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49ers vs. Seahawks: 9/11, peace and the NFL

September 14, 2011

by Jac Taliaferro, LaHitz Media

Marshawn Lynch finds it tough going in the first half against the 49er defense. The San Francisco 49ers defeat the Seattle Seahawks 33-17 at Candlestick Park Sunday Sept. 11, 2011. - Photo: Brant Ward, San Francisco Chronicle
LaHitz goes to the 49ers season opener on Sept. 11. There we discuss the game, playoff hopes, peace, 9/11 and conditions around the stadium.

The sun is shining bright and it is a “good day in the neighborhood,” says Kevin Epps, filmmaker of “Straight Out of Hunters Point” I and II, which is coming out soon. There is a sense of skepticism in the air because it is 9/11/11, 10 years after the bombings in the USA.

Many commemorative events are planned around the world and five here in San Francisco that I know about. The World Champion San Francisco Giants are playing at AT&T Park and an event to acknowledge 9/11 is going on before the game.

At Candlestick Park, the San Francisco 49ers are kicking off their season playing the Seattle Seahawks and they also are holding an event to acknowledge 9/11.

My question is simple: “Are we any closer to peace?” Watch the video and see what people are saying.

Bay Area-based media maker Jac Taliaferro of LaHitz Media can be reached at (415) 821-1111 or lahitzdigitaltv@gmail.com.

‘Losing Just the Same’: Classic 1966 film on West Oakland

February 22, 2011

by San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive

“Losing Just the Same” documents the life of a West Oakland family in 1966. Two other seminal events in Bay Area Black history took place in 1966 shortly after this film was released. In September, the Hunters Point neighborhood (featured in “Take This Hammer” filmed three years earlier) rebelled after San Francisco police shot 16-year-old Matthew Johnson in the back and killed him. It was the second, following Watts, of the “riots” of the ‘60s. And in October 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in West Oakland.
This documentary reflects on the lives and aspirations of an African American family, the Johns, who moved to West Oakland from Louisiana, focusing on Robert Lee Johns and his mother Agnes. A voiceover prefaces the film with a statement that it presents “a story of people caught in a lifelong struggle between their hopes and their abilities and their discovery that no matter how hard they try they will be losing just the same.”

The film includes views shot around the streets of West Oakland, public speaking by Curtis Baker (Black Jesus), meetings at the Oak Center Site Office and excerpts from a graduation ceremony at McClymonds High School. Also featured are scenes of Robert attending a job interview at a garment factory in San Francisco and a fantasy sequence in which he imagines himself graduating successfully from high school.

“Losing Just the Same” was written and produced by Richard Moore and Saul Landau and directed by Richard Moore and Irving Saraf. It was originally produced by KQED for National Educational Television (NET), the predecessor of WNET, and first aired in 1966. The copyright is held by WNET.ORG Properties LLC. All rights reserved. WNET.org is the premier public media provider of the New York metropolitan area and parent of public television stations WNET and WLIW.

This film was added in 2009 to San Francisco State University’s San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive.

Losing Just the Same (Part 1)

Losing Just the Same (Part 2)

‘Take This Hammer’: Classic 1963 film of James Baldwin touring the hoods of San Francisco

February 22, 2011

by San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive

James Baldwin talks with young Black men in San Francisco. One of them tells him, “They talk about the South. The South is not half as bad as San Francisco. … The white man, he’s not taking advantage of you out in public like they doing down in Birmingham. But … when you go look for a job, can you get a job?” – Video frame: KQED
KQED’s mobile film unit follows author and activist James Baldwin in the spring of 1963 as he’s driven around San Francisco to meet with members of the local African-American community. He is escorted by Youth for Service Executive Director Orville Luster and is intent on discovering “the real situation of Negroes in the city, as opposed to the image San Francisco would like to present.”

He declares: “There is no moral distance … between the facts of life in San Francisco and the facts of life in Birmingham. Someone’s got to tell it like it is. And that’s where it’s at.”

These videos include frank exchanges with local people on the street, meetings with community leaders and extended point-of-view sequences shot from a moving vehicle, featuring the Bayview Hunters Point and Fillmore/Western Addition neighborhoods.

