A lot of times we focus on the Queens of the Bay Area but that doesn’t mean we don’t have love for the Kings too. And we’re not talking about those fake woke dudes, that walk around calling us “Sistas” and encourage us to get our chakras aligned, – yea we’re on to you, and have an article for you soon – we’re talking about those Kings that are actually using their voice to make a difference to those around them. Whether they are Bay Area natives or transplants, check out these Bay Area Kings with a message.
Pendarvis Harshaw || Oakland, CA
Known as OG Penn, Pen is a part of Regulars Only. You know, those cool kids that throw dope events that you have to be in the know to know about them. They are a group of high school friends – Erk Tha Jerk, London, Daghe, Tiv, and Caps – who have created a meeting ground and cultural hub in the heart of West Oakland.
“At its basic level, it’s a backyard in West Oakland where regular people thrive. A more visual definition: during a party a while back, NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard stood in the same yard as the homeless person who asks for change on the corner; both are regular people. Both are welcome.”
He hopes to provide the community with a place to release, be in their truth, and just chill and have a good time. He uses his voice to put out pertinent information by writing articles, taking photos, or simply tweeting need to know info.
“The biggest thing RO does is create the platform for people to meet. Wether it’s the intention of connecting two people who are attracted to each other or connecting people for business or one new resident to the greater community– the space we’ve created is a much needed platform where people can let their hair down and make a friend. This is vital to the city of Oakland, especially as places for working-class people to mix and mingle are evaporating.”
Khamall Zawadi || Cleveland, OH to Oakland, CA
We’ve plugged Khamall and his Blackbuster project a few times but if you don’t already know, Blackbuster – which was created in 2014 – is a film project devoted to showcasing visual works from or about people of African descent. Blackbuster is an outlet for the black imagination. Through an array of activities and events, Blackbuster highlights the black perspective in media.
“I am hoping to provide the community a chance to bask in an environment that represents them in the most entertaining and enriching was possible. Give the people I share space with a place to feel comfortable and fluid. I enjoy providing another option for people to come out, enjoy themselves and hopefully gain some insight.”
He uses their voice to speak up for the voices that can’t be heard. He has a genuine gift of getting people to listen to what he says, and hopes to continue to develop this tool. He uses Blackbuster as a vehicle for his voice which allows him to spread his vision in a way that is uplifting and artistic.
“My message is to spread peace and change the world for the better who ever that comes to naturally. Be you unapologetically but be positive.”
Joog Knight is a creative visionary who hopes to spread positive energy and knowledge of self. He gives back to the community by being on the frontline, putting in work, and connecting with the youth. He realizes that the best way to change the community is by starting with the young and inspiring them and teaching them.
“My message, even though it may sound corny, is to spread love. If you ever have been inspired by me please the best way to pay me back is by turning around and inspiring someone else. Spread that love. Love every living thing.”
Brtt has one of the most vibrant and magnetic auras that I have come across. He is a creative spirit who uses his voice to speak truth to the younger generation and share knowledge that has been bestowed upon him.
“I use my voice encourage my generation, and let them know there are not alone in their thought process or struggle. I use my voice to inform the elder generations, and let them know their efforts will be continued.”
As far as the community goes, his goal is to heal, teach, and be a contributor to the culture. He does this by supporting what is in place and bringing an outside perspective.
“Being someone who is a transplant, I always worried about being a consumer and not a contributor. Now, I believe my best contribution is to respect and support what is already in place.”
Co-founder and the Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Mamou is a recent college graduate from the University of California, Riverside. Being raised in Oakland, and spending 4 years in Southern California, Mamou heard the constant negative views that people had on the Bay Area. She vowed to help change those views, and Nook and Kranny is her first step in doing so.