Skateboarding Connecting Youth In Ethiopia

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How it Started: 

Ethiopia Skate began as a peer group of young skateboarders led by 16 year old Abenezer Temesgen who would practice and share gear every weekend. As the community grew it attracted photographer Sean Stromsoe and other foreign skaters who each made their own imprint on the history of skating in Ethiopia. We are stoked to learn language, balance, and patience through skating with friends.

We are an international group of skateboarders working to make the world more connected. 

We vision to connect Ethiopian skateboarders and coordinate opportunities for foreign skaters to link up with locals at skate spots around the country. We want to give access to equipment and maintain skate spots as we help guide this influential youth culture” – ethiopiaskate.org)

Ethiopia Skate | Skateboard Journey

“Basically it’s a bunch of young skaters from every spectrum of life (rich to poor) helping each other progress through skating. The community gives a platform for skaters in Ethiopia to meet each other and meet foreign skaters when they visit.

We are getting several hundred boards in the next couple months and will be passing them out to youth organizations, schools, and individuals to help the sport grow, because now there is no access to skateboards (even for purchase)” – Sean Stromsoe.

Ethiopia Skate | A Message to the World

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Young Naod

Interview with Sean Stromsoe (Ethiopia Skate Member and Photographer):

When did Ethiopia Skate officially form?

Ethiopia Skate started as a peer group of young skaters in Addis Ababa who on weekends would meet and practice in a vacant taxi parking lot. They were lead by 16 year old Abenezer Temesgen. With a major lack of gear and no place to buy a board in all of Ethiopia, they helped each other keep rolling by sharing their own gear. I met them by coincidence one day in June 2013 and we launched a campaign to connect these skaters to the world community in an effort to make a skate park and get more decks for the 30+ kids. We ended up discovering that there were more young Ethiopian skaters and several German and Swedish skaters living in Addis Ababa, and the community was born.

What type of initial reception did you get from the local kids and their parents?

It really depends on the person, but most are thrilled to see skateboarding and cheer when the skaters land difficult tricks. Some guards think the wheels will crack the concrete while others encourage the experienced skaters to jump their stairs or whatnot.

Do you or any of the members of the team speak the languages spoken in Ethiopia? If not, how did/do you guys deal with the language barrier?

I’m learning to speak Amharic, the main language spoken in Ethiopia’s capitol. School in Ethiopia is taught in English so it’s easy to communicate with simple phrases. Right now there are only 2 skaters from abroad working with us in Addis, the rest are local. Everything has been happening on a community basis, since most of the kids don’t have phones they communicate directly with each other when there’s a skate session or when we need to meet at the skate spots.

How much has Ethiopia Skate grown from its initial start?

In a year Ethiopia Skate has kept this core group of skaters rolling while connecting many local beginners and experienced visitors. We’ve built small ramps at youth centers and schools and are working on an actual park. Social media has been our best friend throughout all of this, by connecting a small group of skaters in Ethiopia to the world community. It’s really rewarding to show the world a different side of Ethiopia but also a different side of skateboarding, something closer to it’s roots. 

Where do you see Ethiopia skate going in the next five years?

The introduction of skateboarding in Ethiopia is looking similar to its beginnings in Los Angeles so many years ago, a bunch of kids eager to find skate able spots and pioneer a sport that thrives in the concrete jungle. In five years we think there will be hundreds if not thousands of new skaters across Ethiopia as access to gear will become more readily accessible.

 Our German buddy Daniel Scheidler has been working on a locally produced longboard which can be seen here: afrigadget.com

Thanks to our supporters

 

Cali Am Jam Bringing Skateboarding and Health Awareness Together As One

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Cali Am Jam is a nationally recognized skateboarding contest series founded by Robert Ferguson and House of Marley skater Karl Watson. Cash prizes, merchandise giveaways and a full scholarship to the Element YMCA Summer Skate Camp are just a few highlights of Cali Am Jam. This all age and skill set event is based in Northern California and brings out a beautiful crop of event seekers.

Not only does this community driven event put on an amazing skateboard competition, but it also raises awareness to problems that affect the community. 2014 focused on Diabetes in the Bay Area, Cancer Awareness near the state capital and Autism support in the Central Valley. What better way to spread awareness than to gather your community together over a little competition.

