September 4, 2009
On the first night of her Aug. 20-24 Triumph Tour, our sister Cynthia McKinney put a face on Gaza, Palestine, I don’t think many in the audience had seen before – I’m speaking of African Americans who are not usually the target population of such media focus. McKinney was speaking at Oakland’s landmark Grand Lake Theater, kicking off her Gaza Solidarity Triumph Tour, a series of fundraisers for the struggling SF Bay View newspaper.
September 1, 2009
Next month the most important item on my agenda is Maafa Commemoration Month to reflect on the legacy of slavery and how everyone benefited from this human rights travesty except those who did the work. We began Aug. 30 with a successful Maafa 2009: Hurricane Katrina Fundraiser and Reportback, thanks to all the poets and the visual artists who donated art for the silent auction and of course to Tess and Yeme, the proprietors of Shashamane Bar and Grill.
August 1, 2009
Black August begins with a campaign for the acquittal of Francisco Torres, the only member of the San Francisco 8 still charged. Go to www.freethesf8.org for messages to phone or fax to Attorney General Jerry Brown, urging him to drop the charges. Cisco’s hearing is Aug. 10 if the charges aren’t dropped.
July 9, 2009
Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim are both well aware that there is no justice in the U.S. courts for us – there’s just us, as we used to say. Jalil did a great job of making sure all four co-defendants would have their charges dropped before making this decision that I know he did not want to make.
July 2, 2009
Required reading for Americans pre-fireworks and festivities should be an important speech given by abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass, who, in “What to the American Slave is Your Fourth of July?” questions this holiday which took place while citizens were denied their right to justice, freedom and equality. At the Oakland Public Conservatory, Michael Lange and youth wordsmiths Ayinde Webb, the drummer in the Frederick Douglass Youth Ensemble, and Jamani Williams will read excerpts.
June 12, 2009
June 9 we had an up close and personal interview on Wanda’s Picks Radio with the great pianist, George Cables. He was at Yoshi’s in San Francisco with his friends, Bobby Hutcherson and Charlie Haden and is on to New York for a tribute to Freddie Hubbard later this week. Listen any time at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Wandas-Picks/2009/06/09/Wandas-Picks-Special. You will not be disappointed.
June 5, 2009
Our beloved Mother Mary Ann Wright passed last month; she was 87. She was soft-spoken when not in the pulpit or behind her bullhorn holding church at her multiple food giveaway sites. I marveled over this woman who’d done so much to comfort the poor, a woman loved by all who knew her.
May 15, 2009
Johannes Mehserle’s trial begins Monday, May 18, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Alameda County Courthouse, 12th and Oak Street, in Oakland. A strong community presence has been requested by the Oscar Grant family and allies. A teach in to prepare for the trial is Sunday, May 17, 1-4 p.m., at Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland. And wish Tatiana Grant happy birthday. She turns 5 on May 16.
May 1, 2009
Shout out to First Lady Michelle Obama, who presented the bust of Queen Mother Sojourner Truth, a woman who experienced first hand the hardships of slavery, yet emerged strong, so strong she had to remind America she too was a woman, a woman deserving all the respect and honor reserved for privileged white women.
April 24, 2009
Happy Birthday, Mumia Abu Jamal! On Wanda’s Picks Radio, we are celebrating Mumia Abu Jamal’s birthday and his new book, “Jailhouse Lawyers,” with an introduction by Angela Davis.
April 17, 2009
“Love on Both Sides of the Wall: A Two Way Struggle” plays at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek April 17-18, 6:45 p.m. The production is topnotch, the story of the forgotten Children of the Movement.
April 10, 2009
I can’t say enough about “Mrs. Streeter” at Black Rep in Berkeley. Did you catch my interview Friday, April 10, with playwright Merrill D. Jones and cast members? If not, listen on-line at Wanda’s Picks Radio.
March 20, 2009
Guests on Friday’s Wanda’s Picks Radio are Tovi Scruggs, M.Ed., and Sharon Morrison Parker, directors of ASA Academy, who talked about an exciting conference next week: “MAN UP! First Annual Black Boys Conference: Extending the Arm of Brotherhood to Achieve Manhood” on Saturday, March 28.
March 14, 2009
Kiilu Nyasha, Tarika Matilaba Lewis and Gail Asali Dickson are featured in the exhibit, “Woman Artists of the Black Panther Party,” at the West Oakland Branch Library, 1801 Adeline St. The reception is Saturday, March 14, 1-3 p.m.
March 3, 2009
Grammy Award winning South African ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo is coming to town March 12 at UC Berkeley.
February 14, 2009
Be sure to listen to the archived Wanda’s Picks Radio for Feb. 11, when the guests are Cynthia McKinney in the first hour and Guy Patrice Lumumba and Lisa F. Jackson, director of the film, “The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo,” in the second. Extraordinary radio! Superb mix of arts and politics!
February 7, 2009
Wearing colorful beads and red and blue tunics, the Friends of Sironka Maasai Dance Troupe recently performed to celebrate and honor President Obama at his inauguration. Their performances include pulsating chanting, singing and traditional dance.
February 1, 2009
We want to call the names of those who made their transition in January and offer condolences to their loved ones who have yet to cross that bridge. I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that Ave Montague is gone.
January 19, 2009
Mayor Dellums decided to look to law enforcement as a model for healing the community in 2007. Today, we are still at war, our youth the casualties of this war.
January 16, 2009
Theme for the week: “Martin King to Barack Obama, from ‘I Have a Dream’ to ‘Yes, We Can.’”