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He was our local Frederick Douglass. Even looked a bit like him: dashingly handsome, tall, strong, fierce, dedicated, educated, elegant and eloquent. And deeply rooted in the community. The former civil rights activist, mayor of Oakland and congressman, who put programs for the people ahead of war and weapons of mass destruction, the honorable and distinguished elder Ron Dellums joined the ancestors July 30, after making his presence felt on this planet for 82 years.
Cindy Sheehan: I’m beginning to organize a Women’s March on the Pentagon because since 2007, when Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats regained a majority in the House of Representatives, there has been an incomprehensible absence of protesting the USA’s wars and empire. After Obama took over as president, the antiwar movement all but died. Many of us think that one cannot separate the global emancipation of women or the destruction of our planet from the issue of war.
The purpose of the Black Elders Fund of Oakland is to serve local elders in need and or purely on the basis of merit, to support them and the work they’re doing, help them with present day needs, provide services for them, rides and financial aid, do errands, check up on them and collect and archive their stories, recipes and wisdom for the community and the diaspora.
Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby, aka Cephus Johnson, speaks about the recent police execution of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Phil Castile in Minneapolis. We talk about the role of new media in exposing these two cases. He also discusses Obama’s response to the police executions of Black and Brown people and his inaction. We also discuss the Dallas sniper killing a number of police officers last night in response to the rampant police terrorism plaguing the Black communities of the U.S.
We lost many loved ones this past month, from photographer extraordinaire Kamau Amen Ra to community organizer, prolific writer and longshoreman Brother Cleophus Williams to my dear Sister Monica Pree, not to mention Muhammad Ali. We reflect on Independence Day, a day marked by the blood of African Ancestors of the Middle Passage – the first to die a Black man, Crispus Attucks, on March 3, 1770, in what became known as the Boston Massacre.
I was in Ghana when I received news that Kamau Amen Ra made his transition, and it was at an exhibit at the British Museum in London walking through the chambers of Ausar that I reflected on his well-lived life and thought about the human treasures undiscovered who walk among us, like Kamau. I think he called this place Babylon, a place where treasures remain unearthed or hidden except for those with keen eyes or vision, both of which Kamau possessed.
Prosperity Movement, an Oakland-based group of artists and activists, is using its platform to promote peace and prosperity in a changing Oakland landscape. The group’s founder and front man, Adimu Madyun, makes it his mission to use art as a way of educating local youth and adults, who he says are bearing the brunt of gentrification in their native city.
Punctuated by shouts of “Whose ball is it?” “Tahuti’s Ball!” “Whose ball is it?” “Tahuti’s Ball!” in Afrikan call and response tradition, a spiritual, educational, uplifting and formidable global Afrikan community gave thanks, praises and an outpouring of love in tribute to one of its foremost Afrikan suns, the vibrant and illustrious Baba (Elder) Tahuti. Baba Tahuti made his transition on June 18, 2015.
Are we ready, finally, to have the conversation on race that President Bill Clinton suggested the United States needed? The Saint Andrew’s Cross, which is the Battle Flag of the Confederacy, now known as the Confederate Flag, symbolizes a fact of history that most White Southerners choose to deny: enslavement of Africans forcibly trafficked to this country and their systematic dehumanization while here – sentiments and aspects of which continue to this day.
While people were righteously rebelling in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, against police terrorism, a Center for Disease Control whistleblower confirmed something that has been on the lips of conscious ghetto dwellers for decades. International peace activist Cynthia McKinney speaks on the U.S. government spreading autism through vaccinations in the Black community, on Ferguson and much more.
Her name was Yuri, a Japanese woman born in the United States. I hesitate to call her a Japanese-American, for to do so suggests she was a citizen. In light of how she, her family and her community were treated during World War II, especially after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, to call any of them citizens would be an exaggeration. Yuri Kochiyama, freedom fighter, after 93 summers, has become an ancestor.
Funeral services were held in Detroit on April 25 for Mrs. Mabel Robinson Williams, the widow of African American revolutionary Robert F. Williams. The Williams served as leaders of the Monroe, North Carolina, chapter of the NAACP during the 1950s until early 1961, when they were targeted by local authorities and the FBI. The civil rights organizers became advocates of armed self-defense against racist violence perpetuated by the Ku Klux Klan and law-enforcement personnel in the city.
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.
The 23rd African American Celebration through Poetry is Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 1-4 p.m. at the West Oakland Branch Library, 1801 Adeline St., in Oakland, (510) 238-7352. All are welcome and if anyone didn’t hear of the event in time to be a part of the featured program, we do have an open mic at the end of the program.
In August 2010, I met Cassandre, a young woman who had been raped. Her father had been putting her through university, so when he was killed, her dreams died too. Kamau Amen Ra volunteered to support her in her dream to become an accountant. Now she, her mother and grandmother need help to move from their tent camp to an apartment.
There was high unemployment for Haitians, those educated with skills and the unskilled as well, prior to the earthquake. For a government official to tell a BAI representative that withholding food was a way to motivate lazy people looking for a handout to get to work is a gross misread of the problem.
Kamau Amen Ra’s work in this exhibit, which he curated, ranges from Goapele singing to Damu Sudii Ali, who was there on the same piano that evening. Each photo has a story. The younger artist and the only woman, TaSin Sabir, also has a range of images, each artist described with a poetic quote.
Pierre Labossierre, cofounder of the Haiti Action Committee, alerts us to oppose "relief" funds and protest U.S. military occupation that threaten Haitian independence and sovereignty and to demand the return of President Aristide and the inclusion of Lavalas in Haitian democracy. Following the interview, listen and watch audio and video files featuring Pierre, Cynthia McKinney, Kiilu Nyasha, Nia Imara, Minister of Information JR, Joy Moore and more - all calling on everyone to “stand in solidarity with Haiti.”
There was an emergency service system established in Haiti under the government of President Aristide. We had trained people, trained volunteers everywhere in Haiti. There were buildings with materials and goods stocked there, so in case of an emergency, people would have the means to survive.
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