As a youth living in poverty, I rebelled against it joining a street organization and engaging in a criminal lifestyle. My conditioning, being a poor young Black man thrown into the system, molded me into the new man I am today. Now I am sincerely a revolutionary servant of the oppressed people. As revolutionaries, we know we cannot save or help everybody, yet we seek to serve by saving and helping one soul at a time. I am an example that change is possible if you want it.
We are freedom fighters incarcerated at Angola State Prison and are moving to build our organization Decarcerate Louisiana. We’re advocating for community reinvestment. We believe in sustainable economies and strong local communities. Decarcerate Louisiana is organizing to redress injustice and to battle against systemic racism, classism, inequality, oppression, repression, criminalization and mass incarceration in our communities.
This year at the San Francisco Black Film Festival, “Codigo Color, Memorias” is one of the internationally made jewels that will be exposing the Bay Area to the issue of colorism in Cuba. “Codigo Color, Memorias” will screen on Saturday, June 18, at the African American Art and Culture Complex. I sat down with the filmmaker, William Sabourin, for an exclusive Q&A about his informative and perfectly timed film. Check him out in his own words.
In order to be an acceptable national hero, white America has had to sanitize Martin Luther King so that he was not perceived as a threat to anybody, simply as a religious leader filled with love and high principles. “The Radical King,” edited and introduced by Cornel West (Beacon Press 2015) reclaims what King really stood for and reminds us that the battle against white supremacy requires taking on a lot more than white racists.
Last week I was on my way to visit Medium’s headquarters in San Francisco to discuss a project that I’m working on, mainly focused around police brutality. Funnily enough (or not so), I ended up being over an hour late, because this happened. I recorded the incident Aug. 4, 2015, during the lunch hour. It involves a Black man who was taken down by police in the mid-Market area of San Francisco, between Seventh and Eighth streets.
On Dec. 15 in Oakland, a protest was planned, held and led by students on the issue of police brutality. It was held at the Fruitvale BART Station where Oscar Grant had unfortunately lost his life at the hands of BART police officers. Over 200 students gathered to have their voices heard – and they would not take no for an answer. Youths who are angry with what is happening made hardcore and inspiring speeches.
Anita Woodley is a very talented and self-taught North Carolina-based thespian and playwright who was brought up in Oakland, California, and is returning to perform her two award winning plays, “Mama Juggs” and “The Men in Me,” at the New Parish on Sunday, Aug. 17. Since becoming a full-time artist, this family woman has learned a lot about herself and her craft, and that is exactly why I wanted to expose SF Bay View readers to the talent of Anita Woodley.
TV screens, newspaper pages and radio stations have been replaying, reprinting and rebroadcasting dark, grainy black and while film, photos and audiotape of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech – his “I Have a Dream” speech – in a hypocritical celebration of the 50 years since that fateful day in 1963, in Washington, D.C.
Support for the hunger strike grows with solidarity actions across the U.S. and Canada this past weekend. A series of noise demonstrations outside jails, detention centers and prisons occurred internationally in St. Louis, New York City, Oakland, Los Angeles, Montreal and Kitchener, Ontario.
Support for the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike is strong and expanding as people inside and outside prison all over the world are connecting the Pelican Bay hunger strike to local struggles against powerlessness and inequality.
AC Transit routes are back on the cutting table, and once again, it will be the youth, seniors, disabled riders, and low-income families whose opportunities for work and education will feel the impact. AC Transit driver Lorenzo Jacobs said, “When you start cutting service, you’re cutting opportunities. When you cut lines, you’re affecting people’s lives.”