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Did police and EMT response contribute to Humboldt State student’s death?

Saturday morning, April 15, Humboldt State University student David Lawson was stabbed at an off-campus party and died as a result of his injuries. David Lawson, a young Black man, was a sophomore at HSU studying criminology. Elijah Chandler, a friend of David who was present at the scene, gives a chilling recount to reporters of what happened. What is most alarming is the ways in which Chandler describes how the police handled the situation. Humboldt State University, the Arcata Police Department and the community surrounding HSU have blood on their hands and there is no denying it.

Behind Enemy Lines

Prison Transportation Service, PTS of America, is hell on wheels

Apr 26, 2017

I would like to bring to the cognizance of the people the atrocious treatment of prisoners by a company called Prison Transportation Services of America (PTSA). This is a private company based out of Tennessee that transports prisoners being extradited across the country. The conditions in which the prisoners are transported are most arduous and inhumane with no consideration for the safety or well-being of the prisoners.

In our fifth year of the Agreement to End Hostilities, it’s time for Gov. Brown and CDCr to recognize our humanity!

Apr 25, 2017

We are within our fifth year of the August 2012 historical document, the “Agreement to End Hostilities.” Its release was followed by the Prisoner Human Rights Movement’s third and largest hunger strike in the state of California and larger than any prison hunger strike in history in either the federal or state prison systems in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world. At its peak, 30,000 prisoners here in California participated – prisoners in solitary confinement and the general population.

Planted weapons and stolen property: Mounting retribution for continued exposures of abuses in Texas prisons

Apr 19, 2017

My regular readers know I’ve come under recent fire for exposing abuse and corruption in Texas prisons. Despite outside protests and support, retaliations have escalated and most recently culminated in officials directing outright criminal acts at me, including guards I’ve reported on recovering a weapon from the scene of an altercation and planting it in my cell the next day, and guards confiscating most of my belongings (again) with the intent of destroying them.

Mumia Abu-Jamal: The illusion of correctional medicine – UPDATE: Mumia finally begins treatment

Apr 13, 2017

In the netherworld of American prisons, one must jettison any medical assumptions one brings in from the so-called “free” world. We have been conditioned to see nurses as sweet sources of solace and doctors as people dedicated to healing the sick and easing our pains. In prison, new rules govern medicine and care. Here, money is master; the ill are all but ignored. This may seem harsh but, I must assure you, reality is even harsher.

Advice for prisoners and their supporters regarding Board of Parole Hearings psychological evaluations

Apr 5, 2017

The California Board of Parole Hearings has established the Forensic Assessment Division, a staff of psychologists who conduct psychological evaluations of prisoners for Board hearings. This paper is provided to help California prisoners applying for parole understand the psychological evaluations conducted for the Board of Parole Hearings and to provide advice to them and their supporters on how to counter the psychological evaluation with letters and other materials submitted to the Board.

Updates on Zulu
Prison lives matter
California Board of Prison Hearings Prisoners are guests of honor at KKK lynchings
Fight Toxic Prisons National Convergence is in Texas this June
Alabama’s Holman Prison bans the Bay View for being ‘racially motivated,’ subscriber declares hunger strike
Why isn’t ‘prison reform’ seeking an effective demand for change?
CDCr must effect genuine changes in its old policies, culture and practices
Alabama’s Tutwiler Prison for Women: Officers break prisoner’s leg after allowing another prisoner to attack her
A young prisoner dies, his comrades pour out their love
I was a slave working under the California Department of Corrections
End prison slavery in Texas now! Part II: Class consciousness and international solidarity
A solitary distinction
New California bill honors the dignity of transgender prisoners
Zolo Agona Azania is FREE – and he needs our help
Psychological warfare in prison: Segregation is the soul breaker

News & Views

Greenlining Institute examines ‘Racial Justice on the Frontlines’

Apr 27, 2017

The Greenlining Institute brought its 24th annual Economic Summit to the organization’s new hometown of Oakland April 14. At a moment when communities of color are under attack nationwide, the Summit – which brings together community leaders and grassroots organizers from California and around the U.S. – felt surprisingly like a celebration: a celebration of defiance, resistance and persistence in the face of threats to our communities.

