September 2, 2018
Poor is the word without the deeds … poor the deeds without the WORD – … During the time of Big Man his words were commitment to action … his determination exposed the people’s cries we HEARD – … Where the spectator merely shouts creates noise that static sound without rhythm or RHYME – … Big Man stood front and center at the eye of the storm in the arena of struggle … and intoned the poor and oppressed will rise time after time after TIME –
September 1, 2018
After gracing the planet for 76 years, Aretha Franklin joined the ancestors Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. President Obama: “Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade – our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace.”
August 31, 2018
Let me be the first to say it: Nia Wilson would be alive today if somebody else had been elected president in 2016! The man arrested for Nia’s murder was not alone. He had an accomplice. The president was not there in person Sunday night, July 22, at the MacArthur BART subway station when Nia Wilson was brutally stabbed to death and her sister viciously attacked, but his spirit was.
August 31, 2018
A grand sunny day dawned in San Francisco’s Hunters Point Bayvew District for the naming of “Sam Jordan Way,” formerly Galvez Avenue between Phelps and Third Street. Over 150 people gathered for the celebration on Aug. 18. It is fitting that his two sons, Allen and Sam Jr., and baby girl Ruth with other family members were on hand. They pointed out that their father was the first African American to make a serious run for mayor and now we have a Black woman, Mayor London Breed.
April 4, 2018
On the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, Wednesday, April 4, we need to stop and reflect on the many landmark movements which began 50 years ago … like hip-hop. For the Oakland Museum of California to showcase this culture in an exhibit entitled “RESPECT: Hip Hop Style and Wisdom” now through August 2018 is to elevate this conversation and its creators to a level unprecedented.
September 25, 2017
The 1960s and 1970s saw a hurricane of political athletes: legends like Muhammad Ali, John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Curt Flood and Billie Jean King. But nothing, literally nothing, in the history of sports and politics can compare to what happened on Sunday. Expressions of dissent broke out in every single NFL game during the playing of the National Anthem. Some players kneeled, some sat, some raised fists and some linked arms. But all of them were standing in opposition to Donald Trump. Announcers and commentators discussed their actions sympathetically. The booing one might expect from fans was sparse.
September 21, 2017
“The Vietnam War” provides us a new opportunity to examine the history of the war and to examine ourselves and our nation. Burns’ and Novick’s documentary will be evaluated based on the historiography they employ, the balance and fairness of their approach, whether they give equal weight to the Vietnamese voices as to the American voices, and their objectivity. Let us not forget the Vietnam War. Let us not, in the name of misguided foreign policy, allow the government to send our young men and women abroad to kill and to be killed.
September 13, 2017
Las Vegas cops jumped NFL star Michael Bennett, held a gun to his head and threatened to blow it off. How else could they have chosen the perfect target to prove that the U.S. is a racist police state? How else could their police union have followed up with a letter imploring NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to investigate Bennett for defaming them by telling his story and claiming that the LVPD had racially profiled him? You can’t make this stuff up.
September 3, 2017
On Aug. 30, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick posted birthday wishes to Fred Hampton with Hampton’s picture and a quotation of something he said: “You can kill a revolutionary, but you can’t kill the revolution.” The 49ers played the Chicago Bears last year on Dec. 4, 2016, the anniversary of Hampton’s assassination by a tactical unit of state, city and federal officers. Kaepernick wore a Fred Hampton T-shirt to the postgame press conference.
June 29, 2017
Andre Ward knocked out Sergey Kovalev via TKO 129 seconds into the eighth round of their legendary rematch. It was June 17, 2017, in the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, before 10,592 fans and distributed live by HBO. Andre Ward is a two-division world champion. He is the reigning unified WBA, WBO, IBF and RING Magazine Light Heavyweight World Champion, the 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist and the best pound for pound fighter in the world. His fans love him.
March 9, 2017
Though pioneering journalist Richard Durham (1917-1984) made Chicago his home, Professor Sonja D. Williams’s “Word Warrior: Richard Durham, Radio and Freedom” (2015) offers a portrait of a man who was not contained by geography – spatial or otherwise. Williams will be in town this weekend to share the Durham story at the African American Museum and Library, 659 14th St., Oakland, Saturday, March 11, 2-4 p.m.
December 7, 2016
This fight, Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev, felt like the Jack Johnson vs. James J. Jeffries fight of July 4, 1910, between world heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson and undefeated, coming out of retirement heavyweight contender, James J. Jeffries. Both fights were billed as the “Fight of the Century.” Both occurred during a time of hostility and escalating racial tensions between Afrikan people and people of European descent – and in a U.S. known for its Jim Crow laws and the rise of the KKK.
September 2, 2016
Colin Kaepernick just became an instant national hero in the Black community, risking his career like Muhammad Ali, taking a stand or a seat like Rosa Parks, and shocking the sports world by doing what the vast majority of modern day athletes wouldn’t dare even think about doing and jeopardize their million dollar contracts by speak out against injustice. So WE GOT YOUR BACK, CAP!
August 27, 2016
“Kaepernick’s action was a righteous protest against the epidemic of racism and police brutality in this country,” said Gloria La Riva. “As a socialist and proud, long-time resident of San Francisco, I salute the stand taken by SF 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem at Friday night’s game. La Riva spoke from her San Francisco office in California where she is running for U.S. president as the Peace and Freedom Party candidate.
August 17, 2016
Typically, people make mistakes about Andre “Son of God” Ward all of the time. People say he’s light (in terms of weight), but no one can push him around. They say he cannot punch, but no one can just walk right through him. The lesson is that it is always different on the outside, and until you get into a ring with him, you won’t know how hard he can punch. Once you find out, the same mistake isn’t repeated – at least not by the same people.
July 16, 2016
When you talk about grinding and hustling for your dream, Oakland’s DLabrie has rocked mics from New York to Seoul and collaborated with some of the most intellectual rappers of our generation. A few months ago he premiered the “Stay Black and Die” video, which included appearances by rappers M1, Shamako, Mac Mall and Ray Luv, at the Oakland International Film Festival. He is definitely someone who has a lot to say. Check out DLabrie in his own words.
July 15, 2016
We lost many loved ones this past month, from photographer extraordinaire Kamau Amen Ra to community organizer, prolific writer and longshoreman Brother Cleophus Williams to my dear Sister Monica Pree, not to mention Muhammad Ali. We reflect on Independence Day, a day marked by the blood of African Ancestors of the Middle Passage – the first to die a Black man, Crispus Attucks, on March 3, 1770, in what became known as the Boston Massacre.
July 7, 2016
From 1983 to 1993, I taught Bible to teenaged felons housed at San Francisco Juvenile Hall. Teaching teenaged felons with lives on hold due to youthful anger, ignorance and mistakes was a challenge but also a lot of fun. However, what made me good at what I did was in part due to a stabbing I witnessed away from the facility and a special moment I missed out on when Muhammad Ali came up to the SF Juvenile Hall.
July 2, 2016
In the wake of Muhammed Ali’s transition come the voices of praise and adulation heaped on the man for his political stance and courage for holding to his convictions in 1967, that brought him face-to-face with a racist U.S. regime. But the voices are silent in the face of Jasmine Abdullah Richards’ reality in 2016, against an identical racist regime to the one who persecuted Ali.
June 5, 2016
The reverberations. Not the rumbles, the reverberations. The death of Muhammad Ali will undoubtedly move people’s minds to his epic boxing matches against Joe Frazier and George Foreman, or there will be retrospectives about his epic “rumbles” against racism and war. But it’s the reverberations that we have to understand in order to see Muhammad Ali as what he remains: the most important athlete to ever live.