October 24, 2017
What I loved this year was all the celebratory dancing from just before our ancestors crossed into the unknown territory to landing on these shores and celebrating life and the possibility of freedom, which remained physically just beyond reach for centuries. In small steps as we regained agency over ourselves, even if our bodies then and now continue to be exploited, liberation was a bit sweeter.
October 10, 2016
This Maafa Commemoration Month we continue to lift “A Love Supreme” as we organize a defense against state violence. Congratulations to Professor Aaliyah Dunn-Salahuddin, whose community vigil and program honored the lives of the Bayview Hunters Point revolutionaries killed 50 years ago when the community rose up after SFPD killed Matthew “Peanut” Johnson and more recently when the community turned out after SFPD killed Mario Woods.
July 9, 2016
Eugene E. White opened the first Black-owned art gallery in San Francisco in 1963, and he still runs it in the Fillmore over 50 years later. His work depicts realistic experiences and expressions of Black people. On Sunday, July 10, San Francisco celebrates Eugene E. White Day, honoring the renowned and revered local artist, educator and entrepreneur, at the African American Art and Culture Complex, 762 Fulton St., from noon to 5 p.m.
June 16, 2016
This year at the San Francisco Black Film Festival, “Codigo Color, Memorias” is one of the internationally made jewels that will be exposing the Bay Area to the issue of colorism in Cuba. “Codigo Color, Memorias” will screen on Saturday, June 18, at the African American Art and Culture Complex. I sat down with the filmmaker, William Sabourin, for an exclusive Q&A about his informative and perfectly timed film. Check him out in his own words.
June 15, 2016
BlockReportRadio.com interviews the father of Gangsta Rap, Jalal “Lightening Rod” Nuriddin of the Last Poets, about his classic piece, “The Hustlers’ Convention.” He speaks all around the world, with some of his answers touching street knowledge, the history of the ‘60s poets, Rap history and more. “Hustlers’ Convention,” the documentary, screens Saturday, June 18, 6 p.m., at the African American Art and Culture Complex.
June 4, 2016
When I first heard the statement that “The Black Woman Is God,” it wasn’t new or spooky to me, because I grew up in a family with over a hundred members and everyone knew that my grandmother’s say was the final one. She was the family’s guide or god. I talked with “The Black Woman Is God” exhibit’s cofounder Karen Seneferu about this year’s show and the concepts and history behind this very important annual art show in the Bay.
May 22, 2016
The memorial for Hugo “Yogi” Lyon Antonio Pinell was a beautiful and monumental event that loved ones, comrades and the community came from far and wide to attend. The celebration was held at the African American Art and Culture Complex in San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore district on April 23. Many members of Yogi’s family spoke of their love for him. His daughter Allegra brought the house to tears with her message.
April 19, 2016
On Aug. 12, 2015, within the walls of New Folsom Prison, freedom fighter and political prisoner Hugo “Yogi” Pinell of the San Quentin 6 was assassinated on the prison yard by members of the Aryan Brotherhood, with the assistance of the guards. Seven months later, the community who loves him is coming together to remember his life and contribution to the Black struggle for self-determination and human rights. We will be celebrating his life on Saturday, April 23, 1-5 p.m., at the African American Art and Culture Complex, 762 Fulton St. in San Francisco. Any and everybody from the community is invited.
April 4, 2016
“My dream was to develop a new color that no one had ever seen in life. It hasn’t come true yet, but that was a dream of mine when I was a little girl,” says Bay Area muralist Edyth Boone in the documentary about her life, called “A New Color: The Art of Being Edythe Boone.” It screens on April 6, 5:15 p.m. at Holy Names University, 3500 Mountain Blvd., Oakland, as a part of the Oakland International Film Festival.
February 1, 2016
The San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society will launch the 2016 annual Black History Month kickoff in the Rotunda at City Hall on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, at 12 noon followed by a reception in the South Light Court. John William Templeton, Oxford University Press historian, will address the national theme, “Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories.”
