Famous Poet Speaks to Skyline Students

By Noah Mitchell

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Carlos Andrés Gómez

Carlos Andrés Gómez came all the way from New York to perform some of his popular works of poetry for select Skyline students during 5th and 6th period in the library.

“My primary medium is poetry, but a lot of my life is just going out and interacting with people performing stuff that i’ve written,” Gómez said, in an interview just before his May 9 presentation.

Gómez is an award-winning poet as well as a speaker, actor, author, and a writer. While being most known for his viral poems, which have millions of views on YouTube, he has also co-starred in Spike Lee’s Inside Man with Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, and Clive Owen, and appeared on shows such as HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and TV One’s Verses and Flow.

“The most exciting thing I’ve ever done [in poetry] is I got to read a poem I wrote for my sister and I performed it for her for the first time at this festival in Berlin. It was a really really special poem about her struggles with dyslexia, and I had a really hard time learning how to read. It was a singular moment in my life to be in this room with her, and to gift her this poem that she didn’t know existed, in front of all these people in this really exciting moment of my life is my best highlight,” he said.

When it came to giving students advice on how to become a poet and write compelling poetry, Gómez commented, “When I think about a poem I think about, ‘What is nobody talking about? What’s the most urgent thing you are grappling with?’ And that’s where you should start when it comes to your process. Things that make you scared, unmoored, or disoriented. That’s a good place to start in your creative processes because there’s a lot of electricity there and those are the stories we need to tell.”

“I’m here to do some poems and then I’m going to chop it up with students,” added Gómez. One of the students he talked to after his performance was sophomore Eleanor Wikstrom. “I thought [his performance] was really good. I’ve seen one of his performances when I was in middle school, so I wasn’t really sure if he was going to do the same material or different. He did one of the same poems, but of course it was still good two years later. I like the content, I feel it is really relevant considering that a lot of things that are happening in today’s political climate and social climate. So it was nice to hear him tell his stories.”

Mr. Bloomfield, the school librarian who helped organize the visit, also got to talk about his experience hearing Gómez’ poems. “This is the second time that Carlos has come to speak to students here at Skyline and both times he’s shown himself to be an absolute professional. He captivates the room quite easily while being able to work with our weird Wednesday bell schedule, and it seems as though kids walk away from his presentations excited about poetry in a way that really you can only get if you’re seeing it live from the poet himself. He has excellent delivery and writes about things kids are interested in and I really hope he comes back next year.”

“Two years ago when he came, kids came up to me after and said, ‘Hey can we get him to speak at our graduation.’ Unfortunately, like now, it was in May that he came to speak, so it wasn’t enough time for him to be able to do that. However, he does speak at graduations, so for future students reading this article right now let me know if you are interested and I’ll contact him earlier in the school year,” commented Bloomfield.

You can visit his website @http://www.carloslive.com for more information on Carlos, his poetry, social media, and his performances including times and locations.

The Spring Fashion

CYMK cropped boy in blueMichael

Where do you like shop?

It doesn’t matter the store. If I see something I like something I might get it

Who/What inspires your fashion?

No one

How would you describe your style?

I describe my style as different, I try to buy things that other people don’t wear or don’t have

CYMK girl in overalls blouse

Amia

Where do you like shop?

LMAO I like to thrift shop

Who/What inspires your fashion?

I guess Kehlani cause she just wears what she wants and doesn’t care what other people think about her outfits

How would you describe your style?

Just comfy I guess. I kinda just wear whatever feels good to me even if it looks weird

CYMK justin

Justin

 

Where do you like shop?

I like to shop at H&M

Who/What inspires your fashion?

Asap Rocky

How would you describe your style?

My style idk i just wear what looks good on me.

CYMK girl w guitar

Kyla

 

Where do you like shop?

I go to Forever 21, Crossroads, H&M, and ROSS! Never underestimate Ross LMAO them prices are unbeatable

Who/What inspires your fashion?

No one really inspires me I have my own style

How would you describe your style?

My style is just whatever comes to mind. Like sometimes the weirdest combinations turn into something cute as hell

 

The ‘Black Panther’ Experience

Look if you haven’t seen “Black Panther” yet then I don’t know what to tell you, besides GO SEE IT

by Noah Mitchell

The international box office numbers of over $1 billion should prove that everyone and their momma went to see that movie.

I even have first-hand experience after seeing it twice opening presidential weekend at Grand Lake Theater and AMC Bay Street.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many African American people in one place and both times, might I add, I saw at least five people from Skyline and other OUSD schools. And the screaming when OAKLAND came up was such a surreal feeling for everyone!

 

The Story (SPOILERS AHEAD)

Black Panther is about to be the newly crowned King T’Challa, while still mourning the death of his father King T’Chaka, a week after the events of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War.

When Ulysses Klaue, a vibranium stealing public enemy of the Wakandan nation, is found working with a mysterious new enemy it’s up to Black Panther, his family and surrounding tribes, as well as Agent Ross to defeat an unlikely enemy that may have closer ties to Wakanda than they think.

 

The Protagonist

T’Challa is really not a relatable protagonist on the surface. Let me explain. He loses his father and becomes the king of a highly technological east African country while also becoming it’s sworn protector who runs around in such a tech savvy cat suit that it would make Iron Man drool in amazement.

