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Our story begins on any weekday morning in the mid 1940s, when thousands of men, migrants from the American South to “Frisco,” converged upon the gates of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard on their way to work. To do their jobs building and repairing ships for the biggest employer in the San Francisco Bay Area during the war time economic boom. By 1908, the San Francisco Drydock, operating at the shipyard, had become “the world’s greatest shipping yard.”
Prosperity Movement, an Oakland-based group of artists and activists, is using its platform to promote peace and prosperity in a changing Oakland landscape. The group’s founder and front man, Adimu Madyun, makes it his mission to use art as a way of educating local youth and adults, who he says are bearing the brunt of gentrification in their native city.
You are invited to the opening reception on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2-4 p.m., in the African American Center of the San Francisco Main Library of “I Am San Francisco,” a major exhibit that tells the personal stories of Black San Franciscans at a time when the Black population has been almost entirely forced out and includes a display of historic copies of the San Francisco Bay View, back to 1994, with the headline “We Shall Not Be Moved.”
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.
San Francisco’s housing woes are characterized by inflated rent and a shortage of residential units – a combination that has left many long-term residents feeling pushed out and priced out of their city. While many groups have been affected, it is now well established that the city’s African-American population has borne the brunt of what the city’s mayor aptly describes as a “housing crisis.”
Ida B. Wells was a fiery crusader for African American justice at a time when angry white men indulged in lynching as acceptable behavior. Her determination, courage, ambition and refusal to back down helped change the course of history. Her talents as an investigative reporter, successful writer and newspaper owner were unbeatable weapons.
“Former political prisoner Dhoruba Bin Wahad recently penned an excellent essay breaking down what’s going on in Mali, Congo and the Middle East. He also challenged the type of stances many of us have taken with respect to these regions that are embroiled in conflict. To support his essay, we interviewed him so he can expand upon his analysis. In true form, Dhoruba pulled no punches. Peep what he has to say.”
On Oct. 12, Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan announced that 44 of his officers would face some manner of punishment for their abuse of Occupy protesters last year. Some have hailed this decision as a sign that the Oakland Police Department is finally going to start holding its officers accountable. A look at the recent decisions by Jordan and the OPD, however, dispels any such hope.
The history of the center is well known, and its accomplishments far outweigh its failures. Although 95 years is an extremely long time, what the center does not have right now is time – and time will be the deciding factor on whether or not Visitacion Valley Community Center survives.
Generally, what happened to Harding happens in colonized spaces to colonized subjects, from Hunters Point to Baghdad. The victims are people of color. Five centuries of colonially-constructed rationales have served the purpose of minimizing the value of racialized subjects.
It’s time to be counted. Every day, the average American gets 1.7 pieces of direct mail; in March they will get another in the form of the 2010 Census. The 2010 Census is being mailed to more than 130 million households, including America’s 8.5 million Black family households. Fully a third of these households aren’t expected to send their forms back.
America’s infant mortality rate is the highest of all industrial countries. It is no secret that a Black baby born in America has more than a two fold greater chance than a white baby of dying before its first birthday. No secret and actually a national disgrace that a baby born in the much-lambasted tiny poor communist island of Cuba has a better chance of having a healthy infancy than a Black baby born in America.