October 5, 2012
As a descendant of former slaves and as an immigrant from the South, I have a unique perspective on segregation. My parents migrated to Oakland from Jackson, Mississippi, in 1944. In Jackson there were signs which posted the segregation policies. In California there were segregation policies, but no signs.
July 14, 2012
The prison industrial complex (PIC) is a “corporation” whose objective is to profit. In California alone they pay up to $20,000 more per solitary confinement unit than for a general population unit. This keeps officers working, which is why they become willing pawns who have an interest in oppressing prisoners.
June 29, 2012
In the past year we have witnessed a succession of murderous assaults reflecting a common character structure: The authoritarian psychology: Jason Smith beaten to death by racists in Louisiana; Trayvon Martin murdered by a racist vigilante in Florida; Christian Gomez allowed to die on hunger strike by prison guards in California; 17 people, nine of them children, slaughtered in Afghanistan; Kendrec McDade slain by racist police in California; Gerardo Perez-Ruiz murdered by border vigilantes in Arizona.
May 14, 2012
Excitement filled the sanctuary as five generations sat in the audience waiting to hear a legend speak. Oakland’s Beebe Memorial Cathedral was packed from the main floor to the church balcony. The congregation jumped to their feet and clapped for over five minutes when the moderator said, “Tonight we will hear from Congressman John Lewis!”
January 26, 2012
We are committed to contributing to meaningful and lasting change. And this is part of what keeps us amongst the sane. We understand, and always have, that the price that we will pay for this is the efforts to silence us, to isolate and destroy us!
December 20, 2011
Will two little girls from the future manage to save Frederick Douglass and his mission to ensure the emancipation of millions of enslaved Africans? If all children read and discuss this book, racial justice will be achievable as soon as they are old enough to lead. This is a book that will light up the life of every child.
November 15, 2011
Is the Occupy Movement against slavery, or is it that some people are just mad because they never get to hold the whip? Do you not see racism? Can you see it in this movement? Where is the support for justice for Raheim Brown in Oakland and Kenneth Harding in San Francisco?
November 13, 2011
I am not about to trust a “movement” that offers no critique of the role of state violence in upholding capitalist economic interests. I am not about to get arrested with some “white” guys whose interests are just their own, who only noticed injustice when they were the ones who got laid off, arrested, beat down or tased.
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 8, 2011
On Feb. 10, 2011, I arrived at Attica for the third time during my 40 year incarceration. As soon as I entered the reception room, I heard a correctional officer announce to all the other prisoners: “What you heard about Attica is true. We don’t care what you do to each other, but if any of you touch one of us, we will put you in the hospital or worse … Welcome to Attica!”
September 8, 2011
Against the background of the mass revolutionary Black power and prisoners’ movements in the U.S., a four day revolt began on Sept. 13, 1971, at the Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, N.Y. Its repression killed 39 people. When George Jackson, Black Panther and political prisoner, was murdered at San Quentin by the guards on Aug. 21, 1971, his book “Soledad Brother” was being passed from prisoner to prisoner and tensions were running mounting. A prisoners’ rights movement was growing.
September 4, 2011
Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011, was the opening of August Wilson’s play, “Seven Guitars,” directed by Kent Gash, at the Marin Theatre Company. I hadn’t seen the play in about 15 years. Wilson was alive then and he was work-shopping his latest – play five in the eventual 10-play cycle – at ACT-SF with the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre in a co-production.
September 1, 2011
For days, the world witnessed the flames of discontent and disenchantment engulfing the urban streets of England in the aftermath of the shooting death of 29-year-old Mark Duggan by the Metropolitan Police Service on Aug. 4.
August 20, 2011
British Prime Minister David Cameron has lost legitimacy as a result of the brutal suppression of peaceful demonstrators and should resign. Statements to this effect were made nearly simultaneously by leading Iranian and Libyan politicians. Khalid Kaaim, deputy head of the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressed that Cameron and his government have completely lost their legitimacy and should leave after the mass protests and violent police actions against the participants in peaceful demonstrations.
August 10, 2011
Serious allegations have been made about the conduct of the House Ethics Committee in its case against Los Angeles’ Black Congresswoman Maxine Waters. The House Ethics Committee’s investigation has dragged on more than two years, only proving that “improper conduct” occurred on the part the Ethics Committee itself.
July 28, 2011
Like the country it governs, Washington is a city of extremes. In a car, you can zip in bare moments from northwest District of Columbia, its streets lined with million-dollar homes and palatial embassies, its inhabitants sporting one of the nation’s lowest jobless rates, to Anacostia, a mostly forgotten neighborhood in southeastern D.C. with one of the highest unemployment rates anywhere in America.
July 12, 2011
Support for the hunger strike grows with solidarity actions across the U.S. and Canada this past weekend.
A series of noise demonstrations outside jails, detention centers and prisons occurred internationally in St. Louis, New York City, Oakland, Los Angeles, Montreal and Kitchener, Ontario.
June 30, 2011
Prisoners in the Security Housing Units, SHUs, at Pelican Bay and Corcoran state prisons in California are beginning an indefinite hunger strike on July 1, 2011, to protest the cruel and inhumane conditions of their imprisonment in what is being called “an unusual show of racial unity.” Breaking news: Prisoners at Centinela have joined the hunger strike. A prisoner there reports: “Only a few inmates are walking the yard. No Blacks or Hispanics have left their cells. No one has gone to work. He said all the races are united in this fight.”
June 29, 2011
A number of trees have fallen in the forest this past month and we want to acknowledge the huge spaces their absence brings: Geronimo ji jaga Pratt, Black Panther, decorated veteran of multiple wars …
June 23, 2011
Paramedic Sean Gillis, an instructor and supervisor at the Oakland Fire Department, filed suit on Friday against the OFD, alleging that the OFD mistreated Oscar Grant in its response to Grant’s 911 calls on Jan. 1, 2009, destroyed all evidence of the mistreatment, ordered Gillis to stop his investigation and are retaliating against him.