Tag Archives: awards

Power, Energy and Tea

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By Khristan Antoine

The work is not finished.

Or so we learned at the first annual Delilah Beasley Tea, which honored the first female African-American columnist who wrote for The Oakland Tribune from 1915-1934. She unearthed histories of African-American gold miners, lobbied for anti-lynching law and spoke out for literacy and voting rights. She fought against the use of the word “darkie” and the N word in newspapers.

We need that kind of energy today.

It was clear that Belva Davis  — also honored at the event — followed in Beasley’s footsteps in her political reporting. Congresswoman Barbara Lee called Davis “a true living legend.”  Davis charted the course for women in the whole country, said Lee,  paving the way for women in journalism.

Have the times changed? Not really. Davis remembers when she had to use a typewriter and do research from journalism clips, articles cut out from the newspaper. But even now with Google and YouTube,  she says, “nothing is recorded in history without human interference.”

Interference means action. The CEO of Girls Inc, Linda Bossehecker, was part of the celebration and announced the opening of a chapter building in downtown Oakland at 510 16th street, one block away from the BART station. “We are expanding to provide nutrition, school counseling and fitness with greater accessibility.”

Girls Inc will do outreach to West Oakland girls in neighborhood schools.  Bossehecker said, “If Girls Inc can’t go to girls, they can come to us.”

At least one Oakland student agreed. Oakland Tech student Munirah Harris, 14, found the message “empowering.” “All these powerful women in one place give me hope.”

Two Mack students win in Northern California journalism contest


Pamela Tapia won several awards in 2011 for environmental and feature stories. Here she is pictured accepting an award from Betty Packard at last year’s Northern California Press Women Association awards’ ceremony.

Now a community college freshman, Tapia again won 2nd prize in 2012 in environmental reporting for a story on cleaning up West Oakland. The story first appeared in macksmack and was published in the June 2011 issue of  Oaktown Teen Times.

Stephen Vance, a senior at McClymonds and a summer intern at the Rose Foundation in 2011, won honorable mention for a story he wrote about the Greening of West Oakland.  The story first appeared in macksmack and was published in Oaktown Teen Times in December 2011.

Debate Season Mixed: Tapia Wins 3rd Place, But Empty Trophy Case at Mack

Just a hint of the trophies to come.
by Pamela Tapia

The debate season at McClymonds ended on a high note, with senior Pamela Tapia winning third prize in the junior varsity division at the Bay Area Urban Debate League’s annual League Championship on May 14-15.

Tapia began debating just four months ago. Her strongest argument focused on how the war in Afghanistan served as a distraction for the structural violence in the United States.

Despite Tapia’s victory, Mack lost the largest trophy displayed in its trophy case to one of its rivals.

“It’s a shame we lost our precious trophy — our non-sports trophy — to Fremont,” says Tapia.

Last year, McClymonds’ Tanesha Walker (now a freshman at UCLA) reigned  as number one debater in the league, traveling to nationals to represent the Bay Area. Her victory brought the traveling trophy to Mack.

At a gala dinner Monday night at the Lake Merritt boathouse, students recognized their coaches and volunteers who helped organize practices and tournaments.

macksmack Editor Wins Three Journalism Awards


Pamela Tapia, editor of macksmack and a writer for the Oaktown Teen Times, has won three journalism awards in a contest for high school journalists in Northern California.

The Northern California Press Women’s Association held a ceremony for the winners on May 11 at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley.

Betty Packard, CPW executive director, said they were over 1,000 entries in 17 categories and lauded the quality of the work submitted.

Tapia won second place in feature writing for a story that explored the difficulties that girls experience when they leave gangs. The piece appeared in The Mosaic, a newspaper published by Mosaic, a summer minority journalism program at San Jose State University sponsored by the San Jose Mercury-News and several Bay Area media groups and foundations.

The other two awards were for stories which appeared in Oaktown Teen Times. Tapia won second place in environmental writing for a piece on the creation of YouTube videos by McClymonds students opposed to Proposition 23 and its impact on clear air in West Oakland. “Good use of sensory appeal and  good use of perceptive personal observations,” wrote the judge.

Tapia also won third place in feature writing for a story that explored restorative justice at McClymonds, an alternative to youth court and suspensions.

“What an honor to be recognized!” said Tapia.

Mack’s Young Female Filmmaker Talks about Alienation

In this Q&A with editor Pamela Tapia, filmmaker Bonita Tindle talks about her experiences as the only female filmmaker at Mack (so far), her travels, her challenges and the themes that she plumbs.

