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Culture Stories

Koran Streets as King Hedley II – Photo: Malaika H Kambon

Self-sufficiency, self-defense and self-determination: August Wilson’s ‘King Hedley II’ – on stage through Sunday, Sept. 6

September 4, 2015

Directed and performed by Dr. Ayodele Nzinga and The Lower Bottom Playaz, “King Hedley II” is the ninth of the late Afrikan playwright August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, a 10-play docudrama of Afrikan life in the U.S. during the 20th century. This all Afrikan theatre company is on its way to performing the cycle in its entirety, a feat unparalleled in world history, and delivers a riveting performance. Hurry! The play closes Sunday.

Akiti the Hunter – Art: Anthony Mata

‘Akiti the Hunter’ brings a Black hero to children’s literature

September 3, 2015

“Akiti the Hunter” is a beautifully crafted piece of children’s literature that is available at Barnes & Noble nationally. This classic story of a young African superhero who is strong mentally and physically is retold by Denise Bolaji Ajayi Williams and illustrated by Anthony Mata. My 3-year-old was fixated on the colorful and striking drawings that brought this well written story to life.

Aisha Fukushima-3, web

Aisha Fukushima takes over the planet

September 2, 2015

Aisha Fukushima is one of the most internationally traveled artists now on the scene in the Bay behind the legendary Hip Hop independent gurus Hiero. Her blend of Hip Hop, Soul, Jazz, Spoken Word and international sounds is a deviation from the assembly line Hip Hop that is trending right now in Cali and across the country. More importantly, she is a raptivist, an activist who uses rhyming to get her message out.

Tajai

Tajai of Hieroglyphics speaks on Hiero Day

September 1, 2015

West Coast pioneering MC Tajai of Souls of Mischief and Hieroglyphics, who can be on heard on Hip Hop classics like “93 til Infinity,” the debut classic of Souls of Mischief, and “One Life, One Love” on the “3rd Eye Vision” Hiero album, where he traded verses with his Hiero brothas Del and Casual over a Dj Toure-produced soundscape. Tajai in this interview talks about the Hiero Day Hip Hop Festival in Oakland, which is coming up on Monday, Sept. 7.

Paradise’s Theory of Relativity (to End Racism)

September 1, 2015

So this poem is for everybody on planet earth, even though I start it out by saying: When I was younger … I used to wonder … why my elders would be talking holes in my clothes about Blackness? I just thought it was to make me feel better about my situation: being a Black man in America. But a funny thing happened to me while I was searching for my blackness: I found God!

Ñ Don’t Stop logo

Rebel Diaz’ Ñ Don’t Stop webisode is biggest show on TeleSur English

August 29, 2015

Revolutionary, Bronx based, political Latino rap group Rebel Diaz strikes again: This time it’s not a dose of reality Hip Hop that they serving, but a new political and cultural education tool better known as Ñ Don’t Stop, a webisode that regularly appears on the Venezuelan media website TeleSur English that will also soon be hitting television screens worldwide.

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M1 of dead prez, cropped

M1 of dead prez headlines Black Media Appreciation Night 2015 on Sept. 12

August 28, 2015

Black Media Appreciation Night is rolling around again. Here is our opportunity to return the love that so many Black journalists, artists and organizers have dished out to us over the years in the form of articles, broadcasts, songs and events. We are inviting and urging you to come out to support the people who care about reporting and making art so that your voice can be represented on the airwaves and screens across the planet. Come show your love to this year’s award winners, led by Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza. Early bird tickets are only $25.

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Raw G talks about her new album, ‘Esperanza’

August 27, 2015

Raw G is an up-and-coming Bay Area bilingual MC who just dropped her debut album, “Esperanza.” For years she has established a local presence, burning up the opening act slot for performers in the Bay. But most importantly, Raw G is an established “raptivist” – an MC who is involved in activism. In fact, Raw G will donate all proceeds from “Esperanza” to a high school in Oakland that is dedicated to working with newly arrived immigrants. Check out Raw G in her own words.

The Bay View and the Block Report were proud to honor Greg Bridges with an award at the first Black Media Appreciation Night, on Nov. 26, 2012. – Photo: Malaika H Kambon

Greg Bridges’ jazz show is now nationally syndicated

August 27, 2015

KCSM’s own Greg Bridges is one of the legendary Black broadcasters of the Bay, with the most radio-made voice you have ever heard. His knowledge of Jazz, rolodex of contacts, unique interview style and James Earl Jones-like presence on the mic has made him the premiere Jazz disc jockey in the region. His show has been recently picked up to become syndicated nationally. Check him out in this exclusive Q&A.

Dedon Kamathi, Cynthia McKinney and friends enjoy a day in the park.

‘My Dedon, my Dedon, my Dedon: Dedon Kamathi still ready for the revolution!’

August 26, 2015

In a time when true friendship is a lost art, I can truly say that Dedon Kamathi was my friend. How difficult it is for me to use the past tense. Dedon would say that he was my most loyal follower. But the truth of it was that he was my leader. His favorite saying was “Ready for the Revolution.” Dedon was ready for the revolution, but the community that he gave so much to continues in its state of unreadiness.

