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“In 99 percent of counties, if you are a minimum wage worker working full time, you cannot afford market rate for a one-bedroom apartment” and “Last year, 12 million Americans borrowed an average of $400 from the payday lender at up to a 300 percent interest rate.”
A while back, people might have argued that this was a statement of journalistic exaggeration, a way to grab the reader’s attention by fear mongering, but today it is an unfortunate statement of fact when one looks around the region. While the intensity and unrelenting nature of this year’s hurricane season has captured a great deal of media attention, the way these storms have intersected with the region’s indebtedness, vulnerable, dependent economies and correspondingly weakened state capacity has not.
I recently attended the first Caribbean Peace Conference in Bridgetown, Barbados, Oct. 6-7, 2017. The theme of the Conference was “Resisting Nuclear and Environmental Disaster: Building Peace in the Caribbean.” Attendees included representatives from Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Venezuela and Barbados. The purpose of this conference was to consolidate a serious Caribbean Peace Movement equipped with a concrete agenda and guiding philosophy.
The People's Minister of Information JR interviews the legendary Black Futurist author Nalo Hopkinson about the importance of imagination and the part it plays in the liberation struggle, being from the Caribbean, the importance of knowing your history, her creative process, and more.
Progressive and revolutionary groups throughout the Caribbean are sending a clear message to British Prime Minister David Cameron regarding his arrogant, condescending and contemptuous statements with regard to slavery and the issue of reparations during his recent visit to Jamaica. Cameron’s behavior shows that the British Conservative Party’s colonial mindset is still firmly in place. Read Gerald Perreira's essay and listen to the Block Report interview, in which he delves deeper into the topics of reparations, prison and border conflict.
Few musicians have had such an everlasting impression on the music of the 20th century internationally as the legendary Reggae and Dub producer and vocalist Lee “Scratch” Perry. “Vision of Paradise” is a new documentary that Scratch is the subject of as well as an executive producer along with Volker Schaner, who we contacted in Germany to get this exclusive interview.
Dr. Siri Brown is a professor at Merritt College in Oakland and head of its African American Studies Department. She is an academic who understands her role in the classroom, giving young people a knowledge of self and opening fertile minds to the social realities that are oppressing their people as well. She has been an example for present day and future academics for over a decade on how to teach history in a living way.
Gloria Rolando is a legendary Afro-Cuban filmmaker who is currently on tour in the U.S. showing her new film, “Reembarque,” a documentary about the discrimination suffered by Haitian agricultural workers in Cuba before the Revolution. Rolando is also responsible for the monumental documentary, “Eyes of the Rainbow” about the life and African spirituality of Black Panther and Black Liberation Army exile Assata Shakur.
Gerald Perreira was yesterday told he must get off an aircraft in Antigua before the plane could take off. Perreira was on his way to Jamaica, where he had been invited by the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan to participate in the 19th anniversary of the Million Man March, on Oct. 19, at the National Arena in Kingston. He was told by the authorities in Antigua that he was removed from the flight because he had been refused permission to land in Jamaica.
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.
From now on we are going to connect each and every city and nation that has significant numbers of members of the African Diaspora. We will begin to communicate on a regular basis and plan economic projects to employ more and more workers and build more and more wealth via entrepreneurship. These dots of people of African descent will become the envy of the world. Oh, how resilient we have been. Now we will not only survive but begin to thrive.
The Glide Memorial Church family worked wonders at the celebration of San Francisco native Maya Angelou's life that she requested before she died. They juxtaposed carefully chosen visual moments with prerecorded Maya moments, which made her presence so palatable that the sanctuary lights came under the control of Spirit Maya and played with our collective vision – the room almost dark and the lights flickering off and on.
The founder of Jawaiian Reggae and Urban Reggae, Rankin Scroo, is one of the elders of the Bay’s current Reggae scene. He has been around for decades and worked with artists as diverse as Black Uhuru and Keak Da Sneak. He has a new album that has been driving people at KPFA radio station crazy called “Love Zone” where he continues to feature a lot of musical talent besides his own.
Much hullabaloo has been made recently about slavery as entertainment in movies like “Django Unchained.” But lost in the discussion is slavery as history. Though sadistic and macabre, the plain truth is that slavery was an unprecedented economic juggernaut whose impact is still lived by each of us daily. Here’s my top-10 list of things everyone should know about the economic roots of slavery.
Sandy wreaked havoc in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean. More than 60 people have been killed in those neighboring countries. Haiti has lost her crops. Over 200,000 are left homeless with far fewer resources than New York City to rescue and restore what was lost.
When Malik Rhasaan first visited the Occupy Wall Street park at Liberty Square, he noticed that there was a lack of people of color. “Something needed to be done and I started the hash tag #occupythehood and from there it kind of swelled,” said Rhasaan, getting support from everyone from “professors down to cats who just got out of prison.”
Although what we call rock began with musicians from the era of Chuck Berry and Little Richard, it has long been associated with being a white genre of music, characterized more historically by the music of Elvis Presley and the Beatles. That is the reason I wanted to do this interview with the Black Houston-based rock group Peekaboo Theory.
John Maxwell is one of those rare human beings, one of those rare souls, and one of those rare minds whose death leaves us naked. Bare. Smaller.
On fight night, Nov. 27, World Boxing Association (WBA) super middleweight champion Andre “Son of God” Ward defended that title for the third time by fighting a grueling and aggressive war against the very dangerous, power punching Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika and coming out the victor in a 12-round unanimous decision fight.
Under the system of lifelong forced servitude, Black people could be tortured to death at a moment's notice with impunity. White oppressors could sense that at some point the coin will flip. This mirrors today, where police continue to kill Black people with impunity.
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