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Sunday, August 18, 2019
Culture Currents

Culture Currents

Cultural happenings in SF and beyond.

The 2nd annual Wine Festival kickoff is this weekend

With the Sonoma and Napa Valley only an hour away from the big cities, Northern Cali is known for its exquisite wineries that are ranked right up there with the great wineries of France and Spain. Melody Fuller is the founding director of the Second Annual Oakland Wine Festival, which starts on July 16, 2016, and the Oakland Wine and Food Society. I spoke with her about her organization and the festival. Check her out in her own words.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble coming to SF Jazz on March 19

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is one of the most riveting and exciting instrument-playing musical formations specializing in Jazz wit’ a splash of Hip Hop. I talked with trumpet player Gabriel “Huda” Hubert about touring extensively overseas, one of his brothers quitting the band, growing up in a polygamous household, the legalization of marijuana, their upcoming new album, “The Bad Boys of Jazz,” and more.

Hollywood, ‘Red Tails,’ Tuskegee Airmen and MLK Jr.

I think George Lucas is a good guy in a notoriously unscrupulous business, trying to do the right thing. Hiring a Black director and writer was the right thing. However, the bottom line is we must build our own studios, networks and social media companies and bring our own money back to our communities now.

Live From the Oakland International Film Festival:

We got wit’ Samm Styles to do this interview, because we wanted our readers to be educated and understand the importance of the Oakland International Film Festival to movie-goers, filmmakers and local business, specifically.

Raiders talk playoffs after 23-20 win over Chiefs

The minute the Jacoby Ford caught that 49-yard bomb in overtime against the KC Chiefs, “playoffs” could be quietly uttered in the Raiders locker room.

Memories of Damu

Damu’s idea of revolutionary change meant, first, seeing the need for a radical transformation of the world and then having confidence that ordinary people, working people, are capable of making it happen. When they do rise up and try to fashion a new world, with all the mistakes humans are capable of making, he believed you have to support them.

‘Party People’

In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords totally transformed the psychology of people in the United States with their survival programs, their muti-layered platforms, their fight for human rights against capitalism and imperialism, and their armed self-defense against the police. On Oct. 24, “Party People,” a play developed and directed by Liesl Tommy, premiered at the Berkeley Repertory Theater.

As it should be

It was as it should be / Young Black Panthers / Were killed for trying / To protect the cubs / For educating the cubs / For feeding the cubs / This was never the American dream / But we have lived a nightmare for days / In efforts to make our dreams / Come to life take flight / We still have to fight / It was as it should be / Giving honor to Chairman Fred / And Defense Captain Mark Clark

Oji and the Ascension Team rise to the occasion

Right out of the musical lineage of Parliament Funkadellic, Georgia Ann Muldrow, Dudley Perkins and the Dungeon Family steps Bay Area bred producer Oji and his crew, the Ascension Team. Oji’s music is on some futuristic other level type of space vibe. He is like an Andre 3000, on a production level conjuring sound chemistries not ever heard before in widely known rap music. Check out Oji as he talks about his craft.

The Fighting 90th Tuskegee Airmen’s story, ‘Black Eagles,’ closes March 31

“Black Eagles” by Leslie Lee, directed by L. Peter Callender, currently on stage at African American Shakespeare Company challenges prejudicial notions of courage and patriotism.

Martin Luther King Jr., John Carlos and the boycott that wasn’t, ‘an Olympics without...

John Carlos is best known as the man who, along with Tommie Smith, raised a clenched fist – the Black Power salute – on the medal stand after the 200 meter race. Carlos took bronze, and Smith gold, at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. But that moment was a culmination of months of political discussion among black leaders in America. One such discussion happened in early 1968 in New York City.

Medea Project presents ‘Dancing with the Clown of Love’

Multi-layered with healing at its center, the large cast of "Dancing with the Clown of Love," some infected, everyone affected, shared stories written over the past two years at the Women’s HIV Program at the University of California San Francisco - documented in a short film that opens the show. Hurry! The run closes this weekend.

