Celebrate the Bay View’s 35th anniversary with a gift to the Prisoners Subscription Fund

by Mary Ratcliff

Georgia-prisoners-reading-SFBV-Israel-Espinoza-Jamelle-Tatum-Eugene-Thomas-Quayshaun-Adams-012611-by-Robert-Broughton-cropped-web, Celebrate the Bay View's 35th anniversary with a gift to the Prisoners Subscription Fund, Abolition Now! Celebrate the 35th anniversary of the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper by sending its love and light to a prisoner behind enemy lines. The Bay View Prisoners’ Subscription Fund is the way. Hundreds of prisoners are already on the Bay View mailing list; they need your help when it’s time to renew their subscriptions. And every day the mail brings more letters from prisoners who want a subscription, who want to read and share the paper but have neither funds nor stamps to pay the cost.

You can donate to the Prisoners’ Subscription Fund online, by phone or by mail. Subscriptions are $24 per year, but every donation is welcome. Donate online at www.sfbayview.com by clicking on Support SF BayView at the upper left of the page. You can also call (415) 671-0789 to donate by phone or mail your donation to SF Bay View, 4917 Third St., San Francisco CA 94124-2309. Your gift will light up the life of many prisoners, as subscribers share their paper with comrades. Listen to what prisoners around the country tell us about the Bay View:

“I am a prisoner in the Wisconsin Korrectional Komplex and the Bay View has been a source of inspiration and life for me. It enables me to see people still care and Blacks are still fighting for justice.” – Quentin C. Ward, 275760, Racine Correctional Institution, P.O. Box 900, Waukesha-East, Sturtevant, WI 53177

“Thank you for keeping me up to date on the news that we can’t see or read about in the Security Housing Unit (SHU). Your newspaper really helps me through these hard times, and without it we prisoners would not be able to keep up on the Black news we need.” – Joe O’Neal, H-02120, D-9104, Pelican Bay State Prison, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City, CA 95533

“Behind these enemy lines as an African-American brother, to be able to read the Bay View means so much to me. I’d like to express my gratitude to each of you at the Bay View and say ‘thanks.’” – John Jenkins, T-14244, I-314, California Medical Facility, P.O. Box 2000, Vacaville, CA 95696

“Thanks, San Francisco Bay View, for the love you always show me by helping brothers stay out there where a brother belongs. Thanks for the help. One love.” – Antonio Moses, 927845, Valdosta State Prison, P.O. Box 310, Valdosta, GA 31603

“Big props to the Bay View. I’m in the ‘hole’ in Santa Rita and I just really read your paper and the article on Maxine Waters. Really blew my mind and the article about Hurricane Katrina let me know that some media outlets really do report real issues about the real world. The article about Lil D and his book let me know, for me it ain’t over. This paper was like a breath of fresh air. This paper is a paper for the people. I’ve seen the Bay View but never read it. After reading one I’m hooked. Can you please send me a free subscription? Knowledge is hard to come by and the Bay View is full of knowledgeable information.” – Gregory Ealey, BAV875, 5325 Broader Blvd., Dublin, CA 94568

“Because of Bay View I’m able to stand firm and grounded and loving our beautiful yet remarkable Brothas and Sistas.” – Dwayne M. Thomas, T-63482, 4A-1R-27, P.O. Box 3476, Corcoran, CA 93212

“I feel so impassioned just being able to witness this and read these articles and interviews, it really fires me up. If it wasn’t for the Bay View to keep us informed of these real issues, we would all be lost in the dark!” – Coyote Sheff, 55671, P.O. Box 1989, Ely, NV 89301-1989

“A lot of brothers get relief just by knowing that people are out there who care.” – Harold G. Vidal, 639267, H.H. Coffield Unit, 2661 FM 2054, Tennessee Colony, TX 75884

“I share my issues of your newspaper with several other inmates in the unit, thus that ONE issue that I receive is read by many, many others here on Death Row. I and others have enjoyed reading your newspaper for over 20 years now – it is the ONLY paper that dares to report the truth!” – Daniel S. Jenkins, Sr., P.O. Box D-98500, San Quentin State Prison, Death Row, San Quentin, CA 94974

“The San Francisco National Black Newspaper is what keeps me going and keeps my mind focused on what’s important in this world and my community.” – Demetrius Moore, C-56007, P.O. Box 2210, L-2-132L, Susanville, CA 96127-2210

“I’m writing to commend you on the content and success of Bay View. It is always refreshing to behold anything Black-owned. I personally feel that we Black men sometimes reach a point of stagnation where we sometimes believe that we must take only worn paths in order to achieve success. However, Bay View exhibits a much broader range of possibilities. I’m 26 and I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve ever read a newspaper thoroughly and I say that without shame because your paper is stimulating on so many levels. It gives me a delightful mix of politics, pop culture and Black empowerment. I have two years left on a 15-year sentence. My ultimate goal is to be an entrepreneur and thanks to you my goal feels more attainable every day. Continue to inspire, motivate and cultivate. I was wondering if I could possibly receive a free subscription to further your encouragement.” – Nicholas Lawson, 262514, B-113A, Holman Prison Unit, P.O. Box 3700, Atmore, AL 35603

“I am presently in the ‘hole’ writing this brief message for standing up for Black justice and respect. I demand my respect from these KKK, even in the Dirty South. I want to send out a special call to all real true Brothas and Sistas about spending Black and supporting each other. Contribute something in the line of m-o-n-e-y to the Bay View! This is a publication that reports our news. We can’t allow for this progressive Black publication to go down like so many others. With your contribution, Bay View will be able to mail a subscription to one of the millions of Brothas and Sistas trapped behind enemy lines without anything near a fair trial. I love you so much, my dear Brotha and Sista. And all Black power to the new Black man and woman in America who is ready to love Black and create U-N-I-T-Y!!” – Johnny 3X (Harper), 370482, Phillips State Prison, C-2, 2989 W. Rock Quarry Rd., Buford, GA 30519

