Womxn on Film
The Parker Edison Project / February 10, 2021
PHOTO BY MARLENA ARTIS, THE COMMONWEALTH TIMES
Womxn on Film. Despite it's tongue in cheek title, this episode isn't about video vixens. Latanya Lockett and Parker Edison discuss the secret meaning of hoop earrings, and photographer Alanna Airitam tells us how art helped her escape the 9-to-5. Musical guest is Tres 'Sojourn' Hodgens.
• Latanya Lockett - "Baby James"
• Tres ‘Sojourn’ Hodgens - "More Than Rap"
• Parker Meridien - "Looking Out the Front Door"
Glee Club: https://www.gofundme.com/f/y79zs8
Tres 'Sojourn' Hodgens
Show credits: Parker Edison (Host), Kurt Kohnen (Co-creator), Chris Reyes (Head Editor) and Tres ”Sojourn” Hodgens (Music Supervisor)
I want a girl w/ extensions in her hair bamboo earrings at least two pair bamboo earrings at least two pairs bamboo earrings...we starting the show?
Good morning and welcome to the Parker Edison Project, where we explore tenets of American culture. Just might not be the America you're thinking of.
This is Episode one, Women on Film, and despite his tongue in cheek title, this episode isn't really about video vixens.
It's about how film follows fashion.
Fashion follows film in the real world. Impacts of that today, where zoom in way and taken an extreme close up shot of an important piece of fashion often seen on big screens when depicting a particular typecast hoop earrings.
Ghetto is nothing but creativity that has been stolen yet.
That's Latanya Lockett. She's a schoolteacher and an accomplished singer and mother. She's also incredibly stylish. It's summertime hot out right now. Way too nice to be boxed in a little room doing interviews.
So we're walking through San Diego's Bird Park, and I'm starting by asking if she wore hoop earrings growing up.
I did our a small little hoop earrings, little ones, because smart you are fast. I know, because my family says that. But for those who don't want as fast, me fast means just a little girl doing things she shouldn't are trying to be grown. A little girl trying to be a big girl. It's funny though because if boys are that way, nobody would care and bring it up triple true. And my family says that they say fast tailed and they actually say 'mannish'.
For those who don't know what marriage means, Siri, give us a definition. A woman having unbecoming characteristics that are stereotypically associated with men. You know what else the Internet says about earings. The Internet says if this state is very small, undecorated and unassuming, she's telling the world that she's either a shy woman or she is very confident and has no need for Eagleford. She is probably rather smart and is not seeking romantic company. On the flip side, dangling whoops, demand attention, whoops.
Get their reputation as trashy because they're unsubtle, which is inappropriate and unladylike. The Internet also says women that wear large hoop earrings have a reputation for being slutty. The bigger their house, the bigger the whore. Whoa. Hey Siri, what are ho hoops? Absurdly, ridiculously huge cubic zirconium encrusted hoop earrings, at least four inches in diameter in nineteen twenty two.
The discovery of King Tut's tomb re popularized hoop earrings. They became a new symbol of power status, but nobody ever associates Liz Taylor's Cleopatra with wearing hopes. Now that's that's reserved for another urban dictionary says think Snooki or Rihanna. They do us back then. Although Rihanna says she's a savage, she has she has a track where she's like, did I tell you that I was savage? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Savage. I swear. I'm just with anything.
I don't have to be going somewhere. I'll have a T-shirt and jeans on a bus and so on. I wanted to be the statement on my outfit, but, you know, they're trying to tame us. Oh, that's kind of like whitewashing the savages, though. Hmm. A little bit. They do it and nobody sticks out and being different is considered a bad thing. You ever heard of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury or Equilibrium with Christian Bale?
A more popular version is Footloose with Kevin Bacon. The whole thing of outlawing music and dancing to limit expression and control emotions will Footloose works especially well because dancing is such a big part of the black culture, just like fashion. So it makes me wonder if hating on hoop earrings is a way of discouraging our pride and self-expression. Absolutely, and works. We become ashamed of our fashion. We even put ourselves in and in groups and call each other ghetto from our fashion.
