October 5, 2012
As a descendant of former slaves and as an immigrant from the South, I have a unique perspective on segregation. My parents migrated to Oakland from Jackson, Mississippi, in 1944. In Jackson there were signs which posted the segregation policies. In California there were segregation policies, but no signs.
September 11, 2012
When Andre Ward stood on the ropes and raised his arms in victory after demolishing Chad Dawson, I was reminded of a similar scene when a young Cassius Clay stood next to the ropes with a raised fist after demolishing “Big Bear” Sonny Liston, and said: “I shook up the world. I’m the greatest.” Both tend to beat their opponents psychologically before they get into the ring.
August 28, 2012
The New York Times published a piece called “Oakland, the Last Refuge of Radical America” that pretty much had everyone in Oakland scratching their heads and mouthing a collective WTF? Is Oakland the last refuge for radicalism where outsiders are invading the city? No, Oakland is a city where people are not shy about fighting for and demanding justice.
August 24, 2012
The boxing world has its eye on Northern Cali, because the area is producing champions in every division, right and left. Later on, I will talk to more of the fighters, but I wanted to write this story first, so that people could see boxing from the eyes of trainers, not just fighters.
August 10, 2012
Eighteen-year-old high school senior and Oakland resident Alan Blueford was shot to death by police on May 6 under curious circumstances. The coroner’s report, showing Blueford never shot at the officer, was finally released after the July 19 press conference Alan’s parents were forced to organize.
August 8, 2012
There are many great programs for youth in the San Francisco Bay Area – among them, AileyCamp at Cal Performances, Destiny Arts, Oaktown Jazz Workshop, Dimensions Extensions and Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, founded by Angela Wellman.
July 20, 2012
Long before Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield held a professional boxing title, he was considered a beast in the streets of San Francisco – because of his hands. Eight years after retiring as a street fighter, this professional boxer has risen to superstardom.
July 19, 2012
Tupac Shakur, a very talented rapper and actor who defined the aspirations and frustrations of a generation, was shot on Sept. 7, 1996, and died on Sept. 13. On June 16, Bobby Beats, the father of Digital Underground’s Money B and a former Black Panther, organized one of the biggest, most exciting and most meaningful Tupac birthday parties in history.
July 19, 2012
When we, Black America’s trillion dollar nation, start circulating our dollars within the community more, more of us will have more dollars in our pockets and purses, and as a result there will be less crime, less violence and a dwindling homicide rate. Happy, prosperous people don’t commit crimes, steal and kill.
July 18, 2012
1995 was a very auspicious year. My “Entering Oakland” poem, which made fun of Oakland’s ominous border signs that actually read “Entering Oakland,” was a catalyst in getting the city’s signs changed to “Welcome to Oakland.” Now I’m attempting my biggest endeavor ever, a Cultural World’s Fair.
July 16, 2012
The Community-Labor Coalition to Save the People’s Post Office rallied, marched and occupied the Civic Center Post Office in downtown San Francisco to stop threats of eliminating 220,000 living-wage jobs and closing 3,700 post offices, including four in San Francisco – most in poor neighborhoods and rural areas.
July 12, 2012
Safety First is one third of the super art crew Black Diamonds Shining, which also consists of Dead Eyes and Ras Terms. These brothas are very talented visual artists who seem to be everywhere in the Bay where people are talking about young Black and Brown art by contemporary artists. We have to buy and support local art so that we can keep our local dope artists in business.
July 11, 2012
When Kenneth Harding, 19, couldn’t show police a Muni transfer to prove he’d paid his $2 fare on July 16, 2011, he ran, they shot him in the back and for an agonizing half hour, instead of trying to save his life, they trained their guns on Kenneth and the crowd while the young man slowly bled to death and the crowd screamed in horror. Knowing that the police murder of Kenneth Harding was the outcome of the routine, though unofficial, police practice of stopping and frisking young men of color, why would San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, a former civil rights attorney, consider importing New York City’s disastrous stop-and-frisk policy?
July 8, 2012
Storytelling is one of the most ancient forms of entertainment – before radio, television, paper and cinema. Ayodele “Wordslanger” Nzinga is one of the Bay Area’s most talented griots who tells stories of the past through her West Oakland-based theater company, The Lower Bottom Playaz. The legendary August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” opens July 13.
July 6, 2012
Early Tuesday morning, the 18th day of the Lakeview Elementary Sit-In and 12th day of the People’s School, the OUSD police and other police forces raided the encampment and school. The People’s School will continue, and a community-labor alliance and picket sanctioned by the Alameda Labor Council will block the move-in of administrative offices at Lakeview.
June 27, 2012
Parents, young students, teachers, families and community members have seized Lakeview Elementary School in Oakland in response to the Oakland Unified School District’s decision to proceed with closure. Lakeview was recognized for having low suspension rates of Black boys. In theory, OUSD has shown interest in interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, but in practice, the school closures push our youth out of the schools and into the streets. Visit the People’s School and protest to Supt. Tony Smith!
June 21, 2012
Davey D, host of KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio and a well known and respected community activist and advocate, will headline the Homeboy Hotline’s first annual fundraiser celebration on Saturday, June 23, 2-4 p.m., at Hibiscus Restaurant, located at 1745 San Pablo Ave., Oakland. Donations raised will fund the work of HBH, a nonprofit organization that provides support, resources and hope to the formerly incarcerated.
June 20, 2012
The first book I read after I decided to consciously educate myself to be a part of the movement was Sanyika Shakur’s “Monster” in the mid-‘90s. I was inspired by the sharpness of his ideas, his vocabulary and his grasp on history. I respected him in the same way I respected Tupac Shakur. I knew that one day I wanted to be able express myself as articulately as the two of them.
June 17, 2012
“African American young men are assets that we can’t afford to lose and, when they earn college degrees, the economic and social benefits impact all of us,” said Cedric Brown, CEO of the Kapor Foundation. “All too often, these young men and their accomplishments are overlooked and dismissed.”
June 17, 2012
Shontrice Williamson and Adrienne Wilson graduated from San Francisco State University – Shontrice receiving her degree in Africana studies and Adrienne a master’s in public health. Both were also chosen to represent their fellow graduates at commencement by wearing the symbolic hood of their colleges. Only seven graduating students were selected for this honor.