October 28, 2018
The new Kevin Hart movie, “Night School,” was about so many things, but like a good artist, as my poverty skola-teacher Mama Dee used to say, Kevin Hart didn’t pound on the table. Through subtle and sketch comedy, pranks, relationship issues, innuendo and character development, he showed an often unseen part of Mans Skoo (as I call it), which is an ableist, racist, classist institution known as Special Education, which so many of us who live with so-called “learning disabilities” know way too much about.
October 28, 2018
I met Gloria Berry a month ago as she was walking door to door campaigning in the Dogpatch for San Francisco Supervisor District 10 with Majeid Crawford, a resident of the Fillmore. I struck up a conversation with Gloria and Majeid regarding social justice and environmental justice, how they work together hand in hand and how we can achieve them by electing Gloria on Nov. 6. Housing the homeless is a high priority for Gloria, as are economic and environmental justice. Mighty House can help achieve all those goals.
August 19, 2018
Trump declared that he would give a presidential pardon and release any federal prisoner presented to him by a NFL player who may be innocent, unduly convicted or have an unjust sentence. So, NFL players, adopt a federal prisoner for President Trump’s pardon. It might not end mass incarceration or stop Attorney General Jeff Beauregard Sessions from turning back the clock on social justice, but it surely would save some lives that otherwise would die in prison. Besides, it’s a win-win situation for NFL players and President Trump. What do you got to lose?
June 20, 2018
As both the political left and right decry the heartless immigration policy that is separating children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, the white evangelical community is proving once again to be the taillight instead of the headline on issues of basic morality and justice. This is not the first time in U.S. history when those among us who most loudly cite from the Bible outright ignore or deny humanitarian crises.
September 26, 2017
My life began in the Jim Crow South, in Houston, Texas. I remember the segregated world I was born into … the separate water fountains, the back of the bus, the going around to the back door of Mr. Fontnoe’s grocery store to buy milk for my mother and grandmother. I recall the segregated section of the movie theaters – and the long, seemingly endless net partitioning the giant sandy beaches, separating the “Colored” folks from the “Whites.” Can you imagine that it once was a reality, a segregated beach!
July 28, 2017
I am at Lighthouse Mosque for El Hajjah Dhameera Ahmad’s Janazah or prayer service Wednesday afternoon, July 26. I will miss her. Dameera Ahmad (née Carlotta Basseau Simon) was a huge presence in a world that is shrinking. I am happy our paths were one at some point and shared many subsequent intersections. Her burial was on Oya’s day – Oya, guardian of the cemetery, spirit of the winds or transformation and change.
July 5, 2017
Supporters of the British Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn marched through London streets on Saturday, from the BBC headquarters to the Parliament Building at Westminster. KPFA’s Ann Garrison filed this report. The London-based Independent reports that tens of thousands joined the “Not One More Day” march against the Conservative Tory government and its austerity policies. Jeremy Corbyn addressed the crowd upon their arrival outside Parliament.
June 29, 2017
The video is riveting. A woman is rapt with rage, her voice slow and controlled, as a cop points his gun at her, as her lover bleeds his life away beside her, and her baby daughter looks on in what can only be called wonder. Philando Castile is dying as a discussion goes on, but it isn’t with him, it’s about him. The cop’s gun quivers and quakes, pointed at this woman, as the cop’s voice also quivers and quakes, fear thick in every breath. The cop, Jeronimo Yanez, has just killed Philando.
June 29, 2017
In these days of tremendous change and social upheaval, it’s good to know that a man of impeccable integrity is back in the public arena. After two and a half years in various Michigan prisons, Rev. Edward Pinkney has returned to his home in Benton Harbor, Mich. A bulldog for social justice, the reverend, who turns 69 this year, shows no sign of slowing. As a fighter for justice, Rev. Pinkney brings many gifts to the table.
June 27, 2017
You may think you know this story. A man lives the high life of a drug dealer, becomes a fugitive, goes to prison for a long time and eventually redeems himself. But you would be wrong. Malik Wade’s story is much, much more. While “Pressure” is a story about a man existing in Dante’s Inferno who transformed himself into an educated and enlightened person, it will also take you on Malik’s sometimes painful but never boring journey that has led him to who he is today.
