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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.
Tambay Obenson, founder of Shadow and Act, a collective of writers, filmmakers, film critics and film enthusiasts, all interested in discussing primarily film and filmmakers of the African Diaspora, recently announced a plea to save his online film collective, which will be discontinued at the end of the month if it is not saved by other filmmakers and supporters.
The San Francisco Black Film Festival is one of the premiere events for the shrinking Black community in the Bay Area, annually. This year, the two headlining movies are “AMERICA Is Still the Place” and “Njinga – Queen of Angola.” I interviewed the San Francisco Black Film Festival director Kali O’Ray about what is happening this year at the festival. Check him out in his own words, telling us the history of the festival and what’s going on this year.
There are two film festivals in the Bay Area that are famous for presenting excellent work by Black filmmakers: the Oakland International Film Festival and the San Francisco Black Film Festival. In a few weeks, thousands of people will be trailing into theaters all over San Francisco to check out what the SF Black Film Fest has deemed some of the best Black indie films of the year.
I think George Lucas is a good guy in a notoriously unscrupulous business, trying to do the right thing. Hiring a Black director and writer was the right thing. However, the bottom line is we must build our own studios, networks and social media companies and bring our own money back to our communities now.
“The San Francisco Black Film Festival,” June 17-19, opens with the Mario Van Peebles directed film, “Things Fall Apart,” starring Curtis (50 Cent) Jackson III, Ray Liotta and Lynn Whitfield.