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Wanda’s Picks for July 2014

The Glide Memorial Church family worked wonders at the celebration of San Francisco native Maya Angelou's life that she requested before she died. They juxtaposed carefully chosen visual moments with prerecorded Maya moments, which made her presence so palatable that the sanctuary lights came under the control of Spirit Maya and played with our collective vision – the room almost dark and the lights flickering off and on.

Political prisoner Marshall Eddie Conway released after 44 years

A small hearing March 4, 2014, in an obscure courtroom at the Circuit Court for Baltimore City ended with the release of former Black Panther Marshall “Eddie” Conway, who has spent nearly 44 of his 67 years in maximum security prisons. “He helped me when I was incarcerated at 15 years old,” said DJ, one of the young men who met Eddie in prison as a kid.

‘The Black Arts Movement and Its Influences’ conference hits UC Merced...

“The Black Arts Movement and Its Influences” conference will be going down with a host of legendary Black artists who have contributed to the liberation of our minds over the last 50 years. People like Askia Toure, Umar Bin Hasan of the Last Poets, Emory Douglas, the Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party, Avotcja, Ayodele Nzinga, Ras Baraka and Ishmael Reed, to name a few, will be participating.

Kev Choice releases soon to be classic ‘Oakland Riviera’

If you take a little Theolonius Monk, mix it with Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def, with a little twist of some Lauryn Hill and Curtis Mayfield and put it on an Oakland soundscape, you’ll get what bandleader and pianist Kev Choice cooked up on his newly released, soon to be classic album, “Oakland Riviera.” By far this is one of the best sounding, most creative and most political albums to come out of Oakland’s Hip Hop scene in the last few years.

Other Brothers in Angola

Most of us know of the famed Angola 3, Black Panthers who organized a real branch of the Black Panther Party in the infamous Angola Prison in Louisiana. Robert King Wilkinson, the late Herman Hook Wallace and Albert Woodfox taught other men there about Black History, politics and Black Panther history. One such man is Kenny “Zulu” Whitmore. Zulu has spent a total of 35 years in solitary confinement, principally for his political beliefs.

The Omaha Two: How long is life?

New information revealed at Omaha’s annual Black August Weekend, held at the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation, may engender a glint of hope for Nebraska political prisoners, Mondo we Langa and Ed Poindexter. The two await the answer to an age-old question: How long is life? We Langa and Poindexter, also known as the “Omaha Two,” have been imprisoned 43 years.

Mass march against police brutality in Anaheim: Basta ya!

There was an ocean of signs in a sea of banners of struggle and liberation in front of Anaheim’s City Hall and the adjacent park on July 21, 2013. The signs held faces of those cut down in the prime of their lives in loving memory and detail. There were informational signs and signs with slogans of liberation, with demands, statements of fact and advice – such as “Fuck the system” and “FTP” (“Fuck the police”).

Black radio, Black power!

Raise your voice and the voices of our people – the voice of truth. Until we get the big mikes, we gotta hit a lot of little mikes. Bring back the doo woppers on street corners and concerned citizens speaking on footstools like Malcolm and Black New Yorkers used to do in the ‘60s – and even today. Support your local poetry, spoken word and open mike scenes where – at least there – we still have a voice.

U.S. drone policy: Sen. Rand Paul filibuster

Rand Paul’s filibuster opposing nominee John Brennan’s CIA appointment had relevant historical significance. In terms of the U.S. drone policy and the capacity for targeted killing of U.S. citizens, it is important to know targeted killing of U.S. citizens under a secret program is not new. As a result of a counter intelligence program (COINTELPRO), as many as 33 Black Panthers were targeted for killing.

LAPD was never spooked by Christopher Dorner: Something don’t smell right

Over the past week, Southern Cali police had more than 1,000 officers combing mountains, stopping traffic on major freeways where cars were held up for hours, offering a million dollars, the highest reward ever offered for a wanted person in state history – and that’s just for starters. During the past week, LAPD shot three innocent people without identifying themselves as police officers.

