January 12, 2013
I am writing to inform you of the scare tactics that California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) here at Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (PBSP SHU) uses in order to intimidate our families, friends and associates away from corresponding with those of us who are held in these solitary confinement units – AdSegs and SHUs.
December 30, 2012
Just as organizations like the NAACP denounced conservative-revisionist textbooks in Texas in 2010, they should denounce liberal-bent historical accounts that either ignorantly or deliberately fail to concede that “Abraham Lincoln did the right thing for the wrong reasons.” Or as Lerone Bennett aptly conveyed in the title of his book, Lincoln was in effect “Forced Into Glory.”
December 9, 2012
I say this is torture: Being held in this solitary confinement cage where I can stand in the middle of the floor, extend my arms, and touch both walls. For the last 34 years, 23 hours a day is by definition torture. They say it is because of my political education, affiliation with the Angola 3 – Shaka, King and Chairman Hooks – and my ties to the Black Panther Party.
December 1, 2012
San Francisco teachers and staff of the Martin Luther King Middle School rallied in front of the San Francisco Hall of Justice on Nov. 27 to demand that San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón investigate and prosecute MLK Principal Natalie Eberhard and SFUSD Associate Superintendent Jeannie Pon, who is in charge of middle schools.
November 23, 2012
Anthony “Tony” Pirone, the police officer who had his knee on Oscar Grant’s back while Grant was laying on the Fruitvale BART platform in Oakland as Officer Johannes Mehserle shot and killed him, is seeking arbitration with BART to be reinstated to his previous position with the BART police. Many consider Pirone as one of the main instigators in the events leading to Grant’s murder.
November 21, 2012
The fiery writing of JR Valrey began appearing in the Bay View a dozen years ago. JR made our original vision for the Bay View reality: to inspire Black youth to build a powerful Black community. As the Bay View’s associate editor and one of KPFA’s most popular programmers with his provocative Block Report Radio shows, JR and the youth who grew up on his empowering words and pictures are growing in influence, making a difference every day – and they’re just getting started.
November 7, 2012
First, be more forceful about appointing federal judges. As a former constitutional law professor, you know better than most the importance of the federal bench. Second, please listen to Paul Krugman on economic policy. He was right early on in the economic crisis when he was adamant about the need to create jobs. Finally, do not abandon the needs of Black people because you will be seen as playing favorites. Black folks are out here on our own. We need you to stand up for us and to advance policies that will help us move upward, “lifting as we climb.”
November 5, 2012
The reform of the Three Strikes Law with Proposition 36 will take a tool away from the police and DAs that has been used to oppress low-income and people of color communities. Any respite from the oppression of racism and capitalism on poor folks is worth voting for. So I say yes on Proposition 36.
October 26, 2012
Recently, I had an opportunity to speak with Cynthia McKinney, and I asked her about leadership. She replied that at the local level in the Black communities, there is leadership. It no longer gets media coverage, but it is there. Real leaders are those with the courage to dissent and to resist. It is the act of resistance that transforms an elected person into a leader.
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.