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From May through August, three floors of black and white jazz photographs are on display at the African American Art & Culture Complex. They depict Harlem of the West, the San Francisco Fillmore jazz era that was bustling from the 1930s through the 1950s. Jazz was “king” and the Fillmore music scene was alive and flowing from end to end in the African American community.
NO JUSTICE! NO PEACE! That’s the feeling in Ferguson, Missouri, about three miles from St. Louis, majority Black city, 67 percent Black population, only three Black policemen on the force of 53. Once again another mother sheds tears over the loss of a son. Nationwide, shocking news heard from Ferguson that caused anger. Like so many times throughout Black communities, another young Black man is killed!
Back when Mumia was a member of the Black Panther Party, he traveled west to work with the Oakland chapter – an important time in his evolution as a radical journalist. Now the story of his life and revolutionary times comes to The New Parkway Theater. Read about it and all of Wanda's Picks for March 2013.
In the world of jazz, John Coltrane is viewed as a spiritually driven supremely gifted sax player, one of the greatest horn players to ever live. So when I ran into Gary Golio’s book “Spirit Seeker,” I was interested in seeing if he was trying to exploit our beloved St. John Coltrane or if he was trying to bring another generation into the knowledge of Coltrane’s legacy. He did the latter, masterfully.
Ted Pontiflet is an Oakland icon. He is East Coast swing meets West Coast bop. Classy. The man is too smooth to be close to 80. Ted is around until Dec. 1 and then away he goes.
Quentin Easter was certainly a man whom too many of us will miss, miss for his warm compassionate smile, unruffled presence and positive outlook in the face of tremendous stress and obstacles.
Baba Kamau Seitu, jazz musician and cultural artist, is playing music with the celestial orchestra. On Saturday, Nov. 28, with literally dozens at his bedside, the drums opened the way for his transition. His Homegoing Celebration will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2 p.m., at Wo’se Community Church, 8924 Holly St., Oakland.
Maafa 2009 was chillier than usual, but our hearts were certainly no less warmed by the ancestors’ tight embrace as supplicants made their way through the Middle Passage to the Wolosodon rhythms, the slave march through the Doors of No Return to the beach where each person held a piece of string – symbolic of a connection … a philosophical connection to the homeland, family and history.
Our beloved Mother Mary Ann Wright passed last month; she was 87. She was soft-spoken when not in the pulpit or behind her bullhorn holding church at her multiple food giveaway sites. I marveled over this woman who'd done so much to comfort the poor, a woman loved by all who knew her.
It's first Friday and the holiday season is in full swing. The usual first Friday haunts are hosting late night events: the Oakland Museum of California on 10th and Oak Street, Joyce Gordon Gallery on 14th Street near Broadway. Sister Souljah is in town.