Minister of Information JR speaks with actress-storyteller-writer Rie Shontel about her provocative one-woman show “Mama Juggs.” Now you have the opportunity to see this gifted sista, who has performed around the country and in Africa and now includes Blues legend Augusta Collins in the show. “Mama Juggs: Three Generations Healing Negative Body Image” will play Tuesday, Dec. 21, at Twin Space, 2111 Mission St., San Francisco, and on Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 29 and 30, at the Black Dot Cafe, 1195 Pine St., West Oakland.
California Coalition for Women Prisoners is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and many of the women I met when I was going in visiting are free now – some released in time to die. However, there are many women who are still inside. Convicted as children, these women are not eligible for the legislation over the past decade that guaranteed juvenile offenders parole dates. Supposedly, there are no juveniles serving life sentences, yet that is not true. Women who are in their 30s now were convicted as children, some as young as 14 or 15.
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.
This art exhibition will feature some of the hottest artists in the Bay Area, including Emory Douglas, Sage Stargate, Duane Deterville, Karen and Malik Seneferu and others. The night will pay tribute to the Bay Area’s rebel rousers, independents and outliers. I chopped it up with the curator and organizer Melorra Green about this Saturday’s event and also about the power and function of art in our society.
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.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the nurturers, both female and male. Congratulations to all the graduates, beginning this month and continuing through June. Condolences to all the recent victims of state violence and those families and communities affected, especially in Baltimore. Much love, light and wellness to Mumia Abu Jamal; love and light to Brother Albert Woodfox.
On Jan. 10, I did a reading of my novel, “White Knight,” at the Hunters View housing complex in Hunters Point. One of the characters in my novel was based on Tessie Ester (Cali Robinson in the book), a woman I met back in the ‘70s when she enrolled her two boys, Henry and Terrell, in Geneva Towers Children’s Center, where I was a teacher. The novel is about how she and I organized the Towers to keep the center open when the school district tried to close it after Prop. 13 – among other things.
For 15 years the California Coalition for Women Prisoners - activists on the outside together with prisoners on the inside - have published an extraordinary newsletter called the Fire Inside. Hear Angela Davis keynote the anniversary celebration, hosted by our own Wanda Sabir, Friday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m., at the Women’s Building, 3543 18th St. at Valencia, San Francisco.
This holiday season, many are wondering what we can possibly do to get involved and create real change in our communities. One way to make a difference at the local level is to become a volunteer in public schools, especially schools that are under-resourced and can really use the support. Anyone who has stepped inside a school knows teachers and principals simply cannot do it alone. It takes a whole team of caring adults to educate a child.
Black History Month Special: "Big Man," a founder of the Black Panther Party and the first editor of the Black Panther newspaper, reviews an excellent new book telling the story of the shootout in September 1970 between the Panthers and the New Orleans PD in the Desire public housing development through the words of the people who lived it.
Karega is an intelligent and principled brother of extraordinary patience, diplomacy and reasoning ability. He and his wife Felecia have come up with a new book called “SOL Affirmations.” Now that we are in the season of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is absolutely necessary that we become more aware of our mental health and start to learn the tools and techniques that we could use to deal with stress.
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.
Wright Enterprises and LaHitz Media present “Our Media Matters” Theater Night in honor of Willie and Mary Ratcliff, publishers of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper, at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre for their premiere of “REJOICE!” a wonderful nativity play, 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011. To purchase tickets, call the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Box Office, (415) 474-8800, with the code “WE.” Treat your family and friends to a joyous evening and support the Bay View!
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.
Hours after San Francisco Bay Area radio show host JR Valrey screened his documentary film, “Operation Small Axe,” about police brutality at a university in Philadelphia, daily newspapers in that city carried articles about two separate lawsuits filed against Philly police alleging brutality. “Police brutality is definitely not ‘isolated incidents,’ as officials always say after each new killing or beating by police,” said Valrey, host of the Block Report, a program aired on KPFA-FM, the Pacifica station in the Bay Area.
National Public Radio (NPR), hit by the global economic crisis, is preparing to lay off in March 2009 more than 60 staff and eliminating two major programs, one being News & Notes.
In Arms Reach in Harlem, directed by Terrance Stevens, who is paralyzed, focuses on mentoring at risk youth and children with incarcerated parent(s), providing one-on-one mentoring, after-school tutoring, college preparation courses, creative development through art and music and free prison visitation services.
San Francisco will come alive with 15 Kwanzaa celebrations in seven days Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, presented by the Village Project and many community partners. Striving to unite and strengthen our family, community and nation, each of the seven principles – the Nguzo Saba – will be highlighted with the lighting of a candle, followed by a feast and a myriad of artistic performances. On New Year's Day, the final day of Kwanzaa, join the celebration at 6 p.m. at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, 2097 Turk St., with Bernard Anderson and The Smooth Blues Band. The last candle of the kinara will be lit, and Dr. Dorothy Tsuruta, chair of the Department of Africana Studies, SF State University, will MC.