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“A school bus picks up children at Washington Elementary School as part of Berkeley Unified School District’s desegregation effort” is the caption for this photo illustrating a story about the persistent achievement gap at BUSD published in the UC Berkeley student newspaper, the Daily Cal, in 2009. Since then, the Black student population at UC Berkeley has continued to plummet, jeopardizing coverage of issues critical to the Black community. – Photo: Karen Ling, Daily Californian

March and Rally for Equity in Education: Parents of Black students in Berkeley public schools plan May 19 protest

May 19, 2014

A team of parents and supporting organizations announced today that they will march and rally on Malcolm X Day, May 19, 2014, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to support equity initiatives in public schools and protest unfair disciplinary actions and a culture of low expectations for Black children. The team is also pressing school districts to target the needs of Black students with new state funding pursuant to a Local Control and Accountability Plan.

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Video shows officer kicking handcuffed 13-year-old for opening a window

May 16, 2014

Community groups today condemned the brutality of police officers who allegedly handcuffed, choked and violently kicked a young Florida boy for opening the window on his school bus. The attack on the young man is part of a broader pattern of police brutality in Florida and the painful realities of the school-to-prison pipeline in the state.

People gather at the Chapel Mbeyo in Mbeyo, Rwanda, on April 6, 2014, the eve of the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide. – Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Miami Herald

Rwanda: Absolute power at any price

May 16, 2014

Gen. Paul Kagame ordered the shooting down of the plane in which President Habyarimana and President Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi, French citizens, and all others on board were killed on April 6, 1994. This assassination triggered the genocide. Since then President Kagame has imposed a reign of terror to keep himself and the ruling party in absolute power.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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Ammiano: Accreditation body must give City College more time

May 15, 2014

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano today called on the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to give City College of San Francisco more time to address its alleged deficiencies so the 80,000-student institution is not forced to close this year. Ammiano’s statement comes on the heels of California Assembly passage of AB 2087, his bill on community college governance, on a 74-0 vote.

Ras Baraka announces mayoral victory to students at high school he principals 051414

Ras Baraka, Amiri Baraka’s son, becomes mayor of Newark by earning it

May 14, 2014

Ras Baraka, one of the sons of the late poet and playwright Amiri Baraka, handily beat rival Shavar Jeffries Tuesday night to become the next mayor of his father’s city. How he did it was no mystery to those paying attention. Baraka, the city’s South Ward councilmember until Tuesday night, got the support of the people because of his consistent commitment to them for 23 years. His slogan was, “When I become mayor, we become mayor.” Baraka, 44, will become Newark’s 39th mayor at his July 1 inauguration.

Marcus Book Store, 1712 Fillmore St., San Francisco

Marcus Books: The wealth-hoarders and land-stealers change the locks on Black history in San Francisco

May 13, 2014

The undisputed flagship of Black history and literature, Marcus Books, is currently fighting to stay alive in San Francisco, which might now be known as the undisputed pinnacle of wealth-hoarding and displacement. The Johnson family is planning a series of actions to fight this unjust removal, but for now readers can call Royal Cab and tell the Sweis family to sell Marcus Books back to the Johnson family.

Girls abducted by Boko Haram on April 14 recite Muslim prayers in a video released May 12.

Nigeria: Abduction of students sparks outrage while imperialists pour in

May 12, 2014

A video purportedly released by the armed Boko Haram sect based in northeastern Nigeria showed what was said to be school girls who have been held by the group for a month. The Boko Haram leader said that the young women could be released in exchange for the prisoners belonging to their organization being held by the Nigerian government.

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Justice Committee co-chairs call for funding priorities change to ease prison crowding, improve public safety

May 9, 2014

Assemblymembers Tom Ammiano and Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer Sr., co-chairs of the Assembly Select Committee on Justice Reinvestment, have issued recommendations to Speaker John A. Pérez, based on the committee’s seven hearings held in 2013-14. “We learned a lot from these hearings, with the big lesson being that these problems have solutions,” said Ammiano.

Skepticism growing toward ‘twin tunnels’ project: Gov. Brown’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan in hot water

May 7, 2014

By now, most California residents have heard about Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to construct two 40-foot diameter peripheral tunnels 150-feet below the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the state’s largest and most critical water supply. The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), estimated to cost between $25 and $67 billion, has been under intense scrutiny from local and congressional lawmakers, Delta residents, farmers and fishermen.

Amina, Ras, Amiri Baraka, web

Ras Baraka, son of famed poet Amiri Baraka, fights a historic tide in Newark mayoral race

May 7, 2014

History keeps colliding with the present as Ras Baraka, a Newark city councilperson and city school principal, is exactly one week away from finding out if he will become mayor of Newark, New Jersey’s largest city. Baraka is accusing his opponent, Seton Hall University Law School professor Shavar Jeffries, of openly being supported by outsiders who are attempting to buy the Newark election.

The National Afrikan-Amerikan Family Reunion Association: NAAFRA Time

May 3, 2014

The motivation to organize the National Afrikan-Amerikan Family Reunion Association, NAAFRA, a family movement in-gathering all New Afrikan families with reunions and those not yet experiencing the joy of reunion activity in their family into a single family movement charged with the fire of change and coming forward with a passion of love and pride in being Afrikan.

