Shakespeare, art against police violence and mass incarceration and the importance of creativity: Wanda’s Picks for July 2019!
Because of the rapid political transition that has recently taken place in Zimbabwe, this 37-year-old nation’s most ardent supporters and defenders, along with its most hateful detractors helped make the resignation of former President and revolutionary icon Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe and the installation of the current President Comrade E.D. Mnangagwa not only Africa’s top story, but the primary focus of the entire planet.
Thursday, Nov. 10, Nate Parker visited historic McClymonds High School for a screening of his film, “Birth of a Nation” (2016). His visit and the screening were a part of Supervisor Keith Carsen’s Community Empowerment Forums which, hosted that evening by Elaine Brown, former Black Panther Party chair, are to create spaces for public discourse and problem solving. In this case, the topic was the importance of knowing one’s history.
The purpose of the Black Elders Fund of Oakland is to serve local elders in need and or purely on the basis of merit, to support them and the work they’re doing, help them with present day needs, provide services for them, rides and financial aid, do errands, check up on them and collect and archive their stories, recipes and wisdom for the community and the diaspora.
Director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival Kali O’Ray has already showed me a number of potential films that are in the running to be selected to be for this year’s festival; great films like “Codigo Color” about colorism in Cuba, “Hustler’s Convention” about some of the greatest protest poets of the last 50 years, the legendary Last Poets, “Tear the Roof Off,” the untold story of Parliament Funkadellic, and “Blackboard,” a movie about Black professional skateboarders.
For over 500 years, African people have been fighting enslavement and genocide against white and Arab slavery. Billions of lives later, we are still fighting for self-determination and reparations today. Long time people’s warrior Jahahara Alkebulan has written a book on the subject titled “Afrikans Deserve Reparations!” that we all need to take the time and analyze. Check him out in his own words.
It is amazing how time flies whether one is moving or standing still. One looks up and sees, suddenly it seems, friends celebrating 70 and 75 or 80 or even 90-plus milestones. Wow! What a blessing that is. And while we also see the fullness of time’s passage in the lives of those who have decided to move on, too often we are caught by surprise, our mouths hung open, the words we could have said … deeds left undone.
From a bombed NAACP office in Colorado to the decimated town of Baga, Nigeria, acts of terrorism against Black people and institutions have failed to generate much attention in the United States this past week. Most of the Western world and its political leaders have, instead, turned their eyes to Paris, France – the location of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. While the world holds its arms out in sympathy for Charlie Hebdo, we who believe in freedom must seek justice for Black people around the world – including for the victims of Boko Haram. We must continue to say that all Black lives matter, even when the world refuses to see it.
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.
The best African centered holiday play in the nation, “Go Tell It!,” the story of the freedom fighter Harriet Tubman told through spirituals, will be showing at the Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley, on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 3 p.m. Instead of celebrating capitalism during the holidays, “Go Tell It!” is a way that we can remember our ancestors, how far we have come as a people, as well as the leaders, the tactics and the situations that got us here. “Go Tell It!” makes you want to learn more about your ancestors’ history, no matter who you are.
“Traveling While Black” is epic. It is a story that has audiences laughing while at the same time catching their breath as Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe takes us with her into situations only a well-written narrative can then retrieve us from unscathed. The journey is fraught with peril. Cooper-Anifowoshe transports us from a Muni bus ride in San Francisco to a slave ship off the coast of West Africa without a blink of an eye.
Congratulations to William Rhodes on a successful trip to South Africa, where he took a quilt created by his students at Dr. Charles Drew Elementary School in San Francisco to honor the legacy of an international hero, President Nelson Mandela, and returned with art panels from workshops conducted with youth in various townships and regions from Cape Town to Johannesburg.
Beverly Henry died. I just got the email today. The state of California owes women prisoners their lives back – imagine going into prison healthy and leaving with a terminal illness. This is the case for many of the women there. Beverly Henry told me to tell her story and I plan to begin right now. A warrior to the end, it was her voice that told women to stand up for their rights even perhaps especially behind bars.
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.
On the 20th anniversary of the demise of my father, Fred Ali Batin Sr., the 18th anniversary of the Maafa Commemoration San Francisco Bay Area – the Ritual Sunday is Oct. 13, 2013; see http://maafasfbayarea.com/ – and approximately the 60th day of the hunger strike to end the inhuman conditions in California’s Security Housing Units or SHUs, I just want to pause and reflect.
In the spirit of young freedom fighters like Lil’ Bobby Hutton, Young Malcolm will live forever in the hearts and minds of oppressed people who want to be free, especially those incarcerated in jail cells and in Amerikkkan ghettos. We love you and we will never forget you. We will make sure that the young people of today and tomorrow use your life as an example to keep up the fight that so many have given their lives for over time. Long live Hajj Malcolm Latif Shabazz! May you rest in peace with the other warriors from our movement.
The janazah was traditional and profound. The spiritual warmth could be felt flowing all through the hall in the stately Islamic Center in downtown Oakland, as over 300 people mourned, paid last respects, celebrated his life and gained inspiration during the service held Friday morning, May 17, in loving memory of Hajj Malcolm Latif El Shabazz. Though “Young Malcolm,” as he was often recognized, in remembrance of his grandfather, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X), was just coming into his own, he has made a profound and an indelible mark upon the world. In the finest traditions of the Shabazz family; by his life he will continue to inspire.
As Africans, our struggle must be focused on achieving our inalienable right to self-determination – to develop our own political and economic systems and put in place our own political structures, free of interference from the outside world. Only we can turn the tables – only we can achieve our own liberation from systems that continue to keep us in a state of dependency and disarray.
“Former political prisoner Dhoruba Bin Wahad recently penned an excellent essay breaking down what’s going on in Mali, Congo and the Middle East. He also challenged the type of stances many of us have taken with respect to these regions that are embroiled in conflict. To support his essay, we interviewed him so he can expand upon his analysis. In true form, Dhoruba pulled no punches. Peep what he has to say.”
This year, on the 150 anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, we all need to heed the words of Sister Jayne Cortez: “And if we don’t fight / if we don’t resist / if we don’t organize and unify and / get the power to control our own lives / Then we will wear / the exaggerated look of captivity ...” And don't miss Wanda's excellent, no holds barred reviews of “Django Unchained,” “Lincoln and “Red Hook Summer,” plus Dr. King birthday events listing and much more
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