Jenee Darden | KALW

Jenee Darden

Reporter /Host/ Producer

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and proud Oakland native. She hosts the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds and covers East Oakland for KALW. Jenee has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony magazine, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. Prior to coming to KALW, she hosted the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.

Her first book, When a Purple Rose Blooms (Nomadic Press), is a collection of essays and poetry about her personal journey through Black womanhood. Her work is also published in the books Previously on X-Men: The Making of an American Series and We've Been Too Patient: Voices from Radical Mental Health.

Jenee holds a BA in ethnic studies from UC San Diego and a master’s in journalism from the University of Southern California. When she’s off the clock, Jenee enjoys dancing, performing her poetry, going to concerts, karaoke, traveling and watching superhero films.

Credit: Jonathon Dakari at Apollo Fotografie

Arts organizer Ashara Ekundayo is hosting a 2-part discussion with Black female artists about being counted in the Census and the greater society. It’s called See Black Women. 

A group of pastors from around California gathered in East Oakland, an area hard hit by the coronavirus, calling for Gov. Newsom to allow churches to convene in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening.

Miss Lopez Media

When rapper Call Me Ace isn’t grinding at his YouTube job, he’s on the mic dropping positive lyrics about life and adulthood. His latest EP is ironically titled 'Working From Home.'

Creative Commons

Oakland is bracing for a $122 million shortfall over 14 months due to the coronavirus. This is the largest financial shortfall in the city’s history. What is the city’s plan to weather this economic storm?

Photo by Scott LaRockwell

Sights and Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene through the eyes and ears of local artists. During shelter in place, instead of recommending in-person events, we're offering ways to experience art and culture from home. This week, host Jenee Darden speaks with poet James Cagney. 

Public Domain

The number of COVID-19 cases in Oakland rose over the weekend, just as Bay Area counties relax shelter-in-place rules. But more testing resources are coming to Oakland. And the city is increasing the number of hotel rooms for the homeless community. 

April is National Poetry Month, and for some poetry helps make sense of the world. M.K. Chavez writes poetry that reflects on what’s going on in society and inside of herself.

Chavez is the author of "Mothermorphosis" and "Dear Animal," Her work has been honored by PEN Oakland and the Berkeley Public Library Foundation among others. In this interview she talks about themes in her writing such as nature and her mother’s battle with schizophrenia. 

Click the play button above to listen.

Jenee Darden / KALW

Oakland is continuing to close off 74 miles of roads through their Slow Streets Initiative. The closures are supposed to give Oaklanders more safe, outdoor space while we shelter in place. But some residents in East Oakland aren’t open to the idea.

Madeline Born

Sights and Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene through the eyes and ears of local artists. During shelter in place, instead of recommending in-person events, we're offering ways to experience art and culture from home. This week, host Jenee Darden speaks with artist Paul Lewin to talk about three virtual events.

Edward Perotti's Picks

Apr 16, 2020
Bobby Quillard

Sights and Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene through the eyes and ears of local artists. During shelter in place, instead of recommending in-person events, we're offering ways to experience art and culture from home. This week, host Jenee Darden speaks with global event designer Edward Perotti about three virtual events.

Golden Gate Park Virtual Concert Series

Courtesy of Melissa Jones

Melissa Jones has been electrifying stages around the Bay Area with her music and poetry. She is the lead singer of the soul/funk band No Lovely Thing. Melissa talks about how her Oakland roots and being a black woman influence her work.

Ben Sutherland / Flickr Creative Commons

Some singles are sexually frustrated and longing for intimacy while sheltering in place. They’re refraining from physical contact for their own health and safety. But they are finding ways to cope without touch. 

Credit: Bradley Jacob Cox

Sights and Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene through the eyes and ears of local artists. During quarantine, we're taking a break from recommending live events and instead offering suggestions for ways to experience art and culture from home. This week, host Jenee Darden speaks with cellist and composer Joshua McClain to talk about three virtual arts events he's currently digging.

