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Wanda’s Picks for November 2013

Gina M. Paige explained that the organization, African Ancestry, started with Dr. Rick Kittles, genetic researcher at Howard University who was interested in isolating the gene that caused prostate cancer, one of the leading causes of death in our community. He found this research methodology applicable in other genetic detective research and so in 2003 African Ancestry was founded with Ms. Paige.

Black filmmaker shut down at MoAD gala for Bay View story...

“Hey Jac, you are not pre-registered and only corporate media, I was told, could drop in to cover the event.” “So only corporate white media can come and shoot,” I incredulously replied. I looked around and did not see any corporate network teams even covering the event. Then he said, “It’s because of what you did in the Bay View.” I realized this was retaliation for my advocacy work

Hunger strike reminder: SHU isolation cell awaits California lawmakers as legislative...

As California legislators return to work this week, prisoner hunger strike family members, loved ones, advocates and supporters will gather at the Capitol to urge state decision makers to take swift and resolute action toward meeting the demands of the strikers. Waiting for the legislators on the Capitol’s south steps will be a life-sized mock Security Housing Unit (SHU) cell.

SHU isolation cell to be installed on State Capitol South Steps...

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network and Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, in support of the California prison hunger strikers and their five demands, invite the public to visit an installation of a life-sized mock Security Housing Unit (SHU) cell on the California State Capitol South Steps in Sacramento. The cell will be on display – and you can walk right in to see how it feels – from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14.

Amid a week of rallies in support of prison hunger strikers,...

California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano issued a statement Thursday urging CDCR to meet with prisoner hunger strike mediators and work toward meeting the prisoners’ demands. Prisoners throughout California have been on hunger strike for 25 days. Demonstrators demanded that the CDCR and governor negotiate with strikers immediately and end any and all retaliations against their protest.

The SF Black Film Festival is back: an interview wit’ Kali...

There are two film festivals in the Bay Area that are famous for presenting excellent work by Black filmmakers: the Oakland International Film Festival and the San Francisco Black Film Festival. In a few weeks, thousands of people will be trailing into theaters all over San Francisco to check out what the SF Black Film Fest has deemed some of the best Black indie films of the year.

‘Rolling’: an interview wit filmmaker Damon Jamal

Damon Jamal is one of the household names in the Bay when it comes to creating music videos. Recently he has been stepping his game up by moving his base of operations to Los Angeles and trying his hand at full length feature filmmaking. His new film, “Rolling,” will premiere at the Oakland International Film Festival on Saturday, April 6, 9 p.m., at the San Leandro Performing Arts Center.

John Doyle: A giant passes

The revolution of militant Black theatre lost one of its giants last month on the 20th of February. John Henry Doyle passed into history. A group of John’s coworkers and friends are sponsoring a memorial celebration of his life with a reading of “Freedom Road,” poetry and song on Sunday, April 7, 2-5 p.m., at the original site of his theatre, the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House, 953 DeHaro St., San Francisco.

Belva Davis: ‘Never in my wildest dreams’ – What a night...

The Bay Area and beyond paid tribute to Belva Davis Feb. 23 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, pouring out memories of her struggles as a “first” on many fronts, breaking through racist barriers and bringing Black people, perspectives and issues to the mainstream news. The unforgettable night also marked the 50th wedding anniversary for Belva and Bill Moore, first Black news cameraman in commercial television on the West Coast.

Victory for Chávez is a victory for Latin America

With 54.42 percent of a record-turnout vote, Hugo Chávez has won a fourth term as president of Venezuela, in a race widely recognized as a crucial struggle between the progressive forces of the “Bolivarian Revolution” and the right-wing opposition of U.S.-backed Henrique Capriles.

The Oakland thespian: an interview wit’ Anita Woodley

Anita Woodley is one of the hidden treasures of Oakland’s drama community. Though she no longer lives in Oakland, Oakland very much lives in her. She has recently jumped onto the international scene with her two popular one woman plays, “Mama Juggs” and “The Men in Me.”

Civil rights leaders demand Walmart’s foundation cut ties with ALEC

National civil rights leaders have signed a letter calling on the Walton Family Foundation to follow in Walmart’s footsteps and end their ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and specifically voice their opposition to “Stand Your Ground” and voter suppression laws.

Celebrating great films and filmmakers from Cannes to San Francisco

San Francisco was well represented at Cannes this year. Native son Danny Glover sat on a panel about documentary filmmaking, while San Francisco’s Kevin Epps showed his film “Straight Outta Hunters Point 2” to its first international audience. The San Francisco Black Film Festival held a news conference with “Godfather of Independent Film” Robert Townsend.

Champion Karim Mayfield and director Robert Townsend bring knockout power and...

San Francisco Bayview’s own, the undefeated Welterweight Champion of the World, Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield (16-0-1), brings his knockout power to the San Francisco Black Film Festival. “In the Hive” director Robert Townsend is coming a day early, on Thursday, to promote his film, which opens the festival. It stars Michael Clarke Duncan, Loretta Devine, Vivica A. Fox and newcomer Jonathan McDaniel.

Big D does it big!

They call it “Big D” and there is a reason for it. The Dallas International Film Festival with its “Star Awards” closing weekend is just a reminder that “they do it big in Texas.” The Dallas Film Society pulled out all the stops as it honored Laura Linney, Bernie Pollack, Eric Pleskow and Gabourey Sidibe with “Dallas Star Awards,” kicking off the concluding weekend.

Two little girls rescue Frederick Douglass

Will two little girls from the future manage to save Frederick Douglass and his mission to ensure the emancipation of millions of enslaved Africans? If all children read and discuss this book, racial justice will be achievable as soon as they are old enough to lead. This is a book that will light up the life of every child.

Congratulations to San Francisco NAACP honorees, ‘Red Tails’ lifts off

The Tuskegee Airmen William “Bill” Campbell San Francisco Bay Area Chapter was honored with the San Francisco NAACP Presidential Medal of Freedom Award at the San Francisco NAACP Freedom Fund Gala. “Red Tails,” the George Lucas film on the Airmen is coming out Jan. 20, 2012.

Buy Black Wednesdays 8: Occupy Black Wall Street!

Join the Occupy movement. But join with caution and ask yourselves of any movement: Does this group have a collective goal or game plan to work on which assures that we, Black people, are making progress for our people every day, if not every hour?

Wanda’s Picks for May 2011

Happy Mother’s Day to Yuri Kochiyama! I’d like to also wish the women who haven’t seen their children in a long time, some since birth, a special Happy Mother’s Day. Our prayers are with you even if you feel alone at a time when in America prisons systematically separate mothers from their children, often permanently.

Against all odds Aristide returns to Haiti

Aristide returned to Haiti today. I’ve not seen such genuine happiness on the faces of Haiti’s poor in over seven years. Welcome, President Jean Bertrand Aristide and family. Today is a good day for the poorest of the poor. Blessed be the endless Haiti revolution against the organized tyranny of the “civilized” and “schooled” peoples. On this day, we remember the sacrifice of the warriors who took up arms in self-defense against the occupation and coup d’etat. We recall the 20,000 slaughtered by the coup regime from 2004 to 2006, slaughtered with the complicity of U.N./U.S. firepower.