September 21, 2012
Sometimes one gets tired of living in a place that doesn’t want you there, Zaccho Artistic Director, Joanna Haigood, states at the reception Thursday at the California Historical Society. The only problem is 154 years later, Black people are still unwelcome in San Francisco, which is what “Sailing Away” addresses so eloquently without words.
September 6, 2012
I didn’t know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised when Esperanza Spalding, the singer-musician, treated her audiences to a socially conscious tour of America with stops at the doors of the prison industrial complex and Mother Nature. The evening moved fluidly from a fireside chat on relationships and love to the concluding number, which spoke to Spalding’s philosophy.
July 18, 2012
The people must be enabled to go into business or expand their businesses so as to employ our youth and unemployed. Truly opening up economic opportunity could resolve previous injustices – with justice. The problem with crime in the community can be traced to lack of employment opportunities for young adults.
July 18, 2012
The history of racist violence, of lynchings, of state violence, or a complicit media and systemic injustice remain a reality despite our purportedly post-racial moment. In the first six months of 2012, the police, security guards and vigilantes have killed 120 African Americans, one every 36 hours. The media, political “leaders” and citizens alike ignore and justify these killings by blaming the victims.
May 14, 2012
Excitement filled the sanctuary as five generations sat in the audience waiting to hear a legend speak. Oakland’s Beebe Memorial Cathedral was packed from the main floor to the church balcony. The congregation jumped to their feet and clapped for over five minutes when the moderator said, “Tonight we will hear from Congressman John Lewis!”
September 4, 2011
Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011, was the opening of August Wilson’s play, “Seven Guitars,” directed by Kent Gash, at the Marin Theatre Company. I hadn’t seen the play in about 15 years. Wilson was alive then and he was work-shopping his latest – play five in the eventual 10-play cycle – at ACT-SF with the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre in a co-production.
July 29, 2011
Generally, what happened to Harding happens in colonized spaces to colonized subjects, from Hunters Point to Baghdad. The victims are people of color. Five centuries of colonially-constructed rationales have served the purpose of minimizing the value of racialized subjects.
July 28, 2011
Like the country it governs, Washington is a city of extremes. In a car, you can zip in bare moments from northwest District of Columbia, its streets lined with million-dollar homes and palatial embassies, its inhabitants sporting one of the nation’s lowest jobless rates, to Anacostia, a mostly forgotten neighborhood in southeastern D.C. with one of the highest unemployment rates anywhere in America.
June 4, 2011
This June 19, millions of Americans, particularly African Americans, will celebrate Juneteenth. Yet slavery’s abolishment, under the 13th Amendment, didn’t really end slavery, as many people believe. The 13th Amendment merely codified America’s “peculiar institution” under penal statutes.
April 23, 2011
From it’s inception, the juvenile justice system has treated youth of color unfairly: When the first detention facility established a “colored section” in 1834, Black children were excluded from rehabilitation because it would be a “waste” of resources.
March 25, 2011
AT&T Park shook so hard I thought I was on a pogo stick the night Barry Bonds crushed a 3-2 Mike Bacsik pitch into right center to go past the great Hank Aaron and crown himself Major League Baseball’s all-time home-run king. He circled those bases to a deafening hometown roar.
March 3, 2011
Would you feel like a full citizen if most of your civil and human rights were denied you? If the privileges afforded to community members were withheld from you, would you feel like a welcome member of the community?
January 17, 2011
Although America’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution are premised on the principles of democracy, the historical treatment of America’s citizens of color is replete with racial dichotomies. Today’s youth need to know that Dr. King was only 25 when he began to fight back with the year-long Montgomery bus boycott.
December 30, 2010
Among the very few people celebrating our country’s fiscal crisis are criminal justice reformers. Bill Piper of Drug Policy Alliance says, “Next year is probably an unprecedented opportunity to defund the federal drug war.” But colorblind cost-benefit approaches leave intact the racial attitudes, stereotypes and anxieties that gave rise to the system in the first place.
December 20, 2010
On Dec. 9, 2010, thousands of prisoners in at least six Georgia state prisons initiated the largest prisoner strike in U.S. history, uniting across racial boundaries to demand an immediate end to the cruel and dehumanizing conditions that damage prisoners, their families and the communities they return to. Readers are invited to add their names to this solidarity statement.
November 8, 2010
Construction unions have historically fought affirmative action and excluded Black hiring, and they are still getting away with it. They huddle up to the good unions and pay off our elected officials with campaign donations.
September 4, 2010
I’m writing to update you on the continuing attempt to deny us Afrikan descendants here at Pelican Bay solitary confinement SHU control units the exercise of the human birthright to read, write, study, learn and celebrate our African heritage, history and culture.
July 5, 2010
In Alabama, a teacher uses a hypothetical assassination of President Barack Obama as an example in a geometry lesson. A North Georgia teacher allowed four students to don mock Ku Klux Klan outfits for a final project in a high school social studies class.
May 10, 2010
President Obama delivered the eulogy Thursday for our beloved Dr. Dorothy Height. Dr. Height never did receive the mainstream recognition that she more than deserved, so I am proud that my president lifted her legacy for all America and the world to see and honor.
May 7, 2010
At a community town hall on May 8, the discussion is expected to generate ideas for building community responses against violence that don’t involve police. The town hall will take place from 8 a.m. to 12 noon at Oakland City Council chambers, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. No gang injunctions!