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Ronnie Goodman, a well known San Francisco artist who is experiencing homelessness, had his artwork confiscated by the City, and was then arrested and spent a night in jail. He was charged with a state anti-lodging law known as 647e, which is probably unconstitutional, and felony vandalism, which was then dropped for lack of evidence. Ronnie is a very gifted, creative individual who has struggled with many challenging issues, including poverty, homelessness, racism, hunger and injustice.
Despite strong and unequivocal opposition by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California, which has been consistent for more than 10 years, San Francisco Public Library plans to install what the two organizations, and others, consider to be privacy-threatening RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology into books and other materials that patrons use and borrow.
Don’t forget the legacy of the Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey (Aug. 17, 1887-June 10, 1940) this Black August. There is an annual program at Marcus Books in Oakland, Sunday, Aug. 20, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Happy Birthday to Karla Brundage (8/29), Cousin Jeffery Lewis (8/29), Gene Howell Jr. and to all the ancestors lost in the Great Storm – Katrina (8/29/2005), and to those still swimming home on rafts and other flotilla. Follow the light.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered locally by the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth & Their Families (DCYF), 60 sites in every San Francisco neighborhood will offer free lunches and afternoon snacks to children and youth age 18 and under every Monday through Friday from May 30 to Aug. 18. No proof of need, registration or identification is required in order to receive a lunch or snack. Arrive at a designated site during the site’s serving time.
From May through August, three floors of black and white jazz photographs are on display at the African American Art & Culture Complex. They depict Harlem of the West, the San Francisco Fillmore jazz era that was bustling from the 1930s through the 1950s. Jazz was “king” and the Fillmore music scene was alive and flowing from end to end in the African American community.
We lost many loved ones this past month, from photographer extraordinaire Kamau Amen Ra to community organizer, prolific writer and longshoreman Brother Cleophus Williams to my dear Sister Monica Pree, not to mention Muhammad Ali. We reflect on Independence Day, a day marked by the blood of African Ancestors of the Middle Passage – the first to die a Black man, Crispus Attucks, on March 3, 1770, in what became known as the Boston Massacre.
San Francisco will come alive with 15 Kwanzaa celebrations in seven days Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, presented by the Village Project and many community partners. Striving to unite and strengthen our family, community and nation, each of the seven principles – the Nguzo Saba – will be highlighted with the lighting of a candle, followed by a feast and a myriad of artistic performances. On New Year's Day, the final day of Kwanzaa, join the celebration at 6 p.m. at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, 2097 Turk St., with Bernard Anderson and The Smooth Blues Band. The last candle of the kinara will be lit, and Dr. Dorothy Tsuruta, chair of the Department of Africana Studies, SF State University, will MC.
In response to a community-led proposal, the San Francisco Library Commission voted unanimously in favor of renaming the Bayview Branch Library by adding the name of Linda Brooks-Burton. Ms. Brooks-Burton was a beloved figure who advocated tirelessly for the needs of the community and served as a role model and mentor for youth and all who used the library. She worked for the San Francisco Public Library for 30 years.
Beverly Henry died. I just got the email today. The state of California owes women prisoners their lives back – imagine going into prison healthy and leaving with a terminal illness. This is the case for many of the women there. Beverly Henry told me to tell her story and I plan to begin right now. A warrior to the end, it was her voice that told women to stand up for their rights even perhaps especially behind bars.
On Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP), coordinated its West Coast Days Of Action across three states and 11 cities. From 2005 to 2014, WRAP has worked to build a large people’s movement rooted in and accountable to groups and individuals defending poor peoples’ constitutionally-guaranteed human right to exist in public space, acquire housing and employment, and enjoy equal protection under law.
On Sept. 19, Bayview Hunters Point lost a favorite daughter. Linda Brooks Burton, born and raised right here in the neighborhood, served as managing librarian of the Bayview Library for nearly 15 years and, a 30-year veteran of the San Francisco Public Library, was recently put in charge of all six libraries in San Francisco’s southeast sector.
A new Bayview Branch Library is currently under construction at the corner of Third Street and Revere and the branch will open to the public early in 2013. Friends’ Bayview Branch Library Campaign Committee hosted an essay contest, asking, “How can the new Bayview Branch Library help to build a stronger Bayview community?”
The Oakland International Film Festival is Friday-Sunday, April 6-8, at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Street, Oakland. Visit http://www.oiff.org/2012schedule.pdf. This year’s headliner is one of the most controversial independent films ever made, “The Spook Who Sat by the Door.” Watch it again here.
One of the most interesting publishing ventures in the San Francisco Bay Area is the POOR Press project. This revolutionary bi-lingual enterprise grew out of POOR magazine, a journal of poetry, polemics and righteous articles created by the inimitable Tiny, aka Lisa Gray-Garcia, the indomitable force and magnet of affirmationof the people on the street, the economically poorest section of this society and her late mama who is alwaysstill close to Tiny’s heart and always evoked by her in a continuous solidarity.