas Clemency list before exiting office. The producers, Alastair Ramsden of 21st Street Creative, and director, Keith Boak of Freedom Films, decided to highlight the story of Kiera Newsome to represent the CA12 toward this goal.
And here was where I came in. What you see above is the full final product. I walked for a fraction of a moment in what I imagined to be the everyday reality of Kiera Newsome and it was grueling, painful, and took me to places emotionally that were difficult to bear. What this one-day shoot required of me (and what the resulting aftermath taught me) was the true power and possibility of this art form in a way I had never known before. Finding the place in my body, mind, and heart to hold up this space for Kiera became a duty, an offering of the slightest I could give, in honor of the many years, months, days, hours, minutes that she has counted being behind bars and knowing that she is innocent.
Above is the video that resulted in the efforts of the cast, crew and production team.
I posted, reposted, tweeted, retweeted, emailed the governor and prayed that the efforts of those in the California Innocence Project would result in some victory for Kiera or any of the wrongfully accused of the CA12.
Christmas day brought great news for Kiera Newsome. Read the article below.
Clemency Granted in Murder Case - San Diego Union-Tribune Article
For more info on the CA12 and the work of the California Innocence Project please visit their site.
A few months ago I watched the new episode of an acquaintance's YouTube show. The whole premise of the show is super cute. They are a group of LA chic ladies making waves in their respective fields and using YouTube to discuss topics that their subscribers care about: mainly fashion and relationships. And about 2/3 through this particular episode one of the hosts was recounting her aggravation with a guy she'd been dating who expressed that he preferred girls who wore less make-up only to find out that he was courting other women who were always "beat" (that is to say, highly made up). Classic F-boy behavior! We’ll save commentary on that for another post... (See: Relationship Herstory)
So, she turns to one of her co-hosts and in a throw-away says,
"He got me out here looking like a 'Basic'".
Her co-host laughed with a shake of the head. Pfft. He got the wrong one! Do I look like a basic? Boy Bye.... (non-verbals)
And I've been mulling over this concept of what makes a Basic B!+&% ... "Basic", ever since. Is it not having your face beat to the gods every time you leave the house? Is it not getting your hair laidT into a brand new style every two weeks? Is it not snapping a photo for the gram wearing all Fendi cause all the celebrities did it plus or minus one day of Nicki Minaj's new single Chun-Li? Is it not knowing who CardiB was before Bodak Yellow cause you don't have time for reality tv?
If those are accurate assessments than I am GOOD with being a "Basic"! Don't get my wrong. I have a strong appreciation for fine living. Looking good, eating good, feeling good are qualities of life I enjoy now and look forward to enjoying into the future. But my career and life goal inspirations don't fit that picture above.
Social media has us idolizing "Bad B!+&%s" and selling wolf-tickets for followers. I don't stand in judgment, and I am not mad at anyone for figuring out how to make the money moves that work for them. But I don't think Kerry Washington, Evita Robinson, Ava Duvernay, Stephanie Allain, Mara Brock Akil, Yara Shahidi, or Lena Waithe worry about whether anyone thinks they are Basic or Bad. They are influencers without the gram. They always look good because they reflect beauty in their words and deeds. They have longevity because they have built a foundation based on sustainable qualities. And the designers come to them, hunTee!
No one would ever call these powerhouses basic. And I would wager they didn't concern themselves with trying to be anything other than authentic. That's my kind of a "Bad Bitch"
How do you define a Bad Bitch?
enisha b jane
In my own words.