by Hatty Lee. Photography by Still1
San Diego campus. Flor y Cantor Gallery, Humanities hallway. A selected few practice here every weekday for two to three hours in the evening. It’s a hard linoleum floor. There’s no protection. They don’t care. They put on their gear: jersey shorts, sleeveless shirts and sweats. A Macbook blares a dancehall mashup, jazzy big bands with horns and snares and loud beats on repeat.
Head spins and quick feet — they do in seconds what takes yoga gurus years to train. They are The Calamities, a breaking crew based in San Diego, and the “little brother crew” Forbidden Skillz Clan. Binly Krysada Phounsiri — the founder, also known on the floor as “Lancer” or “Lance LaRock” — stretches with Jacob “Shyism” Kang and Ian “Damon” Peeble. More kids walk in — typical skater boys with skinny jeans and plaid shirts, one sporting a hipster mustache. I get introduced to all of them, Joriel “Jor Vicious” Jose, Justin “Season” Sazon, and Wesley Jonson.
“To bring back the importance of originality, style, and identity in a breaker’s movement,” reads The Calamities’ Tumblr page. ‘Movement?’ I ask.
posted by Hatty
She stayed in Detroit when so many people had left. She decided that there was something in the life of that city worth throwing her whole lot into. She helped people re-imagine what new urban cores could look like — urban farmers, teachers, labor organizers, journalists, artists, everyone, all connected to the everyday reality of the city, the lives of the residents, the streets, the land.
Her name, Grace Lee Boggs, had only recently become familiar to me through Isaac Miller. An educator/organizer/writer and a sick slam poet from Cal, Isaac talked about Detroit often — where Grace had lived and worked for the last 50 years. Now anyone Issac thought awesome must be somebody; this Grace Lee Boggs must be one badass movement leader. So when all my social media feed began to explode with a news of her speaking engagement in San Francisco Chinatown, I knew I was going. On March 3 at 1pm, community-based organization staff and youth from all over the Bay Area including myself and a few SF Board of Supervisors packed the Chinese Culture Center, all eager to hear this 96-year-old woman.