May 29, 2018
Word has it that the first 20 enslaved Africans were brought to Jamestown, Virginia, sometime during the month of August in 1619. Wow! That means next year, August 2019 will extend that legacy to exactly 400 years. Look out, Jamestown, here we come to commemorate, commiserate and consummate 400 years of MAAFA! Below is an excerpt from my poem, “The Art of Living Black,” which summarizes those 400 years, opening with an addition of recent local occurrences and indignities that have become a part of the Black Experience.
June 9, 2017
“Tom Freeman of the North” is a comedic short filled with political satire that examines identity, upward mobility and gentrification. Tom Freeman, the main character, is a Black man who is socially invested in the gentrification of his community, while his brother Desean fights the power. “Tom Freeman of the North” is one of many great films screening at this year’s San Francisco Black Film Festival that looks at identity. Check out filmmaker Mohammed Rabbani in his own words.
July 3, 2016
The Leimert Park Village Book Fair is held in the well preserved and nationally known Los Angeles Black artistic and cultural neighborhood Leimert Park, home to legendary filmmaker and owner of the Kaos Network Ben Caldwell and the Black bookstore Eso Won Books. Cynthia Exum and her crew have been organizing the Leimert Park Village Book Fair for a decade, which is no small feat. So I sat down with her to discuss this monumental accomplishment.
July 1, 2016
Head of the educational television network ReUNION: Education-Arts-Heritage, the sleuth, John William Templeton, is bringing vacationers along for the ride during a mapping expedition for the California African American Freedom Trail in July. The first part is a special tour of “Famous Names of Bayview” Saturday, July 2, leaving from Sam Jordan’s, 4004 Third St.
April 30, 2016
Director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival Kali O’Ray has already showed me a number of potential films that are in the running to be selected to be for this year’s festival; great films like “Codigo Color” about colorism in Cuba, “Hustler’s Convention” about some of the greatest protest poets of the last 50 years, the legendary Last Poets, “Tear the Roof Off,” the untold story of Parliament Funkadellic, and “Blackboard,” a movie about Black professional skateboarders.
May 31, 2015
Allensworth is the first town in California founded by an ex-slave and is the only Black historical park in California. The Allensworth Volunteer Community Association, the Friends of Allensworth and the We Can Foundation invite you to attend our Women’s Celebration. It will be held on Saturday, July 11, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at the Black historical township and park of Allensworth in Delano, California.
May 29, 2015
The 38-minute short film “Hagereseb” is a rare cinematic treat, and it will be making its Bay Area debut during the San Francisco Black Film Festival on Saturday, June 13. It is not a foreign film but has the feeling of one because it is about two 10-year-old second generation Eritrean friends, who live in the Yesler Terrace housing project in Seattle, Washington, which was built in the ‘40s as the first integrated housing project in the U.S.
May 26, 2014
The SF Black Film Festival is one of the film festivals that I most look forward to in the Bay Area every year. This year it is from June 12-15 at various theaters in San Francisco. It was founded by the late Ave’ Montague, and now it’s under the direction of her son, Kali O’Ray. Every year I’ve seen great films that don’t have the promotional budgets to reach a wider audience without the help of a festival like SFBFF.
February 28, 2014
March 21, 2014, marks the fifth anniversary of the police murder of Lovelle Mixon, who was killed after he murdered four Oakland police officers and wounded a fifth, around 73rd and MacArthur Boulevard in East Oakland. “The Ghosts of March 21” is a documentary about the bloodiest day in the history of Oakland law enforcement, shot by Damon “Hooker Boy” Hooker and directed, written and edited by Sam Stoker.
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.
October 3, 2013
Black Mobilization Organization Education Richmond (BMOER) is a Black organization founded in 2007 by Jovanka Beckles to fill the void she saw in Richmond, California, of organized progressive social activism in the Black community. Like most other Black organizations in Richmond, we want more jobs, a better economy and improved health for our community members.