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Culture Stories

The joys, and CRIMES, of Juneteenth

June 18, 2018

As WE commemorate Juneteenth Freedom Day(s) again this year, it is always necessary to OVERstand the real Lessons in the Blessings (as my beloved God-Mother ELIZABETH ELIZANN OAKS-ARMSTRONG would often say). While Juneteenth is possibly the oldest and largest commemoration of the “official” ending of the murderous war of enslavement, many of our people have never grasped its true origins and significance.

Sickle cell disease hits young Californians hard

June 16, 2018

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder that can cause pain, anemia, infection and other serious health problems. As young people living with sickle cell disease (SCD) age, their health care needs change. This World Sickle Cell Day, observed each year on June 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are providing special support to young adults living with SCD.

Wolfpack Gunshot Response Team: Out of the projects come the saviors of their hood

June 11, 2018

It was a historic day in April when a team of young people completed their training to take on the job of saving their hood in Cleveland, Ohio. Four young adults ranging from 19-29 became the first civilian gunshot response team in Ohio history. Not to mention they are African American and from the projects. Breniesha Lightfoot, DeAndre “Boss Hog” Glover and Belton Sanders, along with local activist and Washington, D.C., native Suncere Ali Shakur, make up the Wolfpack Gunshot Response Team of Cleveland. Our job is to stop the bleeding from wounds for the first 5-10 minutes until EMS arrives.

Dorris Vincent presents SFHDC Power of Words award to Ratcliffs

June 2, 2018

The most elegant event we’ve ever attended was the San Francisco Housing Development Corp.’s 30th Anniversary Gala at the wondrous California Academy of Sciences – yes, guests could see the exhibits! – on Friday, May 11. We, Dr. Willlie and Mary Ratcliff, were invited to accept the Power of Words award, and we were thrilled to be presented it by SFHDC Board Member Dorris Vincent, an old friend and a pillar of the Bayview Hunters Point community. These are her remarks:

Poverty people as benefactors sending out a clarion call Blackonizing the other Amerika where LOVE abounds and our Jesus is found

May 31, 2018

I’m sending out the most important press release that it has been my prayerful blessing to accomplish as a clarion call to Black Family Amerika to take a stand. To Black Mega­Church Amerika to take a stand. No more playing the do-nothingism game while expecting great change to occur. The Black family’s path forward is known as “ethno-aggregation,” found in two textbooks by Dr. Claud Anderson, “PowerNomics: The National Plan to Empower Black America” and “A Black History Reader: 101 Questions You Never Thought to Ask.”

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SF Library plans to install privacy-threatening RFID tags into books and materials despite EFF, ACLU-NC, Library Users Assoc. opposition

May 30, 2018

Despite strong and unequivocal opposition by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California, which has been consistent for more than 10 years, San Francisco Public Library plans to install what the two organizations, and others, consider to be privacy-threatening RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology into books and other materials that patrons use and borrow.

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From Kunta Kinte to Keba Konte: Driving racism from the workplace

May 29, 2018

On April 12, two Black men, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, were arrested for trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks while sitting at a table waiting for a business partner. Starbucks responded by making plans to close 8,000 stores on May 29 for racial bias training. The incident prompted consumers and activists to #BoycottStarbucks and consider alternatives like Oakland-based Red Bay Coffee. Owned by Black entrepreneur Keba Konte, Red Bay Coffee’s staff is composed entirely of women, people of color and the formerly incarcerated.

When barbequing while Black becomes a part of the Art of Living Black

May 29, 2018

Word has it that the first 20 enslaved Africans were brought to Jamestown, Virginia, sometime during the month of August in 1619. Wow! That means next year, August 2019 will extend that legacy to exactly 400 years. Look out, Jamestown, here we come to commemorate, commiserate and consummate 400 years of MAAFA! Below is an excerpt from my poem, “The Art of Living Black,” which summarizes those 400 years, opening with an addition of recent local occurrences and indignities that have become a part of the Black Experience.

San Francisco Black Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary with best ever lineup June 14-17

May 28, 2018

The San Francisco Black Film Festival is celebrating its 20-year milestone this year with a myriad of magnificent and majestic films from all over the Black world. Kali O’Ray, the SF Black Film Festival director and son of festival founder Ave Montague sat with me as he does every year to explain the happenings and expected high points of this year’s festivities. For the 20th anniversary, we’re applying the theme 20/20, which is 20 years forward and 20 years back.

Mary L. Booker Leadership Academy to open in fall 2019

May 27, 2018

On April 9, school founder Terrence Davis and a founding team of parents and community leaders submitted a petition to open Mary L. Booker Leadership Academy to the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). The new free public school hopes to open its doors in the Bayview in the fall of 2019 with grades 6-8 and will eventually serve grades 6-12, pending approval by SFUSD.

