Third Street Stroll …

by Rochelle Metcalfe

Steph-Riley-Curry-press-conf-after-NBA-Finals-win-052715-300x197, Third Street Stroll ..., Culture Currents
Riley Curry wants you to know she’s rooting for daddy. The May 27 game that cinched the Finals was the 2-year-old’s second scene-stealing press conference appearance. – Photo: KNBR video

BRING EM’ ON! HOW SWEET IT IS! The GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS are making their FIRST NBA Finals appearance in 40 years, beating The Rockets, advance to FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP series since 1975, ready to beat LEBRON JAMES and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Last time Warriors’ great AL ATTLES led the team, AND live to see the day the young Warriors are destined to repeat history!

FATHERS MATTER! June 21, designated Fathers Day, BUT, then, EVERY DAY should be Fathers Day! Good Fathers, STAND UP AND BE COUNTED!!!

STROLLIN’ on 3-street – CHECK out COMMUNITY TUESDAYS at the fine establishment of RADIO AFRICA and Kitchen, located at the corner of Third and Oakdale, 5-9 p.m. Special events have been going on since early May.

Popular event planner, MS MEAGAN MITCHELL, coordinates the programming, that include FREE WIFI, and reasonably priced two-course pre-fixe menu. Community groups and others are invited to share their talents, offering to make the scene a good hang, and meet and greet beautiful people!

Musicians-Sam-Peoples-Charles-Under-Chef-Eskender-Aseged-C-0515-by-Rochelle-300x225, Third Street Stroll ..., Culture Currents
Outside his restaurant, Radio Africa and Kitchen, at Third and Oakdale, is the main man, Chef Eskender Aseged, flanked by musicians Sam Peoples and Charles Under. – Photo: Rochelle Metcalfe

The night I stopped in, LIVE JAZZ sounds of recording saxophonist CHARLES UNGER and keyboardist SAM PEOPLES, laying down smooth rhythms that gave many of us a lift! In all honesty, the Black strip is DEAD – need live music!

Delightful owner-chef ESKENDER ASEGED desires to bring more activities and extended hours of operation to the spacious room (convenient transportation stop in front of the restaurant). The African inspired menu is delicious – Ethiopian flavor. Dinner served Wednesday through Saturday evenings.

The well-traveled Unger, “MR. 2 a.m.,” title of one of his hot CDs, booked frequently to perform in Europe, Surprised to discover he’s a talented artist, that evening showing his latest creative works that enhanced the walls in brilliant, vivid colors that brightened the room, and featured during this month. A Tuesday PLUS! AND meet CHEF ASEGED, whom I’m always trying to get to book LIVE MUSIC, at least once a week – Fridays!

Happy to mingle in conversation with the likes of artist THOMAS TANDY (sorry, missed his show the week before), dynamic vocalist ABDUL-KENYATTA.

MOVING ON – It was a cloudy, chilly day, but did not deter those out for MALCOLM X DAY, celebrated May 17, at The People’s Plaza, Third and Palou, coordinated by BILAL MAFUNDI ALI, SYLVIA ROREM and MESHA IRIZARRY and JEREMY MILLER of the IDRISS STELLY Foundation. There’s been an overall effort to make MALCOLM X – EL HAJJ MALIK EL SHABAZZ – BIRTHDAY AN OFFICIAL HOLIDAY.

Malcolm-X-Day-Jabari-Shaw-Mesha-Bilal-Ali-in-Kenneth-Harding-Plaza-051715-by-Rochelle-web-300x225, Third Street Stroll ..., Culture Currents
Mesha Irizarry, who lost her only child, Idriss Stelley, to a police murder in 2001, and Bilal Ali, right, organized Malcolm X Day at Third and Palou, which featured Jabari Shaw, left, well known advocate for justice, whose car was rammed by U.S. Marshals and officers from OPD and the FBI in March, causing severe injuries to him, his friend, who may never walk again, and his little daughter. – Photo: Rochelle Metcalfe
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Legendary Black Panther Kiilu Nyasha, the keynote speaker, and comrade, also a former Panther, Terry Collins, the head man at historic Black radio station KPOO 89.5 FM (or, enjoy Malcolm X Day in what many call Kenneth Harding Plaza for the 19-year-old murdered there by SFPD in 2011. – Photo: Rochelle Metcalfe

The rally remembered the MAN, CELEBRATED with live music – several rappers performed, guest speakers included BAYVIEW PUBLISHER DR. WILLIE RATCLIFF and a lady I greatly admire – keynote speaker KIILU NYASHA, host, Cable 29’s “Freedom is a Constant Struggle.”

Malcolm X Day San Francisco celebrates the life, works, ideology and leadership of a man whose relevance to American society remains as powerful and important today as it was during his lifetime.

THE KING IS GONE! R.I.P. B.B. KING. It was sad to hear BLUES ICON, guitarist, singer, B.B. KING passed in Las Vegas the evening of May 14, at his home where he was under hospice care. He was 89. King suffered from complications of diabetes, but managed to live with it under control for many years. Several PUBLIC memorial services were held in Las Vegas.


About three years ago, President BARACK OBAMA and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a Blues concert at the White House. King and several well-known Blues musicians performed, one Buddy Guy. At the end of the evening, President Obama surprised many when singing “Sweet Home Chicago” with B.B. and a hit! President acknowledged on King’s passing, “The Blues has lost its King, and America has lost a legend”!

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BB King sings the Blues

Like many, I was touched by the MAN, BUT the THRILL remains through his many recorded hits since stepping into the Blues spotlight, “THE THRILL IS GONE,” a hit in 1970, a time when rock and pop audience discovered him and his refined, majestic soulful, gritty, funky, soul drenched sound, expressing pain, sorrow, lyrics about lost love, shoutin’, cocked his head side to side, a big smile, stroking his constant companion LUCILLE – his guitar, now silenced.

Born Riley B. King to sharecroppers, Sept. 16, 1925, in Berclair, Mississippi, a hamlet outside the small town of Itta Bena in the Mississippi Delta, picked cotton, sang on street corners for dimes in his youth, a stint as DJ on radio station WDIA based in Memphis, Tenn., before embracing the music as his life, traveling throughout the South, CHITLIN’ circuit. Not only the South but his music was a hit in URBAN cities. Blacks gravitated to his funky foot pattin’, heart wrenching blues – feeling his emotions, matched their own in situations like breaking up relationships.

B.B.’s old school style started appealing to White audiences – he performed here in San Francisco at the FILLMORE AUDITORIUM, booked by BILL GRAHAM, during the hippy craze, white men wore long hair. Much to B.B.’s shock, thought he was in the wrong place!

“The Blues has lost its King, and America has lost a legend”!

When talking about young Black audiences of the early 1960s, he was quoted as saying, “They didn’t know about the Blues. They had been taught that the Blues was the bottom of the totem pole, done by slaves, and they didn’t want to think along those lines.”

This writer never had the honor to meet The KING in person but The GOOD TIMES will roll when flipping a vinyl, CD or digital, and fond memories of a TRUE SUPERSTAR!


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