Youth UpRising Removes Sideshow Photos
Youth UpRising removed "hyphy" (sideshow) photos from its MySpace web page. As we reported earlier, the government-funded agency is deeply involved in promoting sideshow culture.
While Youth UpRising helps the commercial promoters of sideshow culture, the City gave Youth UpRising a $1.5 million grant. To add insult to injury, the money came from the Measure Y fund, an extra parcel tax sold to voters as "violence prevention." Promoting sideshows is hardly a contribution to preventing violence.
- Youth UpRising hosted a video shoot for Vibe magazine, resulting in the posted photos glorifying the sideshows that disrupt Oakland streets.
- Youth UpRising offered youth classes in sideshow antics, such as "Turf Dancing," a "dance style that comes from the streets of Oakland [that is, sideshows]. Turf Dancing is Oakland's unique form of dance, and is about to take the nation by storm." That's what Youth UpRising wrote – until a storm of community protest. The class description has been revised.
- Youth UpRising's instructor for its "Street Hop" class, a Mr. Jeriel Bey, runs a business that recruits youth ages 8 to 22 to appear in music videos, including the sideshow-glorifying "Tell Me When to Go [Stupid]" by rapper E-40.
- Youth UpRising celebrated its members' participation in sideshow-glorifying videos. "Youth UpRising was featured in the wonderful video 'Tell Me When To Go' [by E-40]. We were out in full force at the shoot in West Oakland as well...We rolled out there deep. All the main dance groups from Oakland that come up to the Center were in the video," enthused Youth UpRising's media director on her web blog.
Why did Youth UpRising remove the sideshow photos? We do not know. A picture of Youth UpRising director Olis Simmons and rapper E-40 smiling over the success of their joint operations remains on the website.
By removing the photos, we hope Youth UpRising is not just lowering the profile of inappropriate activities. It would be a welcome development if Youth UpRising is finally getting out of the whole business of promoting sideshow "hyphy."
They used to highlight sideshow antics.
Now empty squares replace the photos.
Click bottom picture for larger screen shot.
– Sept. 10, 2006