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Posts Tagged with "Wanda Sabir"

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz: Aug. 13, 1926 – Nov. 25, 2016

Wanda’s Picks for December 2016

December 1, 2016

Death came to the old revolutionary – put out what was left of his cigar – leaving him his military cap – so they would not place laurels – that would bother him. It is no little thing to confront the empire – & survive its rage of a mad dog – from which a bone is taken. Oh Cuba of the bitter history, – of palms, dances, songs, – of the drums of Alegba and Yamayá, – of the cane made sweet by blood and sweat – mourn and remember, sing, dance, work – for justice and never return to slavery. © Rafael Jesús González 2016

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Children from a Muslim school were excited to pose with Nate Parker. – Photo: Wanda Sabir

Nate Parker’s ‘Birth of a Nation’ inspires and empowers Black people

November 17, 2016

Thursday, Nov. 10, Nate Parker visited historic McClymonds High School for a screening of his film, “Birth of a Nation” (2016). His visit and the screening were a part of Supervisor Keith Carsen’s Community Empowerment Forums which, hosted that evening by Elaine Brown, former Black Panther Party chair, are to create spaces for public discourse and problem solving. In this case, the topic was the importance of knowing one’s history.

This photo, “I Am My Brother’s Keeper,” by Perkin Edwards is part of a project by St. Mary’s Center where homeless people documented homelessness in Oakland. Perkin Edwards said, “All human beings are family and friends we haven’t met yet.”

Can Oakland fix the homeless crisis it created?

November 11, 2016

City leaders announced the “New Oakland” as if to say it was no longer a “Black city.” As Oakland became more attractive to outsiders, housing costs rose and more African Americans were displaced. Oakland was voted one of the country’s “coolest cities,” but today, Oakland’s homeless people have been displaced into visible encampments located throughout the gentrified areas. They are mainly African Americans displaced by the city’s gentrification.

The enormous crowd at the BPP 50th Gala on Oct. 22 testifies to a growing sense of liberation in the Black community, where, from the grassroots to the most influential celebrities and prominent professionals, it is no longer taboo to publicly admire the Panthers. They all came, met the legends face to face and forged strong bonds of solidarity. The love and joy of community that shines in the faces of Baba Jahahara Alkebulan-Maat, Dr. Shandi Fuller, Dr. Willie Ratcliff, attorney Joyce Lewis and David Lewis shows that the spirit of the Panthers, who pledged to live and die for the people, still burns bright. – Photo: Malaika Kambon

Wanda’s Picks for November 2016

November 4, 2016

The 50th Anniversary of the Black Panther Party Conference, Oct. 20-23, held at the Oakland Museum of California and in Bobby Hutton Grove at deFremery Park, was a huge success. To see the Vanguards of the Revolution saluted in such elegant surroundings at the banquet Saturday evening was certainly a fitting tribute to the legacy their lives concretely represent. Hats off to the committee that organized the conference.

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Nat Turner (Nate Parker) and his rebel force at the armory in Jerusalem face an armed militia.

Troubled legacy: a review of Nate Parker’s ‘Birth of a Nation’

October 14, 2016

Perhaps the reason why Nat Turner is almost completely buried within documented and oral histories is connected to the fear his rebellion caused in the Southampton and by extension the Southern antebellum community. Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation” visits this story as Donald Trump draws a white male constituency very much in keeping philosophically with the angry mob who tear the flesh from the iconic Prophet Nat Turner’s body.

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To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Hunters Point Uprising, Aliyah Dunn-Salahuddin (in the colorful dress), chair of the African American Studies Department at City College, who was born and raised in Hunters Point, organized two commemorative events. The second, exactly 50 years after the police murder of Matthew “Peanut” Johnson on Sept. 27, 1966, which sparked the uprising, included a march down Third Street, the main street in Bayview Hunters Point; here they are on the block where the Bay View lives. The intent of both events was to honor Peanut and all who have been lost over the past 50 years. – Photo: Katrina Williams

Wanda’s Picks for October 2016

October 10, 2016

This Maafa Commemoration Month we continue to lift “A Love Supreme” as we organize a defense against state violence. Congratulations to Professor Aaliyah Dunn-Salahuddin, whose community vigil and program honored the lives of the Bayview Hunters Point revolutionaries killed 50 years ago when the community rose up after SFPD killed Matthew “Peanut” Johnson and more recently when the community turned out after SFPD killed Mario Woods.

