September 1, 2018
After gracing the planet for 76 years, Aretha Franklin joined the ancestors Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. President Obama: “Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade – our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace.”
July 23, 2016
Unlocking the Truth is a Black middle-school-aged trio from Brooklyn who are reclaiming what it means to be into metal – and millennium babies. The Luke Meyer documentary about Unlocking the Truth called “Breaking a Monster” came out on Friday, and I think the documentary title is a good fit for a young band of this caliber. Catch “Breaking a Monster” while you can at Landmark Opera Theater or Shattuck Cinemas in the Bay Area now.
June 15, 2016
Parliament Funkadelic was the cultural symbol for Black music in the ‘70s – genre-bending, fun, cool, sexy, futuristic and political. Filmmaker Bobby Brown captured their epic history in his documentary “Tear the Roof Off the Mother,” screening Sunday, June 19, at the Boom Boom Room as a part of the San Francisco Black Film Festival. For a lineup of the films and events in this year’s festival, Thursday through Sunday, June 16-19, go to sfbff.org, and read about many of them here on sfbayview.com. Check out Bobby Brown as we discuss his film in this exclusive Q&A.
June 7, 2016
With the passing of the irreplaceable guitar gripping musician, singer and songwriter Prince, it is like a giant redwood tree falling in the forest. The vacuum that it creates makes people a little more thirsty for the next generation of artists making timeless music. Martin Luther McCoy, the San Francisco native, is definitely in the running. Catch him performing in Oakland on Thursday, June 9, 8 p.m., at the New Parish, 1743 San Pablo Ave.
March 29, 2016
The Saint John Coltrane Church is a historical fixture in the San Francisco Black community and a direct descendant of the work of the late great Marcus Mosiah Garvey and his Universal Negro Improvement Association. One reason the Coltrane Church is important is that it defines for itself who are the saints that are worthy of our praise, instead of basing its doctrine on the philosophy and understanding of god that came out of the Council of Nicea.
July 1, 2015
Libations to Ornette Coleman, musician, composer, March 9, 1930-June 11, 2015. Libations also for Brother Tahuti, a beloved elder who made his transition mid-June. Those of us who commemorate our African Ancestors of the Middle Passage have formed an organization which took me recently to Washington, D.C. At the website guests can learn about commemorations throughout the United States and beyond.
May 21, 2015
In November of 2004, Oakland-born and Vallejo-raised Hip Hop legend, Mac Dre, was shot and killed in the streets of Kansas City. “Legend of the Bay” is a must see documentary on the life of Mac Dre and the local independent rap industry that he helped to create. “Mac Dre: Legend of the Bay” will be screened for free to close out the San Francisco Black Film Festival: Sunday, June 14, 6 p.m., at the Boom Boom Room, 1601 Fillmore St., San Francisco.
January 4, 2014
Word reached The Liberator Magazine that revolutionary Black independent media is about to expand with the impending launch of Block Report Radio Station on the internet. So they sought out its founder, Oakland journalist JR Valrey, to ask him why he devotes his life to independent media and what we can expect from the new Block Report Radio Station.
May 30, 2013
Sly and the Family Stone are some of the architects of Bay Area-based funk music and, for that matter, Bay Area hip hop, which has borrowed more than just a little bit from the funk. “Coming Back for More” is an excellent documentary that looks at the life and musical rise of the legendary Sly, who started his musical career as a radio personality on the KSOL.
November 9, 2012
In the world of jazz, John Coltrane is viewed as a spiritually driven supremely gifted sax player, one of the greatest horn players to ever live. So when I ran into Gary Golio’s book “Spirit Seeker,” I was interested in seeing if he was trying to exploit our beloved St. John Coltrane or if he was trying to bring another generation into the knowledge of Coltrane’s legacy. He did the latter, masterfully.
August 22, 2012
Anita Woodley is one of the hidden treasures of Oakland’s drama community. Though she no longer lives in Oakland, Oakland very much lives in her. She has recently jumped onto the international scene with her two popular one woman plays, “Mama Juggs” and “The Men in Me.”
July 19, 2012
Tupac Shakur, a very talented rapper and actor who defined the aspirations and frustrations of a generation, was shot on Sept. 7, 1996, and died on Sept. 13. On June 16, Bobby Beats, the father of Digital Underground’s Money B and a former Black Panther, organized one of the biggest, most exciting and most meaningful Tupac birthday parties in history.
November 16, 2010
Eesuu is one of my favorite male visual artists in the Bay, and in my opinion he is one of the dopest in the country right next to Malik Seneferu and Jocelyn Goode. I have been a fan of his art for years. I love the themes that he creates from, as well as the vibrant colors that he uses in some of his pieces.
July 15, 2009
Recently Cynthia McKinney has been traveling to Gaza on human rights missions challenging the illegal Israeli military blockade. She, along with a number of others who were bringing humanitarian aid to the area, were confronted by the Israeli military on two occasions. The first time the Israelis rammed their ship and nearly sank it. The second time, People’s Advocate Cynthia and the rest of the Free Gaza 21 had their boat commandeered and were kidnapped by the Israelis and taken to prison. Check out the People’s Advocate in her own words.