February 27, 2015
The Sandré R. Swanson Youth Foundation held its First Annual Black and White 2015 Scholarship Gala Saturday, Feb. 21. The event celebrated Swanson’s 50 years of community service and raised funds for scholarships to benefit underserved youth. Event highlights included a jazz reception and silent auction followed by a dinner and awards presentation with live performances from Bay Area recording artist Lenny Williams.
February 25, 2015
On Feb. 2, 2015, underground Bay Area rap king the Jacka was murdered on 94th and MacArthur in East Oakland, in the prime of his career. At 37 years old, Jack had been rhyming for over 20 years. In rememberance of my potna, my comrade, and my brotha, I wanted to interview producer Rob Lo, the Mob Figaz’ and the Jacka’s main producer, about the man and his music behind the glamour and glitz. Check Rob Lo out in his own words.
February 23, 2015
Now 88, Mr. Johnson is not only a Bay Area resident, living in Marin County, and a documentarian of six decades of Afrikan life, he is a very important classic photojournalist whose 30-piece collection documenting the San Francisco Fillmore District during the 1940s to 1960s was exhibited at the Harvey Milk Photography Center in San Francisco in October 2014. San Francisco’s vibrant Afrikan Fillmore community became his signature tableau.
February 22, 2015
Annually, one of the greatest human beings on the planet, Avotcja Jiltonilro, organizes and/or participates in a tribute to the legendary warrior poet, Pat Parker. Pat Parker confronted the world in the precarious position of being non-white, non-male, non-heterosexual in a racist, misogynist, homophobic, imperial oxymoronically named melting pot of culture. And she blew the lid off the mess with truth.
February 21, 2015
To mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of our “Black shining prince,” as Ossie Davis described Malcolm X in his eulogy, we highlight the 2013 book, “The Diary of Malcolm X,” by award-winning journalist Herb Boyd and Malcolm’s daughter, human rights activist and author Ilyasah Shabazz. The diary entries were compiled over two trips Malcolm made to Africa and the Middle East in 1964. He did not miss a single day. “It’s really beautiful that we get to see Malcolm in his own voice – without scholars, historians or observers saying what he was thinking or what he was doing or what he meant,” observed Ilyasah. “We get to read his personal diary.”
February 16, 2015
One often hidden historical fact brought out in the novel and TV series is that more Africans fought alongside the British during the colonial war than with the future rulers of the United States. The British promised emancipation to those slaves who joined their ranks after 1776. But unless you were in The Book of Negroes, you couldn’t escape to Canada.
February 14, 2015
The daguerreotype was an early type of photograph. Augustus Washington was an Afrikan daguerreotypist, abolitionist and educator, as well as “one of the most talented and successful photographers in mid-1800s Connecticut.” One of his most famous photos was a quarter plate daguerreotype, thought to be the first ever of abolitionist John Brown, who had from childhood sworn “an eternal war with slavery.”
February 12, 2015
Leola King brought memorable class and dignity to every business she operated during a 50-year career in San Francisco. Most of the Black people here now know nothing positive of what it was like to walk and live amongst the greatness we had created there on Fillmore Street. Redevelopment viciously undermined and ripped Mrs. King’s fortune away. Her funeral is Friday, Feb. 13, 11 a.m., at Third Baptist Church, 1399 McAllister, the repast 4-7 p.m. at West Bay Conference Center, 1290 Fillmore St., San Francisco.
February 10, 2015
Prentice Hall Polk (1898-1985) is one of the world’s quintessential photographers because he captured the honesty, pride and nobility of Afrikan people, during a time in history when portraitures of Afrikan people were typically nothing but caricatures indicative of the Jim Crow laws and of white supremacy. Mr. Polk enjoyed his work creating, preserving and documenting an important part of Afrikan history.
February 9, 2015
Love and Fit Hop with Stic of dead prez and Afya Ibomu is today, Monday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m., in the Merritt College Student Lounge, 12500 Campus Drive, Oakland. Stic.man and his wife, Afya Ibomu, are both engaged in creating “Fit-Hop,” a subgenre that promotes sobriety and healthy living as opposed to the mainstream Hip Hop. Check Stic out in his own words.
