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Maafa 2014, web

Wanda’s Picks for October 2014

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.

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Vaytus owners Aniefre Essien and Brandon Sledge-Mellon

The future of streaming music: an interview wit’ Vaytus owner Aniefre Essien

September 30, 2014

Vaytus, owned by Aniefre Essien and Brandon Sledge-Mellon, is a Black-owned music streaming provider. “Vaytus is a word that we made up from the words ‘elevate us.’ Music is powerful, and we believe good music elevates people,” says Aniefre about the unusual name. These brothas have a mission that is bigger than just filling their pockets. Their business pays artists fair rates for their music.

Through their art, William Rhodes helped his students at Dr. Charles Drew Elementary School in Bayview Hunters Point connect with children in South Africa.

Wanda’s Picks for September 2014

September 5, 2014

Congratulations to William Rhodes on a successful trip to South Africa, where he took a quilt created by his students at Dr. Charles Drew Elementary School in San Francisco to honor the legacy of an international hero, President Nelson Mandela, and returned with art panels from workshops conducted with youth in various townships and regions from Cape Town to Johannesburg.

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Uncle Bobby in Ferguson, supporting the most fearless youth of our generation

August 29, 2014

Of all the hundreds of police murders of young Black men in recent years, the two that sparked the strongest resistance and the largest rebellions were the BART police murder of Oscar Grant in Oakland on New Year’s Day, 2009, and now the Ferguson, Missouri, police murder of Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014. Today we’re going to Ferguson, Missouri, to check in with the uncle of Oscar Grant, Cephus “Uncle Bobby” Johnson. Uncle Bobby is live on the ground in Ferguson.

Jason Anderson

Talking about Liberty Hall and Net Neutrality wit’ Oakland mayoral candidate Jason Anderson

August 27, 2014

Jason Anderson has been a staunch activist in the Oakland area for about half a decade and has been working very hard on keeping the historic Liberty Hall building, the original Oakland home to Marcus Garvey’s UNIA in West Oakland, in the hands of the Black community. It has been an uphill battle, but this veteran of Occupy Oakland is up for the challenge.

Rodney Leon

Wanda’s Picks for August 2014

August 2, 2014

Congratulations to Gerald Lenoir for carrying the torch and blazing the way for so many social justice issues from HIV/AIDS awareness in the Black community to his recent work in just migration for Pan Africans. Much success on your new work! Farewell to Alona Clifton and much success in Atlanta. Congratulations also to Almaz Negash, founder and director of African Diaspora Network in Silicon Valley for her national recognition and award at the Continental African Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.

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Wanda’s Picks for July 2014

July 9, 2014

The Glide Memorial Church family worked wonders at the celebration of San Francisco native Maya Angelou’s life that she requested before she died. They juxtaposed carefully chosen visual moments with prerecorded Maya moments, which made her presence so palatable that the sanctuary lights came under the control of Spirit Maya and played with our collective vision – the room almost dark and the lights flickering off and on.

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Free Imam Jamil Al-Amin! His wife, attorney Karima Al-Amin, tells of the US’ 47-year campaign to silence H. Rap Brown

June 22, 2014

The fiery H. Rap Brown, chairperson of SNCC, minister of justice for the Black Panther Party and one of the original four targets of the FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO to neutralize Black power, is presently entombed in the federal prison at Florence, Colorado, one of the world’s 10 worst prisons. Pursued relentlessly since the ‘60s, he was wrongfully convicted in 2002 – the prosecutor bragging that they finally got him after trying for 24 years. His wife, attorney Karima Al-Amin, tells his story on the Block Report.

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I am the US economy – from prison to the streets

April 26, 2014

This is for the moms and pops in East Oakland or any other urban neighborhood in honor of the African union of Marcus Books, from a prisoner political action committee to being a member of the formerly incarcerated people’s policy academy or the freedom plan of United KAGE Brothers (UKB), from the urban freedom schools focused on real life Block Reportin’ of “Unfinished Business.” This is for my brothers of the NCTT Cor SHU and all supporters of our hunger strike coalition.

