August 2, 2015
When Bree Newsome pulled down the Confederate flag from in front of the South Carolina statehouse in Columbia on June 27, she gave brief, heroic expression to an anger felt far beyond the Lowcountry over the bloody massacre in Charleston 10 days earlier. The young Black activist’s exemplary act of protest recalled a series of events three decades ago, not in a bastion of the Old South ruled by Republican nut jobs, but 2,500 miles away in liberal San Francisco.
January 1, 2015
Happy New Year! Happy Birthday to my granddaughter Brianna, niece Wilda and friend Fred T. I am still smiling about America’s new relationship with Cuba and the freed Cuban 5. If you are in New Orleans (NOLA), don’t miss “Prospect 3: Notes for Now,” the biennial there being celebrated throughout the city through Jan. 25.
March 14, 2014
“12 Years a Slave,” the story of a free Black man kidnapped by slave traders, has won an Oscar for Best Picture of the Year and a slew of other awards. But in one important respect, the movie comes up short. Missing from the film is the slave rebellion and revolt that Solomon Northup portrayed so vividly in his book.
September 2, 2013
On the 20th anniversary of the demise of my father, Fred Ali Batin Sr., the 18th anniversary of the Maafa Commemoration San Francisco Bay Area – the Ritual Sunday is Oct. 13, 2013; see http://maafasfbayarea.com/ – and approximately the 60th day of the hunger strike to end the inhuman conditions in California’s Security Housing Units or SHUs, I just want to pause and reflect.
January 21, 2013
On the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it comes to mind that from day one our society and culture have been heavily influenced by film. The recent slavery-related films, “Lincoln,” directed by Steven Spielberg, and “Django Unchained,” directed by Quentin Tarantino, will have a social, economic and psychological impact.
January 5, 2013
This year, on the 150 anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, we all need to heed the words of Sister Jayne Cortez: “And if we don’t fight / if we don’t resist / if we don’t organize and unify and / get the power to control our own lives / Then we will wear / the exaggerated look of captivity …” And don’t miss Wanda’s excellent, no holds barred reviews of “Django Unchained,” “Lincoln and “Red Hook Summer,” plus Dr. King birthday events listing and much more
December 30, 2012
Just as organizations like the NAACP denounced conservative-revisionist textbooks in Texas in 2010, they should denounce liberal-bent historical accounts that either ignorantly or deliberately fail to concede that “Abraham Lincoln did the right thing for the wrong reasons.” Or as Lerone Bennett aptly conveyed in the title of his book, Lincoln was in effect “Forced Into Glory.”
June 25, 2011
Third-party presidential candidate George Wallace, the former governor of Alabama, was in Omaha in March 1968 to qualify his American party in Nebraska. Wallace had arrived in Omaha on Sunday, the day before, and held an angry news conference to provoke a large turnout at his rally.
May 12, 2011
The Omaha Two are Edward Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice). Both men are imprisoned at the Nebraska State Penitentiary, where they are serving life sentences for the Aug. 17, 1970, bombing murder of an Omaha police officer, in which they deny any involvement.