As Burundian voters went to the polls on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department warned that “elections held under the current conditions in Burundi will not be credible and will further discredit the government.” It also said it planned to suspend partnerships that it hasn’t already suspended with “anyone promoting instability in Burundi through violence.” Will those “promoting instability through violence” include the renegade Burundian military officers who staged a failed coup attempt in May, then fled to Rwanda and declared war on Burundi? Will it include Rwandan military and political support for a rebel force?
Jul 25, 2015
The Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary defines the word “hostility” as 1) a hostile state, condition or attitude; enmity; antagonism; unfriendliness; 2) a hostile act; 3) Opposition or resistance to an idea, plan project, etc.; 4) acts of warfare; 5) war. So our initial question to the people is: “What does hostility mean to you?”
Jul 19, 2015
Greetings, brothers and sisters. This year in Texas we have seen a marked increase in the exposure of heinous acts of abuse and mistreatment perpetrated by state employees who work for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Behind the scenes, the prisoners responsible for this massive movement to combat injustice have become victims of retaliation and harassment at the hands of prison officials and, elected state government officials.
Jul 18, 2015
On Tuesday, July 14, one day after commuting the sentences of 46 people currently serving sentences for nonviolent drug offenses in federal prisons, President Obama addressed the NAACP National Convention in Philadelphia. In his address, the president declared that our criminal justice system is “built on the legacy of slavery, segregation and other structural inequalities that [have] compounded over generations.” Our current system, the president said, is “not an accident.”
Jul 14, 2015
Four years ago prisoners in California – led by those in the control units of Pelican Bay – organized a hunger strike to demand an end to the torturous conditions of solitary confinement. Two more strikes would follow, with over 30,000 prisoners taking united action in the summer of 2013 – both in isolation and in general population in nearly every California prison. Current prison organizing continues a historic legacy of struggle.
Jul 9, 2015
I caught up with Aaron Patterson’s lawyer, attorney Demitrus Evans, to get the story firsthand. This will be the first in a series of stories that I am working on to expose the cases of current day Black political prisoners in this country, because it is very important that our people know the truth about how this government deals with the people who truly do work on behalf of our empowerment.
Jul 27, 2015
On Monday, June 29, over a hundred working class families of Midtown Park Apartments were joined by community activists, concerned citizens and legal advisors for a rally in support of over 55 households whose rent increased 300 percent. The only such property that is owned by the City, Midtown’s original intent by then Supervisors Diane Feinstein and Ella Hill Hutch was to transform this complex into an equity cooperative – a promise that never materialized.
Jul 26, 2015
The Burundian army has been engaged by troops near its northern border with Rwanda and this week Aljazeera reported that young men in Rwandan refugee camps are being recruited to join a rebel force to fight in Burundi. Burundian Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe, speaking to The Voice of America, said that the Burundian government had asked the Rwandan government to prevent any action threatening Burundi’s security.
Jul 25, 2015
July 13 marks two years since #BlackLivesMatter was created. The #BlackLivesMatter movement has pushed to ensure that all Black lives are seen as an important part of an overall movement for social transformation. We have much to lose if we negate that all Black lives are central to the most well being for all of us. We must not rest until all of us are free.
Jul 25, 2015
The Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless has made good on its plan to help feed the homeless people it serves through an organic rooftop garden, involving bees and a rainwater collection system. The garden is so successful an expansion is planned. Residents at the shelter, located in downtown Atlanta’s Peachtree and Pine Streets, will gain real life work skills removing the old roof and laying the new roof.
Jul 25, 2015
Calling all families: Come out for ‘A Fair Chance to Advance’ on Saturday, Aug. 1, 11-2, at At Thy Word Church, 8915 International Blvd, Oakland, to see how Prop 47, reducing many felonies to misdemeanors, can free your family – presented by Bay Area Black Workers Center, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, East Bay Community Law Center, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Assemblyman Rob Bonta.
Jul 27, 2015
It is of primary importance that we begin to own our own sports media specifically, but media in general, so we can talk about what we want to talk about when we want to talk about it. San Francisco’s Let’s Talk Sports Nation, which comes on Frisco’s Cable 29 every Saturday at 11 a.m., is such a show. This community favorite has broadcast over 100 shows and is primarily hosted by Jeremiah Khaleq and Jameel Patterson, aka Tha #1 Neighborhood Sports Analyst!!!
Jul 24, 2015
The most exciting literary event every year for Black people on the West Coast is the Leimert Park Book Fair, held this year on Saturday, Aug. 1. It brings out a lot of community members, community heroes and sheroes, as well as Hollywood celebrities to share in the festivities. Check out the founder of the Leimert Park Book Fair and author Cynthia Exum as she tells us about this year’s Leimert Park Book Fair.
Jul 21, 2015
New City Company presents a unique original production of “The Emperor Jones” by Eugene O’Neill starring stage and screen star Carl Lumbly (“Alias,” “The Returned,” “Cagney and Lacy” etc.) in a tour de force performance! It is a story of greed and ingenuity and restoration of natural order. It will be preceded by a short film introduction about the play’s original lead, Charles Gilpin.
Jul 20, 2015
Rebecca Brando, one of the 10 children of American cinema legend Marlon Brando, talks about the new documentary on his life, “Listen to Me Marlon,” the way that Brando revolutionized acting, his human rights work in solidarity with the Black Panthers, Martin Luther King Jr. and Native peoples and more. “Listen to Me Marlon” opens on Friday, Aug. 7, in San Francisco and Berkeley.
Jul 16, 2015
This art exhibition will feature some of the hottest artists in the Bay Area, including Emory Douglas, Sage Stargate, Duane Deterville, Karen and Malik Seneferu and others. The night will pay tribute to the Bay Area’s rebel rousers, independents and outliers. I chopped it up with the curator and organizer Melorra Green about this Saturday’s event and also about the power and function of art in our society.