October 6, 2017
Folks have probably heard by now that the African American Museum and Library, Oakland (AAMLO), is without a permanent director. While the search is being articulated and mounted, Susan D. Anderson, Bay Area author and founder of Memory House, will act as interim director and chief curator for the next six to nine months as the Oakland Public Library (OPL) mounts a national search to find the right person for the job.
October 6, 2017
About a year ago Bayview’s Hilltop Park received a renovation which covered a new lawn and upgraded the plaza, amphitheater and lighting surrounding the sundial. Earlier this year an artist who was born and raised in the neighborhood felt the need to add his own artistic touch to the park: local hero Malik Seneferu. The Hilltop Park sculpture, titled “Harbor’s Landing,” features a bird, its blue color reflecting the cobalt blue of the summer sky, emerging from the blue Bay.
September 29, 2017
Grove Street College was opened in 1954. This two-year community college served a student body which consisted mostly of poor, disenfranchised Blacks in the surrounding flatlands of Oakland. Many of these people were older than 30 years of age and had not previously had an opportunity to attend college. They had hopes for better lives and enrolled as students seeking the knowledge and skills to help them attain and fulfill their goals.
September 28, 2017
WE continue to build support for our relatives, colleagues and All humane beings – from Ayiti (Haiti) to Houston, Puerto Rico to Florida and other areas – suffering in the wake of the corporate-induced climate chaos, environmental disruptions and massive physical destruction (most recently referred to as hurricanes “harvey,” “Irma,” “jose” and “maria”). This is, of course, in the midst of our own necessary preparations for the pending political, military, economic and weather crises that are heading our way.
September 26, 2017
The spirit of Ancestor Mike “Dream” Francisco lives on! From the Bayshore hill above the Alemany Farmer’s Market in San Francisco, a special tribute to the renowned Oakland graffiti artist, who was murdered in a robbery in 2000, has risen. It was created by another exceptional, multi-genre artist, Ana Teresa Fernandez. In this period, the DREAM sculpture has multiple meanings to our communities.
September 5, 2017
Lori Nairne, women’s, queer rights and anti-racist campaigner, nurse and homeopath, died of natural causes on Saturday, Aug. 19, aged 65. She was a founding member of Wages Due Lesbians (now Queer Strike) and the Wages for Housework Campaign/SF (WFH) and joint coordinator of the Global Women’s Strike (GWS) Bay Area and a member of the California Nurses Association.
September 5, 2017
Dr. Richard Claxton “Dick” Gregory, 84, joined the ancestors Aug. 19, the same day as the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March in Washington, D.C. A longtime advocate for human rights, Gregory ran for president of the United States, went to Iran to negotiate the release of Americans held hostage, is also known for his Bohemian diet and extensive fasts for human rights. Ten years ago he visited Oakland to honor the lives of the 918 adults and 305 children – including 40 infants – who lost their lives along with U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan and a United Press International film crew.
September 4, 2017
SFUSD in collaboration with the San Francisco Alliance of Black School Educators will host the Fifth Annual Historical Black College and University (HBCU) Fair on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, at Mission High School from 4:00-7:30 p.m. U-CAN President Alan H. Rowe says about last year’s fair that it drew a large number of students and parents districtwide. “The College Fair was an overwhelming success with many students receiving on-the-spot admissions and scholarship offers.”
September 3, 2017
Oakland’s own Stanley Petey Cox – aka Mistah FAB (as well as Fabby Davis Jr.) – launched the world premiere of his autobiographical movie in August. Titled “My Ten Thousand Hours,” it is an inspirational and must-see rap-umentary for true fans of hip-hop and the rich O-Town scene. The film covers some of the highs of the rap industry, but it also, and most critically, deals honestly with the low periods and major lessons of his life. Thus far.
September 2, 2017
Shipyard Trust for the Arts (STAR) is excited to announce the selection of our 2017-2018 Artist in Residence at the Hunters Point Shipyard: Ira Watkins. Ira Watkins is a self-taught artist who has shown an amazing devotion to his passion. He has been painting for almost 30 years. Even a period of homelessness did not disrupt his art practice. During that time, he lived and painted in his van in the Tenderloin. He now lives in the Dr. George Davis Senior Center in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood.