Q: How many films have your made?

A: I began making films in 10th grade. I experimented with acid and math, which made me forget things and gave me stinky breath.

Q: What inspires you?

A:  I saw a fat guy bending over and saw his butt crack, which inspired me to make a video about “Dancing Robots.”

Q: What will you miss about Mack?

A: I will miss the hos and the man-whores.

Q: What was your biggest challenge?

A: Carrying around 120 pounds of equipment on BART, boom lights, tripods and cameras.

Q: Did your mom ever drop you on your head?

A: On several occasions. My favorite fall was down the stairs. Why do you think I’m an artist?

Bonita Tindle’s “Dancing Robots” finalist in Bay Area video contest

by Pamela Tapia

Bonita Tindle,  a senior at McClymonds High School and a writer, Twitter novelist, musician and filmmaker, was selected as one of ten  finalists in a Bay Area competition for her video “Dancing Robots.”

The video will be shown May 12 at 6:30 pm as part of Alternatives in Action’s 7th annual, a one-of-a-kind youth film festival at Alameda Theatre & Cineplex.

“It deals with a lonely workaholic who finds happiness at work by spending a day with his doppelganger,” says Tindlee. ” Happiness is represented by the red ribbon shown in the film. ”

Tindle worked in collaboration with two students from McClymonds, seniors Marwaun Brooks and Myquan Brooks, and Fifer Garbesi, a junior at Berkeley High. This was her second major film. She’s now working on her first independent film about a frustrated artist. Her last film focused on truants in San Francisco,

Co-Presented by Comcast and East Bay ROP and sponsored by HBO, Project YouthView showcases youth-created film shorts from across the Bay Area. Each finalist wins prizes and two are selected to win $500 awards.

Tindle’s fanciful video follows a man’s dreary, robotic routine at work. All that changes when the man meets a man who plays music in the elevator and then exits on a floor where everyone is happy, lively and dancing to the beat of music. The man then brings back music to his work environment, pinning a magical pin on a co-worker.

The ten selected youth-created films were chosen through a competitive process by industry and community judges from over 50 pieces submitted by youth throughout the Bay Area. These shorts focus on topics from youth culture and street dance and the Edible School Yard to youth prostitution.  The shorts and filmmakers represent schools and organizations from cities including San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, San Leandro, Union City and Danville.

Tindle also worked on “Independence In Sight,” produced at Miramonte High School.


Thursday, May 12th, 2011 at 6:30 pm. Doors open at 6.

Information and Tickets available at www.projectyouthview.org


Historic Alameda Theatre & Cineplex

2317 Central Avenue, Alameda, CA

Bill Russell Speaks From the Heart at Oakland Gala

By Lateefah Edmondson

He’s tall, lanky, and modest. He avoided gangs in West Oakland and refuses to sign autographs.  Last night, like a true star, he stood tall, really tall: William “Bill” Russell was recognized in Oakland for the very first time for his accomplishments.

As the gala kicked off at the Convention Center, over 150 people took their seats.  Many well-known people lauded Russell, including ex-NFL player Jim Brown, Oakland mayor Jean Quan, and baseball hall of famer Joe L. Morgan.

Most memorable was when Bill Russell himself finally rose to speak.

With dignity and without notes, Russell recounted how he approached his counselor at McClymonds to ask why he wasn’t enrolled in any college prep classes. She told him, “Why do YOU need college prep classes. YOU’RE not going to COLLEGE.” So he made his own schedule and learned at his own pace.

Russell addressed gangs and violence, vowing to help change Oakland’s culture of violence. He then told the story of his first interaction with gang members. When a gang approached him, Russell admitted that he was afraid. But one gang member confronted the others, “Leave him alone. He’s playing basketball and trying to go somewhere with his life.”

Junior varsity cut him at McClymonds. When he looked at the sheet announcing who made the team, his name wasn’t on the list. Then he learned that the varsity coach at McClymonds High School wanted him to play on the team.  The coach showed him how to act, speak, and not be nervous around very important people.

It was clear to me that having a great role model had an impact on Russell, who went on to win the Presidential Medal of Freedom last month.

Russell went beyond becoming the best NBA player of his time and great alumnus from McClymonds. He contributes quietly: he established a scholarship for which only McClymonds students can apply, but that does not bear his name.

“ It was a great experience how history came back to help the future generation,” said senior Taylor Murray, 18, who attended the event. “ I learned that Bill Russell is hard working, respectful, and very well respected”.