Baldwin reflects on the racial inequality that African-Americans are forced to confront and at one point tries to lift the morale of a young man by expressing his conviction that “there will be a Negro president of this country. But it will not be the country that we are sitting in now.”

“Take This Hammer,” directed by Richard Moore, was originally produced by KQED for National Educational Television (NET), the predecessor of WNET, and first aired in 1964. The copyright is held by WNET.ORG Properties LLC. All rights reserved. WNET.org is the premier public media provider of the New York metropolitan area and parent of public television stations WNET and WLIW.

This film was added in 2010 to San Francisco State University’s San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive, where this note appears: “The TV Archive would like to thank Darryl Cox for championing the merits of this film and for his determination that it be preserved and remastered for posterity.”

Take This Hammer from Brendan Nee on Vimeo.

The military uses racism to justify the destruction and occupation of another country

February 4, 2010

"Those who send us to war do not have to pull a trigger ... They need soldiers who are willing to kill and be killed without question."
“Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don’t understand. The real enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it’s profitable, the insurance companies who deny us health care when it’s profitable, the banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable. Our enemies are not 5,000 miles away. They are right here in front of us.” – Mike Prysner

For a transcript of the entire speech, visit http://dotsub.com/view/749fb533-dad3-4105-a56e-565e3f6d0972/viewTranscript/eng.

To support veterans who speak out this boldly, visit http://www.ivaw.org/ and www.antiwar.com.

As of Feb. 5, 2010, this video had been viewed on YouTube 337,352 times. Watch it, pass it on and repost it before it’s removed! It was posted to YouTube by ThePhaedrus83.

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Young Mother’s Bill of Rights: Incarcerated mothers demand fair treatment

November 24, 2009

A lonely, frightened young woman about to give birth calls her grandmother from Juvenile Hall.
A lonely, frightened young woman about to give birth calls her grandmother from Juvenile Hall. - Frame from film by Min Lee, YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia
Young Mothers United (YMU) recently screened its public service announcement for the “Incarcerated Young Mothers Bill of Rights.” We partnered with YO! Youth Outlook to create a seven-minute motion picture that educates the public on issues facing pregnant and parenting women in lock up.

The video tells the story of a young woman who gives birth while incarcerated and her experiences before and after. It is currently being aired on Channel 29 in San Francisco.

The “Incarcerated Young Mothers Bill of Rights” was the concept of the Young Mothers Organizing Project (YMOP), a support group for previously incarcerated young women and a project of the Center for Young Women’s Development.

According to the National Center for Crime and Delinquency, 83 percent of young mothers in the system report that they had been separated from their infant within the first three months of their child’s life. Fifty-four percent of those girls had not had a single visit with the babies while in detention.

The Incarcerated Young Mother’s Bill of Rights was created as a way to combat these negative statistics and empower incarcerated mothers with a rallying cry for justice and equal treatment.

YO! partnered with The Center for Young Women’s Development to create this YO! Youth Outlook Motion Picture. Min Lee is senior producer for YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia.

CYWD Mother’s Bill of Rights from New America Media on Vimeo.

1966 Hunters Point Uprising and other tales of ‘San Francisco’s Last Black Neighborhood’

September 24, 2009

‘Bay View Hunter’s Point: San Francisco’s Last Black Neighborhood?’: Five fascinating videos by Dante Higgins

Andante Higgins
Andante Higgins produced this documentary, “Bay View Hunter’s Point: San Francisco’s Last Black Neighborhood?” in 2004, featuring commentary by SF Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff and other residents familiar to Bay View readers. Part 3 tells the story of the 1966 Hunters Point Uprising, the second major U.S. “riot” in the ‘60s after Watts in Los Angeles.

Rare photos and film footage bring to life a rebellion sparked by the police murder of 16-year-old Matthew Johnson in September 1966. The community’s mostly peaceful protest was put down by National Guard tanks and San Francisco police sharpshooters in firing squad formation shooting at children.

Though the rebellion was the top news story nationally when it happened, the military-style repression so traumatized the community that telling the story became taboo. Oldtimers remember it vividly but hold it secretly in their hearts, and few among the generations born since have heard much about it. Dante’s skillful and sensitive research and reporting is an important contribution to community healing and re-empowerment.