May 1, 2017
RYSE debuts its third annual production at El Cerrito High School Performing Arts Theater on May 6 and 7. “Richmond Renaissance” is an original play written and performed by Richmond youth. Set in AnnaBelle’s, a Black-owned juke joint in 1940s North Richmond, Richmond Renaissance counters the often negative Richmond narrative of poverty and violence by highlighting the community’s wealthy cultural past as an epicenter for blues, jazz and zydeco.
April 24, 2017
Maxine Waters stood before a crowd of young people Friday at Busboys and Poets, a Washington, D.C., restaurant that doubles as stomping ground for social movements. At the event, which she organized as a soulful open mic before the following day’s Tax March, the congresswoman doubled down on her call for the impeachment of President Donald Trump with a combined bluntness and realness one wouldn’t expect from a politician: “We’ve got to stop his ass!” After nearly 40 years in public service, Waters has become the Democratic face for the resistance against Trump.
January 23, 2017
When FBI director James Comey dropped a propaganda bomb that blew up the 2016 presidential election and probably changed how the U.S. will be governed for some time to come, he wasn’t acting for the Russians. Comey wasn’t acting as an individual rogue actor either. He was acting in the tried and true tradition of the FBI as a political police agency that uses its authority – legally, illegally and effectively – to intrude into the political processes of our country. One hallmark of what we like to think of as our great democracy is the separation of the police and military from our political processes.
September 4, 2016
Basic logic dictates it is the community who should be vested with the power to parole, pardon or grant clemency to those who, in their determination, would have a positive impact on their communities and society as a whole if released. This is a concept developed by George Jackson University known as strategic release. To this end, we are announcing our campaign to develop – and establish nationally – New Afrikan Community Parole, Pardon and Clemency Review Board.
June 24, 2016
If we look to any uprising in world history we will see that such rebellions, although they may have included various nationalities, are usually attributed to the dominant force in that rebellion. Rebellions take on the oppression, and those who arise lend their voice in the struggle. The dominant force in an event shapes the event and shapes the character of the struggle. The same can be said of prison struggles.
May 27, 2016
Cleve Bailey has taken the story of his great uncle and aunt, George and Kathy Eames, and created a screenplay entitled “A Small Temporary Inconvenience,” which chronicles the lives of this interracial couple who dedicated their lives to civil rights activism and fighting against racism in the Deep South. I caught up with Cleve, who now lives in the Bay Area in Hayward, to get his take on the film project.
March 29, 2016
The Saint John Coltrane Church is a historical fixture in the San Francisco Black community and a direct descendant of the work of the late great Marcus Mosiah Garvey and his Universal Negro Improvement Association. One reason the Coltrane Church is important is that it defines for itself who are the saints that are worthy of our praise, instead of basing its doctrine on the philosophy and understanding of god that came out of the Council of Nicea.
March 11, 2016
It was a few minutes before we began chanting that I found out what we were going to do – that we were going to do anything at all besides be passive observers at the white supremacist rally disguised as a presidential campaign. My nerves churned a bit like anyone’s do as they realize they’re about to engage in an altercation that could become physical. Or violent. It’s a strange thing that happens when you know you’re in a “no turning back” situation. What you won’t do is back down from the principles on which you stand. Or turn away from the ledge from which you’ve been forced to leap.
March 2, 2016
Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) honored Ms. Betty Reid Soskin, 94, a Richmond resident and the nation’s oldest full-time park ranger in a ceremony Feb.12. She was honored as an “Unsung Hero” – the Black History Month honoree from Assembly District 15. Assemblymember Thurmond has introduced AB 2054, Summer EBT for Children (SEBTC). The bill would prepare California to implement SEBTC, a model proven to decrease chronic hunger.
February 3, 2016
Rev. Edward Pinkney is the kind of preacher that Martin Luther King would have admired. Pinkney has for years advocated for his community, fighting for water rights, fair elections and social justice for the people of Benton Harbor, Michigan. Because of his political activities, he’s been targeted by the government, tried by the Michigan political machine before an all-white jury and, with no evidence, convicted of allegedly altering five petition dates!