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Culture Stories

2Dollz jeweled zebra wedge shoes

Kamilah and Adrianna speak about their shoe company, 2 Dollz

May 22, 2015

I recently was in Leimert Park and I met the owners of 2 Dollz, sisters Kamilah and Adrianna. 2 Dollz is a company that custom designs shoes. And when I looked down at these sistas’ feet, their shoe game was killin’ em. So all of you shoe collectors and fanatics as well as those who like to look unique and chic, check these sistas out in their own words. Then go and support Black business by showing your financial support.

‘Mac Dre: Legend of the Bay’

May 21, 2015

In November of 2004, Oakland-born and Vallejo-raised Hip Hop legend, Mac Dre, was shot and killed in the streets of Kansas City. “Legend of the Bay” is a must see documentary on the life of Mac Dre and the local independent rap industry that he helped to create. “Mac Dre: Legend of the Bay” will be screened for free to close out the San Francisco Black Film Festival: Sunday, June 14, 6 p.m., at the Boom Boom Room, 1601 Fillmore St., San Francisco.

‘Njinga, Queen of Angola’: Masterpiece premiering at San Francisco Black Film Festival

May 21, 2015

Queen Njinga Mbandi of the Ndongo people is a legendary as well as charismatic figure in the pantheon of African world leaders and freedom fighters against colonialism. Screewriter Isilda Hurst and director Sérgio Graciano brought this legendary matriarch to life in a beautiful cinematic way with their new film, “Njinga: Queen of Angola,” a masterpiece for anyone interested in African history, foreign cinema and good movies in general.

Lucia McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, holds a copy of Jet Magazine with her son, Jordan Davis, on the cover as she speaks at a rally seeking justice.

‘3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets’ film review

May 16, 2015

“3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets” is a documentary about the murder of Black unarmed 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis in 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida, and the trial of his white vigilante killer Michael Dunn. There are a number of profound moments in this documentary where the viewer can see and smell the undercurrent of race and class in this case, although it is the elephant in the room that no one completely spells out.

'Mariposa and the Saint' 1

‘Mariposa and the Saint: From solitary confinement, a play through letters’ – final performance tonight 7pm

May 10, 2015

A fundraiser for California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Sara (Mariposa) Fonseca and Julia Steele Allen’s “Mariposa and the Saint” is a play created from correspondence between an inmate in solitary confinement and a volunteer with a CCWP visiting team who became Mariposa’s friend. The prison will not let Steele Allen in to see Mariposa since the play was written.

San Francisco State University Ethnic Studies Dean Kenneth Monteiro posted this photo on Facebook showing himself “with Professor bell hooks and two of our brilliant graduate students, Arnetta Smith and Jonathan Brumfield.”

Oakland artist and educator Jonathan Brumfield receives top SF State honor

May 8, 2015

Jonathan Brumfield, graduate hood for the College of Ethnic Studies, will speak on behalf of all graduate students at SF State’s commencement on May 22. He teaches the history of hip hop and aerosol art at Safe Passages in Oakland, using these topics as a tool to connect students to their heritage and personal identities. “Hip hop saved my life, and I am so grateful to be able to save other young people through hip hop,” he said.

Black Panther newspaper young Panther sells Emory Douglas-designed ppr cy It's About Time, web cropped

Remembering the Black Panther Party newspaper, April 25, 1967- September 1980

May 4, 2015

The Black Panther Party newspaper was founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in 1967. It became the No. 1 Black weekly newspaper in the country from 1968-1971, selling over 300,000 copies each week. Every Panther had to read and study the newspaper before selling it.

Wanda’s Picks for May 2015

May 4, 2015

Happy Mother’s Day to all the nurturers, both female and male. Congratulations to all the graduates, beginning this month and continuing through June. Condolences to all the recent victims of state violence and those families and communities affected, especially in Baltimore. Much love, light and wellness to Mumia Abu Jamal; love and light to Brother Albert Woodfox.

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Baba Jahahara with Congresswoman Barbara Lee and former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan

Baba Jahahara honored by Congresswoman Lee, California leaders and solar colleagues

May 3, 2015

Baba Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at was recently honored by U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee and leaders of several cities in California, as well as his colleagues in the green solar industry, for his contributions and retirement. Congresswoman Lee said, “His commitment to promoting social justice, workers’ rights and economic equality has set a fine example for all.”

Blanche Brown – Photo courtesy of Congo SQ West

The Bay Area’s best featured in SF International Arts Festival 2015

May 2, 2015

Classic Black (June 4 , 6 and 7, Southside Theater, Fort Mason Center) and A Night of Tribute in Dance: Blanche Brown (May 28, Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center) are shining examples of the majestic spectrum of African American artistic excellence in the Bay Area and two of 150 performances that are part of SFIAF 2015. Co-presented by Fort Mason Center, SFIAF 2015 runs May 21-June 7.