February 8, 2015
Tribute to the Jacka TODAY, Sunday, Feb. 8, 3-7 p.m., on KPOO 89.5FM or kpoo.com , hosted by The People’s Minister of Information JR. On Monday, Feb. 2, ‘15, one of the Bay Area’s most beloved and well known rappers was killed in East Oakland. In 2009, the Jacka told me in an interview: “They don’t want us here. You just gotta do whatever you gotta do to get that positivity in while you’re on the planet and while you’re breathin’, man, and get it right, because you never know what’s going to happen. They got a plan for us. They tryin’ to take us out.”
February 6, 2015
I’ve been hearing a lot lately about a “Cotton Pickas” documentary due out Black History Month 2015. And I’m finally sitting down with the director, Robert “Fleetwood” Bowden. “Da Cotton Pickas,” explores the trials and tribulations of Southern cotton plantation workers following the abolition of slavery in America. Red carpet film tour screenings Feb. 7, 21, 24 and 27 – all free!
February 6, 2015
Given the trajectory of 2014 regarding Black lives, perhaps February would be a great time to reflect on what bell hooks calls “the love ethic,” a principle Dr. King embodied and preached. Langston Hughes would have been 116 on Feb. 1 (his mother, Carrie Langston, was born Jan. 22, 1873). Albert Woodfox will be 68 on Feb. 19. Hopefully he will be eating cake under some sunny sky, a freed man by then.
February 3, 2015
Jazz was the opposite of everything Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, believed in. It is improvised, and relaxed, and free-form. It follows its own rhythm. Anslinger looked out over a scene filled with men like Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong and Thelonious Monk, and he longed to see them all behind bars. In the end he scaled down his focus until it settled like a laser on a single target – Billie Holiday.
February 3, 2015
HELLO! BACK AT YOU in the year 2015; which promises to be busy – especially in Bayview Hunters Point, which will increase its population with opening of new housing, a phase of ALICE GRIFFITH, in the spring; later this year DR. GEORGE DAVIS SENIOR CAMPUS, on Third and Carroll; AND DEMOLITION of Candlestick Park Stadium, IN PROGRESS, to begin building a new community.
February 2, 2015
Now that I am a grandfather, I’m realizing the joy and opportunity it gives me to just love and be loved. My grands live in Southern California, so I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like, but when I do, I make the most of it. We as grandparents can be an incredible source of comfort and support for our grandchildren that they cannot find anywhere else in their lives.
February 1, 2015
Dr. Siri Brown is a professor at Merritt College in Oakland and head of its African American Studies Department. She is an academic who understands her role in the classroom, giving young people a knowledge of self and opening fertile minds to the social realities that are oppressing their people as well. She has been an example for present day and future academics for over a decade on how to teach history in a living way.
January 31, 2015
Khayrishi Wiginton, a youth leadership coordinator at McClymonds High School in West Oakland, is fundraising and organizing a trip to South Africa with her students. Many of us do not know the power that travelling outside of the country has on fertile minds. I hope that Block Report Radio listeners and SF Bay View readers will assist these inner-city students and adults in completing their quest. Here is Khayrishi in her own words.
January 29, 2015
As the nation celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.’s 86th birthday, we are immersed in an intensive, often divisive conversation about race in America. Sixty years after King marched through the streets, as he did in Selma and cities throughout the South, we find ourselves still on the streets battling many of these same issues. My concern is that we are too narrowly focused. We need to make sure we battle this issue of race on all fronts.
January 21, 2015
Our community, our humanity; our ancestors, elders and children; our poets and artists from across the Diaspora: All were brought together on Dec. 6 for the sharing of “Incantations and Rites” with the Daughters of Yam, with Destiny Muhammad, “Harpist from the Hood,” and with the hood itself. Our focus was on the issues of our Black young men being assassinated in the streets.