Tags African American Art and Culture Complex
Tag: African American Art and Culture Complex
The San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society will launch the 2016 annual Black History Month kickoff in the Rotunda at City Hall on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, at 12 noon followed by a reception in the South Light Court. John William Templeton, Oxford University Press historian, will address the national theme, “Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories.”
It is amazing how time flies whether one is moving or standing still. One looks up and sees, suddenly it seems, friends celebrating 70 and 75 or 80 or even 90-plus milestones. Wow! What a blessing that is. And while we also see the fullness of time’s passage in the lives of those who have decided to move on, too often we are caught by surprise, our mouths hung open, the words we could have said … deeds left undone.
The film is in French with English subtitles and is set primarily in France, beginning in 1963. Two children from Reunion Island, a French colony that lies east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, were among 1,600 children from the island brought to France for forced adoptions by farmers to repopulate the countryside. Their mother gave them to a white couple who promised her they would make them doctors but in the end enslaved them.
In the documentary “Farming a Legacy,” I learned that since the Emancipation Proclamation, one of the biggest fights that Blacks have had in this country was and is to own and retain farmland. In the 1920s, there were 1,000,000 Black owned farms in the United States. By 2013, that number had dropped to 18,000. “Farming a Legacy” is a majestic cinematic look at the day to day life and family history of a third generation farmer named Dale Jones.
The 38-minute short film “Hagereseb” is a rare cinematic treat, and it will be making its Bay Area debut during the San Francisco Black Film Festival on Saturday, June 13. It is not a foreign film but has the feeling of one because it is about two 10-year-old second generation Eritrean friends, who live in the Yesler Terrace housing project in Seattle, Washington, which was built in the ‘40s as the first integrated housing project in the U.S.
Queen Njinga Mbandi of the Ndongo people is a legendary as well as charismatic figure in the pantheon of African world leaders and freedom fighters against colonialism. Screewriter Isilda Hurst and director Sérgio Graciano brought this legendary matriarch to life in a beautiful cinematic way with their new film, “Njinga: Queen of Angola,” a masterpiece for anyone interested in African history, foreign cinema and good movies in general.
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.
“I sit up here today, reflecting on where I started, in a public housing unit right down the street, five of us living on $700 a month,” said London Breed in her Board of Supervisors presidential acceptance speech on Jan. 8. “I remember standing in line at church for donated food, and standing in line at the fire house for our Christmas toys. I remember seeing a friend shot dead when I was 12 years old. ... But I had a grandmother who loved me. And early on I learned a lesson that San Francisco should carefully remember today: wealth is nothing without love.”
On Sept. 13, 2014, the most progressive of the Bay Area’s Black and pro-Black journalists came together to celebrate one another and to give awards to a well deserving few. It was also a salute to the real legacy of Black journalism in the United States that was born out of the fight for human rights and self-determination. The night was dedicated to the memory of the recently transitioned journalist and editor Kevin Weston.
Sunday, Oct. 12, marks our 19th Annual Maafa Commemoration. This is a time when we gather to remember our African ancestors, especially those who endured the transatlantic slave trade or the Middle Passage, the Black Holocaust. It is a time for Pan Africans to gather and celebrate life and recommit ourselves to the work of liberation: spiritual, psychological, economic and political.
From the moment the doors opened on the evening of Sept. 13, it was apparent that the honoring of our global African media would begin its night of empowerment with the tradition of honoring one of the community’s foremost elders. We celebrated the 82 years of life and struggle of Dr. Willie Ratcliff and Dr. Ratcliff’s 22 years of Black media ownership of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper. Black Media Appreciation Night 2014 was filled with wisdom, communication and the exchange of knowledge, as well as people receiving awards for life changing, revolutionary work.
Every two years, Block Report Radio and the SF Bay View newspaper get together to sponsor Black Media Appreciation Night, a night when we honor the very best in Black media from around the Bay Area. BMAN 2014 is Saturday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m., at the African American Art and Culture Complex (AAACC), 762 Fulton, San Francisco. Tickets at EventBrite (click the banner above). Headliners are pianist Kev Choice, comedian Donald E. Lacy, and Phavia Kujichagulia and Ma'at. Read on for the full list of honorees ... and more.
Veronica Blair has one of those superhero sounding names, and when you find out what her and her friends are into, it may be kind of fitting. Veronica is one of few Black circus artists that I know of in the Bay Area who takes it upon herself to organize events and push the knowledge of our people’s history of involvement in the art form.
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?
This season we have lost two pillars of our San Francisco Bay Area community, Samuel Fredericks and Upesi Mtambuzi. Cedar Walton, pianist, also made his transition this year, along with Donald Duck Bailey, drummer, both men beautiful human beings. Upesi, Samuel, Cedar and Donald all brightened our world. Their unique hues and shapes and sounds will be missed ... that last live jam.
The award winning play, “The Mountaintop,” looks at the everyday divinity of ordinary folks and places Martin King right there with them. His greatness is not a greatness which is inaccessible or isolated. In the Lorraine Motel that night, King listens and even agrees at some point with the young maid, Camae, a Malcolm X radical in an apron.
Refa-1 is a revolutionary graffiti artist who made history in the Bay Area about 18 years ago by creating a commissioned Malcolm X mural at San Francisco State with anti-zionist messages. Refa-1 has been making a name for himself curating the Aerosoul shows over the years. Don’t miss the closing reception to AeroSoul3, Friday, Feb. 22, at the African-American Art and Culture Complex.
The 23rd African American Celebration through Poetry is Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 1-4 p.m. at the West Oakland Branch Library, 1801 Adeline St., in Oakland, (510) 238-7352. All are welcome and if anyone didn’t hear of the event in time to be a part of the featured program, we do have an open mic at the end of the program.
San Francisco’s ranked choice voting system produced a surprising result in the Nov. 6 election, when District 5, the City’s most progressive district, elected London Breed, the candidate perceived to be the most conservative in the race. Then District 7, the City’s second most conservative district, elected Norman Yee, its most progressive candidate.
Reginald DeVoine was called home on Friday, June 8, 2012. Owner of DeVoine Entertainment, Reggie produced shows that pertained to Black history and brought them to life on stage. He left an indelible mark on this earth by touching the lives of many, his biggest accomplishment.