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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.

UK Parliament: Is budget support providing Kagame cover in Congo and...

On Thursday a U.K. Parliament Select Committee held the first of two hearings to reconsider budget support to Rwanda. The committee scheduled the hearings in response to U.N. investigators’ reports that Rwanda is arming, sending soldiers and even commanding the M23 militia fighting in eastern Congo.

Wanda’s Picks for October 2012

Judith Jamison looked regal on stage with Farai Chideya last month in The Forum Conversations at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Her message seemed to be one of preparedness and presence – being, as our sister Ayana Vanzant says, in spirit. Muslims call this the sirata-l-mustaqim or the path of the rightly guided.

‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,’ directed by Ayodele ‘Wordslanger’ Nzinga, is coming...

Storytelling is one of the most ancient forms of entertainment – before radio, television, paper and cinema. Ayodele “Wordslanger” Nzinga is one of the Bay Area’s most talented griots who tells stories of the past through her West Oakland-based theater company, The Lower Bottom Playaz. The legendary August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” opens July 13.

Wanda’s Picks for February 2012

This is the month we wear our Blackness with pride – so walk on, walk on. I want to thank Rhodessa Jones, Shaka Jamal, Pat Jamison, Elaine Lee, Walter Turner, Vera Nobles and Elouise Burrell for your leads and references for South Africa.

The Prison

Brother Mumia is a shining light for those of us in the belly of the beast who are in a struggle against a wicked system. He has demonstrated to us that even on Death Row, one can still educate, inspire and motivate – some of the same things that he was doing at the time of his arrest.

The new land grab in Africa

The issue at stake is not only one of increased food insecurity, but an attack on food sovereignty or peoples’ right to produce their own food. Land grab is a violent act to take away peoples’ right to food, access to their ancestral land, their social and historical ties, and their overall right for human dignity.

Wanda’s Picks for December 2011

Sobonfu Somé, West African healer, says that when people die and become ancestors, they get smarter and often try to repair any damage they may have made while in this physical form. Ancestors want to be busy making our lives better. She said we can call on them to intercede on our behalf when we are troubled.

Wanda’s Picks for October 2011

October is Maafa Commemoration Month. The term Maafa refers to the Black Holocaust, that period when African people were stolen and traded in the greatest, most widespread cooperative economic venture to date, which resulted in the displacement of human beings as commodities. The Kiswahili term Maafa extends that definition of loss and trauma, that is, PTSD or post-traumatic slave syndrome – the flashbacks, both conscious and unconscious, reoccurring instances of the atrocities 150 years after the end of slavery which have direct association to the brutality of chattel slavery.

Imperialism will be buried in Africa

The North Atlantic tribes, under the banner of NATO, and their Arab flunkies are lining up for a showdown in Sirte. Muammar Qaddafi and the Al Fateh revolutionary forces remain defiant and have issued statements saying that they will never surrender.

Race and immigration

Within the U.S. immigration movement, leaders often do not clearly understand racism as it impacts upon immigration legislation on local and national levels, nor do they seem to clearly understand why, generally speaking, African Americans tend to be their most reliable allies.

Enemies unknown

It is a measure of how powerful the U.S. military is – and how poor the media is – that the nation wages war against peoples and countries it knows nothing about. How many of us know that many of the rebels in Libya don’t want democracy but the old kingdom restored?

U.S., NATO and the attacks against Libya

No blood for oil! Libya has the largest known oil reserves on the continent of Africa. The country is also a large producer of natural gas that is supplied to several European states. It is the resources of this country that U.S. imperialists want to control.

A conversation with the MOI JR, author of ‘Block Reportin’’

Bay Area journalist JR Valrey, the voice behind Block Report Radio on KPFA and associate editor of SF Bay View, known as the Minister of Information, reports vital news about the struggle against oppression. In the 31 interviews in his new book, "Block Reportin'," he shows what he calls the "big gap between what is going on in the world and what is being reported. I want to inspire people to become their own media and to truly speak on behalf of the people." Meet JR at his first book signing Saturday, March 19, 6:30 p.m., at Marcus Books, 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland.

Learning from shattered Haiti’s year of struggle

A year ago this month, Haiti was flattened by a seismic catastrophe. It was hardly the only tragedy that the tiny nation has faced in its 220-year history as the first republic born of a slave revolt.

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.

Letest News

Kevin Epps addresses judge’s refusal to grant bail on two-year-old murder...

At the hearing, the judge stated that the indictment was sealed and that she was refusing to grant Kevin Epps bail on the grounds that “he was a danger to the community” even though well over 60 letters of support flooded into the court from upstanding and important figures from here and all over the nation who defended Epps’ reputation and community track record.
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Sacramento PD arrests 12-year-old Black child, places plastic bag over his...

Let there be no mistake. Shooting and killing an unarmed Black woman, who professed to be pregnant in Houston, Texas, or “bagging” a small in stature 12-year-old in Sacramento must be called out for what it is. These actions are more reflective of the practices of “slave catchers” and “Jim Crow” era law enforcers than of proper urban policing techniques focused on de-escalation and by governments truly committed to empower police officers to “protect and to serve” our entire community.

Marie Harrison, mother of the movement for environmental justice

Remember the many years Marie Harrison owned the back page of the Bay View? She defined what “speaking truth to power” means. With headlines like “We’ve always survived your whip and your noose,” and observations like “Voter education isn’t just somebody educating the voters. It’s the voters educating the people they elect,” as we carry on without her, we must infuse every fight with her courage.

Statewide day of action for educational equity in California’s public schools

May 22nd is a statewide day of action calling on the California state legislature to fully fund its public schools. In Sacramento, teachers, students and families will spend the day lobbying and gathering in and around the capitol to demand change. Solidarity actions will also take place throughout the state in numerous schools and public spaces. If you stand in solidarity with us, but cannot attend any of the actions, please sign my petition at http://chng.it/wwPR6mwBGn to support our publicly educated future leaders.

‘Far, Far Better Things’ playing through May 19 at Live Oak...

It is easy to become what you know, so easy. What’s difficult is resisting. Unresolved trauma haunts the gene pool. A son, Josh (actor Yohana Ansari-Thomas) witnesses his mother’s murder or its aftermath – Dad’s bloody shirt and subsequent kidnapping of the children until he is captured. This same boy, now man, still has unresolved memories of that day when his mom was shot and the housekeeper “stood there and did nothing.”