‘We Created Chavez’: an interview wit’ author George Ciccariello-Maher

The revolutionary Hugo Chavez was a political giant in the Western Hemisphere until his untimely death from cancer. We must continue to learn from the people of Venezuela about the revolutionary process that they have enacted. Check out Drexel University professor and author George Ciccariello-Maher as he discusses Venezuela, the late great Hugo Chavez and his new book, “We Created Chavez.”

Home training: A basis for survival

Whether we call it discipline or creating expectations for their behavior, children want and deserve clear directions as to “how to be” in this world. Without this supportive feedback and grounding, they can find themselves mired in frustration, often leading to inappropriate acting out and causing discomfort to themselves as well as those around them.

‘A Muslim Trapped in Donald Trump’s America’: an interview with author Professor A.L.I.

Longtime MC and current author Professor A.L.I. has created a book of essays that describes the politics and feelings of a Sri Lankan Muslim convert in the U.S. who has to cope with the Islamaphobia that is created by the international corporate media and the government sponsoring Islamic extremist groups to covertly carry out foreign policy objectives worldwide. His newest album “Tamilmatic” was released today, April 14, to honor Tamil New Year.

Two poems for Haiti: ‘We be Spirit People’ and ‘Statistics of loss’

Be strong, Ayiti! Be strong, Afrikans! Sending love, respect and honor to our Afrikan family in Ayiti, the Congo and around the planet – not in honor of their bloody valentine, but in solidarity with those who know it’s time. For too long we have stayed the wind; now let the wind blow, while we Move the Village to Higher Ground.

African American Shakespeare Company’s ‘Cinderella’ through Dec. 22 at AAACC in San Francisco

African American Shakespeare Company in San Francisco is our community’s premiere showcase for classical theatre through the lens of the African American experience. Their holiday show is an anticipated family event that did not disappoint this season in its current incarnation as a musical. How often does one see “Cinderella” in splendid technicolor?

Five years after the Oscar Grant murder: Author of ‘No Doubt: The Murder(s) of...

It has been five years since Oakland was set on fire during the Oakland Rebellions that were a result of the BART police murder of Oscar Grant. Los Angeles based journalist Thandisizwe Chimurenga is set to release her book, “No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant,” in the coming weeks. This book gives a much needed political analysis of what was at work behind the curtains of this monumental police murder case.

‘Color Struck’: an interview wit’ thespian and comedian Donald Lacy

Thespian, comedian, humanitarian, radio broadcaster and father would all be words to describe this Bay Area renaissance man who has been putting his stamp on Oakland and the Bay Area’s culture for decades. Donald Lacy will be performing his world renowned play, “Color Struck,” on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 3 and 4, at Laney College, 900 Fallon St., at 8 p.m. Check out this Oakland legend as he speaks to us about his history and thoughts.

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.

Latest News

New felony murder rule results in justice 16 years later

“The felony murder rule used to cast a wide net when pursuing convictions, without requiring prosecutors to look more closely at the evidence ... This man has been in prison for 16 years for being a passenger in a car.”

‘A Lifetime of Being Betty (Reid Soskin)’ CD release party Saturday,...

“A Lifetime of Being Betty,” to be released Aug. 17 at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $24 at the door. Visit www.thefreight.org/event/1858290-little-village-foundation-berkeley/.

#HugosSoWhite: The literary convention diversity scandals

When there aren’t enough Black folks doing the writing, Black characters are written by white writers with all the inherent biases.

Hit me, Bruh! Thoughts on ‘The Last Black Man in San...

“Do you love it? You don’t get to hate San Francisco unless you love it.”

People’s Power stops a modern-day lynching

A massive phone protest by people from around the world and calls for direct protests forced the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to back down from carrying out the state’s latest attempt to kill MOVE 9 member Delbert Orr Africa.