Celebrating International Workers’ Day!

UUsh-Keehasini-Savannah-and-April-at-Mandela-Grocery-Co-op-in-West-Oakland-by-Jahahara-copy, Celebrating International Workers’ Day!, Culture Currents News & Views
Ujima: Collective work and responsibility all year long! Queens U’Ush Keehasini, on delivery bike, Princess Savannah and Queen April at our Mandela Grocery Co-op in West Oakland. In commemoration of International Workers’ Day, several of our progressive workers’ cooperatives – including Mandela Grocery, Arizmendi Bakery and Rainbow Grocery – will be closed on May 1. Please show your support by purchasing your food and other essentials, and ordering products through these incredible businesses where the workers are the owners and decision-makers. Mandela and Rainbow also offer generous EBT discounts on fresh organic produce. Amen. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

by Baba Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at

“There ain’t no force/Like the power of workers’ unity/WE built this shit, and we will shut down this bitch/And, the whole f*****g capitalist economy!” – 1977 chant by steelworker and strike leader Brother Jahahara

On this International Workers’ Day, the first of May, WE celebrate and applaud all working people worldwide. Those whose labor creates incredible wealth but, in most cases, don’t benefit from it. 

Be it the food, health care, energy, transportation, construction, manufacturing, shipping, education, technology, information and media, government and spiritual fields and – not to be forgotten, our incarcerated and enslaved brothers and sisters – workers are taking a united stand to build and exercise our immense potential power to create better working and living conditions and futures. And, ultimately to establish truly independent organizations, unions and political parties to defeat the exploiter corporations, as well as their media and their politicians. 

Much respect to the workers at Amazon in New York and at Starbucks around the usa and to our Oakland teachers, longshore and warehouse workers as well as our brave and dedicated nurses here in the Bay Area! Congratulations to Christian Smalls, Derek Palmer and the workers in New York who recently formed the independent Amazon Labor Union (ALU)! 

Despite facing intimidation, termination and serious threats for demanding adequate safety precautions and working conditions, they led others in advocating to their co-workers and all of labor: “Don’t quit your jobs, no matter the industry. Organize yourselves!” 

This was in the face of fierce attacks by the sick and wasteful rocket-flying near-trillionaire exploiter Jeff Bezos, currently one of the most unjustly-enriched persons in our universe. His gifts to friends and foes, from Van Jones to Mayor Libby Schaaf, can’t clean-up his super-selfish abuse of Amazon employees, our families and our environment.

“Don’t quit your jobs, no matter the industry. Organize yourselves!” 

WE hope workers, organizers and students will be encouraged by this recent up-tick in our very necessary labor movement. And, will use this International Workers’ Day to study more intently the origins of this commemoration while, more importantly, they start organizing themselves or join in solidarity efforts. 

For example, here in the Bay Area, our revolutionary ILWU Local 10 has joined with our Oakland Education Association and other activist groups to form SLAP (Schools and Labor Against Privatization) to protect our precious public schools and our Port of Oakland from gentrification and a selling-off to billionaires like the Fisher family, owners of the Gap and Oakland A’s apartheid baseball corporation. 

Not only was the Port shut down by the ILWU on Friday, April 29, but also a major rally and march formed in front of Oscar Grant Plaza in front of City Hall. On the following day, Saturday, April 30, SLAP hosted a candidates forum for the upcoming Alameda County elections in June and November 2022, via Zoom. 

Products-sold-by-companies-using-prison-labor-from-letter-from-imprisoned-man-by-Jahahara, Celebrating International Workers’ Day!, Culture Currents News & Views
Other side of the walls! Several months ago, i received this powerful copy of a hand-written graphic from a young incarcerated brother. Please take a good read, act in truth and with justice and share with others. Amen. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

Commemorations and Congratulations! (Pongezi)