“Platform for our youth: It’s highly important to re-edify the youth and get them more involved with the community whether its skateboarding, filming or lending a hand and being creative”

House of Marley supports initiatives that get the community aware and active. We thank Robert and Karl for their hard work and dedication to those around them. Now go grab some friends and show them up with that tre flip. Roll forever!

Check out their video from their last event of the year:

 

Cali Am Jam Commercial:

Bob Marley Inspired Ben & Jerry’s Flavored Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry’s, the makers of the most creative ice cream flavors, has done it again! “Satisfy My Bowl” is the company’s newest flavor, inspired by the legend Bob Marley. Banana ice cream with caramel, cookie swirls and chocolatey peace signs fill all of your dairy desires. Unfortunately, is it not available in the United States and will be released in Europe this October. Lucky them. Make sure to sign the petition to bring this flavor to North America in 2015! 

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We’re celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Bob Marley’s Legend album with this tasty tribute, supporting Bob’s vision for a fairer world. In partnership with the 1Love Foundation, this flavour will help to fund a youth empowerment programme in Jamaica. Music to your ears AND your taste buds! What makes this all the sweeter is that the inspired (ahem, LEGEND-ary) flavour name comes courtesy of Camilla Bishop – thanks Camilla, you’re a legend! Peace, 1love & Ice Cream, from Ben & Jerry’s” – (benjerry.co.uk). 

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The Story Under the Lid 

“Bob Marley stood for more than just music – he inspired millions to think about peace, love, and world equality…and, like us, he stood up for serious matters, but in a fun and uplifting way! Our co-founder, Jerry, always said “If it’s not fun, why do it?”, and we’ve continued to work with that ethos in mind.

We were honoured to be approached by Bob Marley’s 1Love Foundation to help celebrate the 30th anniversary of Bob Marley’s “Legend” album, and what sweeter way to honour this than with a special edition Ben & Jerry’s tribute flavour!

Whilst busying ourselves in the kitchen, creating a taste-sensation worthy of this honour, we asked fans to suggest a ‘Legend’-ary name for it. The first person to come up with the winning name was rewarded with entry to our flavour hall of fame and, when the new flavour hits the freezers in Autumn 2014, the winner and their flavour name will appear on every Legend-ary tub. The lucky winner also gets to dig into their prize of a year’s supply of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!

You know what makes this partnership even more euphoric? Proceeds from this flavour will fund a youth empowerment programme in Jamaica (run by 1Love Foundation), which uses music and creativity as a tool to better the lives of Jamaican youth, and supports Bob’s vision for a fairer world! We think that’s pretty cool…

We’ve also had the honour of sponsoring a video for the Bob Marley track “One Love”, which will be sourced from Tongal, a video production crowd-sourcing platform. Keep your eyes (& ears) peeled; the video will be launched in September 2014!” – (benjerry.co.uk)

Click on the photo below to sign the petition to bring “Satisfy My Bowl” to North America in 2015!

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House of Marley x AfroPunk Fest Recap

AfroPunk Fest was fire! Commodore Barry Park was filled with positive vibes, great music — and STYLE. There are no words to express how beautiful this past weekend was. The people of New York City and beyond came together through art, music, and fashion and blessed Brooklyn with two wild festival days. And the House of Marley “Get Together” and Gold Stage area was the zone! The DJs filled the air with music the crowd could dance to all day long. Thank you Brooklyn!

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Photos by: Eddie Grams

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AfroPunk Fest Take Over: Day 4

 

Lianne La Havas 

Giving us acoustic sounds, soul and alternative folk, Lianne La Havas is one of our highlists of the week. Born in London, England of Jamaican decent this phenomenal woman will definitely put on an amazing show. Her solo album “Is Your Love Big” was given a five star rating by iTunes reviews. Lianne La Havas will be performing at 7:00pm on the Green Stage on Saturday, August 23rd.

 

The Wildling Incident

Known for their “raw, primal, and politically charged lyrics, The Wilding Incident will be sure to keep your eyes glued to the stage. With influences stemming from Bad Brains to Minor Threat to SS Decontrol the House of Marley is excited to have this group of dudes rocking out on our stage. The Wilding Incident will be performing at 5:45pm on the Black Stage, Saturday, August 24th. 

