July 1, 2014
Her name was Yuri, a Japanese woman born in the United States. I hesitate to call her a Japanese-American, for to do so suggests she was a citizen. In light of how she, her family and her community were treated during World War II, especially after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, to call any of them citizens would be an exaggeration. Yuri Kochiyama, freedom fighter, after 93 summers, has become an ancestor.
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.
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.
April 21, 2014
When our Knights are captured — Or fall on battlefields, as they — Surely must, and we lose their — Brilliant light and we are — Scrambling to pry pens, — Swords, spears, bread and — Roses from stainless steel — Grips of their icy hands – Scrambling to hoist our — Fallen banners, temporarily — Mired in mud and blood, — Even higher, scrambling — To staunch rivulets of — Brine from our sweetly — Shattered hearts …
April 16, 2014
Soul is one of the newer voices from the Oakland music community that will be performing at one of the first music festivals of the year in the Town, the Oakland Music Crawl, which is this Saturday in downtown Oakland, starting at 2 p.m. There will be a number of concerts inside restaurants and galleries as well as outside in the streets. Soul will be performing at Spice Monkey, 1628 Webster St., in downtown from 8-10:30 p.m.
March 3, 2014
Russell Maroon Shoatz is out of solitary confinement! Hugo Pinnell had his first contact visit in 40 years last weekend. Kiilu Nyasha announced this wonderful news at a reception following the second public hearing on solitary confinement called by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Feb. 11.
February 20, 2014
“The Black Arts Movement and Its Influences” conference will be going down with a host of legendary Black artists who have contributed to the liberation of our minds over the last 50 years. People like Askia Toure, Umar Bin Hasan of the Last Poets, Emory Douglas, the Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party, Avotcja, Ayodele Nzinga, Ras Baraka and Ishmael Reed, to name a few, will be participating.
February 5, 2014
I am recovering from a huge blow – my computer was taken along with other personal irreplaceable items. We stopped by Loon Point to visit the shore before driving back to the San Francisco Bay Area Jan. 30. It was early, we’d just finished our first session of the Winter Quarter. We left our luggage in view in our cohort’s car. In Oakland, we’d not have done that, but somehow the seashore, mountains and quiet terrain deceptively seduced us.
February 4, 2014
The name Amiri Baraka has been known to me since my teens, when I was a member of the Black Panther Party. Baraka posed an intriguing figure, for he radiated both love and rage, funneled through his poems, which pulsated with revolutionary fire. He was born in 1934 in Newark, N.J., as Everett LeRoy Jones and become a rising star of the Beat era in the East Village of New York.
January 13, 2014
I searched frantically for you at the end … Of the Apollo’s Sekou Sundiata celebration; … I jumped over a chair, just missing you, at … The Harlem Stage tribute to Abbey Lincoln; … Finally, caught you at the Schomburg’s … Langston Hughes Auditorium, at the … Fidel-Malcolm Meeting book talk … Forgave you for slipping … On Iceberg Slim, and … Told you, “I LOVE YOU …”
January 11, 2014
Amiri Baraka was a giant to those who know him. And now that he is physically gone, his legend will only grow. The FBI once identified him as “the person who will probably emerge as the leader of the pan-African movement in the United States.” Even those who critiqued him considered him to be brilliant, even referring to him as the Malcolm X of literature and spoken word. He often said bluntly and yet humbly that “Malcolm X was my leader.” Amiri Baraka put into practice what Malcolm taught him about cultural revolution.
October 3, 2013
The 18th Annual Maafa Commemoration Ritual is Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, predawn. We meet at Ocean Beach, Fulton at the Great Highway. The ritual is for people of African Descent (Black people from throughout the globe). There are so many great events this month, but not enough space to list them all.
July 31, 2013
2013 marks the 43rd anniversary of Black August, first organized to honor our fallen freedom fighters, George and Jonathan Jackson, James McClain, William Christmas, Khatari Gaulden and sole survivor of the Aug. 7, 1970, Courthouse Slave Rebellion, Ruchell Cinque Magee. During these four decades, we’ve witnessed a steady revision of the meaning of Black August and its inherent ideology.
March 31, 2013
The award winning play, “The Mountaintop,” looks at the everyday divinity of ordinary folks and places Martin King right there with them. His greatness is not a greatness which is inaccessible or isolated. In the Lorraine Motel that night, King listens and even agrees at some point with the young maid, Camae, a Malcolm X radical in an apron.
March 27, 2013
The revolution of militant Black theatre lost one of its giants last month on the 20th of February. John Henry Doyle passed into history. A group of John’s coworkers and friends are sponsoring a memorial celebration of his life with a reading of “Freedom Road,” poetry and song on Sunday, April 7, 2-5 p.m., at the original site of his theatre, the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House, 953 DeHaro St., San Francisco.
December 7, 2012
Monday, Nov. 26, at the Bay Area Black Media Awards event hosted by Greg Bridges and sponsored by the San Francisco Bay View and Block Report Radio, it was so wonderful to see all the media friends and family for an evening of celebration. KPOO, KPFA, New California Media/Pacific News Service, Wanda’s Picks Radio, Oakland Post, Globe, Poor News Network, Oakland International Film Festival, Black Panther newspaper alumni and others were in the house as “Best” this and “Best” that were saluted.
August 8, 2012
There are many great programs for youth in the San Francisco Bay Area – among them, AileyCamp at Cal Performances, Destiny Arts, Oaktown Jazz Workshop, Dimensions Extensions and Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, founded by Angela Wellman.
December 16, 2011
After nearly three decades on Pennsylvania’s death row, former Black Panther Party member and world-renowned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal was moved off Death Row on Dec. 11, following an announcement by Philadelphia DA Seth Williams that he would no longer seek Abu-Jamal’s execution. “On Thursday, Dec. 8, I attended the Fraternal Order of Police rally, a shocking display of naked calls for harm to Mumia,” said Noelle Hanrahan. “What a dramatic contrast to the defense rally the next night at the Constitution Center. One was all about love, the other all about hate.”
November 26, 2010
Ted Pontiflet is an Oakland icon. He is East Coast swing meets West Coast bop. Classy. The man is too smooth to be close to 80. Ted is around until Dec. 1 and then away he goes.
September 22, 2010
What is so striking about this film is its living history lessons, the love and admiration for each other that Yuri Kochiyama and Angela Y. Davis share, women with big hearts who have endured personal suffering and survived. Yuri is gracious and fiery and so is Angela.