THE POWER OF LOVE

The Power Of Love

My life has been a journey of immense trials until now. Everyone has a story and mine just happens to be riddled with lots of trauma.

I lived in the streets at age 11 years. I ate out of garbage cans, drank out of water hoses, and slept in parks. It was not my choice to be out there.

My older sister was a gangster but I did not belong out there. I was in a middle of a war zone out there and hated living in violence. The first chance I had I left the streets and never looked back.

Later I met a man and married. I understand now I drew that abusive relationship into my life. I found the courage to leave him. For a year he stalked me, destroyed my vehicles and tried to get me evicted from my apartment. I went into hiding.

I finally broke free from him. I was homeless again. I got a job as a stripper to get back on my feet. This was not an easy job when one chooses to do it sober. I hated that job and first chance I had I quit. I became a high priced, barbie doll, call girl, lots of money but no self worth. I became addicted to the easy money but found the courage to walk away from that too!

I was introduced to “The Secret” two years ago. For all of my life I read books on psychology, desperately searching for the reasons why all the things in my life, all the hurt, all the scars… Why did they happen?

“The Secret” saved MY life and the life Of MY SON!

I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. At about 8 months old my son began to exhibit signs of Autism. His immune system began to turn on his body. He became allergic to everything.

His father and I had just moved from Ohio, had little money and were about to become homeless. I could not work, given the health conditions of my son.

We lived in an apartment but had no furnishings, pots, pans, etc. At times we didn’t have anything to eat. I told my boyfriend about The Secret and asked him if we could somehow find a way to come up with the money to buy the movie. I pleaded to him stating I never asked for anything ever but that I desperately wanted this movie.

He bought if for me. The day I watched it, tears of joy ran down my face and I was empowered that day! I knew right then and there why I experienced all the trials of the past. That moment I let go of all the anger for all the hurtful memories I had carried with me for all of my life.

I begged the Universe for peace… It gave me peace! I asked the Universe for joy… It gave me joy. I asked for Love… It granted me the ability to feel all the wonderful feelings I never had the chance to experience in my life.

Each new feeling the Universe gave me felt sooo wonderful. I don’t know how to express in words, walking around feeling hurt, desperation, and fear for all of my life and in one Magic Moment the warmth of all good flooded my soul and I was truly alive!

I thought if that was all “The Secret” was going to give me then I was truly blessed. But that is not what the Universe decided for me.

I continued to practice “The Secret” for many things. When we were hungry I would ask for food and a knock at the door would startle me. It was the neighbor giving us food. It was that quick!

I believe my heart was overflowing with gratitude just for the awesome gifts of feeling wonderful, being granted the ability to feel it.

I asked the Universe for so many things and it granted it to me immediately. The list is so long I could not list everything.

To have peace in my life: Thank you
To have the ability to walk in LOVE: Thank you
To find and experience JOY: Thank you

For so many years I cried tears of pain and now I cry tears of JOY! Thank you… Thank you… Thank you…

My son is 3 years old and I recently began to teach him “The Secret” His teachers and therapists are amazed at how quickly he has recovered! They keep asking how a child with sensor issues, a child that could not speak, a child that was violent to himself and those around him, how could he progress to become a loving little boy who chatters words (yes he can speak!) How did this happen?

I shared “The Secret” with them and now they practice it. We have become friends who encourage one another. I shared it with neighbors. I went from being all alone with no friends to laughing with extreme joy in my heart for the new friends I have now!

I will never forget what this book has done for me, my son, my friends. I am so very grateful for everything I have been given. The miracles I was granted in healing first my broken heart and then healing my son’s Autism. We are no longer broken people but people who send love and blessings in a world desperately needing it.

The miracles keep happening so much so I could fill a book. I share my triumphs now with any one who wants to listen.

Cara Mengedit Video Dengan Adobe Premiere

# Bagaimana cara mengedit video dengan Adobe Premiere supaya hasilnya bagus dan memuaskan? Berikut beberapa tips yang bisa Anda lakukan.

Cara Mengedit Video Dengan Adobe Premiere – Prolog

Mengabadikan moment  moment  paling bersejarah dalam hidup Anda dalam bentuk video saat ini semakin menarik untuk dapat Anda lakukan. Perangkat kamera yang kini beredar di pasaran dengan harga yang sangat terjangkau juga semakin mendukung Anda untuk terus menciptakan kenangan-kenangan indah yang tidak akan mudah dilupakan. Namun, bila Anda belum mahir dan bukan termasuk seorang kameramen profesional, terkadang  video hasil bidikan Anda terasa kurang memuaskan – di saat itulah Anda perlu mengedit video.

Tapi tahukah Anda, setiap video yang dihasilkan oleh seorang kameramen di televisi atau media elektronik lainnya selalu melewati proses editing untuk dapat menghasilkan kualitas video, gambar dan suara yang baik.  Prosed editing video memang membutuhkan keahlian seorang editor  yang cukup memadai dalam bidang video editing, sekalipun mengeditnya memakai software yang mudah digunakan. Mengedit video tidak hanya berurusan dengan masalah penambahan efek atau pengurangan/ penambahan  luminasi cahaya, tetapi juga berhubungan dengan ‘rasa’ yang secara teknis mungkin tidak setiap orang  miliki. Namun, jangan khawatir karena kini ada aplikasi video editing yang dapat membantu Anda menghasilkan kualitas video yang cukup baik, yaitu Adobe Premiere.

Cara Mengedit Video – Tentang Adobe Premiere

Adobe Premiere merupakan aplikasi keluaran Adobe yang sering digunakan untuk mengedit video. Aplikasi ini sangat cocok untuk mengedit video, baik Anda seorang editor pemula, editor pada home studio, editor profesional televisi atau praktisi pada bidang lainnya. Adobe Premiere di luncurkan dengan beragam keunggulan yang (mungkin) tidak akan Anda temui pada aplikasi sejening lainnya. Seperti halnya produk dari Adobe lainnya, para pengembang Adobe Premiere pun menyajikan kemudahan-kemudahan penggunaan yang dapat dipelajari dalam waktu yang relatif singkat, bahkan untuk Anda yang sama sekali belum pernah menggunakan aplikasi video editing seperti ini.

