Prisoners and their families have been complaining about the horrible living conditions in the jail. They have told stories of inadequate and inedible food, black mold growing on cell walls and extensive use of solitary confinement. Also, access is limited for medical services for both pre-existing conditions and illnesses acquired inside the jail.
One of the best indie films with a street edge and a message in the 2017 San Francisco Black Film Festival that deals with human trafficking is called “When Love Kills.” It is definitely a must see. I have watched over 100 films made this year and last year, and this is definitely among the cream of the crop. Check out screenwriter Cas Sigers-Beedles as she gives us some of the ins and outs on making this film.
The 60-day notification deadline for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) re-designation is rapidly approaching, on May 23, 2017, for Haitian nationals. If re-designation is not granted, as many as 50,000 Haitians living across the United States will be stripped of work authorization and will be prioritized for ICE removal. ICE is currently removing over 4,000 Somalis residing in the United States, according to Ahmed Isse Awad, Somalia’s U.S. ambassador.
Rwanda Day-San Francisco was a bad day for identity politics. Rwandan President Paul Kagame stepped to the podium and said that he was happy to be in San Francisco because it’s so diverse, seeming not to understand that his guest speaker, Rev. Rick Warren, champion of the 2008 Prop 8 ballot measure banning same sex marriage, wouldn’t appeal to San Francisco’s diverse population.
Maafa 2014 - The waves were as tall as mountains or perhaps redwood trees –their gigantic footprints in the sand left many pilgrims flat on their backs wet from head to toe. In 19 years, I’d never seen waves as tall as those that Sunday morning. Many thanks to all who came and made the commemoration a huge success. It was great to have co-founder, Minister Donald Paul Miller, back in the circle.
Congratulations to Gerald Lenoir for carrying the torch and blazing the way for so many social justice issues from HIV/AIDS awareness in the Black community to his recent work in just migration for Pan Africans. Much success on your new work! Farewell to Alona Clifton and much success in Atlanta. Congratulations also to Almaz Negash, founder and director of African Diaspora Network in Silicon Valley for her national recognition and award at the Continental African Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.
The fiery H. Rap Brown, chairperson of SNCC, minister of justice for the Black Panther Party and one of the original four targets of the FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO to neutralize Black power, is presently entombed in the federal prison at Florence, Colorado, one of the world’s 10 worst prisons. Pursued relentlessly since the ‘60s, he was wrongfully convicted in 2002 – the prosecutor bragging that they finally got him after trying for 24 years. His wife, attorney Karima Al-Amin, tells his story on the Block Report.
Russell Maroon Shoatz is out of solitary confinement! Hugo Pinnell had his first contact visit in 40 years last weekend. Kiilu Nyasha announced this wonderful news at a reception following the second public hearing on solitary confinement called by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Feb. 11.
Congratulations to my nephew Wilfred Batin, 9 years old, who was one of two honor roll students from Rosa Parks Elementary School honored this year at City Hall. Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who deserve more than a day to honor them. Congratulations to all the college graduates!
This year, on the 150 anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, we all need to heed the words of Sister Jayne Cortez: “And if we don’t fight / if we don’t resist / if we don’t organize and unify and / get the power to control our own lives / Then we will wear / the exaggerated look of captivity ...” And don't miss Wanda's excellent, no holds barred reviews of “Django Unchained,” “Lincoln and “Red Hook Summer,” plus Dr. King birthday events listing and much more
“It has been 33 days since these men have eaten. We must move swiftly or people are going to start dying,” writes Delma Jackson, wife of Miguel Jackson, the prisoner who was beaten with a hammer in retaliation for his role in the December 2010 mass sit-down strike protesting slave labor and other atrocities.
Summertime in the Bay Area is nothing without all of the music, food and film festivals. If you missed the Oakland International Film Festival, there is still time for you to catch the Bay’s biggest Black film festival, the San Francisco Black Film Festival, which runs June 15-17 at a number of theaters around San Francisco. This year Leo Sullivan will be in attendance. He is one of the cartoon visionaries who created Fat Albert and Looney Tunes. Digital Underground will also be a part of this year’s festivities, as well as Black Panther Party co-founder and chairman Bobby Seale.
The Oakland International Film Festival is Friday-Sunday, April 6-8, at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Street, Oakland. Visit http://www.oiff.org/2012schedule.pdf. This year’s headliner is one of the most controversial independent films ever made, “The Spook Who Sat by the Door.” Watch it again here.
Imam Jamil Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown) is one of the most revered Black revolutionary leaders from the ‘60s who is alive today. He was a legendary organizer with SNCC and briefly with the Black Panther Party, then later in an Islamic community in the West End of Atlanta, Georgia. This is one of the true fathers of rap music. Atlanta will rally Monday, March 19, 3-5 p.m., at the Georgia Capitol, 206 Washington St., to bring Imam Jamil back to Georgia from federal prison in Florence, Colo.
When the Occupy San Quentin rally ended, San Rafael police followed us to the Richmond Bridge. I don’t know if it was Jabari Shaw’s orange CDCR jumpsuit that kept them wondering – Is he an escapee, one of ours? – or if it was the sheer magnitude of fearlessness represented by women like Kelly, a former prisoner who would not let her traumatic experience silence her. One brother got so full looking at the guards on the other side of the gate watching that he looked like he was going to leap the gate and hurt someone as he recalled the violations of his person over and over again. Members of All of Us or None dropped everything to embrace him when he left the stage.
Arriving at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport from cities throughout America, aspiring college students were excited. The tour would visit Spelman College, Morehouse College and Clark-Atlanta University in Atlanta, also Alabama State University and Tuskegee University in Alabama.
When Malik Rhasaan first visited the Occupy Wall Street park at Liberty Square, he noticed that there was a lack of people of color. “Something needed to be done and I started the hash tag #occupythehood and from there it kind of swelled,” said Rhasaan, getting support from everyone from “professors down to cats who just got out of prison.”
In his last public message the day before he was assassinated, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called on Black people in Memphis to support Black banks. “We’ve got to strengthen Black institutions. I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in Tri-State Bank,” he said ...
Third-party presidential candidate George Wallace, the former governor of Alabama, was in Omaha in March 1968 to qualify his American party in Nebraska. Wallace had arrived in Omaha on Sunday, the day before, and held an angry news conference to provoke a large turnout at his rally.
“I Twirl in the Smoke” is a new collection of writings by Meres-Sia Gabriel, the daughter of two Black Panthers, most notably former Minister of Culture and internationally known artist Emory Douglas.
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