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Culture Stories

In “Party People” at the Berkeley Rep, Christopher Livingston plays the Panther cub, Malik. – Photo: KevinBerne.com

‘Party People’

October 31, 2014

In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords totally transformed the psychology of people in the United States with their survival programs, their muti-layered platforms, their fight for human rights against capitalism and imperialism, and their armed self-defense against the police. On Oct. 24, “Party People,” a play developed and directed by Liesl Tommy, premiered at the Berkeley Repertory Theater.

A high point of Cynthia McKinney’s California tour came on April 23, 2013, at the Kaos Network on Leimert Boulevard in Los Angeles, when Kathleen Cleaver came with the Freeman brothers, Roland and Ronald, better known as Elder. They are standing on either side of Kathleen, Elder Freeman between Kathleen and Cynthia. Kathleen had come to California to raise money for Elder Freeman to travel to Cuba for cancer treatment, and her mission was accomplished. He would never make the trip, however, as his doctors said he was too sick. With the Panthers and KPFK broadcaster Dedan Kimathi, along with Minister of Information JR, host and organizer of the tour, it was a gathering of veterans of the struggle. – Photo: Block Report

Elder Ronald and Roland Freeman, presente!

October 30, 2014

Lifelong freedom fighter and field secretary and founding member of the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party Ronald Elder Freeman made his transition on Oct. 8, 2014, after a long and valiant battle with cancer. Ironically, Elder Freeman’s brother, Roland Freeman – the two were born only a year apart and were, they say, as close as twins – died exactly a week after Elder as he was preparing to bring Elder’s ashes back to California.

Dorothy Cook, with husband Alvin Cook and, at left, grandson Stevon Cook, candidate for SF Board of Education, celebrates her 80th birthday with a musical in her honor at Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church. – Photo: Rochelle Metcalfe

Third Street Stroll …

October 29, 2014

OH, HAPPY DAY! It’s wonderful to receive one’s FLOWERS WHILE ONE CAN STILL SMELL THEM!!! Sister DOROTHY COOK, mesmerized by their fragrance, beautifully dressed in gold colored suit, matching hat, celebrated her 80th birthday in what was a magnificent BIRTHDAY musical in her honor at CORNERSTONE Missionary Baptist Church, located in the Bayview, corner Third and Paul, Saturday afternoon, Oct. 18.

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Christopher Xavier Earl-Rockefeller wins Heroes and Legends Award

October 28, 2014

This year’s Heroes and Legends Awards were presented at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt hotel in Hollywood, California, where Christopher Xavier Earl-Rockefeller, 16, of San Leandro, California, was honored and awarded with the Berry Gordy Family Foundation Scholarship for his work in the performing arts through television and poetry.

For the masses who loved him, Legacy Award winner Kevin Weston’s spirit lives through the three powerful women who accepted his award, little daughter Lelah, his spittin’ image, wife Lateefah Simon and mother Geraldine Singleton. They and the countless media makers he mentored are his legacy. – Photo: TaSin Sabir

The meaning of Black Media Appreciation Night 2014

October 24, 2014

On Sept. 13, 2014, the most progressive of the Bay Area’s Black and pro-Black journalists came together to celebrate one another and to give awards to a well deserving few. It was also a salute to the real legacy of Black journalism in the United States that was born out of the fight for human rights and self-determination. The night was dedicated to the memory of the recently transitioned journalist and editor Kevin Weston.

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Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe ’s ‘Traveling While Black’ at Brava through Oct. 26

October 19, 2014

“Traveling While Black” is epic. It is a story that has audiences laughing while at the same time catching their breath as Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe takes us with her into situations only a well-written narrative can then retrieve us from unscathed. The journey is fraught with peril. Cooper-Anifowoshe transports us from a Muni bus ride in San Francisco to a slave ship off the coast of West Africa without a blink of an eye.

Maafa 2014, web

Wanda’s Picks for October 2014

October 7, 2014

Sunday, Oct. 12, marks our 19th Annual Maafa Commemoration. This is a time when we gather to remember our African ancestors, especially those who endured the transatlantic slave trade or the Middle Passage, the Black Holocaust. It is a time for Pan Africans to gather and celebrate life and recommit ourselves to the work of liberation: spiritual, psychological, economic and political.

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Jacqueline Hairston to receive Howard Thurman Award

October 5, 2014

Noted composer, arranger, pianist, music educator, vocal coach, liturgical musician and clinician, Jacqueline Hairston will be presented the Howard Thurman Award at Fellowship Church’s 70th anniversary celebration and 19th annual Howard Thurman Convocation. Founded in 1944 by Drs. Howard Thurman and Alfred Fisk, the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples is the nation’s first fully interracial, interfaith congregation.

'Da Cotton Pickas- Wat U Expext' cover

Da Cotton Pickas

October 4, 2014

Da Cotton Pickas have emerged from the constant witnessing of the blatant disrespect that is daily being poured into our communities and our households nationwide. The time has come again for rebellious, radical, revolutionary, spiritual and gangsta music to be brought to the forefront with no apologies and no fear of repercussions.

‘Why the U.S. Government Assassinated Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.’

October 2, 2014

The question of who ordered the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. is a vital one. Those who dismiss the notion that the United States government would engage in assassination willfully ignore the 1975 Church Committee Report that exposed covert, illegal government activities and the many CIA-orchestrated assassinations and coups d’etat from Africa to Latin America.