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Former Mayor Frank Jordan greets his friend Rochelle Metcalfe at the VIP pre-game luncheon. When he was at the helm, jobs for Black contractors and workers were plentiful in San Francisco. – Photo: Harrison Chastang

Third Street Stroll

May 2, 2015

THIRD STREET, starting from Mariposa north, IS BUSY! Reigning World Series Champion San Francisco GIANTS are home for another season at AT&T Park – 3rd and King Streets. Crowds gather at The Yard, Third and Terry Francois, and within two blocks of AT&T, the NEW Mission Bay POLICE HEADQUARTERS (beautiful building) and Public Fire Safety Building, exemplified by the LARGE FIRE BELL out front.

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Malcolm X Day San Francisco – to make his birthday an official holiday

May 1, 2015

Malcolm X Day San Francisco is part of a national effort to declare May 19, the birthday of Malcolm X – El Hajj Malik El Shabazz – an official holiday. Malcolm X Day will be celebrated in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point District on Sunday, May 17, with free outdoor music and guest speakers. Performers include local rappers and poets Selassie, Talia Monet, Jabari Shaw and Ras Ceylon.

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Radio personality Wesley Burton killed in hit and run car crash: Davey D speaks

May 1, 2015

On April 18, Wesley Burton was killed by a hit and run driver on Martin Luther King and 60th Street in North Oakland in the early morning hours after his show, Side Show Radio. This father, radio man, music producer, friend and comrade meant a lot to a lot of people. I wanted to talk with Davey D about his thoughts on Wesley Burton, who he has known for at least the last 20 years. Here’s Davey D in his own words.

'Zara's Faith' front

‘Zara’s Faith’: Grandmother rallies community to fight police brutality

April 30, 2015

The Lower Bottom Playaz, Oakland’s premiere North American African theater company, under the direction of Ayodele Nzinga, in collaboration with OYNX, will present staged readings of “Zara’s Faith,” a play by physician-activist Marc Sapir, on June 6 and 7. “Zara’s Faith,” set in a city that could be Oakland or any inner city in America, unfolds around the police shooting of two unarmed brothers on their way to meet friends.

KPFA radioman Wesley Burton killed in car accident

April 29, 2015

In the early morning hours of April 18, veteran KPFA radio broadcaster Wesley Burton was killed in a car accident when a hit and run driver struck his car, reportedly killing him before the ambulance could arrive on a North Oakland street, while he was in route home from KPFA radio station approximately two miles away. He left behind a wife and three children.

‘M Cream’ film review

April 28, 2015

“M Cream” is a phenomenally shot film based in India that was screened at this year’s Oakland International Film Festival. The plot centers around some college students taking a road trip on a quest to find M Cream, a mythical form of hash. I would recommend “M Cream” to people who are into foreign films and comedy-dramas about young life.

The Arlington National Cemetery honor guard folds the flag for the reburial of Wyley and Ouida Wright. – Photo: Andre Thompson courtesy Ray Caling

Love story at Arlington National Cemetery

April 26, 2015

For most, the pain of the loss of loved ones is so great that they look away and never look back. For our family, 50 years after the death of our father, Sp5 Wyley Wright Jr., in Viet Nam on March 9, 1964, as he accepted an extra mission to join the Honor Guard for Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara two weeks from coming home with his new orders for Fort Hamilton, New York, we, who rarely talked about the loss over the years, had to look back.

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Barry Bonds

Now that the Justice Department has struck out, it’s time to put Barry Bonds in the Hall of Fame

April 24, 2015

$55 million is what the U.S. Justice Department has wasted on what we can now officially call the failed prosecution of Barry Lamar Bonds. The Major League Baseball home run king, assumed steroid user and Hall of Fame pariah on Wednesday had the government’s last thread holding him down – an obstruction of justice conviction – finally snipped on appeal.

San Francisco Black Film Festival Director Kali O’Ray mans the camera.

The San Francisco Black Film Festival is back, second weekend in June!

April 22, 2015

The San Francisco Black Film Festival is one of the premiere events for the shrinking Black community in the Bay Area, annually. This year, the two headlining movies are “AMERICA Is Still the Place” and “Njinga – Queen of Angola.” I interviewed the San Francisco Black Film Festival director Kali O’Ray about what is happening this year at the festival. Check him out in his own words, telling us the history of the festival and what’s going on this year.

“Tales of the Grim Sleeper”

Wanda’s Picks for April 2015

April 4, 2015

Over a 25 year period, 200 women in South LA went missing. Of these missing women, 100 were found dead. All of the women are Black and most were prostitutes. The refusal to let these women’s lives go unacknowledged is due to the work of Black Coalition Fighting Back Against Serial Murders. HBO will broadcast “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” on April 27.

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