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Posts Tagged with "Civil Rights Movement"

Children from a Muslim school were excited to pose with Nate Parker. – Photo: Wanda Sabir

Nate Parker’s ‘Birth of a Nation’ inspires and empowers Black people

November 17, 2016

Thursday, Nov. 10, Nate Parker visited historic McClymonds High School for a screening of his film, “Birth of a Nation” (2016). His visit and the screening were a part of Supervisor Keith Carsen’s Community Empowerment Forums which, hosted that evening by Elaine Brown, former Black Panther Party chair, are to create spaces for public discourse and problem solving. In this case, the topic was the importance of knowing one’s history.

Members of the Texas youth football team, the Beaumont Bulls, take a knee to “protest violence against Black youth” during the national anthem before their Sept. 10 game. – Photo: April Parkerson

Bold, brave & bullied: Meet the Beaumont Bulls

October 19, 2016

Something amazingly powerful is happening all over the country with America’s youth. In 34 states, with at least 44 high schools, 21 colleges, and two youth sports leagues, brilliant, bold, courageous young student athletes – ranging from football players to cheerleaders to volleyball players and marching bands – have all taken a knee during the Star Spangled Banner to protest police brutality and racial injustice in America.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Thirteen hundred prisoners, their spirits high, filled the Attica yard at the beginning of the Attica Rebellion, on Sept. 9, 1971. The rebellion was inspired not only by intolerable conditions at Attica but also by the assassination of George Jackson at San Quentin in California two weeks earlier, on Aug. 21, 1971.

Why we’re about to see the largest prison strike in history

September 9, 2016

On Sept. 9, a series of coordinated work stoppages and hunger strikes will take place at prisons across the country. Organized by a coalition of prisoner rights, labor and racial justice groups, the strikes will include prisoners from at least 20 states – making this the largest effort to organize incarcerated people in U.S. history. The actions will represent a powerful, long-awaited blow against the status quo in what has become the most incarcerated nation on earth.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Keith ‘Malik’ Washington

Hard lessons in the struggle to end prison slavery

September 1, 2016

These prison profiteers and imperialist oppressors aren’t feeling the recent show of power and solidarity among prisoners throughout AmeriKKKa. In the same manner, the FBI’s COINTELPRO sought to thwart the emergence of a Black Messiah, mass incarceration in Amerika seeks to sabotage the emergence of any movement which challenges the capitalist-imperialist plan to lock up, exploit, disenfranchise, poison and in some cases even kill the poorest cross-section of Amerikan society.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Stokely Carmichael and Julian Bond, leaders of SNCC, in 1967 – Photo: Horace Cort, AP

SNCC Legacy Project endorses the Movement for Black Lives Policy Platform

August 19, 2016

A group of civil rights era activists have passed the torch to a younger generation, so to speak. One week after the Movement for Black Lives released a wide-ranging, and long-awaited, policy platform, the activists’ vision for change has also earned an endorsement from delegates of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a famed student organizing group that formed in the 1960s.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Every day since the police murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, protesters have been shutting down major streets and highways all over the country.

Michelle Alexander: Something more is required of us now. What?

July 14, 2016

I have struggled to find words to express what I thought and felt as I watched the videos of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile being killed by the police. As I was preparing to write about the oldness of all of this, I heard on the news that 11 officers had been shot in Dallas, several killed from sniper fire. My fingers froze on the keys. I could not bring myself to recycle old truths. Something more is required. But what?

Muhammad Ali leaves the armed forces induction center with his entourage after refusing to be drafted into the armed forces in Houston, Texas, April 28, 1967. – Photo: AP

‘I just wanted to be free’: The radical reverberations of Muhammad Ali

June 5, 2016

The reverberations. Not the rumbles, the reverberations. The death of Muhammad Ali will undoubtedly move people’s minds to his epic boxing matches against Joe Frazier and George Foreman, or there will be retrospectives about his epic “rumbles” against racism and war. But it’s the reverberations that we have to understand in order to see Muhammad Ali as what he remains: the most important athlete to ever live.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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George Washington Eames Jr. was the longtime president of the Baton Rouge NAACP.

‘A Small Temporary Inconvenience,’ a feature film about Black, disabled civil rights activist George Washington Eames Jr. in Jim Crow Louisiana

May 27, 2016

Cleve Bailey has taken the story of his great uncle and aunt, George and Kathy Eames, and created a screenplay entitled “A Small Temporary Inconvenience,” which chronicles the lives of this interracial couple who dedicated their lives to civil rights activism and fighting against racism in the Deep South. I caught up with Cleve, who now lives in the Bay Area in Hayward, to get his take on the film project.

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Filed Under: Culture Stories
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About the name of the play, director Bill English says: “In the last 10-15 years, ‘Jerusalem,’ the song based on a poem by William Blake, has become the unofficial national anthem of England. Sung at every rugby match, it has become the ‘people’s’ anthem. Originally, Blake was lamenting the destruction of British rural life by the industrial revolution, but today the English have adopted his battle cry to the sanctity of common man against incursion of corporate and government control.”

Wanda’s Picks for April 2016

April 3, 2016

“Dr. Mutulu Is Welcome Here” is the title of the campaign and the program Malcolm X Grassroots Movement hosted Easter Sunday, Resurrection Day, in Oakland. As we walked into Sole Space, a venue that also sells shoes and art and is a part of the corner building that houses Oakstop, we were invited to pose with a photo of Dr. Shakur. Mama Ayanna, seated at the door, welcomes and greets comrades and friends of friends as other members of MXGM host the program.

