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Tag: Jackie Robinson
Since I became “woke” about the true level of racism and injustice in this country, it has become easier to recognize the proverbial “house negro.” One of them recently commented to another prisoner, “He thinks he’s Black,” referring to my constant defense of Black people and anti-racist views and loud comments about that racist pig in the White House. Of course, he didn’t say this to my face.
Rarely am I shocked when I learn public positions of the one percenters, for clearly I understand that they speak powerfully and often behind closed doors. However, when I learned that Charles Johnson, principal owner of the San Francisco Giants, sent $2,700 to Cindy Hyde-Smith, a candidate for Mississippi senator and an avowed segregationist, I was shocked and felt a sense of community betrayal.
A grand sunny day dawned in San Francisco’s Hunters Point Bayvew District for the naming of “Sam Jordan Way,” formerly Galvez Avenue between Phelps and Third Street. Over 150 people gathered for the celebration on Aug. 18. It is fitting that his two sons, Allen and Sam Jr., and baby girl Ruth with other family members were on hand. They pointed out that their father was the first African American to make a serious run for mayor and now we have a Black woman, Mayor London Breed.
“Black Panther” follows T’Challa/Black Panther’s journey, in the aftermath of his father’s death, to lead his technologically advanced nation, Wakanda, which the world believes is impoverished. Featuring Black actors from the United States, England and various parts of Africa, “Black Panther” is the first Marvel film set in a Black-ruled nation. As such, the film challenges the negative stereotypes in which the world typically views African nations.
“Race” (2016) is the story of Jesse Owens’ triumphant wins in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin just before World War II. Nicknamed “The Buckeye Bullet” for his legendary speed, Owens distanced himself from socially constructed hurdles which ran counter to his personal goals. Directed by Stephen Hopkins, the film features rising star, Stephan James (“Selma”) as Jesse Owens.
Congratulations to William Rhodes on a successful trip to South Africa, where he took a quilt created by his students at Dr. Charles Drew Elementary School in San Francisco to honor the legacy of an international hero, President Nelson Mandela, and returned with art panels from workshops conducted with youth in various townships and regions from Cape Town to Johannesburg.
Congratulations to Gerald Lenoir for carrying the torch and blazing the way for so many social justice issues from HIV/AIDS awareness in the Black community to his recent work in just migration for Pan Africans. Much success on your new work! Farewell to Alona Clifton and much success in Atlanta. Congratulations also to Almaz Negash, founder and director of African Diaspora Network in Silicon Valley for her national recognition and award at the Continental African Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.
Bill Siegel’s “Trials of Muhammad Ali” shows an evolution of consciousness rarely if ever seen when looking at an iconic figure, in this case the greatest boxer of the 20th century, Muhammad Ali. In this story of Ali, Siegel crafts a tale that without preconception allows his audience an opportunity to enter the Nation of Islam as Cassius Clay did.
“12 Years a Slave,” the story of a free Black man kidnapped by slave traders, has won an Oscar for Best Picture of the Year and a slew of other awards. But in one important respect, the movie comes up short. Missing from the film is the slave rebellion and revolt that Solomon Northup portrayed so vividly in his book.
Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart, a 19-year-old top NBA draft prospect, shoved 40-year-old Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr. He has told coaches that he did so after being called “the n-word.” Orr has a wretched reputation, stretching back years, as a Texas Tech “super-fan” who gets off by yelling horrible things at teenagers. Former OSU players like John Lucas III have taken to Twitter to testify about John Orr.
I don’t know if it is a will of iron, Ogun or foolishness, but I caught something viral, which I refused to keep, on the plane Monday, Dec. 23, when I flew to San Salvador, El Salvador, by mistake – yes, the booking agent booked me for San Salvador when I clearly said Salvador, BAHIA, Brazil (smile). I kept seeing San Salvador and thought, well, perhaps this is another way of referencing Salvador, Bahia.
One team from North Carolina, African Diaspora Maritime (ADM), will not be competing. A few weeks ago, ADM’s suit against the SF Golden Gate Yacht Club to compete in the America’s Cup was dismissed and with it a chance for the super African American sailors to shine. This also stagnates opportunity for an ADM pavilion, which would have anchored a place for American Africans to generate money during the Cup competition.
As Gabby told the New York Times in June: “I have an advantage because I’m the underdog and I’m Black and no one thinks I’d ever win. Well, I’m going to inspire so many people. Everybody will be talking about, how did she come up so fast? But I’m ready to shine.” Shine she did. Dominique Dawes, the great African-American gymnast who won team gold in 1996, exclaimed: “I feel like Gabby is my child or something. I am so anxious for her to win. I know it will have an enormous impact on encouraging African-Americans and other minorities to go into the sport of gymnastics.”
The Oakland International Film Festival is Friday-Sunday, April 6-8, at the Oakland Museum of California, 10th and Oak Street, Oakland. Visit http://www.oiff.org/2012schedule.pdf. This year’s headliner is one of the most controversial independent films ever made, “The Spook Who Sat by the Door.” Watch it again here.
First of all, let’s not get it twisted: You can be a born-again African and a born-again Christian at the same time! Being a born-again African has nothing to do with religion, other than religiously going out of your way to support Black people and Black businesses. Being a born again African means you realize that you and your people have been stripped of your land, language, culture, heritage and spirituality and you know it is your responsibility and delight to reclaim it for yourself and your kin.
The Hampton House Motel in Miami’s predominantly Black Brownsville section was one of the places where famous Black recording artists stayed during segregation after performing for all-white audiences on the beach. The performers were not allowed to stay in predominantly white hotels. Miami-Dade County is restoring and renovating Hampton House after it fell into disrepair over the years. But ironically, the construction work on the Black historic site does not include any Black contractors, subcontractors or laborers.
We need to confront our racial past - and our racial present. In things racial, we have always been and continue to be essentially a nation of cowards. This Department of Justice, as long as I am here, must - and will - lead the nation to the "new birth of freedom."