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Possibly the only thing that could be worse for Oakland than a loss of a third of its Black population in less than 30 years is that so many of its stars develop their chops, their talents and skills in Oakland and then leave and don’t come back or give back! Our community treasure chest would be much richer if our Oakland All Stars came back home! Most of the great talent that Oakland develops leaves to enrich the coffers and treasure chests of other cities and countries.
When people mention horror, they may think of Alfred Hitchcock or Stephen King. Now we have Antwon Rollins, a Black man, whose mind is immersed in writing and shooting horror, but who is able to tell stories from a slightly different perspective: a common Black perspective. Check out “#Victim 505” at the San Francisco Black Film Fest, as well as check out the filmmaker Antwon Rollins as he talks to us about filmmaking and “#Victim 505.”
There are not a lot of films where young Black men, throughout all of our tribulations with the police, the streets and society’s stereotypes, are able to be seen as protectors and providers for their family. “Fruitvale Station” is a great movie that people should go see, especially young Black males, because it is our story and it is told in such a delicate way, where you realize there are no angels and demons.
The latest Hollywood brouhaha over Gwyneth Paltrow’s decision to tweet the caption “ni**as in Paris for real” to accompany a picture of her with friends Jay-Z and Beyoncé while in Paris doesn’t compare to the new evidence of “fraud upon the court” that has emerged in a largely unnoticed civil rights case that very well should be reopened after being unfairly dismissed six years ago.
The 64th Cannes International Film Festival kicked into high gear with a galaxy of stars, writers, directors, producers, distributors and folks from all walks of life celebrating the film industry. African and Caribbean cinema industries were well represented.
It’s been 25 years since the film version of Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” opened to much controversy. Despite the controversy, the story is one that is still read, watched and celebrated in many forms. The San Jose production of the musical is fantastic! This is the final weekend.
August Wilson is one of the most if not the most important playwright of the 20th century. His “Pittsburgh Cycle” pens the 20th century North American African experience through gentrification and trauma of the recurrent loss of geographical space.
David Roach founded the Oakland International Film Festival to "create new opportunities for up and coming filmmakers." It runs Oct. 8-14 at five venues. See www.oiff.org. Catch Minister of Information JR’s new film “Operation Small Axe” on Saturday, Oct. 10, 7 p.m., at Merritt College; Sunday, 7:00, at the Uptown; and Tuesday, 6:30, at Jack London Theater No. 1 – see you there!
The Maafa Ritual begins before dawn on Sunday, Oct. 11, about 5:30-6 a.m., at Ocean Beach on the Great Highway at Fulton Street in San Francisco. Invited are Black people interested in honoring our ancestors who perished in the European Slave Trade and its aftermath via colonialism and other forms of genocide like incarceration, terrible occurrences or reoccurring disasters felt today. Maafa Awareness Month was founded and has been organized by Bay View Arts Editor Wanda Sabir for 11 years.
Drama has been a valuable art form to the Black experience in Amerikkka since before slavery. It was one of the ways that we maintained our history, although huge segments of the population couldn’t read or aren’t reading. I have only been to a few theatrical plays, but I love cinema, with some of the best dramatized movies to me being “dead presidents,” “Brown Sugar” and “Juice.”