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UC Berkeley’s New Media might be new, but the racism is old. “Our-Race Bias” (ORB) happens thousands of times a day in America, but it is not podcast or uploaded to digital media. The Starbucks coffee house racism incident is the tip of the iceberg in universities across the country. But as one passes through the classrooms in UC Berkeley’s New Media and Media Studies, he rarely sees any African American students in the classrooms, to say nothing of Black faculty.
“Sorry to Bother You,” written and directed by Oakland’s resident revolutionary MC, Boots, the front man of the political rap group The Coup, is a hilarious cult classic in the making, set to hit theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area in July. This political comedy is based in the streets of Oakland, but it is refreshingly not a cliché hood story. I loved “Sorry to Bother You” most because although it is a protest film, it’s a comedy.
Even though many whites thought of him as the father of the “lost cause,” Jefferson Davis was for most African-Americans what racism symbolizes. From the end of slavery, recently freed ex-slaves felt the same way about him. Ex-slave Dilly Yellandy remembers, “Old Jeff Davis said he wus goin’ to fight de Yankees till hell wus so full of em dat their legs us hangin’ over de sides.” Slaves like Mr. Yellandy had heard about Jeff Davis, all right. They had heard about how he tried to run away and hide in a hole, like a fox, and how he tried to escape by wearing his wife’s dress.
From the moment the doors opened on the evening of Sept. 13, it was apparent that the honoring of our global African media would begin its night of empowerment with the tradition of honoring one of the community’s foremost elders. We celebrated the 82 years of life and struggle of Dr. Willie Ratcliff and Dr. Ratcliff’s 22 years of Black media ownership of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper. Black Media Appreciation Night 2014 was filled with wisdom, communication and the exchange of knowledge, as well as people receiving awards for life changing, revolutionary work.
Every two years, Block Report Radio and the SF Bay View newspaper get together to sponsor Black Media Appreciation Night, a night when we honor the very best in Black media from around the Bay Area. BMAN 2014 is Saturday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m., at the African American Art and Culture Complex (AAACC), 762 Fulton, San Francisco. Tickets at EventBrite (click the banner above). Headliners are pianist Kev Choice, comedian Donald E. Lacy, and Phavia Kujichagulia and Ma'at. Read on for the full list of honorees ... and more.
The Block Report is in a rebuilding phase after being unjustifiably banned from the Pacifica airwaves under a plan engineered by former Pacifica lawyer and current Oakland mayoral candidate Dan Siegel. One of the main campaigns we are working on right now is to expose Siegel’s pro-police history to the left leaning crew that supports him in his Oakland mayoral campaign.
Over the decades, KPFA has been known to cast out non-white broadcasters who don’t tow the white left line. Since his banning from KPFA, Minister of Information JR has been working on transforming the Block Report Radio show into the Block Report Internet Radio Station. We can’t wait to hear JR back on the radio – generating the energy that keeps good movements moving! Please contribute as generously as you can to radio that is Black-owned, operated and controlled – just what Malcolm X preached.
Richard Pryor is perhaps the most celebrated comedian in the history of the United States, yet few people know about the time period that took him from Bill Cosby-type comic to the real Richard Pryor who taught us so much about the world and ourselves. Cecil Brown’s much anticipated “Pryor Lives: How Richard Pryor Became Richard Pryor: Kiss My Rich Happy Black Ass” will fill that void.
God could not have sent us a more fitting setting for Occupy Cal at the University of California, Berkeley – the sun rising, yellow and warm. I was going devote today to observing and reporting on the social movement.
Rhodessa, dressed in an orange prison jumper from South Africa (orange the universal prison attire, like a brand), appears with a whip. All the sensations: cold, hard, eerie darkness, unfamiliar sounds, smells, give the audience plenty to contemplate, especially those in the first two rows where the whip spinning in Rhodessa’s hand over our heads, which she then flicks, we feel, too close to our faces as its breeze and the sting of its impact hits the ground again too close for comfort. But this theme – the Black holocaust – is it supposed to be an idea that brings ease?
Recently KPFA has been making headlines for a number of reasons, most notably the Aug. 20 police beat down of Black programmer of 12 years Nadra Foster after a member of the KPFA management team called the police on her with approval from Pacifica management after Foster was accused of using a KPFA telephone for a personal call. So whose job is it to report on issues such as these in the Black community in and around KPFA or nationally? A daily or weekly Black public affairs show.