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Culture Stories

Unlocking the Truth lead singer and guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse in “Breaking a Monster”

Black teenage Brooklyn-based metal band documented in ‘Breaking a Monster’

July 23, 2016

Unlocking the Truth is a Black middle-school-aged trio from Brooklyn who are reclaiming what it means to be into metal – and millennium babies. The Luke Meyer documentary about Unlocking the Truth called “Breaking a Monster” came out on Friday, and I think the documentary title is a good fit for a young band of this caliber. Catch “Breaking a Monster” while you can at Landmark Opera Theater or Shattuck Cinemas in the Bay Area now.

Rubin Sorrell, R.O.B.I.N Hood project, goes door to door in BVHP, cropped

R.O.B.I.N Hood project: Bringing dental hygiene to your doorstep

July 16, 2016

Bayview Hunters Point residents can now wake up and open their doors with something to smile about. The R.O.B.I.N Hood project has been going door to door, making positive strides towards promoting healthy dental hygiene throughout the community. Rubin Sorrell, a Bayview native and a recent graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, is the founder of R.O.B.I.N Hood.

On a “Stay Black and Die” video shoot are JR Valrey, Ray Luv, M1 of dead prez, Mac Mall and DLabrie.

DLabrie: The future of the Bay

July 16, 2016

When you talk about grinding and hustling for your dream, Oakland’s DLabrie has rocked mics from New York to Seoul and collaborated with some of the most intellectual rappers of our generation. A few months ago he premiered the “Stay Black and Die” video, which included appearances by rappers M1, Shamako, Mac Mall and Ray Luv, at the Oakland International Film Festival. He is definitely someone who has a lot to say. Check out DLabrie in his own words.

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The 1st Annual Tahuti's Ball was a huge success! A spiritual, educational and formidable group of Afrikan people, gave thanks, praises, and a spiritual homegoing to one of the bay area's foremost and most formidable Afrikan leaders.

Wanda’s Picks for July 2016

July 15, 2016

We lost many loved ones this past month, from photographer extraordinaire Kamau Amen Ra to community organizer, prolific writer and longshoreman Brother Cleophus Williams to my dear Sister Monica Pree, not to mention Muhammad Ali. We reflect on Independence Day, a day marked by the blood of African Ancestors of the Middle Passage – the first to die a Black man, Crispus Attucks, on March 3, 1770, in what became known as the Boston Massacre.

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Cleophas Williams

Longtime ILWU Local 10 President Cleophas Williams mourned

July 14, 2016

Cleophas Williams, 93, of Oakland, California, passed away peacefully on June 24, 2016. He was born June 12, 1923, to John Henry and Bertha Williams in Camden, Arkansas. He attended Booker T. Washington High School in Texarkana, Arkansas, and college in Pine Bluff. After school in 1942, Cleophas joined the army where he was granted an honorable discharge. In 1944, after his move to California, he was hired at the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

Eugene White, the artist at work

Celebrate Eugene E. White Day in San Francisco July 10!

July 9, 2016

Eugene E. White opened the first Black-owned art gallery in San Francisco in 1963, and he still runs it in the Fillmore over 50 years later. His work depicts realistic experiences and expressions of Black people. On Sunday, July 10, San Francisco celebrates Eugene E. White Day, honoring the renowned and revered local artist, educator and entrepreneur, at the African American Art and Culture Complex, 762 Fulton St., from noon to 5 p.m.

Jesse Williams accepts BET Humanitarian Award 062716 by Kevin Winter, BET, cropped

Jesse Williams: ‘a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do’

July 4, 2016

Beginning with thanks to people who inspire him, Jesse Williams launched into this riveting acceptance speech June 27 for BET’s Humanitarian Award: “Now, this award, this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country. The activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do. All right?”

A Stax Records dancer performs at the 2013 Leimert Park Village Book Fair. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

LA’s Black Leimert Park Village Book Fair celebrates its 10th year

July 3, 2016

The Leimert Park Village Book Fair is held in the well preserved and nationally known Los Angeles Black artistic and cultural neighborhood Leimert Park, home to legendary filmmaker and owner of the Kaos Network Ben Caldwell and the Black bookstore Eso Won Books. Cynthia Exum and her crew have been organizing the Leimert Park Village Book Fair for a decade, which is no small feat. So I sat down with her to discuss this monumental accomplishment.

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Mike Brown, heart and soul of Inner City Youth, was devoted to giving youngsters a bright future. – Photo: Francisco Da Costa

In loving memory of Mike Brown

July 3, 2016

Community activist, retired civil service employee and U.S. Navy veteran, we have lost a great man. Michael went on to live with the Lord. His memory and legacy of helping others and claiming their self-worth is immeasurable. For those of us for­tunate enough to know Mike, failure was not an option. He never gave up on life, people or family! Michael will forever be missed by those of us he leaves behind.

Capt. Josh Williams was honored by the Drill Team with a big party and lots of love on April 30, 2016.

Passing of Capt. Josh Williams, founder of the ILWU Local 10 Drill Team

July 2, 2016

International Longshore and Warehouse Union members both active and retired are mourning the loss of Josh Williams, founder and captain emeritus of the legendary ILWU Local 10 Drill Team. Brother Williams, who became a member of the union in 1959, organized the Drill Team fifty years ago. The Drill Team participated in one of the first United Farm Workers marches led by Cesar Chavez in 1966. Josh has been retired approximately 20 years as a longshoreman.

