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Jul 31, 2020

Photographer and community activist, Sylvester Givens, aka Duke, came up when Long Beach, California was in the throws of gang violence. After serving in the United States Air Force for a few years, he returned to find many of the young men he grew up with were no longer living as result of the drugs and violence. This was the era in which Snoop Dogg, Warren G and Nate Dogg put The LBC on the music map.

One of Duke's favorite childhood memories took place while on the same Pop Warner football team as Snoop Dogg. He's used his photographic and filming skills to create several works of art including an anti-gang violence calendar, a feature film entitled The Game Don't Change and two shorts Piano and Piano II among others. The 1995 calendar is now a coveted keepsake and cautionary documentary on the hardships of gang life. He often speaks to youth and other groups about the power of choice.

Favorite words are a very short poem by Muhammad Ali: Me. We.

Favorite songs: Angel by Anita Baker...if you've never heard're in for a treat!

The other, Yes by Shekinah Glory.

About this podcast: In each episode, a Brother reflects on his life; explores the experience of being a Black man in America; shares his interactions with law enforcement; and answers the question "If America was a woman, what would you say to her?"

Every interview starts with getting-to-know-you questions about favorites, accomplishments and then goes deeper. You won't find a collection of conversations with Black men like this anywhere else. Hear their wisdom.

Host, Rahbin Shyne, is an author, educator, creative and avid half-marathon walker. Follow on Instagram @allthingshyne or on Facebook.

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