Cara Mengedit Video - Adobe Premiere

Berikut ini adalah beberapa cara mudah untuk mengedit video dengan Adobe Premiere :

CAPTURE

Proses capture gambar/ video merupakan proses pemindahan gambar dari memori penyimpanan (MiniDV atau MicroSD) ke dalam hardisk komputer/ laptop Anda. Adapun cara untuk meng-capture adalah sebagai berikut ini :

  1. Aktifkan kamera/ handycam yang Anda miliki
  2. Aktifkan program aplikasi Adobe Premiere pada komputer/ laptop Anda
  3. Pada kotak Digital Video Device, klik menu Edit and Record Video. Kemudia klik OK
  4. Pilih New Project untuk memulai project baru
  5. Pilih menu DV PAL atau DV NTSC, kemudian sesuaikan dengan jenis kamera yang Anda gunakan. Untuk kamera yang biasa digunakan di Indonesia, pilih PAL. Setelah itu isi nama project yang Anda buat pada kotak Name. Diikuti dengan memilih tombol OK
  6. Maka akan muncul tampilan antarmuka Adobe Premiere
  7. Pilih menu File >> Campture
  8. Pilih direktori yang Anda gunakan untuk menempatkan hasil capture video. Setelah itu klik Setting
  9. Klik Browse  untuk mencari video kemudian Klik OK.
  10. Ikuti langkah yang sama untuk capture Audio
  11. Gunakan perintah dan tombol yang sama seperti diatas untuk dapat membuka video yang ada di dalam MiniDV / Micro SD Anda
  12. Setelah semua selesai, pilih tombol Play dan Record untuk memulai proses capture
  13. Pilih tombol Stop, jika akan menghentikan proses capture.
  14. Ketik nama video klip Anda dalam kotak Clip name dengan ektensi .avi
  15. Klik OK untuk menyimpan klip video dalam panel project.

EDITING DALAM SOURCE MONITOR

Proses editing dilakukan untuk memotong beberapa klip video  yang mungkin ingin Anda buang atau Anda simpan, caranya :

  1. Drag and Drop klip video yang sebelumnya telah dismpan ke dalam Source Monitor
  2. Geser klip videp untuk menentukan potongan awal, setelah itu klik In Point
  3. Geser klip video untuk memnentukan potongan akhir, setelah itu klik Out Point
  4. Klik dan geser klip video ke dalam timeline
  5. Ulangi cara 1 hingga 4 pada bagian lainnya.

EDITING DALAM TIMELINE

Jika terdapat bagian yang masih ingin Anda hilangkan, lakukan proses dengan menggunakan banyak alat untuk mengedit klip di dalam timeline seperti dibawah ini :

  1. Razor Tool : Memotong klip
  2. Move Tool : Memilih Klip
  3. Rate Stretch Tool : Mengatur kecepatan putar klip

PENAMBAHAN  EFEK

klip-klip yang ada di dalam timeline dapat diberikan efek tambahan untuk menjadikannya lebih menarik. pilih efek dalam tab Effects, lalu Klik dan geser klip video yang Anda inginkan. Aturlah efek pada tab Effect Controls. Dan lihat hasil akhirnya pada layar.

PENAMBAHAN TRANSISI

Proses penambahan transisi dilakukan agar terjadi  perpindahan antar dua  atau beberapa klip menjadi lebih halus. Pilih tipe transisi yang  terdapat pada  folder Video Transitions. Kemudian geserlah klip diantara pertemua dua klip. Atur transisi yang telah ditambahkan  dalam tab Effect Controls.

MENGGABUNGKAN KLIP VIDEO

Terapat cara yang mudah untuk menggabungkan klip video, yaitu simpan  video 1 pada track Video 1, kemudia simpan video yang ingin Anda gabungkan pada track video 2, berada di atas video 1.

Untuk menggabungkan kedua klip tersebut , klik klip video 1,  pilih tab Effect Controls, aturlah  Opacity sesuai selera Anda. Untuk dapat menambahkan klip video dari  source yang  lain ke dalam panel Project, pilihkan menu  File >> Import.

MENYIMPAN PROYEK

Simpanlah proyek  yang telah Anda buat dengan memilih menu File >> Save, atau tekan tombol Ctrl+S secara bersamaan pada keyboard.

RENDERING  VIDEO

  1. Pilih menu File >> Export  >> Movie (Untuk Premiere Pro 2).
  2. Pilih menu File >> Export >> Media (Untuk Premiere Pro CS3dan CS4 dengan Output Mpeg)
  3. Pilih menu File >> Export >>Adobe Media Encoder (Untuk Premiere Pro 2)
  4. Pilih menu File >> Export >> Media ( Untuk Premiere Pro CS3 dan CS4).
    Waktu yang dibutuhkan untuk melakukan proses rende tergantung pada durasi di dalam timeline dan juga dipengaruhi oleh spesifikasi komputer yang digunakan.

Introducing the P2 Theme: Blogging in Realtime

Introducing the P2 Theme: Blogging in Realtime.

Communication and Leadership

No one would talk much in society if they knew how often they misunderstood others. — Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Communication is the exchange and flow of information and ideas from one person to another; it involves a sender transmitting an idea, information, or feeling to a receiver (U.S. Army, 1983). Effective communication occurs only if the receiver understands the exact information or idea that the sender intended to transmit. Many of the problems that occur in an organization are the either the direct result of people failing to communicate and/or processes, which leads to confusion and can cause good plans to fail (Mistry, Jaggers, Lodge, Alton, Mericle, Frush, Meliones, 2008).

Studying the communication process is important because you coach, coordinate, counsel, evaluate, and supervise throughout this process. It is the chain of understanding that integrates the members of an organization from top to bottom, bottom to top, and side to side.

The Communication Process

Communication
That is what we try to do
Speak to those near us

  • Thought: First, information exists in the mind of the sender. This can be a concept, idea, information, or feelings.
  • Encoding: Next, a message is sent to a receiver in words or other symbols.
  • Decoding: Lastly, the receiver translates the words or symbols into a concept or information that he or she can understand.

During the transmitting of the message, two elements will be received: content and context. Content is the actual words or symbols of the message that is known as language — the spoken and written words combined into phrases that make grammatical and semantic sense. We all use and interpret the meanings of words differently, so even simple messages can be misunderstood. And many words have different meanings to confuse the issue even more.