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Dameion Brown plays Othello in the new Marin Shakespeare Company production. – Photo courtesy Lori A. Cheung

Dameion Brown is Othello in Marin Shakespeare Company production

September 23, 2016

William Shakespeare’s “Othello” rings with contemporary accuracy in the Marin Shakespeare Company’s production. Damieon Brown, who performed in Marin Shakespeare Company’s 2015 “Shakespeare at Solano” theater arts program at Solano State Prison, studied, pursued, auditioned and won the role of Othello, one of Shakespeare’s most complicated and enthralling characters. The show closes Sept. 25.

In East Palo Alto for their annual Original Good Community Barbeque are the members of “Original Good,” not “Original Gangsters.”

Original Good in East Palo Alto

September 3, 2016

Black people are genetic experts at dislocation and assimilation; what with centuries of practice, we come to this place with authority and grief. However, Saturday, July 30, at the fifth OG or Original Good Community Barbecue, children, youth and adults had a chance to mingle, eat and enjoy the chance to introduce Gen X to those elders who made this city situated between Silicon Valley giants – Palo Alto and Menlo Park – what it was, if not what it is now.

Dameion Brown as Othello in Marin Shakespeare production

Wanda’s Picks for September 2016

September 2, 2016

Actor Dameion Brown, playing the title role in the Marin Shakespeare Company’s production of “Othello,” is getting standing ovations since the production started. Still in previews, Brown has with this role seen a dream come true. Since the MSC production of “Othello” opened Aug. 26 for previews, we learn that Brown is a formerly incarcerated or convicted person (FICP), just released after serving 23 years of a life sentence.

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Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers, as Michelle and Barack, talk following a recent press screening of “Southside with You.” – Photo: Wanda Sabir

In ‘Southside with You,’ we meet Michelle and Barack on their first date

August 22, 2016

In “Southside with You” (2016), which opens nationally Aug. 26, 2016, Richard Tanne makes his feature film directorial debut. “Southside” is the story of youthful love, first love for Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, 25, a sheltered Chi-town daughter who is working hard – pressing against glass ceilings from a philosophical basement at a prestigious law firm, as she supervises the charming, cute intern, 27-year-old Barack Obama.

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In “The New Seal of California,” artist, musician, first woman to join the Black Panther Party and a descendant of explorer Sir Francis Drake, Joan Tarika Lewis reimagines the seal of California to be inclusive of her Black identity. Could Queen Calafia, the warrior queen said to have ruled over a kingdom of Black women living on the mythical Island of California, as described by Spanish writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo in 1500, also have been an inspiration?

Wanda’s Picks for August 2016

July 31, 2016

The new “Black Woman Is God” exhibit, curated by Karen Seneferu and Melorra Green, features the work of over 50 Black women artists in a variety of genres: film, mixed media installation, sculpture, paintings, photography – in a range of sizes covering entire walls to intimate corners. We travel below ground into spaces where lives are born and secret formulas are calculated … brews stirred.

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The 1st Annual Tahuti's Ball was a huge success! A spiritual, educational and formidable group of Afrikan people, gave thanks, praises, and a spiritual homegoing to one of the bay area's foremost and most formidable Afrikan leaders.

Wanda’s Picks for July 2016

July 15, 2016

We lost many loved ones this past month, from photographer extraordinaire Kamau Amen Ra to community organizer, prolific writer and longshoreman Brother Cleophus Williams to my dear Sister Monica Pree, not to mention Muhammad Ali. We reflect on Independence Day, a day marked by the blood of African Ancestors of the Middle Passage – the first to die a Black man, Crispus Attucks, on March 3, 1770, in what became known as the Boston Massacre.

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Kamau Amen Ra by Tom Ehrlich

Long live Kamau Amen Ra!

July 13, 2016

I was in Ghana when I received news that Kamau Amen Ra made his transition, and it was at an exhibit at the British Museum in London walking through the chambers of Ausar that I reflected on his well-lived life and thought about the human treasures undiscovered who walk among us, like Kamau. I think he called this place Babylon, a place where treasures remain unearthed or hidden except for those with keen eyes or vision, both of which Kamau possessed.

