by Lee Hubbard
The critically acclaimed film “Precious” dealt with the touchy subject of family incest and how it affects people, from the instigator to the survivor. Within the Black community, incest – unwarranted or wanted sexual contact between an adult and a minor – is a subject that often is a secret tightly held within families.
It’s an area Dedoceo Habi, an Oakland based activist, wanted to address and start a conversation about. He is doing this with his production of a rap song and music video, “Mystified – Tell Somebody,” which tells the tale of a juvenile rape in an east Oakland neighborhood by a well respected businessman.
“I am a community activist and filmmaker and I thought the rap and video would be the best way to get the message across to the Black community,” said Habi. “This was brought to my attention by youth and survivors of juvenile rape, so I decided to do it.”
Habi said that incest and juvenile rape by adults is “more prevalent then we think,” and he believes this crime has a spillover effect that impacts the community.
“If we look at many of the others crimes we see going on, it’s based on a violation of trust,” said Habi. “A lot of the youth who just don’t care and are acting wild on the streets are survivors of youth rape and incest. They mask their pain through anger and the disregard for social norms.”
Habi is a 46-year-old Black activist from Savannah, Georgia. He has been an Oakland resident for the past 15 years and has worked in a variety of grassroots community issues. He has worked with America Speaks, a national non-profit that brings communities together around socially relevant issues. He created the “Get Screened” campaign, which dealt with HIV testing and AIDS awareness. He is also the chairman of the San Pablo Corridor Coalition, a grassroots organization made up of service providers, residents and businesses working to improve the area.
“I got into activism because I felt that a lot of other issues were not being addressed,” continued Habi.
“In Mystified – Tell Somebody,” the song features the lyrics from rapper Naru Kwina and a soulful chorus by Yolanda Davis, belting out that she “wants to know where to help.” In the 5 minute video, when members of the neighborhood find out about the juvenile rape from the young female survivor, a group of men go to the perpetrator’s house, gather him up and make him turn himself into the Oakland Police Department.
The video is on YouTube, having just been released, and it has over 1,500 hits so far. The goal for the song and video is to raise awareness on the issue.
“We want to link the survivors of youth rape and incest to free counseling and help start the healing process,” continued Habi.
Lee Hubbard is a Bay Area journalist who is well known to longtime Bay View readers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.