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Possibly the only thing that could be worse for Oakland than a loss of a third of its Black population in less than 30 years is that so many of its stars develop their chops, their talents and skills in Oakland and then leave and don’t come back or give back! Our community treasure chest would be much richer if our Oakland All Stars came back home! Most of the great talent that Oakland develops leaves to enrich the coffers and treasure chests of other cities and countries.
Congratulations to William Rhodes on a successful trip to South Africa, where he took a quilt created by his students at Dr. Charles Drew Elementary School in San Francisco to honor the legacy of an international hero, President Nelson Mandela, and returned with art panels from workshops conducted with youth in various townships and regions from Cape Town to Johannesburg.
San Francisco Bayview’s own, the undefeated Welterweight Champion of the World, Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield (16-0-1), brings his knockout power to the San Francisco Black Film Festival. “In the Hive” director Robert Townsend is coming a day early, on Thursday, to promote his film, which opens the festival. It stars Michael Clarke Duncan, Loretta Devine, Vivica A. Fox and newcomer Jonathan McDaniel.
When the Occupy San Quentin rally ended, San Rafael police followed us to the Richmond Bridge. I don’t know if it was Jabari Shaw’s orange CDCR jumpsuit that kept them wondering – Is he an escapee, one of ours? – or if it was the sheer magnitude of fearlessness represented by women like Kelly, a former prisoner who would not let her traumatic experience silence her. One brother got so full looking at the guards on the other side of the gate watching that he looked like he was going to leap the gate and hurt someone as he recalled the violations of his person over and over again. Members of All of Us or None dropped everything to embrace him when he left the stage.
A compilation of JR Valrey’s most interesting interviews, “Block Reportin'” is both revolutionary journalism and candid conversation. Combining straight-up questions and answers with much deeper analysis and inquiry, Valrey provides a forum for discussion in which interviewees have the same opportunity to say what they want. This is rare in a world where so much “journalism” is scripted and controlled.
Langston Hughes will be celebrated in Oakland and San Francisco beginning this week at Allen Temple Baptist Church and Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. The gospel play "Black Nativity" is a Bay Area favorite.
Veteran actor and director Delroy Lindo is currently directing the August Wilson play, "Joe Turner's Come and Gone," at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre through Dec. 14. Lindo is best known in the Black community for his role in the classic film "Malcolm X," where he played West Indian Archie.
The Luggage Store Gallery presents the Bobby Hutton Memorial Benefit, Nov. 29-Dec. 6. The opening reception is Saturday, Nov. 29, from 8 to 10 p.m. at the gallery, 1007 Market St. in San Francisco. The show features work by 27 artists - among them, Emory Douglas, Rigo 23 and a photo essay by Billy X.
I think I'm still in shock. Imagine, 200 years after chattel slavery was legally abolished in the United States, we have a Black man elected to this nation's highest office: Barack Hussein Obama, president elect, this nation's 44th president as of Jan. 20, 2009.