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Otis Redding and Muhammad Speaks

Dec. 10, 2017, was the 50th anniversary of Redding’s transition. Jay Z and Kanye West introduced the hip-hop generation to Redding in 2011 when they recorded the track, “Otis.” Forty-four years before that, Redding was on top – known as the most popular male vocalist on Planet Earth. Redding was so popular in England that he ended Elvis Presley’s eight-year reign as the “world’s best male vocalist” on Melody Maker’s annual pop poll in 1967. According to Amiri Baraka, Redding said things in Muhammad Speaks “more ‘radical,’ Blacker, than many of the new musicians.”

Behind Enemy Lines

Cold disregard: Texas prison guards and University of Texas medical staff ignore excruciatingly painful spider bite

Dec 15, 2017

South Texas is testament to the conditions and effects of a rapidly changing climate. Monstrous storms, unprecedented temperatures late into winter time – what has occurred as result of these conditions? The number of birds and bugs now present here on Eastham Unit is astounding. Thousands of roosting birds leave an inch layer of excrement on the recreation cages’ concrete floor nightly. The roach, ant and spider population has grown, which brings me to the topic of this exposé.

Tell Gov. Jerry Brown, ‘Drop LWOP’

Dec 8, 2017

We are writing to ask you to join with California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) in our statewide campaign to DROP LWOP and secure sentence commutations for all those serving Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP). LWOP is an inhumane sentence which denies people the possibility to rehabilitate and change. We are asking Governor Brown to use his executive powers to commute the almost 5,000 people serving LWOP sentences to parole-eligible sentences.

Crossing the electronic prison firewall

Dec 3, 2017

Six California prisoners wrote to me in 2015 to ask about the Hepatitis C cure, shortly after the San Francisco Bay View newspaper published my interview with activist attorney Peter Erlinder titled “US prisoners sue for constitutional right to lifesaving Hep C cure.” They’d been able to read it because the Bay View sends a print edition to prisons all over the country every month. I tried and failed to answer those letters and I’ve felt bad about it ever since. I would have swiftly responded to all the prisoners who wrote to me about the Hep C cure if I’d been able to send electronic mail.

Thanksgiving on Death Row

Dec 1, 2017

As I sit here in a 4½-by-11-foot cage on Thanksgiving Day, I first and foremost am thankful to be alive. On Feb. 10, 2004, I came within three hours and 42 minutes of being strapped down to a gurney, tortured with lethal poison and murdered by volunteer prison-guard executioners. So, yes, I am very thankful to be alive. I am also very thankful for all the people – my legal team, friends, family, supporters and activists working to end the death penalty – who have helped make my being alive possible. I have respectfully asked the governor and others to look at my case with an open mind, outside the legal box that has me close to being killed for murders of which I am innocent.

Eastham water supply shut completely OFF, stench of human waste pervades old, decaying prison

Dec 1, 2017

It’s Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. I am trapped inside a Texas prison known as the Eastham Ad-Seg Unit. Eastham is the oldest maximum security prison in Texas. The water has been shut completely off for four days! We can’t shower, we can’t wash our hands, and worst of all – we can’t flush our toilets, which are full of human excrement. By Day 2, the pungent odor of human waste pervades the entire building.

Make history in 2018, not excuses: Whose side are you on?
Prisoner lives matter too – but not in Texas!
Kwame ‘Beans’ Shakur: Seizing the time
Against carceral feminism, against using state violence to curb domestic violence
How I survived 22 years of solitary confinement
Erasing the line: The organic link between the struggles of the working class, Amerika’s prison population and Black Amerika
Lab confirms glass in New York prisoner’s food
Two years after historic settlement ending indefinite solitary confinement in California, CCR details ongoing violations, releases report showing lasting consequences of SHU post-release
Workers World challenge overturns Pennsylvania prison ban
After seven years of solitary confinement, I’m heading to population … and snitch school?
Hunger strike at Wabash Valley
Are California prisoners the property of prison staff?
Glenn Dyer Jail hunger strike: ‘We have people that are only getting out of cell twice a month’
Jalil A. Muntaqim: The making of a movement
We are all bound by the same chain

