December 18, 2013
African American Shakespeare Company in San Francisco is our community’s premiere showcase for classical theatre through the lens of the African American experience. Their holiday show is an anticipated family event that did not disappoint this season in its current incarnation as a musical. How often does one see “Cinderella” in splendid technicolor?
December 5, 2013
In the Harriet Tubman Christmas story of 1854, “Go Tell It,” Harriet came and rescued her blood brothers from enslavement and drove them on the Underground Railroad to Canada. This true to life story is one of inspiration, loyalty, family and most of all resistance, eloquently captured by the brilliance of playwright and director Taiwo Kujichagulia-Seitu. Performances are Saturday, Dec. 21, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 22, at 3 p.m. at the Malonga Center, 1428 Alice St., Oakland.
December 4, 2013
David Roach is one of the pillars of the Black community in the Bay, especially Oakland, first with his Mo Betta Food Market, which connected West Oakland’s Lower Bottoms neighborhood with California Black farmers and the historic annual Oakland International Film Festival, which profiles some of the biggest films and names in the Black cinema world. His newest project to date is 1st Saturdays.
December 4, 2013
“12 Years a Slave” affected me differently than Quentin Tarantino’s “Django,” which in its caricature style held me spellbound or suspended in a place of imaginative wonder – the Black man was going to win and get the girl too in the end. “Twelve Years” moved slowly and by the time Northup’s ordeal ends we are thankful yet exhausted. I saw the film alone. I think it’s the kind of journey one should invite a companion on.
December 3, 2013
After graduating from high school, Cory Mickels was working in construction when he had a revelation about his future. “It was there I realized I wanted to work with my head, rather than my hands,” the native of San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood said. “I went back to the staff at my high school, and they pointed me in the direction of Metro Academies.”
December 2, 2013
This season we have lost two pillars of our San Francisco Bay Area community, Samuel Fredericks and Upesi Mtambuzi. Cedar Walton, pianist, also made his transition this year, along with Donald Duck Bailey, drummer, both men beautiful human beings. Upesi, Samuel, Cedar and Donald all brightened our world. Their unique hues and shapes and sounds will be missed … that last live jam.
December 2, 2013
Our focus this month is to look at ways that we as men, in particular fathers, can actively encourage and support children who are not necessarily a part of our immediate families. Children in our society are far too often undervalued, minimized and rendered nearly invisible. What can you do? Refuse to be passive and actively seek to uplift the spirits of young people around you.
December 1, 2013
I was armed when I entered the darkened studio room on Yosemite in San Francisco’s Bayview District where Zaccho Dance Theatre resides. When I opened the black curtain and stepped into the darkened room, I stood still for a moment to let my eyes adjust and noticed chairs where a few patrons sat. I decided to wander through the huge open space.
December 1, 2013
HO! HO! HO! The holiday season is upon us! Times are good. Folks crowding the malls, spending cash or charging their purchases; some buying on the layaway plan! Where are WE shopping? Are dollars channeled BACK to BLACK businesses on THIRD Street!??? Tough question! I travel through the corridor every day, not impressed at the options where I can spend my money.
November 30, 2013
With negative corporate rap taking hold of youth pop culture and our young people’s minds, this Islamic inspired “Karbala Mixtape” is doing its much needed part to fill the cultural void with constructive, meaningful music that pushes one to be a better, more informed person. Imam Hashim Alauddeen helped to oversee a roster of talented artists who have contributed to this project.
November 29, 2013
I’m not sure which knife-point of ancestral trauma in the new movie “12 Years a Slave,” based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography, caused me to crumple into a paralyzed ball on the floor. I am not sure when I became unable to breathe or even see straight while watching the continuous acts of graphic genocide, racist hate, hegemony, brutality and oppression filter across the movie screen.
November 28, 2013
Archbishop King and Rev. Mother Marina will be honored on Sunday, Dec. 15, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at an evening of fine dining, divine music and testimony. Keynote speaker will be Rev. Christopher Muhammad. The event will be at the West Bay Community Center, 1290 Fillmore St. near Eddy in San Francisco. Tickets for the event, including dinner and music, must be purchased in advance.
November 25, 2013
Jibril Mohammed, aka J-Mo, has always been an inspirational figure in East Oakland. These days, he has taken a hiatus from making and overseeing the production of music and is dabbling in the Vegas retail garment industry with the opening of Jibril James Fashions, a Hip Hop clothes store off of the strip. Read about this business-wise trailblazer in his own words, and plan to visit Jibril James Fashions on your next trip to Vegas.
November 22, 2013
Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez thought he’d get lucky and defeat Andre “Son of God” Ward. He talked a lot of smack. Played a lot of mind games. But in the end, it all came to nothing. He lost. Decisively. But the most interesting thing about this fight – for those who knew how to look – was not Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez’ antics. Edwin Rodriguez proved that he has no true boxing skills.
November 20, 2013
Ty-Licia Hooker was a recent winner at the Black Girls Rock! awards ceremony, which aired on BET, for her work with the Stockton based non-profit that she co-founded for under-achieving students, called the Summer Success and Leadership Academy. Still in her early 20s, this dynamic young leader is on the rise and getting ready to take her project national.
November 14, 2013
Dynamic, brilliant and an elite athlete extraordinaire, Raquel “The Rock” Miller believes that boxing is more than boxing – that it is a lifestyle. She is proving this on a daily basis. Through her disciplined work ethic and her commitment to the “sweet science,” through diligence and perseverance, The Rock won several national boxing tournaments and qualified for the world championships in Beijing. She won a silver medal there.
November 14, 2013
If viewers use a critical eye, they will see that Hip Hop is in fact an aspect of cultural globalization that has infiltrated the barrios, favelas, neighborhoods, board rooms, billboards, closets, hearts, minds, and psyche of young people in diverse locations around the world. Pick a location anywhere on the globe and I will bet that the young people there have been influenced by Hip Hop. For better or worse.
November 3, 2013
HELLO! Good to be back on the scene talking about MY FOLKS! For decades, traveled San Francisco’s famed Fillmore and Divisadero Streets, writing about street action and Black life! So, here I am checking out the happenings on THIRD STREET, the heart and soul of the Bayview Hunters Point community – the LAST BASTION for African Americans in this town!
October 31, 2013
Gina M. Paige explained that the organization, African Ancestry, started with Dr. Rick Kittles, genetic researcher at Howard University who was interested in isolating the gene that caused prostate cancer, one of the leading causes of death in our community. He found this research methodology applicable in other genetic detective research and so in 2003 African Ancestry was founded with Ms. Paige.
October 30, 2013
Augusta Collins is one of the local bluesmen we have floating around Oakland and the Bay. A few years back I came into contact with him while covering playwright Anita Woodley’s “Mama Juggs” play about her family dealing with breast cancer. Augusta had a singing part in the play that was really heartfelt. It is an honor to now catch up with the Oakland bluesman himself, Augusta Collins. Check out his new DVD “Game.”