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Now, as the San Francisco Bay View newspaper’s 40th birthday year comes to a close, is the time to bring up to date the historical sketch of our paper that I began with Part 1 in the January paper. Piles of old papers rest on my desk, waiting to be read once again – a banquet of stories and pictures of our lives, our hopes, our goals. Let me let you taste the flavor of the freedom we continue to fight for in the age of Trump.
Tirrell Muhammad, chairman of the board of the directors of the Golden State Giants semi-pro football team, sat down with the SF Bay View newspaper to talk local football. He talks about some of the star players and upcoming open tryouts and introduces us to the some of the head honchos within the organization. Check him out.
In response to a community-led proposal, the San Francisco Library Commission voted unanimously in favor of renaming the Bayview Branch Library by adding the name of Linda Brooks-Burton. Ms. Brooks-Burton was a beloved figure who advocated tirelessly for the needs of the community and served as a role model and mentor for youth and all who used the library. She worked for the San Francisco Public Library for 30 years.
Last week, rather than allow Marcus Books family members to relocate after evicting them, the Sweis family stole all of the books and used sledge hammers to smash the book shelves and furniture. To the Black community, this is a repeat of history, where invaders come in time and time again to smash the symbols and evidence of a people’s greatness. This will NOT be tolerated. Will you stand with us and DEMAND the Sweises respect our history? We need to pressure the Sweises to do the decent thing.
San Francisco has a semi-professional football team called the Golden State Giants, which has been holding open tryouts over the last couple of weeks. Tirrell Muhammad is the president of the San Francisco based Golden State Giants, and we sat with him to do this exclusive Q&A about the Pacific Coast Football League, the Golden State Giants, and NFL policy. Read Tirrell Muhammad in his own words ...
On Sept. 19, Bayview Hunters Point lost a favorite daughter. Linda Brooks Burton, born and raised right here in the neighborhood, served as managing librarian of the Bayview Library for nearly 15 years and, a 30-year veteran of the San Francisco Public Library, was recently put in charge of all six libraries in San Francisco’s southeast sector.
Black people have largely been locked out of construction work in San Francisco since 1998. That’s a shame, because construction work is a solution to many of the ills in the Black community. Construction wages are high, and when Black contractors have work, they are generally eager to train Black workers regardless of their school, police or prison records.
The Village Project and the Bayview Y present San Francisco’s seventh annual Kwanzaa, featuring a special celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. This year’s event will again highlight the seven principles of Kwanzaa (Nguzo Saba), with 14 free events taking place over seven days throughout San Francisco.
On the corner of Third and Revere, where the Bayview Library used to be, nothing is left but bare ground. One of the few places in the neighborhood where youngsters felt safe and enriched and everyone was welcome is gone. If the City had allowed the low bidder to build the new library, it would have been at least halfway to completion by now. The youngsters who love the library would be watching their parents and older brothers and sisters build a beautiful new library for them to return to in a matter of months. Liberty Builders, my general contracting company, was that low bidder.
Minutes after the outrageous police killing of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding a stone’s throw from my home and office, I joined the crowd and for two hours listened to the witnesses, shared the anger and echoed the calls for unity. Let us demand the right to “own and operate and control the economy of our community,” as Brother Malcolm advised. Now – right now – is the time for us to prove that it’s not the police, it’s not the prison guards or the big developers who have the power to impoverish and enslave us and drive us off our land. The ultimate power belongs to the people, and we will use it.
“The police in our community occupy our area, our community, as a foreign troop occupies territory. And the police are in our community not to promote our welfare or our security or our safety, but they are there to contain us, to brutalize us and murder us,” said Huey P. Newton, co-founder and minister of defense of the Black Panther Party. Hunters Point has stood up to the Lennar Corp. and the City about the shipyard. It is time to expand that movement to include police terrorism, put new energy into it, and claim our right to live and not be wantonly killed.
After many months of discussions with the City regarding the rescission of an award to rebuild the Bayview Library, Liberty Builders has retained San Francisco civil rights attorney DeWitt Lacy to pursue legal remedies for discriminatory breach of contract.
I am back with you fighting for our jobs at a time when I should have been preparing to choose many of you to work with me to build the new Bayview Library. The contract to build our library in our neighborhood was taken from my company, Liberty Builders, and awarded instead to a white contractor, K C K Builders, whose bid included no Blacks at all. This time we won’t let the gate swing shut again for another dozen years. We’re all fighting back – and we’re winning, especially with the passage of Supervisor John Avalos’ Mandatory Local Hire ordinance.
The Bayview Library is a second home for the children and all the people of Bayview Hunters Point. Now the City wants to replace it with a new building, but who will build it? Low bidder on the project was Liberty Builders, located a block from the library and owned by Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff, who is trusted to hire from the community. But the City just snatched the contract from Liberty and gave it to KCK Builders, a white contractor with no Black participation. Will the community allow KCK to build the library?
On Sept. 1, we learned that Liberty Builders, owned by Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff, will build the new Bayview Library. That's a great breakthrough for Liberty Builders, the Bay View and the entire community and a step toward heeding the advice of Malcolm X: "We should own and operate and control the economy of our community." Keep an eye on www.sfbayview.com. In about a month, we should know when the jobs will begin and how you can benefit.
“We’re trying to get in. Some people don’t want us in.” That’s the message Willie Ratcliff took from the bullet that crashed through our bedroom window at 1:45 a.m. on Thursday, May 13. Ratcliff has a hunch it was fired by someone trying to scare him out of competing to build the new Bayview Library. Someone must be scared that Black power is about to break the 12-year lockout of Blacks from construction in San Francisco. Black power does not bow to a bullet.
Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff’s construction company, Liberty Builders, has advanced to the second stage of competition for the contract to build the new Bayview Library. The next hurdle is bonding, a barrier that usually locks Blacks out. Ratcliff has a long proven record of hiring from the community. Bay Area Black Builders will join the mass JOBS RALLY Saturday, May 8, 12 noon, New Federal Bldg, 7th & Mission, SF, to demand jobs for all.
The new Bayview Library must be built by the people it serves. No more exclusion of Blacks as with Third Street Light Rail. Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff's company, Liberty Builders, is competing to build it with a team of top Black construction professionals committed to hiring from the community. Come to the Bay Area Black Builders meeting Saturday, April 10, 12 noon, at 1099 Sunnydale, Vis Valley, San Francisco.
The Bay Area Black Builders and friends shut down a pre-bid conference for a library in the heart of Hunters Point. This action was designed to send the mayor of San Francisco a message: If Black people do not work in Hunters Point, no one works here.