Dante Higgins, a San Francisco native, has worked in television news for over eight years with the last five years in network news in New York City. Before moving into journalism, he worked in non-profits serving “youth at risk” at the Breakthrough Foundation and at Potrero Hill Neighborhood House. He was also appointed to the Delinquency Prevention Commission by San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano and served as the commission’s youngest president ever.

Dante majored in television production at Clark Atlanta University. After spending time at CNN, V-103 radio and The Weather Channel, he returned to California to attend UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he reported on an array of stories for both print and television. He developed a passion for covering issues like economic justice and health disparities and produced a series on HIV/AIDS in the African-American community as well as “Bay View Hunter’s Point: San Francisco’s Last Black Neighborhood?”

Dante can be reached at andantehiggins@yahoo.com. Visit his website, www.andantehiggins.com.

Part 1

[Introductions to each part are written by Dante Higgins. – ed] Hunters Point is named after the Hunter brothers, who arrived here in 1849 in hopes of developing the area. Watch to learn more on the history of this area, and watch how Bay View became a Black neighborhood. The area served America well in World War II with the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

Part 2

See how urban renewal of the 1950s and ’60s pushed Black residents from the Fillmore district to Bay View. The Sanders family has lived here for generations and come together for a birthday.

Part 3

In September of 1966 BVHP explodes with outrage over the police shooting of young resident Matthew Johnson. The situation escalates quickly into a full-fledged race riot lasting several days.

Part 4

Environmental hazards abound in BVHP and asthma and breast cancer rates are high. Come along as community members tour toxic sites and march against police brutality.

Part 5

BVHP undergoes redevelopment. Will it remain a Black neighborhood?

Dante Higgins

Young journalist in action

KKK vs. New Black Panthers in Paris, Texas

July 23, 2009

by Davey D

White supremacists – KKK, Neo-Nazis, skinheads – crash a Black community rally in Paris, Texas, supported by the New Black Panther Party, protesting the dismissal of charges against two white men accused of the September dragging murder of a Black man. – Photo: Jesse Muhammad
White supremacists – KKK, Neo-Nazis, skinheads – crash a Black community rally in Paris, Texas, supported by the New Black Panther Party, protesting the dismissal of charges against two white men accused of the September dragging murder of a Black man. – Photo: Jesse Muhammad
Madness went down in Paris, Texas, on Tuesday, July 21, as members of the New Black Panther Party and white supremacists squared off. The trouble took place when skinheads descended upon a rally held by members of the Black community to protest the Jasper-style dragging death of Brandon McClelland last September by two white men. In what appeared initially to be a slam dunk case, the special prosecutor Toby Shook said no charges would be pursued due to lack of evidence.

Brother Jesse Muhammad of the Final Call newspaper was one of the first to break this story. He was present at the rally on Tuesday and gave us an in-depth breakdown of what took place. You can peep out Brother Jesse’s blog here: http://jessemuhammad.blogs.finalcall.com/.

In the meantime, take a look at the footage from Southern Shift TV and the Associated Press (AP) and you can get a glimpse of what took place. As you watch this, ask yourself how and why is this happening in the Age of Obama and why isn’t race being discussed seriously as advocated by Attorney General Eric Holder.

Davey D
Davey D
Email Davey D at mrdaveyd@aol.com and visit daveyd.com. Listen to Davey on Hard Knock Radio Monday-Friday at 4 p.m. on KPFA 94.1 FM or kpfa.org.

Southern Shift TV video: Brother Jesse Muhammad of the Final Call newspaper reports to Davey D what took place July 21 in Paris, Texas, when Neo-Nazi and KKK members burst on the scene and tried to disrupt a rally held by the Black community to protest the freeing of two white men accused of dragging a Black man to death.

Associated Press video: Groups traded shouts of “black power” and “white power” on the streets of Paris, Texas. Troopers moved in to keep apart black separatists and white supremacists during protests over the handling of the dragging death of a black man last year (AP’s caption).

Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’

June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
“Earth Song,” written and composed by Michael Jackson, who joined the ancestors June 25, 2009, at age 50, is his best known environmentally conscious track, a ballad that incorporates elements of blues, gospel and opera. In 2007 he told Ebony magazine he was “very concerned” about the “international global warming phenomenon.”