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According to the Advocate, “Activists who interrupted a Donald Trump rally Friday night in New Orleans with chants of ‘Black lives matter’ appear to have achieved the most sustained and disruptive protest of the Republican presidential front-runner’s events to date.” – Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The New York Times

Trumping Trump: Deafening the white noise of racial supremacy

March 11, 2016

It was a few minutes before we began chanting that I found out what we were going to do – that we were going to do anything at all besides be passive observers at the white supremacist rally disguised as a presidential campaign. My nerves churned a bit like anyone’s do as they realize they’re about to engage in an altercation that could become physical. Or violent. It’s a strange thing that happens when you know you’re in a “no turning back” situation. What you won’t do is back down from the principles on which you stand. Or turn away from the ledge from which you’ve been forced to leap.

'Race' poster

‘Race,’ a review

March 1, 2016

“Race” (2016) is the story of Jesse Owens’ triumphant wins in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin just before World War II. Nicknamed “The Buckeye Bullet” for his legendary speed, Owens distanced himself from socially constructed hurdles which ran counter to his personal goals. Directed by Stephen Hopkins, the film features rising star, Stephan James (“Selma”) as Jesse Owens.

SFBV 40th Willie Ratcliff, Jane Kim, Mark Leno 022116 SF Main Library by Peter Menchini, cropped

New legislation increases transparency in law enforcement records

February 27, 2016

In an effort to improve transparency, accountability and trust between law enforcement and the public, Sen. Mark Leno has introduced SB 1286, a bill allowing greater public access to peace officer records related to serious uses of force and sustained charges of misconduct. “California is behind the times when it comes to providing transparency in law enforcement records,” said Sen. Leno, D-San Francisco.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Why Hillary Clinton doesn’t deserve the Black vote

February 12, 2016

The love affair between Black folks and the Clintons has been going on for a long time. It began back in 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president. What have the Clintons done to earn such devotion? Did they take extreme political risks to defend the rights of African Americans? Did they courageously stand up to right-wing demagoguery about Black communities? Did they help usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization, globalization and the disappearance of work? No. Quite the opposite.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Black worker on Bay Bridge told to wear noose

February 1, 2016

An African American man filed a lawsuit against his employer, Bay Bridge contractor Adams & Smith, Inc., for racial discrimination and retaliation just a little over a week after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The complaint cited incidents in which a foreman lowered a hangman’s noose in front of plaintiff James H. Brown and a co-worker told him to wear the rope around his neck.

Can labor support both Black Lives Matter and police unions?

January 29, 2016

As union members gathered in the nation’s capital over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, some of the country’s top labor leaders faced tough questions about how the movement can reconcile its support for racial justice with its embrace of police unions. Over the last year, the AFL-CIO, America’s largest federation of unions, has faced calls from some in its membership to end its affiliation with the International Union of Police Associations.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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The man beaten and choked at a Donald Trump rally tells his story

November 28, 2015

When activist Mercutio Southall Jr. was curled up on the ground getting kicked, punched and choked by Donald Trump supporters at a campaign rally in Birmingham, Alabama, he thought: “I can’t die today. I’ve got shit to do. I have little kids. Fuck these people.” Southall told ThinkProgress that he decided to go to Trump’s event with two friends in order to speak out against the frontrunner candidate’s “racist” rhetoric.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Black Farmers’ Lives Matter: Defending African-American land and agriculture in the Deep South

October 14, 2015

The 2015 U.S. Food Sovereignty Prize goes to two organizations that are demonstrating just how much Black lives matter, as they defend their ancestral lands for community-controlled food production. The Federation of Southern Cooperatives, primarily African-American farmers across the deep South, shares the prize with the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras, Afro-indigenous farmers and fisher-people.

'Writing on the Wall' by Mumia Abu Jamal cover

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s eighth book: ‘Writing on the Wall’

September 26, 2015

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s eighth book written from prison cells in the state of Pennsylvania, USA, is a selection of 107 essays that date from January 1982 to October 2014. They cover practically the entire period of his incarceration as an internationally recognized political prisoner. Most of the pieces were written while he was on death row after being framed for the murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner on Dec. 9, 1981, in the city of Philadelphia.

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Julian Bond on Ebony cover 0569

Julian Bond, race man

August 22, 2015

Of all the labels and titles that could rightfully be appended to Bond – activist, politician, lecturer, commentator, professor – he wished to be remembered most as a “race man”: “A race man is an expression that’s not used anymore, but it used to describe a man – usually a man, could have been a woman too – who was a good defender of the race, who didn’t dislike White people, but who stood up for Black people, who fought for Black people. I’d want people to say that about me.”

Police, bolstered by the California National Guard, showed the Watts rebels no mercy, but the people were determined to be heard. It took 14,000 National Guard troops, 3,000 arrests, 800 injuries and 32 deaths to put down the Watts Rebellion. Police watching nonchalantly as a young Black man bleeds to death is reminiscent of Mike Brown in Ferguson in 2014 and Kenneth Harding in Hunters Point in 2011.

50th anniversary of the Watts Rebellion, a turning point in the struggle for Black liberation

August 11, 2015

Just five days after the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Watts Rebellion erupted, lasting several days. Today urban rebellion remains a key element in the struggle of the African American people against national oppression and economic exploitation. Since 2012, with the vigilante killing of Trayvon Martin and the resultant acquittal of George Zimmerman, a rising consciousness and intolerance for racism has been rapidly accelerating.

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