Monthly Archives: August 2016
It’s a hectic afternoon at Diamond Hair Studio on Ocean Avenue in the Ingleside district of San Francisco. Bridget Miller, the salon’s owner and master stylist, moves in between her hair work station, to the sink, to the dryer, working on three clients in a matter of minutes. “It’s a busy day, but we make things happen at this shop,” said Miller. “Doing hair is my passion, and at Diamond Hair we aim to please and work our magic.”
On the surface, the recent “retirement” of the wardens from two of California’s women’s facilities appears to be a needed move in an effort to reform California’s violent correctional system. While many Californians are just beginning to agree that our Department of Corrections does more harm than good, many legal advocates and anti-prison activists have been fighting to make that very point from both inside and out of prison for years.
The purpose of the Black Elders Fund of Oakland is to serve local elders in need and or purely on the basis of merit, to support them and the work they’re doing, help them with present day needs, provide services for them, rides and financial aid, do errands, check up on them and collect and archive their stories, recipes and wisdom for the community and the diaspora.
Breaking historical silence to heal from historical wounds: Remembering the 1966 Hunters Point Uprising
During the fall of 1966, racial and economic disparity exploded into a violent three-day conflict between local and state law enforcement, the National Guard and the Black community of Bayview Hunters Point after the fatal killing of 16 year-old African-American youth Matthew Johnson by white police officer Alvin Johnson. This left a deep wound adding to the historical trauma experienced by African-Americans. Now more than ever it is time for us to tell our stories. Join the conversation at the Linda Brooks Burton Library on the 50th anniversary of the BVHP Uprising.
In a joint collaboration to spread the joys of breastfeeding, Loving Moments by Leading Lady partnered with the fourth annual Black Breastfeeding Week event by donating nursing bras to participating breastfeeding organizations across the country. Black Breastfeeding Week is a week-long event Aug. 25-31 at the end of National Breastfeeding Month, which celebrates and advocates the health benefits and personal empowerment of breastfeeding.
The Ashker decision was great, the five core demands are all good, but how come we are not writing our own regulations and attacking the “STG” scheme in totality? We know from its inception it was designed to isolate and entrap prisoners with the God given talent to awaken the prisoner class to the exploits of the system and provide those willing to organize for change with practical alternatives to prison enslavement.
The Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People and Families Movement 1st National Conference is coming...
Of the millions of people imprisoned in the U.S., most will return home someday – but to what? Barriers to finding a place to live or earning a living – or merely surviving – surround formerly incarcerated people like prison walls. We’re organizing The Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People and Families Movement 1st National Conference in Oakland to come together and find ways to break down those walls.
Sometime in the early 19th century, former United States President Thomas Jefferson stated, “Unchecked power twisted white men’s characters.” Since he was a slave owner and an oppressor, he should know what he speaks about! Here in the early 21st century, it still seems that within the hands of America’s criminal justice system as a whole, unchecked power has indeed “twisted” certain white people’s characters.
On 1 Mosiah (August), thousands of Pan Afrikanists from around England, Europe, the Afrikan continent, the Caribbean, Australia and other former colonies like West Papua – accompanied by billions of our Afrikan forbearers! – assembled in London for major mass actions. In this, the Annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March, the themes of “Stop the Maangamizi: We charge genocide and ecocide” and “Demand reparatory justice and reparations” united all.
Beni Territory is a vivid example of the phrase, “Everybody wants a piece of Congo.” Beni Territory is rich in oil, timber, gold, diamonds, wolfram, coltan and cassiterite. Now the people of Beni are being massacred for their land and its riches. KPFA’s Ann Garrison filed this report after speaking to a Congolese human rights defender and author of “Congolese Genocides from Leopold II to Paul Kagame,” Boniface Musavuli.
On Aug. 4, 2016, Oakland-based firm 360 Total Concept teamed with Uber Technologies for an outreach event to maximize local business participation as the ride-sharing company prepares to expand its headquarters to Oakland. This was the second event in the series of connector sessions for local firms and Uber, also featuring the project developer, Lane Partners.
A proposal by HUD and the Obama administration that is allegedly meant to combat segregation and break up concentrations of poverty actually threatens Section 8 renters (Housing Choice Voucher holders) – the elderly, poor and disabled – with higher rents and eviction. It has many Section 8 tenants worried about their future in the Bay Area, New York and elsewhere.
Lots of people are up in arms asserting you are unpatriotic if you refuse to stand for the Star Spangled Banner. We see this playing out with Colin Kaepernick. People like to romanticize about how it’s an expression of pride for this beloved country. How many of y’all patriots know we only sing one verse to that song? How many of y’all know the other verses are about hunting down slaves? The song is about recapturing slaves who tried to run away and even fought against their masters to escape bondage during the War of 1812. But Colin needs to stand and sing that song? Yeah, right.
“Kaepernick’s action was a righteous protest against the epidemic of racism and police brutality in this country,” said Gloria La Riva. “As a socialist and proud, long-time resident of San Francisco, I salute the stand taken by SF 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem at Friday night’s game. La Riva spoke from her San Francisco office in California where she is running for U.S. president as the Peace and Freedom Party candidate.
On Friday, Sept. 9, on the 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising in New York, prisoners are calling for a general strike across all prisons in the United States against prison slavery. As the initial call out for the strike stated: “Slavery is alive and well in the prison system, but by the end of this year, it won’t be anymore. ... This is a call for a nationwide prisoner work stoppage to end prison slavery, starting on Sept. 9, 2016. They cannot run these facilities without us.”
While two heavily armed police officers stood directly across the street watching us, a group of the most impacted, unhoused, criminalized, injured, disabled, Black, Brown, Trans and Indigenous peoples gathered to demand a 90-day moratorium on the killing of our Black, Brown, disabled and unhoused residents of this city and all cities struggling with the ongoing murder of our children, youth, elders and families.
Last week the U.S. helped its Saudi pals bomb another hospital and school in Yemen. Don’t imagine that its intentions are any more humanitarian in Burundi just because they’re not selling fighter bomber jets and guided bombs to their pal Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s president for life. Kagame is intent on bringing down President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government in Burundi, as Saudi sheikhs are intent on bringing down the Houthi government in Yemen.
Over the past week Donald Trump has been giving all sorts of speeches where he’s telling Black and Brown folks what he will be doing for us if he gets elected. Now most of us know Trump is full of shyt, and while his remarks have gotten folks talking and many more laughing, he inadvertently does raise a few questions. For those who are voting for Hillary Clinton, one should ask, “What is she putting on the table?” The answer should be more than “she won’t be as bad as Trump.” What exactly is she promising that folks can hang their hats on?
Sexually abused children have to live with the pain and trauma of the abuse forever! With so many new cases of Bay Area police officers involved with the current underage sex scandal, it is important to educate the community on the effects sexual abuse has on the psyche of a minor. We need to protect our children from predators like these officers and any monster who believes it is OK to have sexual relations with a minor.
Mary Lee Wilson is a native of Texas, born Sept. 16, 1916, in Refugio, Texas, where her early years were spent. Her family later relocated to Corpus Christi, Texas, where she met and married the love of her life, Curtis L. Wilson Sr., and to that union six children were born. They relocated the family to San Francisco, California, in the late ‘40s, where she was very active in the community in which she lived, reaching out to all in need and known to all as Ms. Mary Lee.