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The Greenlining Institute brought its 24th annual Economic Summit to the organization’s new hometown of Oakland April 14. At a moment when communities of color are under attack nationwide, the Summit – which brings together community leaders and grassroots organizers from California and around the U.S. – felt surprisingly like a celebration: a celebration of defiance, resistance and persistence in the face of threats to our communities.
Now, as the San Francisco Bay View newspaper’s 40th birthday year comes to a close, is the time to bring up to date the historical sketch of our paper that I began with Part 1 in the January paper. Piles of old papers rest on my desk, waiting to be read once again – a banquet of stories and pictures of our lives, our hopes, our goals. Let me let you taste the flavor of the freedom we continue to fight for in the age of Trump.
This was a cop calling me. He had my 13-year-old son, Tibu, who he had “detained” at West Oakland BART for doing nothing wrong – for selling the newspapers that he and his comrades at Deecolonize Academy produced. The cop profiled him as “a runaway” – code for houseless youth. It’s a constitutional right to free speech that Tibu and the other newspaper sellers are exercising, something the youth skolaz are learning right now in their oppressed People’s Herstory class at school.
Over 200 community members, activists, union members, transportation experts, family and friends flocked to Oakland’s New Parish for non-profit leader Lateefah Simon’s kick-off fundraiser for her 2016 campaign to join the BART Board of Directors. Despite running as a first-time candidate, Simon has already built a broad coalition that includes some of the Bay Area’s top elected officials and civic leaders. True to her reputation as a tireless community advocate, Simon spoke passionately about her personal connection to BART and her commitment to transit justice for working people.
HOW SWEET IT IS, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 2015 NBA CHAMPIONS! NOW, THE BATTLE IS ON TO KEEP the team in Oakland and owners from moving WARRIORS TO SAN FRANCISCO Mission Bay and proposed new arena to be built at Third and 16th Street. While talking sports, CANDLESTICK STADIUM IS DOWN! GONE! Nothing left but the TOWER in the parking lot!
On Sept. 13, 2014, the most progressive of the Bay Area’s Black and pro-Black journalists came together to celebrate one another and to give awards to a well deserving few. It was also a salute to the real legacy of Black journalism in the United States that was born out of the fight for human rights and self-determination. The night was dedicated to the memory of the recently transitioned journalist and editor Kevin Weston.
From the moment the doors opened on the evening of Sept. 13, it was apparent that the honoring of our global African media would begin its night of empowerment with the tradition of honoring one of the community’s foremost elders. We celebrated the 82 years of life and struggle of Dr. Willie Ratcliff and Dr. Ratcliff’s 22 years of Black media ownership of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper. Black Media Appreciation Night 2014 was filled with wisdom, communication and the exchange of knowledge, as well as people receiving awards for life changing, revolutionary work.
Kevin Weston and Lateefah Simon have started a national effort to register 1,000 African Americans as possible bone marrow donors and find a match for Kevin, who needs a transplant in less than two months for an extremely rare form of leukemia. They urge African Americans to join the Be the Match bone marrow registry by attending a local drive or registering by mail. It's quick and easy. Help save Lelah’s daddy. Help Kevin and Lateefah change the odds for their family by increasing the number of African Americans registered to be bone marrow donors.
On Monday, Nov. 26, at Yoshi’s in Oakland, we will be honoring Kevin Weston and a number of other Black media-makers who represent for the Black community in Northern California. Everyone is invited. The night will be a celebration of life and resistance in the home of the Black Panther Party and independent rap music. Until then, here is Kevin in his own words.
MacArthur Fellow Lateefah Simon, executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, will deliver the keynote address at the Fifth Anniversary Dinner and Awards Ceremony of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI).