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Wanda’s Picks for October 2018

It’s all about the ancestors, believe it or not. The invisible realm controls the outer. Those who believe in magic are in touch with reality – a truth, the initiated, those beings open to a creation story they participate in. Life is a collection of unedited stories; the end of a chapter does not mean the end of the book. With that said, the MAAFA Commemoration is upon us once again, celebrating its 23rd anniversary.

‘Mama at Twilight’: Can love kill?

Ayodele Nzinga’s “Mama at Twilight: Death by Love” is a haunting look at a family crippled by circumstances. How does a man prepare for adult responsibilities when his father is nowhere around? When a young Marie-Rose meets Mario Jefferson at 15 doing community service at her father’s church, she knows he is the man she wants to spend her life with. Three grown children later, Mama still loves the man she fell in love with and has no regrets over its costly price or the raised eyebrows and whispers that sought to sanction her.

Wanda’s Picks for September 2016

Actor Dameion Brown, playing the title role in the Marin Shakespeare Company’s production of “Othello,” is getting standing ovations since the production started. Still in previews, Brown has with this role seen a dream come true. Since the MSC production of “Othello” opened Aug. 26 for previews, we learn that Brown is a formerly incarcerated or convicted person (FICP), just released after serving 23 years of a life sentence.

Wanda’s Picks for January 2016 – more picks added!

August Wilson is considered one of America’s greatest playwrights, and the work that comprises The American Century Cycle, one of the outstanding achievements of the modern theater, is performed across the globe. But only Oakland’s premiere North American African theater company has performed the entire Cycle in chronological order. The Lower Bottom Playaz close the cycle with the timely production of the only play in the cycle that is told from the lens of developers. Wilson’s Hill District in Pittsburgh, Penn., and Oakland, Calif., 2015 hold a lot of common ground. “Radio Golf” continues through Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, 2 p.m., at the Flight Deck, 1540 Broadway, Oakland.

‘Radio Golf’ opens Dec. 18: Hiero Imperium presents Oakland’s Lower Bottom...

August Wilson is considered one of America’s greatest playwrights, and the work that comprises The American Century Cycle, one of the outstanding achievements of the modern theater, is performed across the globe. But only Oakland’s premiere North American African theater company has performed the entire cycle in chronological order. Don’t miss the final installment of The Lower Bottom Playaz’ American Century Cycle Project.

Wanda’s Picks for December 2015

It is amazing how time flies whether one is moving or standing still. One looks up and sees, suddenly it seems, friends celebrating 70 and 75 or 80 or even 90-plus milestones. Wow! What a blessing that is. And while we also see the fullness of time’s passage in the lives of those who have decided to move on, too often we are caught by surprise, our mouths hung open, the words we could have said … deeds left undone.

The Matatu Festival of Stories is in full swing

The Matatu Festival of Stories is in full swing this week, with opening night dinner at Miss Ollie’s featuring Saul Williams, Donte Clark and Bryant Terry. Some of the upcoming activities of the festival are the Thursday night concert featuring neo-soul musician and producer Shafiq Husayn, the Friday night showing of a documentary about Ethiopian musician and thespian Asknaketch Worku, as well as Saturday’s performance by the Alonzo King Lines Ballet.

Visual artist Mahader Tesfai takes center stage in the Town

Eritrean born and Oakland raised visual artist Mahader Tesfai has been making a considerable amount of noise around the Town lately, first with his 80 piece installation at the Omi Gallery in downtown Oakland, then by becoming the artistic director of the Matatu Festival of Stories, which is happening next week. Mahader sat down wit’ me exclusively to talk about Black African art in the Tech Era coming out of Oakland.

August Wilson and Ferguson: Wilson’s ‘Jitney’ opens on Broadway, Oakland, Dec....

August Wilson’s largest message is to remember. He insists we remember our song, that we do our duty to life by remembering we were born free with dignity and everything. He is a Sankofa playwright capable of making the past come to life in the present. His methodology a metaphor for remembering you must look back to move forward successfully; if you drop the ball, you’ve got to go back to get it to be successful in the end zone.

Wanda’s Picks for August 2014

Congratulations to Gerald Lenoir for carrying the torch and blazing the way for so many social justice issues from HIV/AIDS awareness in the Black community to his recent work in just migration for Pan Africans. Much success on your new work! Farewell to Alona Clifton and much success in Atlanta. Congratulations also to Almaz Negash, founder and director of African Diaspora Network in Silicon Valley for her national recognition and award at the Continental African Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.

Letest News

Shamann Walton hearing on Jeff Adachi’s complaint of abuse in SF...

Following a spike in allegations of abuse at the hands of sheriff deputies in San Francisco county jails, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ Government Audit and Oversight Committee held a hearing during its meeting on Thursday to examine how these allegations are investigated, and why investigations are conducted within the Sheriff’s Department rather than through an independent oversight body.

Hip hop and culture: ‘High Power’ by Grand Opus

Since the late ‘70s, hip hop culture has been an instrument of empowerment for communities without a voice to fully express themselves via the language of art. Grand Opus’ sophomore album “High Power” contains a perfect blend of thought provoking lyricism and hard hitting beats that make hip hop come alive and communicate a powerful message of empowerment and hope to the Black community.

Gov. Newsom’s executive order halts death penalty. Now let’s drop LWOP!

Our hope is that Gov. Newsom will extend the equity and justice informed lens that brought him to stop the death penalty as he moves forward examining other forms of extreme sentencing in California, including Life Without the Possibility of Parole.

‘We stand with Ilhan’ against Zionism and anti-Semitism

Omar, a Somali immigrant representing her Minnesota community, and Tlaib, a member of Michigan’s Palestinian community, are the first Muslim women elected to Congress. They back the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign opposing Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people.

San Francisco Peer-Run Warm Line – here to support the community!

Everyone in the Bay Area is welcome to call and discuss whatever life brings – anxiety, discrimination, housing issues, money concerns, depression, interpersonal conflicts, grief or loss, hearing voices, loneliness, substance use problems or just needing someone to talk to – Warm Line counselors are available via phone and live online chat.