June 20, 2011
“I Twirl in the Smoke” is a new collection of writings by Meres-Sia Gabriel, the daughter of two Black Panthers, most notably former Minister of Culture and internationally known artist Emory Douglas.
March 11, 2011
In “Block Reportin’,” Oakland journalist and filmmaker JR Valrey lays bare stories of struggle and resistance through a collection of nearly a decade of interviews with local political leaders, national Black resistance leaders, artists and family members who’ve suddenly seen themselves cast into the spotlight.
February 5, 2011
My comrades, Hajj Malcolm Shabazz and Ra’Shida, and I (Minister of Information JR) were invited by international peace activist Cynthia McKinney to participate in the historic Conference of African Migrants in Europe held from Jan. 15-17 in Tripoli, Libya. Malcolm spoke at a televised event and got a standing ovation.
January 3, 2011
Journalist JR Valrey, who was born in 1978, grew up mostly in Oakland, where the legend of the Black Panther Party was all around him. “A lot of the people around here are Panthers, or knew Panthers or are members of the Black Guerilla Family, which was an organization that Field Marshall George Jackson of the Black Panther Party founded. The revolution is very deep in Oakland. It’s not so cosmetic as it is other places. It’s not just about bandannas and t-shirts and concert throwing and posturing. I think it’s more grassroots here and more ingrained in the spirit of the people.”
November 9, 2010
No matter how much you know about Mumia, you’re sure to find something new and exciting here – beginning with an introduction that sets the scene, then Mumia’s latest essay, “The dirty game (POLITICS),” an open letter he wrote in 1981 called “The sting of betrayal,” followed by some “Blackground info” and concluding with “Mumia Abu Jamal Radio Teach-In” featuring the voices of M1 of dead prez and Minister of Information JR, Ramona and Pam Africa and more.
October 29, 2010
Hard Knock Radio is a must-listen show broadcast weekdays on KPFA 94.1 FM at 4-5 p.m. On Oct. 26, the show kicked off with this historic conversation between host Davey D, Minister of Information JR and Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X.
September 6, 2010
Just as Hurricane Katrina revealed racial inequalities, the recovery has also been shaped by systemic racism. According to a recent survey of New Orleanians by the Kaiser Foundation, 42 percent of African Americans – versus just 16 percent of whites – said they still have not recovered from Katrina. Thirty-one percent of African-American residents – versus 8 percent of white respondents – said they had trouble paying for food or housing in the last year.
August 4, 2010
Marilyn Buck was a former political prisoner and prisoner of war. Along with Mutulu Shakur, she was responsible for the liberation of Assata Shakur from prison in 1979. She later went underground and spent 25 years in prison. She was released July 15, 2010. Then suddenly, only 19 days later, she was gone.
July 22, 2010
Bikes 4 Life is on the cutting edge of the earth conscious movement that has to take place in this country if the human race is to survive. From the naked eye, it is a used bike shop that repairs and sells used bikes. In reality, it is one of the community anchors in West Oakland where people go to socialize and congregate and discuss community issues, including bikes.
July 10, 2010
“I AM,” shouted the speaker at the Oakland protest of the verdict in the trial of ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle; “OSCAR GRANT!” roared back the crowd at 14th and Broadway. The cold-blooded killer of Oscar Grant had just gotten off with an involuntary manslaughter conviction in a trial in LA. After less than two days deliberation, a jury with no Black members cleared Johannes Mehserle of second degree murder.
June 1, 2010
On the eve of Oscar Grant triggerman Johannes Mehserle’s trial in LA, the first time a Cali cop has ever been tried for an on-duty murder, Rebel Diaz from NYC and Oakland’s own Beeda Weeda are headlining ‘The Black and Brown Get Down for Oscar Grant’ benefit concert Wednesday, June 9, 9 p.m., at the Rockit Room. Meet Rod Starz of Rebel Diaz, some powerful allies, musically and politically! Pre-sale tickets – $15 at http://beedaweedarebeldiazsf.eventbrite.com/ – are going fast.
March 10, 2010
The veil of authority and legitimacy shielding most urban police forces against popular suspicion and distrust simply doesn’t exist in New Orleans. Hardly anyone likes or trusts the po-po. The actual point of this piece is to reflect a little on the war currently raging between the people of New Orleans and the NOPD.
December 24, 2009
It was as it should be / Young Black Panthers / Were killed for trying / To protect the cubs / For educating the cubs / For feeding the cubs / This was never the American dream / But we have lived a nightmare for days / In efforts to make our dreams / Come to life take flight / We still have to fight / It was as it should be / Giving honor to Chairman Fred / And Defense Captain Mark Clark
April 21, 2009
Many TV channels broadcast live the entire funeral for four Oakland police officers killed March 21, news anchors calling them “heroes” and “angels.” Police funerals are intended to legitimize past and future police violence and tell the public to shut up. The spineless left complies – no mention of Oscar Grant … or Lovelle Mixon.
January 27, 2009
The torture of prisoners in U.S. custody is not only found in military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo. If President Obama is serious about ending U.S. support for torture, he can start here in Louisiana.
January 10, 2009
In the early hours of this year of ostensible hope, the reality of the persistence of racism in Oakland became devastatingly clear, sparking a powerful response the likes of which this city hasn’t seen in years.
December 25, 2008
Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace are about to begin their 37th year in the dungeon of the old slave plantation, Angola. A crucifixion. Where is the public outrage that will resurrect them?
December 19, 2008
With drums, songs, rap, performance and a lot of leafleting, the friends of Mumia in Mexico demanded his freedom in the zocalo on Saturday, Dec. 6, in solidarity with the march in Philadelphia.
November 29, 2008
Robert H. King, Angola 3 activist, former political prisoner, called to tell me that Herman Wallace, while visiting with Jackie Sumell and her friend, had what appeared to be a heart attack or stroke. Alarmed, Jackie banged on the door of the locked visiting room to get guards’ attention.
August 1, 2008
I was honored to be able to interview political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal and soak up some of his knowledge. In this interview we will discuss issues involving the foster care system, gang injunctions and the incarceration of young people.