Sister Scribe: For Kiilu Nyasha, 1939-2018

May 26, 2018

Your words, which sprang … From your keen, razor-sharp steel-trap mind, … Dancing to life from your sashaying fingers … Across desktop computer keyboard … Onto the bright screen before you, … Across typewriter keys … Onto held-down paper, … Were to support … The freedom of captives: … That is, brothers & sisters … In the racial, political, mental senses … Captured by government agents, … Confined to penitentiaries because … Black Liberation & self-determination … Are too dangerous for this system to take –

Laila Ali keynotes Women Transforming Technology conference in Silicon Valley

May 25, 2018

Women Transforming Technology, a consortium of companies and organizations in industry, academia and non-profit companies and organizations committed to building a community and tackling issues that are top of mind for women in technology, on May 22, 2018, hosted a conference in California’s Silicon Valley. The conference theme was “Inclusion in Action.” This broadcast is the focus of Laila Ali’s opening keynote.

Boots Riley’s ‘Sorry to Bother You’ is a political comedy masterpiece

May 23, 2018

“Sorry to Bother You,” written and directed by Oakland’s resident revolutionary MC, Boots, the front man of the political rap group The Coup, is a hilarious cult classic in the making, set to hit theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area in July. This political comedy is based in the streets of Oakland, but it is refreshingly not a cliché hood story. I loved “Sorry to Bother You” most because although it is a protest film, it’s a comedy.

Libations for Kiilu Nyasha on Wanda’s Picks Radio

May 21, 2018

Introduction: Kiilu Nyasha, Black Panther veteran, revolutionary journalist and mother of every movement, joined the ancestors on April 10, and just three days later, Bay View Arts Editor Wanda Sabir opened the phone lines on her morning radio show for tributes to our revered comrade. To listen to the entire show, go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wandas-picks/2018/04/13/wandas-picks-radio-show-special-tribute-to-kiilu-nyasha or listen here. – Editor

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Shero Kiilu

May 19, 2018

by Tiny   What is a shero who never gave up & NEVER let go never stood down, sold out or took the politrickster road who breathed liberation from every pore who resisted kkkrapitalism, plantations and shouted at every prison door   This is Kiilu and whenever i felt like giving up, i would dream […]

The Legacy Museum: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration demands we face the truth

May 16, 2018

Slavery has indeed marked this nation. Its soot leaves a residue the best detergent cannot wipe away or wash out. Truth – bitter, the missing ingredient is hard to swallow, let alone see – yet this is what The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and by extension The Legacy Museum: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration demands we face. It is not in your head or imagination that these atrocities to other people reside.

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The invention of white people, the absurdity of race and fear of a Black planet

May 10, 2018

According to Theodore W. Allen’s book, “The Invention of the White Race,” in 1619 there were no “white” people in America listed in colonial records. Europeans first became “White by law” in 1691. Mr. Allen goes on to say that the White Race was invented as a socio-political construct, designed to create a ruling class and bring the eternally warring factions of Europe together against a common enemy: people of color in general, Black people more specifically, and Black men in particular.

The Matatu Concert and Film Series is back May 19-25

May 8, 2018

The Matatu Film and Concert series is one of many dynamic film festivals that call the Bay their home, but its most unique quality is that it highlights filmmakers from Africa and the diaspora outside of the U.S., as well as covers subjects that are important to how we see ourselves, and how we see the world. Michael Orange, the Matatu curator, has exquisite taste in cinema. Here is our back-n-forth about what Matatu has in store for May.

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VICTORY! Some Critical WINS for Afrikan People

May 2, 2018

In our grand traditions of African Liberation Day/Month – and May First/International Workers’ Day – WE remember and honor our Beloved Ancients and Ancestors from yesteryears and yesterday. Recently, super-(s)heroes such as freedom fighters Mama WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA and KIILU NYASHA made their Spiritual Transformations. Warrior Kiilu is a great inspiration and uncompromising advocate for Power to the People, freeing our political prisoners and abolishing prisons.

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‘Solitary Man’ play and panel at the Black Rep – pain, survival, resistance

May 1, 2018

On April 21, I finally got to see Charlie Hinton’s “Solitary Man” play at the Black Repertory Theater in Berkeley. It was so much more than a cultural experience. The play was gripping, emotional and real, with jazz trumpet sprinkled in. The panel powerfully reflected the layers of pain, survival and resistance in the prison movement. And the event, a benefit for the San Francisco Bay View, was a moving tribute to Mary and Willie Ratcliff’s devotion to their invaluable newspaper.

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