“I Am Still Here” is one of the most disturbing must-see films in the San Francisco Black Film Festival. “I Am Still Here” describes the horrors of child sex trafficking through the eyes of Layla, an American child being trafficked in America. Although it is a work of cinematic fiction, it is based on real events, according to the filmmakers. I interviewed Mischa Marcus and Stephanie Bell about their feature length film, “I am Still Here,” and here is what they had to say.
If you only watched the evening news or depended on pop culture, you would probably think that the majority of Black youngsters were only ambitious about sports and music. The face of Black success isn’t limited to those fields. There are a multitude of young Blacks who are achieving at a high level in science, math, classical music, chess and other knowledge-based areas and preparing to change society.
The name Beasley has rung true in the streets of Bayview Hunters Point since before the Double Rock housing projects were built in the 1950s. Of all of the Beasleys, there was none who controlled the streets like James Beasley Jr. James tells his amazing story in the soon-to-be-released autobiography and documentary entitled “Deep Rooted.”
The Black Panther Party newspaper was founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in 1967. It became the No. 1 Black weekly newspaper in the country from 1968-1971, selling over 300,000 copies each week. Every Panther had to read and study the newspaper before selling it.
The Ancestors hold the hearts of their children as the struggle continues to break the chains of bondage in our modern reality of feet on the earth of the past. Calling in the courage and honor of the risen Ancestors to the Slave Rebellion Reenactment seals the bond of love and self-determination in those who will be liberated.
Prentice Hall Polk (1898-1985) is one of the world’s quintessential photographers because he captured the honesty, pride and nobility of Afrikan people, during a time in history when portraitures of Afrikan people were typically nothing but caricatures indicative of the Jim Crow laws and of white supremacy. Mr. Polk enjoyed his work creating, preserving and documenting an important part of Afrikan history.
Ida B. Wells was a fiery crusader for African American justice at a time when angry white men indulged in lynching as acceptable behavior. Her determination, courage, ambition and refusal to back down helped change the course of history. Her talents as an investigative reporter, successful writer and newspaper owner were unbeatable weapons.
Julia was the kind of woman who would stand by her man until he was headed in a better direction and she could get in front of him. I just tried to fill her life with whatever joy I could and always love her all the time. Remembering Julia Celebration Service is Saturday, March 30, 11 a.m., at Third Baptist Church, 1399 McAllister, San Francisco.
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.
The Grandassa Models were the foot soldiers and ambassadors for the Black Is Beautiful Movement. Initially, they were a group of eight Black women of who wore their hair in its natural state and modeled fashion for the world to see “Black Is Beautiful” in a new way. Eldridge Cleaver wrote from San Quentin adulating Black women with natural hair.
Black History Month 2019 exploded at the Fillmore Heritage Center with 17 events that celebrated different facets of our very diverse community. There was Fiyah Friday, Fillmore legend LaRon Mayfield’s Aquarius Bash featuring DJ Drama, the weekly Tuesday Bluesday, the Samba Percussion class, a Night of R&Bay featuring DJs DJ 12 and Black Marc, The Global African Experience presentation by the legendary historian Runoko Rashidi, an intimate and epic evening with the Grammy award winning R&B group Tony! Toni! Tone! and the African Diaspora party.
2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party by Bunchy Carter in 1968. Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter was the least known of the iconic Black Panther Party leaders in the turbulent late 1960s but was arguably the most legendary as the leader of the L.A. chapter of the Black Panther Party who was murdered in 1969 at the age of 26, only a year after founding the chapter.
Recently I went to the Marin Veterans’ Memorial Center in San Rafael, where the famed Shaolin Warriors of China were to give a performance in display of their hand-to-hand and weapons martial skills. The performance was designed to be a dazzling display of gung-fu couched in a “theatrical display” of a “sacred and deadly art.”
In “High Voltage Women: Breaking Barriers at Seattle City Light,” historian Ellie Belew captures the drama, the events and the personalities of an affirmative action effort that was in the forefront of the national drive toward non-traditional work for women.
Akua Njeri (fna Deborah Johnson) is a former member of the Illinois Chapter Black Panther Party. She is a survivor of the Dec. 4, 1969, assassination of Chairman Fred Hampton and Defense Captain Mark Clark. She is the widow of Chairman Fred and the mother of Chairman Fred Jr.
Although he did not study art at a university nor an art school to enhance his innate artistry, it led him to many colleges and universities across this country, and through his art he met and mingled with those of prominence and great stature as well as many everyday people as he journeyed across this country promoting himself through his works of art with wife and daughter in tow. Homegoing is Monday, Feb. 18, 11 a.m., at Third Baptist Church, 1399 McAllister, San Francisco.
I write to you as your Black daughter, one who is three generations rooted in this city, and one who had all but given up on you. Today, however, in the spirit of Juneteenth, I am thinking I can feel the fresh breath of something new in the air. Is it hope? Should I trust it? I want to.
Sister Makinya Sibeko-Kouate (July 1, 1926-Feb. 4, 2017), named Queen Mother of Kwanzaa in 2015, hosted one of the first Bay Area Kwanzaas in her home, then took it across the world to 36 American states and 13 African nations, plus Europe and Mexico. She taught every grade from pre-school to post-graduate, wrote for the California Voice, hosted a show on KPFA for a decade, and performed as a pianist and dancer. A small ceremony will be held Thursday, Feb. 23, 1 p.m., in the Evergreen Mortuary chapel, 6450 Camden St. in Oakland.
We often hear about the Harlem Renaissance, but we rarely hear about Harlem’s ghetto heroes and sheroes and the lives they lived. Maybe after such Black biographical books as this one and Lil’ D’s “Weight,” our young people will stop trying to emulate white thugs and come to see that no matter where we as Black people come from or what we strive for, we always have to fight this corrupt system as our main adversary.