Context is the way the message is delivered and is known as paralanguage — it is the nonverbal elements in speech such as the tone of voice, the look in the sender’s eyes, body language, hand gestures, and state of emotions (anger, fear, uncertainty, confidence, etc.) that can be detected. Although paralanguage or context often cause messages to be misunderstood as we believe what we see more than what we hear; they are powerful communicators that help us to understand each other. Indeed, we often trust the accuracy of nonverbal behaviors more than verbal behaviors.

Some leaders think they have communicated once they told someone to do something, “I don’t know why it did not get done. I told Jim to do it.” More than likely, Jim misunderstood the message. A message has NOT been communicated unless it is understood by the receiver (decoded). How do you know it has been properly received? By two-way communication or feedback. This feedback tells the sender that the receiver understood the message, its level of importance, and what must be done with it. Communication is an exchange, not just a give, as all parties must participate to complete the information exchange.

Barriers to Communication

Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood. — Freeman Teague, Jr.

Anything that prevents understanding of the message is a barrier to communication. Many physical and psychological barriers exist:

  • Culture, background, and bias — We allow our past experiences to change the meaning of the message. Our culture, background, and bias can be good as they allow us to use our past experiences to understand something new, it is when they change the meaning of the message that they interfere with the communication process.
  • Noise — Equipment or environmental noise impedes clear communication. The sender and the receiver must both be able to concentrate on the messages being sent to each other.
  • Ourselves — Focusing on ourselves, rather than the other person can lead to confusion and conflict. The “Me Generation” is out when it comes to effective communication. Some of the factors that cause this are defensiveness (we feel someone is attacking us), superiority (we feel we know more that the other), and ego (we feel we are the center of the activity).
  • Perception — If we feel the person is talking too fast, not fluently, does not articulate clearly, etc., we may dismiss the person. Also our preconceived attitudes affect our ability to listen. We listen uncritically to persons of high status and dismiss those of low status.
  • Message — Distractions happen when we focus on the facts rather than the idea. Our educational institutions reinforce this with tests and questions. Semantic distractions occur when a word is used differently than you prefer. For example, the word chairman instead of chairperson, may cause you to focus on the word and not the message.
  • Environmental — Bright lights, an attractive person, unusual sights, or any other stimulus provides a potential distraction.
  • Smothering — We take it for granted that the impulse to send useful information is automatic. Not true! Too often we believe that certain information has no value to others or they are already aware of the facts.
  • Stress — People do not see things the same way when under stress. What we see and believe at a given moment is influenced by our psychological frames of references — our beliefs, values, knowledge, experiences, and goals.

These barriers can be thought of as filters, that is, the message leaves the sender, goes through the above filters, and is then heard by the receiver. These filters may muffle the message. And the way to overcome filters is through active listening and feedback.

Active Listening

Hearing and listening are not the same thing. Hearing is the act of perceiving sound. It is involuntary and simply refers to the reception of aural stimuli. Listening is a selective activity which involves the reception and the interpretation of aural stimuli. It involves decoding the sound into meaning.

Listening is divided into two main categories: passive and active. Passive listening is little more that hearing. It occurs when the receiver of the message has little motivation to listen carefully, such as when listening to music, story telling, television, or when being polite.

People speak at 100 to 175 words per minute (WPM), but they can listen intelligently at 600 to 800 WPM. Since only a part of our mind is paying attention, it is easy to go into mind drift — thinking about other things while listening to someone. The cure for this is active listening — which involves listening with a purpose. It may be to gain information, obtain directions, understand others, solve problems, share interest, see how another person feels, show support, etc. It requires that the listener attends to the words and the feelings of the sender for understanding. It takes the same amount or more energy than speaking. It requires the receiver to hear the various messages, understand the meaning, and then verify the meaning by offering feedback. The following are a few traits of active listeners:

  • Spend more time listening than talking.
  • Do not finish the sentences of others.
  • Do not answer questions with questions.
  • Are aware of biases. We all have them. We need to control them.
  • Never daydreams or become preoccupied with their own thoughts when others talk.
  • Let the other speakers talk. Do not dominate the conversations.
  • Plan responses after the others have finished speaking, NOT while they are speaking.
  • Provide feedback, but do not interrupt incessantly.
  • Analyze by looking at all the relevant factors and asking open-ended questions. Walk others through by summarizing.
  • Keep conversations on what others say, NOT on what interests them.
  • Take brief notes. This forces them to concentrate on what is being said.

Feedback

When you know something, say what you know. When you don’t know something, say that you don’t know. That is knowledge. — Kung Fu Tzu (Confucius)

The purpose of feedback is to alter messages so the intention of the original communicator is understood by the second communicator. It includes verbal and nonverbal responses to another person’s message.

Providing feedback is accomplished by paraphrasing the words of the sender. Restate the sender’s feelings or ideas in your own words, rather than repeating their words. Your words should be saying, “This is what I understand your feelings to be, am I correct?” It not only includes verbal responses, but also nonverbal ones. Nodding your head or squeezing their hand to show agreement, dipping your eyebrows shows you don’t quite understand the meaning of their last phrase, or sucking air in deeply and blowing it hard shows that you are also exasperated with the situation.

Carl Rogers listed five main categories of feedback. They are listed in the order in which they occur most frequently in daily conversations. Notice that we make judgments more often than we try to understand:

  • Evaluative: Making a judgment about the worth, goodness, or appropriateness of the other person’s statement.
  • Interpretive: Paraphrasing — attempting to explain what the other person’s statement means.
  • Supportive: Attempting to assist or bolster the other communicator.
  • Probing: Attempting to gain additional information, continue the discussion, or clarify a point.
  • Understanding: Attempting to discover completely what the other communicator means by her statements.

Imagine how much better daily communications would be if listeners tried to understand first, before they tried to evaluate what someone is saying.