Singing Body with Dohee Lee, 10 a.m. every Wednesday

Miss Lopez Media

Sights and Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene through the eyes and ears of local artists. We're changing things up a bit due to the shelter-in-place order.  This week host Jenee Darden chats with hip-hop artist Call Me Ace about three arts events for you to see, hear and do right from home. 

**Correction: Jenee mistakenly said Madame C.J. Walker was the first self-made millionaire. Walker was the first self-made female millionaire.

 

 

MK Chavez's Weekend Picks

Mar 26, 2020
photo provided by MK Chavez

Sights and Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene through the eyes and ears of local artists. We're changing things up a bit because of the shelter-in-place order. This week host Jenee Darden sits down with award-winning poet MK Chavez to talk about three art suggestions for you to see, hear and do at home. 

 

UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

COVID-19 numbers / Call for collaboration / Distance learning / Curry meets Fauci

Toni Morrison once said that in chaotic times is when artists must go to work. Theaters, concert halls, and other event venues are shut down. But that isn't stopping Bay Area artists from shining on the virtual stage.

Courtesy of Vanessa Rochelle

Vanessa Rochelle Lewis was bullied for her appearance and sexuality. She redefined ugly to mean Uplift Glorify Love Yourself. Vanessa is the founder of Reclaim UGLY, a movement that helps people heal from “uglification” and celebrate their beauty.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, please check event websites for up-to-date information and possible cancellations

Sights and Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene through the eyes and ears of local artists. This week, host Jenee Darden sits down with writer and educator Vanessa Lewis to talk about three arts events happening around the Bay this weekend.

Jenee Darden / KALW

 

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Jurors found John Lee Cowell, the man who killed 18-year-old Nia Wilson guilty of first-degree murder and attempted murder. Now jurors have to decide on his mental state. Even as the case winds down, emotions are still high. 

Sights and Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene through the eyes and ears of local artists. This week, host Jenee Darden sits down with Coral Best and Aliada of the comedic duo Invisible Disabilities to talk about three events happening around the Bay this weekend.

Jenny G. Shao / KALW

Most eyes were on the Democratic presidential primary, last night. When polls closed, NPR made a quick call: Bernie Sanders won California. But it wasn’t that simple.

Sights and Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene through the eyes and ears of local artists. This week, host Jenee Darden sits down with Melissa Jones, lead singer of the local band No Lovely Thing, to talk about three arts events happening around the Bay Area this weekend.

Lynn Lane

In 1611, Nur Jahan was 34, widowed, and a single mother when she married the Mughal emperor. She rose to power in India, but years later story faded from people’s memories. Farah Yasmeen Shaikh is telling her legacy in the show "The Forgotten Empress."

Tony Webster / Creative Commons, used under CC-BY-2.0

 


The media landscape has changed in this new digital age and Oakland City Council members say there’s a part of the city’s charter that needs to get with the times. This is where Oakland’s Measure R comes in. 

Currently the city’s charter states that the City Council designates the city’s official newspaper for publishing matters of legal and public notice such as election proceedings, awarding of leases and contracts, etc. But for a publication to be an official newspaper it has to be printed and published in Oakland with a minimum 25,000 daily circulation. Newspapers are struggling and the city’s longtime newspaper, the Oakland Tribune, shut down in 2016. 

Mariquitas CK / Wikimedia Commons, used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Are Alameda County voters willing to increase the sales tax to help fund young children’s healthcare and education? That’s what drafters of Measure C want to know. If passed, Measure C — or the Care for Kids initiative — would raise the county’s sales tax by one-half of one percent. This would last for 20 years and generate about $150 million annually. 

Courtesy of Jaimel Hemphill

Jaimel Hemphill’s comic book hobby grew into a passion. He and his friends launched National Press Comics, a publishing company in Oakland with diverse characters and genres. He stopped by to talk comics and wound up sharing a funny wrestling story.

Fernando Gambaroni

  

Sara Moore gives people the gift of laughter through the art of clowning. And clowning has been self-empowering for them when it comes to gender. Sara’s character is out of this world in "The Supers: A Science-Fiction Magical Realism Human Cartoon Opera."

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