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Vaytus owners Aniefre Essien and Brandon Sledge-Mellon

The future of streaming music: an interview wit’ Vaytus owner Aniefre Essien

September 30, 2014

Vaytus, owned by Aniefre Essien and Brandon Sledge-Mellon, is a Black-owned music streaming provider. “Vaytus is a word that we made up from the words ‘elevate us.’ Music is powerful, and we believe good music elevates people,” says Aniefre about the unusual name. These brothas have a mission that is bigger than just filling their pockets. Their business pays artists fair rates for their music.

Hodari Davis stands in front of “African Independence,” the world famous statue of Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana.

Black man on a quest: an interview wit’ Life is Living organizer Hodari Davis

September 28, 2014

Hodari is something of a renaissance man. If you have spent time on the cultural scene, you are familiar with some of his work – the annual Life is Living Festival, the Black history oratory and poetry group Young Gifted and Black, Youth Speaks or the statewide initiative fighting Type II Diabetes called The Bigger Picture.

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At Black Media Appreciation Night Sept. 13, San Francisco’s best-in-the-nation public defender, Jeff Adachi, introduces Dr. Willie Ratcliff at the reception celebrating Ratcliff’s 82nd birthday, as Bay View columnist Rochelle Metcalfe and St. John Coltrane Church pastor Archbishop Franzo King enjoy the scene. – Photo: William H. Jones Jr.

Third Street Stroll …

September 28, 2014

HOW SWEET IT WAS! DR. WILLIE RATCLIFF, our beloved Publisher, a VIRGO MAN, celebrated his 82nd birthday surrounded by his lovely wife MARY RATCLIFF, charming in a blue dress, staff and friends at a reception held in the lobby of the African American Art and Cultural Complex, prior to the BLACK MEDIA APPRECIATION NIGHT affair, sponsored by SF BAY VIEW, to HONOR UNSUNG HEROES who do not get their PROPER due for their outstanding work.

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Practice makes us better dads

September 27, 2014

I’ve created a fatherhood survey to help men evaluate how they think they are doing as fathers as well as some thoughts and ideas that may help improve areas of weakness. Remember, dads, we are only human – not robots. We are imperfect and will make mistakes every day. The important thing is that we love our children, learn from the mistakes and continue to practice on the skills that will make us the best fathers possible.

Africa Towns and Ujamaa Villages: an interview wit’ city planner, author and gardener Menhuam Ayele

September 24, 2014

Menhuam Ayele is a city planner, author, gardener, father, philosopher and many other things in the city that he hails from, Oakland, California. One of the most important and interesting ideas that he is working on is the concept of Africa Towns centered around the needs of the Black community. He also hosts Black Family Day in the Garden in West Oakland, where he encourages Black families to come together to plant and harvest food.

Donald Lacy brought down the house when he performed at Black Media Appreciation Night 2014 on Sept. 13 in the Buriel Clay Theater. – Photo: TaSin Sabir

‘Color Struck’: an interview wit’ thespian and comedian Donald Lacy

September 20, 2014

Thespian, comedian, humanitarian, radio broadcaster and father would all be words to describe this Bay Area renaissance man who has been putting his stamp on Oakland and the Bay Area’s culture for decades. Donald Lacy will be performing his world renowned play, “Color Struck,” on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 3 and 4, at Laney College, 900 Fallon St., at 8 p.m. Check out this Oakland legend as he speaks to us about his history and thoughts.

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Black Media Appreciation Night

Defining our empowerment fuels Black Media Appreciation Night 2014

September 19, 2014

From the moment the doors opened on the evening of Sept. 13, it was apparent that the honoring of our global African media would begin its night of empowerment with the tradition of honoring one of the community’s foremost elders. We celebrated the 82 years of life and struggle of Dr. Willie Ratcliff and Dr. Ratcliff’s 22 years of Black media ownership of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper. Black Media Appreciation Night 2014 was filled with wisdom, communication and the exchange of knowledge, as well as people receiving awards for life changing, revolutionary work.

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Myron Potier, legendary graphic designer to rappers and more

September 18, 2014

The graphic work of Myron Potier dominated the Oakland rap scene in the ‘90s after he worked on the album cover of Askari X’s classic “Message to the Black Man” and Seagram’s legendary album “Reality Check.” Today, Myron draws and designs mostly out of his apartment in the San Antonio-Fruitvale District of East Oakland, not far from where he grew up in the streets of Oakland. Check out one of Oakland’s unsung humble heroes in his own words.

Digital undivide: New Google Flights finds the best airfare, schedule, wi-fi and other tech amenities

September 11, 2014

The internet has made it easier to book and search for airfares, but unless you have the time and the expertise to conduct extensive internet fare searches, it’s become harder to find the cheapest fares available online. Google has come to the aid of fliers looking for the best air deals. Google’s new website app Google Flights (google.com/flights) gives travelers a one-stop option to quickly search for the best fares and flight options.

Fathers in the classroom: Everybody benefits

September 9, 2014

This month, I’m challenging all fathers of school age children to visit their classrooms at least one time during the school year. There is nothing that makes a child feel more appreciated and proud than having a parent come to school for positive reasons. Moms usually fill this role; let’s change that up this year. You don’t need any special skills, and most teachers will welcome you with open arms.

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