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Sunday, February 23, 2020
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Culture Currents

Culture Currents

Cultural happenings in SF and beyond.

‘Hard Times/Good Times’: an interview wit’ rapper T-Rydah

T-Rydah, one third of the Black Panther Fugitives rap group, is gearing up to release a solo album, produced solely by Jamil, another member of the group, this spring called “Hard Times/Good Times.” Today you can find T-Rydah, Jamil and their Red Camera shooting videos, recording vocals or listening to some of Jamil’s beats. Check out T-Rydah speaking for himself.

Malcolm and the music

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), born 86 years ago on May 19, 1925, was loved by the oppressed and hated by the oppressors. Our “Black Shining Prince,” in the words of Ossie Davis, aimed to “use whatever means necessary to bring about a society in which the 22 million Afro-Americans are recognized and respected as human beings.” His influence is immeasurable - from music to foreign policy to religion. Today Islam, followed then by very few, is the second largest religion in the United States and Canada.

After 30 years leading City College Journalism Department, ‘not over yet’ for Juan Gonzales

Journalists, local newspaper publishers, instructors and students gathered on March 20 at Randy’s Place in the Ingleside to honor Juan Gonzales for his 30 years as a faculty member and chair of the Department of Journalism at City College of San Francisco. The mix of former and current students and colleagues attested to his dedication as they mingled, shot pool and enjoyed spaghetti and drinks in the cozy neighborhood bar.

Dick Gregory

His name was Richard Claxton Gregory, born Oct. 12, 1932, in St. Louis, Missouri. But the world knew him as Dick Gregory, comedian, human rights activist, social critic and presidential candidate. As a young man, he won an athletic scholarship as a runner, which took him to college. But he really hit his mark as a comedian who told sidesplitting jokes about American segregation and racism. The great civil rights activist Dick Gregory died this week.

In love with being … a ‘has-been’

WE continue to build support for our relatives, colleagues and All humane beings – from Ayiti (Haiti) to Houston, Puerto Rico to Florida and other areas – suffering in the wake of the corporate-induced climate chaos, environmental disruptions and massive physical destruction (most recently referred to as hurricanes “harvey,” “Irma,” “jose” and “maria”). This is, of course, in the midst of our own necessary preparations for the pending political, military, economic and weather crises that are heading our way.

Ward’s Oracle: The return and the triumph

The final boxing scores were not even close. On March 26, 2016, Andre “Son Of God” Ward unanimously defeated Sullivan Barrera 119-109, 117-109, 117-108 – his debut into the light heavyweight realm of boxing an unqualified success. Oakland’s legendary Oracle Arena didn’t need a seer to predict that in point of fact, Sullivan Barrera should thank the universe that Andre Ward didn’t knock him out in the first round.

Fatherhood: Nap time, the phrase no child wants to hear

The following information and suggestions are based on my experience as a parent and preschool teacher. From my observations, the formal creation of a specific nap time usually occurs between the ages of 2 and 5 years old. Naps are great for children and adults as well, so why is it that our children see them as a punishment rather than a cheerful opportunity? Let’s start by looking at how naps develop and where the challenges begin.

Lynne Stewart, people’s lawyer, freedom fighter, presente!

Lynne Stewart, after 78 winters in America, has died, after battling for years against breast cancer. But those were just some of her battles and, like most of us, she won some and lost some. But she never stopped fighting! For decades, she and her husband, Ralph Poynter, fought for New York’s political activists and revolutionaries, like Black Panthers and Young Lords, a Puerto Rican socialist collective. But mostly, they fought for the freedom of the poor and dispossessed of New York’s Black and Brown ghettoes. Lynne Stewart was an officer of her clients, a People’s Lawyer, beloved and respected. May she ever be so.

Legendary prisoner ‘Mousy Brown’ perishes

On March 24, 2012, Leonard “Mousy Brown” Fulgham passed away while in the custody and care of the California Department of Corrections. His obituary read: “Mousy’s formative years occurred during the period known as the Black Power Struggle and the Civil Rights Movement ... This man’s presence will forever be felt, missed and recognized by the masses!”

2016’s San Francisco Black Film Festival will be a classic – June 16-19

Director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival Kali O’Ray has already showed me a number of potential films that are in the running to be selected to be for this year’s festival; great films like “Codigo Color” about colorism in Cuba, “Hustler’s Convention” about some of the greatest protest poets of the last 50 years, the legendary Last Poets, “Tear the Roof Off,” the untold story of Parliament Funkadellic, and “Blackboard,” a movie about Black professional skateboarders.

A lil’ bit ‘bout Leo’s legacy …

Leo lives in every navy blue or ash T-shirt with brown, beige, Tan, ivory, hands circled in solidarity, In every fiery speech during San Francisco strikes and Port Of Oakland shutdowns, in fights for health care, cradle To grave, in housing, library, post office and school struggles, In good fights against fracking and in the Occupy Movement …

Buy Black Wednesdays: What does it mean to be a born-again African?