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When it gets to this point

August 21, 2015

Michael Brown? … I had never heard of him … had never heard anything he’d done … before the news of his death came … whoever he might have become … whatever he might have achieved … had he lived longer … not been riddled lifeless by … bullets from Darren Wilson’s gun … and crumpled on the pavement of a Ferguson street … for more than four hours in … the heat of that August day … and before … I’d never heard of Trayvon Martin

Xion and her brothers were inspired by the decades of Black greatness that have graced the Apollo Theater. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

My summer vacation

August 21, 2015

It had been two years since I had seen my brothers, and this was the year I was going to see them, in New York. So me and my dad getting to New York started off badly. First of all we missed our flight, and we were on standby for a day and a half. For most of our flight, I was asleep. Our flight landed in Philadelphia in the midst of a rainstorm, so our flight was not coming. After we heard that news, me and my dad went to go get something to eat.

“The Spot” hosts Kyss Couture CEO Jametria Johnson and Real Niggas N-Corporated CEO Benny Franco on the beach

‘The Spot’ brings back the hip hop countdown show

August 18, 2015

With the invention of the internet, blogs and YouTube, classic shows and magazines featuring our music, fashion and culture are a thing of the past. Or are they? Benny Franco and Jametria Johnson are the creators of a new video show for independent artists called “The Spot,” based out of Jibril James Fashions in Las Vegas. Although it is music-based, “The Spot” also explores fashion, sports, entrepreneurship and more.

Ogun (Deleon Dallas), facing us, hugs Oshoosi (Terrance White) in the Ubuntu Theater production of “The Brothers Size.”

‘The Brothers Size’ and ‘Grounded’ at Ubuntu Theater

August 15, 2015

Ubuntu Theater’s production of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “The Brothers Size” is simply phenomenal. Let’s start by saying this theater company, which has distinguished itself with a remarkable three-summer tenure, is amazing when you learn that the directors and most of the cast are students or alumni of the University of California, San Diego. Lucky for Bay Area theater lovers, Ubuntu is their practicum for a few months each summer.

Khoree the Poet

August 12, 2015

I’ve seen Khoree the Poet perform at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle in Oakland, at the Historic Bal Theater in San Leandro and in venues around the Bay with D’Wayne Wiggins of Tony, Toni, Tone! The Bay has launched the careers of many great poets. Khoree the Poet is next in line to bust out of the Bay onto the national and world scene. Check him out in this exclusive Q&A for the Bay View.

'The Legend of Jocko' cover

‘The Legend of Jocko’: an interview with author Waymon Lefall

August 10, 2015

Jocko is the name of the boy who froze to death holding horses in place for the slave-holding president George Washington. Years later when having statues of Jocko on the lawn became trendy, abolitionists working with the Underground Railroad used to covertly decorate these statues with different color cloth to signal to runaways where the safe houses were.

Cynthia McKinney speaks at the graduation ceremony.

Former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney completes PhD at Antioch University, despite having to scrub WikiLeaks from her dissertation

August 9, 2015

Graduating from Antioch University’s PhD program in Leadership and Change on Aug. 1, 2015, Cynthia McKinney fulfilled a lifelong dream to complete her education with a terminal degree. In keeping with her interests in U.S. policy, Dr. McKinney wrote her dissertation on the leadership challenges faced by President Hugo Chavez as he asserted the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’s right to sovereignty.

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Protest at Robert E. Lee Circle. Lee was the commander in chief of the Confederate States of America. People wore “Resurrect the Village: Unity Equals Power” t-shirts. The chant was, “Take down Robert E. Lee and all symbols of white supremacy!” – Photo: Wanda Sabir

Wanda’s Picks for August 2015

August 7, 2015

The Third Annual Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey B’Earthday and Community Celebration is Saturday, Aug. 15, 2-5 p.m. Gather at the “Abundant Knowledge” mural at Marcus Books. Please bring your immense wisdom, families, original books by Garvey, red-black-green items and drums. And don’t forget to bring some funds – as each participant will receive a 10 percent discount on every item purchased that afternoon.

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School Board Commissioner Shamann Walton – Photo: Rochelle Metcalfe

Third Street Stroll …

July 31, 2015

As I go about my travels up and down Third Street, especially frustrated over the Black corridor scene – lack of thriving Black businesses, people hanging on the streets, while other areas of the strip of avenues – Dogpatch, etc., are thriving! WHEN will change happen??? Where are Black investors? So much building going on in Bayview Hunters Point – the NEW FRONTIER AND LAST BASTION FOR BLACK FOLKS!

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Sistah Iminah

From Ghetto to Goddess: Iminah Ahmad speaks

July 30, 2015

I have known Iminah, the renaissance woman who works under the brand name “From Ghetto to Goddess,” for a few years, and I continue to be inspired by how she serves the Black community. Since moving back to Oakland from Atlanta where she went to college, Iminah has been involved with speaking to at-risk youth, writing and recording an album, and dancing in everything from plays and dance shows to music videos.

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