From the first time I ever heard of Abbey Lincoln she was associated with the struggle for the freedom and dignity of Black folks. She could have found commercial success, but Abbey was committed to the liberation and elevation of her oppressed people; once you experience that freedom high, nothing can compare with it.
Lil’ D aka Darryl Reed is one of the biggest hustlers ever born on the streets of Oakland. In Oakland, his name is right up there with other local legends like Ricky Henderson, Huey P. Newton, Felix Mitchell, Micky Moe, Mark Curry, Gary Payton, Hook Mitchell, Reggie Jackson, Tony Toni Tone, Too Short, Askari X and the likes.
Mercedes Martin is one of the new young emerging political artists out of the Bay with a whole lot to say. The thing is that she does not rock a mic or joust with her pen; she is a political jewelry maker who tends to hover around personalities like Oscar Grant, Malcolm X and political musicians.
Over the years Engla Murphy’s PSundays Fashion House has been one of the most talked about local fashion houses in the Bay Area. Now this independent entrepreneur has opened up a store in Bay Fair Mall, which is one of the main clothes shopping hubs in the East Bay.
The 16th of June 2010 saw Andre Ward, WBA super middleweight champion of the world, and Oklahoman-born Allan “Sweetness” Green at a pre-fight press conference in Oakland’s Oracle Arena. On June 19, they fought. Andre Ward won all 12 rounds. Green was hospitalized after the fight.
Joan Armatrading’s statement calling on leaders of Israel and Palestine to “take that step” to solve “the problem” is a backwards way of acknowledging protests of her recent concert in Tel Aviv, Israel. When she plays San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts on Tuesday, Aug. 10, let her know that to disregard the Palestinian cultural boycott is to take a stand with racism and apartheid.
Marilyn Buck was a former political prisoner and prisoner of war. Along with Mutulu Shakur, she was responsible for the liberation of Assata Shakur from prison in 1979. She later went underground and spent 25 years in prison. She was released July 15, 2010. Then suddenly, only 19 days later, she was gone.
Kamau Amen Ra’s work in this exhibit, which he curated, ranges from Goapele singing to Damu Sudii Ali, who was there on the same piano that evening. Each photo has a story. The younger artist and the only woman, TaSin Sabir, also has a range of images, each artist described with a poetic quote.
Bikes 4 Life is on the cutting edge of the earth conscious movement that has to take place in this country if the human race is to survive. From the naked eye, it is a used bike shop that repairs and sells used bikes. In reality, it is one of the community anchors in West Oakland where people go to socialize and congregate and discuss community issues, including bikes.
Billy McKinney was elected to the Georgia State Legislature after the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. His position in the Legislature was accompanied by that of his daughter in 1989. Billy and Cynthia served as the first father-daughter team of lawmakers in the history of the state of Georgia.
“POOR’s rule from the beginning was to break down the myth of objectivity and the implicit ‘other’ stance of journalism. We accomplished this through the integration of self, the use of ‘I’ in every story,” explains Tiny – Lisa Gray-Garcia. POOR needs your help right now. Become a Revolutionary Donor today!
A sampling of reactions from small and independent news reporters during the July 8 protest rally called by the Los Angeles Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant is recorded in these videos. The rally was called in response to the involuntary manslaughter verdict handed down by a Los Angeles jury just hours before.
Hanging out back stage at a recent fashion show in Oakland, I met the beautiful and intelligent model Mercedes White. I wanted to profile her because she was not just an arm piece or a nice body profiling clothes; she is modeling to pay for her education. She told me that she is driven to become a medical doctor.
More than one hundred people met in Leimert Park in South Los Angeles on July 8 to protest the verdict of Involuntary Manslaughter for Johannes Mehserle, the murderer of Oscar Grant III. The rally lasted more than three hours as organizers, activists and concerned citizens called for justice for Oscar Grant and for accountability and control of the police in Black and Brown communities.
“The Cannes International Film Festival provides a larger opportunity for African Americans to bring their stories to the world marketplace expanding beyond the 500 or so theaters. In my experience, contrary to what we are told in the U.S., the world is ready to hear our stories of insiders, outsiders, the oppressed and the powerful.” - John Michael Reefer, film producer and director
July brings to mind many historic events, such as Frederick Douglass’ speech at an event July 5, 1852, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity ..."
Some members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community would rather divide than build bridges between communities. For instance, Charles Knipp, a racist and culturally insensitive White gay male, dons a Black face, becoming Shirley Q. Liquor and telling jokes that reinforce stereotypical images of Black women and Black culture.
A good MC is a song writer, a poet, a storyteller etc. So when we take the talent and passion of our craft and apply it to other forms of creative writing, we shine. The more you can master the language and break words up and down, the more ammunition and intelligence you have. The more intelligence you have, the more power. Look at what happened to Malcolm after reading the dictionary.