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As a founding member of the Black Panther Party at the age of 28, Howard swiftly became the party’s minister of information, editing the group’s official newspaper, traveling to Japan as a spokesman and initiating a free medical clinic for sickle-cell anemia and a work-study program for parolees at Merritt College. Now, at age 78, Elbert "Big Man" Howard hosts Jazz Connections, a biweekly jazz show on KRCB-FM in Rohnert Park, and Jazz Styles, a monthly show on KOWS-FM in Sebastopol – playing the same music that he and his comrades relaxed and shared ideas to 50 years ago.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is one of the most riveting and exciting instrument-playing musical formations specializing in Jazz wit’ a splash of Hip Hop. I talked with trumpet player Gabriel “Huda” Hubert about touring extensively overseas, one of his brothers quitting the band, growing up in a polygamous household, the legalization of marijuana, their upcoming new album, “The Bad Boys of Jazz,” and more.
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.
Rickey Vincent’s new book, “Party Music,” about the Black Panther Party singing group The Lumpen is a great read. The revolutionary singing group was all about the ideology of the Black Panther Party in song and music. The Lumpen had a powerful show. They mixed the contemporary music of James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Motown and changed the lyrics to provide a positive message in their music.
Marcus Book Store, at 1712 Fillmore St., San Francisco, is packed with knowledge it has purveyed since 1960, for 53 years. Now the oldest Black book store in the country has been ordered out. But the community is REFUSING to let Marcus Books close. The Sweises, who bought the property, want the judge to evict Marcus Books. Everyone is urged to BOYCOTT their businesses, Big Dog City Cab and Royal Cab companies. On Tuesday, July 2, 3 p.m., the community will caravan to the Sweis home in South City for a PROTEST RALLY at 4 p.m.
Rhyanne Green and the Grio owe Chaka Khan and their readers an apology for the intentionally misleading headline on their Feb. 14 article, entitled, “Chaka Khan’s favorite memory of Whitney Houston: ‘Getting high together’.” This is what we get from having “our own” spaces fronted by white mainstream media on the web.
In honoring Ms. Houston, will we talk about it or remain addicted to painting rosy pictures and acting like we aren’t touched by the scourge of addictions that’s systemic in our society? If we wanna honor Whitney, , how about helping put an end to the demons that plagued her and so many others? How about us having a honest, impactful and earnest discussion about addictions and mental health so we can spare future generations this pain.
I learned about the Los Angeles based singer Dasha Chadwick from Facebook. The first time I heard her music was a few months ago, after I looked her singing up on YouTube. Before she was Dasha, the woman, I knew her when she was in the first grade when I used to walk her to school.