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We sat listening to an appeal for us to accept the tentative agreement that did not address teacher demands. None of what we were hearing would create better conditions for students in the classroom. Class size reductions would be negligible, no additional student supports would be provided and even with the 11 percent raise over four years, Oakland teachers would still be some of the lowest paid teachers in the Bay Area.
No matter the turnout of Sunday’s vote, whether we continue to strike or not, we as teachers, students, families and community members will continue to demand justice and quality education for public school students.
Every day we have been blessed with people (some returning and some new) coming in to read to the children, play music with them, create art with them, race, jump rope and play basketball, color, play games and just sit with the students who are having a tough time navigating a difficult situation. Finally, a tentative agreement has been reached.
by Taiwo Kujichagulia-Seitu Day 4 “All people have a right...
Frustrated parent: “So what is it that teachers want? Is this just for more pay?” Teacher: “The district is sitting on $30,000,000 and there are times teachers don’t even have paper and toner for the printers. We don’t have paper towels in the staff lounge. Classrooms don’t have textbooks.”
Attendance across the district was down to 3 percent on Day 2 of the Oakland Teacher Strike. If we were calculating grades, 3 percent would be a super F. OUSD gets an F-. Their attempts at sabotage were futile!
Wednesday, Feb. 20 - My face was (and still is) all broken out because I was hella stressed out. Hella. We knew the strike was coming, so we planned. My identical twin sister, Kehinde Salter, and I were in the throes of planning the solidarity site for students at Madison Park Academy (MPA). MPA is the school our children attend and the OUSD school where I am a full time performing arts teacher.
In the grand scheme of things, I suppose I am not that unique and neither is this strike. I am one of thousands of teachers participating in one of many strikes nationwide to obtain a high quality education for our students. Nevertheless, my situation is unique in that I am viewing this strike through a very special lens.
On Monday, Dec. 10, teachers from Madison Park Academy Upper joined with teachers across Oakland Unified School District to demand that OUSD prioritize teacher retention and access to student supports in order to maximize student success. Educators, students and community members rallied at Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Oakland, PRLog – Lyric Performing Arts Academy (LPAA) presents the third annual “Jazzy Nutcracker” at the East Oakland Youth Development Center on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018. Set to the music of Duke Ellington’s “Nutcracker Suite,” this family-friendly event will provide children of all ages an afternoon of holiday fun. Doors open at 4 p.m., and the performance will begin at 4:30.
Greetings of imani (faith), esteemed G-o-ds, May our Divine Creator of and in all – and beloved ancestors from yesteryear and yesterday – find you and (y)our extended family in healing spirit. Asé. Amen. We joyously welcome and fully support Baba Troy Williams as the new editor of our San Francisco Bay View (SFBV) newspaper. Baba Troy brings a wealth of valuable experience in uplifting community members and skills in developing innovative media, from inside and outside the prison walls.
It is amazing how time flies whether one is moving or standing still. One looks up and sees, suddenly it seems, friends celebrating 70 and 75 or 80 or even 90-plus milestones. Wow! What a blessing that is. And while we also see the fullness of time’s passage in the lives of those who have decided to move on, too often we are caught by surprise, our mouths hung open, the words we could have said … deeds left undone.
The best African centered holiday play in the nation, “Go Tell It!,” the story of the freedom fighter Harriet Tubman told through spirituals, will be showing at the Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley, on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 3 p.m. Instead of celebrating capitalism during the holidays, “Go Tell It!” is a way that we can remember our ancestors, how far we have come as a people, as well as the leaders, the tactics and the situations that got us here. “Go Tell It!” makes you want to learn more about your ancestors’ history, no matter who you are.
In the Harriet Tubman Christmas story of 1854, “Go Tell It,” Harriet came and rescued her blood brothers from enslavement and drove them on the Underground Railroad to Canada. This true to life story is one of inspiration, loyalty, family and most of all resistance, eloquently captured by the brilliance of playwright and director Taiwo Kujichagulia-Seitu. Performances are Saturday, Dec. 21, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 22, at 3 p.m. at the Malonga Center, 1428 Alice St., Oakland.
With the U.S. economy turning a blind eye to unemployment in the Black community, it is on us to create business and employment opportunities for our community, and Taiwo Kujichagulia-Seitu and her collective of dedicated women, known as the Lyric Dance and Vocal Ensemble, have answered the call by opening the Lyric Performing Arts Academy in downtown Oakland.
For the second week in a row, one of the largest audiences for any show on KPFA was disappointed not to hear the People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey and his Block Report on the air Wednesday at 8 a.m. Instead we heard an announcement by interim general manager Andrew Phillips that JR has been suspended. Getting punished for doing “too well” happens to Black folks much too often. Sign the two petitions to end the suspension of JR Valrey from KPFA and attend the Town Hall Meeting, Thursday, April 11, 6 p.m. at Laney College. This story is constantly being updated with new signatures and comments.
Taiwo Kujichagulia-Seitu's theatrical piece centers around the story of Harriet Tubman rescuing her brothers from slavery during Christmas-time. “Go Tell It!” paints a picture of what is was like for men who lived through slavery their whole lives getting word from their runaway sister Black Moses, that she was coming to put them on the Underground Railroad to freedom in the North.
Baba Kamau Seitu, jazz musician and cultural artist, is playing music with the celestial orchestra. On Saturday, Nov. 28, with literally dozens at his bedside, the drums opened the way for his transition. His Homegoing Celebration will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2 p.m., at Wo’se Community Church, 8924 Holly St., Oakland.
Maafa 2009 was chillier than usual, but our hearts were certainly no less warmed by the ancestors’ tight embrace as supplicants made their way through the Middle Passage to the Wolosodon rhythms, the slave march through the Doors of No Return to the beach where each person held a piece of string – symbolic of a connection … a philosophical connection to the homeland, family and history.
The thing that most threw me off about this East Oakland native is that she loves opera. She has been singing longer in her life than she hasn’t been, and seems to be able to hit notes that makes glass break. She has recently been cast in a Black opera called “Dark River,” which tells the story of legendary Civil Rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. It opens at the Oakland Metro Opera House on Nov. 12 and runs until the 22nd.
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