Tag: Black community
In an era where the Koreans own the multi-billion-dollar Black haircare industry in the U.S., we need to know about and learn from Black business pioneers like Madame Sara Spencer Washington. Atlantic City’s Madame was a multi-millionaire in the 20’s, running a business empire called Apex Hair and News Co. Her grandson, filmmaker Royston Scott, sat down with me to discuss his documentary called “The Sara Spencer Washington Story,” which will be screening at the SF Black Film Festival.
Now, as the San Francisco Bay View newspaper’s 40th birthday year comes to a close, is the time to bring up to date the historical sketch of our paper that I began with Part 1 in the January paper. Piles of old papers rest on my desk, waiting to be read once again – a banquet of stories and pictures of our lives, our hopes, our goals. Let me let you taste the flavor of the freedom we continue to fight for in the age of Trump.
“I was born in 1916,” Iris whispered into the camera in her last hours of life. “Peter, I can’t believe you did me like this.” Her eyes were pools of sacred time. Sacred, like a prayer. Sacred like things you hold lightly to protect and dream about and kneel to. Not evict and harass and drag to court and intrude and disrespect and eventually kill. Iris Canada joined the ancestors on Monday, March 27, one month after being evicted. Iris was murdered by the people and the systems that rule this stolen land. Iris was killed by landlord Peter Owens, the sheriff, the DA, the mayor, the judge and everyone who protects them.
We point fingers all we want, but we can’t do that unless we’re ready to look in the mirror at ourselves. The mirror doesn’t lie. We have to stop killing us for Black lives to matter. We have to do something about the drugs in the hood. We have to teach the kids that’s having kids how to be parents. I was 15 with a kid. My story is very epic in that I am the epitome of what the youth in the hood face every day. I just haven’t figured out how to use my story and voice to help change things.
In a recent article entitled “We don’t heel, we kneel,” I wrote about the importance of supporting Colin Kaepernick as he endeavors to draw attention to the systemic racism, oppression and police terror that Black folks in this country are subjected to. It took a little time for people to engage in the act of “taking a knee,” but one by one they got on board. Now that people are following Kap’s lead, the objective is to get them to put their money where their knee is.
In a number of prisons around the country, the September Bay View was banned, and we suspect the October paper will be too. If your paper was denied, the prison is required to give you and the Bay View a notice saying why banning the Bay View is constitutional, allowing you and us to appeal that decision. So the first step is to insist on a notice and then appeal it; so will we. Here is George Rahsaan Brooks’ appeal. We think he’ll win, just as he did before.
Colin Kaepernick just became an instant national hero in the Black community, risking his career like Muhammad Ali, taking a stand or a seat like Rosa Parks, and shocking the sports world by doing what the vast majority of modern day athletes wouldn’t dare even think about doing and jeopardize their million dollar contracts by speak out against injustice. So WE GOT YOUR BACK, CAP!
Over the past week Donald Trump has been giving all sorts of speeches where he’s telling Black and Brown folks what he will be doing for us if he gets elected. Now most of us know Trump is full of shyt, and while his remarks have gotten folks talking and many more laughing, he inadvertently does raise a few questions. For those who are voting for Hillary Clinton, one should ask, “What is she putting on the table?” The answer should be more than “she won’t be as bad as Trump.” What exactly is she promising that folks can hang their hats on?
Opesanwo Ifakorede is a local herbalist that was originally taught about the world of herbs by his grandmother a generation ago. He recently did an “Urban Practical Herbalism Workshop” at Deep Roots Urban Refuge in East Oakland. For those that did not get a chance to make it, I really want to whet your appetite for the subject. Check out Opesanwo Ifakorede in his own words.
Kevin Epps is a legendary Bay Area filmmaker from Hunters Point, who is one of the few godfathers of the hood self-made dvd revolution. This year 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the completion of his film “Rap Dreams” which highlighted the careers of Hectic, Kev Kelly and Mistah F.A.B. Mistah F.A.B. will be accompanying filmmaker Kevin Epps at the screening of Rap Dreams on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 7 p.m., at the New Parkway in Oakland.