“I wish they would have gotten people’s interest sooner. But it’s never too late … It’s been described as a runaway train; if we don’t stop it, we’ll never get it (our world) back. So we have to fix it, now.

“That’s what I was trying to do with ‘Earth Song,’ ‘Heal the World,’ ‘We Are the World’ – writing those songs to open up people’s consciousness. I wish people would listen to every word.”

On June 29, 1999, Michael was injured after falling over 50 feet when a bridge collapsed during a concert at Munich’s Olympic Stadium. He was singing “Earth Song” at the time.

“Michael Jackson did care about the environment, and it’s tragic he did not get to make his final comeback tour before he was taken from us,” wrote blogger Vondega.

“Earth Song” debuted at number one in 1995 and remains Jackson’s best selling single in the U.K. The video won Le Film Fantastique: Best Video Award in 1996 and a Grammy nomination in 1997. Read the lyrics below:

Earth Song

by Michael Jackson

What about sunrise
What about rain
What about all the things
That you said we were to gain …
What about killing fields
Is there a time
What about all the things
That you said was yours and mine …
Did you ever stop to notice
All the blood we’ve shed before
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores?

Aaaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaaah

What have we done to the world
Look what we’ve done
What about all the peace
That you pledge your only son …
What about flowering fields
Is there a time
What about all the dreams
That you said was yours and mine …
Did you ever stop to notice
All the children dead from war
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores

Aaaaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaaaah

I used to dream
I used to glance beyond the stars
Now I don’t know where we are
Although I know we’ve drifted far

Aaaaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaaaaah
Aaaaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaaaaah

Hey, what about yesterday
(What about us)
What about the seas
(What about us)
The heavens are falling down
(What about us)
I can’t even breathe
(What about us)
What about the bleeding Earth
(What about us)
Can’t we feel its wounds
(What about us)
What about nature’s worth
(ooo,ooo)
It’s our planet’s womb
(What about us)
What about animals
(What about it)
We’ve turned kingdoms to dust
(What about us)
What about elephants
(What about us)
Have we lost their trust
(What about us)
What about crying whales
(What about us)
We’re ravaging the seas
(What about us)
What about forest trails
(ooo, ooo)
Burnt despite our pleas
(What about us)
What about the holy land
(What about it)
Torn apart by creed
(What about us)
What about the common man
(What about us)
Can’t we set him free
(What about us)
What about children dying
(What about us)
Can’t you hear them cry
(What about us)
Where did we go wrong
(ooo, ooo)
Someone tell me why
(What about us)
What about babies
(What about it)
What about the days
(What about us)
What about all their joy
(What about us)
What about the man
(What about us)
What about the crying man
(What about us)
What about Abraham
(What was us)
What about death again
(ooo, ooo)
Do we give a damn?

‘Jail Mehserle, the killer cop!’

May 21, 2009

by Dave Id

On Monday, as the preliminary hearing to determine whether Johannes Mehserle will stand trial for the murder of Oscar Grant, a diverse crowd rallied outside the courthouse most of the day, united with the chant, "We are all Oscar Grant!" as police surrounded them and circled in a helicopter overhead. BART cop Tony Pirone, reportedly on steroids, aided, abetted and encouraged Mehserle and himself delivered some vicious blows leading up to the murder of Oscar Grant. He too must be held accountable. - Photo: Dave Id, Indybay
On Monday, as the preliminary hearing to determine whether Johannes Mehserle will stand trial for the murder of Oscar Grant got underway, a diverse crowd rallied outside the courthouse most of the day, united with the chant, "We are all Oscar Grant!" as police surrounded them and circled in a helicopter overhead. BART cop Tony Pirone, reportedly on steroids, aided, abetted and encouraged Mehserle and himself delivered some vicious blows leading up to the murder of Oscar Grant. He too must be held accountable. - Photo: Dave Id, Indybay
Chanting “Jail Mehserle, the killer cop,” supporters of justice for Oscar Grant are gathering every morning this week at 8 a.m. outside the Alameda County Courthouse by Lake Merritt in Oakland – 1225 Fallon, at 12th Street and Oak – while the preliminary hearing inside deals with Johannes Mehserle’s defense attorney Michael Rains attempting to reduce charges from murder, to move the venue to a less diverse county, or to otherwise stifle Mehserle being held to account for murdering Oscar Grant as he lay face down on a BART platform at 2 a.m. New Year’s – a police execution caught on video and seen by millions around the world.