Fantastic-Negrito-and-Jahahara-at-Storefront-Records-in-Oakland-copy, Celebrating International Workers’ Day!, Culture Currents News & Views
Could a profound musical collaboration be in the works? Multi-Grammy Award-winning composer, musician and business owner Baba Xavier Dphrepaulezz, aka Fantastic Negrito, chops it up with a fantastic Afrikan reparationist, Baba Jahahara, outside his Storefront Records Studio in Ohlone/Oakland. In May, Baba Xavier will again host his community marketplace next to the California Hotel on 34th and San Pablo Avenue, and then begin his international tour, including a stop-over at the UC Theater in Berkeley on June 10, promoting his new and profound album, “Black Jesus.” Stay tuned. More info at fantasticnegrito.com. Amen. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

by Baba Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at

6262 AAAK / April 22, 2022 JC-PG

Sacred PachaMama Earth Day Commemoration

Africans Deserve Reparations! ‘Cause, Black Lives Matter!

Blessings of Imani (faith) beloved, brilliant, bold, brave and beautiful G-o-ds, Elders, Sis-Stars, Bro-Stars and youthful revolutionaries! 

WE greet you from the unceded, occupied sacred home-lands of the Ohlone Indigenous nations, named San Francisco Bay Area, Calif., by the murderous European and usa colonizers, land-grabbers and “gentrificators,” and then gold-seeking settlers. 

May our most high divine Mother-Father Creator of and in all – and incredible ancients and ancestors from past millennia, yesteryears and, literally, yesterday – find you and (y)our extended family thriving and in healing spirit, loving every life and seeking righteous MA’AT. In the coming month, we hope you will join us in fully expressing our appreciation to all the queen mothers, as we should do on each day. Amen. Asé. 

Once again, i urge you and your group to support our fabulous San Francisco Bay View newspaper, to the best of your abilities. Our dedicated staff and volunteer team are doing their utmost to stay connected to, and in some cases help lead, our movements for truth and justice. 

WE continue to boldly seek out, publish and popularize news, views, art and actions that you won’t see anywhere else on our planet. So, please make a contribution in any amount. It’s easy. Just go to sfbayview.com/donate; place an ad for your merch or an upcoming event; call us at 415-671-0789; or mail a check of money order to 4917 Third St., San Francisco, CA 94124. With gratitude and love! Amen. Asé. 

Commemorating my 50 years of Afrikan liberation work

Fifty years ago, i rejected athletic scholarships to a number of universities and colleges and instead accepted a full academic scholarship in Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Kansas. During my freshman year, i not only became active in our campus Black Student Union, but also helped form our Black-Techs to support other students and faculty in architecture and engineering schools. 

This also led to me becoming fully engaged in study, travels and movements for the independence, reparations and liberation of Afrikan nations and working people on our Mama-Baba continent, around our diaspora and here in the united capitalist prison terrorist states of amerikka. 

So, in the spring of 6192/1972, my first year studies were not only “interrupted” by organizing around the monumental National Black Political Convention held in Gary, Ind., that March, but also by the first mass mobilizations of African Liberation Day in the usa, on May 27. 

Some of us were focused on organizing the biggest event to be held in Washington, D.C., which was quite successful in drawing some 35,000 participants. Our colleagues on the West Coast, including Black Panther Party Chair Bobby Seale, did incredible work in the far-away California, Bay Area by mobilizing over 10,000 people on the same day. 

i made the decision to forego a career to become the self-proclaimed “people’s architect.”

Collectively, our African Liberation Support Committee (ASLC) helped popularize liberation movements and raised tens of thousands of dollars in direct aid for freedom fighters in Angola, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Zimbabwe – then called “rhodesia” by the killer colonizers from England – Namibia, Azania (South Africa) and more. 

You can view some amazing footage of our collective efforts from the continent of Afrika to our monumental 1972 rallies in D.C. and the Bay by going to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmcbne_3eFQ.

i became so committed that, a few years later, i made the decision to forego a career to become the self-proclaimed “people’s architect.” i decided to dedicate my life and energies to organizing for Afrikan liberation, workers’ power and socialism. 

As i had previously disappointed so many family and friends with my choice to drop sports – and a potential Olympic or professional career – giving up this profession and choosing the revolutionary option was even more devastating to them. It has been difficult, and i have missed out on some incredible financial “rewards.” 

And, WE have seen many, many, many more “defeats” than victories. Still, i feel so fortunate to have had the opportunities to envision, talk, walk, sing and serve my chosen life’s path. What a magnificent blessing! Amen. Asé. 