The girls want to straighten their hair to fit in. They want to get into the trends that they see on TV to fit in. And I, as a teacher, can't tell a black child to wear clothing from their history because they'll be ridiculed, which is insane because fifty years ago is listed the Black Panther movement, which is seminal for black culture. Absolutely. And and it is. And but there's so many other things that are true. But I tell the kid they could wear gold chain and hoodie.
You will get mad at me and at the same time like a white character in a big movie, they can wear those garments and it means the character street smart.
But this isn't a movie and it doesn't wrap up nice and neat. And in the bowl there isn't an absolute answer. But Latanya is trying something.
I mean, how many times have we heard, like Black Friday? Right. So I want to encourage my students to get into prided themselves and what they love about themselves.
Somebody asked me, what do I love about being black? And I was such a great question considering everything that's been going on. And I think about it all the time. And so I just I brought it down to like, you know, ask my students, what do you love about themselves, about you? There's so many examples of people trying to blend in and ask them to give me something individual that they like about themselves. You're asking me to highlight the quality in themselves?
Yeah, we're not used to doing that. And if you do, it becomes your conceited or, you know, we are trained to be humble, which is fine. But believing yourself and loving yourself is like a big part of being self-aware and maturing. Learn some more empathy.
It's just that simple, encouraging individuality and self-expression in the micro to affect the macro, sort of like Kevin Bacon and Footloose, a little expression goes a long way. Do me a favor. Next time you're at work or running errands, look around for hoops. Who's wearing them? Are they people of color? Are they people in power? If you see a pair in an episode of Law & Order or CSI, who's wearing them? Is it the cops or the criminals?
I really am interested in your feedback. Send me or the gorgeous Latanya Lockett. Your thoughts on the subject hit me on Twitter. I'm at @PRKRedison already, so in with any insights or experiences you have on the topic.
Also, if you'd like to donate money to Latanya Locketts SD Glee Club camp hit her on iG at @MissLatanyasclass. The links in the show description, that's also her music playing in the background. Click on that in the description as well. And don't go anywhere. I have my good friend Chaunteal Web-Candler coming in for a quick game of Six Degrees of SepaWayans. You stay tuned.
Ty Velasquez in 'Run Ric!' trailer
I love you. I think I always will. Even now, I'm reeling from the effect that you have on the rest of my life. As badly as I want to feel the heat between us, I know exactly how this is going to end.
The Parker Edison project is brought to you by the good people. The platform collection go over the platform collection dotcom and watch the brand new film Short 'Run Ric!' Shot by Chris Reyes of the Fresh State. Features, rappers Ric Scale's and Veny Vardel. It's a Who's Who of San Diego Talent. Go check it out ASAP.
Hello. Video chat person the same almost hit me. Come down if I want to hit you, I hit you right in the temple. Oh here. Drink with me. Oh it's not vodka, it's better.
This is elephants in the room lager by amplify the elephant in the room lager by amplified ales. Oh this is good.
welcome back. You're listening to the Parker Edison Project. My roommate and I used to play this game in my house. It's called Six Degrees of Separation. At one time, Kevin Bacon was the peak of popularity in Hollywood. And that may still be the case with the almighty. Wayans family has been giving him a run for his money.
They've been making mad connections. And to show that I do this thing called Six Degrees of separation, I have a competition where somebody tries to snuff me by giving me names of people they don't think I can connect to the Wayans family. And I do it almost every time today trying to stop me. I have Chaunteal Webb-Candler, who's co-owner of the Guardians basketball team, the only black owned sports team in San Diego County and a founder of the HBCU alumni, San Diego Shunta.
What is that?
HBCU alumni of San Diego, also you stands for historically black colleges and universities. These were institutions that were founded shortly before the Civil War ended, but then they took a boom after the civil war ended. And of course, the proclamation in Emancipation Proclamation was signed and slaves were free. Then we had a boom in HBC being found. It so solemnizing Diego is basically well, it is is me, the only nonprofit Anthony County that specializes in advocacy, has a heavy resume right there.
OK, OK, Chaunteal, she's going to try and stop me. It's going to give me three names, see if I can connect them to the Almighty Wayans family within six connections. She's correct. I'll post. I love San Diego Guardian's meme by four of her Bam t shirts. That's black athletes matter. If I win, she'll post up the I love Parker Edison Project meme on her Instagram pages. It's pretty simple in the elevator pitch with her Bam shirts.