About 1:30 p.m. every day, family members and others are holding press conferences on the steps of the courthouse to announce what has happened in the courtroom each day. As the hearing continues, Oscar Grant’s family is asking anyone who can spare 10 minutes or an hour to come down and show support at the morning demos and the afternoon press conferences.

Speaking in the video here on the first day of the preliminary hearing are community members, activists and family. Oscar Grant’s uncle, Cefus Johnson, speaks to the crowd at the conclusion of the day’s hearing on the steps of the courthouse – the “Black Panther steps” of the same courthouse where a famous photo of the Black Panthers was taken, as several speakers pointed out.

Also speaking throughout the day are members of the New Year’s Movement for Justice, By Any Means Necessary, No Justice No BART, Copwatch, the Revolution Club, the Nation of Islam, OneFam and more.

Dave Id is a Bay Area photojournalist who posts his work to www.IndyBay.org. He has written about, photographed and recorded in audio and video nearly every event – meeting, rally, protest and rebellion – and cultural expression, such as graffiti, related to police terrorism since the New Year’s Day murder of Oscar Grant, creating a complete archive for immediate use and for posterity. And he makes it all available to the public without charge – a priceless contribution to the movement.

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Also see:

Morning Demonstrations at Johannes Mehserle Preliminary Hearing, Oakland, 5/18/09: photos

Press Conference and Street March After Mehserle Preliminary Hearing, Oakland, 5/18/09: photos

The People Vs. Mehserle Teach-In, Oakland, 5/17/09: photos and audio

‘March 21, 2009′

May 14, 2009

.

by N’Jeri Eaton

POCC Minister of Information JR is interviewed in "March 21, 2009," a broadcast quality video by journalist and UC Berkeley graduate student N'Jeri Eaton.
POCC Minister of Information JR is interviewed in "March 21, 2009," a broadcast quality video by journalist and UC Berkeley graduate student N'Jeri Eaton.
On March 21, 2009, a sunny Saturday afternoon, Lovelle Mixon killed four Oakland police officers before being shot to death. His actions have divided the community: some say he’s a murderer while others think he’s a hero.

See March 21, 2009 and other videos by N’Jeri Eaton on Vimeo.

Caravan for Justice II

April 22, 2009

by Dave Id

Rapper and magazine publisher JT the Bigga Figga has been motivating the youth throughout Northern California to join the Caravans for Justice and come to Sacramento to confront their lawmakers with their demands for justice.
Rapper and magazine publisher JT the Bigga Figga has been motivating the youth throughout Northern California to join the Caravans for Justice and come to Sacramento to confront their lawmakers with their demands for justice.
On Wednesday, April 8, 15 buses and numerous carpools headed to Sacramento to demand that legislators begin to address the concerns of all the people of California in the laws they pass. Caravan for Justice II, building on the success and numbers of the first caravan, included residents from San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, East Palo Alto, San Jose, Antioch, Modesto, Stockton and across Northern California.

This racially, ethnically and religiously diverse coalition came to Sacramento to demand changes in laws and policies that disproportionately and negatively effect people of color in California. Injustices confronted included Three Strikes, gang injunctions, parole and probation, voter disenfranchisement, the power of police and prison guard unions, the Police Bill of Rights and other aspects of the California prison industrial complex, which continues to grow while budgets for education and community services shrink.

Grassroots speakers of every color of the rainbow applied their eloquence to the issues of environmental racism and police terrorism too. They spoke with a power and passion that motivated the crowd to walk like warriors.

This video includes many of the speakers from the steps of the Capitol and ends with participants entering the Capitol building one by one.

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The Caravans for Justice are organized by the multi-faith Town Halls for Justice for Oscar Grant, now meeting weekly in seven cities in Northern California. As the numbers grow with each new caravan and participants become more familiar with Sacramento, some have also begun attending legislative hearings such as the one on Tuesday, April 14, regarding AB312 and BART’s civilian police oversight.

Caravan for Justice III is coming in May. Stay tuned.

Special thanks to the kind person who recorded the event so that this video could be shared here.

