“Driving While Black” is one of the few comical films in the San Francisco Black Film Festival this year, yet its subject matter deals with a not-so-funny topic. What I liked most about this film is that is a satirical look at how police of all ethnicities treat young Black men. I sat down and talked to the writers, Dominique Purdy and Paul Sapiano, about how they came up with the concept to write a comedy about police terrorism.
“Fruitvale,” the award-winning movie about the last 24 hours in the life of Oscar Grant, is set to debut in mid-June in Los Angeles. I caught up with the Bay Area’s own Ryan Coogler to talk about the film. I had some questions about why this film did not include the life and death of Lovelle Mixon and would it be able to be used as a weapon against police terrorism. Read Ryan Coogler’s answers in his own words.
Ramasses Head has been a pillar of the Oakland film scene for the last half decade at least, with hood classics under his belt like “Town Biz” and “Basketball 3:16.” Now he is premiering his new film, “Watch Phoenix Rise,” at the Oakland International Film Fest on Thursday, April 4, at 2:30 p.m. at the Grand Lake Theater and on Sunday, April 7, at 9 p.m. at the Black Repertory Group Theater in Berkeley.
One of the best events that is held annually in Oakland is the Oakland International Film Festival (OIFF). Since 2002, thousands continue to attend the OIFF each year. Oakland filmmakers and filmmakers from around the world continue to benefit from contacts made during the OIFF. Who will be there this year? Time will tell. Until then, read the words of the founding director of the OIFF David Roach ...
With election results in, Oakland residents sent a clear message against gang injunctions. Voting out the most strident and vocal proponent of the use of gang injunctions – Ignacio de la Fuente – and voting in injunction opponents Dan Kalb and Lynette Gibson-McElhaney in Districts 3 and 5 respectively.
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.”
How well indeed the creator saw fit to have the Muslim population worldwide join the hunger strike started by brothers in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay July 1, which continues in other California prisons, including I heard at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF).
Rico Pabón is one of the most talented, versatile, dedicated and well-informed artists that I know on the West Coast. At home in the studio or on the stage, the Afro-Puerto Rican bilingual musician known as Rico Pabón is a man of many genres. Although hip hop is the music of his generation, he is just as comfortable singing traditional Afro-Carribbean tunes with a live band.
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.
With the upcoming sentencing of Johannes Mehserle on Nov. 5, the rebellions of January 2009 that brought about his arrest could very well be set off once more. And once again we expect to hear the mantra blaming "outside agitators."
Angry and grieving family members rallied at the Fruitvale BART station to mark the 15th National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. One speaker, Norman Curry, spoke of how his mother was shot point blank by an officer who called her by name, “Anita (Gay).”