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2016 February

Monthly Archives: February 2016

After nearly 44 years in solitary, Albert Woodfox is freed today on his 69th...

Just moments ago, Albert Woodfox, the last remaining member of the Angola 3 still behind bars, was released from prison 43 years and 10 months after he was first put in a 6-foot-by-9-foot solitary cell for a crime he did not commit. After decades of costly litigation, Louisiana state officials have at last acted in the interest of justice and reached an agreement that brings a long overdue end to this nightmare.

Love and lessons in memory of Comrade Hugo ‘Yogi Bear’ Pinell

Comrade Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell was murdered on Aug. 12, 201, at California’s New Folsom State Prison. He was a veteran and much loved leader of the Prison Movement against oppressive prison and social conditions. On behalf of the New African Black Panther Party‑Prison Chapter (NABPP-PC), I would like to share some thoughts in his honor and memory and also to point out important lessons our movement must learn and carry on from his legacy.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble coming to SF Jazz on March 19

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is one of the most riveting and exciting instrument-playing musical formations specializing in Jazz wit’ a splash of Hip Hop. I talked with trumpet player Gabriel “Huda” Hubert about touring extensively overseas, one of his brothers quitting the band, growing up in a polygamous household, the legalization of marijuana, their upcoming new album, “The Bad Boys of Jazz,” and more.

Don’t disparage the victims of the ‘Grim Sleeper’ murders

Yesterday at the opening of the so-named “Grim Sleeper” trial, prosecutor Beth Silverman laid out what seemed like a strong case against the suspect. But in her opening statement, Silverman painted the victims as “prostitutes” and “crack addicts,” racist and sexist stereotypes that the Black Coalition has had to continuously object to when the police and media used them to dismiss the fact that human beings were being murdered.

Do Black African lives matter to the NBA? Rwanda’s Kagame in Toronto

Why did the NBA All Star Game Weekend celebrate Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, who is known to have launched invasions that cost millions of African lives, and to brutally repress his own people? His appearance inspired indignation and headlines in the Toronto press. Ann Garrison spoke with CIUT-Toronto Taylor Report host Phil Taylor to ask what he thought of this and how it happened.

Hands off Coltrane Church! Eviction imminent – sign the petition

The featured front page story in the Feb. 18 San Francisco Chronicle begins, “The St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church, a uniquely San Franciscan storefront ministry dedicated to the music and preachings of the soulful sax man, is facing eviction and may be gone as soon as Sunday’s sermon ends. Let your voice be heard by signing the petition in full support of the Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church remaining in the West Bay Conference Center.”

Free Leonard Peltier, wrongly imprisoned 40 years

For 40 years, former American Indian Movement (AIM) activist Leonard Peltier has been in the clutches of the U.S. prison system –The Iron House of the whites, as indigenous people call them – on trumped up murder charges. Now, as he suffers poor health and an abdominal aortic aneurism, time is no longer on his side. The aneurism, diagnosed just weeks ago, threatens his very life, so supporters of Leonard are demanding his freedom, so he doesn’t perish in the Iron House.

In defense of Beyoncé’s Black Panther tribute at the Super Bowl

I am writing this from the Bay Area, where tent cities are now slowly re-forming under bridges, and where there is still a palpable buzz about Beyoncé’s performance in the Super Bowl halftime show (sorry, Coldplay). In fact, it’s a topic with far more currency here than the actual dud of a game, and for good reason. This is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in the Bay Area.

Longtime Fillmore-Western Addition artist Eugene White gets fresh recognition

Artist Eugene White hails from southwestern Arkansas but has worked quietly in his studio and gallery along the 21-Hayes line for over 50 years. Lately, he’s had some overdue attention as one of the few remaining Black artists to live and work in San Francisco: He’s featured in an installation at the newly redesigned Buchanan Mall, where he’s honored with a portrait and a listening station delivering his untold story.

Burundi: Western interests masked as African solutions

Most Western press judged the African Union harshly for its refusal to send troops to Burundi without Burundi’s consent. However, the A.U. troop deployment was never an African solution to African problems. It was always a Western solution to the West’s problem with Burundi’s current government. Black Agenda Report Editor Glen Ford said that Western nations pay most of the A.U.’s bills, so A.U. troops often do serve Western interests, but this time the West had pushed too hard.