Nonverbal Behaviors of Communication

To deliver the full impact of a message, use nonverbal behaviors to raise the channel of interpersonal communication:

  • Eye contact: This helps to regulate the flow of communication. It signals interest in others and increases the speaker’s credibility. People who make eye contact open the flow of communication and convey interest, concern, warmth, and credibility.
  • Facial Expressions: Smiling is a powerful cue that transmits happiness, friendliness, warmth, and liking. So, if you smile frequently you will be perceived as more likable, friendly, warm and approachable. Smiling is often contagious and people will react favorably. They will be more comfortable around you and will want to listen more.
  • Gestures: If you fail to gesture while speaking you may be perceived as boring and stiff. A lively speaking style captures the listener’s attention, makes the conversation more interesting, and facilitates understanding.
  • Posture and body orientation: You communicate numerous messages by the way you talk and move. Standing erect and leaning forward communicates to listeners that you are approachable, receptive and friendly. Interpersonal closeness results when you and the listener face each other. Speaking with your back turned or looking at the floor or ceiling should be avoided as it communicates disinterest.
  • Proximity: Cultural norms dictate a comfortable distance for interaction with others. You should look for signals of discomfort caused by invading the other person’s space. Some of these are: rocking, leg swinging, tapping, and gaze aversion.
  • Vocal: Speaking can signal nonverbal communication when you include such vocal elements as: tone, pitch, rhythm, timbre, loudness, and inflection. For maximum teaching effectiveness, learn to vary these six elements of your voice. One of the major criticisms of many speakers is that they speak in a monotone voice. Listeners perceive this type of speaker as boring and dull.

Speaking Hints

Speak comfortable words! — William Shakespeare

  • When speaking or trying to explain something, ask the listeners if they are following you.
  • Ensure the receiver has a chance to comment or ask questions.
  • Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes — consider the feelings of the receiver.
  • Be clear about what you say.
  • Look at the receiver.
  • Make sure your words match your tone and body language (nonverbal behaviors).
  • Vary your tone and pace.
  • Do not be vague, but on the other hand, do not complicate what you are saying with too much detail.
  • Do not ignore signs of confusion.

On Communication Per Se — a few random thoughts

Mehrabian and the 7%-38%-55% Myth

We often hear that the content of a message is composed of:

  • 55% from the visual component
  • 38% from the auditory component
  • 7% from language

However, the above percentages only apply in a very narrow context. A researcher named Mehrabian was interested in how listeners get their information about a speaker’s general attitude in situations where the facial expression, tone, and/or words are sending conflicting signals.

Thus, he designed a couple of experiments. In one, Mehrabian and Ferris (1967) researched the interaction of speech, facial expressions, and tone. Three different speakers were instructed to say “maybe” with three different attitudes towards their listener (positive, neutral, or negative). Next, photographs of the faces of three female models were taken as they attempted to convey the emotions of like, neutrality, and dislike.

Test groups were then instructed to listen to the various renditions of the word “maybe,” with the pictures of the models, and were asked to rate the attitude of the speaker. Note that the emotion and tone were often mixed, such as a facial expression showing dislike, with the word “maybe” spoken in a positive tone.

Significant effects of facial expression and tone were found in that the study suggested that the combined effect of simultaneous verbal, vocal and facial attitude communications is a weighted sum of their independent effects with the coefficients of .07, .38, and .55, respectively.

Mehrabian and Ferris caution their readers about the limitation to their research, “These findings regarding the relative contribution of the tonal component of a verbal message can be safely extended only to communication situations in which no additional information about the communicator/addressee relationship is available.” Thus, what can be concluded is that when people communicate, listeners derive information about the speaker’s attitudes towards the listener from visual, tonal, and verbal cues; yet the percentage derived can vary greatly depending upon a number of other factors, such as actions, context of the communication, and how well the communicators know each other.

Paul Ekman

In the mid 1960s, Paul Ekman studied emotions and discovered six facial expressions that almost everyone recognizes world-wide: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, and surprise. Although they were controversial at first (he was booed off the stage when he first presented it to a group of anthropologists and later called a fascist and a racist) they are now widely accepted. One of the controversies still lingering is the amount of context needed to interpret them. For example, if someone reports to me that they have this great ideal that they would like to implement, and I say that would be great, but I look on them with a frown, is it possible that I could be thinking about something else? The trouble with these extra signals is that we do not always have the full context. What if the person emailed me and I replied great (while frowning). Would it evoke the same response?

Emotions

Trust your instincts. Most emotions are difficult to imitate. For example, when you are truly happy, the muscles used for smiling are controlled by the limbic system and other parts of the brain, which are not under voluntary control. When you force a smile, a different part of the brain is used — the cerebral cortex (under voluntary control), hence different muscles are used. This is why a clerk, who might not have any real interest in you, has a fake look when he forces a smile.

Of course, some actors learn to control all of their face muscles, while others draw on a past emotional experience to produce the emotional state they want. But this is not an easy trick to pull off all the time. There is a good reason for this — part of our emotions evolved to deal with other people and our empathic nature. If these emotions could easily be faked, they would do more harm than good (Pinker, 1997).

So our emotions not only guide our decisions, they can also be communicated to others to help them in their decisions… of course their emotions will be the ultimate guide, but the emotions they discover in others become part of their knowledge base.

On Discussing Communication

Trying to speak of something as messy as communication in technical terms seems to be another form of the ‘math and science’ argument, that is, math, science and technology are the answer to all of our problems. — Anonymous

But what forms of human behavior are not messy? Learning is not antiseptic, yet it is discussed all the time — we do not leave it to the academics, such as Bloom, Knowles, Dugan, or Rossett. Leadership and management seems to be even messier, yet we categorize it, build models of it, index it, chop it and slice it and dice it, build pyramids out of it, and generally have a good time discussing it. But when it comes to communication, we call it too messy to play with and leave it up to Chomsky, Pinker, and others to write about so that we can read about it. Yet we all communicate almost every single day of our lives, which is much more than we will ever do with learning or leadership.

Next Steps

Leadership and Motivation

Communication Activity – The Johari Window

Main Leadership Menu

References

Butler, Gillian, Ph.D. and Hope, Tony, M.D. (1996). Managing Your Mind. New York: Oxford University Press.

Mistry K., Jaggers J., Lodge A., Alton M., Mericle J., Frush K., Meliones J. (2008). Using Six Sigma Methodology to Improve Handoff Communication in High Risk Patients. In: Advances in Patient Safety: New Directions and Alternative Approaches. Vol. 3. Performance and Tools. AHRQ Publication No. 08-0034-3. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; August 2008.

