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Richard Edward Brown was a father, grandfather, friend and revolutionary. Richard resided in San Francisco beginning at a young age and joined the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. He served and protected his community and his people in it. There was a creed the Panthers lived by called the 10 Point Program. The very first point described Richard and his life: “Point One: We want Freedom. We want the power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.”
Seventy-five percent of the membership of Peoples Temple was African American, and the majority of those who died in Jonestown were African American women. The Jonestown victims have been demonized and marginalized – stripped of agency and, in many respects, humanity. The settlement was envisioned – and promoted – as a kind of “Promised Land,” a racial utopia and antidote to the white supremacist violence and dehumanization Black people experienced in the U.S.
The Addition, formerly Yoshi’s, closed its doors, 77 people lost their jobs and many will wind up on unemployment. Gussie’s, the Black soul food restaurant diagonally across the street, left a couple of months ago. Rassellas Jazz Club up the street on Fillmore is gone. Will the Fillmore, once rivaled only by Harlem with its 31 restaurants and jazz clubs, die? The City did this! The question is: Did the City do enough to rectify its mistakes?
If you are involved in some way with the Black Frisco visual arts scene, either as a fan, artist, media-maker or space owner, chances are that you have run across the twins, Melonie and Melorra Green. They’ve created a radio show that comes on 89.5FM KPOO weekly, and, as a major part of the planning for the successful San Francisco Black Film Festival June 12-15, are basking in the after-glow.