April 4, 2012
Professor Michelle Alexander’s new book “The New Jim Crow” is a monumental, well researched piece of work that presents documented facts in down to earth English about the mass incarceration of Black people within the United States’ national concentration camp system. At one point in “The New Jim Crow,” Professor Alexander presents evidence that more Black people are enslaved behind bars today than were enslaved on the plantations in 1850, before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
March 7, 2012
When the Occupy San Quentin rally ended, San Rafael police followed us to the Richmond Bridge. I don’t know if it was Jabari Shaw’s orange CDCR jumpsuit that kept them wondering – Is he an escapee, one of ours? – or if it was the sheer magnitude of fearlessness represented by women like Kelly, a former prisoner who would not let her traumatic experience silence her. One brother got so full looking at the guards on the other side of the gate watching that he looked like he was going to leap the gate and hurt someone as he recalled the violations of his person over and over again. Members of All of Us or None dropped everything to embrace him when he left the stage.
February 8, 2012
“We need a knowledge of self in order to counter the negative imagery and influences … People who know their history are in a better position to defend themselves and advance their own interests than people who do not,” says historian Runoko Rashidi, who discusses the strong Black influence on Europe.
January 25, 2012
A year ago this month, Black, White and Brown inmates in a dozen Georgia prisons staged a brief strike. They put forward a set of simple and basic demands – wages for work, decent food and medical care, access to educational and self-improvement programs, fairness and more.
December 30, 2011
God could not have sent us a more fitting setting for Occupy Cal at the University of California, Berkeley – the sun rising, yellow and warm. I was going devote today to observing and reporting on the social movement.
December 27, 2011
“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons,” wrote Dostoyevsky. If what he says is true – and I believe it is – then America, which boasts the largest prison population in the world, is perhaps the most uncivilized country there is. Who better to speak to the reality of prison life than someone who is living the experience?
December 27, 2011
A young man who was accused of the theft of an iPhone was acquitted, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi announced. “This case shows how easy it is for an innocent person to find themselves charged with a crime. Studies have shown that mistaken identification is the greatest cause of wrongful convictions,” Adachi said.
December 23, 2011
On Sept. 11, 2011, Stanford University announced that Don Griffin, an Oakland native and 1965 honor graduate of Oakland’s Fremont High School, would be one of the 2011 inductees into Stanford’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Don was the third Black to play basketball for Stanford and was twice the season’s leading scorer.
December 3, 2011
Sobonfu Somé, West African healer, says that when people die and become ancestors, they get smarter and often try to repair any damage they may have made while in this physical form. Ancestors want to be busy making our lives better. She said we can call on them to intercede on our behalf when we are troubled.
October 28, 2011
A new light rail line through South Los Angeles to the airport that promises thousands of jobs got the green light Sept. 22 from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) board of directors. Now that the project can move into its construction phase, the Black communities the rail line will pass through are asking whether they’ll benefit and who will win the contracts and jobs.
October 4, 2011
October is Maafa Commemoration Month. The term Maafa refers to the Black Holocaust, that period when African people were stolen and traded in the greatest, most widespread cooperative economic venture to date, which resulted in the displacement of human beings as commodities. The Kiswahili term Maafa extends that definition of loss and trauma, that is, PTSD or post-traumatic slave syndrome – the flashbacks, both conscious and unconscious, reoccurring instances of the atrocities 150 years after the end of slavery which have direct association to the brutality of chattel slavery.
September 30, 2011
I want to start with the recent attempt by the Children’s Museum of Oakland to prevent Palestinian kids from showing their art. You wrote a very moving piece on your website. It was very personal. Could you just briefly outline what you wrote and your response to this censorship?
September 27, 2011
The Hunters Point Rebellion, touched off Sept. 27, 1966, 45 years ago today, by the police murder of Matthew Johnson, 16, was put down after only 128 hours with massive force. The repression left scars that make it hard for people who lived through the rebellion to talk about it 45 years later. The Bay View encourages those who remember to share your story so that what should be a proud chapter in Black history of defying injustice is never forgotten. Those who remember the 1966 rebellion are encouraged to email their recollections to the Bay View at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 7, 2011
Minutes after the outrageous police killing of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding a stone’s throw from my home and office, I joined the crowd and for two hours listened to the witnesses, shared the anger and echoed the calls for unity. Let us demand the right to “own and operate and control the economy of our community,” as Brother Malcolm advised. Now – right now – is the time for us to prove that it’s not the police, it’s not the prison guards or the big developers who have the power to impoverish and enslave us and drive us off our land. The ultimate power belongs to the people, and we will use it.
August 7, 2011
“This is your city,” Deputy Public Defender Erin Haney told jurors. “Mr. Christopher has the same rights you have. He has the same rights your son has. … Mr. Christopher does not live in a police state. In the Bayview, you have the same rights as you do in Pacific Heights.”
June 25, 2011
While many had questioned whether Barack Obama was Black enough, in the 2008 elections 96 percent of African Americans cast their vote for him. Today, the question has re-emerged.
June 20, 2011
Within the U.S. immigration movement, leaders often do not clearly understand racism as it impacts upon immigration legislation on local and national levels, nor do they seem to clearly understand why, generally speaking, African Americans tend to be their most reliable allies.
June 9, 2011
Political activists around the country are still absorbing the news of Geronimo ji Jaga’s death. His commitment, humility, clear thinking as well as his sense of both the longevity and continuity of the Black Freedom Movement in the U.S. all stood out to those who knew him.
June 7, 2011
The United States has no moral authority to chastise other governments for human rights violations until it addresses its human rights violations, including the atrocious treatment of political prisoners.
May 27, 2011
There is a popular myth which explains President Barack Obama’s reluctance to stand up to Pentagon militarists, Wall Street banksters and corporate greedheads. The myth is that he really does want to do all these things, but we the people have abandoned our responsibility to “make him do it.”