Change is the name of the game. Today (Wednesday) through Sunday, up to 2,500 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered activists will converge on the Oakland Marriott City Center for Creating Change, the country’s premier LGBT activist conference. Sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the eighteenth annual confab should draw at least 35 percent of its attendees from the Bay Area. While most preconference institutes and workshops are meant for conference attendees, several events welcome the larger community. First on the list is Wednesday’s 3 p.m. talk by author Malcolm Gladwell, “The Marriage Equality Tipping Point.” Given the Governator’s recent axing of same-sex legislation and expected statewide homophobic initiatives, this should be a hot one. Friday at noon brings the third annual Veterans Day march and rally. Joining groups calling for repeal of the military’s idiotic “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” policy, the march heads from the Marriott to the USS Potomac at Jack London Square. If you’ve always wanted to dress as Ms. Liberty, here’s your chance. The PRIDE Techno Ritual graces the Marriott’s West Hall on Friday at 9 p.m. Organizer Christian de la Huerta of Q-Spirit designed this two-hour circuit party for the soul as “a profoundly transformative multimedia, multisensory, and multifaith participatory experience to help the LGBT community rediscover and reclaim our rich spiritual heritage in a celebratory and fun environment.” Expect lots of heart-based and expansive music.
Saturday at 9 p.m., the energy shifts to the Oakland Asian Cultural Center on 9th Street for “Bump Up the Night,” a celebration of creating change. The cultural explosion includes jazz pianist Mary Watkins, singer JenRo, comic Nick Leonard, drag kings Momma’s Boyz (winners of the 2005 Drag King contest, and proud to produce their own reggae and hip-hop without lip-synching), singer Kaylah Marin, the Emeryville Taiko Drummers, and spoken-word artist Scarletto. Save the last hour for dancing to high-energy urban fusion dance band Omeyocan. Info: CreatingChange.org or 202-639-6333. — Jason Victor Serinus
Let It All Hang Out
Having married into a large Korean family and lived in Korea after attending UC Berkeley, Hildi Kang brings an insider’s insight to Under the Black Umbrella: Voices from Colonial Korea, 1910-1945. Meet this Cal Research Fellow in Korean Studies at University Press Books (Wed., 5:30 p.m.). … His novel about leprosy was an inspiring heartbreaker. At Lafayette Book Store, award-winning screenwriter Alan Brennert, author of Moloka’i, reads aloud the chapter that his editor decided to leave out (Wed., 6 p.m.). … He writes of fish knives and spying through mail slots. Poet Cal Bedient, author of The Violence of Morning and Candy Necklace, reads in Galileo 201 at Saint Mary’s College (Wed., 7:30 p.m.). … So there’s this rumor about anatomy, and Vibe founding editor Scott Poulson-Bryant probes it in his new book Hung. At Cody’s Telegraph, he gives the long and short on race, gender, and other hot topics, accompanied by Angry Black White Boy author Adam Mansbach (Thu., 7:30 p.m.). … Get nostalgic about carnival rides and battleships at Spellbinding Tales with postcard collectors Greta Dutcher and Stephen Rowland, whose cards illustrate their new book Alameda, part of Arcadia Publishing’s brilliant Postcard History Series (Sat., 7 p.m.). … Sunrise, sunset — as part of the ongoing Jewish Book Festival at the Contra Costa Jewish Community Center (2071 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek) The Bone Weaver author Victoria Zackheim hosts a workshop on genealogical writing. Tickets are $18; for details, call 925-938-7800 (Sun., 11 a.m.). … Cosmetic surgery helped him evade identification: He’s the morally compromised antihero of Edie Meidav‘s novel Crawl Space. Meet the Berkeley-bred author at Mrs. Dalloway’s (Sun., 3 p.m.). … A scenester since his adventures in Cuba right after the revolution, Berkeley poet H.D. Moe studied with Theodore Roethke and other greats. Meet the author of Ozone Allahat Moe’s (Mon., 7 p.m.). … There was more to the Pilgrims than turkeys and flat hats, as revealed in Andrew Beahrs‘ historical novel Strange Saint. Give thanks with him at Orinda Books (Tue., 4 p.m.). — Anneli Rufus
Trinidadian calypso is well known for being infectiously uptempo party music, perfect for shimmy-shakin’ your derriere to, right? However, there’s always been a fair amount of social commentary in the lyrics, going as far back as the 1930s, when the genre originated. The free-speech-upholding aspects of calypso have formed the basis of the subgenre rapso, which began around the late 1970s. Brother Resistance, who is often credited with being one of rapso’s founding fathers, has been recording since 1982. A world-class poet who has been honored by the UN, Resistance speaks his righteous messages of liberation and environmental accountability over slightly slowed-down rhythms influenced not only by calypso, but by rap, reggae, and African sounds. A true global ambassador of peace, he comes to Berkeley’s Ashkenaz Saturday night for what promises to be an entirely inspirational evening. $15-$18. For more info, visit Ashkenaz.com — Eric K. Arnold
Edutainment for the masses
It’s bigger than hip-hop, agitprop rappers dead prez once declared, and they were right. Mainstream music videos routinely present strip-club theme songs as wholesome entertainment for impressionable youth, the quality of public education continues to plummet where people of color are concerned, and the state spends more on prisons then on schools. What’s the solution for the hip-hop generation? That’s what will be discussed Thursday evening at 7:30 at Laney College (900 Fallon St., Oakland), when a free live taping of the TV show Street Beats addresses the crisis in education and the role of the media in the issues facing the youth of today. Street Beats host Murphy Watson’s guests will include Richard Raya of PolicyLink and Olis Simmons of Youth Uprising, and Noemi Ziegler‘s Announcing and Performance class will assume cohost duties for this raptivist version of Oprah. Among the topics to be discussed include government spending, prison reform, and the use of the N-word. Poet and rapper Wiseproof performs at intermission. GoStreetBeats.org or GetPushy.com — Eric K. Arnold