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Word has it that the first 20 enslaved Africans were brought to Jamestown, Virginia, sometime during the month of August in 1619. Wow! That means next year, August 2019 will extend that legacy to exactly 400 years. Look out, Jamestown, here we come to commemorate, commiserate and consummate 400 years of MAAFA! Below is an excerpt from my poem, “The Art of Living Black,” which summarizes those 400 years, opening with an addition of recent local occurrences and indignities that have become a part of the Black Experience.
A proposal by HUD and the Obama administration that is allegedly meant to combat segregation and break up concentrations of poverty actually threatens Section 8 renters (Housing Choice Voucher holders) – the elderly, poor and disabled – with higher rents and eviction. It has many Section 8 tenants worried about their future in the Bay Area, New York and elsewhere.
The politics, color and income of Oakland is changing rapidly, similar to what happened over in San Francisco, where the population went from 16 percent Black in the 1970s to 3 percent Black and shrinking today. Oakland, like many other largely Black cities, is being plagued by gentrification. Instead of suffering in silence, Timothy Killings, a member of the Northern California People’s Housing Union, invites you to join the collective this Saturday, 12-3 p.m., at the Quilombo Community Center, 2313 San Pablo in West Oakland. Food and child care will be provided and all are invited.
The light from their eyes was missing; in its place was the color of fear. This was the scene at City Hall last week as the people stood up to behemoth developer Forest City, about to build multiple luxury condominium towers and office buildings that will span almost an entire city block in San Francisco’s long-time Filipino community, effectively wiping out the last shred of this working class community of color.