First of all, let’s not get it twisted: You can be a born-again African and a born-again Christian at the same time! Being a born-again African has nothing to do with religion, other than religiously going out of your way to support Black people and Black businesses. Being a born again African means you realize that you and your people have been stripped of your land, language, culture, heritage and spirituality and you know it is your responsibility and delight to reclaim it for yourself and your kin.

Making fitness ‘fit’ into everyday activities

The earlier children are encouraged to be physically active, the more likely they’ll stay active as they get older, providing a strong foundation for a lifetime of health. Young kids need 60 minutes of active play every day, but it doesn’t have to be all at once. It can be as simple as incorporating fitness into everyday activities.

Black teenage Brooklyn-based metal band documented in ‘Breaking a Monster’

Unlocking the Truth is a Black middle-school-aged trio from Brooklyn who are reclaiming what it means to be into metal – and millennium babies. The Luke Meyer documentary about Unlocking the Truth called “Breaking a Monster” came out on Friday, and I think the documentary title is a good fit for a young band of this caliber. Catch “Breaking a Monster” while you can at Landmark Opera Theater or Shattuck Cinemas in the Bay Area now.

‘Driving While Black’ comedy screening at the SF Black Film Fest

“Driving While Black” is one of the few comical films in the San Francisco Black Film Festival this year, yet its subject matter deals with a not-so-funny topic. What I liked most about this film is that is a satirical look at how police of all ethnicities treat young Black men. I sat down and talked to the writers, Dominique Purdy and Paul Sapiano, about how they came up with the concept to write a comedy about police terrorism.

When the Panthers died

When the Panthers died, I cried, I tried to hold back my tears, While in my mother's womb, I was consumed with fear . . .

Wanda’s Picks for February 2015

Given the trajectory of 2014 regarding Black lives, perhaps February would be a great time to reflect on what bell hooks calls “the love ethic,” a principle Dr. King embodied and preached. Langston Hughes would have been 116 on Feb. 1 (his mother, Carrie Langston, was born Jan. 22, 1873). Albert Woodfox will be 68 on Feb. 19. Hopefully he will be eating cake under some sunny sky, a freed man by then.

2nd annual Hiero Day: an interview wit’ Tajai of Souls of Mischief and Hieroglyphics

Undoubtedly, one of the most financially successful independent rap groups in Hip Hop is Hieroglyphics, and now the City of Oakland has honored them with Hiero Day, every Sept. 3. This year’s festivities will be hosted by Mistah F.A.B., Chuy Gomez and Sway, with Mystic, Kev Choice, CMG of the Conscious Daughters and Holly Saucey, among others scheduled to rock the mic.

Saying no to power: Who was Bill Mandel and why should we care?

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” – Frederick Douglass. These words of Frederick Douglass embody the very essence and life’s passion of the late William Marx “Bill” Mandel. The best way to remember and honor Bill Mandel is to emulate him!

Lafayette S. Jamerson Jr.: Nov. 22, 1935–Feb. 5, 2019

Jamie was instantly recognizable. In addition to his colorful suspenders and hand-made wool caps, he always had a camera or a video recorder in hand – documenting life’s events wherever he went. He was also known to be generous to those in need and often voiced his deep concerns for the changing state of the African American community in the Fillmore. He worked on many community projects and used his voice, means and talents to protest injustice wherever he saw it.

Latest News

Julian Assange will face his first extradition hearing on Feb. 24

“Maybe the best measure of the contribution of fellow freedom fighters is the ferocity of the state’s pursuit and prosecution of those dissidents – and nobody has been pursued with more ferocity by the US national security state than Julian Assange.” – Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report

We need political courage on homelessness and recidivism

With the Democratic primary right around the corner, we mustn’t neglect the difficult topics of the rising rates of adult and youth homelessness and the persistent obstacles faced by individuals transitioning back into society after periods of incarceration.

A tribute to San Francisco’s first Black surgeon, Dr. Oscar Jackson

The most amazing person I ever met was Dr. Oscar Jackson, an eminent Black San Francisco surgeon, businessman, military officer, world traveler, explorer, philanthropist, fraternity brother, husband, father and remarkable storyteller.

The struggle to build housing when you are homeless

POOR and Homefulness have launched an effort to work with conscious legislators to exempt poor and homeless people from exorbitant building permit fees and requirements which make it impossible for homeless and poor people to manifest our own solutions and stay in our neighborhoods and communities.

The shocking death of Rwandan gospel singer and dissident Kizito Mihigo

“Kizito Mihigo had been persecuted for advocating compassion for all the victims of the genocide, Hutu, Tutsi and Twa, refusing to blame all Hutu people for the Rwandan Genocide. Kagame has become fiercely vengeful with dissident Tutsis because they are breaking up his constituency.” – Professor Joseph Bukeye