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West Coast Premiere of ‘Jazz,’ based on Toni Morrison’s book, Marcus...

“Jazz,” adapted by Nambi E. Kelley from Toni Morrison’s novel, is a tragic composition. Performed across a series of lyrically connected (woven) tapestries: colors, sounds, fractured memories … missing people, guns (bullets) falling tears, treetops, wild woods, sharecropped promises, fire terror, unclaimed bodies … too many bodies to count … love.

Wanda’s Picks for December 2017

Those of us in the San Francisco Bay Area reflect on the legacy and work that illustrated the life of Queen Mother Makinya Kouate. After Maulana Karenga gave the students from Merritt College a mimeographed sheet with notes about a harvest festival called Kwanzaa, the Oakland-Berkeley team started hosting community Kwanzaas in their homes. Later Sister Makinya would travel to Africa and learn more about harvest festivals

Wanda’s Picks for February 2017

Happy Black History Month. Knowledge is power, something Black people from Frederick Douglass to Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks to Kamala Harris have never taken for granted. If white people would kill a Black person for teaching someone to read, not to mention knowing how to read – enough said! The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s organization, has chosen the theme: “Crisis in Education” for 2017.

‘The Scottsboro Boys,’ a review

The parody currently on stage at American Conservatory Theater, “The Scottsboro Boys,” staged by director-choreographer Susan Stroman (“The Producers”), through July 22, 2012, takes a historic tragedy in American history and recasts it as buffoonery. Black America should not be surprised. Classic guilt is always re-envisioned in this paradigm. The boogeyman is always Black and male.

Tabia African American Theatre Ensemble presents ‘Jar the Floor’

I highly recommend “Jar the Floor.” It illustrates the Sankofa concept that permeates African Diaspora culture. Shows are 8 p.m. tonight and 3 p.m. tomorrow, March 5 and 6, at the Mexican Heritage Plaza Pavilion, 1700 Alum Rock Ave., San Jose.

Wanda’s picks for March 2011

Women’s History Month and the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day March 8, 2011 – what a great month to toast the New Year. The name itself is an action, a call to action: MARCH – Move!

Wanda’s Picks for October 2010

October is Maafa Awareness Month, a time to reflect on recovery from the residual impact slavery had on the Black community and how the centuries of free labor benefited everyone else. The ritual this year is Sunday, Oct. 10, 5:30 a.m., at Ocean Beach, Fulton at the Great Highway, in San Francisco. Maafa is Kiswahili for “great calamity, reoccurring disaster,” a term used to describe the Black Holocaust of the European Slave Trade and how the post traumatic stress syndrome shows up in our thoughts and behavior unwittingly.

Wanda’s Picks for May 15

Johannes Mehserle's trial begins Monday, May 18, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Alameda County Courthouse, 12th and Oak Street, in Oakland. A strong community presence has been requested by the Oscar Grant family and allies. A teach in to prepare for the trial is Sunday, May 17, 1-4 p.m., at Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland. And wish Tatiana Grant happy birthday. She turns 5 on May 16.

Wanda’s Picks for April 2009

Dressed in black leotards, Jetaun Maxwell, dancer-choreographer, has a red ribbon, a strip of cloth representing the blood, the noose and rein society places on girls who seek freedom. - from Wanda's review of "Invisible Womb"

Wanda’s Picks for Feb. 14

Be sure to listen to the archived Wanda's Picks Radio for Feb. 11, when the guests are Cynthia McKinney in the first hour and Guy Patrice Lumumba and Lisa F. Jackson, director of the film, "The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo," in the second. Extraordinary radio! Superb mix of arts and politics!

Wanda’s Picks for February

We want to call the names of those who made their transition in January and offer condolences to their loved ones who have yet to cross that bridge. I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that Ave Montague is gone.

Wanda’s Picks for Oct. 24, 2008

Today we had an exclusive interview with Troy Anthony Davis' sister Martina Correia, who has been standing for justice for her brother for 19 long years. Troy Davis is scheduled once again for execution Monday, Oct. 27, by the state of Georgia if a stay is not granted.

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Sacramento PD arrests 12-year-old Black child, places plastic bag over his...

Let there be no mistake. Shooting and killing an unarmed Black woman, who professed to be pregnant in Houston, Texas, or “bagging” a small in stature 12-year-old in Sacramento must be called out for what it is. These actions are more reflective of the practices of “slave catchers” and “Jim Crow” era law enforcers than of proper urban policing techniques focused on de-escalation and by governments truly committed to empower police officers to “protect and to serve” our entire community.

Marie Harrison, mother of the movement for environmental justice

Remember the many years Marie Harrison owned the back page of the Bay View? She defined what “speaking truth to power” means. With headlines like “We’ve always survived your whip and your noose,” and observations like “Voter education isn’t just somebody educating the voters. It’s the voters educating the people they elect,” as we carry on without her, we must infuse every fight with her courage.

Statewide day of action for educational equity in California’s public schools

May 22nd is a statewide day of action calling on the California state legislature to fully fund its public schools. In Sacramento, teachers, students and families will spend the day lobbying and gathering in and around the capitol to demand change. Solidarity actions will also take place throughout the state in numerous schools and public spaces. If you stand in solidarity with us, but cannot attend any of the actions, please sign my petition at http://chng.it/wwPR6mwBGn to support our publicly educated future leaders.

‘Far, Far Better Things’ playing through May 19 at Live Oak...

It is easy to become what you know, so easy. What’s difficult is resisting. Unresolved trauma haunts the gene pool. A son, Josh (actor Yohana Ansari-Thomas) witnesses his mother’s murder or its aftermath – Dad’s bloody shirt and subsequent kidnapping of the children until he is captured. This same boy, now man, still has unresolved memories of that day when his mom was shot and the housekeeper “stood there and did nothing.”

In tribute to Marie Harrison: Until our very last breath

You’ve been an especially effective, strong, patient and articulate voice confronting forces that do not respect human rights or human life. You’ve told these opportunists firmly and politely that every human being on earth has the right to live and raise their children and see their grandchildren thrive in pollution-free places and to breathe clean air without toxins.