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Culture Currents

Rodney Jackson Jr. plays David Ruffin of The Temptations, shown here, and also Jermaine Jackson in “Motown the Musical” at the Orpheum in San Francisco. – Photo: Joan Marcus

‘Motown the Musical’ rocking the Bay Aug. 19-Sept. 28

August 18, 2014

“Motown the Musical” is the true story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Interview with Bayview Hunters Point native Rodney Earl Jackson Jr., who plays David Ruffin.

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TaLea Monet – Photo: TaSin Sabir

‘Birth of a New Breed’: an interview wit’ rhyme slayer Ms. Incredible aka TaLea Monet

August 15, 2014

TaLea Monet, aka Ms. Incredible, is an MC based in Frisco’s Hunters Point with skills and a very distinct voice. She recently dropped her debut album titled “Birth of a New Breed,” featuring her two beautiful children on the front cover. I wanted to sit down with this hometown shero and talk about her history and her latest musical offering to the people. Hear’s Ms. Incredible in her own words …

Meres-Sia Gabriel

‘Sweet & Lovely’: an interview wit’ vocalist Meres-Sia Gabriel

August 7, 2014

Meres Sia Gabriel has been rhyming for decades around Oakland, but she just now released an EP titled “Sweet & Lovely” that will lead up to her much anticipated album. She invites you to an EP release performance on Friday, Aug. 22, 6:30-9:30, at The Golden Stair, 608 55th St., near Shattuck, in Oakland.

Lacey Schwartz

Schwartz means black

August 5, 2014

It is one thing when there is racial ambiguity based on systemic commodification of one’s people; it’s another when the questions stem from an omission or purposeful lie, which is the case when little Lacey Schwartz was born. Lacey, who is accepted into the clan, notices as did others her darker skin and curly hair, yet says nothing. Perhaps upper class Woodstock, New York, is a town without many Black people.

Yuri Kochiyama cradles the head of her assassinated comrade, Malcolm X, in Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom on Feb. 21, 1965. – Photo: LIFE Magazine

To the late great Freedom Fighter Yuri Kochiyama, salute!

August 4, 2014

The legendary photos of Malcolm X aka El Hajj Malik el Shabazz will forever be etched in the pages of American history. In one photo, a Japanese woman holds his head as his spirit left his body. This woman was a friend and comrade of El Hajj Malik el Shabazz; her name is Yuri Kochiyama. She lived an extraordinary life that was intertwined with the Black human rights struggle and the Black Power Movement.

Bayview Legal’s 1st annual Summer Benefit Concert Aug. 16

August 3, 2014

Bayview Hunters Point Community Legal is hosting our first annual Summer Benefit Concert on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2-5 p.m., at 4100 Third St. Join us for a day of fun, music and community. We will have live performances from local musicians Alvin Jett and The Third Street Project, great food prepared by a neighborhood chef for sale and a silent auction with items donated by several local artisans and businesses, including Giants tickets!

Rodney Leon

Wanda’s Picks for August 2014

August 2, 2014

Congratulations to Gerald Lenoir for carrying the torch and blazing the way for so many social justice issues from HIV/AIDS awareness in the Black community to his recent work in just migration for Pan Africans. Much success on your new work! Farewell to Alona Clifton and much success in Atlanta. Congratulations also to Almaz Negash, founder and director of African Diaspora Network in Silicon Valley for her national recognition and award at the Continental African Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.

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49ers CEO Jed York with True Hope Pastor Arelious Walker

Third Street Stroll …

August 2, 2014

Rev. Walker and 49ers JOHN YORK became GOOD NEIGHBORS and continued under his son, JED YORK’s leadership, appointed President of the team! Definitely hopes were high for ONE MORE GAME this past JANUARY! SUPER BOWL fever, BUT that didn’t happen. On a beautiful quiet morning back in January of this year, sat down with DR. WALKER in his impressive office to ask his thoughts about the 49ers move.

Anita Woodley

Oakland’s native daughter: an interview wit’ thespian and playwright Anita Woodley

August 2, 2014

Anita Woodley is a very talented and self-taught North Carolina-based thespian and playwright who was brought up in Oakland, California, and is returning to perform her two award winning plays, “Mama Juggs” and “The Men in Me,” at the New Parish on Sunday, Aug. 17. Since becoming a full-time artist, this family woman has learned a lot about herself and her craft, and that is exactly why I wanted to expose SF Bay View readers to the talent of Anita Woodley.

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Digital undivide: Dodging online scams

August 1, 2014

The Internet has opened up a whole new world of bargain shopping in which just about any product or service can be obtained online. There are deals being offered via email and the Internet that often seem too good to be true; and while there are tremendous deals online, there are just as many scams out there that even the most savvy Internet user should be aware of to avoid being ripped off.