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Wanda’s Picks for March 2014

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.

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Wanda’s Picks for February 2014

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.

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Wanda’s Picks for December 2013

December 2, 2013

This season we have lost two pillars of our San Francisco Bay Area community, Samuel Fredericks and Upesi Mtambuzi. Cedar Walton, pianist, also made his transition this year, along with Donald Duck Bailey, drummer, both men beautiful human beings. Upesi, Samuel, Cedar and Donald all brightened our world. Their unique hues and shapes and sounds will be missed … that last live jam.

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Wanda’s Picks for November 2013

October 31, 2013

Gina M. Paige explained that the organization, African Ancestry, started with Dr. Rick Kittles, genetic researcher at Howard University who was interested in isolating the gene that caused prostate cancer, one of the leading causes of death in our community. He found this research methodology applicable in other genetic detective research and so in 2003 African Ancestry was founded with Ms. Paige.

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Georgia prisoner beaten with hammer fights for justice

October 29, 2013

I am scheduled to go to court on a fabricated charge put in place to protect the correctional officer who assaulted me with the hammer. This South Georgia district attorney has chosen to ignore the law and protect a good ol’ boy who has broken the very law he swore to uphold! Just goes to show you that the KKKonfederates still live in Georgia.

Abdul Olugbala Shakur 121412, web, cropped

We pledged to become martyrs to force CDCR to the negotiating table

October 28, 2013

While at California State Prison-Sacramento (New Folsom), we had received word that the CDCR was refusing to negotiate our hunger strike demands with the four main reps (prisoner representatives), so myself and two other New Afrikans pledged to become martyrs with the intent of forcing the CDCR to the negotiating table. I decided it would make more of an impact if I go first.

Black filmmaker shut down at MoAD gala for Bay View story on foreclosure protests

October 26, 2013

“Hey Jac, you are not pre-registered and only corporate media, I was told, could drop in to cover the event.” “So only corporate white media can come and shoot,” I incredulously replied. I looked around and did not see any corporate network teams even covering the event. Then he said, “It’s because of what you did in the Bay View.” I realized this was retaliation for my advocacy work

Heightened security: White Citizens Council bans popular KPFA host JR Valrey from Pacifica radio network

September 18, 2013

Who is this terrorist, this big bad JR Valrey who poses some sort of threat to the whole Pacifica network of five major radio stations around the country? First, he’s my friend and comrade at the Bay View, where we’ve worked together for over a dozen years, all his adult life. JR is our associate editor. During the same period, he’s also volunteered at KPFA radio, where his hard and highly acclaimed work finally won him a prime time show – Wednesdays at 8-9 a.m. – starting in May 2011. Immediately, listeners flocked to KPFA to hear this exciting new show.

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Wanda’s Picks for September 2013

September 2, 2013

On the 20th anniversary of the demise of my father, Fred Ali Batin Sr., the 18th anniversary of the Maafa Commemoration San Francisco Bay Area – the Ritual Sunday is Oct. 13, 2013; see http://maafasfbayarea.com/ – and approximately the 60th day of the hunger strike to end the inhuman conditions in California’s Security Housing Units or SHUs, I just want to pause and reflect.

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Hunger strikers write to the Bay View: ‘I don’t know how much more my body can take’

July 26, 2013

Mail to the Bay View from the hunger strikers has been very sparse since the strike began with 30,000 participants on July 8. Prison officials may be holding their letters as they did during the 2011 hunger strikes. But yesterday and today the mail brought a postcard and several letters from Bay View subscribers in the Pelican Bay SHU (security housing unit), where these historic hunger strikes originated.

Call and response: Supporter responds to Corcoran SHU hunger strikers’ plight with scathing letter to warden

July 24, 2013

Call: We have not been to yard in almost two weeks. We have not been allowed to shower in a week. We received no medical attention. No weigh-ins, no vital signs checks – nothing. Response: Some of the people on hunger strike are older men, and they have medical issues. Your display of power is totally out of place. Your purposeful neglect of their human rights and dignity seems to me shameful.

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