December 30, 2011
God could not have sent us a more fitting setting for Occupy Cal at the University of California, Berkeley – the sun rising, yellow and warm. I was going devote today to observing and reporting on the social movement.
December 27, 2011
“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons,” wrote Dostoyevsky. If what he says is true – and I believe it is – then America, which boasts the largest prison population in the world, is perhaps the most uncivilized country there is. Who better to speak to the reality of prison life than someone who is living the experience?
December 26, 2011
Afrika! Black people! Afrikans! Let’s do like China did and put the whole continent on lockdown by closing our doors to the rest of the world until we’re ready to come back out again as a superpower.
December 23, 2011
On Sept. 11, 2011, Stanford University announced that Don Griffin, an Oakland native and 1965 honor graduate of Oakland’s Fremont High School, would be one of the 2011 inductees into Stanford’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Don was the third Black to play basketball for Stanford and was twice the season’s leading scorer.
December 9, 2011
On Friday I walked the BART connector project. I found one worker who was a descendant of slaves on this $1 billion project. The minority contractors, who tend to employ members of their own tribe, have contracts whose value is less than 1/2 of 1 percent.
December 7, 2011
As pressure builds for the Dec. 12 West Coast port shutdown, the capitalist owners and their media have begun a battle of ideas to blunt this powerful threat to their profits and control. But ILWU member Clarence Thomas says: “We don’t cross community picket lines. These ports are the people’s ports. Ports belong to the people of the Pacific Coast.”
December 3, 2011
Sobonfu Somé, West African healer, says that when people die and become ancestors, they get smarter and often try to repair any damage they may have made while in this physical form. Ancestors want to be busy making our lives better. She said we can call on them to intercede on our behalf when we are troubled.
October 24, 2011
Seven San Francisco mayoral candidates have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to send in election observers and monitors and federal investigators to protect San Franciscans’ voting rights from the official mayoral campaign of Interim Mayor Ed Lee and from the “independent expenditure committee” also trying to elect him outside the campaign spending confines of the official campaign.
October 20, 2011
Pack the courtroom — Dept. 12 at 850 Bryant — at 1:30pm today for the arraignment on bogus charges of DeBray Carpenter, better known as Fly Benzo, resistance leader in Bayview Hunters Point. Public Defender Jeff Adachi has assured he will be well represented, but he needs and deserves a crowd of supporters too. Fly is the keynote speaker Saturday at the October 22nd rally to stop police brutality. The mayor is in charge of the police department. Hold Mayor Ed Lee accountable for this attempt to silence a community leader. Call him at (415) 554-6141. Free Fly Benzo!
October 4, 2011
October is Maafa Commemoration Month. The term Maafa refers to the Black Holocaust, that period when African people were stolen and traded in the greatest, most widespread cooperative economic venture to date, which resulted in the displacement of human beings as commodities. The Kiswahili term Maafa extends that definition of loss and trauma, that is, PTSD or post-traumatic slave syndrome – the flashbacks, both conscious and unconscious, reoccurring instances of the atrocities 150 years after the end of slavery which have direct association to the brutality of chattel slavery.
October 4, 2011
As the renewed prisoner hunger strike enters its second week, the federal receiver’s office reports that at least 12,000 prisoners were participating during the first week. Family members of striking SHU prisoners reported that their visits this weekend were denied by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which is threatening participants with disciplinary action and banning two lawyers who represent the strikers. “Historically, prison officials have used extreme measures, including physical violence to break strikes,” says Dorsey Nunn, a member of the mediation team working on behalf of the strikers.
September 29, 2011
Students learned many things about African and African American history, ranging from the classical African civilizations of Kemet (ancient Egypt), Songhai and Mali to the Black Arts Movement and the Harlem Renaissance. The African-centered curriculum is designed to encourage youth to read during the summer while building self-esteem and a strong cultural identity.
September 27, 2011
Rev. and Dorothy Pinkney have been leaders in the fight against the corporate (Whirlpool) and state government’s direct takeover of the poor, largely African-American Rust Belt town of Benton Harbor, Michigan, the first American city to be placed under Michigan’s draconian new Emergency Financial Manager law. Join them on their Justice Tour in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Fresno Sept. 27-Oct. 1.
September 25, 2011
Oakland has never had a dominant rapper who’s a woman in its long rap history. Today, the Sobrante Park bred Silence the Violence activist and rapper Queen Deelah is the one who is turning heads from the Town all the way to Austin, Texas. Recently while I was in Austin, I ran into Deelah, the transplant who had taken over the sleepy Texas city in a matter of months.
September 8, 2011
Turns out the freedoms we won weren’t enough; we also need discipline. No disrespect to other cultures, but when we got a little freedom, we did a jailbreak from each other and ran into the open arms of everybody else and made them rich! We ran to Chinatown to get Chinese food, we ran to Japantown to get sushi and Japanese food. We ran to the taco stand to get Mexican food.
September 3, 2011
The Battle of the Bay, the annual pre-season game between the Raiders and the Forty Niners, is something most football fans look forward to every summer. It just so happens that this year’s game took place in one of the worst Funk Seasons in recent memory.
August 18, 2011
In the aftermath of Oscar Grant’s murder in 2009, directors of the Bay Area Rapid Transit district announced they would turn over the agency’s internal affairs probe to what they called an “independent, third-party law firm.”
August 18, 2011
Glen Cove was a large village and ceremonial grounds that was used by many different tribes throughout the Bay Area. This area has been deemed, declared and even federally recognized as sacred to indigenous peoples. Many Natives alive today have ties to ancestors buried there.
August 9, 2011
Local housing authorities across the nation are preparing for major cuts to HUD’s Section 8 housing voucher programs after being directed in June by HUD to come up with lists to prioritize which voucher recipients would be dumped in the event of major cuts to the subsidized housing program.
August 7, 2011
Mr. James Lowe is a man who believes in keeping promises. He taught fifth grade at Malcolm X Academy in Hunters Point for 22 years. He promised that two years after retiring from teaching, he would be back at Malcolm X as an Experience Corps volunteer. This fall, James will keep that promise.