All Articles: Yard Talk

Topic of Discussion: Felons’ Voting Rights, Part 2

By Rahsaan Thomas Journalism Guild Chairman There was a time when it took rampaging terrorists to keep people from the polls, now it’s voter apathy discouraging many Americans from the ballot box. Emancipation left Blacks as the majority in the South. Freed Blacks in five Southern states outnumbered Whites. During this period, which was around […]

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Topic of Discussion: Felons’ Voting Rights Part 1

By Rahsaan Thomas Journalism Guild Chairman Many people are disgusted with America’s problems, yet they neglect the one remedy they have to do something about them – voting, a group of San Quentin inmates concluded. Felon voting rights vary widely from state to state. In California, convicted felons cannot vote while in jail, in prison […]

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Backlash Against Muslims After Massacre

By Rahsaan Thomas Staff Writer The association of Islam with the massacres committed in Paris and San Bernardino has lead to a backlash against Muslims. Late last year, a young man threw a Molotov cocktail at a mosque in California. Muslim women are scared to wear their hijab (Islamic head covering) for fear of being […]

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Lifers: Gun Enhancements

By Rahsaan Thomas Staff Writer Incarcerated men impacted by California’s “Use a gun and you’re done” law sat down to discuss its effects inside the San Quentin News room with Producer Michael Bott and reporter Stephen Stock of NBC We Investigate scheduled to be aired Feb. 26 at 11 p.m. and Feb. 29 at p.m. […]

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Inmates Eye Relabeling Prisoners ‘Incarcerated-Americans’

By Rahsaan Thomas Staff Writer Would being considered Incarcerated-Americans instead of prisoners, inmates or convicts, be a step toward ending mass incarceration, or a leap backwards? A panel consisting of Tommy Winfrey, Emile DeWeaver and Juan Meza sat down in San Quentin’s dimly lit gym to discuss the issue. Winfrey opposes the term. Emile is […]

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Restoring Rap Music Back to Its Original Purpose

By Rahsaan Thomas Staff Writer What can be done to return mainstream rap music back to its positive roots? The Yard Talk panel discussed how this could happen. Eric Curtis: “We understand someone will always do what others want for enough money, but there is a way to force them to produce positive music. They […]

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Can Rap Music Promote Positive Change and Growth?

By Rahsaan Thomas Staff Writer Can mainstream rap music return to its positive roots? The Yard Talk panel debated whether a paradigm shift was possible. Demond Lewis: “The Powers That Be won’t allow you to turn it around. They won’t give the airplay or push to positive music. How can we change something that society […]

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Rap Artists Who Sell Out for Money

By Rahsaan Thomas Hip-hop went from having a positive voice to being dominated by images of drug dealers, pimps and gangsters by 1996. The Yard Talk panel discussed the materialization of rap in this segment of Is Rap Your Daddy? Hip-hop music started with the Old School era, (1979 to 1987). “In the late 1980s, […]

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‘Keeping it Real’ With Gangster Rap

By Rahsaan Thomas Staff Writer Why isn’t gangster rap music viewed simply as entertainment? In a discussion about why gangster rap has such a harmful impact on the identities of young men, the Yard Talk panel considered artists’ self-imposed need to “keep it real.” Eric Curtis: “In the early ‘80s there was positive rap; people […]

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Rap Music and the Influence it Has on Society

By Rahsaan Thomas Sports Editor What kind of influence does rap music have? Is it just entertainment, politically driven or negative motivation? The Yard Talk panel discussed these issues, and their answers were mixed. J. “Killa Clown” Medvin, 30, is a Caucasian rapper from Santa Rosa, California. For Medvin, rap was an escape from life’s […]

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