Tag: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
There is one place in the U.S. where slavery is still constitutionally legal: in prisons. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, passed in 1864, abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. But prisoners held in this enslavement are organizing resistance. Brave prisoners within the Florida state prison system have organized themselves into a month-long work strike called Operation Push. It began on Jan. 15, Martin Luther King Day. In a phone interview, an anonymous prisoner-activist specifically linked the strike to King’s legacy of protest against racism and economic injustice.
Acting Mayor London Breed, San Francisco’s first Black woman mayor, issued the following statement on Jan. 15, the birthday and federal holiday of Martin Luther King Jr.: “Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time for solemn reflection and commemoration of the life and legacy of one of our country’s most distinguished leaders. It is a time for us to remember and think critically about the values he stood for: social and racial justice, service and equality."
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 18, a 10:30 a.m. press conference will be held by renowned civil rights attorney with his client Gwendolyn Woods, mother of Mario Woods, whose firing-squad-style execution by SFPD on Dec. 2 was recorded by several bystanders and relayed around the world. Mario was murdered in his own neighborhood, the gentrification pressured and police occupied Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco’s last Black community.
As a member of the Equity Advisory Committee of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (SFHRC), I learned a lot. It was all bad for The City’s Black community. The SFHRC was formed in 1964 to fight discrimination against Blacks in The City. Today, it is clear to me that this charter commission discriminates against the Black community – with no end in sight.
David Roach is one of the pillars of the Black community in the Bay, especially Oakland, first with his Mo Betta Food Market, which connected West Oakland’s Lower Bottoms neighborhood with California Black farmers and the historic annual Oakland International Film Festival, which profiles some of the biggest films and names in the Black cinema world. His newest project to date is 1st Saturdays.
Shot dead in his car on July 15, 2011, a mere 30 and a half months after Oscar’s BART police assassination, Johntue Caldwell, godfather of Oscar Grant’s daughter, Tatiana, was one of the terrorized Black youth on the Fruitvale BART platform with Oscar on Jan. 1, 2009. He leaves behind two young sons.