Now that’s what makes his character so great, is that despite all of that he is still able to relate to audiences. He wants to live up to his parents’ legacy, not disappoint the people he cares about the most; he strives to keep his loved ones safe, and continues to not only help his own people but humanity as well.

These qualities mixed in with a little humor and family drama, coupled with the tough decisions he has to make that challenges him to become a strong man as well as a strong king is so enticing for anyone to watch while rooting for T’Challa.

 

The Villain

Killmonger, portrayed by Michael B. Jordan, is one of if not the best villain Marvel has brought to the silver screen to date. You know you have a great antagonist to the main hero when the villain’s reasoning for conquest makes themself look like the protagonist of the film.

What I mean is Killmonger’s backstory of his father’s death at the hand of T’challa’s father (the original Black Panther) influences his motivations so much to fight for the African race as a whole all over the world and give them the tools to better themselves that Wakanda has been hoarding for so long.

Even though Killmonger chooses death and to forfeit his plan, in the end what he was fighting for ended up coming into fruition when T’Challa opened Wakandan’s resources to the UN. This shows that despite the way he chose to try and achieve it, there was good intentions behind his actions, good intentions he was willing to die for.

Supporting Characters

Black Panthers supporting characters all have a distinct roles add that helps to move the film forward.

Zuri’s backstory and eventual sacrifice to save T’Challa, General Ross proving his loyalty to Wakanda repeatedly, W’Kabi desperately trying to catch Klaue while dealing with his wife, M’Baku and his gorilla tribe aiding in the final battle, Okeye and the Dora Milaje and the sacrifices they are willing to make to protect their country, Nakia and her mission to help the rest of the world while dealing with her relationship with T’Challa, Shuri and her essential role in developing tech and supporting T’Challa, and just tons more!

There wasn’t a single character who shouldn’t have been on screen.

 

Final Thoughts & Criticisms

The visuals in this movie are stunning, even subtle touches like how Wakanda is usually bright and has more exposure, while the other locations in the world they travel to are dark and have low light to symbolize Wakanda keeping to themselves, and out of unruly world affairs.

The African costumes and rituals are odd to watch at first, but becomes extremely interesting as you begin to understand the depth how rooted they are in the culture.

The quote on quote “white” people in this movie have a nice balance of letting the African actors be prominent throughout the movie at the foreground (as it should be), but not only being in the movie as a butt of uncultured white people jokes or just plainly labeled as ‘colonizers.’

Some knit-picks I still have with the film are how Vibranium is basically a fix-all magic plot device; why did Zuri have to die if there was Vibranium that could have saved him; and wasn’t there a third Black Panther suit — used in Civil War and then discarded for Shuri’s revamp — that could have been used in the final battle against Killmonger?

I give it a 9/10 because with “Avengers: Infinity War” coming out this year and it already passing Black Panther’s presale records in like an hour, I’m positive Infinity War will be a 11/10.

The Rise of Kpop: Global Sensation Lands in America

BTS Show at AMAs Was Next Big Step

By Allison Dang

While K-pop, or Korean pop music, has been slowly rising in the American entertainment market, the group BTS has broken through in a major way this year and gained mass popularity.

Debuting in 2013 as a group of seven boys, they have released four albums, the last two of which were big sellers.

BTS’ music mostly consists of hip hop and pop music. They are one of the most popular groups right now and have accomplished a lot for the industry.

They have become the first K-pop group to perform at the American Music Awards, they were invited to the Billboards Award and even won the Top Social award, where they happened to break and set new records on the charts.

They had appeared as guests on the Ellen Degeneres Show and performed on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. They have captured the hearts of many fans and gained so much support over time.

“It’s very catchy, they mad cute, and it’s very entertaining,” said a student from Skyline, who wished to remain anonymous.

When asked by Forbes magazine about how they felt to be the first K-pop act to be top 10 in the Billboard 200, Rap Monster, the leader of the group said:

“It’s still like we’re dreaming. The Billboard 200 Top 10 is not something [I thought] that we could achieve. I was born to. I feel like we’re so lucky and so grateful for the fans.”

It is a breakthrough for any K-pop group to gain attention from the American industry and be invited to big awards ceremony and shows with large followings.

BTS and other groups continue to grow and gain attention from international entertainments industry. Many groups such as Big Bang and Girls Generation who had debut earlier have a big following internationally and have achieved a lot.

Over the years, K-pop in general has made huge accomplishments and many groups have a following from everywhere in the world. It is amazing to see how different cultures come together in the form of music.

If you want to know more groups, check out Big Bang, EXO, Black Pink, and Girl Generation, who also have a mass international following.

 

Skyline Drama Wins Award

Winners were announced for the 2017 Broadway World San Francisco Regional Awards in January and Skyline’s production of “Prospect High: Brooklyn” was named Best Production Performed by Youth. Skyline’s drama students performed the new play during the 2016-2017 school year at Skyline, as well as  at several other venues in Oakland and Berkeley, and at Logan High School in Union City.

In addition, the play was performed by Skyline’s drama students at the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland in August 2017