‘The 16th Strike,’ documentary on the current state of Blacks/Africans in...

“The 16th Strike,” a documentary in progress, is directed and produced by T Alika Hickman with videographer Danny Russo. Hickman, the young survivor of a stroke and two brain aneurysms, is a Hip Hop artist with Krip Hop Nation – artists with disabilities – as well as a mother, activist, author and poet. She is raising funds to complete the film.

Buy Black Wednesdays: Science of the years

Going back to nature is going back to what’s natural and good for your health and wellbeing and going back to your natural selves. Going back to nature is going back to Black, Mama Nature’s original people. We should teach our children about the cycles of the moon and the difference between planting and harvesting seasons, the ancient Afrikan Sciences of the Years.

Tears of sorrow and rage: Oakland PD, the Black Panthers and...

For decades, the Oakland Police Department has been the focus of fear. For a brief time, the Black Panther Party put a crimp into their strut. But the Black Panther Party is no more, and the repression has come surging back. The family of Alan Blueford continue to organize resistance to this campaign of repression. You can join that campaign at justice4alanblueford.org.

Vote ‘United for Community Radio’ for the KPFA Local Station Board

It is time for all the staff and listeners to embrace the democratic victory that was won for us in legal and street battles of 1999-2001 and by the people who formed the original “Save KPFA” in the mid-1990s. KPFA was not sold from under us, and thanks to their efforts, it never will be. It is time to bring peace to KPFA and Pacifica and help strengthen this priceless resource.

Richard lives! More thoughts on my friend, Richard Aoki

In an earlier statement, I said that Richard Aoki is and was my respected friend, comrade, mentor and crime partner. I received the feedback that I had used fine words but had given no examples to show what I meant. I accept that criticism and the following is my response. I hope that you can see what kind of cat the brotha was.

Mo Nishida: My thoughts on the unprincipled attack on Richard Aoki’s...

The Los Angeles Richard Aoki Commemoration Committee will acknowledge the life and legacy of San Francisco Bay Area activist and organizer Richard Aoki, member of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF), on Sunday, Sept. 16, at 4 p.m., at Centenary United Methodist Church in Little Tokyo at 300 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles.

NY Times underestimates Oakland’s radicals

The New York Times published a piece called “Oakland, the Last Refuge of Radical America” that pretty much had everyone in Oakland scratching their heads and mouthing a collective WTF? Is Oakland the last refuge for radicalism where outsiders are invading the city? No, Oakland is a city where people are not shy about fighting for and demanding justice.

Fred Ho refutes the claim that Richard Aoki was an FBI...

Aoki NEVER was an agent. The over-emphasis upon Aoki providing the Panthers their first firearms is sensationalist fodder. What is conveniently ignored is what he contributed most to the Panthers and to the legacy of the U.S. revolutionary movement: promoting revolutionary study, ideology and disciplined organization. That’s why he was field marshal – because the cat could organize and tolerated no indiscipline and lack of seriousness. To the end of his life, Aoki could go toe-to-toe with any intellectual, theorist or organizer on the complexities and challenges of revolutionary theory.

Duguma wins major court victory: Without a fight it can’t be...

The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco has ruled in a 3-0 decision that alleged members and associates of the New Afrikan revolutionary leftist organization titled the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF) and all New Afrikan prisoners have a First Amendment right to expression of their United States constitutional rights to speak to the New Afrikan nationalist revolutionary man ideology. These are clearly our political beliefs.

Solitary confinement: Torture chambers for Black revolutionaries

An estimated 80,000 men, women and even children are being held in solitary confinement on any given day in U.S. prisons. If the struggle to end inhumane treatment inside prisons is to become anything more than a largely apolitical movement for so-called “civil rights,” it must put two long-ignored points back on the agenda: race and revolution.