Evolution

by Danya Steele

Passion is a bold bastard.  Beliefs are even worse.  Oh just FORGET about “Innovation” or “Creativity.”  They’re all evil.  They’re all audacious bastards intent on grabbing hold of the human heart, forcing it to beat deeper and even stronger with each enduring pulse.  Yeah that’s it– a bunch of instigators with the NERVE to inspire young NYC teens into believing that they actually have a legitimate place and power in this world.  Passion, Innovation, Creativity, and Beliefs.  What IS this?  Who gave THEM the right to motivate and empower young people to yearnfor growth?  YEARNING for growth?  This is outrageous.  Those bastards!     

Well…sorry to tell you, but here at HarlemLive, we believe in that bastard.  We embrace the strength of having a passionate belief system, we grow through innovation, and we ARE creativity.  WE ARE HARLEMLIVE; the hottest online youth magazine, created, edited, and produced by teens of NYC.        

With that said, it’s only obvious and inevitable for us to include those very facets — passion, innovation, creativity, and a strong belief system — into our everyday production.  Constant inspiration and motivation is integral to our business of creative play.  Stagnant-ism is unattractive to the long term philosophy of HarlemLive’s future. We are prolific.  We are maturing.  This upsurge of growth is within us all. Therefore, it’s only NATURAL for us to want to progress, grow, and elevate to “The next level.”

That next level…is here. HarlemLive is going VIRTUAL…almost.  In previous years, HarlemLive has met and produced out of a small … but manageable space inside of 1330 5th avenue [W. 111th St.] in Harlem.  The space wasn’t horribly difficult to work with; you could take a short-winded stretch here and there…maybe inhale a few oxygen molecules without coughing…it was…manageable.  However recently, HarlemLive, an Internetpublication, has been relocated into a completely different space — drastically confined and equipped with limited and/or nonexistent Internet access.  This is an INTERNET publication; the pure logic is dwindling.

As a multi-award winning news publication, HarlemLive’s resources are commonly overestimated.  We’re assumed to have the of any resource deemed logically fit for a publication of our caliber, but that is but only…an assumption.  Our resources are quite limited as we’ve become masters of squeezing $1.50 out of a dollar. Ironically, HarlemLive has accomplished more than what many other organizations with less of a limited resource, only dream of doing.      

Now dream this.  A designated time, place, and world where every staff member of HarlemLive delves into the surreal, conjuring up the very essence of radical creativity and innovation, fueled by the active exchange of inspiration and ideas faster than the speed of DSL.   A virtual world where all of us here at HarlemLive get together to sculpt, build, and improve the quality of HarlemLive.org, the Internet publication that we’re all so dedicated to bringing onto the bright computer screens of our readers.  As opposed to getting into futile tuffs over square tiles or issues of drastically confined space, HarlemLive is flying into the unconfined.  We are now bringing you this online youth magazine from designated bases all over New York City–our homes.  That’s versatility. 

     We’ll be producing, editing, creating, laughing, and learning online. Designated staff members have been sent home with HarlemLive equipment, ranging from MAC PCs, IBooks, to digital cameras, conditioned to only two things:  creativity and responsibility.  A goal for everyone included in this new “Digital Dash” project is to equip every HarlemLive student with DSL Internet.  Students are allowed to maintain the equipment as long as they continue to assertively put forth effort into the HarlemLive program, attend meetings, go on stories, and so on. In any event that a HarlemLive staff member refuses or fails to keep up with their part of the “Digital Dash,” equipment is reclaimed, followed by a pending suspension until further notice. But who would want to do that anyway? This is literally, a VIRTUAL REALITY, with staff members who will combine minds and equipment, both online and offline, fundamentally networking at the speed of light…all the while being granted the simple yet powerful freedom to do whatever it is they deem fit for HarlemLive production and growth. This is too good. The “completely different space” that HarlemLive has been relocated to, will now be used as storage space for library books, or a small conference room in any case that students need to meet on a more personalized one-to-one basis. 

