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Culture Stories

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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Legendary percussionist Pete Escovedo and Maestro Curtis check the playlist. – Photo: Rochelle Metcalfe

Third Street Stroll …

April 1, 2015

The annual BLACK CUISINE, benefit Bayview Hunters Point Multipurpose Senior Services, Inc., was very successful. Legendary percussionist and band leader PETE ESCOVEDO was the headliner joined by JUAN ESCOVEDO and MAESTRO CURTIS and band – ACTION WAS HOT! Pete was to see limited participation BUT FELT SOOO GOOD he performed the entire set, much to the joy of entertainment coordinator SUZY TYNER.

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After 30 years leading City College Journalism Department, ‘not over yet’ for Juan Gonzales

March 31, 2015

Journalists, local newspaper publishers, instructors and students gathered on March 20 at Randy’s Place in the Ingleside to honor Juan Gonzales for his 30 years as a faculty member and chair of the Department of Journalism at City College of San Francisco. The mix of former and current students and colleagues attested to his dedication as they mingled, shot pool and enjoyed spaghetti and drinks in the cozy neighborhood bar.

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'Coleman Advocates Presents Solutions Not Suspensions, directed by Kevin Epps', web

Kev Epps talkin’ about his new film ‘Solutions Not Suspensions’

March 31, 2015

Frisco filmmaker Kevin Epps is at it again with his weapon of choice, his camera. This time, the “Straight Outta Hunters Point” filmmaker just released his new film, “Solutions Not Suspensions,” which takes a look at who is being suspended from the San Francisco Unified School District and under what circumstance. He is taking a stand on an issue that does not get a lot of attention in our community.

AfroSolo Empowerment Hands, web

Dear Black men: Help us save the lives of young Black men and boys by simply writing a letter!

March 30, 2015

Inspired by President Barack Obama’s “My Brothers Keeper” initiative, AfroSolo will launch Project Empowerment: The Audacity to Succeed II. An anthology entitled “Lighting up the Future: Letters From Black Men to Young Black Men and Boys,” will be a collection of letters from Black men designed to celebrate, uplift and motivate young Black men and boys to successfully transcend youth to adulthood. We cordially invite your participation.

Writer coaches make a positive social impact!

March 30, 2015

After a WriterCoach Connection volunteer offered words of praise to a Korematsu Middle School seventh grader on a writing assignment, the youngster told the coach, “Nobody has ever said that to me before. Not my teachers, not my parents – nobody. Thank you!” The coach had met the student where he was with his writing process. No judgments. No preset expectations. Just pure encouragement to help him get his voice and views on paper.

Grandfatherhood: Part 3

March 29, 2015

The most important thing you can give any child is your time. This month I will share some activities and outings you can enjoy while sharing time with your children, grandchildren or the children of friends you are fortunate enough to have in your life. Here are a few suggestions of positive ways to spend some moments that will create memories to last long beyond when you and I are gone.

Sharecroppers

Robert ‘Fleetwood’ Bowden’s ‘Da Cotton Pickas’ to be featured in Oakland International Film Festival

March 28, 2015

Robert “Fleetwood” Bowden’s “Da Cotton Pickas” is a must see documentary about how slavery did not stop with the Emancipation Proclamation. In fact, some people who were sharecropping slaves are still alive today, like Bishop Henry Williams, the subject of this monumental documentary. He worked for over 18 years and was never paid for picking cotton. Fleetwood tells a story of a historical reality with this documentary that most have never heard.

Emmitt Thrower

Does the disability community need a documentary on police brutality from a retired disabled Black cop?

March 27, 2015

The community of people with disabilities has a different experience of brutality than the ablebodied community. There are of course many similarities. But disability adds another level of difficulty to it all. And being poor, homeless or Black or Brown with a disability makes many of us vulnerable from many additional angles. Disability is glazed over or not recorded in the official police reports.

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Dr. Ben

An appreciation: Dr. Ben, legendary Egypt scholar, dean of Harlem Street University

March 25, 2015

Yosef Alfredo Antonio ben-Jochannan, known to the African world as “Dr. Ben,” believed that education belonged to any member of his race who wanted it. Perhaps it was because he believed that if his people knew their collective root, their ancient greatness, they would fight for their freedom and achieve it. Dr. Ben, one of the founding scholars and lecturers in what is now known as Africana Studies, died last week after a long illness. He was 96.