“I would like to request another free subscription. I don’t have any funds at this time but maybe in the future when I get a job. The paper is such a powerful tool. When I get it, I share it with others and we sit around and debate the issues, teach each other the meanings. It is a powerful way to fellowship. I really miss it!” – David Perryman, A-131204, D4113, Salinas Valley State Prison, 3162 S. Highway 101, P.O. Box 1020, Soledad, CA 93960

“I am an indigent inmate without funds. I truly would appreciate it if you could keep me on your prisoners’ subscription mail-out list. It has been a blessing to be able to have a Black national newspaper that keeps me aware of all the mishaps and tribulations that the Black race around the world must endure daily, year in and year out. Without your Bay View National Black Newspaper, I would be lost and uninformed. I pray that you continue to keep me on your indigent mail-out list.” – Nyles Lawayne Watson, E-83981, CSP-Solano, P.O. Box 4000, 17-227L, Vacaville, CA 95696

“Please allow me to thank everyone for all the moral support and help that you have given to me in the last few years in my working with many young prisoners age 17-30. Yes, the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper has been so helpful to so many incarcerated prisoners and youth in the USA. I am on ‘OG’ prisoner without any family beyond these prison walls and I do not have any outside financial support. I am seeking many outside voices for the incarcerated youth. Many of them will be released from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation without any rehabilitation or help. Above all, we must not allow our youth to be all alone in the world. My cry and question is where is the love for the youth?” – Bobby M. Dixon, C-41652, Minister of Justice of NABPP-PC, P.O. Box 2000, I-218L, CMF (CDCR), Vacaville, CA 95696-2000

“Your paper is my only resource for staying connected with my community. No other paper addresses the issues you all do. Your paper motivates, inspires and gives me hope. It helps me stay focused on the big picture and the struggle and keeps me going. If you all can donate another year’s subscription to me for 2011, I’d be extremely grateful. I’ll apply what I learn from you all to my life and share the papers I receive with other inmates in here.” – Leyon J. Barner, G-00538, Folsom State Prison, P.O. Box 715071, Represa, CA 05671-5071

“I really appreciate your African-conscious paper. We need more people like you. I’m fighting this wicked three-strikes law. I received a life sentence for something that carries nine years at the most. The color of my skin got me this sentence. My God-given spirit will not let me give up fighting for my freedom.” – Anthony Watkin, V-60406, P.O. Box 3466, 3BO2-103L, Corcoran, CA 93212

“To me the Bay View newspaper represents the interests of our community and our whole city. The Bay View news is the spirit of its people. The Bay View is the most informative paper of all times. It has truly earned its place in our lives and in our history! I’d like to say thanks to you, Brother Ratcliff. I have been away from the place of my birth for almost 13 years now and for most of my incarceration off and on over the years, I have been blessed to receive the Bay View. The Bay View newspaper has been my eyes and my ears and the only window in which I can see our city. I have been moving around quite a lot these days from one prison to another. I have become disconnected from the Bay View newspaper. I am asking if at all possible would you place me once again on your mailing list. I realize that these times are hard on small businesses and families. My brother, I would appreciate it if you can send me a Bay View regularly. I would still be grateful to even receive a Bay View newspaper once in a while.” – Leon C. Franklin, K96366, Folsom State Prison, 5-B-BA-107L, P.O. Box 715071, Represa, CA 93671

“I am an American Haitian here in prison. I was given your paper to read. I was very pleased to see all of the coverage of my country. I was impressed to see that you guys really care. I have relatives who have lost their homes but they still have their lives. I kindly ask of you so humbly if you may provide me with a free subscription to your newspaper. I have no money, my family is really struggling and I’m presently on lock down for rebelling against the administration here at the prison. They ordered me to cut my dreadlocks, I refused, so they put me in lockdown. They said I have no hair exemption, which I don’t, but I’m a true Rasta and I’m not cutting my hair.” – Courtland LaPrade, H28358, State Correctional Institution at Smithfield, P.O. Box 999, 1120 Pike St., Huntington, PA 16652

“Recently I received your notice indicating that my San Francisco Bay View subscription is expiring soon and you are correct to state that I don’t want to miss a single issue. However at this time behind enemy lines I am without funds or stamps and would greatly appreciate a renewed subscription through the Prisoner’s Subscription Fund. I will forward your paper some form of payment as my economic status changes. I am a brother from Oakland who is hungry for Black news and inspiration and your paper supplies it! Your paper supports knowledge not perception and this is what our minds, souls and fellowships need in order to be strong, enduring, wise and healthy. I really enjoy your pen pal section featuring sisters behind enemy lines who appear beautiful and wanting of friendship; however, the authorities won’t allow us correspond from institution to institution and this is a handicap for those of us who don’t have family or friends to hook us up. How can this barrier be removed? They allow us to apply for correspondence as not to violate our rights, but they deny us in this process on our end and the ladies’ end. They probably don’t even know we’re trying to write them.” – Kevin S. Jones, R.J. Donovan, F3-12-121L, P.O. Box 799003, San Diego, CA 92179-9003

Bay View editor Mary Ratcliff can be reached at (415) 671-0789 or editor@sfbayviewnews.wpenginepowered.com.