December 1, 2015
It is amazing how time flies whether one is moving or standing still. One looks up and sees, suddenly it seems, friends celebrating 70 and 75 or 80 or even 90-plus milestones. Wow! What a blessing that is. And while we also see the fullness of time’s passage in the lives of those who have decided to move on, too often we are caught by surprise, our mouths hung open, the words we could have said … deeds left undone.
May 29, 2015
The film is in French with English subtitles and is set primarily in France, beginning in 1963. Two children from Reunion Island, a French colony that lies east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, were among 1,600 children from the island brought to France for forced adoptions by farmers to repopulate the countryside. Their mother gave them to a white couple who promised her they would make them doctors but in the end enslaved them.
May 29, 2015
In the documentary “Farming a Legacy,” I learned that since the Emancipation Proclamation, one of the biggest fights that Blacks have had in this country was and is to own and retain farmland. In the 1920s, there were 1,000,000 Black owned farms in the United States. By 2013, that number had dropped to 18,000. “Farming a Legacy” is a majestic cinematic look at the day to day life and family history of a third generation farmer named Dale Jones.
May 29, 2015
The 38-minute short film “Hagereseb” is a rare cinematic treat, and it will be making its Bay Area debut during the San Francisco Black Film Festival on Saturday, June 13. It is not a foreign film but has the feeling of one because it is about two 10-year-old second generation Eritrean friends, who live in the Yesler Terrace housing project in Seattle, Washington, which was built in the ‘40s as the first integrated housing project in the U.S.
May 21, 2015
Queen Njinga Mbandi of the Ndongo people is a legendary as well as charismatic figure in the pantheon of African world leaders and freedom fighters against colonialism. Screewriter Isilda Hurst and director Sérgio Graciano brought this legendary matriarch to life in a beautiful cinematic way with their new film, “Njinga: Queen of Angola,” a masterpiece for anyone interested in African history, foreign cinema and good movies in general.
February 6, 2015
Given the trajectory of 2014 regarding Black lives, perhaps February would be a great time to reflect on what bell hooks calls “the love ethic,” a principle Dr. King embodied and preached. Langston Hughes would have been 116 on Feb. 1 (his mother, Carrie Langston, was born Jan. 22, 1873). Albert Woodfox will be 68 on Feb. 19. Hopefully he will be eating cake under some sunny sky, a freed man by then.
January 11, 2015
“I sit up here today, reflecting on where I started, in a public housing unit right down the street, five of us living on $700 a month,” said London Breed in her Board of Supervisors presidential acceptance speech on Jan. 8. “I remember standing in line at church for donated food, and standing in line at the fire house for our Christmas toys. I remember seeing a friend shot dead when I was 12 years old. … But I had a grandmother who loved me. And early on I learned a lesson that San Francisco should carefully remember today: wealth is nothing without love.”
October 24, 2014
On Sept. 13, 2014, the most progressive of the Bay Area’s Black and pro-Black journalists came together to celebrate one another and to give awards to a well deserving few. It was also a salute to the real legacy of Black journalism in the United States that was born out of the fight for human rights and self-determination. The night was dedicated to the memory of the recently transitioned journalist and editor Kevin Weston.
October 7, 2014
Sunday, Oct. 12, marks our 19th Annual Maafa Commemoration. This is a time when we gather to remember our African ancestors, especially those who endured the transatlantic slave trade or the Middle Passage, the Black Holocaust. It is a time for Pan Africans to gather and celebrate life and recommit ourselves to the work of liberation: spiritual, psychological, economic and political.
September 19, 2014
From the moment the doors opened on the evening of Sept. 13, it was apparent that the honoring of our global African media would begin its night of empowerment with the tradition of honoring one of the community’s foremost elders. We celebrated the 82 years of life and struggle of Dr. Willie Ratcliff and Dr. Ratcliff’s 22 years of Black media ownership of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper. Black Media Appreciation Night 2014 was filled with wisdom, communication and the exchange of knowledge, as well as people receiving awards for life changing, revolutionary work.