August 22, 2015
Of all the labels and titles that could rightfully be appended to Bond – activist, politician, lecturer, commentator, professor – he wished to be remembered most as a “race man”: “A race man is an expression that’s not used anymore, but it used to describe a man – usually a man, could have been a woman too – who was a good defender of the race, who didn’t dislike White people, but who stood up for Black people, who fought for Black people. I’d want people to say that about me.”
March 11, 2015
Who can question whether President Barack Obama is a master when it comes to speeches? Such a quality literally put him on the map when he mesmerized a crowd at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He did it again in the Selma, Alabama’s 50th anniversary at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. His central message: No one can doubt things are better since Selma. No one. His speech, delivered with quiet passion, was a master work. And yet … and yet.
January 12, 2015
I’ve finally seen “Selma” and can report it is a proper civil rights movie. By that I mean it takes few chances either thematically or aesthetically. The icons remain intact and the movement free from revisionist recriminations. This cautious strategy is understandable in a risk-averse Hollywood. Although boxed in by those kinds of commercial expectations, “Selma” delivers even more than it should.
January 10, 2015
“Selma” gives a window into the turbulent three-month voting rights campaign, a series of pivotal protest marches in 1965 that culminated with President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The movie offers a lens into King and imperiled activists’ attempts to travel a 54-mile highway from Selma to the Alabama state capital, Montgomery, in the face of blatant racism, brutality and de facto segregation.
August 10, 2014
On July 29, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Keith Ellison did something unique for a member of Congress. He published an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for ending the economic blockade on 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza, noting that most of the victims of the blockade were women and children. Let’s try to get other Members of Congress to #StandWithKeith in favor of ending the economic blockade on 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza.
December 6, 2013
The house was packed for the San Francisco NAACP Freedom Fund Gala, “We Shall Not Be Moved Until Justice Rolls Down Like a Mighty Stream,” at the Union Square Hilton on Saturday, Nov. 9, when Tavis Smiley, named one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” by TIME magazine, broadcaster, author of 16 books, publisher, advocate and philanthropist, took the mic. Beginning with excerpts from his introduction by San Francisco NAACP President Dr. Amos C. Brown, here is Tavis’ provocative and profoundly moving address:
December 23, 2012
President Obama’s latest fiscal cliff proposal includes a cut to Social Security. What it means is that all current and future retirees receiving Social Security, including veterans and the disabled, would see a dramatic cut to their current and future benefits, and the cuts would compound over time. Rep. John Lewis was deeply disturbed by this proposal.
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!”
January 27, 2012
Beyonce performed Etta’s signature song, “At Last” at President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, laying claim to the tune James relied on to make a living. James told an audience shortly after that that Obama “is not my president” and “that woman he had singing for him, singing my song … she’s going to get her ass whipped.”
July 15, 2011
NATO and hyperbolic press accounts have introduced a kind of race hatred that the Libyan people have been trying hard to erase. Approximately 50 percent of Libya looks like me. Innocent, darker skinned Libyans have been targeted, tortured, harassed and killed.
October 24, 2008
On Oct. 14, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the death-row case of Troy Anthony Davis, putting him on the fast track to be murdered by the state of Georgia for the murder of a Savannah police officer in 1989. But on Friday, Oct. 24, in his third 11th-hour reprieve, the federal appeals court in Atlanta granted a stay so Troy’s lawyers can file claims of his innocence. Block Report Radio speaks with Troy’s sister Martina Davis about his case.