October 23, 2009
Kev Choice is one of the the dopest young musicians I know in Oakland. And I would have to say that L-Boogie aka Lauryn Hill agrees with me, since she hired this dude to be her band leader. Kev Choice tickles the keys like Herbie, emcees like Posdonous and is a band leader like Duke Ellington. The Kev Choice Ensemble out at Yoshi’s in Oakland on Monday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m.
September 1, 2009
Next month the most important item on my agenda is Maafa Commemoration Month to reflect on the legacy of slavery and how everyone benefited from this human rights travesty except those who did the work. We began Aug. 30 with a successful Maafa 2009: Hurricane Katrina Fundraiser and Reportback, thanks to all the poets and the visual artists who donated art for the silent auction and of course to Tess and Yeme, the proprietors of Shashamane Bar and Grill.
August 1, 2009
Black August begins with a campaign for the acquittal of Francisco Torres, the only member of the San Francisco 8 still charged. Go to www.freethesf8.org for messages to phone or fax to Attorney General Jerry Brown, urging him to drop the charges. Cisco’s hearing is Aug. 10 if the charges aren’t dropped.
July 23, 2009
Cynthia McKinney, the outspoken former congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate, recently got out of jail.
Yeah. That’s right. Jail.
It’s possible that you had no idea she was in jail.
That’s because she was in detention for almost a week in Israel.
July 9, 2009
Minister of Information JR caught up with former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party’s 2008 presidential candidate, upon her return to the U.S. from a week’s incarceration in an Israeli jail. She and the Free Gaza 21 – the crew and passengers, including political leaders, human rights workers, Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire among them, and journalists, of the boat “Spirit of Humanity” – had been boarded, assaulted and kidnapped while sailing in international waters by a fleet of Israeli warships.
July 7, 2009
For those who feel his music was mere bubblegum pop, and thus devoid of serious social commentary, check out one of his post “Thriller” songs, “They Don’t Care About Us.” Filmed in what appears to be a Brazilian favela, surrounded by thousands of dark skinned boys and girls, many drumming to the beat, the song is an anthem of how the rich world treats the poor of the world.
July 3, 2009
A few days ago, Herman Bell accepted a plea bargain from the prosecution and will be returning to New York for his parole hearing as soon as California gets him on a return flight. The news was greeted soberly and from some quarters with bemusement.
July 3, 2009
On Thursday, June 25, 2009, the world received the shocking news that King of Pop Michael Jackson was on his death bed. By 2:26 that afternoon the much repeated international rumor had become a heartbreaking fact. Musical genius and King of Popular music Michael Joseph Jackson had died at the age of 50 in his Los Angeles home of cardiac arrest, or heart failure, on the eve of his first major tour in 16 years.
July 2, 2009
Required reading for Americans pre-fireworks and festivities should be an important speech given by abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass, who, in “What to the American Slave is Your Fourth of July?” questions this holiday which took place while citizens were denied their right to justice, freedom and equality. At the Oakland Public Conservatory, Michael Lange and youth wordsmiths Ayinde Webb, the drummer in the Frederick Douglass Youth Ensemble, and Jamani Williams will read excerpts.
June 25, 2009
“Earth Song,” written and composed by Michael Jackson, who joined the ancestors June 25, 2009, at age 50, is his best known environmentally conscious track, a ballad that incorporates elements of blues, gospel and opera. In 2007 he told Ebony magazine he was “very concerned” about the “international global warming phenomenon.”