Pongezi (congratulations)!

Pongezi to former Black Panther Party Chair Elaine Brown. In April, Queen Mama Elaine, now CEO of Oakland and the World Enterprises, joined by several former Panthers and local leaders, broke ground on a 100 percent affordable housing, $80 million-plus development on 7th Street and Campbell in West Oakland. The housing and commercial complex will be called, appropriately, The Black Panther. Amen. Asé.

Pongezi to Nico Hoerner, one of my Sun, Chioke Bakari’s, former classmates and teammates at the Head-Royce School in Ohlone/Oakland. Nico received a baseball scholarship to Stanford and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs four years later. 

On opening day 2022, he was the first player to hit a homerun this season. My Sun was there behind the Cubs’ dugout to witness this achievement and cheer Nico on. Let’s pray he stays healthy and enjoys continued success. Amen. Asé.

Finally, a lil’ bit of March glad-ness! Though, at almost 70-years-young, i have finally given up playing competitive basketball with youth 50 years younger than me – after painfully pulling a hamstring trying to dunk – i do want to applaud my University of Kansas Jayhawks team for again winning the NCAA National Championship. Pongezi. Congratulations! Amen. Asé.

Continue to take (y)our righteous steps, knowing our divine will do the rest. And, walk in the power of Imani (faith) on each and every day. Amen-RA Hotep! Asé.

#BlackLivesMatter #AfricansDeserveReparationsNow #FreeTheLand #BringOurEldersHomeNow #AbolishPrisonsandPolice #AbolishPatriarchy #LoveandDefendMotherEarth #BlackNewDeal

Honoring a few of our new ancestors

WE honor the recent spiritual transformation of Queen LILLIE MAE PETTY. Mama Lillie was one of the first members of our then brand new SEIU Local 880 union in Chicago during the early 1980s. Over the decades, this effort has drastically improved the rights, working conditions and eventually living wages for home health care workers. 

Her incredible spirit and leadership helped us grow from the magnificent 7 to an incredible 91,000 members today, covering low-wage care workers not only in Illinois, but also Missouri, Kansas and Indiana. In addition, as a long-time member of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), Mama Lillie helped mobilized residents in our most impoverished west and south side Chicago neighborhoods challenge the big bank criminals and corrupt Democratic Party politicians to keep more Black and Brown folk in their homes or to successfully purchase new housing and commercial buildings. Amen. Asé.

Registered-nurses-striking-against-Sutter-Hospitals-by-Jahahara-copy-1400x1066, Celebrating International Workers’ Day!, Culture Currents News & Views
Still fighting for you and me! Two of the hundreds of the dedicated registered nurses striking the greedy corporate for-profit $utter Ho$pital system in April 2022. Members of our California Nurses Association were righteously demanding an end to the long 16-hour shifts, which began during the height of the pandemic, a lack of personal protective equipment, disorganized and inadequate staffing and ongoing issues with management. Other matters being negotiated also include property damage to nurses’ cars in hospital parking lots as well as emotional and physical abuse from aggressive and violent patients. Amen. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

WE are saddened by the shooting death of young RICHARD STERLING ODELL ROGERS, in deep East Oakland. He is the forever Sun of Queen Mother and Baba Abu Baker – our beloved fellow yogi, outdoor Afro guide and brave Oakland firefighter and emergency preparedness CORE trainer. Amen. Asé. 

Honorable for her major contributions, Queen DORIS DERBY, long-time activist with many of our movements, including the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She was also an incredible photographer who chronicled our movements for many decades. Amen. Asé. 

WE shout-out EDWARD “Fast Eddie” PENRICE, brother of our Kansas City Misery homegirl, Queen Dr. Angel(a) WEllman, founder of our Oakland Public Conservatory of Music. Fast Eddie was fully engaged in Black media, particularly as a popular deejay at African American-owned KPRS-FM for many years; and, also helped his Uncle, the great EDDIE BAKER, build the CHARLIE PARKER Memorial Foundation, named for the great KC composer and saxophonist also called “Yard-Bird.” Amen. Asé. 

