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Culture Stories

'Freedom Rider Diary' by Carol Ruth Silver cover

Carol Ruth Silver’s ‘Freedom Rider Diary: Smuggled Notes from Parchman Prison’

March 1, 2014

Arrested as a Freedom Rider in June of 1961, Carol Ruth Silver, then 22, spent the next 40 days in Mississippi jail cells. She chronicled the events and her experiences on hidden scraps of paper which amazingly she was able to smuggle out. These raw written scraps she fashioned into a manuscript, which has waited, unread, for more than 50 years. “Freedom Rider Diary” is that account.

Lovelle Mixon poster pic 032509 by Dave Id, Indybay

‘The Ghosts of March 21’: an interview wit’ filmmaker Sam Stoker

February 28, 2014

March 21, 2014, marks the fifth anniversary of the police murder of Lovelle Mixon, who was killed after he murdered four Oakland police officers and wounded a fifth, around 73rd and MacArthur Boulevard in East Oakland. “The Ghosts of March 21” is a documentary about the bloodiest day in the history of Oakland law enforcement, shot by Damon “Hooker Boy” Hooker and directed, written and edited by Sam Stoker.

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Third Street Stroll …

February 28, 2014

COME WALK WITH ME – south, across the busy intersection of Third and Williams to Carroll. FINALLY, A COMMUNITY DREAM REALIZED! Groundbreaking Ceremony, Saturday morning, March 1, kicked off the long anticipated building of the NEW DR. GEORGE W. DAVIS Senior Center and Housing to be completed by 2015. The sight and sounds of trucks hauling material, tractors, drilling. Sounds of PROGRESS – JOBS! JOBS!

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Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar) Lucasville 5 in shackles, cropped

‘Condemned’ by Keith LaMar (Bomani Shakur)

February 27, 2014

I’m reaching out to inform you all that I finally finished my book, “Condemned.” This book isn’t just about me or about what happened to these men after a prison uprising. It’s about all of us. What happened to me can happen to you. Especially if you are poor. Especially if you are a minority. Especially if you are alone … or at least feel that you’re alone.

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The Lumpen on stage by Ducho Dennis, It's About Time BPP Archives

It’s about time for The Lumpen

February 26, 2014

Rickey Vincent’s new book, “Party Music,” about the Black Panther Party singing group The Lumpen is a great read. The revolutionary singing group was all about the ideology of the Black Panther Party in song and music. The Lumpen had a powerful show. They mixed the contemporary music of James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Motown and changed the lyrics to provide a positive message in their music.

Mardi Gras San Francisco Style kicks off in Fillmore Plaza

February 25, 2014

‘Fat Tuesday in the Fillmore’ returns with free blues concert and annual masquerade ball – Keeping with the tradition of celebrating with great music, creative costumes, good food and colorful beads, The Village Project, The Fillmore Center and MOEWD are proud to present the Eighth Annual Fundraiser, Mardi Gras San Francisco Style – Fat Tuesday in the Fillmore on Tuesday, March 4.

‘Ujamaa Village,’ an old idea revisited: Black towns!

February 23, 2014

The resurgence of modern Black towns for today’s Black population could represent a renaissance in Black thinking. It makes sense that if other cultural groups have “towns” like Chinatown, Japantown, Little Italy or Little Mexico, the Black community should get serious about developing and building Africatowns to recapture our internal economic markets and revitalize our cultural heritage for posterity.

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KCSM’s ‘Announcer of the Year’ Greg Bridges in his own words

February 22, 2014

Greg Bridges is one of the Black broadcasting giants on the airwaves of the Bay Area. He was recently named “Announcer of the Year” by KCSM, yet ironically his show, Transitions on Traditions, faces an uncertain future at KPFA and Pacifica Radio, which has been mired in racism and discriminatory towards Black and other broadcasters of color from coast to coast.

‘The Black Arts Movement and Its Influences’ conference hits UC Merced Feb. 28-March 2: an interview with writer Ishmael Reed

February 20, 2014

“The Black Arts Movement and Its Influences” conference will be going down with a host of legendary Black artists who have contributed to the liberation of our minds over the last 50 years. People like Askia Toure, Umar Bin Hasan of the Last Poets, Emory Douglas, the Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party, Avotcja, Ayodele Nzinga, Ras Baraka and Ishmael Reed, to name a few, will be participating.

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Fatherhood: I am my brother’s keeper

February 18, 2014

“Dare to Be Extraordinary: A Collection of Positive Life Lessons from African American Fathers” is a journey of triumph. At its core, this inspiring book is about positive examples of bold, courageous parents set by loving, present African American fathers who raised their children to become extraordinarily successful adults. It recognizes and honors the wisdom and teachings of fathers passed down to both sons and daughters.

