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Culture Currents

Kinara Sankofa-2 by PNN, web

Sankofa one hundred percent

March 23, 2014

Last month’s Community Newsroom at POOR was in honor of Black History Month – even though we know at POOR Magazine that every month is Black history. One of our guest speakers, Kinara Sankofa, blew the crowd away. Being that I graduated from an Africana Studies program, his name automatically intrigued me because Sankofa is an important part of Black history.

‘Til Infinity’: filmmaker of Souls of Mischief doc speaks on Oakland International Film Fest

March 20, 2014

The story of Souls of Mischief and their crew Hieroglyphics is the story of how Oakland became respected for its lyricism in a genre that was dominated by East Coast wordsmiths. It is a story told by Shomari Smith in his new documentary, “’Til Infinity,” which is about the 20th anniversary of the Souls of Mischief classic album. “’Til Infinity” will be premiering at the Oakland International Film Fest on April 6 at 9 p.m. at the Black Rep Theatre.

‘12 Years a Slave’: What happened to slave rebellion?

March 14, 2014

“12 Years a Slave,” the story of a free Black man kidnapped by slave traders, has won an Oscar for Best Picture of the Year and a slew of other awards. But in one important respect, the movie comes up short. Missing from the film is the slave rebellion and revolt that Solomon Northup portrayed so vividly in his book.

Jimmy Jean-Louis as Toussaint L’Ouverture, web cropped

‘Toussaint L’Ouverture’ headlines the Oakland International Film Festival – April 3-6

March 13, 2014

The prestigious Oakland International Film Festival brings hard-to-find films from around the world to the big screens of Oakland and surrounding areas. This year one of the headliners is “Toussaint L’Ouverture,” the movie starring Jimmy Jean-Louis, about one of the fathers of the Haitian Revolution. David Roach is one of the founders and the director of the Oakland International Film Fest. Check him out in his own words about this year’s festival.

College Prep bldg, students, staff on steps

100% College Prep: Fostering successful youth in the Bayview

March 10, 2014

For students in Bayview Hunters Point, life can be a challenge. There are territories to know not to wander into, there are people out there who don’t want youth to make it, there are temptations everywhere, but through all of this, community organizations by neighborhood residents still emerge. 100% College Prep’s 16th Annual Musical Showcase is next weekend, March 14-16, at Thurgood Marshall High School

Randy Weston’s ‘Roots of the Blues’

March 6, 2014

On his new album, “The Roots of the Blues,” Randy Weston teams up with tenor saxophonist Billy Harper. Weston and Harper, like Weston and the late trombonist and arranger Melba Liston, go together like two straws in a coke. The 13 tracks on this album are mostly original compositions by Weston.

Oakstop joins the fight against gentrification in Oakland: an interview with founder Trevor Parham

March 4, 2014

I think Oakstop is something that young Black and Brown artists and entrepreuners in the Bay should be aware of. Trevor is looking outside the box for ways to keep some of Oakland’s culture insulated from the wave of gentrification generated by the techie land grab of San Francisco.

Wanda’s Picks for March 2014

March 3, 2014

Russell Maroon Shoatz is out of solitary confinement! Hugo Pinnell had his first contact visit in 40 years last weekend. Kiilu Nyasha announced this wonderful news at a reception following the second public hearing on solitary confinement called by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Feb. 11.

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'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!

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.

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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