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Culture Currents

Daaimah and Siraj

Poetry returns to Oakland: The Golden Stair

July 15, 2014

After the gentrified death of Oakland’s beloved poetry house, the Air Lounge, a few months ago, the Golden Stair has swiftly moved in to remedy the void. It’s hosted by Siraj Fowler and his wife, Daaimah Waqia, and it happens every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in North Oakland at 608 55th St.

Wanda’s Picks for July 2014

July 9, 2014

The Glide Memorial Church family worked wonders at the celebration of San Francisco native Maya Angelou’s life that she requested before she died. They juxtaposed carefully chosen visual moments with prerecorded Maya moments, which made her presence so palatable that the sanctuary lights came under the control of Spirit Maya and played with our collective vision – the room almost dark and the lights flickering off and on.

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Leroy Stanfield

Comedian Leroy Stanfield talks Stop the Violence and Oakland Comedy Superfest Weekend

July 8, 2014

Leroy Stanfield is a Bay Area comedian on the rise, who some may know from his company, GoBaby Productions, and others may know him from his crew, The Bay Boys of Comedy. He is not just a comedian but a community man, who is doing what he thinks will help to quell all of the street violence in Oakland. At the end of July, he is organizing Oakland’s First Annual Comedy Superfest Weekend.

'Unarmed But Dangerous' by Tawana Williams cover

Meet Tawana Williams, motivational speaker born without arms, author of ‘Unarmed But Dangerous’

July 5, 2014

Nationally known motivational speaker and author Tawana Williams is coming to the Bay Area once again. Tawana’s message of hope and inspiration resonates loud and clear that “All things are possible to them that believe!” Tawana was born without arms and impaired use of her legs due to the drug Thalidomide that was given to her mother. She’s been challenged all of her life to do the impossible.

Uncle Carey gives nephew Marcelo, age 2, some pointers on life.

Early childhood education: Look both ways and watch out for the police

July 3, 2014

The joy of fatherhood can quickly be interrupted by unexpected twists and turns in daily life. We do our best to prepare our children for these occasions – let’s call them “bumps in the road” – that we know they will inevitably face. Over the past 30 years or so, the ever increasing presence of law enforcement in the lives of our children has created new challenges for them as well as for us as parents.

Melanie and Melorra Green – Photo: Russel Yip, SF Chronicle

Frisco’s dynamic duo: an interview wit’ gallery owner, organizer and media-maker Melonie Green

July 2, 2014

If you are involved in some way with the Black Frisco visual arts scene, either as a fan, artist, media-maker or space owner, chances are that you have run across the twins, Melonie and Melorra Green. They’ve created a radio show that comes on 89.5FM KPOO weekly, and, as a major part of the planning for the successful San Francisco Black Film Festival June 12-15, are basking in the after-glow.

Club Long Island

Third Street Stroll …

July 2, 2014

LET’S STROLL! Every time I drive or walk past KENNEDY MARKET and Check Cashing store and CLUB LONG ISLAND, both located on opposite corners of Third and McKinnon Street, my mind recalls the days of the KENNEDYS – EMMIT AND DOROTHY KENNEDY, former owners of both spots who lived up above the store. They were a successful, hardworking couple – PIONEERS of 3-street legacy!

Lower Bottom Playaz present August Wilson’s ‘Two Trains Running’

July 1, 2014

The Lower Bottom Playaz, in their 14th season, present “Two Trains Running,” the seventh play in the American Century Cycle by August Wilson, at The Flight Deck. The Lower Bottom Playaz take pride in paying actors and technical crew and need to raise $2,500 by July 31; please contribute all you can to this troupe that is the pride of the Black Bay Area and buy your tickets for performances Aug. 1, 2 and 3.

Verlie Mae Pickens, cropped

Happy Birthday, Ms. Verlie Mae Pickens!

July 1, 2014

Ms. Verlie Mae Pickens celebrated her 98th birthday with friends and community members in grand fashion on June 11 at the Dr. George Davis Senior Center. Dressed in her favorite lilac colored fashion and hat, and beaming with great joy and pride, Ms. Pickens was honored in a festive birthday celebration. Ms. Pickens, a longtime Bayview resident, was born on June 11, 1916, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Thomas Alfred Nisby and Lillian Lumpkin Nisby.

Open arts in Bayview Hunters Point

June 30, 2014

According to a recent report by the San Francisco Budget and Finance Committee, 76 percent of the funding from the City’s Grants for the Arts will go to arts organizations with primarily white audiences. In the fall of 2013 the Bayview Hunters Point Arts Council asked Bayview Hunters Point Community Legal to investigate grants made by the San Francisco Arts Commission that had been earmarked for local artists.

