September 16, 2009
The exhibit focused on Afro-Mexicans from the time when the ex-enslaved African Yanga in 1609 led a successful revolt against the Spanish and founded the first free town. But it grossly omitted the African presence and influence in Mexico for thousands of years, dating back to the period of the Olmec civilization around 1000 BCE.
September 7, 2009
Ishmael Reed is one of the most read writers of his generation, along with Toni Morrison and Amiri Baraka, living in America. In 1962, Reed co-founded “East Village Other,” a well known underground publication at the time, and was a member of the Umbra Writers Workshop, which helped to give rise to the Black Arts Movement. He has published nine novels, four collections of poetry, six plays, four collections of essays and a libretto. He currently lives in Oakland, and I approached him one day while he was visiting KPFA’s studios to ask him what he thought about the state of affairs between the police and Oakland’s Black community, with the backdrop of the police murder of Oscar Grant and, in a separate incident, the police murder of Lovelle Mixon, after Mixon allegedly killed four Oakland police officers.