May 4, 2011
Happy Mother’s Day to Yuri Kochiyama! I’d like to also wish the women who haven’t seen their children in a long time, some since birth, a special Happy Mother’s Day. Our prayers are with you even if you feel alone at a time when in America prisons systematically separate mothers from their children, often permanently.
April 14, 2011
Saturday, April 9, the Allen Temple Community Room was overflowing with individuals interested in the crisis on Oakland streets, especially a street many had to cross that morning upon arrival, International Boulevard with its sex trafficking of mostly Black and Brown girls.
April 10, 2011
When Martin Luther King was killed in Memphis, he was about to join the sanitation workers in their protest for a union and more decent wages. The movement for civil rights was taking hold in the North and America didn’t like it – so off with King’s head.
March 16, 2011
It is not often one sees a play written and directed by Black women, the director, Liesl Tommy, from Cape Town, South Africa. Only a fine writer like Lynn Nottage could take such tragedy and make us smile and laugh between the tears.
March 5, 2011
I highly recommend “Jar the Floor.” It illustrates the Sankofa concept that permeates African Diaspora culture. Shows are 8 p.m. tonight and 3 p.m. tomorrow, March 5 and 6, at the Mexican Heritage Plaza Pavilion, 1700 Alum Rock Ave., San Jose.
March 3, 2011
Women’s History Month and the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day March 8, 2011 – what a great month to toast the New Year. The name itself is an action, a call to action: MARCH – Move!
February 12, 2011
Jazz Hudson is one of the new up and coming poets out of the Bay who has been making a name for herself at poetry readings – one of the most loquacious and passionate young sistas to come out of the concrete jungle of Oakland in a long time.
February 10, 2011
On Feb. 18, 7 p.m., at Modern Times Bookstore, Krip-Hop Nation will present an author panel of new books by Black disabled writers and friends, including Toni Hickman of Texas, Adarro Minton of New York, Allen Jones of San Francisco and friends of Krip-Hop Nation, DC Curtis and Bones Kendall of Los Angeles.
December 22, 2010
My nephew was shot and killed by Oakland police Monday afternoon, Dec. 20. Aba was 19. On the street, young Black men fear and are feared. We have to rescue our kids. Like our youngsters, the police also make choices, and theirs is to shoot to kill.
December 1, 2010
Happy Kwanzaa! I will be traveling in Africa over the holidays. I am covering the World Festival of Black Arts and Culture in Dakar, Senegal, and then on to Festival in the Desert in Timbuktu, Mali. My radio show weekly broadcast may feature a surprise live interview from Senegal or Mali if technology serves me well.
November 26, 2010
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.
November 26, 2010
Ted Pontiflet is an Oakland icon. He is East Coast swing meets West Coast bop. Classy. The man is too smooth to be close to 80. Ted is around until Dec. 1 and then away he goes.
October 25, 2010
Angry and grieving family members rallied at the Fruitvale BART station to mark the 15th National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. One speaker, Norman Curry, spoke of how his mother was shot point blank by an officer who called her by name, “Anita (Gay).”
October 8, 2010
How does one choreograph loss? One doesn’t. Instead, Ralph Lemon philosophically juxtaposes the lives of three relationships, including that of Walter Carter, 102, and his wife Edna, 80. Four walls certainly don’t contain Walter.
October 3, 2010
October is Maafa Awareness Month, a time to reflect on recovery from the residual impact slavery had on the Black community and how the centuries of free labor benefited everyone else. The ritual this year is Sunday, Oct. 10, 5:30 a.m., at Ocean Beach, Fulton at the Great Highway, in San Francisco. Maafa is Kiswahili for “great calamity, reoccurring disaster,” a term used to describe the Black Holocaust of the European Slave Trade and how the post traumatic stress syndrome shows up in our thoughts and behavior unwittingly.
September 22, 2010
What is so striking about this film is its living history lessons, the love and admiration for each other that Yuri Kochiyama and Angela Y. Davis share, women with big hearts who have endured personal suffering and survived. Yuri is gracious and fiery and so is Angela.
September 3, 2010
There was high unemployment for Haitians, those educated with skills and the unskilled as well, prior to the earthquake. For a government official to tell a BAI representative that withholding food was a way to motivate lazy people looking for a handout to get to work is a gross misread of the problem.
August 3, 2010
I am excited about going back to Haiti, which I visited at the four-month anniversary of the earthquake. It has been six months now and from what we have heard and seen from trusted media, the situation is not any better and for many people it is worse.
July 22, 2010
Kamau Amen Ra’s work in this exhibit, which he curated, ranges from Goapele singing to Damu Sudii Ali, who was there on the same piano that evening. Each photo has a story. The younger artist and the only woman, TaSin Sabir, also has a range of images, each artist described with a poetic quote.
July 9, 2010
At 14th and Broadway, the community was invited to share what was on their hearts. No one was censored and all views were respected. People surrounded the speakers. No one needed to be alone on a day like today. In African traditional healing, the health of an individual is tied to the well-being of community. Oscar Grant’s relatives and friends called for love and respect for life and each other, as they named the enemy: this corrupt judicial system that allows killers to go free. I noticed another rally in front of City Hall. Just a handful of people were there.