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Unlocking The Truth

We are very excited to announce that one of the most anticipated acts at AfroPunk Fest will be playing on our stage. Unlocking the truth performed last year and absolutely killed it!  This young metal band performed at the Apollo in 2012 and proved themselves to be artists too look out for in the future. With influences from Metallica, Slipknot, Disturbed, Living Colour, Chelsea Grin, Motionless in White, Escape the Fate, and many more who wouldn’t be interested in seeing what these guys have to offer. Unlocking the Truth will be performing at 5:45pm on the Black Stage, Sunday, August 24th. We can’t wait! 

 

 

Cro-Mags

Formed in 1983 and known for being the pioneers of New York Hardcore. “The Age Of Quarrel” their debut record, released in 1985 is known for being “the blueprint” for New York Hardcore punk. We hope those attending acts at the Black stage are prepared to mosh and rock out. These guys are a household name in the Hardcore punk world and will definitely kill the stage. You can find Cro-Mags  at the Black stage, Sunday, August 24th at 7pm. 

AfroPunk Fest Fashion

AfroPunk Fest has been making waves nationally not only for the forward thinking lineup of acts, but for the eclectic fashion. Publications from Rolling Stone to the New York Times have covered the style of the festival. While other music festivals have a homogenic style or signature look, AfroPunk embraces the uniqueness of each attendee. You’ll see high fashion walking next to thrift store hauls, punk mingling with preppy, and edgy rocking out with demure. Check out some of our favorite outfits of past AfroPunk Festivals in this slideshow.

 

 

 

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AfroPunk Fest Take Over: Day 3

SZA

Born Solana Rowe in 1990, this young lady has captivated hearts with her dreamy, haunting, electro-soul sound. SZA, is the first lady of TDE (Top Dawg Entertatinment) and began her music career in May 2012. Months later she put our her first EP See.SZA.Run and in 2013 she released her S EP, and Z EP in April 2014 two of three releases that will spell out SZA. With a talented group of individuals apart of her team, House of Marley is very excited to watch her take over the stage. SZA will be performing on the Red Stage at 5:15pm on Sunday, August 24th.

 

Sewer Rats BK

Sewer Rats BK, a collaboration between CXKiDTRoNiX, Jason Blackkat, Craig Flanagin, Dok Gregory, and Cinque Ubangi Kemp makes aggressive, challenging, lo-fi music with a mixture of punk and hardcore aesthetics. The wide array of instruments and effects creates a unique, abrasive mix that’s some of the most forward-thinking music coming out of the internet right now. Catch them on the Black Stage at 1:45 P.M on Sunday, August 24th.

 

Junior Astronomers

This group of dudes from North Carolina formed in 2007 and have toured and shared stages with Harvard, The Weeks, Dignan, Color Revolt, Des Ark, and Polvo. “Music needs to sound like human beings, like it’s alive. A lot of people want to make sad shit all the time, that’s one part of life but it’s not all life. There’s fun, there’s happiness, there’s sadness” – Terrace Richard (group member). The House of Marley is all for positive good vibes and we feel this crew will bringing those elements to AfroPunk Fest. Junior Astronomers will be performing at 2:45pm on Sunday, August 24th. 

 

The Ooohh Baby Gimme Mores

This Toronto punk group will be giving us energy, crazy drums and catchy synth lines. The Ooohh Baby Gimmie Mores have shared the stage with Saul Williams, Janelle Monae and Kathryn Calder of The New Pornographers. So we know they will be bringing good vibes to stage. It is said that this group is guaranteed to have people  “booty shaking, and fist pumping”. Well, we can’t wait! The Ooohh Baby Gimmie Mores will be performing at 3:45pm on Sunday, August 24th. 

 

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AfroPunk Spin Thrift Market

Who doesn’t love to go shopping? Well luckily you can empty your pockets at AfroPunk’s Spin Thrift Market. Handmade jewelry, clothing, paintings and more all crafted by creative minds who represent Afropunk. Below are a few brands that sparked our interest.

 

Petrichor NYC

“’The funeral that inspired me the most was for my best friend Kwasi Pecou,” is usually not the first sentence a fashion designer uses to introduce their brand, but then there is Petrichor NYC, a high end street-wear apparel and accessories brand, birthed by Frank Caffey. The 24-year-old Queens, New York-native, has evolved from his graphic design and photography days into a full-fledged fashion designer over the past six years’.

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Afrodesiac Worldwide

“Established in 2005, Afrodesiac Worldwide is a cultural lifestyle brand, expressive of contemporary afro-urban style around the globe. From Brooklyn to Brixton, Jamaica to Johannesburg, Addis Ababa to Accra. Our vision is to become a premier lifestyle brand, pioneering a cultural revolution in fashion.”

