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Thirteen-year-old Lee Weathersby was the first homicide victim in the city of Oakland of 2014. Three weeks later, his older brother, Lamar Broussard, and his best friend were also shot and killed. No matter if the gun violence is perpetrated by police, or the so-called “gangsta homie,” these murders destroy our families and communities – mostly of color – in every aspect.
Auntie Francis is a woman who all of us at Deecolonize Academy’s Revolutionary Youth Media Education Program hold close to our heart. She started a program called Auntie Francis Love Mission Self-Help Hunger Program where she feeds her community every Tuesday at Driver Plaza in North Oakland. People really appreciate the love and the effort that she puts into making sure that they are taken care of and well fed.
Home of Chicken and Waffles has been in Oakland’s Jack London Square for over a decade, serving up hearty meals family style. Derrick Johnson, the native West Oaklander who owns the establishment, also takes pride in hiring local people who have felonies. This beautiful mix of good business and community service has had the restaurant going strong in the rapidly changing demographics of the city of Oakland.
On July 29, the Oakland City Council surprised observers by postponing a final vote on the West Oakland Specific Plan (WOSP) without setting a new date. WOSP is a massive redevelopment scheme spearheaded by some wealthy investors planning to gentrify the old Oakland Army Base and major portions of West Oakland that are cynically being called Opportunity Sites, and at first reading on July 15, the City Council voted 7-0 to approve it, with only Desley Brooks abstaining.
Oakland based artist Eesuu has been one of my favorite local visual artists for the last decade. I love his choice of colors and the ways in which he blends them, as well as I like the themes behind his work. He is exhibiting a new body of work during the month of April in downtown Oakland at SoleSpace, 1714 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. Called “Sugar 2.0,” it looks at the history of this substance that has been used as a tool to enslave people, colonize land and build empires.
The prestigious Oakland International Film Festival brings hard-to-find films from around the world to the big screens of Oakland and surrounding areas. This year one of the headliners is “Toussaint L’Ouverture,” the movie starring Jimmy Jean-Louis, about one of the fathers of the Haitian Revolution. David Roach is one of the founders and the director of the Oakland International Film Fest. Check him out in his own words about this year’s festival.
Creating jobs six times faster than the overall job market, the solar industry has become a robust engine of job growth, totaling over 119,000 new jobs as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. These numbers help to solidify the argument that the investment in solar energy has considerable long-term payoffs.
Oakland resident Joseph R. Debro Jr. was born in Jackson, Mississippi, on Nov. 27, 1928, and passed away on Nov. 5, 2013, at a VA facility in Martinez, California. Joe Debro was the eldest of three children born to Joseph Debro and Seleana Gaylor Debro. Mr. Debro’s two younger siblings, Julius Cesar and Gloria Etta, were born in 1931 and 1935.
It is the collective mission of the organizations who now own Liberty Hall and will do their work there – Overcomers With Hope, Bay Area Black Nurses Association and Healthy Communities – to keep the legacy of service and communal collaboration alive in the African American community of West Oakland and Oakland as a whole.
Diaunte Thompson is an up and coming name in the Bay Area film world, not just because of his cinema and television directorial work, but also because of Indie Film Night, which he organized, where the work of independent filmmakers can be profiled and appreciated. The first Indie Film Night will be Thursday, Sept. 5, at Leige Spirits Lounge, 481 Ninth St., Oakland, from 6-9 p.m. Check this brotha out in his own words ...
Undoubtedly, one of the most financially successful independent rap groups in Hip Hop is Hieroglyphics, and now the City of Oakland has honored them with Hiero Day, every Sept. 3. This year’s festivities will be hosted by Mistah F.A.B., Chuy Gomez and Sway, with Mystic, Kev Choice, CMG of the Conscious Daughters and Holly Saucey, among others scheduled to rock the mic.
Raise your voice and the voices of our people – the voice of truth. Until we get the big mikes, we gotta hit a lot of little mikes. Bring back the doo woppers on street corners and concerned citizens speaking on footstools like Malcolm and Black New Yorkers used to do in the ‘60s – and even today. Support your local poetry, spoken word and open mike scenes where – at least there – we still have a voice.
The story of the late Joe Capers continues to unfold with help from Naru Kwina, Krip-Hop Nation and Joe’s family. Joe Capers, aka Blind Joe, changed Oakland’s music sound in the ‘80s and early ‘90s with his talents in engineering and playing musical instruments. He came to Oakland by the way of Texas with his family.
Like President Clinton in his first run for president, Oakland’s city auditor developed her creds in the conservative community by creating a Sista Souljah moment. She publicly spanked two Black City Council members. These council members, Desley Brooks and Larry Reid, were trying desperately to level the economic playing field in Oakland. They were trying to integrate the money.
One of the best events that is held annually in Oakland is the Oakland International Film Festival (OIFF). Since 2002, thousands continue to attend the OIFF each year. Oakland filmmakers and filmmakers from around the world continue to benefit from contacts made during the OIFF. Who will be there this year? Time will tell. Until then, read the words of the founding director of the OIFF David Roach ...
Instead of throwing another quarter million dollars away on a gimmick, the City of Oakland should turn to its own Bay Area neighbors in Richmond to see what they’re doing right and why their homicide and violent crime rates have so radically dropped. I imagine that Richmond’s crime fighting team would consult with Oakland’s at little or no cost, considering the mutual benefit of reducing crime in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A now famous quote from Ernesto Che Guevara says, “At the risk of sounding ridiculous, the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.” The legacy of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense has proven this repeatedly, even though the city in which the party was born continues to shower those who struggle within her boundaries with the most heinous disrespect.
We’ve been “white maled!” Thank God for the ‘60s and ‘70s Black Power and Pride movements and for artists like James Brown who exorcized centuries of shame from our race with one song, “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.” Be Black, buy Black, think Black and support the future Gabby Douglases of the world by voting every day with your dollars. Buy Black Wednesdays business of the month is True Vibe Records.
Paramedic Sean Gillis, an instructor and supervisor at the Oakland Fire Department, filed suit on Friday against the OFD, alleging that the OFD mistreated Oscar Grant in its response to Grant’s 911 calls on Jan. 1, 2009, destroyed all evidence of the mistreatment, ordered Gillis to stop his investigation and are retaliating against him.
The lyrics to B.B. King’s classic “The Thrill is Gone” was the first thing that ran through my head when I showed up at both of the rallies that were held to “protest” the release from jail of Johannes Mehserle on Sunday, June 12. The speakers seemed to be a tad bit angry but not focused enough to do anything significant that would put police murders on the national radar. JUST ADDED: Minister of Information JR leads a full hour of debate on issues swirling around the murder of Oscar Grant by Johannes Mehserle broadcast on KPFA Wednesday morning.