Wanda’s Picks for February 2018

by Wanda Sabir

Dr.-Espanola-Jackson-Day, Wanda’s Picks for February 2018, Culture Currents
Join the community in honoring the Mother of Bayview Hunters Point, Dr. Espanola Jackson, on her day, Jan. 9, and vow to carry on her legacy of fighting for fairness.

Black Women Rising

Happy Birthday, Sister Sadie Williams, who will be 94 this month. Happy Birthday, Fred, my brother, who will still be younger than me (smile). And Happy Birthday to Paradise Free Jah Love, my friend for a long time. Jubilee and felicitations to all born this month.

28th Annual Celebration of African Americans and Their Poetry

Imagine, 28 years of poetry and these years have been some pretty marvelous ones. Drop by for the free event Feb. 3, 1-4 p.m., at the West Oakland Branch Library, 1801 Adeline St., Oakland. We will have our veterans and new poets reflect on the theme this year, “Resiliency.” A couple of our featured poets are behind enemy lines, like Adisa Kamara, who is held at San Quentin State Prison and Donald “C-Note” Hooker (K94063) in Lancaster, Calif. Hooker is a member of the artist collective darealprisonart: Shedding light on injustice everywhere.

Black Choreographers Festival: Here and Now

The African and African American Performing Arts Coalition and K*Star*Productions present the Black Choreographers Festival: Here and Now, showcasing “new voices, new works,” Feb. 17 through March 4, Saturdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. on all dates. It begins at Dance Mission Theatre, 3316 24th St., San Francisco, Feb. 17-18, with, among others, Delina Patrice Brooks, Alex Diaz, Ashley Gayle and Noah James, Kai Hazelwood, Joslynn Mathis Reed, Nkechi Njaka on Saturday only, Christopher Scarver, Natalya Shoaf on Saturday only, Dazaun Soleyn, Jamie Wright on Sunday only.

The festival then moves Feb. 24-25 to SAFEhouse Arts, 145 Eddy St. in San Francisco, and features Shawn Hawkins, Cherie Hill and Christopher Scarver.

In March, BCF is in Oakland at Laney College, 900 Fallon St. in Oakland, Mar. 3-4, and features Delina Patrice Brooks on Sunday only, Alex Diaz, Chris Evans with Byb Chanel Bibene on Sunday only, Ashley Gayle and Noah James, Joslynn Mathis Reed on Saturday only, Natalya Shoaf on Saturday only, Dazaun Soleyn, Phylicia Stroud, Latanya D. Tigner and Meagan Uriah Wells. For more info, visit bcfhereandnow.com.

Tickets are: $10-$25 and can be purchased online at the following links:

Espanola Jackson Day

Celebrate Dr. Espanola Jackson Day on her birthday, Feb. 9, with the San Francisco Bayview Hunters Point community. We take this opportunity to honor the memory of Espanola as a community leader during Black History Month. For details of the event, which will be held in the Alex Pitcher Room at the Southeast Community Center, go to the Facebook and register your RSVP online with Eventbrite. For more information, contact Espanola’s daughter, Gwendolyn Jackson-Fagan, at 415-706-6715, or Lin Robertson, MPA, a friend of the family and community advocate, at lin.tlcm@gmail.com. All are welcome. Spread the word.

On the fly

SF Indie Festival is Feb. 1-15, in San Francisco at the Roxie and Victoria theatres. Listen to Jeff Ross, SF Indie founder, on Wanda’s Picks Radio, Jan. 26, 2018, reflect on 20 years of film old and new, and those with African Diaspora themes; “Black Panther: the Film” opens Feb. 16 in the Bay! Make sure you dress in those kinte robes, gowns, golden crowns. Read more at BAM.

Stanley Nelson, director, has done it again with his latest airing Feb. 19 on PBS.org, “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historic Black Colleges and Universities.” Check the time. Black History Month Programming on KQED and World February 2018. Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew, directed by Jade King Carroll, and featuring Margo Hall as Faye, Lance Gardner as Reggie, Tristan Cunningham as Shanita, Christian Thompson as Dez, is at Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley, 397 Miller Ave., through Feb. 18. The play then goes to TheatreWorks Silicon Valley in Palo Alto. Contact 415-388-5208 or boxoffice@marintheatre.org. What happens when the world as you know is about to end? See what happens to the skeleton crew as one by one they have watched the other factory workers picked off until they are all that is left and soon they will be laid off too. Listen to a Jan. 24 interview with actress Tristan Cunningham (starts at 1:00), whose character Shanita is pregnant and cannot imagine her child’s future if she loses her job.

