In 2008, award winning filmmaker and community activist Kevin Epps wrote, directed and produced a documentary, “The Black Rock,” a film that tells the story of the African American history on Alcatraz. This month, Epps is releasing a companion book to that documentary called “Black Alcatraz,” which goes deeper into the experiences of the Black prisoner on the island while correlating those stories to today’s prison system.
The No New SF Jail Coalition’s position has been clear since day one – what San Francisco needs to keep its residents safe is housing, healthcare, mental health support, harm reductive substance use support, education, meaningful employment, community organizations, re-entry support and pre-trial diversion. NOT jails. We need you to call the Board of Supervisors, tell your friends and come out strong on Dec. 15. UPDATE: The vote to reject the new jail was UNANIMOUS! There will be NO NEW SF JAIL.
The bloody arrest of University of Virginia student Martese Johnson started when a bouncer for a local bar approached him on a sidewalk, Johnson’s attorney, Daniel Watkins, said Thursday, March 19. Watkins said his client was never in possession of a fake ID and was simply standing on the sidewalk. The attack against Johnson, a third-year student and member of the UVA’s Honor Council, exposed long-standing racial tensions at one of the country’s most prestigious universities.
After two officers were shot, police conducted an unjustified dawn raid on a house in Ferguson. A woman and her 6-year-old son had the red laser sights of police rifles trained on their chests as they emerged into their garden under orders from the officers, who arrived in military-style vehicles.
I approach 2015 with mixed emotions but remain hopeful. Our economy is improving from the collapse of 2008. Our stock market has rebounded, employment rates are on the rise – yet, the issue of racial inequity in this country is magnified more than ever. The ongoing protests of the deaths of unarmed Black men by law enforcement has drawn attention to the issues of inequality in the treatment of people of color by law enforcement.
As we move into the next solar return, there is much to look forward to despite the stasis that seems to infect this nation with the disease of white supremacy or racial domination. OK OK, perhaps the silver lining is a bit too buried to find Osumare’s twinkle beyond any pots of gold you’ve stumbled upon recently. The knowledge that no matter how it looks, the Creator is in charge and the bad guys just look like they are always winning is what sustains us.
As thanksgiving approaches, many of us are receiving messages that reflect on what we should be thankful for. Coming on the heels of the grand jury decision on Michael Brown, it is obvious some of us may not be feeling particularly blessed and thankful, living in a system that threatens our boys – our lives. Like all families across this nation that mix generations of American kids with immigrant parents and grandparents, the story is mixed and at times complicated.
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.
The San Francisco Public Defender’s office has partnered with a national research and policy hub to embark on a broad study to identify racial disparities in San Francisco’s criminal justice system. The Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School will work hand in hand with the Public Defender’s Office to gather a broad range of statistics providing insight into drug arrests, traffic stops, plea deals, sentences and bail.
The San Francisco Neighborhood Newspaper Association and the impact of community journalism was the featured topic last week at a forum sponsored by San Francisco’s prestigious Commonwealth Club. Four local publishers, Earl Adkins (Marina Times), Juan Gonzales (El Tecolate), Willie Ratcliff (SF Bay View) and moderator Glenn Gullmes (West Portal Monthly) represented the neighborhood news collective.
Jason Anderson has been a staunch activist in the Oakland area for about half a decade and has been working very hard on keeping the historic Liberty Hall building, the original Oakland home to Marcus Garvey’s UNIA in West Oakland, in the hands of the Black community. It has been an uphill battle, but this veteran of Occupy Oakland is up for the challenge.
Slain 18-year-old Ferguson, Missouri, resident Michael Brown was laid to rest on Aug. 25. The funeral was a local and national event with thousands in attendance. Brown was killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, on Aug. 9 while he walked through the streets of his neighborhood. His brutal death from six gunshot wounds fired at close range sparked immediate mass demonstrations in Ferguson that have continued for over two weeks.
For those who are looking at us, as if we were in a cage like Patrice Lumumba said, there is no difference between a Black African and an African-American. We are the ones making this difference because we think that for the white man there are good Blacks and there are bad Blacks. We don’t look at ourselves through our own eyes but through the eyes of another person who has defined us as not human.
As Delores Hearring celebrates her 100th birthday on July 11, 2014, allow us to share a bit of her history and contribution to the Hunters Point Bayview community. Delores speaks with pride of her days working in the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard as a riveter. Not having had the opportunity to complete her schooling, she did so in California, earning her high school diploma and attending San Francisco City College for two years.
Twenty-six year-old Congolese American science student Alima Kasongo should inspire anyone facing enormous odds, most of all her own Congolese people, who have faced the most enormous odds thrown at any people in the world for so many years. For good reason, many have said that if there were peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), there would be peace on earth.
Gina M. Paige explained that the organization, African Ancestry, started with Dr. Rick Kittles, genetic researcher at Howard University who was interested in isolating the gene that caused prostate cancer, one of the leading causes of death in our community. He found this research methodology applicable in other genetic detective research and so in 2003 African Ancestry was founded with Ms. Paige.
Every day is a blessing and every moment is an opportunity to learn, grow and be better than we were yesterday. This goes for fathers as well as their children, and the most important thing is to enjoy the journey. It doesn’t take much to find enjoyment in your children, only your patience and your time. Make your children the most important thing in your life, because they are.
The 18th Annual Maafa Commemoration Ritual is Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, predawn. We meet at Ocean Beach, Fulton at the Great Highway. The ritual is for people of African Descent (Black people from throughout the globe). There are so many great events this month, but not enough space to list them all.
Martin King said as long as there is economic inequality, there will be racial inequality.The lack of economic empowerment in our community comes from economic dysfunction that is a result of – let’s be real – racism as it relates to how this country has been structured so that the classes, in a real sense, exploit the masses, and especially people of color and, without a doubt, African Americans.
In this morning’s John Gambling radio show, Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized Davis v. City of New York, a putative class action lawsuit filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) and co-counsel the Legal Aid Society on behalf of plaintiffs challenging the NYPD’s policy and practice of unlawfully stopping and arresting public housing residents and their guests for trespassing.