News & Views

Let Zimbabwe reflect and regroup

Dec 15, 2017

Because of the rapid political transition that has recently taken place in Zimbabwe, this 37-year-old nation’s most ardent supporters and defenders, along with its most hateful detractors helped make the resignation of former President and revolutionary icon Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe and the installation of the current President Comrade E.D. Mnangagwa not only Africa’s top story, but the primary focus of the entire planet.

Covered California extends enrollment deadline as consumer interest surges

Dec 14, 2017

In response to a strong surge in demand, Covered California is giving consumers more time to sign up for health coverage that will begin on Jan. 1, 2018. Over the past three days, Covered California has seen more than 38,000 new consumers sign up for coverage, which means that as of Dec. 13 more than 182,000 new consumers have signed up for coverage since open enrollment began.

Trafficking in desperate Black African migrants, from Israel to Rwanda to Libya

Dec 8, 2017

On Nov. 14, CNN shocked the world with its video news report of Black African migrants being sold into slavery in Libya. Eight days later the Rwandan government issued a press release headlined “Rwanda’s door is open for migrants held captive in Libya.” Rwandan President Paul Kagame is grandstanding as Papa Africa on the world stage, but nothing could be further from the truth or more preposterous than his proposal. Here are four reasons why.

Community tells Sutter, ‘Close Alta Bates? No way! Save the birthplace of the East Bay’

Dec 4, 2017

The future of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley remains unclear in the face of proposed changes to its services by its parent company, the not-for-profit medical organization Sutter Health. Nurses, politicians and community members protested the closure of Alta Bates and cuts in staffing on hospital grounds on Saturday, Nov. 5. An official press release from Sutter has only muddied the waters.

Owner of Bayview’s ‘Auntie April’s’ to debut ‘Café Envy’

Dec 3, 2017

April Spears, proprietor of comfort food eatery Auntie April’s, at 4618 Third St., is launching a new venture called Café Envy. The eatery will feature healthy fare and aims to foster community and create a model for young African-American entrepreneurs in the Bayview. For Spears, expanding her business has been in the works for some time. “African-American owned restaurants in the city of San Francisco are few and far in between.” she told Hoodline.

Togo’s struggle is our struggle
Community clinics, bringing good healthcare to the hood, deserve full funding
Housing is a human right
Father fights San Francisco CPS and kangeroo court system
Michigan Supreme Court hears Pinkney case
Mexico’s ‘non-candidate’: Marichuy
Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 17
African court rules that Victoire Ingabire did not receive a fair trial in Rwanda
Poverty skolaz take Doctors Without Borders tour, ‘become’ displaced persons from Sudan to Oakland
Deceptive intelligence: CNN breaks story on slave trade in Libya
Kagame’s new Order of Thieves Without Borders: Neocolonial kleptocrats with Clinton connections
Community members rally to demand audit of Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern
Paris: Protests erupt against slavery in Libya
DeCOALonize Oakland: 150 youth, workers rally as Oakland launches boycott on Tagami’s Rotunda Building
Opal Tometi: Protest DHS’ inhumane decision to cancel Haitian TPS

