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SBA deputy said to go ‘beyond the call of duty’ for...

When the leaders of the National Bankers Association, an organization of 37 mostly Black-owned banks, began pondering prospective recipients of their annual “Beyond the Call of Duty Award,” its president says they did not have to look very far. No question, it was Marie Johns, deputy administrator of the U. S. Small Business Administration, he said.

Do you know how Ida B. Wells has affected our lives?

Ida B. Wells was a fiery crusader for African American justice at a time when angry white men indulged in lynching as acceptable behavior. Her determination, courage, ambition and refusal to back down helped change the course of history. Her talents as an investigative reporter, successful writer and newspaper owner were unbeatable weapons.

Obama knows what ails Chicago: People need work

President Obama, who has organized, taught and represented this city, knows the situation well. He knows the guns are not made here. He knows Chicago’s tough gun laws are undermined by lax enforcement and lower standards outside the city. He knows that as the guns and drugs are flowing in, the jobs are flowing out.

Supreme Court rules cops can be filmed

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to let stand a lesser ruling that allows citizens in the state of Illinois to record police officers performing their official duties. Up until just last year, anti-eavesdropping legislation on the books across Illinois meant any person within the state could be imprisoned for as long as 15 years for recording a police officer without expressed consent.

Wanda’s Picks for October 2012

Judith Jamison looked regal on stage with Farai Chideya last month in The Forum Conversations at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Her message seemed to be one of preparedness and presence – being, as our sister Ayana Vanzant says, in spirit. Muslims call this the sirata-l-mustaqim or the path of the rightly guided.

The power of Gabby Douglas

As Gabby told the New York Times in June: “I have an advantage because I’m the underdog and I’m Black and no one thinks I’d ever win. Well, I’m going to inspire so many people. Everybody will be talking about, how did she come up so fast? But I’m ready to shine.” Shine she did. Dominique Dawes, the great African-American gymnast who won team gold in 1996, exclaimed: “I feel like Gabby is my child or something. I am so anxious for her to win. I know it will have an enormous impact on encouraging African-Americans and other minorities to go into the sport of gymnastics.”

If they say it and I don’t believe it, is it...

Dr. V. Diane Woods is the architect of the California Reducing Disparities Project’s African American Strategic Workgroup report, “We Ain’t Crazy! Just Coping with a Crazy System,” which looks qualitatively and quantitatively at Black mental health in California and its blatant racialized disparities.

A police lynching happens every 36 hours

The history of racist violence, of lynchings, of state violence, or a complicit media and systemic injustice remain a reality despite our purportedly post-racial moment. In the first six months of 2012, the police, security guards and vigilantes have killed 120 African Americans, one every 36 hours. The media, political “leaders” and citizens alike ignore and justify these killings by blaming the victims.

Youth of color: Watched and shot

Trayvon Martin and Mumia Abu-Jamal. One is dead. One languished on death row for 30 years. They are separated in age by a generation, separated by different locations and different life-histories, but their stories of being under surveillance, watched and shot, intersect strikingly with each other and with many other people.

Sanford Weill and Paul Kagame: Doctors of Humane Letters?

On May 12, Sonoma State University awarded honorary doctorates in humane letters to former Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill and his wife Joan, paid for with a $12 million “donation.” On the same day, William Penn University awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, despite his army’s atrocities in Rwanda and Congo.

Wanda’s Picks for March 2012

When the Occupy San Quentin rally ended, San Rafael police followed us to the Richmond Bridge. I don’t know if it was Jabari Shaw’s orange CDCR jumpsuit that kept them wondering – Is he an escapee, one of ours? – or if it was the sheer magnitude of fearlessness represented by women like Kelly, a former prisoner who would not let her traumatic experience silence her. One brother got so full looking at the guards on the other side of the gate watching that he looked like he was going to leap the gate and hurt someone as he recalled the violations of his person over and over again. Members of All of Us or None dropped everything to embrace him when he left the stage.

Carl Ray’s HBCU tours motivate students to succeed

Arriving at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport from cities throughout America, aspiring college students were excited. The tour would visit Spelman College, Morehouse College and Clark-Atlanta University in Atlanta, also Alabama State University and Tuskegee University in Alabama.

The 1966 Hunters Point rebellion: The fight must go on

With the current wave of uprisings across England ... and the insurgence of flash mobs across the United States ... it is appropriate to call on the history of rebellions by our people. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated, riot is the language of the unheard; and so it comes as no surprise that the language of our underclass is of the same dialect that it has been for decades and even centuries ...

Supermax prisons: 21st century asylums

Everybody out Tuesday, Aug. 23, for the rally at 11:30 a.m. on the South Steps of the State Assembly Building, Sacramento, then for Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s hearing on the Pelican Bay SHU at 1:30 p.m. Car pools leave from West Oakland BART at 9:30 a.m. Join the Day of Action to support the historic prisoner-led hunger strike protesting torture in California’s prisons. Support the families of hunger strikers testifying on conditions in the SHU and amplify the voices of thousands of prisoners across California. The hunger strike exposed for three weeks the carefully planned and executed barbarism of life in supermax America.

SFPD as occupier, corporate media as its accomplice

Generally, what happened to Harding happens in colonized spaces to colonized subjects, from Hunters Point to Baghdad. The victims are people of color. Five centuries of colonially-constructed rationales have served the purpose of minimizing the value of racialized subjects.

Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign reclaims and repairs foreclosed, vacant property

Martha Biggs and her four children – displaced like so many others from Cabrini Green and currently homeless – will be moving into a house at King and 72nd Street near Meyering Park, two years vacant and foreclosed on by one of the top four banks responsible for home foreclosure in Chicago: Deutsche Bank.

‘Kagame, stop killing’: Rwandan and Congolese protest Rwanda’s president in Chicago

Rwandan, Congolese and American activists rallied in Chicago Saturday to protest the appearance of Rwandan President Paul Kagame at “Rwanda Day,”

Cynthia McKinney on President Obama and Libya, Japan and 9/11 truth

I am pleased to stand with my colleagues today who are outraged at Nobel Peace Laureate President Obama’s decision to wage war on Africa in Libya. At the outset, let me state that Libya is home to tens of thousands of foreign students and guest workers. The students come from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. The messages I have received from concerned Africans state that these young, innocent people, inaccurately labeled by the U.S. press as “Black mercenaries,” have been trapped in hostile territory and are hated by the U.S.-allied Al Qaeda insurgents.

‘COINTELPRO 101’: an interview wit’ filmmaker Claude Marks

“COINTELPRO 101” is a recently released documentary that takes a long hard look at the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program to crush resistance that led to the deportation of Marcus Garvey, the assassinations of Malcolm X, George Jackson, Fred Hampton, Martin Luther King Jr. and more.

Global and local people power unites

Crying “Have a Heart, Save Our Homes,” a large Bay Area coalition marched in a driving rain from City Hall to the San Francisco Federal Building – Causa Justa/Just Cause, San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE and many more.