December 2, 2013
This season we have lost two pillars of our San Francisco Bay Area community, Samuel Fredericks and Upesi Mtambuzi. Cedar Walton, pianist, also made his transition this year, along with Donald Duck Bailey, drummer, both men beautiful human beings. Upesi, Samuel, Cedar and Donald all brightened our world. Their unique hues and shapes and sounds will be missed … that last live jam.
September 2, 2013
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.
July 31, 2013
David Livingston, the English explorer, is given a lot of credit for halting or ending the slave trade here. My guide said Livingston’s maps made it easier for the Arabs to penetrate the “interior” and that after the British abolished slavery, the Arabs continued at the Mangapwani Caves located about “20km north of Zanzibar Town along the coast” (Lonely Planet 144).
July 11, 2013
Speaking in Tanzania at the end of his African tour, President Obama urged “countries neighboring the Democratic Republic of the Congo” to make peace. Congo shares borders with nine African nations, but the president declined to say which of them he was referring to. Obama spoke about the U.N. brigade at a press conference, but declined to name Rwanda and Uganda as the aggressors in eastern Congo.
July 4, 2013
In Tanzania, President Obama said, “The countries surrounding the Congo, they’ve got to make a commitment to stop funding armed groups that are encroaching on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Congo.” As the U.S. calls on its allies to cease funding armed groups in the Congo, the U.S. should cease funding of Rwanda and Uganda.
June 29, 2013
Wanda flew from the Bay Area on June 5 and landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, two days later. She sends these commentaries on the rather rare occasions she has internet access. Enjoy! June 13 – I am in Gondar, Ethiopia, left Lalibela this morning. It was a short flight. It is entering the rainy season, so I walked into a storm. I didn’t have my coat and got drenched to the core.
April 5, 2013
On Wednesday, Feb.13, 2013, for over three hours, the Laney College Forum rang with the sounds that only an evening spent with artist, musician, activist Charlotte Hill O’Neal, affectionately known as “Mama C,” could produce: the sounds of love, laughter, awe and welcome of a community embracing one of its own.
March 20, 2013
“Africa shining” is just as potent a mirage as “India shining”; the shine is restricted to the economic and political elite on both sides of the Indian Ocean. African leaders – both elected politicians and traditional chiefs share the responsibility for allowing the pillage of their continent in the name of economic growth and development.
September 24, 2012
It’s time for dialogue between Rwandan and Congolese people of like mind to finally end the 16-year war between our two armies and their various ancillary or surrogate militias. The vast majority of both of our people need democracy, political space, economic opportunity and a common share in their countries’ resource wealth.
January 5, 2012
Life isn’t fair: Too many kids and not enough food, fat cats bringing in all the money and government services like free hospitals and free education is not free for those who need it because, like everywhere, bureaucracy breeds corruption, whether we are in Madagascar or the United States.
January 1, 2012
The issue at stake is not only one of increased food insecurity, but an attack on food sovereignty or peoples’ right to produce their own food. Land grab is a violent act to take away peoples’ right to food, access to their ancestral land, their social and historical ties, and their overall right for human dignity.
December 17, 2011
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is in political crisis. The Independent National Electoral Commission announced that incumbent President Joseph Kabila is the winner, with 49 percent of the vote. But his leading challenger, Étienne Tshisekedi, rejected the results and declared that he now considers himself the nation’s president.
October 1, 2011
The truth must now be told. Paul Kagame, then overall commander of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), was personally responsible for shooting down the plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana home from a peace summit. His assassination triggered the Rwandan Genocide.
September 20, 2011
The North Atlantic tribes, under the banner of NATO, and their Arab flunkies are lining up for a showdown in Sirte. Muammar Qaddafi and the Al Fateh revolutionary forces remain defiant and have issued statements saying that they will never surrender.
August 19, 2011
Dodd-Frank and its proponents penalize the people of eastern Congo but do little to curtail the militias and their backers. Congress should confront the real causes of the conflict, which are failed leadership and corruption in Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, and predatory policies of Rwanda and Uganda, which destabilize eastern Congo while benefiting from the mineral trade.
June 28, 2011
“A new report claims farmers in Africa are being driven off their lands to make way for vast new industrial farming projects backed by hedge funds seeking profits and foreign countries looking for cheap food. “
June 20, 2011
On Thursday, June 2, 2011, came word that former Black Panther leader, Geronimo ji-Jaga (née Elmer G. Pratt) died in exile in Tanzania.
May 19, 2011
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), born 86 years ago on May 19, 1925, was loved by the oppressed and hated by the oppressors. Our “Black Shining Prince,” in the words of Ossie Davis, aimed to “use whatever means necessary to bring about a society in which the 22 million Afro-Americans are recognized and respected as human beings.” His influence is immeasurable – from music to foreign policy to religion. Today Islam, followed then by very few, is the second largest religion in the United States and Canada.
September 6, 2010
As we celebrate the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, America’s first African America labor union, let us not forget that African American rail workers were instrumental in organizing not only the sleeping and chair car porters, but the dining car workers as well.
February 22, 2009
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) was assassinated 44 years ago, on Feb. 21, 1965, because of his attempt to internationalize the African American struggle for self-determination.