January 28, 2017
According to the United Nations, 700 million Africans don’t have access to electricity most of the time in rural regions, far from urban zones. The “Fondation Energie,” founded by French political personality Jean-Louis Borloo, and the “Energy for Africa” project sponsored by Guinea President Alpha Conde are inspiring inventors to solve the problem. During 2016, two young Africans, Evariste Akoumian and Delphine Oulai, presented their responses.
April 4, 2015
Over a 25 year period, 200 women in South LA went missing. Of these missing women, 100 were found dead. All of the women are Black and most were prostitutes. The refusal to let these women’s lives go unacknowledged is due to the work of Black Coalition Fighting Back Against Serial Murders. HBO will broadcast “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” on April 27.
March 5, 2015
It’s International Women’s History Month and in director Abderrahmane Sissako’s film “Timbuktu” (2014) we meet fierce African women who stand their ground when faced with lashings, stonings and bullets. The setting is Timbuktu, Africa’s Mecca, a sacred historic seat of knowledge and wisdom, which has been ravaged recently by warfare and plunder. Peoples’ lives, antiquities, books, Quranic texts, landmarks and buildings have been destroyed.
December 3, 2014
As we move into the next solar return, there is much to look forward to despite the stasis that seems to infect this nation with the disease of white supremacy or racial domination. OK OK, perhaps the silver lining is a bit too buried to find Osumare’s twinkle beyond any pots of gold you’ve stumbled upon recently. The knowledge that no matter how it looks, the Creator is in charge and the bad guys just look like they are always winning is what sustains us.
November 2, 2014
Maafa 2014 – The waves were as tall as mountains or perhaps redwood trees –their gigantic footprints in the sand left many pilgrims flat on their backs wet from head to toe. In 19 years, I’d never seen waves as tall as those that Sunday morning. Many thanks to all who came and made the commemoration a huge success. It was great to have co-founder, Minister Donald Paul Miller, back in the circle.
October 11, 2014
There was a sense of shock and disbelief when news was released about the death of Thomas Eric Duncan on Oct. 8 at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The Liberian-born 42-year-old was the first reported case of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) which emerged in the U.S. and resulted in death. Reports during the week of Oct. 6 mentioned that Duncan’s medical condition was worsening and that he was “fighting for his life.”
September 5, 2014
Congratulations to William Rhodes on a successful trip to South Africa, where he took a quilt created by his students at Dr. Charles Drew Elementary School in San Francisco to honor the legacy of an international hero, President Nelson Mandela, and returned with art panels from workshops conducted with youth in various townships and regions from Cape Town to Johannesburg.
May 29, 2014
Maya Angelou had to be the name of a poet. It is too perfect, too lyrical to fit any other personality. She blazed an incandescent streak across the heavens as the voice of memory – as poet, actress, author and activist. She taught generations of students as an honored professor of literature. As a young woman, she struck the boards as an African dancer. And she was a close friend and colleague of Malcolm X.
September 2, 2013
On the 20th anniversary of the demise of my father, Fred Ali Batin Sr., the 18th anniversary of the Maafa Commemoration San Francisco Bay Area – the Ritual Sunday is Oct. 13, 2013; see http://maafasfbayarea.com/ – and approximately the 60th day of the hunger strike to end the inhuman conditions in California’s Security Housing Units or SHUs, I just want to pause and reflect.
June 29, 2013
Wanda flew from the Bay Area on June 5 and landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, two days later. She sends these commentaries on the rather rare occasions she has internet access. Enjoy! June 13 – I am in Gondar, Ethiopia, left Lalibela this morning. It was a short flight. It is entering the rainy season, so I walked into a storm. I didn’t have my coat and got drenched to the core.
June 12, 2013
After more than two years of a full-fledged Pentagon and NATO-led war against the North African state of Libya, the installed General National Congress regime is now requesting assistance from their neo-colonial masters. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen indicated that the Western-backed government in Tripoli had requested assistance on security matters.
May 30, 2013
The Chedepo Grebo Cultural Festival is a major African cultural and social event for families, businesses and the public to come and enjoy great food, educational cultural information and live cultural entertainment. The date is Sunday, July 7, 2013, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. The place is the Tarlesson Family Farm, 7090 State Highway 16, Guinda, California 95637. The festival is open to the public and admission is FREE!
December 2, 2012
Shaka Camera of Oakland, a leather worker for over 43 years, specializes in hand stitched and hand tooled leather bags embellished with beads, shells, silver and bronze acquired from his multiple trips to Africa. Shaka will show his work at the 42nd annual KPFA Crafts Fair on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8 and 9, at the Concourse in San Francisco.
November 3, 2012
The House of the Lions of Judah Ecumenical Rastafari Service at San Quentin State Prison is a universal Rastafari mystic community. Some of the Rastafarians at San Quentin attend the religious services, some don’t.. Terrence Keller said, “Whether we attend the services or not, or whatever the reason – we Rasta! The sphere of love and guidance goes with us wherever we go!”
March 16, 2012
In a Hollywood Reporter article, Spike Lee is quoted: “In 1989, ‘Do the Right Thing’ was not even nominated [for best picture],” said Lee, with some mock outrage. “What film won best picture in 1989? ‘Driving Miss Mother F-ing Daisy!’ That’s why [Oscars] don’t matter,” said Lee. “Because 20 years later, who’s watching ‘Driving Miss Daisy?’”
January 5, 2012
Life isn’t fair: Too many kids and not enough food, fat cats bringing in all the money and government services like free hospitals and free education is not free for those who need it because, like everywhere, bureaucracy breeds corruption, whether we are in Madagascar or the United States.
May 19, 2011
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), born 86 years ago on May 19, 1925, was loved by the oppressed and hated by the oppressors. Our “Black Shining Prince,” in the words of Ossie Davis, aimed to “use whatever means necessary to bring about a society in which the 22 million Afro-Americans are recognized and respected as human beings.” His influence is immeasurable – from music to foreign policy to religion. Today Islam, followed then by very few, is the second largest religion in the United States and Canada.
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 31, 2008
The Bay View newspaper’s big back page full of exciting photos in vibrant color has long been one of its most popular features. It has made newspaper readers out of countless youth as young as grade school age who are drawn to the Bay View by the photos and then proceed to read the stories. […]