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Wanda’s Picks for May 2012

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.

Samba Funk: an interview wit’ Artistic Director Theo Aytchan Williams

Let the JOY begin: SambaFunk! Celebration of JOY is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 17, at Vitus Oakland, 201 Broadway at Second Street and Jack London Square, Oakland. The Funkquarians will be performing with special guests and local dj’s Henroc and Sake 1. Realign and refocus; tap into your inner power!

Unnamed young Black man killed by Oakland police

According to neighborhood witnesses, white Oakland police officers chased an African American man appearing to be about 20 years old from the corner, up 99th and south on Cherry Street toward 100th Avenue. Before he reached the corner house, he tossed a bag and put his hands in the air. Once his hands were in the air, the police shot and killed him.

Foreclosure victory as homeowners pack courtroom

It’s become standard procedure for real estate companies and their eviction attorneys to “move quickly to take the homes from these homeowners, harassing and scaring them, using guerrilla tactics like threatening to get the sheriff to remove them in four hours. But if we all stay together,” Delia Aguilar, an organizer with the Bay Area Moratorium (BAM), said, “we can defeat them and keep our homes.”

Oakland Freedom School encourages literacy in Black youth

Students learned many things about African and African American history, ranging from the classical African civilizations of Kemet (ancient Egypt), Songhai and Mali to the Black Arts Movement and the Harlem Renaissance. The African-centered curriculum is designed to encourage youth to read during the summer while building self-esteem and a strong cultural identity.

The police state’s lawyers: Meyers Nave

In the aftermath of Oscar Grant’s murder in 2009, directors of the Bay Area Rapid Transit district announced they would turn over the agency’s internal affairs probe to what they called an “independent, third-party law firm.”

Buy Black Wednesdays: Money talk

Berkeley, Calif.: The most liberal city in America and the world, some say. And yet Berkeley High School, with over 3,500 students and 250 teachers, has only eight Black teachers. Scandalous!

A life worth less than train fare

Another young, unarmed Black man, Kenneth Harding, has been gunned down in broad daylight. He was shot numerous times in the back as he fled, his empty hands held in the air. His crime had been a simple train fare evasion for which San Francisco police executed him in the street.

Keep AAMLO and all libraries open, Oakland!

A recent evening at the African American Museum and Library in Oakland was special. The line wrapped around the corner of 14th Street at Martin Luther King Jr. Way as people lined up to hear Isabel Wilkerson talk about her book, “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.”

The Oakland femcee Ms. B and her new mixtape, ‘Stix, Stonez,...

I have been rocking wit’ Ms. Be and her Gemstone camp for a couple of years, and I always told them, Ms. Balance from the group Nutritious needs to put out a solo album. She could rap, she’s pretty and she has an elegant, undoubtedly East Oakland swag about herself.

Transit case raises question: Can the poor ever find justice?

Sylvia Darensburg, an African-American mother of three in East Oakland, experiences the reality of transit inequality. Sylvia relies on AC Transit to get to her job during the day and to college classes at night, each trip taking an hour or more each way.

Community groups offer concrete alternatives to gang injunctions

Pack the Public Safety Committee hearing on gang injunctions Tuesday, Feb. 22, 5:30 p.m., Oakland City Hall. Express your opposition to the proposed injunction and encourage the committee to de-authorize the use of gang injunctions anywhere.

New Year’s Day vigil commemorates Oscar Grant killing

Over 100 family members, religious leaders and community supporters held a prayer vigil and speak-out on New Year’s Day in front of the Fruitvale BART station to commemorate the second anniversary of the BART police killing of Oscar Grant, a young Black man.

The Mehserle effect: Vallejo shooting tests era of police accountability

In the Bay Area, the veneer of police impunity seems to be thinning even as high-profile cases of police shooting unarmed Black men – in Oakland and nearby Vallejo – continue to occur. Guy Jarreau Jr. was shot and killed by Vallejo police Saturday, Dec. 11. Facing the officer with his hands up, “Guy didn’t have a gun,” said witnesses.

Hustlin in the City: an interview wit Frisco rapper Sellassie

The Frisco native and conscious rapper Sellassie has to be one of the hardest working men in independent Bay Area rap music. He has been a big promoter of unifying the Bay Area’s rappers and he has started a campaign against “house nigga” rap. He also hosts a regional up and coming artists’ showcase called “We All We Got.”

The stolen life of Jimon Clark

Jimon Clark, a young bright Black male, 13 years old, was executed on the mean streets of East Oakland on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010. His execution was a one-day news story. His young life was so much more. We need police who are trusted by the East Oakland community.

The non-profit industrial complex on trial: One man challenges the myth...

The mainstream media and the educational system indoctrinate us with the propaganda that this society is based on equality and the rule of law. Yet we pay the most and get the least, and trying to exercise our so-called rights becomes a monumental task. We need real housing, not overpriced rented bunk beds and lockers in a crowded facility.

Gentrification journalism

In this manifesto that shows why JR Valrey is rightly called the Minister of Information, he exposes "gentrification journalism" as "the public relations team that is put in place to make gentrifiers feel safe," the media's twisting of the murders of Chauncey Bailey and Oscar Grant to demonize Blacks and the hyper-funding of "hyper-local media" as an effort to drown out community media. Everyone who wants to stop the exodus of Blacks from the Bay must read this.

Hiero World: an interview wit’ Tajai of Souls of Mischief and...

Souls of Mischief has been one of the major architects of the Bay Area sound in rap music since the early ‘90s. “93 til Infinity” off of their debut album shot the group to meteoric success on the national radio charts and got them booked all over the world for concerts. Let’s hear what Tajai has to say about their newest release, “Montezuma’s Revenge,” and Hiero business in general.

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.