Review by the People’s Minister of Information JR
The 15th Annual San Francisco Black Film Festival was a huge success with hundreds in attendance. Some of the headlining films included documentaries on Iceberg Slim and Sly from the Family Stone. Both of these films were well anticipated and did not let the audience down. Other films of note were “Tokens,” “Love Deferred” and “Against the Grain.”
Some of the highlights besides the cinema of the film festival were the “Director’s Lounge,” which was located at the twins Melanie and Melorra’s gallery on Fillmore. Paris and Natasha of “She Is Relevant Media” hosted the talk sessions with the directors, and Ken Johnson filmed it all.
Some of the Frisco celebrities at the festival were filmmaker Kevin Epps, publicist Jacquie Taliaferro, Antoine “Soda Pop” Goff and more.
Shout out to the Jazz Heritage Center and the African American Arts and Cultural Complex for hosting the SF Black Film Fest. And shout out to Katerra and Kali O’Ray for organizing this festival since the passing of Ave Montague, the festival’s founder. We are definitely looking forward to next year’s festivities.
Tupac Shakur’s 42nd birthday was celebrated in style with a number of revolutionary and reality rap legends in the Fillmore celebrating him 17 years after his assassination in Las Vegas in ‘96. Co-founder and Chairman of the Black Panther Party Bobby Seale opened up the evening with a lesson dealing with the founding of the Black Panther Party. The people had to know that before Tupac had parties, there was the Black Panther Party that gave him his mental and political foundation.
Next there was a host of new performers from the Bay, including Double O and Fana, who was introduced by Tupac’s first manager, Leila Steinberg. Next CMG and Marvaless took the stage. Both of these women are giants in Bay Area rap. This was the first time many of us fans have seen CMG of the Conscious Daughters since her rhyme partner Special 1 passed away in December of 2011. Marvaless and CMG took the Pac party to the next level.
The next MC of the night was Mistah F.A.B. who came up to the mic and read a Pac inspired poem. Then he proceeded to rock like people wanted him too. Last but not least Money B, of the groups Digital Underground and M.A.S.K., gave the people a feel of the type of “Dowutchalike” parties that made Pac fall in love with rap.
The night ended peacefully with everybody smiling, looking forward to next year’s Tupac jam. This event was a benefit for the National Alumni Association of the Black Panther Party. Shout out to Bobby McCall, Money B and Steve Long for organizing it.
The People’s Minister of Information JR is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’” and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe” and “Block Reportin’ 101,” available, along with many more interviews, at www.blockreportradio.com. He also hosts two weekly shows on KPFA 94.1 FM and kpfa.org: The Morning Mix every Wednesday, 8-9 a.m., and The Block Report every other Friday night-Saturday morning, midnight-2 a.m. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.