Tag: Black youth
He was born in 1933. He, of course, is Minister Louis Farrakhan but, like Oprah or Prince, one name is enough to garner recognition. Say “Farrakhan” – and everyone knows of whom you speak. This has especially been so since Oct. 16, 1995, the day his call for the assemblage of a million Black men was met by at least a million Black men. What other Black leader could have done this?
Steve Bloom, a comrade and veteran activist, asked me several questions regarding my contribution to “Look for Me in the Whirlwind.” The questions delve into aspects of our political struggle against oppression back in the 1960s and ‘70s and are still pressing concerns. My story is closer to what untold numbers of highly motivated 1960s and 1970s “revolutionaries” usually don’t write about or discuss nowadays. I believe I have answered comrade Steve Bloom’s questions.
On April 19, 2015, Freddie Gray of Baltimore, Maryland, was murdered by officers of the Baltimore Police Department while in their custody. An article published in The Atlantic three days after Gray’s death pointed out the historical precedent for this particular kind of state violence. The author wrote, “Black men dying at the hands of the police is of course nothing new.” The “peculiar institution” of this violent and racist system can be better understood by tracing the lineage of the police back in time.
It has been 45 years since my mentor, Dr. Arthur A. Fletcher, implemented the Philadelphia Plan. This was a federal program used to integrate unions. From the beginning, the construction trades resisted with violence and Jim Crow style segregation. Then why do most civil rights organizations and local Black elected officials support such instruments of racism? That is simple. They take donations from the very construction locals who discriminate against us.
I went to San Francisco’s 2017 Dr. King Day celebration riding the same wave that hounded every other participant. As I suspected, a tragic election caused crowd levels to swell significantly compared to a year ago. I’d say at least three times the number of 2016 attendees walked in this year’s march. One ugly cloud loomed: the transfer of federal powers – which finally did arrive four days later – had crept oh so dreadfully near.
In the wake of racial tension the United States is currently facing, renowned chef and author Tunde Wey has been making his way around the nation hosting a dinner series titled Blackness in America. On Tuesday night, he teamed up with Caleb Zigas of La Cocina, Fernay McPherson of Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement, Reem Assil of Reem’s California and Birite Market to host a conversation about racial and social inequalities that African Americans residents face daily in their communities over dinner in the Bayview’s Southeast Community Center.
As elections near, voters face the choices before them with something like dread: Donald Trump: loud, bombastic, bellicose, rich as Croesus and xenophobic, or the presumptive Democratic nominee – unless Vermont’s Bernie Sanders manages to upend her – Hillary Rodham Clinton: slick as oil, flexible as a Slinky, bottled-blonde ambition and wife of the penultimate political animal, “Slick Willie” Clinton.
Elaine Brown’s “A Taste of Power,” a memoir which chronicles her leadership of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense when co-founder Huey P. Newton is imprisoned, still resonates with me. The idea that a Black woman is nominated to the leadership position of the most powerful civic organization in the country at that time is still remarkable and speaks to what Kathleen Cleaver calls revolutionary imagination.
Yakub Bey is a very intelligent young writer from Oakland California. He has already authored one book called “To My Unborn Sons and Daughters, I’ll Make You Proud,” and he has a number of book and movie ideas as well as ways to dispel some of the international stereotypes plaguing the true perception of a lot of young Black people in this country. Check out our brotha in his own words.
It’s been 10 years since the watery carnage of Katrina, and one year since the fiery rage lit the night skies of Ferguson, Missouri, and between the two harrowing events lay the state of Black America isolated, demonized and damned. When the levees broke and the rushing waters of Hurricane Katrina swept into the wards of New Orleans, the 9th Ward – the Blackest ward – received the greatest damage, and the least relief.
Over the years, Kharyishi Wigington has been a tireless advocate for empowering West Oakland youth at McClymonds High School. She is at it again, this time taking a group of students on a cultural exchange to South Africa. The young leaders who have been studying and fundraising all year for their trip to South Africa are scheduled to leave in a few days but have not yet raised all the money they need. Please help as generously as you can.
Primacy should be given to an understanding of the material fact we are all one family. Our relations are consanguineous (related by blood) stemming from our common Afrikan ancestry. Each of you constitutes one link in the great chain that is representative of the whole, i.e., the family, which is also our New Afrikan (Black) Nation.
The uprising in Baltimore has delivered an unmistakable and powerful message that the time is over when people will tolerate the unending and outrageous murder and brutality carried out by police. The torture and murder of Freddie Gray for nothing – and the ongoing, infuriating lies and coverup – is only the latest in a long line of such horrors in not only Baltimore but all over the U.S., from North Charleston, S.C., to Ferguson, Missouri, from Pasco, Washington, to New York City and beyond – THIS MUST STOP!
On Jan. 9, 2015, at close to 10:00 p.m., my son, Yalani (Mighty Born) Chinyamurindi (of Zimbabwe Hahari, the House of Reverence), was working at BeniHana Japanese Restaurant in San Francisco’s Japantown. Yalani had a half hour lunch break. Even though the rent was paid, he was eager to contribute to the household. With check in hand, he left the restaurant with a work colleague to cash it. Only life is what’s happening as you make other plans ... The funeral is Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, 2:00 p.m., at Bryant Mortuary, 635 Fulton St., San Francisco.
Because of Andy Lopez’ killing, the main focus of many people I know is on youth executions at the hands of law enforcement. I see this in terms of a broader context, i.e. the long-range agendas of the right-wing Republican Party. The week-to-week shooting deaths of our Black, Brown and other youth by so-called law enforcement must be studied in the context of the systemic all-over picture. Clearly, there is a pattern and a plan there, if one would just look closely.
Dr. Macheo Payne is making his mark in the field of education by focusing on new practices around keeping Black male youth in the classroom. His dissertation, “The Three Commitments: Critical Race Theory and Disproportionate Suspension of Black Males,” challenges classroom teachers and other school site staff to re-examine their approaches to student learning, particularly learning for young Black men.
“The 16th Strike,” a documentary in progress, is directed and produced by T Alika Hickman with videographer Danny Russo. Hickman, the young survivor of a stroke and two brain aneurysms, is a Hip Hop artist with Krip Hop Nation – artists with disabilities – as well as a mother, activist, author and poet. She is raising funds to complete the film.
To our Black youth and men of essence who call themselves men with character and integrity, I am calling you out to take a stand, to stand for something. What will your “something” be? Whatever it may be, allow yourself to empower, enhance and impact someone’s life for the better. You can start with your own children.
The fiery writing of JR Valrey began appearing in the Bay View a dozen years ago. JR made our original vision for the Bay View reality: to inspire Black youth to build a powerful Black community. As the Bay View’s associate editor and one of KPFA’s most popular programmers with his provocative Block Report Radio shows, JR and the youth who grew up on his empowering words and pictures are growing in influence, making a difference every day – and they’re just getting started.
Students learned many things about African and African American history, ranging from the classical African civilizations of Kemet (ancient Egypt), Songhai and Mali to the Black Arts Movement and the Harlem Renaissance. The African-centered curriculum is designed to encourage youth to read during the summer while building self-esteem and a strong cultural identity.
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