November 21, 2012
The fiery writing of JR Valrey began appearing in the Bay View a dozen years ago. JR made our original vision for the Bay View reality: to inspire Black youth to build a powerful Black community. As the Bay View’s associate editor and one of KPFA’s most popular programmers with his provocative Block Report Radio shows, JR and the youth who grew up on his empowering words and pictures are growing in influence, making a difference every day – and they’re just getting started.
November 5, 2012
The reform of the Three Strikes Law with Proposition 36 will take a tool away from the police and DAs that has been used to oppress low-income and people of color communities. Any respite from the oppression of racism and capitalism on poor folks is worth voting for. So I say yes on Proposition 36.
November 1, 2012
It is well established that solitary confinement is cruel and psychologically damaging. Many of the SHU’s indefinite residents haven’t even broken prison rules. They are there because the California Department of Corrections claims they are connected to prison gangs. Such arbitrariness and cruelty has no place in a constitutional democracy. California should reexamine this practice.
October 21, 2012
Malcolm X is one of the best known figures of the human rights struggle and one of the most attacked by institutions that serve the elite. A new book – “A Lie of Reinvention” – defends his legacy against an attempted ivory tower assassination. Editor Jared Ball says Manning Marable’s book on Malcolm “is a corporate product, a simple commodity to be traded, but for more than money; it is a carefully constructed ideological assault on history, on radical politics, on historical and cultural memory, on the very idea of revolution.”
October 2, 2012
We’ve been “white maled!” Thank God for the ‘60s and ‘70s Black Power and Pride movements and for artists like James Brown who exorcized centuries of shame from our race with one song, “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.” Be Black, buy Black, think Black and support the future Gabby Douglases of the world by voting every day with your dollars. Buy Black Wednesdays business of the month is True Vibe Records.
September 30, 2012
The Black community is in a world of trouble. And President Obama alone cannot fix it. This is where real leadership is needed: real, un-bought, unbiased leadership. Black America’s biggest challenge, truth be told, is itself. And Black pastors are at the center of the issue. If we can get our leaders to the table – political, business, academic and community – we could create our own salvation.
September 11, 2012
The day is Buy Black Wednesday. I am setting foot in the Pan Afrikan Market Place called Little Nubia, modeled after Harlem in its “hey day,” old Timbuktu and Black Wall Street. So there are over 600 Black businesses in a 10-square-block area. Red, black and green is everywhere. Flags from every Afrikan nation flutter in the summer breeze.
September 9, 2012
Far from bringing “discredit to the Panthers,” as Rosenfeld contends, the Black Panthers’ armed street patrols dramatically reduced the level of violence visited by Oakland’s white cops upon the city’s Black residents, earning the admiration of 62 percent of inner city Blacks, according to a 1969 Wall Street Journal poll. Rosenfeld’s portrayal of the Panthers, including Richard Aoki’s role in the organization, is grossly inaccurate. His analysis of the violence surrounding the party’s challenge to racial inequality and injustice is simplistic and racist.
September 8, 2012
Richard Aoki has been used as a sensationalized hook to sell Seth Rosenfeld’s book. The recently released FBI documents still don’t pass the burden of proof and only fuel more speculation as to Rosenfeld’s motives. The only thing that I believe can be confirmed by these heavily redacted files is that the FBI believed it had an informant.
September 2, 2012
This year marks the 33rd anniversary of Black August, the annual commemoration of the liberation struggle of African people inside the United States. The month of celebration and reflection was initiated by political prisoners, many of whom were members of the Black Panther Party and the Republic of New Africa, two of the main revolutionary organizations that emerged during the late 1960s.
August 29, 2012
Black August Memorial (BAM) is not about senseless acts of violence or gang activity. Black August was inspired by the death of our fallen Black dragons and includes other New Afrikan freedom fighters who gave their lives to our struggle for freedom, who made that ultimate and unselfish sacrifice in the service of our revolutionary struggle.
August 26, 2012
The struggle is long and arduous, and sometimes we do etch out significant victories, as in the case of our Brotha Mutope Duguma in In re Crawford, a significant step in reaffirming that prisoners are entitled to a measure of First Amendment protection that cannot be ignored simply because the state dislikes the spiel.
August 21, 2012
Aoki NEVER was an agent. The over-emphasis upon Aoki providing the Panthers their first firearms is sensationalist fodder. What is conveniently ignored is what he contributed most to the Panthers and to the legacy of the U.S. revolutionary movement: promoting revolutionary study, ideology and disciplined organization. That’s why he was field marshal – because the cat could organize and tolerated no indiscipline and lack of seriousness. To the end of his life, Aoki could go toe-to-toe with any intellectual, theorist or organizer on the complexities and challenges of revolutionary theory.
August 12, 2012
An estimated 80,000 men, women and even children are being held in solitary confinement on any given day in U.S. prisons. If the struggle to end inhumane treatment inside prisons is to become anything more than a largely apolitical movement for so-called “civil rights,” it must put two long-ignored points back on the agenda: race and revolution.
August 7, 2012
Nothing is more dangerous to a system that depends on misinformation than a voice that obeys its own dictates and has the courage to speak out. George Jackson’s imprisonment and further isolation within the prison system were clearly a function of the state’s response to his outspoken opposition to the capitalist structure. George was one of the brilliant minds of the 20th century, passionately involved with liberating not only himself, but all of us.
July 11, 2012
I am honored to be the wife of a man who stands against injustice and oppression. The Georgia Department of Corrections is terrified of their injustices being exposed to the taxpaying public citizens. Hence, my husband is locked down, no outside contact, and labeled “a white Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”, to discourage him, silence him and keep him from awakening others – both staff and inmates. Truth will always prevail over falsehood.
May 23, 2012
The increase in hunger strikes in state prisons throughout the United States, inspired by the courageous examples of Ohio and California prisoners, show we don’t fear death or persecution, but minimizing losses is a part of wise strategy. We struggle to win. Unnecessarily losing some of our best minds to indeterminate isolation won’t help this purpose.
May 17, 2012
If we would have been self-transforming for the last 60, 50 years, there would not be millions of new slaves today and we would have the power to be making an impact and difference toward the building of the New World. Our teachers kept saying: “No matter what, we gotta keep pushing and growing. It’s the only way to continue our growth and become free.”
May 5, 2012
We give honor to Mother Earth, her birthday celebrated the weekend of April 22 with many great events in the Bay Area, “Love Yo Mama” in East Oakland hosted by Nehanda Imara of Citizens for a Better Environment, one of my favorite community events. My granddaughter and I enjoyed visiting the Tassafaronga Farm.
March 31, 2012
As the mother of a young Black man whom I pray for nightly and worry daily about his life being violently ended senselessly either by someone marginalized by the unjust social structure of U.S. life or by some rogue officer of the law or one pretending to be a policeman, I offer my sincerest condolences to the Martin family and friends over the loss of their son Trayvon.