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.
July 5, 2010
Quentin Easter was certainly a man whom too many of us will miss, miss for his warm compassionate smile, unruffled presence and positive outlook in the face of tremendous stress and obstacles.
June 9, 2010
The fundraiser at the College of Alameda on May 18 was a great success, thanks to Maria Labossiere, Colette Eloi, Carolyn Brandy, Michelle Jacques and the ASCOA representative. The Social Welfare Club raised $170 for Jean Ristil’s organization in Cite Soliel.
May 18, 2010
Rea Dol and Dodo were at the airport with a sign with my name when I arrived. We then headed to the building site, where a wall is going up around the perimeter. Rea is the principal of SOPUDEP School in Port au Prince, founded as part of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s National Literacy Project. She’s building a new school to replace the one that was damaged in the earthquake.
May 15, 2010
We lost the great Lena Horne this month on Mother’s Day, May 9. She was 92, her birthday June 17, 1917 – her funeral Friday, May 14. I found out recently that Ms. Horne was at the March on Washington with sisters Mahalia Jackson and Dorothy Height.
April 23, 2010
It’s your last chance to see Marcus Gardley’s mythical epic “… And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi” at Cuttingball Theater in residence at the EXIT Theater, 277 Taylor St., San Francisco, Friday-Saturday, April 23-24, at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 5 p.m.
April 2, 2010
Set on the banks of the Mississippi during the Civil War, “…and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi” is a poetic journey of forgiveness and redemption inspired by the myth of Demeter and Persephone. This thought-provoking play combines traditional storytelling, gospel music and a wicked sense of humor to create a rich, imaginative world that allows trees to preach, rivers to waltz and Jesus to moonwalk. The run has been extended through April 25.
March 20, 2010
A two-hour excursion with Sistah Mona literally erased all my bumps, bruises and pain. The brown-skinned sister with a ponytail works like a jazz musician – freestyling, eyes closed – the body on the table talking to her as she skated along terrain avoiding blind spots, walls and other baggage that comes along the road well traveled.
March 17, 2010
The characters’ stories in Chinaka Hodge’s debut as a playwright, “Mirrors in Every Corner,” capture a sense of tragedy lurking near all of us. From Rodney King to Oscar Grant, Loma Pieta to urban removal, one sits on the edge of her seat waiting for the wrecking ball to fall.
March 14, 2010
Harper’s Ferry … freeing slaves … Virginia … hanging … white man – this is the extent of my knowledge of John Brown. I wasn’t aware that it was 150 years ago, on Oct. 14-15, 1859, that this happened, an event which many say forecast the Civil War and the emancipation of enslaved Africans. See the opera Sunday afternoon, March 14, 3 p.m., at the East Side Cultural Center.
March 13, 2010
Multi-layered with healing at its center, the large cast of “Dancing with the Clown of Love,” some infected, everyone affected, shared stories written over the past two years at the Women’s HIV Program at the University of California San Francisco – documented in a short film that opens the show. Hurry! The run closes this weekend.
February 27, 2010
Rhodessa, dressed in an orange prison jumper from South Africa (orange the universal prison attire, like a brand), appears with a whip. All the sensations: cold, hard, eerie darkness, unfamiliar sounds, smells, give the audience plenty to contemplate, especially those in the first two rows where the whip spinning in Rhodessa’s hand over our heads, which she then flicks, we feel, too close to our faces as its breeze and the sting of its impact hits the ground again too close for comfort. But this theme – the Black holocaust – is it supposed to be an idea that brings ease?
December 28, 2009
This year, as in many years past, Godfather of Comedy Paul Mooney has returned to his roots at the Black Repertory Group Theater in Berkeley for performances every night Dec. 26-31, with three shows on New Year’s Eve. Tickets are selling fast, so call right away: (510) 652-2120 or the hot line, (925) 812-2787. Listen to two hilarious Block Report interviews by Minister of Information JR with Paul Mooney.
December 21, 2009
Habari gani, everyone! Happy Kwanzaa! Here are all the Kwanzaa celebrations we’ve been notified of; if you don’t find one near you, host one yourself and tell us about it so we can add it to the list. Kwanzaa is an African American holiday based on the African agricultural celebrations and collective principles, which contribute to the unity and development of the African community.
December 3, 2009
Baba Kamau Seitu, jazz musician and cultural artist, is playing music with the celestial orchestra. On Saturday, Nov. 28, with literally dozens at his bedside, the drums opened the way for his transition. His Homegoing Celebration will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2 p.m., at Wo’se Community Church, 8924 Holly St., Oakland.
December 1, 2009
Happy New Year, Blessed Eid Al Adha and Happy Kwanzaa. I’ll be back in February 2009. Check the radio show and my blog for updates. I’ll be traveling. Tune in to Wanda’s Picks Radio at www.wandaspicks.com over the next month, when I will be broadcasting from Senegal, Mali and The Gambia.
November 27, 2009
Always a singer as well as an actor, Loretta Devine is in San Francisco to take her act on the road, to develop a singing career, a first for the multi-talented lady. Her appearance at the Rrazz Room Friday through Sunday, Nov. 27-29, will mark her nightclub debut. This engagement is exciting, because not only will it be Ms. Devine’s first performance as a singer, she will be singing original music as well as work from the American songbook of love.