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2020

Yearly Archives: 2020

California After COVID – Recovery is Not Good Enough

The coronavirus crisis is testing most households and businesses in California, pushing some to the very brink of what they can bear before falling off a cliff.

Massive COVID-19 testing campaign launched in Texas prisons

Clements Unit prisoners in three buildings’ close custody wings were awakened in the early morning of May 1, 2020, by the loud sounds of ranking guards telling them to get dressed and step out of their cells.

Writing While Black June 2020: Black literary artists thriving despite global pandemic

The essentials of writing and publishing have not changed under COVID-19, just the promotions aspects such as in-person appearances. Book signings, conventions and readings are postponed, online or done via the mail. Yet the work of writing continues.

Birthing Black babies during a pandemic

Some high risk patients may slip through the widening gaps of an already broken system. However, there is hope in that there are many people and organizations working to change that. The work of maternal equity has been well under way, and we have been doing our best to adapt and adjust during this pandemic to continue to support and meet the needs of the community.

Pastor Leon Scoggins: God wants us to focus on being the church more than...

Our job as pastor isn’t really about preaching great, having a big church or even a nice suit. It is 100 percent about the care, love and spiritual development of PEOPLE. Which means it’s our duty to make sure that no matter what, we are leading in a manner that protects the people that God has entrusted us with.

Jalil Muntaqim tests positive for COVID-19 and is hospitalized in New York

Jalil Muntaqim, world renowned for peace and justice initiatives over 49 years in prison, fights for his life, his parole-eligible sentence threatening to become a death sentence. On April 27, Judge Schick granted his release. But New York Attorney General Letitia James appealed the judge’s decision, preventing Jalil’s release.

Mother calls for clemency: ‘My sons were sentenced with time to serve, not a...

Melvin Dillon and Robert Dillon, brothers incarcerated at the Nevada Southern Detention Center (NSDC), are in mortal danger. Their mother, Mary Barbee, is pleading with Gov. Steve Sisalek for their release.

The Oakland-based free Sunday hot dinner program

“Ingenuity is the reigning order of the day” would be my choice of words if I had to sum up the COVID-19 pandemic’s quarantine into a sentence for small business owners.

COVID-19 puts Black political prisoners on death row

“American prisons are death traps. They are the places with the highest rate of coronavirus infection in the world. Incarceration in the time of COVID skirts the genocidal cruelty of death by disease of the Nazis.” J. Fernandez

Class war – not the media hokey pokey – is what it’s all about

Journalists aren’t supposed to “bury the lead.” But when death is the topic and corporate power is the culprit, the connection routinely goes unmentioned.

Learning from the Great Depression

According to Mark Twain (supposedly), history doesn’t repeat itself, but it frequently rhymes. He was right. Donald Trump, for example, rhymes with Mussolini. The decline of organized labor in recent decades rhymes with its decline in the 1920s. And the coming depression will rhyme, in many respects, with the Great Depression.

Left to die: Indiana prison officials enable the spread of coronavirus

On April 30, 2020, at least half of the nearly 300 prisoners in my assigned cellblock (J-housing unit) here at Indiana’s Pendleton Correctional Facility refused to accept meals in protest of our treatment, or lack thereof, related to the coronavirus pandemic and it’s spreading within PCF.

Things don’t get no better

“Y’know things get funnier every day you live. They don’t get no better. Dig? But they sure as hell get funnier.” This week I keep hearing those words in the back of my mind, as spoken by a Black journalist named “Roosevelt,” a character who works for a Black New Orleans newspaper in the 1960s film “WUSA.” Critics trashed WUSA when it came out in 1970 and it bombed at the box office, but Paul Newman thought it was the most important film he ever made.

The San Francisco Black Film Festival engages fans virtually this year

In June, San Francisco Mayor London Breed is expected to lower San Francisco’s alert level to a COVID-19 semi-quarantine status, meaning that some of the shelter-in-place restrictions implemented in mid-March are expected to be lifted, if infection rates continue to decrease. But according to rumors heard in city government circles, big gatherings of dozens of people will not be allowed in the City until 2021 at the earliest. This may include movie theaters.

The Fillmore-based after-school program Project Level makes distance learning succeed

Distance learning has proven to be a failure in many cases over the last two months throughout the Bay Area and the nation for a myriad of reasons. For example, teachers were never trained adequately in how to pivot from classroom teaching to a cyber environment; school districts had to organize distance learning without having planned for its implementation; huge portions of the student body in the Bay’s Black and Brown neighborhoods don’t have access to the technology needed to be able to engage; and many students have no internet access at home.

Viet Nam vs. COVID-19: How one small nation defeated a global enemy

Viet Nam and the Vietnamese people have confronted the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and their quick and united national response has produced remarkable results and earned the recognition of top public health experts and organizations around the world.

Film review: ‘All Day and a Night’

Since quarantine has been going on, many of us have been surfing through streaming services trying to find interesting shows and movies. During this time I saw a title that caught my eye: “All Day and a Night.” A young man who ends up getting life in prison reflects on his decisions that got him there. On top of that, it’s a Netflix original that’s based in Oakland, California.

Community seizes MLK Park as immediate COVID relief for unhoused neighbors

“Thanks to you guys, I got to eat today. I didn’t know where I was going to sleep tonight. The park is comfortable and quiet, and we don’t have no drama. It’s peaceful. This community right here, we’re great. I feel real safe.”

Pandemic makes Greensville Correctional Center a potential death trap

If you have logged onto the Virginia Department of Corrections’ (VADOC) website or listened to Secretary of Public Safety Brian P. Moran during one of the many televised coronavirus briefings, then you probably were left with the impression that VADOC and Greensville Correctional Center (GCC) officials are taking all of the necessary precautions to prevent or mitigate the spread of the deadly COVID-19 behind the walls of GCC or any other prison in the state. If that is your impression, then YOU HAVE BEEN DECEIVED!

WE are the ‘eight ball’!

May our Divine Mother-Father Creator of and in All – and beloved Ancients and Ancestors from past millennia, yesteryears and, literally, yesterday – find you and (y)our extended Family healthy and staying positive during these extraordinary crises in our story of humane-ity. Sacred prayers to, and supportive actions for, everyone, including: those sacrificing and working hard to serve us; who have lost their job and source of income; and, to all who have tested positive for the covid-19 virus, suffered from other illnesses, had loved ones become ill or, worse, suffered the ultimate tragedy.