Lorraine Hansberry Theatre: Bringing the Art to Bay Area Audiences (BATA) has two works, “Drinking Gourd” by Lorraine Hansberry and “The Long Long Ride” by Brian Thorstenson this month. Both are directed by Aldo Billingslea. Thorstenson’s play is at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2 p.m., and Hansberry’s Monday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m., at Shogun Studios, 1201 University Ave. in Berkeley. Both are free performances. The 22nd Annual Art of Living Black opens at the Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Ave. Opening reception is Saturday, Feb. 3, and the exhibit runs through March 8. Visit http://richmondartcenter.org/exhibitions/22nd-annual-the-art-of-living-black/ or call 510-620-6772. Donald Lacy’s “ColorStruck 2018” is at Laney College Theatre, Feb. 1-3, 8 p.m. Black History Months Events at Ashkenaz run Feb. 1-28.

Robert Moses’ Kin 23rd Home Season features the world premiere of Bootstrap Tales

Choreographed by Robert Moses and inspired by The Bootstrap Program, the company’s new outreach initiative with San Francisco foster youth and street musicians, the event is Feb. 23-25 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater. For tickets, which are $19-$55, visit https://ybca.org/whats-on/robert-moses-kin-2018. To listen to an interview with Mr. Moses on Wanda’s Picks Radio Show, visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wandas-picks/2018/01/24/wandas-picks-radio.

Patrice Cullors and asha Bandele

Patrice-Khan-Cullors-Wanda-at-KPFA-book-event-1st-Congregational-Church-012518-by-Wanda-web-300x225, Wanda’s Picks for February 2018, Culture Currents
The passion and strategy of Black Lives Matter comes to life when Patrice Khan-Cullors, one of its three co-founders, discusses her book, “When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir,” as she did at a KPFA event on Jan. 25 at the First Congregational Church in Oakland. – Photo: Wanda Sabir

KPFA hosted Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, in conversation with Cat Brooks, Oakland BLM, co-host, UpFront, on a rainy Thursday, Jan. 25, at First Congregational Church of Oakland. It was a wonderful evening of political ideas and great conversation. The audience questions were thoughtful and moved Cullors, who gave those present a visceral context for why BLM says no to state violence in the guise of public safety. Her story is riddled with instances of state violence, psychological and physical. BLM is the result of hers not mattering at all.

Before she sits down, she begins by reading from the introduction to her book. It provides a context. This passage lets her audience know that no matter how rocky the terrain or scary the outlook, we are magical because what’s at the center of stars is also at the center of our DNA, according to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, a Black man.

Since the state’s business is to treat certain citizens as if they do not matter, what Khan-Cullors does is restore the broken parts, mend the fissures. Her book, “When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir,” is an intimate tour of her community replicated multiple times throughout America. Under siege, Cullors shows how language shapes social values. We have to realize before she starts that we are not the terrorists and Black lives matter to her.

Alameda Island Poets monthly free reading features Amos White and Wanda Sabir

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Amos White

Alameda Island Poets monthly free reading, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 7-9 p.m., at the Frank Bette Center, 1601 Paru St., celebrates Black History Month featuring local poets Amos White and Wanda Sabir. After features, light refreshments and open mic, we pass the hat.

Amos White is an awarded American haiku poet and author, producer, director and activist, recognized for his vivid literary imagery and breathless poetic interpretations. Amos is published in several national and international reviews and anthologies. He is founder and host of the Heart of the Muse creative salon, executive producer and host of Beyond Words: Jazz+Poetry show, producer the Oakland Haiku and Poetry Festival, president and chair of Bay Area Generations literary readings series and board member with Rhythmix Cultural Works.​ Visit www.about.me/amoswhite www.facebook.com/amoswhitehaiku.