James Baldwin’s visit to Bayview Hunters Point: Racism, censorship and a vision of democracy

August 1, 2014

In the summer of 1963, the KQED Film Unit invited author James Baldwin to investigate racism in San Francisco. Baldwin agreed to be filmed while he scrutinized the liberal, cosmopolitan image projected by the city. Before “Take This Hammer” was televised, KQED’s Board of Directors insisted that 15 minutes of footage had to be removed, which some felt portrayed race relations in an overly negative way.

Chris Zamani and Blue Nefertiti of Les Nubians model Chris’ Hapo Zamani Za Kale Pan-African T-shirts. Chris wears the Amilcar Cabral shirt and Blue Nefertiti the design called “Women.”

The T-shirt warrior: an interview with Chris Zamani, founder of the Hapo Zamani Za Kale T-shirt line

July 31, 2014

Chris Zamani, founder of the Hapo Zamani Za Kale clothing line, is a t-shirt designer who is on the pioneering front of trying to politicize the consciousness in the Black community through changing the kinds of people and messages on the t-shirts we are wearing. He started a line of t-shirts which immortalizes and commemorates revolutionary heroes and sheroes from the African continent, people like Nkrumah, Lumumba, Machel, Nehanda, Asantewaa, Mugabe and more.

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BMAGIC to distribute backpacks, uniforms to Bayview kids

July 30, 2014

In an effort to ensure every student starts school with the tools to succeed, the San Francisco Public Defender’s BMAGIC program will provide backpacks stuffed with school supplies to more than 3,000 youth in the Bayview on Saturday, Aug. 16. The BVHP Annual Back to School Celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the recently renovated Youngblood Coleman Park, 1398 Hudson Ave.

‘Kill Team,’ the mind state imperialism breeds

July 28, 2014

“Kill Team” is a very well put together documentary about a number of U.S. soldiers based in Afghanistan who were caught being a part of a kill team that would routinely kill innocent civilians. This documentary is for anybody fascinated by the mentality and psychology promoted in the U.S. military to get their paid mercenary soldiers ready to steal resources and control populations on an international level.

It’s a treat to meet young authors along with the celebrities and literary legends at the Leimert Park Village Book Fair.

8th annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair Aug. 9 in Los Angeles

July 27, 2014

The Leimert Park Village Book Fair, based in South Central Los Angeles, is the main annual literary event for the Black community on the West Coast. A number of authors and screenwriters attend every year to expose the community to their latest work, and thousands of book lovers come to see what all of these writers have cooked up. Check out Leimert Park Village Book Fair founder Cynthia Exum in her own words.

The futbol (soccer) tournament at the Umoja African Festival is the first in the Bay to pit teams from different African nations against each other. Many players were stars back home. – Photo: Pochina Press

Umoja African Festival returns

July 26, 2014

True cultural pan-Africanism has finally crept into the Oakland festival scene with the second annual Umoja African Festival on Aug. 16 at Lowell Park in West Oakland. This festival is a symbol of our self-determination. There will be food, music, vendors and, to top it off, there will be an African soccer tournament for teams from the continent and the diaspora. Check out cofounder of the Umoja African Festival, Effie Tesfahun in her own words.

'House on the Hill Mary Ellen Pleasant Story' poster

Mary Ellen Pleasant, California’s Mother of Civil Rights, and her partner meet again on the corner of Bush and Octavia, where it all began

July 25, 2014

It has been over 100 years since the story of Mary Ellen Pleasant, the Mother of Civil Rights in the state of California and the first African American woman millionaire, has been told on the location where she made most of her wealth. Mary Ellen Pleasant became a famous name in the city of San Francisco, described as “a Rosa Parks, a Martin Luther King and a Malcolm X all rolled into one.”

Virunga National Park Congolese gorilla caretaker Andre Baum carries one of his “family members,” a gorilla held at the rehabilitation center to recover from injuries inflicted by poachers.

‘Virunga’ documents Congo battle pitting gorillas against greed over ocean of oil

July 17, 2014

The documentary “Virunga” tells the story of the rangers at Virunga National Park in eastern Congo who are battling to keep the last remaining 800 mountain gorillas that live in the park alive – a battle against poachers, the M23 rebel forces and the British corporation Soco, which is trying to convince officials inside the park and in government to allow them to exploit the huge ocean of oil that lies under the park.

‘The 12 O’Clock Boys’ screens July 17 in Matatu Film Festival

July 16, 2014

Alongside the political and class contradictions that you can see in the documentary about how Baltimore police – and police all over the nation – treat Black youth, “The 12 O’Clock Boys” is a very human story about a young Black man trying to survive in an environment not meant for his survival, but for his capture and/or his extermination.

Daaimah and Siraj

Poetry returns to Oakland: The Golden Stair

July 15, 2014

After the gentrified death of Oakland’s beloved poetry house, the Air Lounge, a few months ago, the Golden Stair has swiftly moved in to remedy the void. It’s hosted by Siraj Fowler and his wife, Daaimah Waqia, and it happens every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in North Oakland at 608 55th St.

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