Thursday, May 5, 2016
HHCF is happy to announce we will be hosting our always packed summer camps!!!! Our summer camps allow your child to grow learning things like Hip-Hop dance, chess and life strategies, jiu-jitsu, and TV and Film production. Our goal is to refine their character and their fitness levels. HHCF camps will have special guests from the film, technology, jiu-jitsu and chess world visiting our kids. We will also be taking field trips to some of the coolest companies in the technology world. HHCF camp teachers are ALWAYS life scan cleared to ensure your children are consistently in a safe and fun environment. They get packed QUICK so go to www.hiphopchess.com and sign your kids up today! See you in June!! If you would like to DONATE to the HHCF CAMPS or host a visit to your technology company visit our website or donate on our homepage.
Tomorrow the Technique is King shirt will be up FRIDAY at www.ctrlindustries.com
IN RELATED NEWS: If you would like to learn more about my first jiu-jitsu book The Iron Hook Scroll (gi and no-gi closed guard techniques- King Tut, Sarcophagus, Thug Nation etc.) please check out this video AND download the FREE PDF of the Iron Hook Scroll HERE!
L to R: Healer to the fighters Dr. Peter Goldman www.sfgoldman.com, Adisa Banjoko and UFC Champion www.bjpenn.com
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
“It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles”. - Niccolo Machiavelli
Hip-Hop is an art for the youth, by the youth. If they are not safe, then Hip-Hop itself is not safe. This is an art that comes from the streets. I do not expect angelic behavior from all of its participants. If anything Hip-Hop teaches you about your own moral compass. Language and actions that you might think are unacceptable, I may not worry about or vice versa. Ultimately I believe that if the elders in Hip-Hop have the title of leaders, teachers, mentors and protectors of the community at large we have a duty to the youth that is greater than other alliances with adults. That is the case here. I don’t like Bill Cosby, but I love comedy forever. I don’t know what is going on with Afrika Bambaataa, but I will love Hip-Hop forever.
Today I want to formally resign from the Universal Zulu Nation (UZN). If you don’t know what the Universal Zulu Nation is I can only say: It is an organization that founded and organized what you know now as Hip-Hop. They have been the keepers and the custodians of the subculture since the early 1970’s. They have united many people across the world under the banner of Hip-Hop and they have been instrumental in negotiating peace treaties between rappers and other street organizations. It is impossible to quantify their value to the world of music, dance, art, or fashion- let alone the rap industry. So much of what you know, or what you think you know about Hip-Hop simply does not happen without the UZN. The founder of the UZN is Afrika Bambaataa. He is also known under the title The Amen Ra of Hip-Hop.
Recently many allegations from various individuals have named Afrika Bambaataa as a sexual predator. The things he has been accused of are not anything I plan to repeat right now. You can look them up for yourself.
I have been a public supporter and member since the early 1990’s. I have learned a lot from the UZN and been helped by the UZN on various levels over the years.
For the record, I do not know for sure that he is guilty of the accusations made against him. Anyone following these accusations against him can tell you it is very painful, bizarre and sad on many levels. It is also evolving in sporadic jumps and it is hard to keep track of things. As someone who runs a youth organization (the Hip-Hop Chess Federation Inc.) I must err on the side of protecting the youth even if I am not 100% certain Afrika Bambaataa is guilty. I want parents and children to know that I will always stand with them. They will always have my ear first. Virtually every cultural and spiritual tradition makes it a point to acknowledge the innocent and sacred nature of children. As someone who has worked with the youth for well over a decade, I cannot watch this in silence and consider myself a man of the people.
In April I dropped a book called Bobby, Bruce & Bam: The Secrets of Hip-Hop Chess. It is a book that highlights the connections of Hip-Hop, chess and martial arts as tools for self discovery and self mastery. I highlight a lot of other topics such as kids suffering from PTSD and how we can help them heal through music and chess.
Bobby Fischer, Bruce Lee and Afrika Bambaataa have stenciled images on the front cover as symbols of the roots of the fusion of the three art forms. I felt it was an honest tribute to their contributions to each art/sport. My book is the product of more than ten years of research and five years of direct work with at-risk, gang impacted and gang intentional youth in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and St. Louis.
He has personally helped me and I don’t want to be ungrateful, but I do not want to defend a child predator. That is what makes my separation from UZN painful but mandatory work.
I once interviewed Bambaataa for my book Lyrical Swords. I was on a panel with Afrika Bambaataa at Harvard University in 2001. About five years later I had a situation with KRS-One that almost led to a physical altercation at Stanford University. It got very intense on both sides. Were it not for the efforts of Shamako Noble, Davey D, Popmaster Fabel and the direct intervention of Africa Bambaataa the chances of one of us, or both of us getting hurt or worse was pretty certain. I have to say as a matter of record that I have spoken with Afrika Bambaataa on the phone only about 3-4 times. I have been in his presence about 2-3 times. There is nothing in any of my interactions with him that would lead me to believe that he has done the things he has been accused of. At the same time I have to admit that I never had enough consistent contact to know him on a deeper level. I am not mentioning these things to give you for more compassion for him. I just want you to see the complexity and enormity of what I had to personally reflect upon when making this decision to step away.
