Trump declares war on the media: Build the Bay View to fight back

by SF Bay View Development Committee

For the last 40 years, the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper has stayed true to its mission: to seek justice and give voice and opportunities to those with no way to tell their own stories. Since long before the mainstream media was willing to acknowledge the reality of mass incarceration, systemic racism and economic inequality, the Bay View has been challenging the dominant narrative by amplifying the voices of people on the margins of society, particularly Black people, poor people and prisoners.

Oakland-Freedom-School-Ida-B.-Wells-class-Olaniyah-Eaglin-reads-SFBV-their-primary-textbook-0810-by-Reginald-James-TheBlackHour.com_-290x300, Trump declares war on the media: Build the Bay View to fight back, News & Views
In the Oakland Freedom School Ida B. Wells class in the summer of 2010, Olaniyah Eaglin reads the Bay View, their primary textbook. – Photo: Reginald James, now Rasheed Shabazz, their teacher

We know that now, more than ever, independent media like the Bay View is in danger as the Trump administration has declared “war with the news media.”

In order for the Bay View to continue speaking truth to the abusers of power, we need your financial contribution.

The Bay View is deeply entrenched as a voice and resource in some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in our region, like our Bayview Hunters Point community in hyper-gentrified San Francisco. The paper has been committed to remaining accessible to its community, both locally and throughout the nation, by providing the printed 24-page paper at no cost on the street; subscriptions are $2 per month.

While the Bay View maintains a vibrant online presence, printing the paper is critical to serve those in the Bay Area who have no access to the internet, as well as the thousands of prisoners nationwide who regularly rely on the Bay View.

“I want to personally thank you for giving us a voice, while exposing the oppression and injustice that we deal with daily. Your newspaper really helps me realize that in order to change your life, you have to change your mind. And it also gives me the strength to go on striving for me and my fellow brothers in the struggle.” – Prisoner in Alabama 2015

“I’m in love with the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper. It gives me purpose to overcome all struggle life throws my way as an African American. I like to read up on my history and learn as much as I can.” – Prisoner in California 2016

“The veracity, research and determination of the paper is hands down liberation to the oppressed and those denied justice.” – Prisoner in South Carolina 2014

Anthony-Robinson-Jr.-with-Bay-View-paper-0115-web-cropped-279x300, Trump declares war on the media: Build the Bay View to fight back, News & Views
Anthony Robinson Jr., a California prisoner and brilliant writer who contributes often to the Bay View, spent years in a Mississippi private prison where he was sent when Gov. Jerry Brown, to avoid releasing prisoners, “complied” with a court order to cut the prison population by transferring thousands out of state. While there, he was the only Californian working with the Free Alabama Movement to plan the current campaign to end prison slavery.

The Bay View has been able to accomplish these feats amidst years of political repression; they are consistently censored by prisons in California and nationally for speaking truth to the abusers of power. They stand strong and committed in an ever-dwindling field of independent journalism, thanks to the fierce efforts of the publisher and editor, Dr. Willie and Mary Ratcliff, along with countless volunteers and donors. Unfortunately, the Ratcliffs are also experiencing the devastation of hyper-gentrification: rent increases, loss of paid work and rising costs.

Despite all these challenges, their commitment to the SF Bay View’s mission remains strong – but they need your support.

Each month the printing and mailing costs of the paper are significant, over $5,000, which does not include the cost of running the office and paying a support staff. We are aiming to raise $100,000 by spring of 2017 for the Bay View. This funding would allow them to continue to print and mail the paper to their subscribers without raising the cost of subscriptions, as well as the opportunity to hire on local people to build a full publishing and editorial team.

Will you donate toward this crucial source of independent media?

We thank you for your time and consideration.

SF Bay View Development Committee: Katie Tertocha, Jamie Weinstein and Jahahara Alkebulan-Ma’at

Contact the SF Bay View Development Committee at