March 31, 2013
The award winning play, “The Mountaintop,” looks at the everyday divinity of ordinary folks and places Martin King right there with them. His greatness is not a greatness which is inaccessible or isolated. In the Lorraine Motel that night, King listens and even agrees at some point with the young maid, Camae, a Malcolm X radical in an apron.
November 25, 2012
Terry Collins, co-founder of KPOO 89.5FM, and Willie Ratcliff, publisher of the San Francisco Bay View, blessed the airwaves last Tuesday afternoon with a warm and revealing discussion of life and resistance and the upcoming Black Media Appreciation Night, honoring the champions of independent Black media. Black Media Appreciation Night is this Monday, Nov. 26, 8 p.m., at Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Jack London Square, Oakland. For tickets and more information, go to http://www.yoshis.com/oakland/jazzclub/artist/show/3104.
October 28, 2012
In an earlier statement, I said that Richard Aoki is and was my respected friend, comrade, mentor and crime partner. I received the feedback that I had used fine words but had given no examples to show what I meant. I accept that criticism and the following is my response. I hope that you can see what kind of cat the brotha was.
October 5, 2012
Judith Jamison looked regal on stage with Farai Chideya last month in The Forum Conversations at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Her message seemed to be one of preparedness and presence – being, as our sister Ayana Vanzant says, in spirit. Muslims call this the sirata-l-mustaqim or the path of the rightly guided.
August 21, 2012
Aoki NEVER was an agent. The over-emphasis upon Aoki providing the Panthers their first firearms is sensationalist fodder. What is conveniently ignored is what he contributed most to the Panthers and to the legacy of the U.S. revolutionary movement: promoting revolutionary study, ideology and disciplined organization. That’s why he was field marshal – because the cat could organize and tolerated no indiscipline and lack of seriousness. To the end of his life, Aoki could go toe-to-toe with any intellectual, theorist or organizer on the complexities and challenges of revolutionary theory.
August 11, 2012
Abdul Olugbala Shakur and M. Ajanaku are in the process of collecting essays written by New Afrikan Black political prisoners and political prisoners of war for a book titled “In the Spirit of George Jackson.” Proceeds from sale of the book will be donated to the San Francisco Bay View and the New Afrikan Criminology Academy (NACA).
July 19, 2012
Tupac Shakur, a very talented rapper and actor who defined the aspirations and frustrations of a generation, was shot on Sept. 7, 1996, and died on Sept. 13. On June 16, Bobby Beats, the father of Digital Underground’s Money B and a former Black Panther, organized one of the biggest, most exciting and most meaningful Tupac birthday parties in history.
June 9, 2012
Summertime in the Bay Area is nothing without all of the music, food and film festivals. If you missed the Oakland International Film Festival, there is still time for you to catch the Bay’s biggest Black film festival, the San Francisco Black Film Festival, which runs June 15-17 at a number of theaters around San Francisco. This year Leo Sullivan will be in attendance. He is one of the cartoon visionaries who created Fat Albert and Looney Tunes. Digital Underground will also be a part of this year’s festivities, as well as Black Panther Party co-founder and chairman Bobby Seale.
May 6, 2012
DeBray “Fly Benzo” Carpenter. He was busted on Oct. 18, 2011, by two of SFPD’s finest, John Norment and Joshua Fry, for (gasp!) participating in a community organized rally while playing a boom box in Mendell Plaza in the heart of Bayview Hunters Point. For speaking out against police brutality, especially the SFPD murder of Kenneth Harding last July, he was brutally arrested, tried and now is barred from Mendell Plaza by order of Judge Jerome T. Benson.
March 8, 2012
Shouting “Inside, outside, we’re all on the same side” and “Here comes Oakland,” five full buses and two vans left Oakland to meet up with marchers from as far away as Portland and Seattle who had already arrived at plantation San Quentin for one of the largest anti-slavery rallies in California history.
May 10, 2011
The wonderful people of Sonoma gave Big Man a surprise dinner to honor his 50th year of community service. Big Man’s and my connection is based in the Black Panther Party. Even in the BPP, we used to run together.
January 11, 2011
Sophia Dawson is an artist I met in Harlem, New York, at this year’s Black Panther Film Fest, where she had a striking painted piece of Black Panther co-founder and Chairman Bobby Seale. I have seen a lot of dope, conscious-minded Black visual artists over the years; she is definitely one of the more talented ones.
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.”
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.
December 11, 2009
KPFA has been actively trying to restrain Flashpoints’ success for years now, but most of all during Rijio’s tenure as general manager. We take on the stories that make the establishment nervous, whether it’s police beatings and injustice inside the station – Nadra Foster – or outside the station. We report from the ground, whether it’s from Haiti or the West Bank or at the frontlines of the Native American struggle. Our Palestine coverage in particular has garnered intense scrutiny, to use a euphemism, from the pro-Zionist crowd.
December 9, 2009
A leader in the movement for justice for Oscar Grant, Minister of Information JR is headed to Los Angeles for a screening of his new film, “Operation Small Axe,” focusing on resistance to police terror in occupied communities, and a discussion of the Oscar Grant case and its implications. It’s this Saturday, Dec. 12, 6:30 p.m., at Leimert Park’s Kaos Network, 4343 Leimert Blvd. Let’s support this brotha!
October 6, 2009
This October will mark the 43rd anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party. To celebrate this milestone, the It’s About Time Committee and The Commemorator are presenting a two-day Book Fair and Teach-In at the Laney College Student Center on Friday, Oct. 23, 12-3 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 24, 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., as just one of many scheduled October events.
February 1, 2009
We want to call the names of those who made their transition in January and offer condolences to their loved ones who have yet to cross that bridge. I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that Ave Montague is gone.