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In Ohio before 1865, Joe Debro writes, “Blacks had to have a certificate of freedom giving name, stature and complexion as well as details concerning the method of becoming free. In addition, a $500 bond as guarantee of good conduct was required of incoming freedmen, thus discouraging many Negroes from settling in the state.” Today, Ohio remains hostile to Black tradesmen – construction workers and contractors – who held a protest in late April, telling a major developer: “Black and other minority contractors and construction workers have been denied contracts and jobs on construction projects. Though entitled to an equal opportunity, we have been crushed and broken by the one sided, majority dominated and oppressive system which has neglected and/or confined Black and minority contractors to just the crumbs of the multi-billion dollar construction industry in the Greater Cleveland-Cuyahoga County area.” – Photo: Norman K. Edwards, American Center for Economic Equality, normankedwards@gmail.com

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 4

May 2, 2014

Black labor and business in the North before 1862: Labor and business conditions were slightly better for Negroes in the North than in the South, but discriminatory practices were far from absent. Unlike the South, where slaves were protected in their crafts through the paternalistic assistance of their white masters, Northern free Negroes were faced with severe competition from immigrant workers who were preferred over native Blacks.

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PG&E vs. the people and the planet: John Avalos to the rescue

May 2, 2014

Eight months after the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission effectively halted the San Francisco City and County’s renewable power program, San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos introduced legislation that would require the City and County to at least study the option of joining Marin Clean Energy, Marin County’s renewable power program. Supervisors London Breed, Scott Wiener, David Campos and Eric Mar are co-sponsoring the legislation.

SF public housing privatization threatens tenants and union workers

May 1, 2014

The plan to privatize and sell our public housing projects in San Francisco and across the nation is harmful to the poor, elderly and disabled, including the thousands of union workers who have spent years maintaining our public housing units. Thousands of union workers are presently facing job losses due to public housing privatization schemes.

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Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, web

Remembering the Hurricane: Rubin Carter

April 30, 2014

For a man who spent nearly four decades of his 76 years under the restrictive eye of the U.S. correctional system, few have ever touched as many lives as Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. The world-class boxer turned wrongfully accused prisoner, turned advocate for the rights of the unjustly incarcerated, has succumbed to cancer, but his memory and work will endure as long as there are people outside and inside the prisons of the world fighting for justice.

Hugo Chavez racist Venezuelan cartoon by Kiko Rodriguez

Racism sin vergüenza in the Venezuelan counter-revolution

April 30, 2014

Demonization, animalization and criminalization of people of African and Indigenous descent are themes both deeply embedded and flagrantly visible in the culture and institutions of Venezuelan society. White supremacy endures in Venezuela, often resembling the United States and other settler colonial countries founded on conquest and slavery. The Bolivarian Revolution has seriously improved the lives of Venezuela’s majority – who are people of color.

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Filed Under: Haiti and Latin America
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Young Cubans tweet

A Caribbean obsession: The United States’ endless campaign to destabilize Cuba

April 29, 2014

The recent revelations about the USAID’s farfetched scheme to foster a popular anti-government protest movement by infiltrating Cuba’s mobile phone network perhaps bring full circle America’s 55-year campaign to destroy the Cuban Revolution. Fortunately for the people of Cuba, none of these bewildering, hairbrained and often violent schemes – which have included countless attacks on Cuban soil – have succeeded.

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Filed Under: Haiti and Latin America
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Rwandan President Paul Kagame receives honorary doctorate William Penn University 051212

Kagame’s charm offensive in American universities

April 29, 2014

Paul Kagame has been touring top American universities giving speeches about what he calls accomplishments of his reign: peace, human rights, democracy, development etc. This is vintage Kagame. He has the whole Rwandan population under lock and key, assassinates and imprisons dissenting voices, and then goes to the land of his benefactors to taunt the West as if to say, “I do what I want; you can go to hell!”

Chokwe Antar Lumumba

Chokwe Antar Lumumba doesn’t need City Hall to lead Jackson, Miss., into new era

April 28, 2014

In African lore, rain means good fortune. So when Chokwe Antar Lumumba announced that he was running to fill his father’s mayoral seat on a rainy day in March, it was reassurance that The People’s Movement would forge ahead. Still grieving for his father, Chokwe Antar strapped a city, a people, The People, on his back and vowed to fight for the progress set into motion by Chokwe Lumumba and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. And though Chokwe Antar lost the mayoral election in a close run-off on April 22, he understands, just as his father before him, that one battle does not decide the war.

Councilmember Jovanka Beckles

From a cage comes wise advice as Richmond considers forming Youth Council

April 28, 2014

On April 19, a Youth Summit organized by the mayor brought young people together to talk about forming a “Youth Council” to advise the City Council. Richmond native Asani Shakur is well aware of the need young people have for guidance, education, compassion and mentoring. He seems to understand that everyone in the community, including policy makers, is responsible for creating a healthy, supportive environment that’s conducive to their healthy development.

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