The mere focus and concentration that goes into work when it’s accompanied by a minimized level of distraction, is enough to propel HarlemLive to even greater heights of success. The usual environment of HarlemLive is similar to any newsroom; there’s constant motion, action, and talking going on.  We’re teenagers; there’s even the idle chat factor that can slow down production.  Not anymore.  Upon entering the “virtual reality” world that we’re now creating amongst ourselves, chatting is done…with a purpose.  You’re scheduling, you’re producing, you’re directing, you’re learning, you’re growing.  This is HOT! 

So yeah…ok…I’ll admit it.  As much as we can’t stand those bastards — passion, innovation, creativity, and beliefs — we’re using them, and holding them tightly as the thread to our foundation.  As a disregard for futile quarrels over insufficient “space,” we’re innovatively creating an unlimited space, a space that cannot be minimized because it is infinite. Essentially, it is a space within the mind… a precious, warm, and exorbitant area of existence where only your own inhibitions or lack of motivation can hinder your progression.  It’s from deep within this space that we plan to bring you an even better HarlemLive, packed with better content, faster production, and a new sense of focus and direction that we’ve yet to show you.  So when you notice a difference…that’s why. It’s because of those damn bastards…those instigators…infiltrating our minds and hearts, with the audacity and boldness to inspire, motivate, and pull us to become an even better HarlemLive than we’ve ever been before.  So yeah we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves.  Damnit!!!  We have the NERVE to be free. Passion is a bold bastard.

AOL Time Warner Paves The Way For HarlemLive

by Jonathan Kui 

First, HarlemLive would like to thank AOL Time Warner for their generosity. After receiving a 25,000 grant from AOL Time Warner , staff members of HarlemLive paid a visit to AOL Time Warner’s representatives. Throughout the day, we prepared our arguments for why HarlemLive was a wise investment, and our supervisor, Richard Calton, reassured us of our positions within the meeting. Although Rich guaranteed he wouldn’t say much at the meeting, he seemed to be the most nervous/talkative out of everyone.

After the initial anxiety and awkwardness, the crew relaxed. Everybody did their part and it went just as planned, if not better. The representatives were surprisingly “down to earth” and their personality helped us feel at ease. It was up to the AOL Time Warner representatives to pave the way for us. We entered knowing where we were coming from, and we left knowing where we were going; conclusively, we left knowing a little bit of our future.

All in all, the meeting was a success. HarlemLive left with a better knowledge of what to do in the future, and AOL Time Warner left with a better understanding of HarlemLive. We reassured the representatives they made a wise choice in teaming up with a media organization like HL. From now, we can only grow and get better with AOL Time Warner’s assistance.

Talking Drum

by Justin Young

With the exception of the Amish, technology transcends all cultures and races . It’s the one thing that binds us all together. It’s diverse in nature and yet speaks one common language. Through the Internet, people from different nations, cultures, and states can get together and talk about numerous subjects. 

Here at HarlemLive we strive to reach out to people across and beyond our nation. So when asked to find a symbol, something that will capture the essence of HarlemLive, Elaine Johnson (HarlemLive advisor) and Richard Calton (HarlemLive Director) came up with the idea of the Talking Drum. 

The Talking Drum (Donno Drum) is used for musical performances and signaling or sending messages. Due to the fact that each tribe has its own language, it was difficult for the tribes to communicate verbally. The drum itself crossed language barriers and served as a common language. The drum, when hit a certain way, gives off a sound that resembles speech. That is why it is called the “Talking Drum”. By using the drum, messages could be sent to far off distances. 

The drum was cultivated primarily by the Ashanti, Hausa, Yoruba, and Akan tribes. And while the origin of the drum remains unclear, it is speculated that the first to use this drum was the Atumpan tribe. 

The drum was made out of an assortment of types of trees such as Tweneboa (also known as Twenedura), Bontondie and Edar. The trees used to carve the drum undergo an extensive religious ritual. Before the tree can be cut down, eggs must first be sacrificed to the tree. After that, members of the tribe would then pray to the tree. Akan, for example, felt that the tree was a powerful spirit and must be honored. So they prayed and made sacrifices to the tree for protection from its powers as well as to honor it. When the drum is finished it is believed to house the spirit of the tree. 

Our goal here at HarlemLive is to reach the hearts and minds of people not only in our community but world wide in the tradition of the “Talking Drum.”