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Mary L. Booker, a longtime associate of Bayview Opera House and civil rights advocate, passed away at Coming Home Hospice in San Francisco on May 11 of leukemia. She was 85. Booker moved to San Francisco in 1955. Five years later, she started Infinity Productions at Bayview Opera House, where she offered free acting workshops, in addition to writing and directing several productions. A strong advocate for social justice, Booker used the theatrical arts to promote African-American culture and bring together community members from different generations.
On July 28, 2016, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission will be presenting the Frisco 5 with a Hero Award. While we appreciate the consideration, some of us cannot accept this award. It is insulting to us that the very administration who executes the will of developers and big business instead of the will of the voters would think that awarding us for fighting their failed policies would be acceptable. How can we accept such an award when our city is in a state of crisis?
The No New SF Jail Coalition has been selected to receive the prestigious Hero Award by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and its Equity Advisory Committee. The coalition celebrated a monumental victory last December, when, after years of community organizing and advocacy, they persuaded the Board of Supervisors to reject plans for a new jail in San Francisco.
There is a new sheriff in town … I mean a new president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She is Supervisor London Breed and I don’t need to tell anyone who knows of her that she is no shrinking violet. However, Blacks excited at the fact that a Black person will now guide this board is a trap that only sycophants can really enjoy. City Hall is still hostile to the San Francisco Black community.
As a member of the Equity Advisory Committee of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (SFHRC), I learned a lot. It was all bad for The City’s Black community. The SFHRC was formed in 1964 to fight discrimination against Blacks in The City. Today, it is clear to me that this charter commission discriminates against the Black community – with no end in sight.
On Dec. 21, 2011, St. Charles Borromeo School, the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Principal Dean, Superintendent Maureen Huntington and others were named as parties in a civil rights lawsuit filed in California’s Superior Court on behalf of Mildred Kayondo and her son, who is now 14, yet still suffers from the appalling, repeated abuse and indifference he experienced at St. Charles Borromeo. The jury trial – after nearly two years of litigation by attorneys Richard L. Richardson and Joel Siegal – is now set for July 14.
Phase One of the boycott, requesting African American meetings and conventions not to come to San Francisco, is in full swing and has garnered the support of at least 10 large associations with potential revenues of approximately $32 million, with more signing on each month. “We want to make it crystal clear,” said San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce President Fred Jordan, “the boycott is on. We will continue to fight for equity for our community and opportunities for African American businesses in San Francisco.”
Another Black History Month with pomp, circumstance and countless hollow speeches has been taking place all over San Francisco. Does anyone notice it is only a matter of time until Black people living in San Francisco will become history? The 1970 Black population of “everyone’s favorite city” was a hundred thousand, according to city records. The latest census says Blacks account for just under 47,000 of the city’s 825,000 people.
Phase One begins Jan. 1, 2014 - requesting all African American associations and organizations not to bring any of their meetings, conventions or conferences to San Francisco. Phase Two begins Feb. 1 - requesting educational organizations not to bring any of their meetings or conventions to San Francisco. Phase Three begins March 1 - requesting legal and medical organizations take their meeting and convention business elsewhere.
On the 20th anniversary of the demise of my father, Fred Ali Batin Sr., the 18th anniversary of the Maafa Commemoration San Francisco Bay Area – the Ritual Sunday is Oct. 13, 2013; see http://maafasfbayarea.com/ – and approximately the 60th day of the hunger strike to end the inhuman conditions in California’s Security Housing Units or SHUs, I just want to pause and reflect.
The National Farm Workers, not to be confused with the United Farm Workers, is trying to strong arm long time Afro American tenants out of their San Francisco apartments at Vista Del Monte, a HUD-subsidized apartment complex located on Diamond Heights in San Francisco, one of the city’s highest and most scenic hills.
The Bay Area Black Builders and friends shut down a pre-bid conference for a library in the heart of Hunters Point. This action was designed to send the mayor of San Francisco a message: If Black people do not work in Hunters Point, no one works here.