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‘Cocoa Butter,’ a comedy about whites wanting to be Black without...

“Cocoa Butter” is a comedic short film by filmmaker Dominque Gilbert, where the main character, who is white, wants the benefits of being Black in society, but not the headaches, to get the attention of a girl. The main character uses the cream but forgets to read the whole label, which reads, “Once you go Black, you can never go back.” “Why in the world would you wanna be Black?” is the question the white mother asks her endarkened son.

‘Beasts of No Nation’

“Beasts of No Nation” is a Netflix film that crudely exposes the face of the wars in Africa and the false poverty that has been created by U.S. and other Western imperialist governments spearheading a corporate plan to rob the richest continent on earth of its natural resources. I would not have been thrilled if I’d had to pay to watch the disturbing drama. For free, it’s still disturbing, but well written otherwise and beautifully shot as well.

‘12 Years a Slave’

“12 Years a Slave” affected me differently than Quentin Tarantino’s “Django,” which in its caricature style held me spellbound or suspended in a place of imaginative wonder – the Black man was going to win and get the girl too in the end. “Twelve Years” moved slowly and by the time Northup’s ordeal ends we are thankful yet exhausted. I saw the film alone. I think it’s the kind of journey one should invite a companion on.

Wanda’s Picks for September 2013

On the 20th anniversary of the demise of my father, Fred Ali Batin Sr., the 18th anniversary of the Maafa Commemoration San Francisco Bay Area – the Ritual Sunday is Oct. 13, 2013; see http://maafasfbayarea.com/ – and approximately the 60th day of the hunger strike to end the inhuman conditions in California’s Security Housing Units or SHUs, I just want to pause and reflect.

Rev. Dr. Frederick Douglas Haynes III: No. 1 for me is...

Martin King said as long as there is economic inequality, there will be racial inequality.The lack of economic empowerment in our community comes from economic dysfunction that is a result of – let’s be real – racism as it relates to how this country has been structured so that the classes, in a real sense, exploit the masses, and especially people of color and, without a doubt, African Americans.

‘Fruitvale’: an interview with screenwriter Ryan Coogler

“Fruitvale,” the award-winning movie about the last 24 hours in the life of Oscar Grant, is set to debut in mid-June in Los Angeles. I caught up with the Bay Area’s own Ryan Coogler to talk about the film. I had some questions about why this film did not include the life and death of Lovelle Mixon and would it be able to be used as a weapon against police terrorism. Read Ryan Coogler’s answers in his own words.

Wanda’s Picks for April 2013

Wanda’s reviews for April include: the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument, the “Transformative Visions” exhibition at Studio One, Spirit Silence Retreat, “The Dream Never Dies,” “The Resurrection of SHE,” “Journey of the Shadow,” the 9th Annual CubaCaribe Festival of Dance Music, “The Whipping Man,” “Mental” and many more …

Martin, money and movies: ‘Django’ and ‘Lincoln’ remind us reparations should...

On the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it comes to mind that from day one our society and culture have been heavily influenced by film. The recent slavery-related films, “Lincoln,” directed by Steven Spielberg, and “Django Unchained,” directed by Quentin Tarantino, will have a social, economic and psychological impact.

The Abolitionists or absolute bull: The myth of the Great White...

This week, PBS will air “The Abolitionists,” a movie about people who during the 19th century spoke out against the evils of chattel slavery. The Abolitionist Movement has been subject to historical revisionism and an attempt by white America to pick our heroes. African Americans must become experts in the field of their own history, as no other racial group would dare trust the interpretation of their culture to others.

Minister Farrakhan on ‘Django Unchained’: ‘It’s preparation for race war’

In a very candid interview with Dr. Boyce Watkins, Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan shared his thoughts about Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.” He also revealed the greatest attribute of leadership. Amongst many thoughts Min. Farrakhan had about “Django Unchained,” one candid thought he shared was he believes the film could serve as preparation for race war.

Letest News

Vets for Peace to Barbara Lee: Support Manning and Assange

Veterans for Peace has issued a press release in support of both Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and former U.S. army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, and East Bay Veterans for Peace, Chapter 162, want to talk to Congresswoman Barbara Lee about it. Opponents of U.S. wars have idealized Lee, California’s District 13 congresswoman, for her antiwar record.

How chores can help kids with ACES

Research shows that children who do chores have fewer behavior problems, are more engaged in school, enjoy better mental health in later life and are part of a stronger family due to shared responsibility.

Mumia Abu-Jamal wins rehearing, as D.A. Krasner drops appeal

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has abandoned his efforts to stonewall Mumia Abu-Jamal from re-arguing his 1981 conviction for killing a city police officer. “His case is now open to reversal,” said attorney Rachel Wolkenstein. “This is the legal path to Mumia’s freedom.”

Pastor Eric Payne paroled, then snatched from his church, wife, four...

My husband did nothing wrong, no violation of his parole at all. This error is not his fault, but he is being punished as if it is. Because of this recent knowledge, or unless you know of another plan of action, we feel the best remedy is to seek his release via the Parole Board with a seasoned and aggressive Parole Board attorney. We need help, direction, case study, laws etc. that will assist in my husband’s immediate release.

Senior Add-Ons can help stop the outmigration of African Americans from...

Supervisor Shamann Walton, African American Chamber Chairman Fred Jordan and homeowner Albert Johnson Jr. met at the Roadhouse Café Feb. 21 on Third Street to discuss ways to help stop or reverse the out-migration of African Americans from San Francisco. We are constantly losing so many Black families that San Francisco’s Black community will be extinct if we don’t do something about it now.