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Thursday, October 1, 2020
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Culture Currents

Culture Currents

Cultural happenings in SF and beyond.

Writing While Black for October 2020: Promising new African Diaspora anthologies and a plethora...

Sunday, Oct. 4, the Bay Area Book Festival presents Berkeley #UNBOUND, an all-day, free, virtual mini-festival, kicked off with a ticketed keynote program on Saturday night, Oct. 3. Writing While Black for this October 2020 guarantees a superb abundance of boredom relief during the continuing COVID-19 reality.

Brenda Kittrell (1955-2020): Advocate for public housing community, #BlackLivesMatter and scrutinizing property ownership in...

As gentrification continues to gobble up the streets of San Francisco, Brenda Kittrell (1955-2020) is remembered as a well loved and respected member of the Potrero Hill community. She advocated tirelessly for public housing, safety and community on local state and national levels and supported the possibility of home ownership for low-income African Americans living in San Francisco.

Having ‘The Talk’ with your children in the era of Black Lives Matter

One of the most important moments perhaps in the process of a Black child’s life is “The Talk.” The COVID-19 pandemic crisis and the upheaval caused by the recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others, are pushing parents with an urgency to have “The Talk” with their children earlier than later.

The sports strikes against racism have not been coopted

The story of the 2020 sports-strike-wave-against-racism is already one of both inspiration and cooptation. To have any sense of where this story might go, we need to understand why it detonated in the first place.

Register, vote (y)our interests and continue organizing for power!

Vote and register (y)our interests for changes and recovery from this ongoing deadly coronavirus pandemic; deepening imperialist monopoly capitalist economic depression; worsening corporate abuse of Mama Nature; European and american “white” terrorist wars against The People.

August is Joe Capers’ Month in Oakland: Joe Capers’ film is done!

Oakland in the ‘80s and ‘90s blessed us with the likes of Tony, Toni, Tone, young MC Hammer, Digital Underground, Too Short and Dawn Robinson of En Vogue, just to name a few, at a time when there were only a few home studios. Joe Capers, aka Blind Joe, a blind musician and producer, was one of the creators of the sounds of the Oakland music scene in the 1980s and early 1990s.

America needs a revolution

Racial violence against Black America is a regular part of America’s history; hiding and denying this racial violence is also a part of America’s history. For decades, African Americans have complained about police brutality. White America dismissed them or paid little attention and this denial allowed White America to feel innocent.

Ronnie Goodman 1960-2020

Another star shines in the night sky. Ronnie Goodman passed away in early August this year. He died on the street, just after his 60th birthday, on the same corner where he’d been living for more than a year. We stood around waiting for the medical examiner to come and take him. The cops had put a sheet over him.

Professional athletes are showing America just how powerful labor really is

The wave of strikes by athletes against racist police violence is not ebbing. On Thursday night, the New York Mets and Miami Marlins took the field, held a 42-second moment of silence (in honor of Jackie Robinson), and then walked off. They left behind a shirt that read “Black Lives Matter” on home plate.

We honor you, Ms. Verlie Mae Pickens

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! to Ms. Verlie Mae Pickens, who is well known and a leader in the Bayview community, celebrated her 104th birthday on June 11, 2020. The COVID-19 forced postponement of the yearly celebration of her birthday, normally a large festive party and dinner to honor Ms. Pickens.

Kali O’Ray: We have left no legacy behind in the Fillmore

We have left no legacy behind in the Fillmore. I’m telling you that in 10 to 15 years the only way you’re going to know that this part of San Francisco used to be Black is by looking at the bricks, or by the tour guides on buses that tell you, “This used to be the great jazz district.”

My first gun class and day at the range

A firearm can be used as both a tool and a weapon. Being Black in America should already make you want to own a gun for protection. If you’re Black, female, and/or short, I think it’s even more necessary to learn how to safely use a gun.

Fillmore: Harlem of the West

“Boom bop sha bam sha-diddle-lee bop!” “This music came down biblically!” said legendary pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines about jazz music. “It was a natural evolution of Black culture,” said all time great trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie, about Bebop.

Ronnie Goodman, artist with ‘a visual voice’ on homelessness, 1960-2020

After a lifetime of creating art while homeless or incarcerated, on Aug. 7, Ronnie Lamont Goodman was found dead in his tent outside the Redstone Building in San Francisco’s Mission District, where he intermittently stayed and stored his drawings and illustrations. He was 60.

San Francisco Black Film Festival mourns the loss of Director Kali O’Ray

It is with deep pain and distraught heartbreak the San Francisco Black Film Festival announces the death of its Director Kali O’Ray on Friday August 7, 2020, after a short battle with heart disease. The previous announcement that his death was related to COVID-19 was mistaken, and we apologize for the error. Festival organizers ask the public’s forbearance as O’Ray’s wife and co-director, Katera Crossley, and family plan details around observances for his untimely passing.

Imagine reparations!

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 spirited during this dangerous worldwide pandemic, global imperialist monopoly capitalist economic devastation, and ongoing European and american “white” state and vigilante terrorism. WE offer our sacred-most thoughts for the healing of our dear editor, Elder Mary Ratcliff. Get well, Mama Mary! Asé.

Wanda’s Picks for August 2020

We are losing so many loved ones this year. Beloved heroes like Rep. John Lewis and his friend and mentor Rev. C.T. Vivian and Rev. Joseph Lowery, dean of the Civil Rights Movement. Here in Oakland, we lost Wonder Woman Denise Adele Gums (Oct. 26, 1953-July 22, 2020).

Black muralist Kufu attacks the walls of East Oakland to show us our fighting...

I was startled momentarily while driving down International and 87th Ave as I noticed a mural being drawn on the opposite side of the block from the East Bay Dragons Motorcycle Clubhouse. The faces of Marcus Garvey, Huey P. Newton, Malcolm X and others were being painted back to life.

Open letter from original Black Panther Party members to Black Hip-Hop artists who have...

Open Letter to: Killer Mike, Cardi B, Kanye, Jay-Z, P-Diddy, Ludacris, 50 Cent and others: Greetings and solidarity to each of you. In recognition of your individual voice, influence and cultural following among current generations of Black people – Africans in the Diaspora and on the continent – we salute you.

Writing While Black August 2020: The Outer Dark Symposium goes virtual

If you missed the June 28 Afrosurrealist Writers event with guest moderator Brent Lambert of FIYAH Literary Magazine, have no fear. The entire Zoom event was recorded via a YouTube Live Feed and can be viewed online.