Caravan for Justice I video and related coverage can be found at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/02/25/18573374.php.

Dave Id is a journalist and activist who has thoroughly documented the Justice for Oscar Grant Movement with vision, sensitivity and consummate expertise in prolific postings at www.indybay.org.

K’naan talks with Davey D about Somali pirates

April 13, 2009

K'naan - Photo: Steve Carty
K'naan - Photo: Steve Carty
Somalian-born rapper K’naan tells the real story about Somalia’s pirates. Watch Parts 1 and 2 and read K’naan’s story here in the Bay View, along with perspectives from other Somalis.

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Davey D’s adventures at SXSW#1: Building with dead prez

March 28, 2009


dead prez - Photo: POCC Minister of Information JR
dead prez - Photo: POCC Minister of Information JR
Davey D chops it up with dead prez about the cop killings in Oakland and Oscar Grant.

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Bob Marley: ‘I Shot the Sheriff’ (live)

March 28, 2009



Bob Marley
Bob Marley
“I Shot The Sheriff” is a song written by Bob Marley. It is a song about justice, innocence and defiance, first released on Marley’s 1973 album, “Burnin’.”

Marley said, “I wanted to say ‘I shot the police’ but the government would have made a fuss so I said ‘I shot the sheriff’ instead … but it’s the same idea: justice.”

This was the last single Marley released with original Wailers Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, who left to pursue solo careers later that year.

Editor’s note: The Bay View thanks Jean Damu for suggesting we post this right now. He said, “I thought maybe there might be some young people who’d appreciate this, at this moment.”

Congo’s soccer champions win first Africa Cup

March 10, 2009


Afrique En Ligne reports March 8: “Against all predictions, the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday beat Ghana 2-0 to win the first edition of the African Nations Championship for players in the domestic leagues.

Congo Leopards star Mabi Mputu was named Best Player by the African Football Confederation. - Photo: AFP
Congo Leopards star Mabi Mputu was named Best Player by the African Football Confederation. - Photo: AFP
“After a goalless first half, the Leopards of DR Congo devoured the Black Stars of Ghana with goals by Kaluyituka Dioko and Mbenza Bedi to make the Congolese the first winners of the brand new tournament.

“The result of the match, which was played at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, the former Ivorian capital, was a good revenge for the Congolese, who lost 0-3 to the Ghanaians in the group stage of the competition.

“Sunday’s victory was the first piece of silverware to be won by DR Congo since the 1974 African Cup of Nations feat in Cairo, Egypt. …

“The next edition of the two-yearly competition is due to be held in Sudan in 2011, and African soccer’s governing body, CAF, said the number of teams in the second edition will be raised to 16, from the 8 in the just concluded competition.”

Before the game, Football 365 interviewed DR Congo coach Santos “Obama” Muntubile, who returned home to the Congo after a long career as a star player in Europe. He said: “When I was in Europe, I decided to come back home to bring my small contribution to our country and bring my expertise to the youth of my country. But it is very difficult compared to the other countries because of the means. That is the big problem we’re facing in our country. We don’t have enough means like South Africa, Tunisia. It’s a big problem. We are trying with the small resources we have to contribute to football in the continent and particularly in my country.”

Asked how he feels when people call him “Obama,” Muntubile responded: “I remember when we beat Cameroon the first leg and second leg and that name came up. I think for the people in the country, calling me Obama is a symbol of hope, victory.”

Seattle girl speaks about police beating

March 3, 2009


Malika Calhoun, 15, tells what led up to the vicious attack on her, caught on video, by police Deputy Paul Schene, how it felt and what she would like to see happen. Schene, 31, pled not guilty Thursday, Feb. 25, to fourth-degree assault.

He can be seen on the video slamming Malika’s head against the wall, grabbing her by the hair and throwing her on the concrete floor, sitting astride her and punching her hard on the back of the head, handcuffing her and snatching her up by her hair and dragging her out.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports: “Schene fatally shot a mentally ill man in 2006 after a traffic stop struggle on Interstate 5. It was the second shooting of his career, although both were ruled as justified.

“While on paid leave after the 2006 shooting, Schene was stopped for drunken driving. He registered a .04 percent blood alcohol level during a test, but had been drinking and taking prescription medications. He was suspended for two days and a received a deferred sentence, public records say.”

