February 20, 2014
“The Black Arts Movement and Its Influences” conference will be going down with a host of legendary Black artists who have contributed to the liberation of our minds over the last 50 years. People like Askia Toure, Umar Bin Hasan of the Last Poets, Emory Douglas, the Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party, Avotcja, Ayodele Nzinga, Ras Baraka and Ishmael Reed, to name a few, will be participating.
February 5, 2014
I am recovering from a huge blow – my computer was taken along with other personal irreplaceable items. We stopped by Loon Point to visit the shore before driving back to the San Francisco Bay Area Jan. 30. It was early, we’d just finished our first session of the Winter Quarter. We left our luggage in view in our cohort’s car. In Oakland, we’d not have done that, but somehow the seashore, mountains and quiet terrain deceptively seduced us.
September 2, 2013
On the 20th anniversary of the demise of my father, Fred Ali Batin Sr., the 18th anniversary of the Maafa Commemoration San Francisco Bay Area – the Ritual Sunday is Oct. 13, 2013; see http://maafasfbayarea.com/ – and approximately the 60th day of the hunger strike to end the inhuman conditions in California’s Security Housing Units or SHUs, I just want to pause and reflect.
October 5, 2012
We need more business owners working from their apartments, vans or cars, vacant lots, and boarded up shops and storefronts. Keep in mind on your journey down the entrepreneur road, that wealth originates from within, first. To gain access to cash, sometimes you have to look to untraditional sources online which give artists and entrepreneurs a helping hand.
September 7, 2012
With the storm approaching New Orleans, I spoke to Dwight Henry, co-star in the film, “Beasts of a Southern Wild,” currently in Bay Area theaters. I spoke to three men who are riding the storm out: Parnell Herbert, Angola 3 activist and playwright, Mwalimu Johnson, community organizer and prison abolitionist, and Malik Rahim, former Black Panther.
August 30, 2012
New Orleans has become a national laboratory for government reforms. But the process through which those experiments have been carried out rarely has been transparent or democratic. The results have been divisive, pitting new residents against those who grew up here, rich against poor, and white against Black.
August 12, 2011
In an historic verdict with national implications, five New Orleans police officers were convicted on Friday of civil rights violations for killing unarmed African Americans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and could face life in prison when sentenced later this year.
June 4, 2011
This June 19, millions of Americans, particularly African Americans, will celebrate Juneteenth. Yet slavery’s abolishment, under the 13th Amendment, didn’t really end slavery, as many people believe. The 13th Amendment merely codified America’s “peculiar institution” under penal statutes.
June 19, 2010
All out to Washington, D.C., Monday, June 21, for the the Gray-Haired Witnesses Fast for Justice: 10 a.m. Department of Justice, 12 noon White House press conference, 1-9 p.m. Lafayette Square Park! We need your support in bringing national attention to the case of the Scott Sisters and all other women who have been incarcerated wrongly and egregiously over-sentenced, punishing and destroying our families and children.
December 31, 2009
Bay Area native Paul Mooney is one of the most legendary comedians in this country to touch a mic, not just because he can make his audience laugh, but because intertwined in his jokes there is a certain amount of political commentary and social criticism. Just like his buddy, the late great Richard Pryor, his pro-Black perspective and wittiness can never be deemed irrelevant.
November 10, 2009
Love has everything to do with it, and “Precious” shows us that where there is love, there is no intent to harm or cause pain. Precious’ life was the antithesis of love; how many children and adults confuse pain for love until they learn better?
September 15, 2009
Rebuilding efforts in St. Bernard Parish, a small community just outside New Orleans, have recently gotten a major boost. One nonprofit focused on rebuilding in the area has received the endorsement of CNN, Alice Walker the touring production of the play “The Color Purple” and even President Obama. But an alliance of Gulf Coast and national organizations are now raising questions about the cause these high profile names are supporting.
July 18, 2009
Drama has been a valuable art form to the Black experience in Amerikkka since before slavery. It was one of the ways that we maintained our history, although huge segments of the population couldn’t read or aren’t reading. I have only been to a few theatrical plays, but I love cinema, with some of the best dramatized movies to me being “dead presidents,” “Brown Sugar” and “Juice.”
November 9, 2008
In perhaps the most candid direct message to Black people since his Democratic nomination, then Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, on election eve Monday, credited Black voters for his historic political rise, promising to make a difference in their lives if elected.