At last November’s Maafa Film Festival, Elilta Tewelde, Eliciana Nascimento and Kele Ntoto listen to fellow panelist Adimu Madyun, who is an award-winning filmmaker. – Photo: Wanda Sabir

Oakland’s Prosperity Movement fights gentrification by supporting local culture

June 18, 2016

Prosperity Movement, an Oakland-based group of artists and activists, is using its platform to promote peace and prosperity in a changing Oakland landscape. The group’s founder and front man, Adimu Madyun, makes it his mission to use art as a way of educating local youth and adults, who he says are bearing the brunt of gentrification in their native city.

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Outstanding women leaders of the Black Panther era

Wanda’s Picks for May-June 2016

May 15, 2016

Elaine Brown’s “A Taste of Power,” a memoir which chronicles her leadership of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense when co-founder Huey P. Newton is imprisoned, still resonates with me. The idea that a Black woman is nominated to the leadership position of the most powerful civic organization in the country at that time is still remarkable and speaks to what Kathleen Cleaver calls revolutionary imagination.

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About the name of the play, director Bill English says: “In the last 10-15 years, ‘Jerusalem,’ the song based on a poem by William Blake, has become the unofficial national anthem of England. Sung at every rugby match, it has become the ‘people’s’ anthem. Originally, Blake was lamenting the destruction of British rural life by the industrial revolution, but today the English have adopted his battle cry to the sanctity of common man against incursion of corporate and government control.”

Wanda’s Picks for April 2016

April 3, 2016

“Dr. Mutulu Is Welcome Here” is the title of the campaign and the program Malcolm X Grassroots Movement hosted Easter Sunday, Resurrection Day, in Oakland. As we walked into Sole Space, a venue that also sells shoes and art and is a part of the corner building that houses Oakstop, we were invited to pose with a photo of Dr. Shakur. Mama Ayanna, seated at the door, welcomes and greets comrades and friends of friends as other members of MXGM host the program.

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Sister Nida Ali (1941-2016)

My dear friend Sister Nida Ali departs this realm – her Janaza or funeral Tuesday, March 8, 11 a.m., at Fuller Funeral Home, 4647 International Blvd, Oakland

March 8, 2016

I really loved my Sister Nida Ali, who flew home to Allah this morning (March 3). I think what I appreciated the most about her was her ability to be a spiritual warrior who walked the planet earth. She really loved Allah and Allah’s servants. She was loyal and forgiving too, and she took care of a lot of people. Sister Nida Ali’s Janaza or funeral is Tuesday, March 8. What a fitting day to celebrate a great woman’s life: International Women’s History Day!

Wanda Sabir, Bay View arts editor for close to 20 years, half the life of the newspaper itself, poses with journalist Mary Midgett at the Bay View’s 40th anniversary party at the San Francisco Main Library on Feb. 21. Wanda shared her recollections and her wisdom on the panel. – Photo: Morris Turner

Wanda’s Picks for March 2016

March 7, 2016

Congratulations to Mary and Willie Ratcliff and Muhammad al-Kareem for the People’s Liberation Movement as manifested for 40 years in the San Francisco Bay View newspaper. Congratulations to the collective voices which have graced its pages over this history, especially ancestors such as Kevin Weston, and, to JR Valrey, much respect for envisioning such a wonderful tribute program on Feb. 21.

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'Race' poster

‘Race,’ a review

March 1, 2016

“Race” (2016) is the story of Jesse Owens’ triumphant wins in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin just before World War II. Nicknamed “The Buckeye Bullet” for his legendary speed, Owens distanced himself from socially constructed hurdles which ran counter to his personal goals. Directed by Stephen Hopkins, the film features rising star, Stephan James (“Selma”) as Jesse Owens.

Beaming joy and power, Albert Woodfox greets family and supporters the day of his release, on Feb. 19, 2016. – Photo: AP

Albert Woodfox attends his birthday party as a free man, happy to ‘give others hope’

February 20, 2016

Friday, Feb. 19, Albert “Shaka” Woodfox, the only member of the Angola 3 remaining in prison, was released after nearly 44 years in solitary confinement. Earlier in the month, Ashé Cultural Arts Center had scheduled a screening of the film, “Panther: Vanguard of the Revolution,” directed by Stanley Nelson, at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate Albert Woodfox’s birthday that day, Feb 19. The evening turned into an actual birthday party for Woodfox.

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