February 1, 2018
Know who Aaron Pointer is? How about Cuno Barragan? Or Dave Roberts, Wayne Cage and Bill Murphy? They are all retired persons of color who currently don’t receive pensions from having played Major League Baseball (MLB). Mr. Pointer doesn’t receive a traditional pension from MLB because the rules for receiving MLB pensions changed in 1980. Pointer and the other men do not get pensions because they didn’t accrue four years of service credit.
February 1, 2018
Celebrate Dr. Espanola Jackson Day on her birthday, Feb. 9, with the San Francisco Bayview Hunters Point community. We take this opportunity to honor the memory of Espanola as a community leader during Black History Month. For details of the event, which will be held in the Alex Pitcher Room at the Southeast Community Center, go to the Facebook and register your RSVP online with Eventbrite. All are welcome. Spread the word.
January 31, 2018
When political resistance erupted throughout the country after Trump’s election, professional athletes were hardly expected to be catalysts for social change, or even on the front lines of protest. Back in the 1960s individual athletes expressed dissent – U.S. sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith gave the All Power to the People salute from the 1968 Olympic podium in Mexico City. Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali rejected the draft because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. They paid a heavy price.
January 30, 2018
Join the San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society for a series of events to celebrate Black History Month. The national theme, “African Americans in Times of War,” has been enhanced to include “A Resilient Spirit,” the story of African American people. Dr. Dawn Elissa Fisher, keynote speaker, chair of Department of Africana Studies, San Francisco State University, will kick off the Black History Month Celebration at City Hall Rotunda on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, at 12 noon. The public is invited.
January 28, 2018
Geoffrey Watson, M.D, diplomat, member of the American Board Of Internal Medicine, president and CEO of the James A. Watson Wellness Center, located at 5709 Market St., Oakland, is on a mission to promote a healthier lifestyle, increase weight loss and save the community money by educating the community on the benefits of drinking water. Dr. Watson states that 70 percent of a man’s body and 60 percent of a woman’s body consists of water.
January 18, 2018
Edwin Hawkins, the four-time Grammy® Award-winning leader of The Edwin Hawkins Singers’ 1969 million-seller “Oh Happy Day,” died Jan. 15 at his home in the Bay Area, after a bout with pancreatic cancer. He was 74 years old. “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Edwin Hawkins – a celebrated artist, innovator and music icon. Though he will be greatly missed the world over, the message of love, life and encouragement that he incorporated into his music gives us all the same hope that we’ll join him in heaven and sing ‘Oh Happy Day,’” the Hawkins family said.
January 15, 2018
There are many facts about King’s life that are not widely known to today’s African youth. One example is that he visited Africa before Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad. Kwame Nkrumah invited King to Ghana’s independence celebration on March 6, 1957. Malcolm X’s first visited Egypt in 1959. King was light years ahead of his contemporaries on the South African question. It must be understood that the masses of Africans in the Western Hemisphere re-embraced pan-Africanism in the 1970s.
January 9, 2018
Congrats to new San Francisco Mayor London Breed! Congrats to TheatreFirst for “Participants,” the kind of collaborative theatre project which should be the norm, not the exception. Make sure you check out the finale for the TF 2017-18 season: “Between Us” and “Just One Day” beginning Feb. 18. Listen to two engaging conversations with playwrights and actors about “Participants”: Dezi Soléy and Cheri L. Miller, Skyler Cooper, Nick Nanna Mwaluko, Carl Lumbly.
January 3, 2018
I attended the prom in my Golden Fleece and my gold-centric Pharaoh of Oakland attire (see photo). I like to dress like this from time to time in spite of the intense petty hate stares I get. I like to dress like this to give people permission to be fabulous on any day! Every day! I like to dress like this because I’m a poet, artist and musician … in everything I do. I like to dress like this to let people know that in spite of it all: And still we rise!
January 1, 2018
We youth scholars from Deecolonize Academy and POOR Magazine submitted 14 Freedom of Information Act requests to 14 departments in the City of Oakland, only to receive a series of messages from two of the departments saying, “We have no documents,” and no word from the others. On Jan. 16, we will be making a demand to the City of Oakland and AC Transit that, with the money they received for BRT, they support Oakland residents to be able to stay here as reparations for the millions of dollars they are receiving to displace us out of here.