Mehrabian, Albert and Morton Wiener, 1967, Decoding of inconsistent communications, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 6:109-114

Mehrabian, Albert and Susan R. Ferris, 1967, Inference of attitudes from nonverbal communication in two channels, Journal of Consulting Psychology 31:248-252.

Pearson, J. (1983). Interpersonal Communication. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foreman and Company.

Pinker, Steven (1997). How the Mind Works. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

U.S. Army. (October 1983). Military Leadership. FM 22-100. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

FROM THE FRINGE: THE HIP HOP CULTURE AND ETHNIC RELATIONS

Like This..It’s Cool

ABSTRACT

The “hip hop culture” has permeated popular culture in an unprecedented fashion. Because of its enormous cross-over appeal, the hip hop culture is a potentially great unifier of diverse populations. Although created by black youth on the street, hip hop’s influence has become worldwide. Approximately 75 percent of the rap and hip hop audience is nonblack. It has gone from the fringes, to the suburbs, and into the corporate boardrooms. Indeed, McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Sprite, Nike, and other corporate giants have capitalized on this phenomenon. Although critics of rap music and the hip hop culture seemed to be fixated on the messages of sex, violence, and harsh language, this genre offers us a paradigm of what can be. The potential of this art form to mend ethnic relations is substantial. In the 1950s and 1960s the “Beat Culture” challenged the status quo in ways that unified liberals and prompted change. In the same vein, the hip hop culture has challenged the system in ways that have unified individuals (particularly youth) across a rich ethnic spectrum. This paper will discuss the development of the hip hop culture, the cross-over appeal of hip hop, and the potential of this culture to mend ethnic cleavages in our society.

Prison Race Book
READ CHAPTERS

Today, hip and rap is the fastest growing music genre in the U.S., accounting for more than 10 percent of the $12.3 billion music sales in 1998. 1 Rap music has become the linchpin of the hip hop culture. The overall hip hop culture has been established by this musical art form. The language (street slang), dress (baggy pants, caps worn backwards, expensive sneakers), and style of the hip hop culture have all evolved from rap music.2To illustrate rap’s widespread popularity, according to Soundscan, a company in Hartsdale, N.Y. that monitors music sales, at the end of 1998, 9 of the 15 albums on the pop chart were rap. At the end of 1998, three of the top selling albums were rap acts: Jay Z, Outkast, and A Tribe Call Quest. According to Neil Strauss, rap is replacing rock and roll as the most popular genre of music among youth.3 Ten years ago, in the suburbs you heard teenagers blasting music from such rock artist as the Byrds, Doors, the Eagles, Van Halen, and Guns `N’ Roses. Today, teenagers are blasting rap music from such artist as Jay Z and Outkast.4

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, rock music accounted for 32.5 percent of the industry’s $12.3 billion in sales during 1997. But this figure is down from 46.2 percent a decade ago. Meanwhile rap music’s share of sales has increased 150% over the last ten years and is still rising.5

HISTORY OF HIP HOP

Busy Bee Starski, DJ Hollywood, and DJ Afrika Bambaataa (founder of the Zulu Nation in New York) are the three New York artists who have been credited for coining the term “hip hop”.6 This genre began in the`70s with funky beats resonating at house parties, at basement parties, and the streets of New York.7 According to Geneva Smitherman, the foundation of rap music is rooted in “Black oral tradition of tonal semantics, narrativizing, signification, playing the dozens, Africanized syntax, and other communicative practices.” 8

One can trace the commercial history of rap back to 1979 when the Sugar Hill Gang produced the enormously successful song entitled, Rapper’s Delight. The raw begginings of contemporary rap music can be traced to the Bronx in the mid 1970s.9 Rap music was a way that urban black youth expressed themselves in a rythmic form. Rap music, along with graffiti and breakdancing was the poetry of the street.

As the interest in rap music grew, so did its message. The collective message of rap told candid stories of the urban streets–stories of drugs, violence, and crime. No matter how hedonistic the message, urban youth found a platform to outwardly express their rage towards the system. To them, the police embodied the system; they were indeed a reflection of America’s attitude towards them. Hence, vicious verbal attacks on police behavior reflected urban youths’ most intimate conceptualization of the system.

According to Patricia Rose, rap music continued to blossom after the release of Rapper’s Delight. It was “discovered” by the music industry, the film industry, and the print media. Artists such as Run DMC, Whoodini and the Fat Boys helped what seemed like a fleeting phenomenon persist in changing popular culture.10 Krush Groove, a highly successful movie depicting the life of rap music, further elevated rap music into the mainstream. This movie earned Warner Brothers $17 million worldwide, a gold soundtrack, and most importantly, highlighted the potential of this art form.11

LANGUAGE

Street language is transmitted to the hip hop culture through rap music. One can hear a Chinese or Filipino hip hopper using the same slang as the African American hip hopper. Irrespective of their ethnicity hip hoppers use adjectives such as dope, da bomb, legit, hittin, all that, to describe something that is excellent. The word “nigga” is one of the must popular words of hip hoppers. Contrary to the traditional derogatory meaning of the word, hip hoppers use the word as a term of endearment. One can hear a white, Asian, or Latino hip hopper saying, “TJ is my nigga,” which means “TJ is my good friend.” The vernacular of this culture changes constantly. What might be a cool statement today, might be “played out” (outdated) in a year.

Street language has become a pidgin language of sorts. Even if hip hoppers have different first languages, they still can understand the slang of hip hop. Hence, this culture is bounded linguistically. I can personally recall my trip to Japan in 1995 in which my friend saw a Japanese teenager with a Snoop Dogg cap on–the teenager could barely speak English but he was fluent in street slang.

