Salt, grease and fried meat filled the air with just a hint of burnt sugar thrown in. My mind wandered to breakfasts past sizzling in a greasy diner. This time, however, I was on my bike, riding past an empty lot in East Oakland at 6:30 a.m. No houses or restaurants were remotely close. And then I saw the smoke and heard the sizzle. It was coming from one of a long line of late model Subarus, Hondas, BMWs, Acura sedans and even a Mercedes.
I’m not sure which knife-point of ancestral trauma in the new movie “12 Years a Slave,” based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography, caused me to crumple into a paralyzed ball on the floor. I am not sure when I became unable to breathe or even see straight while watching the continuous acts of graphic genocide, racist hate, hegemony, brutality and oppression filter across the movie screen.
The community college system educates thousands of working-class and poor people across the state of California without saddling us with massive debt. City College of San Francisco alone educates over 90,000 students. This poor people college access is exactly why I believe that corporate interests are trying to squash the last hope for educational access across the country.
To write with laughter, heart, fire and humility – to get those words down and draw the reader in – to make the reader warm with the fire of poetry, wet with the tears of memory, full with the soup of experience – leaving the reader satisfied and inspired to change the world – that is what the writer does.
“Police should not be allowed to pick from the ‘poisonous tree,’” said Jeff Adachi, public defender for San Francisco. Adachi explained that the poisonous tree was a legal metaphor used to describe evidence that is obtained illegally.
PeopleSkool is a six-week seminar of Poor Magazine, an indigenous, community-based, revolutionary news organization. A group of eager students of all races and ages meet twice a week and share from one another. We learn about migration, about disability, about poverty. Summer Session begins June 15. Register now!