-statistic provided by the irrefutable Angela Davis.
I love California. People often tell me I have "California Vibes". Which I've learn to take a nod to my longing for peace, joy, progressive openness & general laid back social demeanor. I love California because much like Texas its huge. As my good ol' country friend would say, 'You can drive all day and not get out of Texas'. The same is true vertically for California. The sheer vastness of the terrain is enough to make me fall in love.
It's no surprise to me that the Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California. This southern girl has always stood in spirit solidarity with the artists on the West Coast. Albeit I was born in Ottawa, Canada and am a proud Canadian. I am (since I've lived here from 7 years old with only brief explorations of college) a true Texan, country, southern. I've never lived in California, and I was raised in a Southern Baptist Church, stockings in the heat and the whole 9-yards. Tuesday Bible Study, Vacation Bible School, Christian Camps in the Summer. I had parents who were big on presentation, decorum and excellence and behaving respectable so while I did rebel as a gremlin as most young girls do, I am a true Southern Belle, the world will tell you Southern Belles are the mannerisms southern white ladies and I do not argue this. In our culture we learned what was "appropriate" from behaving like "proper" white women.
I embrace the term that was not meant for me, a little stuffy, overly considerate and generally agreeable. That was a temperament we were rewarded at home for. A life-long contrarian, with no understanding of why at all went my own way into woman-hood. I searched west in my soul for art, passion, freedom, intellectualism, philosophical truths and idealistic boldness. In my soul I related deeply with the Black Panther party. Started by two men, I like most people, never really understood that this program was built with the roaring engine of the black woman. The power, the intensity, the unabashedly masculinity and militance sucked me up from my first introduction to political blackness through Melissa Harris Perry. I strongly recommend anyone who hasn't to read Sister Citizen.
I became so very Cali and so much more richly Black, through the time travel of literature (From Toni Morrison to Alice Walker to Ta- Nehisi Coates to adrienne maree brown). Angela Davis, to me, is so beautiful to watch in her youth and today in such different ways. I aspire to meet her and almost did attend her speech at a U of H event. I missed it for a job that no longer matters.
I'm not just a good marketer because I keep up with trends, understand technology & algorithms more than the average joe or because I have 10 years of experience in my craft. Those are skills I picked up along the way, that is the math and the science. But the art of communicating, the ability to time travel, the ability to speak & hear so many different cultural languages, it makes my presence, my existence in the space of opinion, so valuable that I cannot believe I've ever lost a job (but I have). Good thing I know who I am. A Panther who knows how to dress, behave and summon the charm of a True Southern Belle, in it's purity...minus the ugliness of patriarchy, absent of the racism, absent of the classism there is a woman there complex, genius and unheard. We are a whole subculture of subculture. The intersection of so much existence. Marketing needs voices we haven't heard before. That's not technology, thats the art of using technology the way it was intended: To share, exhibit, hear, learn & watch.