On Beyoncé’s In_Formation Day, Haiti revelers celebrate slaying Carnival King

By ourselves, we disenfranchised Haitians took down the fake elections and U.S. puppet president, Michel Martelly. He left on Superbowl 50, Feb. 7 – the day Beyoncé set off a politically charged “Formation,” unapologetically Black. America’s most powerful artist dressed her dancers in Afros and Black Panther leather outfits and got in (Malcolm) X formation, Black fists raised up. Banm sèt kout kouto – bring it! she said.

Sensory deprivation is depravity

From within and beyond the $100,000 8-by-14-foot steel and stone sensory deprivation cell that is designed for my mental, physical and social dehumanization, I bring to you this letter of concern regarding the adverse effects of long-term sensory deprivation. Upon seeing me for the first time in over a year, a fellow prisoner shook my hand and then proceeded to put both arms around me to embrace me.

Why Hillary Clinton doesn’t deserve the Black vote

The love affair between Black folks and the Clintons has been going on for a long time. It began back in 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president. What have the Clintons done to earn such devotion? Did they take extreme political risks to defend the rights of African Americans? Did they courageously stand up to right-wing demagoguery about Black communities? Did they help usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization, globalization and the disappearance of work? No. Quite the opposite.

The art of painter Paul Lewin

I was recently introduced to the visual artistry of Paul Lewin at this year’s Black Comix Arts Festival that was held at the SF Main Library and at the Yerba Buena. His pictures are very modern but depict scenes from lives lived centuries ago, and they are rich with detail. They are sort of like a time capsule. I want to expose the Bay View readership to this master painter who lives locally. Check him out in his own words.

End prison slavery in Texas now!

In Texas we know that we are being exploited, mistreated, degraded and abused. Many prisoners in Texas are content with the modern day slave plantation system, which is managed and operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. However, many prisoners are not content; in fact they are frustrated and angry. The strategies utilized by prisoners in other states that have similar conditions to Texas don’t necessarily apply here.

Beyoncé wins the Super Bowl: Pop legend invokes Black Panthers, #BlackLivesMatter at halftime show

More than 100 million people tuned in to watch Super Bowl 50 Sunday night. In addition to seeing the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers, viewers also witnessed one of the most political halftime shows in the Super Bowl’s history as the legendary singer Beyoncé paid tribute to the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter movement. Her dancers posted a photo on Instagram holding a sign reading “Justice for Mario Woods.”

Fake housing crisis: From Bayview to Baltimore, public housing kept empty while thousands are...

Building after building, block after block from the Bayview to Baltimore and from Sunnydale to East Oakland, the last vestige of so-called public – that is, government owned – housing in the richest country in the world lie dormant. Boarded up, locked, gated and shut – each apartment equipped with two, three and four bedrooms, one or two bathrooms and full kitchens.

Jose LaCrosby, stylist to the stars, entrepreneur extraordinaire

Mr. Jose LaCrosby, a nationally-recognized African-American hairdresser in San Francisco, passed away on Jan. 29, 2016, in hospice care at the San Francisco VA Hospital. He was 89 years old. He is survived by his son and daughter, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Mr. LaCrosby lived in the Fillmore-Western Addition for 58 years. Black Homes Matter Memorial Rally to honor Mr. Jose La Crosby’s legacy Wednesday, Feb. 10, 4-5 p.m., at Mercy Housing

Bay View founding publisher: I was inspired by Malcolm, Martin, Elijah and the 1966...

Muhammad al-Kareem founded the New Bayview newspaper, later renamed San Francisco Bay View, in 1976 and turned it over to the Ratcliffs in late 1991. So in 2016, we’re excited to be celebrating the newspaper’s 40th anniversary, beginning on Sunday, Feb. 21, 1-5 p.m., at the Main Library, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco. You’ll hear Muhammad, a panel consisting of writers associated with the Bay View in different eras, a fashion show and musicians reminding us of the beauty and talent within our community. We’ll serve food, too – and it’s all FREE. Spread the word!

Beyoncé’s Super Bowl dancers demand ‘Justice 4 Mario Woods’

Twenty-four hours after she dropped “Formation,” one of the most political music videos in recent memory, Beyoncé took the halftime stage at Super Bowl 50 and gave a riveting, Black Panther-themed performance while her crew of Black female performers donned black berets and leather body suits. Some of Beyoncé’s dancers took a moment to pose with a “Justice 4 Mario Woods” sign, living the role of the Black Panthers that their costumes portray.