BAJI: Black activists call for halt to deportation of 50,000 Haitians and 4,000 Somalis

Apr 26, 2017

The 60-day notification deadline for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) re-designation is rapidly approaching, on May 23, 2017, for Haitian nationals. If re-designation is not granted, as many as 50,000 Haitians living across the United States will be stripped of work authorization and will be prioritized for ICE removal. ICE is currently removing over 4,000 Somalis residing in the United States, according to Ahmed Isse Awad, Somalia’s U.S. ambassador.

Alleged jaywalker Nandi Cain, 24, viciously beaten by Sacramento cops, abuse continuing in jail

Apr 26, 2017

Attorney John Burris and his law firm have been retained to represent Nandi Cain, the 24-year-old African American man who, according to Burris, is the “most recent victim of racial profiling by Sacramento Police Department.” Burris said that, “Mr. Cain’s only real crime was ‘walking while Black.’” The victim, Nandi Cain. explains that this ordeal made him feel “degraded, less than a man, ashamed, depressed and humiliated.” Mr. Cain feels that “all the involved officers should be fired” and that he “hopes no one ever has to go through anything like this again.”

Rwanda: Kibeho Massacre of Hutu covered up to protect ‘genocide against the Tutsi’ narrative

Apr 25, 2017

Twenty-two years ago, on April 22, 1995, Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Army massacred between 4,000 and 8,000 Hutu men, women and children at the Kibeho Camp for internal refugees in southern Rwanda. I spoke to Rene Mugenzi, a Rwandan refugee, British citizen and human rights activist, who continues to seek acknowledgment and indictment for the crimes against humanity and, arguably, genocide committed at Kibeho in 1995.

Maxine Waters on the strong Black women who taught her to create her seat at the table

Apr 24, 2017

Maxine Waters stood before a crowd of young people Friday at Busboys and Poets, a Washington, D.C., restaurant that doubles as stomping ground for social movements. At the event, which she organized as a soulful open mic before the following day’s Tax March, the congresswoman doubled down on her call for the impeachment of President Donald Trump with a combined bluntness and realness one wouldn’t expect from a politician: “We’ve got to stop his ass!” After nearly 40 years in public service, Waters has become the Democratic face for the resistance against Trump.

John Burris files suit against rapper Young Jeezy for the 2014 killing of Eric Johnson
Damian Ochoa’s nightmare on Chinook Court, Treasure Island
Bay View turns 40! Part 2
Bay View turns 40!
Weapons of mass deflection
Neo-Nazi pro-Trump rally: Civil war in Berkeley – no cops
Empowerment Summit for Formerly Incarcerated Students and Families at Merritt College April 19-20
MIT professor says top US officials fabricated intelligence to justify attacking Syria
God squares off with the devil in Syria and Rwanda
Police supremacy rising: What if brutalized United Airlines passenger had been Black
NAACP says electricity is a basic human right, demands end to power shutoffs
Chief William Scott, SF’s new Black police chief, meets the community
Kagame’s jobs program: War
New bipartisan bill in Congress would ban the box, help formerly incarcerated people get work
How to end construction union racism: Start a Black union

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

 » Full event list and descriptions
April 29, 2017
9th Annual African American Caregiving & Wellness Forum, hosted by Alzheimer's Association 8:30 am Ed Roberts Campus 3075 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA 94703, USA This is a FREE event and open to the public. ... more>>
April 29, 2017
Rich City Rides presents: DAY AT THE BAY 9:00 am Rich City Rides 1500 Macdonald Ave, Richmond, CA 94801, USA “Day By the Bay” is a special free day camp ... more>>
April 29, 2017
Senior Smiles and Wellness Health Fair 10:00 am University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, 155 5th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 Free Event Open to the Community!

