I’m writing this editorial because I want to brag on my husband, Bay View publisher Dr. Willie Ratcliff, and tell you why he and I have faith that a benefactor, someone with deep pockets who cares, will step forward in time to save the Bay View and keep it in print – an angel who understands how much the Bay View means to a prisoner being tortured and a youngster in the hood being framed. Dr. Ratcliff was that angel, that benefactor, to Gladys Knight in 1975, when she ran out of money in the midst of producing a major film in Valdez, Alaska called “Pipe Dreams.”
The Oakland International Film Festival is one of the premiere multi-cultural annual events in the Bay Area. Every year this festival educates Oakland and the surrounding area about the world around us, locally and internationally. I sat down with David Roach, the director of the Oakland International Film Festival, to discuss this year’s line-up and his take on what has been happening on the cinema scene and in Hollywood recently.
“Listen to Me Marlon” is a documentary film by Stevan Riley that takes a candid look at the life, activism and work of the legendary, charismatic and mercurial film icon Marlon Brando, whose career spanned five decades. The late Brando narrates the film exclusively with sound taken from hundreds of hours of audio that he himself recorded privately over the course of 40 years.
This season we have lost two pillars of our San Francisco Bay Area community, Samuel Fredericks and Upesi Mtambuzi. Cedar Walton, pianist, also made his transition this year, along with Donald Duck Bailey, drummer, both men beautiful human beings. Upesi, Samuel, Cedar and Donald all brightened our world. Their unique hues and shapes and sounds will be missed ... that last live jam.
Here is the lesson I’m learning from the name, He Who Walks the Earth: A family united walks the earth together. Couples walk the earth together. We come from tribes who used to walk the earth together. Why? Because there is power in numbers. Yes, you know where I am going with this. Walking the earth together and power in numbers ... this is the purpose of Buy Black Wednesdays.
The latest Hollywood brouhaha over Gwyneth Paltrow’s decision to tweet the caption “ni**as in Paris for real” to accompany a picture of her with friends Jay-Z and Beyoncé while in Paris doesn’t compare to the new evidence of “fraud upon the court” that has emerged in a largely unnoticed civil rights case that very well should be reopened after being unfairly dismissed six years ago.
They call it “Big D” and there is a reason for it. The Dallas International Film Festival with its “Star Awards” closing weekend is just a reminder that “they do it big in Texas.” The Dallas Film Society pulled out all the stops as it honored Laura Linney, Bernie Pollack, Eric Pleskow and Gabourey Sidibe with “Dallas Star Awards,” kicking off the concluding weekend.
Historically, heroes – super-powered or not – come in all shapes and sizes. But what about colors? If we allow your standard history book and Hollywood small and silver screen productions to answer that question, the overall answer would be that the color is only one – white. Black heroes, it seems, do not exist.
On Thursday, June 2, 2011, came word that former Black Panther leader, Geronimo ji-Jaga (née Elmer G. Pratt) died in exile in Tanzania.
Thank you for supporting Buy Black Wednesdays. This new wave of “cooperative economics” is spreading across America and pan-Africa like a red, black and green tsunami of Black empowerment.
Paul Mooney is one of Black comedy’s biggest breathing legends, long time partner with Richard Pryor. Two of his upcoming performances at the great Black Rep are benefits for SF Bay View – on Tuesday, Dec. 28, at both 7 and 9 p.m. What a great gift for Christmas or Kwanzaa! Be sure to say you’re supporting the Bay View when you reserve your tickets.