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Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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Wanda’s Picks for April 2017

We continue our celebration of the fairer sex this month with Amara Tabor-Smith and Ellen Sebastian Chang’s House/Full of Black Women Project: Episode: Black Women Dreaming, a Ritual Rest, March 26-April 7. In this 10th episode of House/Full, perhaps its largest and longest episode, Black women are invited to sleep, stop during the middle of the day or evening and rest, dream. Black women rest least of all people across race, gender and class.

Wanda’s Picks for January 2017

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.

Wanda’s Picks for June 2015

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, especially those dads who stayed the course, when walking away would have been so much easier, even expected. Happy Father’s Day to the OGs who have grown more responsible with age. It is never too late to do better, even if you missed a generation – grace is that second chance. Congrats to all the May-June graduates, especially my niece and nephew Wilda Batin and Wilfred Batin.

The Bay Area’s best featured in SF International Arts Festival 2015

Classic Black (June 4 , 6 and 7, Southside Theater, Fort Mason Center) and A Night of Tribute in Dance: Blanche Brown (May 28, Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center) are shining examples of the majestic spectrum of African American artistic excellence in the Bay Area and two of 150 performances that are part of SFIAF 2015. Co-presented by Fort Mason Center, SFIAF 2015 runs May 21-June 7.

Wanda’s Picks for February 2015

Given the trajectory of 2014 regarding Black lives, perhaps February would be a great time to reflect on what bell hooks calls “the love ethic,” a principle Dr. King embodied and preached. Langston Hughes would have been 116 on Feb. 1 (his mother, Carrie Langston, was born Jan. 22, 1873). Albert Woodfox will be 68 on Feb. 19. Hopefully he will be eating cake under some sunny sky, a freed man by then.

Wanda’s Picks for December 2014

As we move into the next solar return, there is much to look forward to despite the stasis that seems to infect this nation with the disease of white supremacy or racial domination. OK OK, perhaps the silver lining is a bit too buried to find Osumare’s twinkle beyond any pots of gold you’ve stumbled upon recently. The knowledge that no matter how it looks, the Creator is in charge and the bad guys just look like they are always winning is what sustains us.

Wanda’s Picks for March 2014

Russell Maroon Shoatz is out of solitary confinement! Hugo Pinnell had his first contact visit in 40 years last weekend. Kiilu Nyasha announced this wonderful news at a reception following the second public hearing on solitary confinement called by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Feb. 11.

Rally for Yogi: It’s time for Hugo ‘Yogi Bear’ Pinell to...

I’m delighted to report the rally for Yogi Bear was just wonderful. Headlined “49 Years of Injustice: Release Hugo Pinell,” decrying Yogi’s 49 years in prison, 43 years in solitary confinement and 23 years in the infamous Pelican Bay SHU (Security Housing Unit), the rally was held Sunday, June 9, 4 p.m., at Freedom Archives, 518 Valencia, San Francisco.

Wanda’s Picks for June 2012

I would like to wish all the fathers a blessed and happy Fathers’ Day 2012. It is a hard time to be a parent of a youngster, not to mention an adolescent or youth. The challenges are great, in direct proportion to the rewards. I’d like to congratulate the young fathers who are stepping up and participating in their children’s lives, especially when society equates parenting with one’s largess or paycheck.

1,500 strong march against slavery

Shouting “Inside, outside, we’re all on the same side” and “Here comes Oakland,” five full buses and two vans left Oakland to meet up with marchers from as far away as Portland and Seattle who had already arrived at plantation San Quentin for one of the largest anti-slavery rallies in California history.

Rev. Pinkney is coming to town with ‘Lessons from the Battle...

Rev. and Dorothy Pinkney have been leaders in the fight against the corporate (Whirlpool) and state government’s direct takeover of the poor, largely African-American Rust Belt town of Benton Harbor, Michigan, the first American city to be placed under Michigan’s draconian new Emergency Financial Manager law. Join them on their Justice Tour in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Fresno Sept. 27-Oct. 1.

The Fourth Annual Poetry Battle of ALL the Sexes

The Fourth Annual Poetry Battle of All the Sexes was hosted by your favorite revolutionary poets, media-makers, poverty scholars and cultural workers at POOR Magazine. Here are the winners’ poems - by Jewnbug, Vivian Thorp and Dee Allen.

Ted Pontiflet says farewell to Oakland

Ted Pontiflet is an Oakland icon. He is East Coast swing meets West Coast bop. Classy. The man is too smooth to be close to 80. Ted is around until Dec. 1 and then away he goes.

Two poems for Haiti: ‘We be Spirit People’ and ‘Statistics of...

Be strong, Ayiti! Be strong, Afrikans! Sending love, respect and honor to our Afrikan family in Ayiti, the Congo and around the planet – not in honor of their bloody valentine, but in solidarity with those who know it’s time. For too long we have stayed the wind; now let the wind blow, while we Move the Village to Higher Ground.

Wanda’s Picks for December

Happy New Year, Blessed Eid Al Adha and Happy Kwanzaa. I’ll be back in February 2009. Check the radio show and my blog for updates. I’ll be traveling. Tune in to Wanda’s Picks Radio at www.wandaspicks.com over the next month, when I will be broadcasting from Senegal, Mali and The Gambia.

Wanda’s Picks for November

Maafa 2009 was chillier than usual, but our hearts were certainly no less warmed by the ancestors’ tight embrace as supplicants made their way through the Middle Passage to the Wolosodon rhythms, the slave march through the Doors of No Return to the beach where each person held a piece of string – symbolic of a connection … a philosophical connection to the homeland, family and history.

Wanda’s Picks for Jan. 16

Theme for the week: "Martin King to Barack Obama, from ‘I Have a Dream' to ‘Yes, We Can.'"

Wanda’s Picks for Dec. 5

It's first Friday and the holiday season is in full swing. The usual first Friday haunts are hosting late night events: the Oakland Museum of California on 10th and Oak Street, Joyce Gordon Gallery on 14th Street near Broadway. Sister Souljah is in town.

Latest News

Speak Creole!

The genocide against Black youths in Brazil is denounced, but we need more and more methods of international expression – on what is, in the best description by Professor Achille Mbembe, “Necropolitics.”

In Praise of Blood: Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front

In Judi Rever’s book “In Praise of Blood: Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front,” she tells of joining groups of Congolese volunteers with the U.N., Médecins Sans Frontières and the Red Cross, who “were there, day in and day out, to provide the means of life to people on the edge of death.”
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Giving for greatness

“Greatness is born out of the grind. Embrace the grind,” said Robert F. Smith, the billionaire technology investor, in his speech to the 2019 graduating class at Morehouse University on May 20, 2019, announcing he is paying off the student loans of 396 Morehouse graduates.

Master Photographer David Johnson returns to his roots

Johnson is an important chronicler of African American life in San Francisco during the mid-20th century.

Reviving the family dinner

For kids with trauma from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as abuse, divorce or neglect, such anchoring rituals are especially important. “Family dinners provide a ritual that is so tremendously important and comforting."