And, to CHARLES MCCORMICK, who attended my high school along with my older brothers. Charles was the bassist for a very talented musical group called The Sinceres. But, after moving to Los Angeles, the industry thought they should change their name. 

After adopting the title Bloodstone, their career took off to higher levels. They had a number of popular hit songs, including my favorite “Natural High.” That became a nickname that people gave me in the 1970s, and a title that i would record a couple of collections of my original songs under. Amen. Asé.

Though it has been almost eight years since he left this life, we fondly remember one of our best comrades and friends, KAREGA HART I. Baba Karega, who joined our Ancestors on May 3, 2014, was a prominent independent labor leader from Detroit to the Bay, including president of the SamTrans bus driver ATU union, as well as a strong advocate for self-determination, Reparations and revolutionary socialism. Amen. Asé. 

Finally, we honor the stolen lives of so many victims of the big-time capitalist-imperialist gangsters, murderers and polluters – from Washington and Wall Street to London, Brussels, Paris, Moscow, et al. – who continue their massive production of weapons, denial of human rights and basic necessities and government genocidal wars and climate killing sprees in Congo, Yemen, Palestine, Syria, Haiti, Ukraine, here in the usa and so many other areas of our world. Amen. Asé. 

Long live the spirit, legacies and numerous contributions of these new and all our incredible Ancients and Ancestors. Asé. Asé. Asé-o!

Betty-Reid-Soskin-100th-birthday-party-copy-1400x1288, Celebrating International Workers’ Day!, Culture Currents News & Views
What an amazing year for Queen Mother Betty! Not only did our beloved Queen Mother Betty Reid Soskin, co-organizer with our HEAL Project, turn an incredible 100 years old on September 21, 2021 – she also had a school named after her in El Sobrante. i was also proud to be one of the hundreds of well-wishers to witness her retirement celebration from the National Park Service in April at the Craneway Pavilion near the Rosie the Riveter exhibit on Richmond’s beautiful waterfront. Amen. Asé. – Photo: Baba Jahahara

Destination Reparations

Asante Sana (many thanks) to our members, friends and allies of our N’COBRA (National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America) who continue to advocate for and do outreach throughout our communities to advance our sacred mission. WE invite you and your organization’s membership and participation in building our efforts, locally and (inter)nationally to help right the many wrongs. Amen. Asé.

As many of you are aware, the State of California Reparations Task Force voted 5 to 4 to limit reparations benefits only to those who can prove their Ancestors were enslaved in what has become the usa. Stay updated at https://oag.ca.gov/ab3121/meetings.

While N’COBRA fundamentally disagrees with that decision, WE will continue working and organizing for the benefit of all people of Afrikan ancestry harmed by the usa and its territories being a part of our full repair. For our more detailed analyses and testimonies, or to become a member of N’COBRA, please contact us at ncobrawest@gmail.com or www.ncobraonline.org.

Free them all! Amen. Asé. Please visit the website of our National Jericho Movement to learn more about the lives, visions and sacrifices of our long-suffering and brave warriors for justice as well as how you can best support their righteous release and restitution, at thejerichomovement.com. You can also visit and support the efforts of the Spirit of Mandela at spiritofmandela.org.

Again, WE encourage you to review and consider signing and sharing our campaign to add THOMAS L. BERKLEY’s name to our 19th Street Oakland BART station. View and sign our petition here.

And, view and sign our petition to change the name of the “white” house here.

Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at is the fourth of seven Suns of Ancestors Baba CLEVELAND LEE ARMSTRONG, SR. and Queen Mother ELIZABETH ELIZANN OAKS ARMSTRONG. He traces his ancestral roots to the Yoruba and Ewondo nations in Alkebulan-Afrika. He is also the author of several books, including “Many Paths to Kujichagulia” (self-determination). Baba Jahahara is also Life Member, former National Male Co-Chair and Acting West Regional Representative of N’COBRA. Take a listen to a few songs from his musical catalog here. Invite Baba Jahahara to present at your group, school, spiritual gathering or event c/o support@africansdeservereparations.com or FONAMI, P.O. Box 10963, Oakland, CA 94610.