So Bam basically takes it back to Muhammad Ali, the two gentlemen during the Olympics, the year after Muhammad Ali, up to the great late, great Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Colin Kaepernick, everyone, black athletes nationwide and well, yeah, nationwide and worldwide that have used their platforms to speak about social injustices, whether it be in their here in America, whether it be police brutality, whatever the case may be. So basically, we wanted to say that, you know, the San Diego guardians, we believe in what LeBron is doing right now.
We believe in what Kap did.
Back in twenty, seventeen, it cost him his jobs, we believe in our our black athletes, we believe in our athletes that have black colleagues that want to support them and that they have the right to use their platform to speak out on what they believe in, because essentially they are supposed to be role models. And so, you know, to be able to influence people, that is part of their their profession as an athlete. So that's what their shirts are for.
And all proceeds will be going to the two focal points that I discussed.
So hashtag Bam, Black Athletes Matter and hashtag has talked about since. It is going to give me three names, six degrees of Super Wayne's. I got my pin in my paper in front of me. Give me give me the first one. Let's cook.
All right, ready here for it.
OK, let's see Marla Gibbs now look at Marla Gibbs. Marla Gibbs. Oh. Oh yeah. Marla Gibbs was in The Jeffersons. Oh yeah. Marla Gibbs was in The Jeffersons. Oh, Sherman with Sherman Hemsley. Wait a minute.
Sit down to Sherman Hemsley and Sherman Hemsley, probably as Sherman Hemsley and Sherman Hemsley was in the show, a man with whom I can remember her name, but her name is D. on the Wayans Brothers TV show.
OK, I believe that I would marry you. And she played Thelma on a man and I cannot remember her name is escaping me. But those were your name, right?
Either. But I know who you're talking about. Yeah, OK.
To the women's family. Marla Graf's one me one me one point me.
Because I wasn't looking on IBM and looking that deep. I thought I had lost all that she has wanna live she. Because I really have eight on my paper. She was always on the side so I shouldn't have started with her because she was a diva. But it's all good. I shot myself in the foot. Let's go with Monica Calhoon. Monica Calhoon.
OK, so that's one point me and one point Shantou right there.
I'm I'm I'm not sure Monica Calhoun is.
How about that? She she played in a number of of movies, but one of my favorite roles that she played in and escaping me to save my life, what her role name was. But she was more Chestnut's wife and the best man.
Yeah. That was was he was going to win that you were destined to win that one. You were destined to win that one.
No, I just when I was going through a list, I like Google black actresses and I was going through a list and I was like, oh my God, I love that. So yeah, one point two, I should have started for her.
Then I was going to take it back and when I get back I'm going to give you messed me up.
Oh. And the other was Annemarie Horsford. That's who that is. And remorse for D from the women for this one point. Shantell HBC You and the Guardians one point progress and project we for number three we got for the third.
Oh wait, I'm scared to do this one because I didn't dig deep enough that.
All right, I'm going to go with her.
Irma P Hall is in on it.
Irma People is in The Ladykillers, which is an amazing movie by the Coen Brothers with Tom Hanks and Marlon Wayans, My Wallet Nail's Segundo.
He left his hip hop music. Amazing movie.
This is an amazing because you knew Marlon was in it mean.
I watch that movie all the time. So right now you technically won.
I'm going to take my victory right there. I'm going take my big three. OK, so what are you going to do with.
That's another riveting game that was my guest, Chaunteal Webb Candler, co-owner of The Guardian's basketball team. You're listening to the Parker Edison Project. Stay tuned for a convo with photographer Alana Erratum about photographing people of color. Yeah. Im P Edison and I'll be right back after a quick break. So you're listening to the Parker Edison project. Next, we'll look at who's behind the camera and how that affects what you see. First off, for the listeners, who are you and what do you do?
Well, my name is Alanna Airitam. I am a fine art photographer and I'm a I'm an artist and an activist.
I kind of try to use my art as activism.
And where are you from? I'm from New York originally. Spend a great deal of time in Southern California, and I'm now here in Tucson, Arizona.