Buffalo Soldiers honored in the Presidio

July 2, 2016

African American soldiers have fought in American wars since the Revolution, but in 1869 Congress established four all-Black regiments within the U.S. Army: the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry. These regiments were located all over the country and did everything from fighting campaigns against Native tribes to pursuing bandits, improving our roads, and scouting and mapping frontier land.

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Malcolm Shabazz Hoover

Writer Malcolm Shabazz Hoover releases his literary debut, ‘144 Poems for God, Love, Truth, Justice, Peace and Hip Hop’

July 1, 2016

Writers, poets and expressionists of all types are on the frontlines of the battle for our minds against the corporate ideals that are being promoted to us. And Malcolm Shabazz Hoover is one of these essential keyboard banging psychological warriors. Check him out in his own words talking about his literary debut, “144 Poems for God, Love, Truth, Justice, Peace and Hip Hop.”

Your guide to Black history, John William Templeton, points to one of his books, “Come to the Water,” in a National Park Service centennial library display.

John William Templeton finds African American history in places like Yosemite, Nob Hill and Beverly Hills

July 1, 2016

Head of the educational television network ReUNION: Education-Arts-Heritage, the sleuth, John William Templeton, is bringing vacationers along for the ride during a mapping expedition for the California African American Freedom Trail in July. The first part is a special tour of “Famous Names of Bayview” Saturday, July 2, leaving from Sam Jordan’s, 4004 Third St.

These are some of the dramatic new buildings that comprise the dream-come-true Dr. George Davis Senior Center and Residence, here 121 apartments are about to become home to seniors. – Photo: PhotoArtist Gene Hazzard

Dr. Davis’ dream comes true: Grand opening of the George W. Davis Senior Center

June 30, 2016

A 20-year vision became reality when Bayview Senior Services invited the people of Bayview Hunters Point to the grand opening of the Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center and Residence on Saturday, June 25. The celebration marked the victory of a dream over despair. As we all gain inspiration from his memory, his wife, Cathy Davis, has captained the project to a successful completion with last Saturday’s unforgettable grand opening.

Verlie Mae Pickens: Celebrating my 100th birthday!

June 28, 2016

I celebrated my 100th birthday on June 11, 2016, with family members, friends and community members at the brand new Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center. On June 12, my church, Jones Memorial United Methodist Church, honored me with a wonderful birthday celebration after the church service. And at our June meeting of the Network for Elders in the Bayview, Network members had a very special birthday party for me!

Afeni Shakur

Afeni Shakur, 1947-2016

June 28, 2016

She was born Alice Faye Williams in the dusty little town of Lumberton, North Carolina, on Jan. 10, 1947, a dimpled little Black girl, who grew into a petite young revolutionary known as Afeni Shakur, mother of a young rap icon and actor, Tupac Amaru Shakur. Like many country people – and far too many Black people – she looked down on herself for years, as not smart enough, not pretty enough – you know: too Black. Afeni Shakur, after 69 springs, returns to the infinite.

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Maki and The Jacka

Beat maker Maki releases ‘Kilo Hero’

June 27, 2016

One of the dopest producers in the Bay that many have never heard of is Maki, known as one of the most serious and consistent beat makers. Maki just released a compilation album produced solely by him called “Kilo Hero,” and it features some of the hardest voices in Bay Area street music. Check out Maki of Sounddope Productions and Blahk Operah as he talks about the soon-to-be 2016 summer classic in the streets, “Kilo Hero.”

Deltrice 'Therapy' cover

First Lady of the Mob: Remembering The Jacka

June 26, 2016

Real love and loyalty is everlasting. On Feb. 2, 2015, at the young age of 37, the Bay Area lost The Jacka, one of its most talented and influential artists to ever breathe on a mic. The Jacka’s life was stolen from him when some coward murdered him in East Oakland off 94th and MacArthur. That dreadful day, the Bay Area lost a legend, and, simultaneously, Deltrice lost the love of her life.

Journalist Apollonia Jordan and M1 of Dead Prez

‘Between Me and the World,’ M1’s new album

June 22, 2016

M1 of the revolutionary hip hop empire Dead Prez has done it again with some conscious and political lyrics to feed the soul of the people. “Between Me and the World” is produced by none other than the talented Italian producer Bonnot and is filled with an array of political soul food, which will keep you full from start to finish. M1 begins the album with a fire song titled, “Number One with a Bullet,” featuring Prodigy.

Garth St. Clair and his wife, Natasha Nunez

Explosive Trinidadian film ‘Trafficked’ screens Sunday at SF Black Film Fest

June 18, 2016

Trinidadian filmmakers Garth St. Clair and his wife, Natasha Nunez, are two of the many cinematic junkies who have traveled to San Francisco from far and wide to attend the 18th Annual San Francisco Black Film Festival, which is taking place at a number of theaters around the city this weekend. Their documentary, “Trafficked,” screens at the festival at the African American Art and Culture Complex in San Francisco on Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m.

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