In November, we wrote about the music video urban pop songstress Netta B was filming in South Berkeley. She said at the time that the video was in part a response to the violence in the neighborhood.

Now the video is out (above), and Netta B has written on her blog about why she made the video:

Tomorrow I’m debuting my new video, entitled “Screamin'” and I’m truly excited! I was determined to shoot this video in my hometown, Berkeley, CA, because in the last few years the crime rate has increased drastically. With all the negative attention Berkeley and Oakland, CA have been getting in connection to gun violence, I felt it was very necessary for me to bring something positive to my community. Keith Stephens, Zillion Cash, Ronnie Easiley, Marcus Mosely, Maceo Smith, Shandonee Williams, Gary Fergusen, Jr., Ricky ‘Greedy’ Devers and Khatari Grant are just a few young people who grew up in my neigborhood that have been victims of gun violence. Growing up, violence was always right around my corner until one day it ended up in my backyard. On July 21, 2007 my family came together for a reunion but my sister was running late. Soon after we prayed over the food my mom received a phone call; I didn’t know what was being said on the other end but my mothers eyes got big and she whispered “Kiesha…dead?” ok. So my fingers are shaking as I type this, and I’m starting to feel anger and pain all over again, but I’m going to keep going. Her daughter was two at the time, and as all the commotion was going on, she just kept staring at me with these big beautiful innocent eyes. In that moment I developed a brand new responsibility, as an aunt, as a woman, and as an artist. I haven’t been the same person since, and I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing, but I know it brought on new meaning to my life.

I want the youth in my community as well as communities across the world to know that they can follow their dreams, because they do come true (as corny as it may sound.) I want young girls to know “I’m just like you” and I’m going to be that example…

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...