July 7, 2017
Each year, it is important to revisit this historic classic speech by the powerful orator, Frederick Douglass, delivered in 1852, stating, “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. … You may rejoice, I must mourn.” Listen to James Earl Jones reading the speech. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Michael Lange and James Brooks with Angela Wellman’s Oakland Public Conservatory would perform the work with jazz artists.
June 28, 2017
The San Francisco Black Film Festival has once again proven itself to be one of the most anticipated Black events in the Bay Area. From June 15 to 18, Black independent films were the talk of San Francisco. San Francisco acting legend Danny Glover did a Q&A for the film “93 Days.” “Abina and the Important Men” was one of the highest grossing films in the festival. We sat down with Kali O’Ray, the director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival, to discuss what happened at this phenomenal festival.
June 10, 2017
The opening night film of the San Francisco Black Film Festival this year is “93 Days,” costarring San Francisco legendary actor Danny Glover, about ebola coming to Nigeria. Danny Glover will be in attendance opening night for a Q&A at the old SF Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore St., on Thursday, June 15, 6-9 p.m. The film was inspired by the heroic actions of the doctors and nurses who were at the heart of the fight against ebola in Lagos, their bravery and sacrifice and their decision to stay and fight instead of taking flight in the face of danger.
April 20, 2017
It’s 2016, 40 years since Muhammad al-Kareem founded the New Bayview, now renamed the San Francisco Bay View, in 1976. Inspired by Malcolm X, he wanted to bring a newspaper like Muhammad Speaks to Bayview Hunters Point. He’ll tell the story of those early years, and I’ll pick it up now at the point when my wife Mary and I took over in 1992. Watching our first paper roll through the huge two-story tall lumbering old press at Tom Berkley’s Post Newspaper Building on Feb. 3, 1992, was a feel-like-flying thrill we’ll never forget.
April 3, 2017
The Oakland International Film Festival is an opportunity for Oakland to shine – its artists the polish and vehicle. From its inception 15 years ago, when the City of Oakland was one of the only cities in the nation with a film office, sadly eliminated an administration ago, this festival has maintained its focus – on Oakland and its diversity of talent: directors, writers, actors, technicians – famous and up and coming. The festival is on April 4-8. To learn more and get tickets, visit http://www.oiff.org and https://oaklandroots40th.info/.
December 29, 2016
It is very important that you all clearly understand the depth of human torture to which I was subjected for 30-plus years by CDCr and CCPOA.* The torture was directed at me and similarly situated women and men prisoners held in California’s solitary confinement locations throughout CDCr, with the approval and sanctioning of California governors, CDCr secretaries and directors, attorneys general, along with the California Legislature for the past 40 years.
November 4, 2016
The 50th Anniversary of the Black Panther Party Conference, Oct. 20-23, held at the Oakland Museum of California and in Bobby Hutton Grove at deFremery Park, was a huge success. To see the Vanguards of the Revolution saluted in such elegant surroundings at the banquet Saturday evening was certainly a fitting tribute to the legacy their lives concretely represent. Hats off to the committee that organized the conference.
October 29, 2016
An African proverb says: “When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion.” In this very critical election year, we must unify to defeat the forces that conspire against us. It is for that reason that I invite you to join me this November in healing Richmond by supporting Melvin Willis and Ben Choi for the Richmond City Council. The 2016 election is right around the corner. Some may say there’s not much that they can do to create the change we need locally, let alone nationally. I beg to differ.
August 31, 2016
During the fall of 1966, racial and economic disparity exploded into a violent three-day conflict between local and state law enforcement, the National Guard and the Black community of Bayview Hunters Point after the fatal killing of 16 year-old African-American youth Matthew Johnson by white police officer Alvin Johnson. This left a deep wound adding to the historical trauma experienced by African-Americans. Now more than ever it is time for us to tell our stories. Join the conversation at the Linda Brooks Burton Library on the 50th anniversary of the BVHP Uprising.
August 1, 2016
The hub of Hunters Point at Third and Oakdale was buzzing with traffic and throngs of people as they assembled outside of the Bayview Opera House. The Moon Candy soul band was on the stage as people began to sit in the new seats in the outside auditorium. The Opera House had been closed for remodeling for four years. Finally, on July 20, the new Opera House was unveiled to the public.
May 13, 2016
Block Report Radio interviews hunger striker Hassani Bell, one of four hunger strikers who were fighting to preserve and expand the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State. The hunger strikers were Hassani Bell, 18, Julia Retzlaff, 19, Sachiel Rose, 19, and Ahkeel Mestayer, 20, and their organization is called Third World Liberation Front 2016 in homage to the 1968 strike. After 10 days, many of the demands were met by the SF State administration of President Wong, but not all of them. The strike is suspended as the fight continues.
April 23, 2016
For the second consecutive year, the ILWU Local 10 will be withholding its labor for eight hours to commemorate May Day. This May Day, Local 10 is calling for a “National Day of Mourning” for Black and Brown unarmed victims of police killings across the country. Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has been invited to speak May Day. Danny Glover will appear at one of the rallies.
November 16, 2015
A heavy and cruel hand has been laid upon me. On Oct. 6, 2015, I was transferred back to Marquette Branch Prison, a two-day ride on the bus, shackled, mistreated and intimidated. I was forced to strip on five different occasions. I am forced into overcrowding, inadequate exercise, lack of clean clothing and inadequate medical care which violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
October 29, 2015
Following Haiti’s controversial presidential and legislative elections held on Sunday, Oct. 25, alarm is growing about irregularities in the counting of the votes at voting centers and in the transportation of votes to the tabulation center. There is widespread mistrust of the process. Most international observers of the election and subsequent press reports have focused on the day of the election but not on the counting and tabulation of the votes.
August 21, 2015
Michael Brown? … I had never heard of him … had never heard anything he’d done … before the news of his death came … whoever he might have become … whatever he might have achieved … had he lived longer … not been riddled lifeless by … bullets from Darren Wilson’s gun … and crumpled on the pavement of a Ferguson street … for more than four hours in … the heat of that August day … and before … I’d never heard of Trayvon Martin
October 5, 2014
Noted composer, arranger, pianist, music educator, vocal coach, liturgical musician and clinician, Jacqueline Hairston will be presented the Howard Thurman Award at Fellowship Church’s 70th anniversary celebration and 19th annual Howard Thurman Convocation. Founded in 1944 by Drs. Howard Thurman and Alfred Fisk, the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples is the nation’s first fully interracial, interfaith congregation.
September 25, 2014
In March of 2011, I accompanied Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide on his trip home to Haiti following years of forced exile in South Africa. I did so in support of Haitian democracy and Aristide’s civil rights, and in protest against my country’s role in illegally removing him from power in 2004 and then preventing him from returning to his native land for seven long years. Today, Haitian democracy and the rights of Aristide are again under threat.
July 14, 2014
One year ago on July 8, 30,000 California prisoners refused meals and work assignments, beginning a 60-day hunger strike with the core demand of ending the state’s use of indefinite solitary confinement. This was the largest hunger strike in U.S. history, and it presented the deepest challenge yet to solitary by bringing national and international attention to a practice that has long been condemned by human rights groups as torture.
May 26, 2014
The SF Black Film Festival is one of the film festivals that I most look forward to in the Bay Area every year. This year it is from June 12-15 at various theaters in San Francisco. It was founded by the late Ave’ Montague, and now it’s under the direction of her son, Kali O’Ray. Every year I’ve seen great films that don’t have the promotional budgets to reach a wider audience without the help of a festival like SFBFF.
March 12, 2014
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.