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It had been two years since I had seen my brothers, and this was the year I was going to see them, in New York. So me and my dad getting to New York started off badly. First of all we missed our flight, and we were on standby for a day and a half. For most of our flight, I was asleep. Our flight landed in Philadelphia in the midst of a rainstorm, so our flight was not coming. After we heard that news, me and my dad went to go get something to eat.
Lawyer, artist and activist Ezili Danto gives the Block Report audience a history lesson on the first republic to free itself militarily from slavery, under the direction of the first Pan African head of state, Dessalines. We are talking about none other than Haiti. She also gives us a little bit of the history of the Dominican Republic and its relationship with Haiti as well as the role that the mulatoes have played in Haitian history.
Are we ready, finally, to have the conversation on race that President Bill Clinton suggested the United States needed? The Saint Andrew’s Cross, which is the Battle Flag of the Confederacy, now known as the Confederate Flag, symbolizes a fact of history that most White Southerners choose to deny: enslavement of Africans forcibly trafficked to this country and their systematic dehumanization while here – sentiments and aspects of which continue to this day.
This upcoming week, on May 19, we will celebrate the 90th birthday of the late great El Hajj Malik El Shabazz aka our beloved Malcolm X, all over the world. But what will not be talked about in most of these celebrations, unrightfully so, will be the murder of his grandson, Malcolm Latif Shabazz two years earlier on May 10, 2013. Here is Hashim Aluddeen’s perspective on Young Malcolm, on the second anniversary of his assassination.
Why should we care what happened on May 13th, 1985? Because what happened then is a harbinger of what’s happening now – all across America. I don’t mean bombing people – not yet, that is. I mean the visceral hatred and violent contempt once held for MOVE is now visited upon average people – not just radicals and revolutionaries, like MOVE. A free screening of “Let the Fire Burn,” the documentary on the police bombing of MOVE in Philadelphia, takes place on the 30th anniversary of the bombing, Wednesday, May 13, 7-10 p.m., at Omni Oakland Commons.
Love and Fit Hop with Stic of dead prez and Afya Ibomu is today, Monday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m., in the Merritt College Student Lounge, 12500 Campus Drive, Oakland. Stic.man and his wife, Afya Ibomu, are both engaged in creating “Fit-Hop,” a subgenre that promotes sobriety and healthy living as opposed to the mainstream Hip Hop. Check Stic out in his own words.
On Sunday, Feb. 1, 1-3 p.m., to kick off Black History Month, she will be giving a lecture called “Racism and All That Jazz” on African American classical music, aka Jazz, in the Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St. “I’m honored to have the fabulous Yemanya Napue, percussionists Val Serrant and Sosu Ayansolo and visual artist Duane Deterville collaborate with me on this presentation,” she says.
Hajj Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of El Hajj Malik Shabazz, known commonly as Malcolm X, interviewed on Martin Luther King Day 2012, is asked, “How do you see the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King?” Malcolm responds that when it comes to my grandfather’s methods and the methods of Martin Luther King, we can’t always all come at the enemy from the same direction, the same angle. Both are important. And we look beyond our differences to our common interests. And read Malcolm's telegram to Martin.
The Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition announced her passing on the afternoon of Dec. 17: “It is with deep sadness that we share the news about the transition of Goldii. From a daughter’s perspective, she was a dynamic spokesperson, speaking stirringly of the impact incarceration has on children and families. She was also a staunch advocate on behalf of her father’s innocence."
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.
The best African centered holiday play in the nation, “Go Tell It!,” the story of the freedom fighter Harriet Tubman told through spirituals, will be showing at the Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley, on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 3 p.m. Instead of celebrating capitalism during the holidays, “Go Tell It!” is a way that we can remember our ancestors, how far we have come as a people, as well as the leaders, the tactics and the situations that got us here. “Go Tell It!” makes you want to learn more about your ancestors’ history, no matter who you are.
Here is the story of two legends who gave everything to their people for decades and continued to their last breaths. Salute to the Freeman brothers, Roland and Elder. Elder Freeman was a mentor and uncle-like community figure at whose feet I sat for half my life, learning from him and his comrades fundamental lessons: true African communalism and how to sincerely love Black people through action
They’re like, “Fuck it. I can die out here for nothing going at these cats from the other side or I could die for justice tonight with these police.” They’re fearless – they’re ready to be a martyr. Now all of this money that it must cost to bring all these cops in, ... all y’all had to do was put one man in jail. That’s it! A thousand police officers are going to be here in St. Louis and for what? To go out and kill another unarmed Black kid in the streets and then leave him there for four hours? I think that the ripple effect of this is going to rock the whole nation. It could be the tipping point for race relations in America when it comes to policing.
In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords totally transformed the psychology of people in the United States with their survival programs, their muti-layered platforms, their fight for human rights against capitalism and imperialism, and their armed self-defense against the police. On Oct. 24, “Party People,” a play developed and directed by Liesl Tommy, premiered at the Berkeley Repertory Theater.
Lifelong freedom fighter and field secretary and founding member of the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party Ronald Elder Freeman made his transition on Oct. 8, 2014, after a long and valiant battle with cancer. Ironically, Elder Freeman’s brother, Roland Freeman – the two were born only a year apart and were, they say, as close as twins – died exactly a week after Elder as he was preparing to bring Elder’s ashes back to California.
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.
Of all the hundreds of police murders of young Black men in recent years, the two that sparked the strongest resistance and the largest rebellions were the BART police murder of Oscar Grant in Oakland on New Year’s Day, 2009, and now the Ferguson, Missouri, police murder of Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014. Today we’re going to Ferguson, Missouri, to check in with the uncle of Oscar Grant, Cephus “Uncle Bobby” Johnson. Uncle Bobby is live on the ground in Ferguson.
“Motown the Musical” is the true story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Interview with Bayview Hunters Point native Rodney Earl Jackson Jr., who plays David Ruffin.
The legendary photos of Malcolm X aka El Hajj Malik el Shabazz will forever be etched in the pages of American history. In one photo, a Japanese woman holds his head as his spirit left his body. This woman was a friend and comrade of El Hajj Malik el Shabazz; her name is Yuri Kochiyama. She lived an extraordinary life that was intertwined with the Black human rights struggle and the Black Power Movement.
Her name was Yuri, a Japanese woman born in the United States. I hesitate to call her a Japanese-American, for to do so suggests she was a citizen. In light of how she, her family and her community were treated during World War II, especially after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, to call any of them citizens would be an exaggeration. Yuri Kochiyama, freedom fighter, after 93 summers, has become an ancestor.