Wanda Sabir, recently appointed to the Alameda County Advisory Board for Realignment, also serves as board member for the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, where she participates on legal visiting teams. She is a depth psychologist, college professor, journalist and scholar. Her interests are violence prevention, trauma and trauma healing. She is a trained facilitator for Alternatives to Violence (AVP) and Restorative Justice practices as well as Healing from Ancestral and Historic Traumas. She is also trained in theatre for social justice, such as Boal Theatre. She believes in the transformative power of art in all its forms and looks for the fissures within and without the standing structures where truth can escape.

Wanda hosted and organized “Poetic Protest 2005: Electorial Politics” at College of Alameda on Inauguration Day, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005. Featured poets included Wanda Sabir, Rafael Jesus Gonzalez, Mary Rudge, Reginald James and others. She founded and hosts the annual Celebration of African Americans and Their Poetry, which celebrates 28 years at their event at 4 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the West Oakland Public Library. This event spotlights poetry, dance, performance and art.

EastSide Arts Alliance events in support of a Black Cultural Zone (BCZ)

EastSide Arts Alliance presents three exciting events as a part of its work to develop and support a Black Cultural Zone (BCZ) on Feb. 4, 11 and 18. EastSide and Geoffrey Pete present the 45th anniversary of Kahil El’Zabar and the New Ethnic Heritage Ensemble on Sunday, Feb. 4, 7-9 p.m., $20 at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, 410 14th St. in Downtown Oakland, 510-839-4644. Listen to an interview with co-founder Elena Serrano with Brother Kahil on Wanda’s Picks Radio Show, Jan. 26. The concert features Kahil El’Zabar on percussion, Corey Wilkes on trumpet and Alex Harding on baritone sax.

The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, ever evolving New Black Music combo led by the tireless multi-percussionist jazz innovator Kahil El’Zabar, draws the most talented musicians from around the country while staying true to its revolutionary heritage and roots from Chicago and the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), America’s longest running independent Black musicians’ collective. Now, with the versatile trumpeter Corey Wilkes, one of the most inventive and freshest horns on the scene, along with the solid and sonorous baritone saxophonist Alex Harding, in the tradition of his master mentor Hamiett Bluiett, the trio returns to EastSide and the Bay Area to remind us that Black music is always at the spiritual core of spearheading a New Reconstruction of American culture. Get tickets in advance, at https://kahilelzabar.brownpapertickets.com/ or at the door. No one turned away for lack of funds. Soul Food dinner: $10.

For the second event, EastSide Arts Alliance and First Presbyterian Music at the Spire present The Sacred Roots of Latin Jazz with John Santos on Sunday, Feb. 11, at First Presbyterian Church of Oakland, 2619 Broadway, Oakland. Doors open at 3 p.m.; the concert starts at 4 p.m. There are two sets featuring a who’s who of Bay Area and international musicians and special guest artists. Tickets at https://santoslatinjazz.brownpapertickets.com/ or call 510-533-6629.

The month-long series of Sunday concerts concludes with EastSide Arts Alliance and the Dellums Institute for Social Change presenting “Beloved Oakland.” This is a fundraising event for the East Oakland Black Cultural Zone (BCZ), Sunday, Feb. 18, 8-10 p.m., $50-$250 donations requested at The Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph, Oakland. Featured artists include Fantastic Negrito, Kev Choice, Ise Lyfe, Oakland School of the Arts, Zakiyah Harris and Elephantine, NuDekades, DC, Destiny Arts Dance, Naima Shalhoub.

Join the new and old faces of Oakland for a “One Night Oakland Love Explosion,” where we honor Oakland’s social justice legacy and unite around solutions for urban equity and inclusion. Others folks on the program include Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, activist artist Favianna Rodriguez and East Oakland native and Super Bowl champ Gerris Wilkinson. Honoring Oakland’s original social justice icons Congressman Ron Dellums, Yuri Kochiyama, Ericka Huggins and the Black Panther School, Betita Martinez, Clem Daniels and Kaiser Permanente. More information: www.belovedoakland.org. For advance tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beloved-oakland-2018-tickets-41530407567.

Every 28 Hours Black Arts Festival

“A Healing Experience,” will center on resilience and joy in the Black struggle against police brutality and Black oppression. The free event at ACT’s Strand Theatre, 1127 Market St., San Francisco, will feature a full day of performances by local Black artists, as well as visual art installations, guest speakers and panel discussions led by community activists, with goods and food from local Black-owned businesses.