OK, I appreciate you, you know, jumping on. Thanks a ton for taking the time to talk to me, because I know you're busy. I've seen exhibitions in Miami, Virginia. Of course, you've been your photos have been showcased in BBC News, Vice News. And I guess first, congratulations on an incredibly successful endeavor.
Thank you. Yeah, it actually is surprising. You know, it's a bit surprising. I'm happy. Real grateful. I never I didn't expect the work to be embraced the way it has been embraced. So it's it's a really nice surprise just so I can get everyone up to speed a lot.
Can you tell us a little bit more about what the Golden Age series is?
So the Golden Age series is a set or a series of 10 portraits, black people.
I created them sort of in the context of 17th century Dutch Renaissance style portraiture.
And the reasoning behind that is because I didn't see us represented in museums and art spaces the way that I thought that we should be. And, you know, growing up as a child, I spent a lot of times in museums, but going inside of those portrait rooms like I never saw us and pictures that I did see of us, you know, were in large part serving someone or, you know, in the background somewhere.
And so, you know, I kept thinking about what that message was that was sent to me as a kid because it took me until the age of forty seven to realize I could be an artist. And I think I allowed that to sort of cloud my thoughts on that a little bit, my beliefs on that.
And I just didn't want to see that happen with younger people. You know, I felt like they needed to see a representation of themselves in those spaces. You know, in a time when our humanity is continually under attack, you know, the things that we hear about us in the media are awful and the way that people talk about us like we're not even human. And I just thought I need to create work that counters that. And I think that's where my activism sort of comes in.
It's like if I hear about these negative stereotypes of who people think we are, I'm going to create something that I feel is more truthful films.
Quote, I thought it was really interesting because the Chicago Tribune and you said finding some sense of hope was way more important than making another collateral piece for the marketing departments company picnic.
And that's what that makes me think of. Was there was there like a real life incident that was kind of like the last straw? Did you find yourself kind of gradually getting there?
The straw for me was, you know, this last job at this point, I'm working in the advertising field for over 20 something years. I have an enormous amount of experience behind me. I've worked with some of the biggest brands and still I was not being taken seriously. Still, in every single meeting, you know, I raised my hand for input and they would look over me. I was the angry black woman because I wasn't, you know, just willingly following the lead of people that, you know, I felt like I knew more.
And so they were they were finding me to be a little, I guess, combative or conflict.
I don't I don't know I don't know how they saw me, but it wasn't I wasn't positive, you know. And so the micromanaging and the micro aggressions and all of this stuff on a daily basis was really just doing me in.
And at the same time, I'm watching stuff like Ferguson blowoff and I am watching, you know, black men and women being killed in police custody on a little like a weekly basis.
And and the thing was going home and never having the time to process that. You know, if you're always having to code switch on at work, you don't get a chance to really process that stuff.
So I had squashed down squasher down. So, yeah, I think I just kind of got to the point where I just couldn't handle it anymore, like, I just couldn't do it. That's when I decided to quit that job. And I thought, I know it's going to be the same thing in a different building, you know. And so. What do I want my life to look like, because this is what I know. This is the experience that I know, I know it's always going to be like this.
So if I sign up for this again, I know what I'm getting or I could take a risk and do something different and new and just see what happens. You know, I can always go back. Right. So I thought, OK, what if I give myself three months, three to just do everything that I know I'm supposed to do, but see where that goes? Right. Right way. So you're really at the pulse of something.
You're really at the pulse of something right there. No one talks about making that transition. Very rarely do artists ever get into that kind of great area of of transitioning and moving your life. I've been in that situation. My peers are in that situation. And like any anyone that's that's out there right now in the new gig economy is dealing with this situation in some capacity. So can you give me three tips for for people who are trying to escape the cubicle?
I would say the first thing is to have a vision. Like have an idea of what? You're trying to accomplish who you want to be for me, that's like putting a pin on your GPS and you're telling the map like I want to be here. And once you have a pin in that map, you can navigate to that place. But if you don't have a pin dropped in and you're just like, I want to be somewhere, then you are all over the place.
