May 29, 2018
On April 12, two Black men, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, were arrested for trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks while sitting at a table waiting for a business partner. Starbucks responded by making plans to close 8,000 stores on May 29 for racial bias training. The incident prompted consumers and activists to #BoycottStarbucks and consider alternatives like Oakland-based Red Bay Coffee. Owned by Black entrepreneur Keba Konte, Red Bay Coffee’s staff is composed entirely of women, people of color and the formerly incarcerated.
May 29, 2018
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.
May 10, 2018
According to Theodore W. Allen’s book, “The Invention of the White Race,” in 1619 there were no “white” people in America listed in colonial records. Europeans first became “White by law” in 1691. Mr. Allen goes on to say that the White Race was invented as a socio-political construct, designed to create a ruling class and bring the eternally warring factions of Europe together against a common enemy: people of color in general, Black people more specifically, and Black men in particular.
April 4, 2018
The vision board is the oldest success tool in the world – perhaps a million years old. Cave men, before they learned to invent language, had vision boards, made drawings on their cave walls to remind themselves to stay focused on what they wanted to eat and meet, on their goals and dreams. Try using a vision board at work for your team of coworkers, at home for your children. Have fun putting your favorite things, your goals and dreams on your vision board.
April 3, 2018
When I last checked, the “Black Panther” movie had grossed over a billion dollars and was approaching the elite top 10 most profitable blockbusters of all time, worldwide! And as a result of its wide appeal in the Black community, Afrakan fashion is back in the mix and Black handmade clothing is flying off the shelves like at no other time since the ‘70s. Fortunately, we are blessed here in the Bay Area with dozens of Afrakan clothing stores!
April 2, 2018
I watched two Black Panther movies today: “Panther,” the one put out by Mario and Melvin Van Pebbles in 1995 and, in my opinion, prematurely discarded from theaters, and the new one by Marvel, “Black Panther.” Angela Bassett stars in both films and the span of 23 years has not cracked her beautiful Black! if you liked “Black Panther,” I encourage you to revisit “Panther,” which has a lot of strong on-point performances.
March 23, 2018
The Black Joy Parade in Oakland, Sunday afternoon, Feb. 25, was a heartwarming and overwhelming success! A great thing that just happened in Oakland that has practically received no media play. But what a day – a history making day! I’ve never seen anything like it in all my days. Initially, I really didn’t know what to expect and yet I had great expectations. The buzz about the event had been good for at least a month.
February 2, 2018
The Bay View is the people’s microphone. It’s one of the few voices we have. It may not be a big microphone, like CNN or the New York Times. But we need as many small and medium sized mikes as we can get. The San Francisco Bay View should not be a dwindling institution. It should be an expanding one. An ever thriving one. The light and voice of the people should not be a flickering candlelight, but a raging fire. If this community watchdog loses its bark or is put to sleep, it will truly be open season on us and our communities.
January 3, 2018
I attended the prom in my Golden Fleece and my gold-centric Pharaoh of Oakland attire (see photo). I like to dress like this from time to time in spite of the intense petty hate stares I get. I like to dress like this to give people permission to be fabulous on any day! Every day! I like to dress like this because I’m a poet, artist and musician … in everything I do. I like to dress like this to let people know that in spite of it all: And still we rise!