Ten points about college hoops All-American Marcus Smart pushing a ‘fan’

February 9, 2014

Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart, a 19-year-old top NBA draft prospect, shoved 40-year-old Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr. He has told coaches that he did so after being called “the n-word.” Orr has a wretched reputation, stretching back years, as a Texas Tech “super-fan” who gets off by yelling horrible things at teenagers. Former OSU players like John Lucas III have taken to Twitter to testify about John Orr.

Third Street Stroll …

February 5, 2014

CRUSHED! Disappointed the 49ers did not play SUPERBOWL SUNDAY! The NFC CHAMPIONS should have been there! HEARTBROKEN over the loss to the Seattle Seahawks. MISSED opportunity to have ONE MORE victory parade down Market Street, one last hurrah! Like many fans who watched the game in SAM JORDAN’S, popular bar on 3-street, disappointed over the outcome! NO more roars from sell-out crowds at Candlestick Park.

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Wanda’s Picks for February 2014

February 5, 2014

I am recovering from a huge blow – my computer was taken along with other personal irreplaceable items. We stopped by Loon Point to visit the shore before driving back to the San Francisco Bay Area Jan. 30. It was early, we’d just finished our first session of the Winter Quarter. We left our luggage in view in our cohort’s car. In Oakland, we’d not have done that, but somehow the seashore, mountains and quiet terrain deceptively seduced us.

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Amiri Baraka: Poet on fire (1934-2014)

February 4, 2014

The name Amiri Baraka has been known to me since my teens, when I was a member of the Black Panther Party. Baraka posed an intriguing figure, for he radiated both love and rage, funneled through his poems, which pulsated with revolutionary fire. He was born in 1934 in Newark, N.J., as Everett LeRoy Jones and become a rising star of the Beat era in the East Village of New York.

Golden State Giants football is back: an interview wit’ Golden State Giants President Tirrell Muhammad

February 3, 2014

San Francisco has a semi-professional football team called the Golden State Giants, which has been holding open tryouts over the last couple of weeks. Tirrell Muhammad is the president of the San Francisco based Golden State Giants, and we sat with him to do this exclusive Q&A about the Pacific Coast Football League, the Golden State Giants, and NFL policy. Read Tirrell Muhammad in his own words …

Kev Choice releases soon to be classic ‘Oakland Riviera’

February 2, 2014

If you take a little Theolonius Monk, mix it with Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def, with a little twist of some Lauryn Hill and Curtis Mayfield and put it on an Oakland soundscape, you’ll get what bandleader and pianist Kev Choice cooked up on his newly released, soon to be classic album, “Oakland Riviera.” By far this is one of the best sounding, most creative and most political albums to come out of Oakland’s Hip Hop scene in the last few years.

Our people – our evolution: ‘Emmett Till: An American Hero’

January 30, 2014

“Emmitt Till” does more than call attention to how Till’s death ignited the U.S. Civil Rights Movement in the ‘50s and ‘60s. It points to the quiet heroism of Mamie Till Mobley in the face of unspeakable horror and unrelieved terrorism. Come see this dynamic and inspirational play by Tavia Percia and the Tavia Percia Theatre Company: Saturday, Feb. 1, 7 and 9 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 2, 3 and 5 p.m., at the Eastside Arts Alliance, 2277 International Blvd, Oakland.

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Party with Bluesman Augusta Collins at the African American Museum and Library in Oakland on Feb. 1

January 29, 2014

Augusta Collins is one of the Bluesmen who still roam around Oakland playing the music of his generation, one of the classical music forms indigenous to Black people of the U.S. Many of today’s young people do not know that in the ‘40s and early ‘50s, West Oakland’s Seventh Street was one of the Blues hubs west of the Mississippi. Augusta Collins’ music is reminiscent of that sound, and his party will hit upon that vibe.

How the discovery of COINTELPRO saved me from prison

January 28, 2014

By now millions of Americans have heard about COINTELPRO. COINTELPRO was the FBI’s evil and illegal system of spying, lying, telephone wire taps, frame-ups and assassination that violated the constitutional and human rights that they claim to uphold. I was recently asked, while doing a Black Panther Party historical tour in Oakland, how COINTELPRO affected me personally. Here is one of my stories.

Five years after the Oscar Grant murder: Author of ‘No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant’ speaks …

January 25, 2014

It has been five years since Oakland was set on fire during the Oakland Rebellions that were a result of the BART police murder of Oscar Grant. Los Angeles based journalist Thandisizwe Chimurenga is set to release her book, “No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant,” in the coming weeks. This book gives a much needed political analysis of what was at work behind the curtains of this monumental police murder case.

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