Block Report Radio interviews author Julianna Barbassa about Brazil and her new book, "Dancing with the Devil in the City of God". We discuss the...
To really appreciate the untold factors boiling just beneath the surface of the current wave of protests, one must understand that Brazil is a rich nation filled with poor Black and Brown people. Rarely are they seen at the protests demanding the impeachment of President Rousseff and besmirching the image of ex-President Lula. How does the country’s mainstay allure, racial democracy, deflect and misinform us about the current wave of protests against the only aspect of Brazilian life that is truly democratic – political corruption?
At Merritt College, the birthplace of the Black Panther Party, on the 74th birthday of its co-founder, Huey P. Newton, the African American Studies Program fittingly hosted a talk by the recently opened Cuban Embassy’s First Secretary Miguel Fraga, where he spoke on Cuban-U.S. relations. Afterwards, he and I continued to talk about the embargo, U.S. relations with Haiti, Venezuela and Bolivia, funding of Radio Marti, and the dissipation of the radical Latin American bloc of nations opposed to U.S. aggression and hegemony in the region and in the world.
Miguel Gonalez is a Colombian man who teaches youth how to play the traditional African-Indiginous rhythms of our ancestors from all over Africa and the Americas, opening the door for children intellectually trapped in the system’s schools to develop a knowledge of self, with the first steps being through playing the heartbeat, the drums. His organization, New Urban Drum Culture, is unique in its approach in helping to build self-esteem in at-risk inner-city youth.
We want to invite every friend of the SF Bay View newspaper to our 40th anniversary party. It’s a free event this Sunday, Feb. 21, 1-5 p.m., at the Main Library, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco. Come one, come all and let’s celebrate 40 years of the most radical Black newspaper in the country. Enjoy a panel of Bay View writers, a fashion show and performances by the legendary Avotcja, Stoney Creation and Sista Iminah reminding us of the beauty and talent in our community.
The Haitian people are determined to thwart what they see as an ongoing “electoral coup d’etat” by Haiti’s ruling elite, President Martelly and their U.S., French and Canadian backers – marching in the streets almost daily in their tens of thousands, risking their lives to insist that the fraudulent election be thrown out. On Dec. 16, the 25th anniversary of Haiti’s first free election in 1990, large-scale demonstrations will take place again throughout Haiti. We are echoing and amplifying their demands with a day of action and solidarity with the people of Haiti.
I talked to a future repatriate, my comrade Dr. Chris Zamani, about his recent trip to South Africa in search of a homeland and a place for him to stick his flag. I talked to him about some of the factors that he has to consider in order to prepare to make that move. He has a very interesting outlook on history and life that is driving his decision to want to leave the U.S., and I wanted to share this ongoing conversation that we have been having with each other for the last few years. Check out Dr. Zamani in his own words ...
Revolutionary, Bronx based, political Latino rap group Rebel Diaz strikes again: This time it’s not a dose of reality Hip Hop that they serving, but a new political and cultural education tool better known as Ñ Don’t Stop, a webisode that regularly appears on the Venezuelan media website TeleSur English that will also soon be hitting television screens worldwide.
Queen Njinga Mbandi of the Ndongo people is a legendary as well as charismatic figure in the pantheon of African world leaders and freedom fighters against colonialism. Screewriter Isilda Hurst and director Sérgio Graciano brought this legendary matriarch to life in a beautiful cinematic way with their new film, “Njinga: Queen of Angola,” a masterpiece for anyone interested in African history, foreign cinema and good movies in general.
Over a 25 year period, 200 women in South LA went missing. Of these missing women, 100 were found dead. All of the women are Black and most were prostitutes. The refusal to let these women’s lives go unacknowledged is due to the work of Black Coalition Fighting Back Against Serial Murders. HBO will broadcast “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” on April 27.
As we move into the next solar return, there is much to look forward to despite the stasis that seems to infect this nation with the disease of white supremacy or racial domination. OK OK, perhaps the silver lining is a bit too buried to find Osumare’s twinkle beyond any pots of gold you’ve stumbled upon recently. The knowledge that no matter how it looks, the Creator is in charge and the bad guys just look like they are always winning is what sustains us.
Without Haiti’s help, there would not have been any independent country in Latin America. On January 1, 1816, when Simon Bolivar arrived in Haiti, downtrodden and desperate for help to fight the Spanish, the only two republics in the Western Hemisphere were the United States, where slave ownership was in force, and Haiti, which had fought for and earned its independence in what is still the only successful slave rebellion ever in the world.
In the centennial year of the Universal Negro Improvement Association-African Community League, we should think about making our communities economically self-sufficient, where our Black businesses could afford to hire every Black person in the Black community who wants to work. That will only happen if we spend most if not all of our money on a regular basis in our community with each other, as much as we can.
From now on we are going to connect each and every city and nation that has significant numbers of members of the African Diaspora. We will begin to communicate on a regular basis and plan economic projects to employ more and more workers and build more and more wealth via entrepreneurship. These dots of people of African descent will become the envy of the world. Oh, how resilient we have been. Now we will not only survive but begin to thrive.
I’ve been watching for days now as media reports display the growing hatred at the arrival of Central American children across the Mexican-U.S. border. American voices crackle with bile as they begin the drumbeat for their immediate deportation. They are refugees from want and war, almost all the result of U.S. interventions in Central America in support of murderous military governments and the mindless drug war.
The World Cup used to be a news item solely for the sports pages. Times have definitely changed! More than 30 billion Brazilian Reals ($13.5 billion) have been taken from the state budget to fund the Cup! In response, Juventude Marxista (Marxist Youth) are promoting the campaign “Public, Free and for Everyone! Transport, Health, and Education! Down with Repression!”
On Feb. 12, Venezuelan Youth Day and the commemoration of the independence battle of La Victoria, some university students and traditional conservative opposition groups took to the streets in Venezuela. It quickly became obvious that the principal purpose of the protests was to destabilize the government and seek the ouster of the democratically elected president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.
Russell Maroon Shoatz is out of solitary confinement! Hugo Pinnell had his first contact visit in 40 years last weekend. Kiilu Nyasha announced this wonderful news at a reception following the second public hearing on solitary confinement called by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Feb. 11.
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.
I don’t know if it is a will of iron, Ogun or foolishness, but I caught something viral, which I refused to keep, on the plane Monday, Dec. 23, when I flew to San Salvador, El Salvador, by mistake – yes, the booking agent booked me for San Salvador when I clearly said Salvador, BAHIA, Brazil (smile). I kept seeing San Salvador and thought, well, perhaps this is another way of referencing Salvador, Bahia.