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

 » Full event list and descriptions
December 16, 2017
Freedom Farmers' Market Oakland (every Saturday 10am - 3pm) 10:00 am 5316 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609-1920, United States Our mission is to bring traditional legacy foods from Black ... more>>
December 16, 2017
Pan African City Pop-up in Oakland! 11:00 am Wo'se Community Church 8924 Holly St, Oakland, CA 94621, USA You are invited to <span><span>a special Kwanzaa/Holiday ... more>>
December 16, 2017
MARCH FOR SANCTUARY CITIES & Against Right-Wing Hate! 12:00 pm Union Square, 333 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94108 <br><span>The far-right is having a “March Against Sanctuary ... more>>
December 17, 2017
Ricardo Ortiz: “Update on Puerto Rico" 9:30 am First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco 1187 Franklin St. (MLK Room), San Francisco, CA 94109 <span><span><span><span>Unitarian Universalist Breakfast Forum:<br></span></... more>>
December 17, 2017
REVOLUTIONARY YOGA: a benefit for the People's Congress of Resistance 12:00 pm 2969 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110 <span><br><span>Whether you have neverdone yoga before, or ... more>>
December 17, 2017
96 HOURS SpokesCouncil Meeting (reclaiming MLK's radical legacy) 1:00 pm ACCE 2501 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601         <span></span><... more>>
December 17, 2017
Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in the Neighborhood: Fun Day in the #Bayview Free Family Arts + Crafts 2:00 pm 4720 3rd St., between Newcomb and Oakdale, Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco TODAY! and Every Sunday Will Be Fun Day in the #... more>>
December 17, 2017
International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers 2:00 pm Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission St. {between 9th & 10th Sts.} San Francisco, CA 94103 <br><b><span>Film show, discussion & potluck, from 2-4... more>>
December 17, 2017
Liberated Lens Film Screeening: "SIR! NO SIR!" 6:30 pm Omni Commons 4799 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609 This is the suppressed story of the GI resistance to ... more>>

Planet Asia

Dec 15, 2017

Underground rappers don’t get recognized like those who are singing hip hop music today. The underground music is usually done by independent artists who may have a separate label and are known mostly in their communities but also tour worldwide to get their name known. This description suits a particular artist who came from Fresno, California. His name was Asiatic, but he changed it to Planet Asia.

Proud Boys

Dec 12, 2017

One of the strangest organizations in the rising “alt-right” movement, the headline-grabbing mix of white supremacism, racism and right-wing populism, has to be Proud Boys. The group takes on something of a libertarian credo similar to that of their founder, former editor and co-founder of Vice Magazine Gavin McInness, and are all-male “Western chauvinists” who “do not apologize for creating the Western world,” according to their Facebook group pages.

Wanda’s Picks for December 2017

Dec 11, 2017

Those of us in the San Francisco Bay Area reflect on the legacy and work that illustrated the life of Queen Mother Makinya Kouate. After Maulana Karenga gave the students from Merritt College a mimeographed sheet with notes about a harvest festival called Kwanzaa, the Oakland-Berkeley team started hosting community Kwanzaas in their homes. Later Sister Makinya would travel to Africa and learn more about harvest festivals

East Bay filmmaker Jayson Johnson looks at the ‘alt-right’ through a cinematic lens

Dec 8, 2017

Every artist has a process, a ritual they go through before working. Some meditate. Some eat a ritual meal. Others listen to a specific kind of music. Director Jayson Johnson, whose credits range from Bollywood films to Lego commercials, prays and eats peanut butter. Lots and lots of peanut butter. Standing opposite a painting evocative of Jackson Pollock which he created, the 40-year-old Batavia, Ill., native gave a toothy grin and showed off a jar he had just purchased three days prior.

On loving us exactly as is

Dec 1, 2017

There is a powerful Black population in the U.K., which relishes the richness of their roots. Here, hairstyles, fashion, cuisine, music, celebrations and traditions are woven into an intricate tapestry of life and prosperity. Blackness is celebrated at cultural centers, exhibitions and events that bring communities together. Some of my favorite Black musicians hail from the U.K. And so, despite the persistence of white supremacy, Black Britons continue to thrive.

Expressing gratitude
They called him Bunchy, like a bunch of greens
Dennis Banks, warrior for Indian rights, presénte
City attacks Black culture to erase Blacks from San Francisco
School to be named after Bayview’s own Mary L. Booker
BayView Classifieds - ads, opportunities, announcements



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