July 25, 2014
It has been over 100 years since the story of Mary Ellen Pleasant, the Mother of Civil Rights in the state of California and the first African American woman millionaire, has been told on the location where she made most of her wealth. Mary Ellen Pleasant became a famous name in the city of San Francisco, described as “a Rosa Parks, a Martin Luther King and a Malcolm X all rolled into one.”
May 25, 2014
Last week, rather than allow Marcus Books family members to relocate after evicting them, the Sweis family stole all of the books and used sledge hammers to smash the book shelves and furniture. To the Black community, this is a repeat of history, where invaders come in time and time again to smash the symbols and evidence of a people’s greatness. This will NOT be tolerated. Will you stand with us and DEMAND the Sweises respect our history? We need to pressure the Sweises to do the decent thing.
January 30, 2014
“Emmitt Till” does more than call attention to how Till’s death ignited the U.S. Civil Rights Movement in the ‘50s and ‘60s. It points to the quiet heroism of Mamie Till Mobley in the face of unspeakable horror and unrelieved terrorism. Come see this dynamic and inspirational play by Tavia Percia and the Tavia Percia Theatre Company: Saturday, Feb. 1, 7 and 9 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 2, 3 and 5 p.m., at the Eastside Arts Alliance, 2277 International Blvd, Oakland.
November 30, 2013
I don’t know whether any of your names will be recorded in history books as the early leaders of a bold, courageous movement that not only ended solitary confinement as a form of torture, but also ended the entire system of mass incarceration in this country. But I know that the entire movement for freedom and justice in the United States is indebted to you.
June 19, 2013
When Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Orders, Number 3, he had no idea that, in establishing the Union Army’s authority over the people of Texas, he was also establishing the basis for a holiday, “Juneteenth” (“June” plus “nineteenth”), today the most popular annual celebration of emancipation from slavery in the United States.
May 15, 2013
The inclusion of Assata Shakur on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Terrorists list last month – marking 29 years since her liberation from a New Jersey maximum security prison in 1979 by members of the Black Liberation Army – while aimed at Cuba’s leadership should also be interpreted as a shot across the bow of any internal revolutionary movement or revolutionary activists in the United States.
March 31, 2013
The award winning play, “The Mountaintop,” looks at the everyday divinity of ordinary folks and places Martin King right there with them. His greatness is not a greatness which is inaccessible or isolated. In the Lorraine Motel that night, King listens and even agrees at some point with the young maid, Camae, a Malcolm X radical in an apron.
February 21, 2013
Feb. 4, 2013, marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Rosa Louise MaCauley Parks in Tuskegee, Alabama. Parks was born in the segregated South, where African Americans were subjected to daily humiliations aimed at maintaining the system of exploitation and national oppression which grew out of slavery and the failure of reconstruction.
September 2, 2012
This year marks the 33rd anniversary of Black August, the annual commemoration of the liberation struggle of African people inside the United States. The month of celebration and reflection was initiated by political prisoners, many of whom were members of the Black Panther Party and the Republic of New Africa, two of the main revolutionary organizations that emerged during the late 1960s.
August 26, 2012
The struggle is long and arduous, and sometimes we do etch out significant victories, as in the case of our Brotha Mutope Duguma in In re Crawford, a significant step in reaffirming that prisoners are entitled to a measure of First Amendment protection that cannot be ignored simply because the state dislikes the spiel.
July 27, 2012
After seeing the group’s concern and anger, the police responded by killing someone later that very evening. Yes, the Anaheim police killed another man less than a day after murdering Manuel Diaz. As Manuel’s blood continued to stain that yard on North Anna Drive, Anaheim police killed a man in a car on West Guinida Lane.
July 13, 2012
The parody currently on stage at American Conservatory Theater, “The Scottsboro Boys,” staged by director-choreographer Susan Stroman (“The Producers”), through July 22, 2012, takes a historic tragedy in American history and recasts it as buffoonery. Black America should not be surprised. Classic guilt is always re-envisioned in this paradigm. The boogeyman is always Black and male.
February 19, 2012
Welcome to the great month of February, my favorite month of the year! And I’m not just saying that because on Feb. 18 my starship landed here. And on the day before that, the 17th, the voice and moxy of the Black Panthers, Huey P. Newton, was born. And on the 14th of this guilded, star-studded month the furious freedom fighter Frederick Douglass hit the earth like a comet!
February 4, 2012
This is the month we wear our Blackness with pride – so walk on, walk on. I want to thank Rhodessa Jones, Shaka Jamal, Pat Jamison, Elaine Lee, Walter Turner, Vera Nobles and Elouise Burrell for your leads and references for South Africa.
January 16, 2012
As with the path that the U.S. Civil Rights Movement took after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, nothing in Rwanda will ever be the same after Victoire Ingabire’s defiance of the Rwandan government’s unjust laws. She sparked a spirit of resistance.
December 3, 2011
Sobonfu Somé, West African healer, says that when people die and become ancestors, they get smarter and often try to repair any damage they may have made while in this physical form. Ancestors want to be busy making our lives better. She said we can call on them to intercede on our behalf when we are troubled.
April 4, 2011
On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, while supporting Black sanitation workers fighting for collective bargaining rights. His support was part of his “Poor People’s Campaign,” a second phase of the civil rights movement.
January 17, 2011
Although America’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution are premised on the principles of democracy, the historical treatment of America’s citizens of color is replete with racial dichotomies. Today’s youth need to know that Dr. King was only 25 when he began to fight back with the year-long Montgomery bus boycott.
February 19, 2009
We need to confront our racial past – and our racial present. In things racial, we have always been and continue to be essentially a nation of cowards. This Department of Justice, as long as I am here, must – and will – lead the nation to the “new birth of freedom.”
December 3, 2008
“Odetta, Voice of Civil Rights Movement, Dies at 77” headlines the New York Times story that describes Odetta as “the singer whose deep voice wove together the strongest songs of American folk music and the civil rights movement.” Also enjoy the 20-minute NYT retrospective. When asked once what songs meant the most to her, Rosa [...]