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East Oakland bred welterweight pro boxer Bilal Mahasin is shaping up to be one of East Oakland’s most recognizable hometown heroes on the boxing and social front. I caught up with Bilal after his recent fight at the Oracle Arena, where he fought on the undercard of the Andre Ward vs. Alexander Brand fight. We talked about his most recent fight, training while behind enemy lines, his life mission and more.
BlockReportRadio.com interviews SF State hunger striker and freshman Hassani Bell of the Third World Liberation Front 2016, on Day Seven of the hunger strike, about the gradual cuts to Ethnic Studies that the university administration has made over the years and TWLF ‘16’s demand to grant Ethnic Studies $8 million a year so it can thrive. He speaks on actor and former SF State student activist Danny Glover coming up to the university Monday at 12:30 p.m. to show his support for the strike.
“I am worried about our drum teacher at Deecolonize Academy, Uncle Val, who, like Master Frohm and so many more, should not have been forced to leave our neighborhood,” said Tiburcio Garcia and Kimo Umu from Deecolonize Academy, who spoke at a recent Oakland City Council meeting which dealt with a proclamation for the powerful Love Life movement and an eviction moratorium.
Building after building, block after block from the Bayview to Baltimore and from Sunnydale to East Oakland, the last vestige of so-called public – that is, government owned – housing in the richest country in the world lie dormant. Boarded up, locked, gated and shut – each apartment equipped with two, three and four bedrooms, one or two bathrooms and full kitchens.
Filmmaker N’Jeri Eaton hooked up with film cinematographer Mario Furloni to tell the story of the monthly “First Friday” festival in downtown Oakland in a documentary that includes the Oakland police murder of Alan Blueford on May 6, 2012, weeks before his high school graduation and the “First Friday” shooting in 2013 that claimed the life of victim Kiante Campbell. Check out filmmakers N’Jeri Eaton and Mario Furloni in their own words ...
The Black Urban Growers Conference takes place this weekend. Some of the presenters will be local author and urban gardener Menhuam Ayele, local healthy food and social justice advocate Paula Beal, and organic gardener, educator, broadcaster and Hip Hop artist DJ Cavem, hailing from Colorado. I caught up with organizer Kelly Carlisle, who also runs the Oakland non-profit Acta Non Verba Urban Farm, to fill us in.
Help transform more people from houselessness to Homefulness in East Oakland, where there’s room for four straw-bale houses, the first to be built in any city in the country, but the cost of building permits is sky-high. PG&E wants a total of $42,000, with the first $8,000 due in TWO WEEKS, and East Bay MUD wants $38,000. An effort to persuade the utilities to reduce or waive the fees and “sponsor” this historic project is underway, but the $8,000 must be raised now to keep the project alive. To offer help of any kind, contact Tiny at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is for the moms and pops in East Oakland or any other urban neighborhood in honor of the African union of Marcus Books, from a prisoner political action committee to being a member of the formerly incarcerated people’s policy academy or the freedom plan of United KAGE Brothers (UKB), from the urban freedom schools focused on real life Block Reportin’ of “Unfinished Business.” This is for my brothers of the NCTT Cor SHU and all supporters of our hunger strike coalition.
Phesto Dee, a quarter of the membership of Souls of Mischief, is arguably the most vicious and complex lyricist in the whole Hiero camp. Phesto’s respect in the game has recently been documented and highlighted on the new documentary, “’Til Infinity,” which is set to premiere on April 6 at 9 p.m. at the Black Repertory Theatre, as a part of the Oakland International Film Fest.
March 21, 2014, marks the fifth anniversary of the police murder of Lovelle Mixon, who was killed after he murdered four Oakland police officers and wounded a fifth, around 73rd and MacArthur Boulevard in East Oakland. “The Ghosts of March 21” is a documentary about the bloodiest day in the history of Oakland law enforcement, shot by Damon “Hooker Boy” Hooker and directed, written and edited by Sam Stoker.
For Adama Mosley, a resident of the West Oakland neighborhood known as Ghost Town, having solar panels installed on her home was “a dream come true.” Energy advocates say significant challenges lie ahead if affordable renewable energy and widespread adoption of energy efficiency are to become a reality in low-income communities of color.
Jibril Mohammed, aka J-Mo, has always been an inspirational figure in East Oakland. These days, he has taken a hiatus from making and overseeing the production of music and is dabbling in the Vegas retail garment industry with the opening of Jibril James Fashions, a Hip Hop clothes store off of the strip. Read about this business-wise trailblazer in his own words, and plan to visit Jibril James Fashions on your next trip to Vegas.
On Saturday, Aug. 31, Oakland will host a reception concluding Joe Capers Month, named after a rarely heard of but very integral part of the early Bay Area music scene. Naru Kwina, Leroy Moore and others are working on a documentary on this underground legend to make sure that his contributions are remembered. Check out Naru Kwina in his own words ...
Oakland may seem like a local anomaly with its big increase in homicides in 2011-12 and the anti-crime hysteria which now engulfs it. But Oakland is just a prime example of the intertwining of crime and criminalization under capitalism, in which the ruling class divides working people one from another and targets particular groups for victimization.
General measures could move the cultural discussion and peoples’ behaviors in the right direction, whereas a focus on restricting gun ownership – except for people who fit appropriate medico-legal exclusion criteria – will probably worsen our cultural crisis, increase discrimination and police attacks, and increase the danger of greater social violence and chaos.
Taiwo Kujichagulia-Seitu's theatrical piece centers around the story of Harriet Tubman rescuing her brothers from slavery during Christmas-time. “Go Tell It!” paints a picture of what is was like for men who lived through slavery their whole lives getting word from their runaway sister Black Moses, that she was coming to put them on the Underground Railroad to freedom in the North.
From the Mission District in San Francisco, to West, North and now East Oakland, several neighborhoods in LA, young Black and Brown men, convening, talking, laughing, being young, are viewed as “dangerous,” “suspect” or criminal. Laws like the gang injunction are instituted and applied, and eventually we are completely wiped away like we were never there.
The fiery writing of JR Valrey began appearing in the Bay View a dozen years ago. JR made our original vision for the Bay View reality: to inspire Black youth to build a powerful Black community. As the Bay View’s associate editor and one of KPFA’s most popular programmers with his provocative Block Report Radio shows, JR and the youth who grew up on his empowering words and pictures are growing in influence, making a difference every day – and they’re just getting started.
DeBray “Fly Benzo” Carpenter. He was busted on Oct. 18, 2011, by two of SFPD’s finest, John Norment and Joshua Fry, for (gasp!) participating in a community organized rally while playing a boom box in Mendell Plaza in the heart of Bayview Hunters Point. For speaking out against police brutality, especially the SFPD murder of Kenneth Harding last July, he was brutally arrested, tried and now is barred from Mendell Plaza by order of Judge Jerome T. Benson.
We give honor to Mother Earth, her birthday celebrated the weekend of April 22 with many great events in the Bay Area, “Love Yo Mama” in East Oakland hosted by Nehanda Imara of Citizens for a Better Environment, one of my favorite community events. My granddaughter and I enjoyed visiting the Tassafaronga Farm.