San Francisco Black Film Festival director Kali O’Ray and SF Bay View associate editor JR Valrey are making a movie about the Bay View’s 40-year history of liberation journalism. It’s a work in progress, and here’s the first trailer. Tell us what you think.
by The People’s Minister of Information JR
We want to invite everyone reading this who is a friend of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper to our 40th anniversary party for the Bay View, the most radical Black newspaper in the country. It’s a free event on Sunday, Feb. 21, 1-5 p.m., at the Main Library, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco.
The Bay View was founded in 1976 by Muhammad al-Kareem to pull together the economic power of Black businesses in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood. Fifteen years later, when the newspaper was bought by the Ratcliff family, it expanded on that focus to also include fighting for City construction contracts at the SF International Airport, along Third Street for Muni light rail or to rebuild the Bayview Library.
The newspaper also started to include stories fighting police terrorism, from the police murders of Aaron Williams, Idriss Stelley, Gus Rugley, Casper Banjo and Gary King to Oscar Grant, Lovelle Mixon, Kenneth Harding, Mario Woods and far too many more. We demanded justice when Baby Finsta, hundreds of children at Thurgood Marshall High School, Nadra Foster, Rashida Petrovich and others were brutalized by police. And the Bay View fought environmental racism and shut down PG&E’s Hunters Point power plant, and we’re still fighting it at the radioactive Hunters Point Shipyard and Treasure Island.
The Bay View has also had a lot to do with building on the local Hip Hop culture, helping to spread news about the careers of artists like Askari X, Big Herm, RBL, Kevin Epps, Malik and Karen Seneferu, Eesuu, Mac Mall, dead prez, Erykah Badu, Kev Choice, Dj Leydis, Paris, Mos Def, the Mechanix, D Labrie, Sista Iminah, Stoney Creation and with a host of others.
The Bay View has also featured filmmakers like the late great Sam Greenlee of “The Spook Who Sat by the Door,” Isilda Hurst of “Njinga: Queen of Angola,” and Stanley Nelson, creator of the Panther doc “Vanguard of the Revolution.”
We were among few newspapers when we reported on the murders of political activist and grandson of Malcolm X, El Hajj Malcolm Shabazz, in Mexico City, police sponsored drug dealer Larry Davis, “Dark Alliance” author Gary Webb and the Bay Area conscious street rapper the Jacka in Oakland.
Within the pages of the SF Bay View newspaper, you have heard the voices of political prisoners like Mumia Abu Jamal, Mondo we Langa, Mutulu Shakur, Jalil Muntquim, Imam Jamil Al-Amin, Rashid Johnson, Mutope Duguma, Bomani Shakur, Aaron Patterson, Chief Malik and others.
You have also heard from the international voices of movers and shakers like those on the ground and frontlines fighting against imperialism and corruption in Haiti, the Congo, Colombia, Venezuela, Libya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Nigeria, Cuba, Brazil, Zimbabwe and more.
We have a lot more to celebrate – especially since the Bay View is not dead, but still kicking with life.
Food will be served. The 40th anniversary of the Bay View will include a short speech from the founding publisher, a panel consisting of writers associated with the Bay View in different eras, a fashion show hosted by Big Ole Pretty Girls founder Yolanda Y’Netta, and musicians Avotcja, Stoney Creation and Sista Iminah reminding us of the beauty and talent within our community.
Come one, come all and let’s celebrate 40 years of the most radical Black newspaper in the country, the SF Bay View newspaper. This event is being organized by The SF Bay View newspaper, BlockReportRadio.com and the SF Main Library.
The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’“ and “Unfinished Business: Block Reportin’ 2“ and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe“ and “Block Reportin’ 101,” available, along with many more interviews, at www.blockreportradio.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.