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Culture Stories

Mt. Sinai Pastor George E. Hurtt – Photo: Dennis Wafford

African American clergy defend their communities

May 28, 2016

Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church of Los Angeles joined religious institutions across the nation as it hosted the first NoMenthol Sunday observance in Southern California. NoMenthol Sunday is a national interfaith effort that educates congregants about the role mentholated and candy-flavored tobacco products play in addicting African Americans to tobacco products.

George Washington Eames Jr. was the longtime president of the Baton Rouge NAACP.

‘A Small Temporary Inconvenience,’ a feature film about Black, disabled civil rights activist George Washington Eames Jr. in Jim Crow Louisiana

May 27, 2016

Cleve Bailey has taken the story of his great uncle and aunt, George and Kathy Eames, and created a screenplay entitled “A Small Temporary Inconvenience,” which chronicles the lives of this interracial couple who dedicated their lives to civil rights activism and fighting against racism in the Deep South. I caught up with Cleve, who now lives in the Bay Area in Hayward, to get his take on the film project.

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Ty-Licia Hooker, executive director of Boost! West Oakland, proudly displays the Oakland Unified School District’s Partner Organization of the Year Award they won.

OUSD recognizes Boost! West Oakland for phenomenal youth work

May 26, 2016

Ty-Licia Hooker is one of the most dynamic Black women working in Oakland for the good of the Black community and other underserved communities. This former Black Girls Rock awardee is the executive director of Boost! West Oakland, a non-profit dedicated to empowering young people and strengthening their academic performance. They were just awarded the prestigious Partner Organization of the Year Award from the Oakland Unified School District.

Faye Kennedy, director of the Sacramento Black Book Fair, wants YOU!

The 3rd annual Sacramento Black Book Fair is June 3-5

May 25, 2016

The third annual Sacramento Black Book Fair is taking place from June 3 to 5 in Oak Park at many different locations, featuring a number of different people who have other talents and careers and are authors also. We need to support literacy in our community and to support authors writing the stories that come from our experience and are suited to benefit our people. I talked to the director of this monumental event, Mrs. Faye Kennedy, about this year’s happenings. Check her out in this exclusive Q&A.

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A scene from “Obsesión,” which screens Thursday, May 26, 8 p.m., at I-Seed, 1625 Clay St., Oakland. It’s free!

The 7th annual Fist Up Film Festival wraps up this week

May 24, 2016

This week the seventh annual Fist Up Film Festival will be wrapping up with a free screening of “Divided Time” on Wednesday at the Oakland Hot Plate at 7:30 p.m. and a screening of “Lamb” on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Red Bay Coffee House in Oakland. The Fist Up Film Festival is arguably the best film festival in Northern California, when it comes to documenting international youth culture.

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Raquel Miller vs Sara Flores- victory for Raquel 052116 closeup by Malaika, web

TKO! Raquel ‘Pretty Beast’ Miller deflates Sara ‘Mac Tire’ Flores in an outstanding pro debut

May 23, 2016

One minute and 14 seconds into the first round, the professional boxing middleweight fight debut of Raquel “Pretty Beast” Miller and Sara “Mac Tire” Flores was over, and Raquel Miller had scored the win via TKO after the center referee stopped the bout. The fight was part of promoter Michael Bazan and Square Vision Entertainment’s “Night of Glory III – Battle for the Golden State” on a card of nine scheduled bouts, held at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium on May 21, 2016.

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YogiGÇÖs Memorial Allegra at AAACC 042316 by JR BR, web cropped

Remembering Yogi

May 22, 2016

The memorial for Hugo “Yogi” Lyon Antonio Pinell was a beautiful and monumental event that loved ones, comrades and the community came from far and wide to attend. The celebration was held at the African American Art and Culture Complex in San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore district on April 23. Many members of Yogi’s family spoke of their love for him. His daughter Allegra brought the house to tears with her message.

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Hip Hop for Change mural on 24th and Lilac with Khafre Jay, founder and executive director

Hip Hop for Change organizes the Environmental Equity Summit for May 21

May 20, 2016

Khafre Jay and Hip Hop for Change, the non-profit he founded, are starting to make a name for themselves on the Bay Area’s Hip Hop, media and advocacy scene. Besides promoting dope independent shows, Hip Hop for Change is organizing the upcoming Environmental Equity Summit on Saturday, May 21, 1-6 p.m., located at the New Parish in Oakland, has a weekly radio show on the legendary San Francisco station 89.5FM KPOO, a school curriculum to teach youth inside the schools and is housed in the radical community center located in West Oakland, the Qilombo.

'Concerning Violence' film graphic

‘Concerning Violence’ screening at Qilombo Friday

May 18, 2016

In 2009-10, there were a number of demonstrations and rebellions protesting police terrorism in the Black community of Oakland, after the televised execution of Oscar Grant. The mainstream corporate media started tagging them as “violent” although most of the rage was aimed at cars and buildings, not people.

Oji, Ascension Team 'Technoetics' cover

Oji and the Ascension Team rise to the occasion

May 16, 2016

Right out of the musical lineage of Parliament Funkadellic, Georgia Ann Muldrow, Dudley Perkins and the Dungeon Family steps Bay Area bred producer Oji and his crew, the Ascension Team. Oji’s music is on some futuristic other level type of space vibe. He is like an Andre 3000, on a production level conjuring sound chemistries not ever heard before in widely known rap music. Check out Oji as he talks about his craft.

