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Sarah Hubinger Explains Connection to Sarah Bartman

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 Archives 2005

You grew up in Germany. Why did you decide to come to America?
At first I came to Chicago for college for one year. Then after being back in Germany for a while to finish my degree I decided to come back to NYC for work. I work as a radio producer for a German network here.
What type of music did you grow up with in Germany?
Techno baby…all German and raunchy. I love it. Techno, Drum'n'Base, Electronica, Hard Trance.
How long have you been in America?
Since 2001 – 4 years now.
You came to Chicago first, but decided to live permanently in New York. 
I went to Chicago in 1993 for one year, then moved back to Europe to finish school and work. In 2001 I moved to NYC for work. I just recently was back in Chicago for the first time in 10 years and I LOVED it. The city changed so much, it's beautiful and there's so much to do. My job and life though are in New York but I promise I'll visit you guys as often as I can.
After learning how men in America like the butt that was unappreciated in Germany, what made you decide it needed to be put in a book and DVD? Was there a moment or comment that made you say..."I'm writing a book!"
The first few weeks in Chicago I got so many comments and catcalls (it was a hot summer…) that I decided to write them down for they were often too funny. My friend and I would talk about the booty-comments and we went on saying rather jokingly "You gotta write a book about butt." That's how it started in 2001. It evolved from there.
Considering the bad of Germany to the good of America, are there ever times when you wish you had a regular size butt, one that caused less attention?
With the risk of sounding conceited I have to say I don't I wish myself a smaller behind. I guess I did enough wishing for a lifetime living in Germany for so long (esp. when I was a teenager), so now I am just proud and see it as an asset.
What was the most exciting part of putting your project together?
Since this is labor of love I had fun all along. But I really liked interviewing all the people since I'm naturally curious and like to ask questions. Also editing the DVD was fun.
How long did it take you to write the book?
Now it started in 2001 with the comments and anecdotes I was writing down. That's when it started in my head. Then came developing the idea. Research, interviewing and writing took about 2 years. But until it was all said and done and printed and edited – altogether 4 years…although you have to take into account that I'm a huge procrastinator at times in between!
You are a radio reporter and producer by trade. How did those skills play into you producing your book and DVD?
Interviewing skills I learned from being a reporter and also 'cause I'm just a nosy person. Being a producer gave me the research and writing skills. I was a TV reporter for years in Germany and so I knew how you put together a piece in the editing room, prepare for the video editor and such. Also, and this will have to be proven by my success or failure, I learned how to contact media and get some press for a project by sending out media advisories and such.
What's was the most memorable response from someone you interviewed while doing this book.
I loved Anthony's remarks about how a big backyard feels "like home" to him. How he just lays his head on it and "it's all good." He was very sincere talking about his infatuation and I though it  was hilarious.
Explain the connection you feel with Sarah, the South African woman.
When I first came across her story I was just struck by what she went trough and how she was abused by people who had promised her a good future. Then through further research I came across pictures of her and when there was a face to the story she became real. We share the same name. She was a young woman going to another country to get a better life – like me. I just feel so much for her. That's why I decided to dedicate the book to her.
That was obvious race and gender exploitation. Do you think those types of attitudes still exist today, just played out differently?
There are always going to be people trying to exploit others for their gender, race, religion or looks. And there will be those with low self-esteem and low education who are willing to play into it to make a quick buck and get some questionable fame. I would hope that something similar to what happened to Sarah Baartman is never going to happen again, esp. nowadays with all the laws regarding human rights and such.
The whole section on padded undergarments blew me away.I had no idea that type of stuff was being made. You mean to tell me that guys looking at a woman walk by may be admiring her padding and not her "pudding?" Is this really a big practice?
Boy, don't discriminate! It's like wearing a padded push-up bra, just for the booty. There are the "tushily" deprived who need some extra help in the hindquarters and they are happy these padded panties exist. If it's nice to look at who cares, right?
I've always known that Black Americans need to design their own clothing because I know it's very hard for you to put all that "Africa" into "European" jeans. Is it really that hard finding jeans that fit?
I can count the brands of jeans that fit me on one hand: J-LO jeans (I wonder why…), Apple Bottom by Nelly and the cheap no-name brands I buy uptown where the Spanish girls buy. Sometimes I'm lucky to find a VERY stretchy, low-rise jeans by some other brand. That's a very lucky day though. All I can say is that if I finally find a pair of jeans that fit, I will hold on to them for a long time. Have them patched up and fixed just because it's so hard to find a new pair.
Are you looking forward to coming to Chicago?
Very much. I have so much going on with the book signing on Saturday at Tre's Pancake house and the WGN morning show on Tuesday. I will also be on four radio shows: Power 92, Soul 106, WCKG and WVON. Lot's to do!
Where's your next stop?
After that I'll be in LA, Atlanta and Miami.
Do your parents still live in Germany? Would you ever return there to live?
My mother and grandparents are in Germany. At this time I don't want to go back to live there. But who knows what the future brings.