September 1, 2017
Ten shared his wisdom on the typical hurricane season: “June: Too soon. July: Stand by. August: Never forget. September: Please remember. October: It’s all over!” With the worsening climate chaos and environmental disruptions and destruction, Ten’s advice may no longer be as valid. Worldwide, WE are witnessing not only increasing droughts but a lengthening of the hurricane season and their increasing intensity and impact.
August 31, 2017
His name was Richard Claxton Gregory, born Oct. 12, 1932, in St. Louis, Missouri. But the world knew him as Dick Gregory, comedian, human rights activist, social critic and presidential candidate. As a young man, he won an athletic scholarship as a runner, which took him to college. But he really hit his mark as a comedian who told sidesplitting jokes about American segregation and racism. The great civil rights activist Dick Gregory died this week.
August 23, 2017
Marcus Gardley’s “black odyssey,” currently on stage at Cal Shakes in Orinda, translates the Black Holocaust into modern language. Gardley takes an oral history, Homer’s Grecian hero’s tale, then ruptures and reinterprets it so the folks submerged in the waters of confusion gain clarity. Those ancestors at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean are resurrected in “Ulysses Lincoln” – a hero and a warrior.
August 21, 2017
“The responsibility of being the first in history to charge the government of the United States of America with the crime of genocide is not one the petitioners take lightly,” according to the primary document in the new edition of the book “We Charge Genocide,” published by New York City-based International Publishers. Released in February, the book’s title comes from the petition “We Charge Genocide: The Crime of the U.S. Government against the Negro People.”
August 16, 2017
Little doubt remains that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed by the National Football League for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police violence against Black people and other people of color. Many quarterbacks with less impressive records have been signed, but Kaepernick still doesn’t have a job. KPFA’s Ann Garrison filed this report.
August 10, 2017
Don’t forget the legacy of the Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey (Aug. 17, 1887-June 10, 1940) this Black August. There is an annual program at Marcus Books in Oakland, Sunday, Aug. 20, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Happy Birthday to Karla Brundage (8/29), Cousin Jeffery Lewis (8/29), Gene Howell Jr. and to all the ancestors lost in the Great Storm – Katrina (8/29/2005), and to those still swimming home on rafts and other flotilla. Follow the light.
August 8, 2017
When NFL owners look at out-of-work quarterback Johnny Manziel, they see themselves. Or at least they see their ne’er-do-well son or nephew: the one who was raised in cushy wealth, partied too hard, maybe got in a few legal misunderstandings with the girls, but deep down is a “good boy” and always worthy of a second chance. Playing ability isn’t even part of the conversation. They want him in their club. When NFL owners look at out-of-work NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, they see a threat.
July 30, 2017
Meet a sista, comrade, soldier, warrior, guerrilla who exemplifies the meaning of revolution through the life that she lives, transforming from the day of her birth to this present day. Born with the slave name JoAnne Deborah Byron, after her emancipation from the shackles of capitalism she took on the name we’re most familiar with, Sista Assata Olugbala Shakur – Assata meaning “she who struggles,” Olugbala meaning “love for the people,” Shakur meaning “the thankful.”
July 29, 2017
Decades before our friend and former SF NFL star quarterback Colin Kaepernick found himself “unhireable” – for the “crime” of taking a knee to protest the rockets-red-glare-bombs-bursting-in-air “Star Spangled Banner,” theme song of continuing European white supremacist terrorism and racist murders – another gifted pro athlete was “white-balled” out of the NBA. Mahmoud Abdul Rauf was a nearly “unguardable” sweet shooting point guard for the NBA’s Denver Nuggets in the 1990s.
July 28, 2017
I am at Lighthouse Mosque for El Hajjah Dhameera Ahmad’s Janazah or prayer service Wednesday afternoon, July 26. I will miss her. Dameera Ahmad (née Carlotta Basseau Simon) was a huge presence in a world that is shrinking. I am happy our paths were one at some point and shared many subsequent intersections. Her burial was on Oya’s day – Oya, guardian of the cemetery, spirit of the winds or transformation and change.