CLOTHING

Why has the hip hop culture transcended ethnic boundaries? The urban street prep seems like an oxymoronic term. However, urban hip hoppers adorn themselves with the most unlikely preppy labels. Clothing styles that include such bourgeois labels as Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, and Ralph Lauren, seemingly contradict the image of the fearless street soldier.12

According to Michiko Kakutani, young urban blacks have coopted the dress of upper crust whites as a manisfestation of their lack of power in American society. While actual material success maybe unattainable, the rationale for adorning expensive Polo shirts, blue jeans and sneakers is to present an image of success. Suburban white kids scoff at the material success of their parents and their parents’ friends. One way to express this disdain, is by identifying with the renegade image of the street. Many white kids are “cultural tourists who romanticize the very ghetto life that so many black kids want to escape. Instead of the terrible mortality rate for young black males, they see the glamour of violence. Instead of the frustration of people denied jobs and hope and respect, they see the verbal defiance of that frustration.”13

Kakutani suggests that this vicarious outlet of symbolic expression is why white suburban males have become the largest audience of gangsta rap. In the 1950s popular culture was dominated by the “Happy Days” scene. Black leather jackets and greased hair represented the zeitgeist. In the 1960s, the hippie and bohemian look had the greatest influence on pop culture followed by the polyester and bell bottoms of the 70s and the preppy influence of the 1980s. The 1990’s have been dominated by hip hop fashion.14 This fashion consists of baggy pants worn very loosely, baseball caps worn backwards (NBA, NFL, or successful university athletic teams), oversized rugby or polo shirts, and expensive tennis shoes. Hip hop fashion, unlike the fashion of other generations, has uniquely cut across almost every ethnic boundary. Indeed, a significant number African American, Whites, Latinos, and Asians youth between the ages of 12 and 22 dress the same irrespective of their ethnicity.15

CROSSOVER APPEAL

According to Russell Simmons, hip hop’s first millionaire entrepreneur who is chairman and CEO of Rush Communications, states that one reason rap is so popular is because of the resistance it has met. The more resistance there is and the more controversy there is the more people are going to want to buy it. The heated debates that took place in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s about censoring the lyrics of rap music only spawned sales. The infamous group “2 Live Crew” was the beneficiary of their highly publicized court case regarding the First Amendment.16 Individuals such as Tipper Gore and C. Delores Tucker have led the charge to censor the lyrics of rap music.17 According to Simmons, kids like the fact that status quo does not condone the music and tries to control it. It becomes a liberating experience for kids to rebel against the status quo.18 Some parents are leery of rap music and its rebellious message. According to Nelson George, hip hop’s most prolific and perhaps best chronicler, “New music of any generation is always scary to the parents.”19

Before rap music, there was Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Bob Marley, and more recently, punk rock, that galvanized the rebellious spirit of youth across the U.S. Now what seemed to be a passing trend, chronologically fitting between heavy metal and alternative rock, has become the chosen platform of rebellion for youth.20

A good example of how rap music and hip hop has cut across ethnic boundaries can be found in the Asian community. In Los Angeles, there is a blossoming Asian American rap scene, consisting of groups like Bubula Tribe, Undercover, Asiatic Apostles, Brotherhood from Another Hood, the Seoul Brothers, Lani Luv, and the Boo-Yaa Tribe. These groups represents various styles. Messages range from social issues such as hate crimes against Asians to relationships between blacks and Koreans in nearly every major city.21 White rappers such as The Beastie Boys, 3rd Bass, and Vanilla Ice have also had success in the industry. Cypress Hill, Fat Joe, and Big Punisher, are Latino artists who have impacted the hip hop culture.22 The overall message of this music is the same. It is cool, didactic, and unabashedly rebellious. According to Russell Simmons,

“Hip hop has transcended beyond just music. It has become a lifestyle and/or a culture for people worldwide. Hip hop is an attitude and hip hop is a language in which a kid from Detroit can relate to a kid in Hong Kong. Seventy-five percent of our audience is nonblack kids. Now you have kids in Beverly Hills who are sensitive to situations in Compton.“23

Simmons goes on to state that although racism still exists in our society, it was not strong enough to thwart the collective enjoyment of rap by the youth of America and around the world.

SIT-COMS, MOVIES, MAGAZINES

The hip hop culture has prompted various industries to pay attention to their appetite. Sit-coms such as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Martin, Malcolm, Steve Harvey, and the Jamie Foxx Show all capitalize on this population. In the past, black humor appealed to few outside of this population; now it is widespread. Movies such as Boyz N the Hood, New Jack City, Jason’s Lyric, Juice, and Menace II Society are rugged movies that depict the reality of the urban streets. These movies have been highly successful in cutting across ethnic boundaries. Movies such as Friday, Booty Call, I’ve Got the Hook Up and Wu have been comedies that have depicted the humor that is still strangely ever present on the treacherous urban streets. These comedies have also been widely popular among a diverse population.24

Magazines such as Vibe, Blaze, The Source, Rap Pages and Stress were created to appeal to this population. Because of its multiethnic popularity, Vibe Magazine’s circulation has risen to 606,237, a 17.1% increase from 1997 to 1998. Advertisements that appear in these magazines run the gamut from small unknown companies to powerful companies that are household names.25

Vibe’s editor-in-chief, Danyel Smith states, “Although Vibe may seem like a black magazine, its perspective and appeal are much broader than its covers would indicate. Vibe is a multicultural music magazine based in the African American culture and sensibility.”26 Magazines such as Vibe, along with the aforementioned sit coms and movies, have done a remarkable job of “keeping it real”–speaking the language and to the imagination of this culture.27

POSITIVE MESSAGES

One of the many positive side effects of the hip hop culture is that it encourages corporations to recruit a diverse cadre of individuals. Hence, recruiting minorities who have the pulse of this culture becomes an imperative. The African American market alone has $325 billion in buying power. A myriad of organizations that appeal to the hip hop culture have diversified for competitive advantage. It makes good business sense. For example, half of Universal Muscic Group’s employees are minority. This organization is number one in market share in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Australia. The record label’s overall market share is 23 percent globally and 25 percent in the U.S. 28

92.3 The Beat is the most popular radio station in Los Angeles. It appeals to a broad multiethnic hip hop population in the greater Los Angeles area. They have taken advantaged of their broad appeal by launching initiatives to bridge ethnic cleavages.

