Rites of Passage: Bay Area Native & African Youth release the third issue of SNAG Magazine and CD

POOR correspondent - Posted on 25 June 2010

A POOR Magazine ReVieWsForTHeReVoltuIon

Friday, February 27, 2004

POOR MAgazine's ReViEw cru had the pleasure of attending the SNAG (Seventh Native American Generation) release party at Oaklands Black Box last Friday night.

"in this issue we explore rites of passage - life changing experiences that have made us who we are today. Whether it be a coming of age ceremony, a rough year in high school or a moment shared with grandfather... we have all lived through times that have shaped us as people...excerpt from SNAG's 3rd issue

I first met Ross Cunningham, who is Pomo and African and Shadi Rahimi who is Bahrani and Kurdish , founders and editors of SNAG in 2002 when they approached POOR to help them get their first issue of SNAG published through our publishing arm, POOR Press - which sponsors work of poor youth and adults of color. We were thrilled to be part of the project and many months of slaving over a hot computer by everyone involved- SNAG volume 1 was borne.

A year and a half later Volume 3 of a glossy and very beautiful SNAG entitled "rites of Passage" which also includes a very phat CD has officially hit the streets. SNAG, based in Oakland is the only native youth magazine in the whole US and is totally self-sustaining. They make the money to publish by selling the magazine for $5.00 and they have contributors from native youth all over the US

I went to the release party with my 5 month old son and my friend and fellow POOR staffer Jennifer Navarro and her young son (2). I had some reservations about going to a "show" that purported to have hip hop, dance and art with my baby only because the volume can be too loud for him, but when i asked Ross about it he said, "NAw,,, this is an all ages show" Well the interesting part of that statement is it in fact was an all ages show, there were elders, grandmothers and grandfathers, babies ( even younger than mine) and children ranging from 4 to 18. and they weren't just there - all these folk from all these different generations performed, spoke out, danced and chanted.

The evening began with a traditional dance including Ross' grandmother leading a traditional song with Ross and several other men and boys dressed in traditional Pomo gear dancing to bless the event and launch the resistance. After that Ross spoke to the crowd bout SNAGs humble ( hella ghetto aka POOR PRess) beginnings, the mission statement of SNAG and what would happen that night.

We were blessed with traditional dance performances by children and adult Pomo dancers accompanied by the famous drum sounds of The All Nations Drums, B-Boys from New Mexico and the Dine Nation; The FOFcru and Hound Dog Truckers, Oakland Rapper Tico , spoken words and B-girls from TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More- a youth group that spoke truth about the criminal Unjustice System and the necessity to resist through raising our voices together.

The next part of the night was framed as an "open mike" which was truly an open mike - ie folk of all ages and colors came to the mike and spoke, sung and chanted on all issues ranging from the incarcerations of native brothers to the haunting sounds of a native man playing an electric bass guitar as though it was a sitar .

Finally, much later in the evening the night became about some deep sounds of Native Hip hop including Ras K'Dee, PRophet, PRofound, Blessed I, Foreign Legion and Casper Lomayesva- it was at this point that we and the mama/baby cru from POOR had to make our exit feeling full of cross cultural and multi-generational knowledge and positivity.

The SNAG folks are working on developing a website which would allow them to publish weekly. TO do this they need to raise some funds - to make a donation or get a copy of their current Issue contact Ross at (510) 535-4492- x 157 or email them at snagmagazine@yahoo.com


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