Adults age 55+ invited for ... more>>
April 29, 2017
Bay Area Mass Climate Mobilization- For Justice, Jobs, Peace and Planet 11:00 am Lake Merritt Amphitheater, (Between 12th Street and 1st Ave), Lake Merritt Blvd, Oakland, CA 94612 April 29 marks the end of the first 100 days of the ... more>>
April 29, 2017
El PUEBLO UNIDO! PEOPLE’S MARCH FOR JOBS, JUSTICE AND CLIMATE 12:00 pm Roseland Plaza, 675 Sebastopol Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (by the Dollar Tree) Dozens of labor, environmental, racial justice and peace-seeking groups, including ... more>>
April 29, 2017
People's Climate March in Oakland - WAR IS NOT GREEN! 12:00 pm Oakland CA, United States Join CODEPINK: Women For Peace
at People's Climate March
WAR ... more>>
April 29, 2017
Third Annual International Jazz Day Celebration 1:00 pm The Village, 1099 Sunnydale Ave., San Francisco Poetry and spoken word readings accompanied by jazz saxophone virtuoso ... more>>
April 29, 2017
Bobby Hutton Day 3:00 pm Oakland Public Library: West Oakland Branch, 1801 Adeline St, Oakland, CA 94607, USA It's About Time presents, in Honor of Lil' Bobby Hutton,
... more>>

Robbin Rae’s ‘Oakland in Blue’ is blazing Bay Area film festivals

Apr 25, 2017

“Oakland in Blue” is a short movie that was made by locally grown, Los Angeles-based filmmaker Robbin Rae and selected to be in both the Oakland International Film Festival, which just passed, and the upcoming San Francisco Black Film Festival. The cinematography, the lighting, the script, the acting and the message were all on point. Robbin Rae is a name we will hear more of, mark my words.

19th annual SF Black Film Festival is back wit’ films that are better than ever

Apr 19, 2017

On the second weekend of June this year, the San Francisco Black Film Festival will be celebrating its 19th year by screening over 100 independent Black films in this annual four-day cinema marathon. San Francisco Black Film Festival director Kali O’Ray, son of founder Ave Montague, sits down to discuss how it feels for the festival to celebrate its 19th birthday, the importance of indie films, remaining in a city that was once a lot more chocolate but has been gentrified to 3 percent Black – and more.

If the world is woke, why is the church sleep?

Apr 15, 2017

Back during the Black Power Era, if you were down for the cause, people called you “aware.” In the Hip Hop Era, the term for being politically up to date was “conscious.” Now, with the Millennials, if you are in tune with what’s going on in the world, you are referred to as “woke.” For the past few years, since the murder of Trayvon Martin, there has been a steady rise in cultural awareness within the Black community. The Black truth now gets as much traction as the white mainstream news on Facebook. So why is the church, arguably the spiritual center of the Black community, still running two steps behind?

49 words for Mari Evans: 1919-2017

Apr 14, 2017

Poet-composer-playwright-critic Mari Evans Phemster was funeralized March 21, 2017, at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Like her friend, Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000), Mari’s output preceded the Black Arts Movement, though many of her titles and themes – like “I Am a Black Woman” – became anthems of BAM.

August Wilson’s ‘Jitney’ reframes a world that provides little shelter for a Black man with dreams

Apr 14, 2017

“Jitney,” August Wilson’s first play, set in 1977, takes place in the Hill District in Philadelphia, a place Wilson called home. “Jitney,” a part of Wilson’s 10-play canon that chronicles Black life from Jim Crow South to illusive Northern freedoms, speaks to the absence of permanent change for Black people despite legislative acts 1865 to now. It runs through April 16; visit

‘Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar’ calls for art and article submissions for the 2018 calendar, ‘Awakening Resistance’
Remembering our mother, Gloria Mae Pierce, who owned a thriving restaurant in old Hunters Point Shipyard
A very exciting Oakland International Film Festival spotlights Roots’ 40th anniversary
Wanda’s Picks for April 2017
A solution to the ‘Who is the baby daddy’ question
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