They host several community panel discussion on issues such as: Asian-bashing, hate crimes, and African American and Asian Relations. In the Fall of 1997, this radio station sponsored a “No Color Lines” essay contest for Los Angeles high school students. The participants were to write in 92 words or less what the words “no color lines” meant to them. I was one of the judges of this contest. The following are two essays written for this contest:

Contestant #19

“What No Color Lines Means to Me”

To undertand “no color lines,” one must see what a blind man sees–nothing; he hears and feels, and thus, is able to really see each person’s heart. As a Chinese-American Student, I have been spit on and told to “go home.” I have been excluded because I am “yellow.” But we can take our first step toward eliminating such acts of racism by looking through the eyes of a blind person. This way, we can surmount the color barrier that prevents us from discovering the kindness that is within us all.

Contestant #21

“What No Color Lines Means to Me”

Lost, in LA, I feared the homeless black man following me. Ashamed, I discovered it was the trash can he pursued in hope of food, not me. I’m no racist. I’m a girl who learned the meaning of “no color lines” the hard way. It is not pointing fingers at those who display hate and ignorance aloud. It is looking in the mirror and finding that spot hidden which holds all the ugliness and prejudices we’ve developed, and doing everything in our will to overcome them–being blind to further our vision.

Out of the 700 participants in this contest, I was struck by the common concerns and the common language of this diverse group. While I was reading these essays, I realized the potential of this population to mend ethnic relations. There were several positive aspects about this essay contest, but one was that it encouraged a diverse population of high school students to think about ethnic relations and what their roles were in enhancing these relations.

CONCLUSION

If messages of love, peace, anti-racism, and human uplift are resonated among the hip hop population, it can have an enormous impact on ethnic relations in our society. In the 1950s and 1960s the “Beat Culture” spoke of love yet challenged the status quo in ways that did not compromise their rebellious spirit. In the same vein, it is possible for the hip hop culture to keep its rebellious street flavor and speak to issues such as love and respect for all. It is possible for rap artists such as Master P, Wyclef Jean, and Busta Rhymes to empower America and the world’s youth like Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and Bob Marley did. Artists, such as the late rapper Tupac Shakur, have rapped about such compassionate issues without losing the rugged flavor of the streets. In his song, “I Wonder If Heaven’s Got A Ghetto,” Shakur sings,

“I see no changes, all I see is racist faces misplaced hate makes disgrace the racist…I wonder what it takes to make this one better place…take the evil out the people (then) they’ll be acting right cause both black and white are smokin crack tonight and the only time we deal is when we kill each other, it takes skill to be real, time to heal each other….”

Millions of hip hoppers all over the world have heard these lyrics. If more artists concentrated on positive messages such as this, the impact could be revolutionary.

Unlike any other subculture in American history, the hip hop culture has transcended ethnic boundaries. Because of its eclectic audience, it has the greatest opportunity to build ethnic bridges and mend ethnic relations. Hip hop has taken hold and permeated significant regions of the world. The clothing, music, mannerisms, and lexicon, are unmistakably the same in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Zurich, Milan, and Tokyo. Indeed, this culture has the potential to make it cool not to commit hate crimes, not to discriminate or be homophobic or mysogynistic, and not to be racist.

Prison Race Video Interviews
See Reese’s provocative new film Reintegration: a documentary about parolees. Soundtrack by Whyte Boy.

Going Against the Grain: Hip Hop’s Role in Healing Race Relations, by Carl Cunningham, August 25, 2010.

NOTES

1 Keith L. Alexander, “Hip-Hop Magazine Gets Fiery Start, Good and Bad,”
USA Today
, December 30, 1998, B1.

2 Gregory Lewis, “Hip Hop Gives Birth to Its Own Black Economy,”The San Francisco Examiner, December 6, 1998, E3.

3 Strauss, Neil, “The Pop Life; Crossing Racial Boundaries, Rap Gains Ground,”

4 The New York Times, October 15, 1998, E1.

5 Robert Hilburn, “Year in Review/Pop Music; In the Shadow of Hip-Hop; Rap is Where the Action is, and its Popularity Still Hasn’t Peaked. Could Rock `N’ Roll Be Finally Dead?” The Los Angeles Times, December 27, 1998, 6.

7 S.H. Fernando, The New Beats, (Anchor Books Doubleday: New York, 1994), IX.

8 Chris Dickinson, “3-CD Set Chronicles History of Rap,” Everday Magazine, January 4, 1998, 3.

9 Geneva Smitherman, Black Talk: Words And Phrases From The Hood To The Amen Corner , (Houghton Mifflin: Boston, 1994), 3.

10 S.H. Fernando, IX.

11 Patricia Rose, “Fear of a Black Planet: Rap Music and Black Cultural Politics in the 1990s,”.The Journal of Negro Education, 60, 3, Summer, 1991, 3.

12 Maximillian Potter, “Black by popular demand,” Premiere , v.9, January, 1996, 39.

13 Woody Hoschswender, “Prep Urban,” Esquire, v.125, March, 1996, 131.

14 Michiko Kakutani, “Common Threads: Why Are Homeboys and Surbanites Wearing Each Other’s Clothes?”The New York Times Magazine , February 16, 1997, 18.

15 Linda Mae Carlstone, (1997), “Teens and Fashion, Baggy Still Rules, But More Than Ever, Anything Goes,” Chicago Tribune, Sec. 1:1, June 1, 1997, 17L.

16 Lewis, E.3.

17 “16 Is Rap Music Here to Stay?” Jet Magazine, V.94, no.12, August 17, 1998, 56.

18 Lewis, E.3.

19 Jet, 56.

20 Lewis, E.3.

21 Hilburn, 6 and Strauss, E3.

22 William Eric Perkins, “Droppin’ Science: Critical Essays On Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture, Ed., (Temple University Press: Philadelphia 1996), 282.

23 Jet, 59.

24 Ibid.

25 Fernando, xviii.

26 Alexander, 2B.

27 Teresa Moore, “Finding Her Groove at Vibe; Danyel Smith Calls the Shots at Fast-Rising Hip Hop Magazine,” The San Francisco Chronicle, February 25, 1998, E1.

28 Alexander, 2B.

29 Chuck Philips, “Company Town; Diversity Is Sweet Music to His Ears; Entertainment: Doug Morris Set Out to Build a Multicultural Team” Essence Magazine, February 21, 1996, D2 and Universal Music Group Web Site, “Universal Music Group Fact Sheet,” available: http: //www.universalstudios.com/music, January, 1999.