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Outstanding women leaders of the Black Panther era

Wanda’s Picks for May-June 2016

May 15, 2016

Elaine Brown’s “A Taste of Power,” a memoir which chronicles her leadership of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense when co-founder Huey P. Newton is imprisoned, still resonates with me. The idea that a Black woman is nominated to the leadership position of the most powerful civic organization in the country at that time is still remarkable and speaks to what Kathleen Cleaver calls revolutionary imagination.

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Malcolm Shabazz and Prince Amir met at the Chairman Fred Hampton Street Party on the West Side of Chicago in August 2010. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

Prince Amir speaks on his comrade, Young Malcolm

May 9, 2016

In 2010, Malcolm Shabazz and I traveled to Chicago to be a part of the annual Chairman Fred Hampton Street Party, celebrating the life of the assassinated Black Panther leader. While on that trip, we were introduced to Prince Amir, the grandson of Imam Malik aka Jeff Fort of the Black P. Stone Nation. Prince Amir and Malcolm hit it off immediately.

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2016’s San Francisco Black Film Festival will be a classic – June 16-19

April 30, 2016

Director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival Kali O’Ray has already showed me a number of potential films that are in the running to be selected to be for this year’s festival; great films like “Codigo Color” about colorism in Cuba, “Hustler’s Convention” about some of the greatest protest poets of the last 50 years, the legendary Last Poets, “Tear the Roof Off,” the untold story of Parliament Funkadellic, and “Blackboard,” a movie about Black professional skateboarders.

Kwasi Turner, son of Bay View writer Morris Turner, is on the right

‘If you can dream it, you can be it’: African American film producer headed to Cannes

April 29, 2016

Kwasi Turner, who just happens to be my son, served as co-producer for the film, “Do They Fit?” which will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival in France this May. The film, written and produced by DeForest Mapp, was co-produced by Stefan Gonzalez and is a romantic dramady to be showcased in the Short Film Corner of the festival. The featured actors include Erric Thompson, Afi Ayanna, Christine Waller and Jasania Deshong.

Bashi Rose, filmmaker at work

Baltimore filmmaker Bashi Rose makes films on George Jackson and Freddie Gray

April 28, 2016

Bashi Rose is an East coast filmmaker. He recently worked on two flicks that greatly inspired me. One is about the legendary George Jackson’s politics and ideas called “George Jackson: Releasing the Dragon (A Video Mixtape).” The other film is called “Until Them Whores Get Locked Up,” which is about the police murder of Freddie Gray and the people in the recent rebellion. Check out filmmaker Bashi Rose in his own words.

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Baba Jahahara signs his books in Europe following an interview by Henry Gomba of London- and Uganda-based Black Star News. – Photo: Claudette Perry

Baba Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at on his newest book, ‘Afrikans Deserve Reparations!’

April 27, 2016

For over 500 years, African people have been fighting enslavement and genocide against white and Arab slavery. Billions of lives later, we are still fighting for self-determination and reparations today. Long time people’s warrior Jahahara Alkebulan has written a book on the subject titled “Afrikans Deserve Reparations!” that we all need to take the time and analyze. Check him out in his own words.

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'Black Panther's Party for Self-Defense' young Panther beside sign on wall, cropped

On self-defense against racist murder

April 26, 2016

For us to make sense of the relentless, 400-year-long onslaught of racist violence against New Afrikans and other nationally oppressed people in Amerika and the absence of a collective program of comprehensive self-defense and secure communities among the majority of the New Afrikan population in the U.S., it’s important we first grasp the origin of this contradiction, as all other points of contradiction and irrationality flow from it.

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A Prince passes on

April 24, 2016

He was a star in so many ways that the word “star” seems too small. He was a singer, guitarist, band leader, writer – and, well, genius. Prince Rogers Nelson was known and adored by millions who knew him by one name: Prince. He was a superstar. And, he was a mystery – both major musical performer as well as a man of privacy. He entered the world of music like a stick of sexual dynamite. As he aged, a spiritual side seemed to emerge. Through it all, the genius of the man shined through. He was born named Prince, yes; but at 57 years young, he became a Prince – a Prince of the heart.

'www.CadlacTom.com' cast graphic

Cadlac Tom the adult cartoon: an interview wit’ founder Tyrone Trapper

April 22, 2016

Tyrone Trapper was born in Los Angeles and raised in West Oakland. After being traumatized by the murder of a close friend in the streets of Los Angeles, he decided to turn the pain into something constructive, and he started work on his adult cartoon series, “Cadlac Tom.” I salute Tyrone Trapper on his entrepreneurial spirit, on immortalizing his loved one and for turning his pain into gain. Check him out; a lot of us can learn a thing or two from him.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00006]

‘A Muslim Trapped in Donald Trump’s America’: an interview with author Professor A.L.I.

April 14, 2016

Longtime MC and current author Professor A.L.I. has created a book of essays that describes the politics and feelings of a Sri Lankan Muslim convert in the U.S. who has to cope with the Islamaphobia that is created by the international corporate media and the government sponsoring Islamic extremist groups to covertly carry out foreign policy objectives worldwide. His newest album “Tamilmatic” was released today, April 14, to honor Tamil New Year.

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