October 3, 2014
Ma’am, I have to admit, I was watching you. You probably didn’t notice me sitting across from you on the AC Transit bus leaving the Oakland Coliseum. It was a warm day and I was sweating, glad to have gotten a seat. I’d just come from SF, where I’d taken part in a rally for housing rights. So many evictions across the Bay in San Francisco. You’re probably aware of the situation but one can’t assume.
September 7, 2014
I thought of my son who was at the Homefulness Revolutionary Youth Summer Camp and the soon to open DEECOLONIZE Academy school launching in September and felt so much gratitude for conscious programs and revolutionary schools like this. They exist so that our children can grow up aware with a revolutionary state of mind. The world needs what Homefulness is so graciously and unapologetically offering.
June 28, 2014
In March 2014, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department announced it would begin shutting off water service for 1,500 to 3,000 customers every week if their water bills were not paid. Thousands of families are now without water. A coalition of grassroots groups submitted a report to the United Nations naming these shut-offs as a violation of human rights.
June 11, 2014
Us poor folks are tired of being spoken for, spoken about, criminalized and removed! We walk and talk self-determination and we are seeking a conscious law firm to help public housing tenants bring a precedent-setting law suit to establish our equity.
May 31, 2014
Dear San Francisco, I have walked the length of your streets, have felt your fog breath in my face, have stood shoulder to shoulder on your buses with the generation that came before and the one before that. I have seen the poetry written in the walls and on the floors of those who gave the city life and nourishment. I have seen you dance and I have seen your streets swallow whole the dreams born on the tongues of poets.
May 29, 2014
Maya Angelou had to be the name of a poet. It is too perfect, too lyrical to fit any other personality. She blazed an incandescent streak across the heavens as the voice of memory – as poet, actress, author and activist. She taught generations of students as an honored professor of literature. As a young woman, she struck the boards as an African dancer. And she was a close friend and colleague of Malcolm X.
May 13, 2014
The undisputed flagship of Black history and literature, Marcus Books, is currently fighting to stay alive in San Francisco, which might now be known as the undisputed pinnacle of wealth-hoarding and displacement. The Johnson family is planning a series of actions to fight this unjust removal, but for now readers can call Royal Cab and tell the Sweis family to sell Marcus Books back to the Johnson family.
April 25, 2014
For us po’ people from Oakland to the Bronx caught in the struggle of survival economies, we rarely if ever have the time, energy or resources to stop and examine the system that is criminalizing, incarcerating and gentrifying us out of our own neighborhoods, barrios and communities. But we must, ‘cause if we don’t de-gentrify, if we don’t decolonize, our hoods will die. And we can’t de-colonize without understanding the beast we have been forced to be a part of.
April 16, 2014
On Wednesday, April 8, at 9 a.m., after weeks of last minute legal maneuvers, unanswered calls to the mayor and multiple pleas for a pro bono lawyer to save the single mama Sabrina Carter and her three sons from one of the most unjust evictions I have ever witnessed, we were exhausted. The San Francisco sheriffs were outside her door in the Plaza East apartments to change the locks and throw her and her sons into the street.
March 24, 2014
Papa Bear, a survivor of the U.S. military industrial complex and the poor people hate law called sit-lie, transitioned to his spirit journey on or around March 10. POOR Magazine will be holding a humble homegoing ceremony for him on the street corner where he lived and worked at Geary and Van Ness, San Francisco, on Tuesday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. Bring a flower or a prayer to share.
March 23, 2014
Last month’s Community Newsroom at POOR was in honor of Black History Month – even though we know at POOR Magazine that every month is Black history. One of our guest speakers, Kinara Sankofa, blew the crowd away. Being that I graduated from an Africana Studies program, his name automatically intrigued me because Sankofa is an important part of Black history.
February 24, 2014
Calls have flooded the POOR Magazine office from families and elders in desperate search for help and support to battle land thieves that utilize the Ellis Act to break laws that are in place to “protect the people” but that are overlooked or flat out ignored. As the hipster-techies invade the once family-oriented “City by the Bay,” the families and elders who contributed to the life of the Bay Area now watch helplessly as our homes are being stolen from us.
February 11, 2014
On Wednesday, Feb. 5, citing California Penal Code Section 368, we, the evicted, gentrified, policed, elderly and disabled, walked into the Hall of Justice in San Francisco to bring criminal charges of elder abuse against landlords for the perpetration of the crime of Ellis Act evictions against frail, elder, disabled and traumatized residents of San Francisco.
January 29, 2014
“People are evading their fares. We are only here because the mayor wants to cut down on all the crime,” Officer Carrasco barked at me, while issuing a citation for alleged fare evasion to a young African-descendent student on his way to school. This young brother was one of over 25 people caught in a “sweep” – read invasion – of a Muni bus, who were pulled off the bus so citations could be issued.
November 29, 2013
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.
November 13, 2013
Students Against Police Brutality, an SFSU student activist group, will be hosting a General Assembly for students to discuss the issue of Taser deployment on campus, on Thursday, Nov. 14, 6-8 p.m., at Malcolm X Plaza, SFSU main campus. “I don’t understand how introducing another weapon is going to diminish violent crimes on this campus,” asks one student. Official figures show violence is low and declining.
October 29, 2013
Because the Democrats joined the Republicans in allowing the sequestration budget cuts to continue in the latest political deal known as a “continuing resolution” that ended the government shutdown on Oct. 16, it appears to be a very grim situation for Section 8 voucher holders in cities all across the nation. Housing officials claim that 140,000 voucher holders are at risk of losing their vouchers because of the sequestration budget cuts.
September 23, 2013
The San Francisco Housing Commission meeting of Sept. 4 on a new acronym called Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), code for selling public housing to private investors, was still. Still like a grave. A grave for all us poor people destroyed by the massive privatization of our public housing. Us unprioritized and barely housed, the forgotten elders and disabled folks, the very poor, the displaced, now houseless and rarely remembered.
September 3, 2013
Whack, tap, crack – the sound of the steel police flashlight on a car window is like no other, and it always had the same effect on homeless me and mama: blood-curdling fear. I thought about our constant police harassment, abuse and eventual arrest for the sole act of being houseless in Amerikkka when I heard about South Carolina’s “new” law that officially made it illegal to be homeless in downtown Columbia, S.C.
June 6, 2013
As the corporate domination of our food, land, air and water continues and the resistance heats up to the monster known as Monsanto, it must be said that in the U.S. it’s us po’ folks of all cultures and ages that are getting the worst of it. Some obvious, most not. And no one is really speaking for us. “The poor people’s plate is rooted in capitalist hate for the three job working mamaz caught in the welfare state.”