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2009 November

Monthly Archives: November 2009

Jobs now!

When America talks about unemployment percentages around 10 percent, I know they are talking about white people. It is talked about as an alarming figure. As a Black man, I am not alarmed. If that were the number in my community, I would rejoice. “No Blacks working! That’s what I see at every construction jobsite in San Francisco,” exclaims Willie Ratcliff, Bay View publisher and lifelong construction worker and contractor.

Stop the destruction of Community Access TV in San Francisco

The City along with its handpicked operator, Bay Area Video Coalition, are planning to close the Community Access Television Center on Dec. 20 without another location where programmers can produce their shows. A picket and press conference will be held on this attack on community access and free speech on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 4 p.m., at Channel 29, 1720 Market St. at Valencia, San Francisco.

Loretta Devine opens at the Rrazz Room in San Francisco

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.

The mammogram recommendations: More than a ‘tempest in a teapot’

The known health disparities that contribute to premature death from breast cancer in African American women have galvanized righteous opposition to the USPSTF mammogram recommendations. In the past, these recommendations have influenced decision making by physician groups and the health care insurers who pay for preventative studies.

Conflict minerals: A cover for U.S. allies and Western mining interests?

As global awareness grows around the Congo and the silence is finally being broken on the current and historic exploitation of Black people in the heart of Africa, a myriad of Western based “prescriptions” are being proffered. Most of these prescriptions are devoid of social, political, economic and historical context and are marked by remarkable omissions. The conflict mineral approach or efforts emanating from the United States and Europe are no exception to this symptomatic approach which serves more to perpetuate the root causes of Congo’s challenges than to resolve them.

‘Sparkle’ Saturday matinee at Black Rep benefits the Bay View

“Sparkle” is a GREAT play from a GREAT film now playing at the Black Repertory Group Theatre, 3201 Adeline St., Berkeley, across from Ashby BART. The Saturday matinee THIS SATURDAY, Nov. 28, at 2:30 p.m., is a benefit for the SF Bay View newspaper. Give "Sparkle" as a gift to yourself and your loved ones.

Ward’s rules: Andre Ward beats favored Mikkel Kessler for WBA middleweight world championship

A young boxing sensation from Oakland - quiet, focused, deeply spiritual Andre Ward - came into the Nov. 21 World Classic Super Six Boxing Championships the underdog, slated to fight the so-called Viking King and Hitman, Mikkel Kessler. Few thought he could win. Kessler thought he was just a youngster in awe of being in his first big, world-class title fight.

The Last Session: an interview wit’ Los Angeles-based artist Broham

This is one of the most interesting visual art pieces that I have seen in a long time. The “purple heads” will love it, like I did, one, because it includes an reenactment of "The Last Supper," but instead of food, it’s "The Last Session," with a lot of the famous artists that have passed on.

Liberation Song: an innerview of author and independent publisher Sadiki Bakari

Sadiki Bakari is a Los Angeles-based author, lecturer and poet. I have known him for about five years, and he has remained an influential figure that more people need to know about. He has recently released his third independently published book, “Liberation Song: The Book of Resurrection.”

The higher education fiscal crisis protects the wealthy

Police are arresting and attacking student protesters on University of California (UC) campuses again. “Why did he beat me I wasn’t doing anything,” screamed a young Cal Berkeley women student over KPFA radio on Friday evening, Nov. 20. Students are protesting the 32 percent increase in tuition imposed by the UC regents. Our current budget crisis in California and the rest of the country has been artificially created by cutting taxes on the wealthiest people and corporations.

Young Mother’s Bill of Rights: Incarcerated mothers demand fair treatment

Young Mothers United (YMU) recently screened its public service announcement for the "Incarcerated Young Mothers Bill of Rights." We partnered with YO! Youth Outlook to create a seven-minute motion picture that educates the public on issues facing pregnant and parenting women in lock up.

Video: BART cop slams passenger into window

KCBS calls it "Another Viral BART Police Confrontation," referring to the now world famous video of a BART officer shooting passenger Oscar Grant in the back as he lay face down on a BART platform at 2 a.m. New Year's Day. The new video, shot Saturday night, shows another BART officer assaulting a passenger almost as viciously. STORY UPDATED TUESDAY, NOV. 24.

Barbara Lee sponsors bill to end war in Afghanistan

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., gained international acclaim for being the only member in Congress who courageously and extraordinarily voted against the authorization of the use of force following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. She recently authored a controversial bill, H.R. 3699, that would prohibit the funding for additional troops to Afghanistan.

What good is a jury?

When guards at SCI Dallas destroy his property, threaten his life, assault his person, all while ranking officials look on approvingly, it is not simply Andre who is under attack, but the rights and lives of prisoners everywhere. By targeting jailhouse lawyers, those who stand on their constitutional rights and insist on being treated as human beings, the agents of repression in charge of the Pennsylvania DOC and the prison-industrial complex aim to silence their cries for justice.

The Green Movement comes to inner-city West Oakland

With the economic depression setting in and the effects of global warming being seen all over the planet, people are having to find ways to employ themselves as well as create cost effective healthy, earth friendly alternatives to expensive fast food and cheap GMO products. Marcel Diallo, a longtime Oakland community activist and cultural worker turned real estate tycoon, thinks that he has one of the answers, the Village Bottoms Farm in West Oakland.

Black Caucus shuts down House vote, demands job creation

A bloc of African American House Democrats, angry and worried that not enough is being done about high unemployment by the administration, forced the postponement of a much-anticipated vote Thursday on comprehensive financial regulation reform. The refusal to vote was portrayed as a direct rebuke of the White House's "lack of response to the economic situation." "The recession has created a unique systemic risk that threatens all parts of the African-American community," said Rep. Maxine Waters.

Keb’ Mo’ at SFJAZZ

Keb’ Mo’, who grew up in Compton surrounded by blues – a name he doesn’t particularly care for, the blues often associated with sad stories and hard luck lives – didn’t really come into the music until his 30s. Just out with a new album, on his own label, Yolabelle International, “Live and Mo’” features six live tracks and four studio. The artist tells stories which reflect the American social and cultural landscape.

Two poems by Jalil Muntaqim: ‘Chairman Fred & Captain Mark’ and ‘Big Brother Speaks’

Jalil Mutaqim, one of the longest held political prisoners in the U.S., was once again denied parole on Nov. 18, 2009. Visit FreeJalil.com to learn more about this extraordinary, heroic brother, who traded a minor plea for the freedom from all charges of four of his San Francisco 8 comrades. Support must grow so that his next parole date, in June 2010, is successful and he is free to return to the loving arms of his family and to continue to teach and show us how to be our own liberators.

Hands off Juanita Young!

Juanita Young is a grandmother who stands maybe 5 feet tall – she is legally blind and also suffers from bad asthma attacks. But that hasn’t stopped police officers from harassing her and her family at all hours of the night. “Though I have been diligently fighting against police brutality for nine years, this most recent string of attacks has left me shaken to the core,” writes Juanita Young. An all-night vigil has been called to protect her.

San Francisco Hip Hop Dancefest

Micaya’s San Francisco Hip Hop Dancefest brings renowned dance companies from South Korea, Ireland, North America, the U.K. and Norway this weekend to the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre. Two of the groups from “across the pond” sat down to tell us a little bit about themselves: Bad Taste Cru from Ireland and Plague from the U.K.