The festival will culminate with performances from “Every 28 Hours,” a series of one-minute plays inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, performed by members of ACT’s Master of Fine Arts Program, Young Conservatory, and Education and Community Programs, under the direction of Bay Area theater artist and activist Elizabeth Carter. Co-created by Dominic D’Andrea of the One-Minute Play Festival and Claudia Alick of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, “Every 28 Hours” is a national partnership focused on the widely shared statistic that a Black person is killed every 28 hours by a vigilante, security guard or the police in the United States.

All events at the Every 28 Hours Black Arts Festival are free and open to the public. Due to limited space, RSVPs for the workshops and panel discussion are required; RSVPs for the evening performances are strongly encouraged. Click here to view the schedule and reserve your place!

Huey P. Newton Community Celebration

Join us for a celebration of the life of Huey P. Newton. Author Lisa Perlman will discuss two books that she wrote on the People v. Huey Newton court case, a film about his life will be shown, and people who knew Huey will speak. West Oakland Library events are always free. The celebration is Saturday, Feb. 17, 1:00-4:00 p.m., at the West Oakland Library, 1801 Adeline St., Oakland.

African American Quilt Guild of Oakland’s Annual Demonstration

Celebrate African American History Month with the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland’s Annual Demonstration and Workshop. Supplies will be provided so that you can make your own quilt. For all levels and ages on Saturday, Feb. 24, 1:00-3:00 p.m., at the West Oakland Library, 1801 Adeline St., Oakland.

Let’s Meet in the ‘Zone! 

Do you like to play games or make crafts? Want to tell us about your favorite manga series? Head to the TeenZone every fourth Wednesday of the month from 2:30-4:00 p.m. We will make paper roses in February. It’s Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2:30-4:00 p.m., at the West Oakland Library, 1801 Adeline St., Oakland.

This is the Year of the Black Woman as God

Two years before the historic vote that placed the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey as the provisional president of a United States of African Diaspora in 1920, we needed to prepare women to be heads of state. Looking at what happened to London Breed, briefly acting mayor of San Francisco, a municipality larger than some countries, the Black community needs to close ranks and develop a strategy to stay in power, once in power. Many of us actually believed she had a chance. We have to use the tools of the game to win and stay focused. Perhaps we did our victory dance too soon.

One year before the 400th anniversary of the first Africans to land in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, free then enslaved Black people need to contemplate what it means to reside in America. Has the promise of freedom changed over the millennium? The forked tongue analogy meant no disrespect to snakes, rather referenced the two-ness of white men, who prove time and time again, especially when the document is legal, they are not to be trusted, whether we are in Jamestown, New Orleans, Texas, Florida or Puerto Rico.

We remember once again Dennis Banks, a fierce warrior for justice all the way to the end. As we remember Banks, we also need to keep the fire under legislators to free Leonard Peltier.

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Sitting around a table at San Quentin are Tommy “Shakur” Ross and, from CCWP, Hafsah Al-Amin, Alisha Coleman, Anna Henry and Pam Fadem. – Photo: Wanda Sabir

I was at one of the nouveau plantations, San Quentin, for the 100th Issue Celebration of the San Quentin Newspaper. As we gathered in the chapel, it was easy to pretend we were not among men whose liberty was compromised, some of the men decorated veterans. The men present were a privileged segment of a larger population on lockdown, in Administrative Segregation, AdSeg or solitary confinement. The irony was not lost on men and women guests who were once similarly marked. Some of these men were never going home; others hoped for the best after being denied each time they showed up for parole.

The blue shirts, darker slacks, “Property of CDCR” written along the seam of the pants and the subtle but visible presence of the guards kept everyone on his toes. The editor in chief and other speakers said they’d rehearsed for three weeks, yet couldn’t anticipate the chef on lockdown, which meant a creative menu change – no meal, just cake.

Despite everything, the program was an opportunity for the public to recognize that despite physical obstacles and challenges the opportunity to participate as newspaper staff and its network meant that the men who were not present in the room still had a voice. Censorship protections apply to SQ News; however, administration had to learn this over time. This is not to say that there is no negotiation or compromise between CDCR and the SQ News, which is in 36 prisons in California and in other prisons across the nation. Visit https://sanquentinnews.com/the-100th-edition/.