The record of a police officer’s misconduct is not hidden from the public in Seattle, but it is in California, by the “Police Bill of Rights,” which activists incensed over the police execution of Oscar Grant are working to repeal.

Considering how rarely prosecutors bring charges against police, the influence of the movement for justice for Oscar Grant in Oakland may have helped persuade the Seattle prosecutor to bring charges in Malika’s case.

“We believe this case is beyond just police misconduct; it’s criminal misconduct,” King County Prosecutor Daniel Satterberg was quoted as saying. “This is clearly excessive force.”

Majora Carter: Greening the ghetto

March 1, 2009

Majora Carter
Majora Carter
In an emotionally charged talk, MacArthur Genius Award-winning activist Majora Carter details her fight for environmental justice in the South Bronx. With her inspired ideas and fierce persistence, Carter managed to bring the South Bronx its first open-waterfront park in 60 years, Hunts Point Riverside Park. Then she scored $1.25 million in federal funds for a greenway along the South Bronx waterfront, bringing the neighborhood open space, pedestrian and bike paths, and space for mixed-use economic development.

She now serves as executive director of Sustainable South Bronx, where she pushes both for eco-friendly practices (such as green and cool roofs) and, equally important, job training and green-related economic development for her vibrant neighborhood on the rise.

BART Officer Tony Pirone caught on video punching Oscar Grant

January 27, 2009


Moments before he was killed, Oscar Grant was punched in the face – but not by the BART officer who shot him. A cellphone video released by KTVU Jan. 23 shows another BART officer, identified as Tony Pirone, punching Grant just before he was shot by BART Officer Johannes Mehserle, who was arrested on murder charges Jan. 13.

Pirone, who punched Grant in the face, is the same officer who investigators say had his knee on Grant’s neck when the 22-year-old man was shot and killed on the Fruitvale BART station platform in Oakland at about 2 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Aside from Mehserle, no BART officers have been charged with wrongdoing.

Although unmentioned in the KTVU report, the video could potentially incriminate another BART officer. Since the female officer is shown in the video observing her colleague punching Grant, she would have been required to report what she saw to authorities.

Black Iraqis make Obama a model

January 25, 2009


“Now we, the dark-skinned people, feel even closer to the American people now because Obama is one of us,” says the leader of the Movement of Free Iraqis, the Basra-based organization of Iraqis of African descent, whose ancestors were brought to Iraq as slaves 2,500 years ago. He says there are more than 2 million Black Iraqis. They are running a slate of candidates in the Jan. 31 election.

‘I Am Sean Bell: Black Boys Speak’

January 19, 2009


I AM SEAN BELL, black boys speak from Stacey Muhammad on Vimeo.

On Nov. 25, 2006, undercover NYPD officers fired at least 50 rounds of bullets into a car carrying three UNARMED men of African American and Latino descent, killing one, Sean Bell, and seriously wounding the others. Bell, age 23, was scheduled to be married on that fateful day.

Three of the five detectives involved in the shooting went to trial on charges ranging from manslaughter to reckless endangerment. All were found not guilty.

The incident has sparked fierce criticism of the NYPD as the city faces yet another murder of an unarmed African American man at the hands of those expected to protect and serve.

“I Am Sean Bell: Black Boys Speak” is a short form documentary from Wildseed Films that highlights the voices of young Black boys between the ages of 11 and 13 growing up in New York City. They speak openly and honestly about their reaction to the Sean Bell tragedy as well as their fears and hopes as they approach manhood in a city where the lives of young Black men are often cut short, too often and too soon.

Stacey Muhammad is an award winning independent filmmaker and activist committed to using the power of media to educate, enlighten and empower humanity. Her first film, “A Glimpse of Heaven: The Legacy of the Million Man March,” screened at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore in 2005 and received rave reviews.

Since that time, the New Orleans native has relocated to Brooklyn and begun the work of documenting and preserving Hip Hop culture through film and digital media. Her projects include several short form documentaries, including “I Am Sean Bell: Black Boys Speak” as well as “Self Construction: Recording session in honor of a movement.”

Stacey is currently working with other artists, filmmakers and activists whose mission it is to document our history, preserve our culture and tell our own stories.

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