african-american/ angelino / barista
His cheekbones are the first thing you notice. They are just round enough that any change in light causes contrast between the hemispheres of his skull. He is a quiet soul, reminiscent of older Jamaican men on Sundays, restful but ever present. His home was filled with plants and most of our conversation drifted between his love of music, art and his partner Essence. At the very end, they offered me a tomato they had grown in their front yard and we sat together munching on it and appreciating the sounds of the impending ice cream truck.
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"Black is the beginning and the end. It's literally the reason why things exist in America.
On Oakland vs Los Angeles 
"Oakland is a type of place where if you're there, it's great. And the things that happen there are in that sphere of Oakland like you can get big in Oakland but you can't push out of Oakland unless you move. 

I had a lot of friends who actually moved from Oakland to L.A. and now they're actually getting a name for themselves. You can do it a little bit faster because there's just more space for it. There's just more here. There are just more people around so that you can like throw a rock and it'll hit a creative person and they will be like, 'I can totally help you with that, what do you need?' I really enjoy it. "
On blackness 
"Sometimes I imagine a world without any black people at all. It would be pretty boring. Like it would probably be some dark ages ass shit. It would suck. It wouldn't be fun.

When I go into the back of my work area, the stock room, and it's just a bunch of white kids listening to black music. I go into the training room and they are listening to black soul music. I go into the other room and they are listening to black jazz. They think they're cooler because of blackness and it's like they don't even realize that that is the thing that they enjoy the most in life. It's crazy. You guys don't know that this is a part of your  lives and it should matter to you just as much as we think Nirvana fucking matters.
On safe spaces
"It's kind of an oxymoron I would say like safety and being black. I don't even know if that's like an existing thing. We've seen over time that literally whatever you're doing and whoever you are, you're unsafe. You could be doing nothing in your own comfortable space and someone will come in your fucking house and murder you. I think every place has its shit and being black you go anywhere and there's going to be shit.

We try really hard to make this space a comfortable zone for ourselves. She lights candles. You know like we try to like really create a closed zone for ourselves. But it doesn't mean that people can't come in here and ruin that.

I think it's really just of who you choose to be around and how those people work with your environment. So I'm really safe with her."
On money
I think that the biggest lie is money and what it's supposed to mean compared to what it actually does to people's brains and what it does to people's image of themselves and image of other people who don't have it. 

It's like a snake that eats itself. You can never get away from money if you live in this society. Even if you're homeless, you're on the street asking someone for money. When you have money, you want more money. I think the lie about it is that that's the thing that keeps everything going when it actually isn't. It's humans that create all of these things to then charge people for them. 

The lie is that we need it to then sell a product when we actually don't even need to use that to make things or create things or sell things or be alive here.”
From Oakland, CA
Lives in Los Angeles, CA.
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