Recently the SQ News has been including content from The Fire Inside (CCWP) and the organization CCWP and the editorial team; Hafsa, Pam, Alisha and Ann were present. Pam said that CCWP visited SQ in 2017 to help with the paper. I recall seeing information about LWOP and A Living Chance, the initiative Adrienne Skye Roberts started to tell the stories of the women dying a slow death behind bars, many convicted as children (http://www.alivingchance.com/).

It is always a revelation to visit the men at SQ. In 2018 we need to look at how Black people, women and men, have been the centerpiece to an ideology called United States of America. We might be excluded from public discourse, but we will not be excluded from an ideology or ethos that borrows or steals all its creative inspiration from the most despised among us.

If a people get a pass, it will not be Black people unless the person with the wand doesn’t see the melanin content. Forced to bear the advances of men who saw them as sexual objects for their pleasure, Black women have peopled the known world (to borrow from Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward P. Jones) with children who look like the rapists and murderers. #SayHerName is a campaign to call out the names of the Black women who might disappear if we refused to shine the light next to their faces. (In some cases, miscegenation works well as a political tool. However, this author does not endorse it.)

The irony of #MeToo is not lost on this Black woman whose ancestors were deprived of the kind of public agency that permitted witnessing, which validates sexual abuse. Throughout slavery and afterward with the passage of Amendments 13-15, which were more decorative than actual legislative change, Black women have not owned their bodies. This disrespect meant vows were ignored and relationships inadequate – marriage between Black women and men a parody or joke. Similar to children who dress up and play house, Black families dressed up and pretended to have the kind of sanctity inherent in a union blessed by a white god – who listened only to white men.

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A young woman has her say at the San Francisco Women’s March Jan. 20, 2018. – Photo: Wanda Sabir
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Women marching both in San Francisco and Oakland were excited about fearlessly showing their power. – Photo: Wanda Sabir
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It’s good to see families coming to march together, this one at the San Francisco Women’s March. – Photo: Wanda Sabir

This year, the women’s marches I attended in Oakland and San Francisco felt activated. Black dads with Black moms, surrounded by their children, showed up. Everyone I spoke to said they had to get active, participate. They did not want the kind of world the current administration is shaping with policies that benefit only those who are the 1 percent, the 99 percent thrown a bone with its meat already cut from its surface.

Black women are standing taller, not that they weren’t standing taller before. Perhaps we just see these women better because of the new alliances created that lift up the work. Black Lives do Matter, they always have, yet, if Black people are killing other, Black is seen as valueless and others will take this to mean they have a pass or license to hunt.

How is it possible that a Black child can go into Whole Foods in Oakland for his mother and get followed around the store and then assaulted by security? It reminds me of Tanya Harding who was killed by the Korean clerk in LA over orange juice, the money to pay for it in her hand. This Oakland child also had the money to pay for it.

Star Finch’s play, “Bondage,” remounted at AlterTheatre for a short run in repertory with Larissa WarHorse’s “Cow Pie Bingo,” looks at possession both literal and philosophically – of self and in service to self. The metaphor is a Black cake, a spirit cake, served once a year. It becomes a trap for a lone white woman who dares try to fool Black gods.

As actress Dezi Soley’s Zuri grows into puberty, decisions regarding her person become less certain. Her owner and his daughter – her peer, yet mistress – enjoy her displeasure when she asks difficult questions. More often aimed at her elder Azucar (actress Cathleen Riddley) when she wants to kill the entire family. The family lives off the main road and does not have company over often. Why not? She asks. Why not kill these white people? No one will miss them.

Why not? witnesses in theatre seats echo in reply. Do it.

‘A Stroke of Luck’

“A Stroke of Luck,” a play by Dr. Diane Barnes at the Marsh, has been extended. Yeah! It plays Saturday, Feb. 3, then reopens Thursday, Feb. 22, with performances Thursdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. and Saturdays, Feb. 24 and March 3, at 5 p.m. through March 29. Dark weekend of March 10. Visit https://themarsh.org/my_stroke_of_luck/diane-barnes/#tickets.

Oakland Jazz Choir

The Oakland Jazz Choir, Friday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m., $10 at The Terrace Room at Lake Merritt, 1800 Madison St., Oakland. The Oakland Jazz Choir has been singing and bringing innovative and unique vocal jazz to the Bay Area since 1992. Oakland born and bred, they are one of just a few community jazz choirs in the nation singing cool original and standard jazz material in a distinctive choral jazz setting. The Oakland Jazz Choir is entirely funded by individual donations and small grants. Visit www.oaklandjazzchoir.com.