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T. Barnes 

“T. Barnes is the owner of Solace hair and esthetics studio, an established licensed esthetician and business owner who has serviced the Fairfield County community since 2003.  She provides facial treatments, body waxing and make-up application services. Her facial provides deep cleansing, extractions of black and white heads and amazing relaxation through shoulder and face massage with lavender and jojoba oils. She has a loyal and growing clientele who seek out quality services, events and experiences. T. Barnes Beauty is a lifestyle of beauty brand which offers, spa services, retreats, workshops, boutique events, a high quality organic skincare and full mineral cosmetics line.”

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House of Eli 

Trimicka ‘Mecca’ Crump is a self-represented contemporary abstract artist that lives in the bustling city of Philadelphia. Mecca’s art is a reflection of liberation, trial and inspiration. She is a very new experimental artist who creates in many visual art mediums. She is a writer, teacher, published poet, and spoken word artist. Mecca addresses social subjects such as women’s, racial, and LGBT rights and awareness, social class, and politics through her art.”

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NY State of Mind 

NY STATE OF MIND is an independent lifestyle brand representing NY street culture. Started in the streets of downtown NYC and Brooklyn in 2008. All design, silk screening, painting, sewing, etc. is proudly done under one roof in Brooklyn, NY.”

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AfroPunk Fest Take Over: Day 2

 

Body Count

Stemming from Los Angeles, this thrash mental band formed in 1990 will definitely turn heads. The front man of the group alongside Ernie C. (lead guitar), is rapper/actor Ice T. Known for their controversial song “Cop Killa”, this group definitely going to put on a great show. Their newest album “Manslaughter” released this past June can be found on iTunes.  Given 4 1/2 stars by iTunes reviewers, this album is definitely one to check out. Body Count will be performing on the Red Stage at 7:45pm on Saturday, August 23rd.

 

Cipher

With a mix hardcore, punk, and metal our next artist highlight is Cipher. The crew was formed in 1996 by close friends who wanted to bring something different to the underground scene. Known for lyrics that push a social mission, these group of dudes will have you rocking out and pondering over a political view. Cipher will be performing on the Black Stage at 4:45pm on Saturday, August 23rd.

 

The Bots 

Recording their first album at 15 and 12, brothers Mikaiah Lei (Lead Vocal, Guitar, Bass), and Anaiah Lei (Drums and Percussions, Backing Vocal) will be playing on our stage (Black Stage) and we are very excited! Their sound is a mix of garage/punk with influences from the American blues and ballad tradition. Their latest release is the single “All I Really Want” which can be found on SoundCloud. The Bots will be performing at 5:45pm on Saturday, August 23rd. 

 

Bad Brains | Dr. Know

“No one would argue that the Bad Brains is one of the most important American punk bands of all time. Considered by many to be the “holy grail” of punk rock, they have a pure and quintessential attitude that most artists only aspire to achieve. Brilliantly melting together both reggae and pure punk rage to create a manic energy never seen before, their influence is deep and wide ranging: Minor Threat, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, Lil Jon, Living Colour, Matisyahu, Mos Def, 311, hundreds of hardcore bands and any young punk musician” – Afropunk.com. The House of Marley is very excited to see this group perform, they have a sound that we love. Bad Brains | Dr. Know will be performing on the Black Stage at 7pm on Saturday, August 23rd. 


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What is AfroPunk?

“AFROPUNK – “The Rock and Roll N***** Experience” was the original title for the movie before it was changed to what we know as today: AFROPUNK – The Documentary, a 66 minute documentary explores race identify within the punk scene. More than your everyday “Behind the Music” or typical “Black History month “documentary this film tackles hard questions, covering issues such as exile, loneliness, interracial dating and black power. We follow the lives of four people who have dedicated themselves to the punk rock lifestyles. They find themselves in conflicting situations, living the dual life of a person of color in a mostly white community.

AFROPUNK – The Documentary features performances by Bad Brains, Tamar Kali, Cipher, and Ten Grand. It also contains exclusive interviews by members of Fishbone, 247- spyz, Dead Kennedys, Candiria, Orange 9mm and TV on the Radio to name a few” – afropunk.com.

For more news on AFROPUNK go to:
Visit our website: https://www.afropunk.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/afropunk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/afropunk

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