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San Francisco is a rich city! This election gives voters, including those of us on the “poor side of town,” the rare opportunity to spend some of that wealth on ourselves, the people who need it most. TODAY, on Nov. 6, 2018, we can vote for local Proposition C to house the homeless – put on the ballot by homeless people – and we can vote for state Prop 10 to control sky-rocketing rents to protect ourselves from the threat of homelessness. Here in District 10, we can relive the glory days when BVHP was a force for City Hall to contend with and the oldtimers told us to “VOTE 100%” -- meaning we should all vote, and on critical issues we should vote as a block.
I’m writing this editorial because I want to brag on my husband, Bay View publisher Dr. Willie Ratcliff, and tell you why he and I have faith that a benefactor, someone with deep pockets who cares, will step forward in time to save the Bay View and keep it in print – an angel who understands how much the Bay View means to a prisoner being tortured and a youngster in the hood being framed. Dr. Ratcliff was that angel, that benefactor, to Gladys Knight in 1975, when she ran out of money in the midst of producing a major film in Valdez, Alaska called “Pipe Dreams.”
Without major financial help, this may be the last Bay View we can afford to print. Each month, the print edition costs $7,000 just for printing, distribution and mailing. Advertising income used to cover it, but no longer. Why do we do it? Why not publish only on the internet, as many influential news media do? The Bay View is the only publication in the U.S. that’s widely distributed in prison and the hood to those who are able to read the Bay View ONLY IN PRINT, enabling our folks to communicate and organize. How do we reach out to potential benefactors? Are you the one who knows a way?
Aug. 19 at 11:00 a.m., courageous and loving folks in San Jose, Calif., joined with sister marches and rallies throughout the country in support of prisoners’ human rights and amending the 13th. Their courage is found in the rejection of an institution so prevalent and insidious that any criticism can bring a mountain of ridicule and judgment. It is an institution shielded by a centuries old narrative that tells people, “They are not like us,” and consequently, “they” are undeserving of our humanity.
I have chosen to use a piece of poetry as my editorial for this month. I had not written poetry in years but was inspired after reading an article written in the Bay View by Chinyere Egu, listening to the music of Grand Opus, and spending the weekend with my daughter and grandchildren. Spoken word, whether it came in the form of old Negro spirituals or old school hip-hop, has always inspired our people to move beyond the limitations of our current situation.
You may think you know this story. A man lives the high life of a drug dealer, becomes a fugitive, goes to prison for a long time and eventually redeems himself. But you would be wrong. Malik Wade’s story is much, much more. While “Pressure” is a story about a man existing in Dante’s Inferno who transformed himself into an educated and enlightened person, it will also take you on Malik’s sometimes painful but never boring journey that has led him to who he is today.
Mary L. Booker, a longtime associate of Bayview Opera House and civil rights advocate, passed away at Coming Home Hospice in San Francisco on May 11 of leukemia. She was 85. Booker moved to San Francisco in 1955. Five years later, she started Infinity Productions at Bayview Opera House, where she offered free acting workshops, in addition to writing and directing several productions. A strong advocate for social justice, Booker used the theatrical arts to promote African-American culture and bring together community members from different generations.
The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC), specifically W.C. Holman Correctional Facility, has openly declared war against the SF Bay View National Black Newspaper. The administration of this prison has informed me that your newspaper is no longer allowed in this prison because your paper is “racially motivated.” I’m going to fight with all my might in protest by going on a hunger strike until they lift this racist, ignorant and illegal ban prohibiting the SF Bay View National Black Newspaper from coming into this prison and/or prison system as a whole!
If President Trump’s $1 trillion plan materializes in some shape, form or fashion, highly capable Black contractors will be virtually shut out of public sector contracting as they were during George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s administrations. Qualified Black-owned businesses received a disproportionate sliver of federal stimulus contracts, creating a rising chorus of demands for President Barack Obama’s administration to be more inclusive and more closely track who receives government-financed work, which they did not.
Nearly a thousand subscribers to the Bay View newspaper were denied their September papers – and we suspect their October papers as well – because of its coverage of the nationwide strikes to end prison slavery that began Sept. 9. Prison officials censoring the paper claim it will incite disruption. Like claims that someone being beaten by a gang of cops is “resisting,” the Bay View is “disrupting” prison operations.
For most of us, the summer represents fun: playing outdoors, cooling off in a pool and enjoying a family vacation. But for the many children, teens and adults living with sickle cell disease, these activities can trigger an extremely painful “crisis” episode – the most common manifestation of this genetic, chronic and deadly disease. Enjoying a summer day at the pool can end up in the hospital if you’re not aware of the crisis triggers.
A 20-year vision became reality when Bayview Senior Services invited the people of Bayview Hunters Point to the grand opening of the Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center and Residence on Saturday, June 25. The celebration marked the victory of a dream over despair. As we all gain inspiration from his memory, his wife, Cathy Davis, has captained the project to a successful completion with last Saturday’s unforgettable grand opening.
The San Francisco Black Film Festival joins with sponsor The Unity Group of Congregation Emanu-El on Saturday, June 18, 2 p.m., to screen Jeff Adachi’s film, “America Needs a Racial Facial,” at Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St. in San Francisco. The film, a short documentary, will be followed by a panel discussion on “Implicit Bias and Racial Profiling.” The film will also screen on Sunday without a panel discussion at the African American Arts and Culture Complex.
In an effort to improve transparency, accountability and trust between law enforcement and the public, Sen. Mark Leno has introduced SB 1286, a bill allowing greater public access to peace officer records related to serious uses of force and sustained charges of misconduct. “California is behind the times when it comes to providing transparency in law enforcement records,” said Sen. Leno, D-San Francisco.
Artist Eugene White hails from southwestern Arkansas but has worked quietly in his studio and gallery along the 21-Hayes line for over 50 years. Lately, he’s had some overdue attention as one of the few remaining Black artists to live and work in San Francisco: He’s featured in an installation at the newly redesigned Buchanan Mall, where he’s honored with a portrait and a listening station delivering his untold story.
“Black Kripple Delivers Poetry & Lyrics” is straight up an activist and love book of original poems and song lyrics that have been written and collected for almost two decades. Many poems in this book were first published in 1999 in my chapbook by Poor Magazine’s Poor Press. This book contains poetry and lyrics of songs. Most of the poems and lyrics touch on issues that Black disabled people deal with but only get a little media attention.
This is the story that Missouri prisoner Shyheim Deen El-Mu’min wrote on paper bags when guards confiscated the writing paper from him and all the prisoners in his solitary confinement unit. The entire story is one of the longest we’ve ever received, over 10,000 words that filled 14 single-spaced pages when transcribed, so we’ll be presenting it in parts. This is the introduction, addressed to Bay View publisher Dr. Willie Ratcliff.
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.
Daryle Washington is the victim of a racist employer who has jeopardized his ability to provide for himself and his five children. According to Mr. Washington, he is not the only one mistreated by this employer, Recology Corp. of San Francisco. There has been a pattern of poor training, physical stress, injuries and emotional distress of racial jokes and remarks, as well as nooses placed in full view of Black employees.
“I’m going to win my fight over sickle cell anemia,” declares little Nicholas Hinkins. Having a bone marrow transplant is the only hope for saving this little boy’s life. Nick’s twin brother Christopher is a perfect 100 percent match! Chris’s bone marrow can possibly save Nick’s life. But we must go to Atlanta, Georgia, for the treatment. Readers can visit HealNickHinkins.com or GoFundMe to learn more about Nicholas and donate for this lifesaving procedure. His entire family is profoundly grateful for donations in any and all amounts.
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