Elihu Harris and Barbara Lee Lecture Series 2018

The Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center is proud to kick off its 2018 Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series on Thursday, Feb. 1, 7:00-9:30 p.m., with civil rights leader and Congressmember James E. Clyburn, who represents South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District. The event will be at Merritt College Gymnasium, 12500 Campus Drive, Oakland. The event is FREE. Call 510-434-3988 to RSVP. Watch online too.

‘Still I Rise’

The exhibit “Still I Rise: A Portrait of Strength” runs through March 15 at JanRae Community Art Gallery at the Women’s Cancer Resource Center, 2908 Ellsworth St., Berkeley, 510-809-0211, www.wcrc.org. Artists featured are Orlonda Uffe, Cheryl Riley and Virginia Jourdan, curator.

‘David Graves: Spirit Migration’

“David Graves: Spirit Migration” is an exhibit at the EBMUD Oakland Administration Building, second floor, Jan. 5-Feb. 22, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Reception is Feb. 2, 5-7 p.m. For more information, call 510-287-0138 or visit www.ebmud.com/art.

‘Beitia: Extraction of My Existence’

Art@Archer presents “Beitia: Extraction of My Existence,” which looks at the trials and tribulations of being an Afro-Puerto Rican self-taught artist in the 21st century. The exhibit is up Feb. 1-March 31. There are two receptions: Fridays, Feb. 2 and March 2, 6-9 p.m. The gallery is located at 431 13th St., Oakland.

‘An Evening with HeLa’

The African American Community Health Advisory Committee (AACHAC) presents “An Evening with HeLa” on Feb. 1, 6-9 p.m., and a Free Seminar on Clinical Trials on Feb. 2, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. AACHAC, in partnership with San Francisco-Peninsula Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the San Mateo County Health System, host an extraordinary event that features a presentation with members of the Henrietta Lacks family. If you don’t remember, Henrietta Lacks is the woman who has immortal cells used in scientific experiments to cure many diseases, yet her family was left penniless until Rebecca Skloot and Deborah Lacks, her daughter, joined forces to learn the story of this remarkable woman. Though there is Rebecca Skloot’s compelling book and the HBO film released last year, there is nothing like meeting the relatives of Mrs. Lacks to hear them tell the story.

On Feb. 1, there will be a panel discussion with two of Mrs. Lacks family members at the beautiful Samuel Johnson Jr. Performing Arts Center, Capuchino High School, 1501 Magnolia Ave., San Bruno. The venue is named after Superintendent Emeritus Samuel Johnson Jr., former principal of Capuchino High School and the first African American superintendent of the San Mateo Union High School District.

There will be a reception, a short film on Henrietta Lacks and a discussion with the Lacks family: David Lacks Jr., the grandson of Henrietta Lacks and the son of David “Sonny” Lacks and Shirley Lacks, Henrietta Lacks’s daughter-in-law and Deborah’s childhood best friend. For tickets and complete program information, visit https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3180961.

A FREE educational seminar, with CEU credits available, follows the evening event, Friday, Feb. 2, at the scenic Foster City Community Center, 1000 E. Hillsdale Boulevard, Foster City, from 8:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This seminar brings together the community, health professionals, patient advocates and researchers to learn about clinical trials and their importance among populations of color. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. At this writing, the free seminar is sold out.

Comedy at Ashkenaz with Diane Amos and Friends

“Comedy at Ashkenaz Music and Dance Center” series in Berkeley celebrates Black History Month with “Diane Amos and Friends” on Thursday, Feb. 8, 8 p.m., 317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. Visit www.ashkenaz.com. Comedy at Ashkenaz takes place every second Thursday of the month and is a collaboration between Ashkenaz and Kung Pao Kosher Comedy’s Lisa Geduldig.

Bay View Arts Editor Wanda Sabir can be reached at wanda@wandaspicks.com. Visit her website at www.wandaspicks.com throughout the month for updates to Wanda’s Picks, her blog, photos and Wanda’s Picks Radio. Her shows are streamed live Wednesdays at 7 a.m. and Fridays at 8 a.m., can be heard by phone at 347-237-4610 and are archived at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wandas-picks.