The chant of “Black girl power!” chant echoed throughout a room filled with purple balloons and ribbons early Saturday morning. More than 100 girls and their mothers, teachers, mentors—and one father—filled an auditorium on the Mills College campus for the first Black Girl Power Conference hosted by the African American Female Excellence Program (AAFE). The…

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Spoken word, a form of poetry that expresses social commentary,  life experiences, and emotion has become particularly strong in the Bay Area where performances happen almost every night. Youth development programs such as Youth Speaks have flourished over the years attracting thousands of teenagers around the nation to take the stage and perform. Spencer Whitney got an…

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Twenty two-year-old spoken word artist Jasmine “Jazz” Hudson has been rocking Oakland’s mics since the eighth grade. From her first writer’s workshop at the West Oakland Library — where her father sent her to “curb that mouth of hers” — she has performed everywhere from the streets of Oakland and Richmond to the national stage, often with her three-year-old son Nassor at her side.

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