Secrets

By: us OneThey say I can’t keep a secret.
I laugh but on the inside know better.
I’ve got everything stored up deep down,
Things that no one knows and it doesn’t matter
Because they wouldn’t believe it anyways.
The moments, the memories, all of the things that were or could be
The future, the past, the moments of present that disappear so fast
We go, go, go everyday; never stopping to take a breath, take a break.
We need a time to look back and reminisce
And relive all of the moments to good to miss.
It’s the stuff that I haven’t told no one,
Someone close, distant, not one single person.
These secrets, I keep them because I feel
That they are just too magical to reveal.
They say I can’t keep a secret
But how would they know?
They don’t know what’s in my heart, in my soul
The magic that appears only within
When people tell me I lose it reminds me that I win.
It’s the wonderful past that can’t be retold
But I can rethink it, relive it every day until I’m old.
These things that they wouldn’t understand
Because they’re just to amazing for them to comprehend.
I was there in those special moments when I felt so connected,
So why tell people and make it infected?
They say I can’t keep a secret.
That’s a funny thing to say
Because most of the secrets I hold are theirs anyway.
She tells me, I can’t tell her, he tells me, I can’t tell him
I can’t help but now feeling totally trapped in.
It’s like these secrets turn into masks that I have to wear everyday
And I can’t take them off, I can’t throw them away.
I’m entangled in this mess and I can’t get out
These secrets, they’re bringing me down.
Those secrets in my heart that I keep down there
They form into burdens that I now have to bear.
I try to forget, I try to let go
But I’m saying with regret that they just won’t go.
So I continue to carry them on my back
The weight as heavy as a ten ton sack.
It’s not even my secret, it’s theirs
Yet I still can’t tell anybody, anytime, anywhere.
I now carry their burdens too you know
And on top of that I have my own.
I want to get rid of them; I try to put them down
But I can’t because they’re my responsibility now.
They’re afraid that I’ll tell but they don’t have to worry
because they’ll remain down deep for all eternity.
If I could give you one piece of advice:
Don’t let these secrets take over your life.
They say I can’t keep a secret.
Well- they were wrong.

Ask Me About Hip-Hop Music

My Talent

Hip-hop culture originated in New York among black and Latino ghetto. Street culture existed for centuries in all countries. But in USA, a country of ghettos, it had a special isolation from society.And then she spilled on the streets of white quarters and then to the masses – the show-business, discos, cinema, etc.

Hip-hop culture has been internationally recognized with the 70th. Its main components are rap (MC’ing), break-dance, graffiti, street types of sports games. So, how it all started.

Despite the fact that hip-hop as a way of life originated long ago in various parts of North America, the real birthplace of it is considered to be the South Bronx – the black ghettos of New York, one of the poorest quarters. But the word “hip-hop” did not yet exist, it was invented a few years later, when already grown-up culture needed some overall title, by a legendary DJ (DJ), Africa Bambaataa.

In 1967 to South Bronx came Clive Campbell from Jamaican, who was labeled Kool Herc. He is considered to be one of the founders of hip-hop. Kool Herc became that, what later became known as “DJ”. In Jamaica, the DJ was a “master” of the music system, which evolved around the lives of youth. He arranged parties, made an interesting speech-feast into the microphone. Soon he became known as MC ( “master of ceremony”) – he gathered music plates, played and announced them. And when a DJ, besides making music, announced some rythmic text it became known as the word “rap”.

Soon Kool Herc for the convenience of the dancers began to repeat the instrumental breaks between verses, during which the dancers came out to the dance-floor and showed their skills. Kool Herc marked the enthusiasm of the dancers for such breaks, and naimed the term “B-Boy”, “Break boys” – for those who are moving in the manner of breaks, and the dance was called breakdancing style (breaking).”MC” has become synonymous with rap, when rappers have become not only DJs but also performers, who are able to move in a special hip-hop manner.In the late 60th breakdance existed in the form of two separate dances – New York acrobatic style, which we call the lower break, and the Los Angeles-based mime (upper break). It is an acrobatic style of breaking that was originally twisted by bboys in break-dance. It became popular, after 1969, when James Brown wrote a funk-hit “The Good Foot” and performed some elements of this dance on the stage.

Bambaataa formed his own break-dancing team called Zulu Nation, which eventually grew into the organization and included rappers, DJs, graffiti artists and dancers. Zulu Nation, along with other teams contributed to promote break-dancing.Bambaataa included 5 elements into the hip-hop culture: MC’ing ( “Rapping” – rap), DJ’ing, Graffiti (Writing), Dancing (Breaking, Up-Rocking, Popping, Locking), and knowledges. The last item on his sense means that there is a lack of knowledge about hip-hop culture.

Veteran of the hip-hop and a leader of the b-boys in the 70th of XX century was Richard Colon, known as “Crazy Legs”. His break-dance group “Rock Steady Crew” – one of the most vocal and motor, created a new culture of hip-hop. Brake and rap have become synonymous with hip-hop, to which also refers graffiti as one of the factors that promote the popularization of hip-hop.

Hip-hop dance can be divided into two basic types:

* Old school (old school hip-hop);
* New style (new school hip-hop).

Old school (old school) includes popping, locking, breakdance. Popping in its turn is divided into boogaloo, electric boogaloo, tetris, waiving, robot, egypcian, pop corn. Style “locking” became scenic standard for many black singers and MTV stars such as Janet Jackson and her dancers, as well as many others are moving in this style. In the 90th there was a new form of hip-hop, which connects traffic from the old school styles: popping, locking, break-dancing (but more focused on footwork as opposed to acrobatic style), as well as from many other styles. Gradually, penetrating into the pop culture, absorbing all the new elements and styles, transforming, hip-hop has become the leading dance direction and separated into a single direction – hip-hop.

There are video clips of famous stars of hip-hop and R’n’B music, we see the dancers moving in the style of new style hip-hop. Hip-hop as a dance area is so popular that it has penetrated into our lives everywhere – in the show, music videos, dance schools and centers, fitness clubs, cinema, theater, etc. After more than 30 years since the outbreak and development of hip-hop there are no signs of slowing down this culture.