Lillian Shine and Jacob Moody accept the Peacemakers Award on behalf of the Bayview Hunters Point Foundation. – Photo: Jim Norrena

Bayview Foundation wins 2014 SF Peacemaker Award

June 29, 2014

Bayview Hunters Point Foundation for Community Improvement Executive Director Jacob Moody recently accepted this year’s Community Boards Leadership Peacemaker Award on behalf of the over 40-year-old organization, which provides tailored, comprehensive support for at-risk youth in Bayview Hunters Point. The award was presented by Community Boards Executive Director Darlene Weide at the fourth annual Peacemaker Awards luncheon.

Stephanie Woodford with her parents at church – Photo: Lance Burton, Planet Fillmore Communications

Pianist Stephanie Woodford, 18, one of 173 worldwide chosen to attend Grammy Camp

June 28, 2014

Stephanie Woodford is currently a student of piano attending St. Ignatius College Preparatory and is about to graduate. The arc to Stephanie’s educational success continues. One hundred seventy-three high school students have been selected from around the globe to attend Grammy Camp Los Angeles. This is a marvelous and outstanding chance to gain exposure in the professional music industry.

Delores Hearring, web cropped

Saluting Delores Hearring, one of Bayview’s oldest residents, as she turns 100

June 27, 2014

As Delores Hearring celebrates her 100th birthday on July 11, 2014, allow us to share a bit of her history and contribution to the Hunters Point Bayview community. Delores speaks with pride of her days working in the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard as a riveter. Not having had the opportunity to complete her schooling, she did so in California, earning her high school diploma and attending San Francisco City College for two years.

TaSin Sabir – Photo: Wanda Sabir

‘Madagascar Made’: an interview wit’ author and photographer TaSin Sabir

June 25, 2014

TaSin Sabir is one of the best photographers I know. This woman of many talents just added another notch to her belt by becoming an author. Her debut literary work is called “Madagascar Made,” which is a multi-media memoir of her soul-searching 2011 quest for identity on the African island of Madagascar. The book party is on Sunday, June 29, 2 p.m., at the Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 145th St. in downtown Oakland.

2Pac Birthday Tribute June 14

June 12, 2014

Steve Long was in his teens when he joined the Black Panther Party in New York City in ‘69. Today Long is the communications director of the National Alumni Association of the Black Panther Party and is gearing up for the annual Tupac Shakur Birthday Tribute/NAABPP fundraiser, which will be held on June 14 at Yoshi’s in San Francisco.

At SF Black Film Festival, new doc sheds light on race in Cuba

June 12, 2014

An enthusiastic crowd is anticipated at the San Francisco premiere of the documentary film “Black and Cuba” this Friday, June 13. Directed by Robin J. Hayes, PhD, a professor and human rights advocate, the documentary follows diverse Ivy League students as they band together and take a field trip to the enigmatic island of Cuba. The controversial Caribbean nation’s population is approximately 60 percent Black.

Digital undivide: Losing customers to the web? Find your niche

June 11, 2014

In addition to cultivating local demand for products and services, it is critical that brick and mortar businesses have some type of interactive internet presence, from a full blown e-commerce site to a simple but attractive website or Facebook page. These critical changes will help improve local businesses’ chance for survival in this progressively digital age. Technological advances increase convenience and customer satisfaction, and brick and mortar businesses must adapt to maintain their presence in this “digital undivide.”

Third Street Stroll …

June 9, 2014

GOOD NEWS! Especially for VISITACION VALLEY and SUNNYDALE residents – the opening of GROCERY OUTLET Supermarket, located at old Bayshore and Sunnydale, across from the car wash. The T-Third Street Muni line ends at Sunnydale platform. May 1, the bargain market opened to much enthusiasm. Heard nothing but RAVE reviews. The store is independently owned by DEREK AND GINA NAVARRO, who live in Visitacion Valley.

The second coming: Comedienne and actress Rain Pryor speaks

June 6, 2014

Stand-up comedian Rain Pryor is the daughter of undeniably the most famous comedian in American history, Richard Pryor. And nine years after he passed away, she is the one on stage telling jokes. She is the star of the new documentary, “That Daughter’s Crazy,” which is about her life and being the biracial daughter of Richard Pryor. It will be screening at the San Francisco Black Film Festival on Friday, June 13, 4 p.m., at the Jazz Heritage Center.

Fleetwood’s ‘I Just Wanna Ball’ will be featured at the SF Black Film Fest this year

June 6, 2014

First it was being a rapper, then an author. Now the Bay Area-based renaissance man known as Fleetwood, aka Robert Bowden, has taken it to the next level with his new documentary, “I Just Wanna Ball,” which has been selected to play at the San Francisco Black Film Festival on Saturday, June 14, 4 p.m., at the Lush Life Gallery, 1320 Fillmore St. in the Jazz Heritage Center, San Francisco.

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