Ex-Black Panther on Love and Tupac

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...by Kam Williams
November 2003 


Long before Tupac Shakur was even conceived, his mom, Alice Faye Williams, dropped out of high school and moved from North Carolina to New York City where she soon joined the Black Panther Party. As a member of that self-styled revolutionary group, she changed her name to Afeni Shakur, and became famous as one of the New York 21, a cadre of Panther leaders jailed by J. Edgar Hoover on fabricated charges of fomenting race war.

Defending herself, Afeni, like the rest of her co-defendants, was ultimately acquitted of all 156 of the trump-up counts against her. And her son, Tupac, was born on June 16, 1971, just a month after she was released from the Women's House of Detention. She raised her son as a single mom, often penniless, homeless, and addicted to crack. Today, she's clean, eats organically, and serves as CEO of Amaru Records and as founder of the Tupac Shakur Foundation, an arts and cultural organization which offers disadvantaged kids an opportunity to pursue their creative dreams.

Here she speaks about her latest venture, as executive producer of "Tupac: Resurrection", a documentary about the rise and fall of her late son.

KW: Why did you decide to make this movie? 
AS: "For us, it was like, Tupac would've wanted this, so we gotta do it."

KW: How much did your radical politics shape your son?
AS: "Well, I'll tell you the truth. I don't like to say what influenced my son, which is another reason why we did this movie. No one speaks for Tupac better than Tupac. The movie is an effort to show, in a context, what affect the Black Panther Party in his mom's life had on him. We really need to remember that it was his Mom who was a Black Panther. Tupac was born one month and three days after I was acquitted. He was born with my baggage. What he did as a human being was to try to make the best out of what he came here with."

KW: How did you raise him?
AS: "I tried to impart to him a sense of integrity and of accepting responsibility for whatever we do. And I imparted to him a thirst for knowledge."

KW: How did you decide which family photos to include in the documentary?
AS: "It's been seven years and I am yet unable to go through my son's things. Other members of my family and the MTV production team did a magnificent job. But I am not able to do anything like that."

KW: How do you like the songs on the soundtrack?
AS: "I love it. I especially like the one with 50 Cent where he says, 'Until Machiavelli returns, all eyes on me!'"

KW: Tupac's east Coast arch-rival, Biggie Smalls, who was implicated in his murder, is on the soundtrack, too. What's up with that?
AS: "I like that we were able to honor Miss Wallace [Biggie's Mom] with that song. She always says nice very things about me, so I wanted to thank her like that. I'm very proud of that song."

 

KW: Do you enjoy seeing Tupac as a cultural icon up on the big screen?
AS: "I am never able to watch him as anything except my son. I am amazed, however, to observe how brilliant he was, because i know he came from me. And I'm like, 'Where'd that come from?'"

KW: Is it hard for you to do interviews like this?
AS: "The reason it's not hard is because I don't do them every day. You must remember, I'm not an entertainer. I'm the mother of the murdered person who is the subject of this movie. I remain Tupac's Mom every day. And as his mother, today, this is my responsibility. And that's the way I am able to do it. So, this is okay."

KW: How would you like Tupac to be remembered?
AS: "I'd like people to remember him as a complete artist. I would like for them to be touched and moved by his music and by his art. To judge him by the totality of his work. If they do that, it would be sufficient for me."

KW: Do you think the movie will be of interest even to people who weren't his fans?
AS: "Whether they liked him or did not like him, I think the integrity of the project speaks for itself. People who didn't know him will discover Tupac. The good thing is that you see every aspect of his personality."

KW: We grew up in a much more socially conscious age than the one we have now. Why do you think the hip-hop generation has such different values, which offend older people?
AS: "What I think happened was our generation was frightened into panic. And I believe that we spent a lot of time lying to our young people, hiding the things that we are responsible for. And blaming our young people for what we have done. That's what I think about my generation. Where that led me, personally, was to a crack pipe. And I am forever grateful to God that I was on that crack, because it made me completely broken so that I could examine my life."

KW: And what did you come to realize after bottoming out?
AS: "Today, what I know is that we are responsible for these young people. And if there's a disconnect, it's our fault, because we stopped talking to them honestly. And when we didn't understand what they were saying to us, we started to point our fingers at them. We forgot that they were our children and that's because the disconnect exists. The confusion that we see in our children is the result of lies that couldn't hold up. If we had spoken honestly and logically, our children would hear us, understand us, and not run from us. I thank you for that question because I rarely have an opportunity to speak about what we are responsible for. These young people are called so many name, and vilified, as my son was. To me, every generation is responsible for the next."

KW: Do you have any message for Tupac's fans?
AS: "I would like to ask young people to remember what I just said. For you will also be responsible for the next generation. You don't want to end up 56 year's old and feel in your heart that you didn't do all that you could do."