Archive for the ‘RealOakFolks’ Category

Real Oakland Folks: Michael Orange

In Culture, RealOakFolks on June 27, 2013 at 8:38 pm


Bilen and I did a profile on Michael Orange back in April for Oakland Local as a part of our RealOakFolks project. You know, the one that we swore we could do twice a month while she worked seven days a week building her business and I worked as a full time multimedia graduate student. Then there’s the whole marriage thing. That’s sort of important too.

Needless to say, we did get this profile done but I neglected to post it up on Danger Brain until now. Interviewing Michael was awesome. His views on Oakland’s reconstruction, gentrification and community was so honest and concise that regretfully we had to edit some of it out. I hope one day he lets me put this entire interview out there. He brought the heat on a lot of topics. People forget this brotha has been at the literal center of Oakland during this transition. However, until the day come you’ll have to settle for Michael waxing about the Broaklyn Film & Theater Company.

Broaklyn Film & Theater Company presents the stories of historically ethnically rich communities, particularly amidst heightened social displacement via gentrification and redevelopment. We are impassioned by a belief that through story, we may transcend traditional barriers such as geography, race, gender, sexuality and socioeconomic class.


Real Oakland Folks – Sarah Kirnon of Miss Ollie’s

In Black Oakland Renaissance, Culture, RealOakFolks on January 2, 2013 at 11:09 pm

The second piece in our RealOakFolks series was posted on Oakland Local Sunday! Unfortunately, we were unable to get a video up for this one. Interviewing Sarah over the break was difficult. She was busy. We were busy. It was freezing cold out, and Bilen and I wanted to be in the house sipping cocoa and catching up on old movies. Alas, we were unable to get enough footage to make a quality piece. I was really disappointed about this because the first few minutes were really good. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get some extra footage at some point to finish the piece, but if that doesn’t happen I’m sure I can use it for something else.

Otherwise, the time we spent with Sarah was fantastic. I’m really excitied about the new restaurant and the food looks delicious. If you’re reading this and you are within spitting distance of Oakland you must eat at Miss Ollie’s in Old Oakland. Trust me!

Here’s a quick excerpt:

Since opening its doors on December 4, Miss Ollie’s has quickly become a popular standout in Oakland’s restaurant scene, with customers lining up for a taste of Caribbean comfort food in a casual format. Currently open for lunch Tuesday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., the menu features mouth-watering flavors inspired by Kirnon’s childhood: Curry goat with buttered collards and roasted mixed potatoes. Grits, Smithfield ham and red-eye gravy. Oxtail pepperpot, cornbread, turnips and black-eyed peas. Escoveitch fish with cassava cake. And of course, Kirnon’s legendary fried chicken, a recipe handed down from her grandmother.

Damn! I get hungry every time I read that paragraph. You can peep the rest of the article here and don’t forget to holla at us on twitter at #realoakfolks.

Real Oakland Folks

In Black Oakland Renaissance, RealOakFolks on November 28, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Great news! My boy Manny Black and I have been filming people who we thought were major contributors to the culture of Oakland for the last four years. Some of the brief little snippets can be seen here if you’re interested.

We believed the black community in Oakland was experiencing something of a renaissance and we (as in black people) needed to get out there and document it. We were especially interested in doing this because we were living right in the middle of it. Many of these people were our friends. They even lived in the same neighborhood as ours.

Well, after four years of filming off and on we’ve hit a significant step forward with the project. My wife pitched the idea to Oakland Local and they agreed to run 1-2 stories per month about Oakland’s Black Culture makers for a full year. We’re calling it RealOakFolks for short.

The first two are up and the reception thus far has been good. You can check out the video of community organizer Effie Tesfahun above and the full piece here. Effie recently wrapped up an event called “Keep Oakland In the Black” which was intended to help promote local businesses on Black Friday.

The event was a success. Effie is doing amazing things and we had a great time interviewing her. Check out the introduction piece here and stay tuned for the next two in a few weeks. Also, we’re trying to encourage everyone to keep the conversation going on twitter #RealOakFolks.