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Mike Dream’s brother Lil John with a TDK mural

Filmmaker Pendarvis Harshaw talks about graf legend Mike Dream in ‘Dream Kontinues’ doc

March 23, 2015

Mike “Dream” Francisco is one of the first internationally known muralists from Oakland. He was one of the founding members of TDK; a group that started off as some high school trouble makers and grew into a posse that still paints to this day – now they paint legal, commissioned murals. They started off as Those Damn Kids; now they represent the dream kontinuing.

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Performing Arts Workshop’s Beats of the Bayview coming Friday at 3rd on Third

March 16, 2015

This Friday, March 20, 5-7 p.m., our students will grace the main stage at 3rd on Third – the Bayview’s free arts and culture celebration at Mendell Plaza, Third and Palou. For our students, it’s an honor – and a very big deal – to perform in front of their families, friends and neighbors. Will you join the cheer squad?

PK and the Jacka at the release of “Tear Gas” on June 16, 2009. – Photo: D-Ray, Ozone Magazine

Manager PK remembers the Jacka

March 7, 2015

PK is known around the Bay as the hardest working manager there is to have in Northern Cali Hip Hop. He manages many of the Mob Figaz and their affiliates in the music industry, but he is most famous for his work behind the scenes with the career of the Jacka, whose loss has hit people in much the same way as the assassination of Tupac.

Satima (Toulou Kiki), her husband, Kidane (Ibrahim Ahmed aka Pino), and child, Toya (Layla Walet Mohamed), in “Timbuktu”

Wanda’s Picks for March 2015

March 5, 2015

It’s International Women’s History Month and in director Abderrahmane Sissako’s film “Timbuktu” (2014) we meet fierce African women who stand their ground when faced with lashings, stonings and bullets. The setting is Timbuktu, Africa’s Mecca, a sacred historic seat of knowledge and wisdom, which has been ravaged recently by warfare and plunder. Peoples’ lives, antiquities, books, Quranic texts, landmarks and buildings have been destroyed.

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Grandfatherhood: Part 2

March 4, 2015

With all the miles traveled, lessons learned (hopefully) and general knowledge under our belts, we become incredible sources of joy and wonder for the children in our lives. Here are some of the roles we can play in supporting and enriching the lives of the children around us. Remember that we each bring unique talents and abilities to this life and so do our children.

Keynoter Rochelle Metcalfe holds a historic copy of the Sun Reporter turned to her “I Heard That,” a must-read in the Black community for 32 years, as she chats with San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society President Al Williams at the Society’s popular annual Black History Month reception, held this year on Feb. 20.

Third Street Stroll …

March 3, 2015

The evening of Friday, Feb. 20, honored to be the keynote speaker at the San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society’s Black History Exhibit Opening and Reception. 2015 celebrates the Society’s 60th anniversary, that embraced the theme, “A Century of Black Life, History and Culture: 1915-2015.” BILL HOSKINS, Executive Director and Curator, AL WILLIAMS, President and Chair, Black History Committee.

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'Melvin and Jean An American Story' graphic

13th Annual Oakland International Film Festival April 2-5

March 2, 2015

The Oakland International Film Fest is one of the premiere events annually in the Bay Area. The 2015 showcase of films highlights a plethora of genres from all over the world. This year, some of the headlining films are: “Melvin and Jean: An American Story,” “M Cream” and “The Shop.” To introduce this year’s activities we reached out to the co-founder and director of the Oakland International Film Fest, the one and only David Roach, for a Q&A.

T-Rydah, cropped

‘Hard Times/Good Times’: an interview wit’ rapper T-Rydah

February 28, 2015

T-Rydah, one third of the Black Panther Fugitives rap group, is gearing up to release a solo album, produced solely by Jamil, another member of the group, this spring called “Hard Times/Good Times.” Today you can find T-Rydah, Jamil and their Red Camera shooting videos, recording vocals or listening to some of Jamil’s beats. Check out T-Rydah speaking for himself.

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