Last week I was alerted to an inflammatory story from Bay Area ABC news reporter Dan Noyes that basically sought to disparage the Black August commemorations. The story noted that “police sources” had leaked an FBI bulletin to him stating that prison guards and police were going to be attacked by members of the Black Guerilla Family in commemoration of Black August. Many found the allegations to be outlandish. Black August is a month that is held to high esteem by many in the Black community who celebrate the resistance movements that have long been a part of our history for the past 300 years.
The hub of Hunters Point at Third and Oakdale was buzzing with traffic and throngs of people as they assembled outside of the Bayview Opera House. The Moon Candy soul band was on the stage as people began to sit in the new seats in the outside auditorium. The Opera House had been closed for remodeling for four years. Finally, on July 20, the new Opera House was unveiled to the public.
The recent deaths of Alton Sterling, 37, and Philando Castile, 32, at the hands of state-sanctioned violence are additional tragedies in an endless list of Black victims, and a reminder that premature Black death continues to take center stage in the Black narrative. With our heads in our hands and our eyes swollen, we keep asking, when will Black lives matter? White silence about these atrocities is almost as dangerous as the hand that pulls the trigger.
We lost many loved ones this past month, from photographer extraordinaire Kamau Amen Ra to community organizer, prolific writer and longshoreman Brother Cleophus Williams to my dear Sister Monica Pree, not to mention Muhammad Ali. We reflect on Independence Day, a day marked by the blood of African Ancestors of the Middle Passage – the first to die a Black man, Crispus Attucks, on March 3, 1770, in what became known as the Boston Massacre.
The San Francisco Black Film Festival is fast approaching, and one of the best short documentaries screening is “The BlackBoard,” a film about the Black community’s relationship to Black skaters and skateboarding in the past and present. It features Black skaters from all over the country, including Karl Watson and Jabari Pendelton. “The BlackBoard” screens Saturday, June 18, 6-10 p.m., at Origins. Here is Marquis Bradshaw talking about his film.
The California Democratic Primary is Tuesday, June 7. Whatever “The Movement” means to you, if you care about human decency and international human rights, we need a Sanders victory and a Clinton repudiation in California on June 7 – and beyond. I admire and support Sen. Sanders for his courageous challenge to the American Israel Political Action Committee, his support for human rights and fair treatment for the Palestinian people, and his open challenge to Hillary Clinton on Israel and Palestine.
On Saturday, June 18, 3-7 p.m., at the New Parish Courtyard, 1741 San Pablo, Oakland, his longtime teammates and comrades Money B and Dj Fuze of Digital Underground will be handling the hosting and music for the 20th Anniversary of Life Party for Tupac. We will also officially remember Afeni Shakur, who passed away on April 21, ’16, from a cardiac arrest, with a short opening ceremony led by Sista Iminah.
I am interviewing Equipto of the Frisco 5 Hunger Strike about the history of their movement, as well as his feelings on the resignation of Police Chief Suhr in San Francisco, after the police murder of Jessica Williams-Nelson. M.O.I. JR: What prompted you to organize the collective that eventually became known as the Frisco 5? Equipto: It was just a group of people that came together and decided to go on a hunger strike. The movement just sprouted from that basically.
Cleve Bailey has taken the story of his great uncle and aunt, George and Kathy Eames, and created a screenplay entitled “A Small Temporary Inconvenience,” which chronicles the lives of this interracial couple who dedicated their lives to civil rights activism and fighting against racism in the Deep South. I caught up with Cleve, who now lives in the Bay Area in Hayward, to get his take on the film project.
Ty-Licia Hooker is one of the most dynamic Black women working in Oakland for the good of the Black community and other underserved communities. This former Black Girls Rock awardee is the executive director of Boost! West Oakland, a non-profit dedicated to empowering young people and strengthening their academic performance. They were just awarded the prestigious Partner Organization of the Year Award from the Oakland Unified School District.