There's no direction. You know, you're stopping for gas on this road. You're stopping for food over there, but you're not actually going anywhere. Have a direction. I'd say that's the first thing. Second step, I think, is once you think, OK, well, I want to be in this place, then you can start to figure out what that road map looks like for you.
What do you need to do to get there? What do you need to do to be an artist? Well, I need to practice. I need to get out my my paint. I need to get out my canvas. I need to get out my camera, whatever it is. And I need to start practicing. I need to learn my craft. I think that that's the other thing and not make excuses, like be that person. If you want to be healthy, exercise, eat well, you know, maybe the third thing is being gentle with yourself.
Right? Like not expecting that you put in two weeks worth of work. So therefore you should either by now these things take time. And I think the more that you practice, whatever it is that you want to do, the better you're going to get at it. And if you just keep believing that that's where you want to head and that's what that's the person that you are and that's who you want to be, just keep doing it. Keep doing it until it becomes this masterful thing.
I'm going to even add in a bonus number for is to squash the noise that's outside of you because you're always going to have people that are looking at you and thinking that you are this person and now you're trying to be somebody else. How dare you? And they're going to try to pull you down and they're going to try to give you all this negative talk, squash it. Those people don't have any room where you're going.
So you got to, like, let it go. You just got to, like, let those people go or use it as fuel, like I've had. It was a photo rep. He called me a bottom feeder and told me not to quit my day job. And I was like, oh, OK.
Well, you know, I allowed that to sit with me. And I was upset with it for a little while.
And I thought, hang on, before I saw this person, I was fine with my with who I was and what my work was. And I mean, use that as fuel on the show.
Him you have a direction, make a map, be gentle with yourself. Squash the noise outside of you. Rinse, repeat. Ilana's out here given gyms, gyms. Rewind this. Take notes real fast. What is don't take pictures.
Oh Don't Take Pictures is a really phenomenal photo publication. And yeah, I was very fortunate that they did a really amazing feature on me. I had some great real estate in there and the essay is written by Gordon Stettinius, who is I've been working with him. He's my galleries in Virginia and Richmond, Virginia, Candela Gallery.
And it's it's a beautiful article and very, very thrilled to be in this in this issue that was a lot of air time.
Speaking on escaping the nine to five, her journey from the cubicle to the gallery, you've been listening to the Parker Edison Project. This episode is Women on Film. It's not just about celebrating people that have done awesome things, but people have changed the narrative, take an ownership and become their own bosses. What's more American than that? Speaking of being your own boss, here's someone that does it all.
Who are you?
Tres 'Sojourn' Hodgens
Yeah, so, yeah, my name is Sojourn and I emcee produce and play some drums.
So having said that, here's a tune called More Than Rap and it goes like.
This. When a bus is more than just saying abrupt, a train of thought that you can just run through your mind, let it ride the train engineered by my imagination to have the way the trip will never be. Well, when a bus is more than just saying no, it's a train of thought to run through your mind. Let it ride the train engineer. So have no fear the trip will never be wack. I was born with such a round this word life and has a right to exist. My message in the bottle travels across the streams of consciousness until it reaches the peak, at which time at the end of the show, with more opportunities. Not for me to drop the thoughts on shock and limited so eloquently electrify and exemplify the blindness you seek. No, this is a word that does a super job in flux by my position.
But to the average observer, I'm seeing as a pause and it's much more than ready to go. Because when a bus is more than just sitting in front of his train of thought, that comes up to run through your mind, let it ride the train to new American nations to have the will of the West. When I was just thinking to run his train of thought that comes up to run through your mind, let it ride the train to new American nations to have the will to be when a bus is more than just say, you know, it's a train of thought that a conductor runs the gamut.
Let it ride the train engineered by my imagination so have no fear the trip will never be wack
The Parker Edison Project
What comes to mind when you think of American culture? The Parker Edison Project works to expand the cliché answer to that question. It's a podcast that zooms way in on what really makes a culture — food, music, style, sex, fashion and more. Join host and co-creator Parker Edison for insightful conversations about creativity and community, all through the lens of Black America. This is the Parker Edison Project, a sonic exploration of what's considered American, where each episode starts with a thought-provoking talk and ends with a musical bang.