Right now, my 501c3 nonprofit organization, The Hip-Hop Chess Federation works with kids across The Bay area and we are expanding. We pride ourselves in creating safe, clean affordable spaces for young people to enrich their minds and build their physical skills with us. We have been around for ten years now and our work has been authentically impactful. We count on the trust of parents and teachers and school administrators to do all that we do. Their trust in our work is what makes our impact possible.
Looking at all of the allegations against Afrika Bambaataa I must say that all of it is deeply troubling. I have worked directly with a lot of teens who have been abused by trusted adults. I have seen the damage first hand. I cannot pretend to know exactly what is happening inside the UZN. However, something seems to have gone deeply wrong with Afrika Bambaataa and some of the top tier leadership.
That said, I want to say that I will no longer associate myself with the Universal Zulu Nation. I no longer consider myself a member. The father in me, the teacher in me, the protector of the youth that I strive to be cannot be in the proximity of the allegations made against Afrika Bambaataa and top tier leadership of UZN.
Further, my book will have a new title and new artwork. I am working now to change the title to Bobby, Bruce & The Bronx: The Secrets of Hip-Hop Chess. As an independent author, this is going to be costly for me and time consuming but I should have the new site and cover art complete within 60 days. Quite frankly I don’t have the money to make the changes, but I will find a way to get it done.
Moving forward I'm sure there will be many necessary conversations about what these accusations against Afrika Bambaataa mean. We will have to talk about Hip-Hop in many new ways. These accusations against Bam are forcing a lot of new conversations to happen that have not been happening. They will be excruciating for many of us. However, I think we may be looking at a purging of some of Hip-Hop’s toxic elements. Getting rid of them will refine the art form for future generations. Making that happen is more important to me than anything else.
Adisa Banjoko aka The Bishop
Founder, Hip-Hop Chess Federation Inc.
Monday, May 2, 2016
13 Year Old Blind Chess Player Wins Technology Award for Phone App Idea
Chess and Entrepreneurship Student Wins Inspiring Youth Entrepreneur Award
for EyeMenu Phone App!
San Jose, CA 5/2/16- Hip-Hop Chess Federation (HHCF) is proud to announce that their thirteen year old student Emmanuel Bard of San Jose, CA won the Inspiring Youth Entrepreneur Award for his phone app concept for EyeMenu. Emmanuel suffers from optic atrophy; the optic nerve in his brain is damaged and makes him legally blind. This prevents him from clearly reading menus at restaurants when he goes out to eat with his mother Emilie Bard. The HHCF is a 510c3 the first nonprofit to fuse chess, martial arts and music to promote unity, strategy and non-violence. Their unique fusion of art and has been featured in Forbes, Good Morning America, Black Enterprise and KPIX News.
EyeMenu was Emmanuel’s solution to the problem he faces in restaurants. Emmanuel’s EyeMenu App is a phone application that will allow him to see enlarged text of menu items and prices or read menu section and prices using the screen reading software that all phones provide. His idea has been covered in DeBug Magazine as well as the San Jose Tech Museum. Young Bard has been a participant in the HHCF Chess & Entrepreneurship classes for two months, but has been with the organization for four years. In their weekly classes his mentor, HHCF Founder and author Adisa Banjoko has been assisting Emmanuel on mapping out his app concept, functionality and marketing . “We recognized immediately that the EyeMenu idea was something the world needed. It is not meant to be an app with a ton of cool graphics. It is a utilitarian to help people navigate through their day with more ease. We know EyeMenu will change the world. ”
He presented his concept on stage with his mother at the Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs Festival where several young entrepreneurs shared their ideas with the panel of judges. Emmanuel’s story moved the judges and the audience deeply. His mother, Emilie Bard stated “I’m very proud of Emmanuel for pushing forward with his concept. His mentor from HHCF was instrumental in helping him cultivate his idea and raise his confidence working on his pitch and telling his story. We look forward to the next stages of actualizing the app.”
If you would like to help Emmanuel complete his EyeMenu project you can donate today to his GoFundMe account. He is also building a team to help him manage the project at Ideator.com.
Emmanuel also participate with his brother in the Hip-Hop Chess Federations’ Chess & Jiu-Jitsu Program. In that class students learn chess and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu concepts in the same class. This fusion gives students a unique balance of physical and emotional control. When asked about how chess and business work together Emmanuel stated “When you have the mind of the entrepreneur you have the mind of playing chess. You have to use different strategies to win” he said with a smile.
The HHCF recently announced a new summer camp where kids can study chess and entrepreneurship, jiu-jitsu, dance and TV and Film. To learn more about the HHCF summer camp or donate to the Hip-Hop Chess Federation visit www.hiphopchess.com today!
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