December 30, 2017
For 62 years, the San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society has been one of the leading voices promoting Black history and the contributions of African Americans both nationally and locally. The 2018 Black History Month theme is “African Americans in Times of War: A Resilient Spirit.” The kickoff celebration will be held in the San Francisco City Hall Rotunda on Friday, Feb. 2, at 12:00 noon.
December 19, 2017
Journalist and poet Frank Marshall Davis is an important voice who channeled his social convictions through the power of the pen, and proved to be an unsung hero in the struggle for human rights. “Frank Marshall Davis established his reputation as a socially minded poet employing free-verse forms.” His work has been recognized by the National Poetry Foundation, stating on their website: “Davis concerned himself with portraying Black life, protesting racial inequalities, and promoting Black pride.”
December 15, 2017
Underground rappers don’t get recognized like those who are singing hip hop music today. The underground music is usually done by independent artists who may have a separate label and are known mostly in their communities but also tour worldwide to get their name known. This description suits a particular artist who came from Fresno, California. His name was Asiatic, but he changed it to Planet Asia.
December 13, 2017
Dec. 10, 2017, was the 50th anniversary of Redding’s transition. Jay Z and Kanye West introduced the hip-hop generation to Redding in 2011 when they recorded the track, “Otis.” Forty-four years before that, Redding was on top – known as the most popular male vocalist on Planet Earth. Redding was so popular in England that he ended Elvis Presley’s eight-year reign as the “world’s best male vocalist” on Melody Maker’s annual pop poll in 1967. According to Amiri Baraka, Redding said things in Muhammad Speaks “more ‘radical,’ Blacker, than many of the new musicians.”
December 12, 2017
One of the strangest organizations in the rising “alt-right” movement, the headline-grabbing mix of white supremacism, racism and right-wing populism, has to be Proud Boys. The group takes on something of a libertarian credo similar to that of their founder, former editor and co-founder of Vice Magazine Gavin McInness, and are all-male “Western chauvinists” who “do not apologize for creating the Western world,” according to their Facebook group pages.
December 11, 2017
Those of us in the San Francisco Bay Area reflect on the legacy and work that illustrated the life of Queen Mother Makinya Kouate. After Maulana Karenga gave the students from Merritt College a mimeographed sheet with notes about a harvest festival called Kwanzaa, the Oakland-Berkeley team started hosting community Kwanzaas in their homes. Later Sister Makinya would travel to Africa and learn more about harvest festivals
December 8, 2017
Every artist has a process, a ritual they go through before working. Some meditate. Some eat a ritual meal. Others listen to a specific kind of music. Director Jayson Johnson, whose credits range from Bollywood films to Lego commercials, prays and eats peanut butter. Lots and lots of peanut butter. Standing opposite a painting evocative of Jackson Pollock which he created, the 40-year-old Batavia, Ill., native gave a toothy grin and showed off a jar he had just purchased three days prior.
December 1, 2017
There is a powerful Black population in the U.K., which relishes the richness of their roots. Here, hairstyles, fashion, cuisine, music, celebrations and traditions are woven into an intricate tapestry of life and prosperity. Blackness is celebrated at cultural centers, exhibitions and events that bring communities together. Some of my favorite Black musicians hail from the U.K. And so, despite the persistence of white supremacy, Black Britons continue to thrive.
November 30, 2017
As I complete this column, the situation in our continental African nation of Zimbabwe is growing evermore intense. Our Elder, Baba, Freedom Fighter and President Robert Mugabe has been forced to “resign” – and removed from his democratically-elected office by that nation’s military and the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) leaders – in an apparent coup.
November 27, 2017
2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party by Bunchy Carter in 1968. Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter was the least known of the iconic Black Panther Party leaders in the turbulent late 1960s but was arguably the most legendary as the leader of the L.A. chapter of the Black Panther Party who was murdered in 1969 at the age of 26, only a year after founding the chapter.