July 16, 2016
When you talk about grinding and hustling for your dream, Oakland’s DLabrie has rocked mics from New York to Seoul and collaborated with some of the most intellectual rappers of our generation. A few months ago he premiered the “Stay Black and Die” video, which included appearances by rappers M1, Shamako, Mac Mall and Ray Luv, at the Oakland International Film Festival. He is definitely someone who has a lot to say. Check out DLabrie in his own words.
July 10, 2016
International peace activist Cynthia McKinney brought a very important point to me recently when she asked me to think about the fact that every time Black people reach a moral high ground over the police, something tragic happens to the police. It drives home the subliminal point that other ethnicities should be sympathetic to police who are paid to control these Black animals, who, untrained or barely trained and armed, can kill multiple elite, trained officers. Consider the cases of Larry Davis in New York and Lovelle Mixon in Oakland.
May 16, 2016
Right out of the musical lineage of Parliament Funkadellic, Georgia Ann Muldrow, Dudley Perkins and the Dungeon Family steps Bay Area bred producer Oji and his crew, the Ascension Team. Oji’s music is on some futuristic other level type of space vibe. He is like an Andre 3000, on a production level conjuring sound chemistries not ever heard before in widely known rap music. Check out Oji as he talks about his craft.
March 29, 2016
The Saint John Coltrane Church is a historical fixture in the San Francisco Black community and a direct descendant of the work of the late great Marcus Mosiah Garvey and his Universal Negro Improvement Association. One reason the Coltrane Church is important is that it defines for itself who are the saints that are worthy of our praise, instead of basing its doctrine on the philosophy and understanding of god that came out of the Council of Nicea.
March 25, 2016
This article was prompted by the unrelenting campaign by friends and associates of the late Dr. Walter Rodney, to maintain the false accusation that Forbes Burnham ordered Walter Rodney’s assassination. Many of these academics and commentators are not Guyanese and do not fully understand the circumstances in 1980 that led to Walter Rodney’s demise. The adage, chanted by Bob Marley, that “half the story has never been told” is 100 percent correct.
January 17, 2016
On Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Denver, at approximately 2:20 pm Houston father, activist, radio station owner and musician Zin aka Anthony Mills, 42, and Jonathan Nichols, 29, lost their lives in a four-car collision. Akua Holt, a good friend and radio comrade of Zin, worked with him on KPFT and in the community. I talked to her about the power of our productive and constructive brother who lost his life far too soon.
September 6, 2015
On Sept. 19-20, 2015, The Seventh Annual One Love One Heart Reggae Music Festival will be going down at Camp Pollock in Sacramento, featuring headliners Everton Blender, Big Mountain, Pato Baton, Sister Carol, Pablo Moses and more. This is one of my favorite Reggae festivals in Northern California, and it is organized by one of my favorite people in the Reggae community, Denise Carter.
July 30, 2015
I have known Iminah, the renaissance woman who works under the brand name “From Ghetto to Goddess,” for a few years, and I continue to be inspired by how she serves the Black community. Since moving back to Oakland from Atlanta where she went to college, Iminah has been involved with speaking to at-risk youth, writing and recording an album, and dancing in everything from plays and dance shows to music videos.
May 29, 2015
Few musicians have had such an everlasting impression on the music of the 20th century internationally as the legendary Reggae and Dub producer and vocalist Lee “Scratch” Perry. “Vision of Paradise” is a new documentary that Scratch is the subject of as well as an executive producer along with Volker Schaner, who we contacted in Germany to get this exclusive interview.
May 21, 2015
Writer, reporter and Pan Africanist Obi Egbuna, the U.S. correspondent to the Zimbabwean national newspaper The Herald, recently finished, alongside co-executive producer M1 of dead prez, the third volume of the “Battle Cry for Cuba and Zimbabwe” compilation, which is a cultural protest against how the two countries have been unfairly sanctioned by the U.S. government. Check out Obi Egbuna in his own words.
February 1, 2015
Dr. Siri Brown is a professor at Merritt College in Oakland and head of its African American Studies Department. She is an academic who understands her role in the classroom, giving young people a knowledge of self and opening fertile minds to the social realities that are oppressing their people as well. She has been an example for present day and future academics for over a decade on how to teach history in a living way.
November 21, 2014
Thespian Donald Lacy is one of the stars of the new play “Superheroes,” which starts today and runs through Dec. 21 at the Cutting Ball Theater. “Superheroes” looks at the cocaine era in U.S. history from the perspective of a series of people interlocked in the scheme, or the uncovering of it. Check out renaissance man Donald Lacy, the father, journalist, activist, comedian, thespian and so much more as he speaks on Gary Webb and “Superheroes” …
August 5, 2014
“Israel” is an up-to-date apartheid state. “Israel” is a wicked occupying force. “Israel” is a raw, primitive, viciously colonialist state, other “neo-colonialisms” notwithstanding. Whether in Gaza or the West Bank, Palestine is not supposed to defend itself against apartheid, occupation or colonialism in this basic logic of the white Western capitalist world, but it does – valiantly. Long live Palestine!
April 28, 2014
On April 19, a Youth Summit organized by the mayor brought young people together to talk about forming a “Youth Council” to advise the City Council. Richmond native Asani Shakur is well aware of the need young people have for guidance, education, compassion and mentoring. He seems to understand that everyone in the community, including policy makers, is responsible for creating a healthy, supportive environment that’s conducive to their healthy development.
March 28, 2014
TheatreWorks’ production of “Once on This Island” is a beautifully choreographed story about love and loss, faith and selflessness. A musical based on the Caribbean writer and Black arts movement pioneer Rosa Guy’s adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s “Little Mermaid” set in a mysterious tropical island, when Napoleon appears defeated, we know it is Ayiti (Haiti).
February 5, 2014
I am recovering from a huge blow – my computer was taken along with other personal irreplaceable items. We stopped by Loon Point to visit the shore before driving back to the San Francisco Bay Area Jan. 30. It was early, we’d just finished our first session of the Winter Quarter. We left our luggage in view in our cohort’s car. In Oakland, we’d not have done that, but somehow the seashore, mountains and quiet terrain deceptively seduced us.
September 26, 2013
Since we last caught up with Kev Choice, he has been in the lab creating the soundscape for the new Jennifer Johns’ “Chronicles of the Aquarian Mind” album, which will see the light of day in mid-October. This is a very unique match of Oakland talent, be it that she is a strong vocalist and at times rapper and Kev is definitely production savvy. Check out Kev Choice in his own words …
June 30, 2013
Chela aka Holly Saucy recently released her new album, “Death of a Mermaid,” which definitely has a different sound from her usual 16 bars of rhymes and a sing song hook. It has a ‘80s pop/’90s alternative sound that whets the palette of a real music connoisseur and has you examining the beats as well as words that are coming out of your speakers.
February 1, 2013
There are a lot of people out there who are concerned about how you spend your money. Embrace this glorious month of February and our incomparably rich history that extends back God knows where and support the future Gabby Douglases and Colin Kaepernicks and George Washington Carvers of the world by buying Black.
October 26, 2012
Recently, I had an opportunity to speak with Cynthia McKinney, and I asked her about leadership. She replied that at the local level in the Black communities, there is leadership. It no longer gets media coverage, but it is there. Real leaders are those with the courage to dissent and to resist. It is the act of resistance that transforms an elected person into a leader.