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The Greenlining Institute brought its 24th annual Economic Summit to the organization’s new hometown of Oakland April 14. At a moment when communities of color are under attack nationwide, the Summit – which brings together community leaders and grassroots organizers from California and around the U.S. – felt surprisingly like a celebration: a celebration of defiance, resistance and persistence in the face of threats to our communities.
2017 marks the centennial of the nation’s bloodiest race riot in the 20th century in East St. Louis, Illinois. Migrant Black people were hired to work as miners to replace striking white workers at the Aluminum Ore Co. The white workers stormed City Hall demanding redress from the mayor. Shortly thereafter, news of an attempted robbery of a white man by an armed Black man set off the reign of terror in downtown East St. Louis in which unarmed Black men, women and children were pulled from trollies and street cars and beaten and shot down in the street.
This Maafa Commemoration Month we continue to lift “A Love Supreme” as we organize a defense against state violence. Congratulations to Professor Aaliyah Dunn-Salahuddin, whose community vigil and program honored the lives of the Bayview Hunters Point revolutionaries killed 50 years ago when the community rose up after SFPD killed Matthew “Peanut” Johnson and more recently when the community turned out after SFPD killed Mario Woods.
Donte Clark, otherwise known on the streets of his hometown of Richmond as Tay, is the subject of a new film called “Romeo is Bleeding,” along with a sista by the name of Harmony. They set out to collectively transform “Romeo and Juliet” into a theater piece depicting the Richmond streets of today. This masterfully told cinematic story will be screening at the Matatu Festival of Stories on Thursday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m., at 645 W. Grand Ave. in Oakland.
This year at the SF Indiefest’s 13th Anual Docfest, June 5-19, at multiple venues on both sides of the Bay, quite a number of films look at sexual exploitation of youth, crimes of poverty and profiles of superheroes – ordinary citizens with tenacity and inner fortitude and great love for their community, like the Honorable Michael Tubbs, central character in Kevin Gordon’s “True Son.”
When I saw the brothas Gideon and Dionte from the high school-age dance crew Squadron Ace jump in the circle, I noticed that their dance styles, skills and versatility were exceptional, so I wanted to make sure that I put this crew on the Bay’s cultural radar because, believe me, they will be setting the standard for the new age of dance very soon.
Kevin Weston and Lateefah Simon have started a national effort to register 1,000 African Americans as possible bone marrow donors and find a match for Kevin, who needs a transplant in less than two months for an extremely rare form of leukemia. They urge African Americans to join the Be the Match bone marrow registry by attending a local drive or registering by mail. It's quick and easy. Help save Lelah’s daddy. Help Kevin and Lateefah change the odds for their family by increasing the number of African Americans registered to be bone marrow donors.
The characters’ stories in Chinaka Hodge’s debut as a playwright, “Mirrors in Every Corner,” capture a sense of tragedy lurking near all of us. From Rodney King to Oscar Grant, Loma Pieta to urban removal, one sits on the edge of her seat waiting for the wrecking ball to fall.