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There was a whole lot of shaking going on Saturday, Feb. 16. The Fillmore Heritage Center Equity Partners are causing the ground to shake with the ongoing success of the events they are giving. This last event shook the entire Bay Area with the soulful sounds of Tony! Toni! Tone! during two packed shows.
At our council retreat in San Diego Jan. 18, during the presentation on how to correct the low 1 percent participation of African Americans in Caltrans contracting in the midst of a 17.9 percent DBE accomplishment, a council member made a comment that has made me feel compelled to clarify why this council is in existence. I know that most of us, particularly newer council members, may believe that we are here because we are qualified contractors, but in this country, with its inherent institutional discrimination where qualifications of certain ethnic groups don’t matter, we are here to pursue equality and equal opportunity, known as civil rights, for all classified minorities and women.
Dedicated to ensuring the historic Fillmore neighborhood has an economic and cultural anchor to call its own, District Five Supervisor Vallie Brown and a group of nonprofit and African American community leaders have initiated a collaborative campaign to reactivate the Fillmore Heritage Center. Beginning Nov. 5, the collaborative is offering live music, community events, and housing and financial empowerment workshops at the former Yoshi’s site.
Community activist, retired civil service employee and U.S. Navy veteran, we have lost a great man. Michael went on to live with the Lord. His memory and legacy of helping others and claiming their self-worth is immeasurable. For those of us fortunate enough to know Mike, failure was not an option. He never gave up on life, people or family! Michael will forever be missed by those of us he leaves behind.
Muhammad al-Kareem founded the New Bayview newspaper, later renamed San Francisco Bay View, in 1976 and turned it over to the Ratcliffs in late 1991. So in 2016, we’re excited to be celebrating the newspaper’s 40th anniversary, beginning on Sunday, Feb. 21, 1-5 p.m., at the Main Library, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco. You’ll hear Muhammad, a panel consisting of writers associated with the Bay View in different eras, a fashion show and musicians reminding us of the beauty and talent within our community. We’ll serve food, too – and it’s all FREE. Spread the word!
HOW SWEET IT WAS! DR. WILLIE RATCLIFF, our beloved Publisher, a VIRGO MAN, celebrated his 82nd birthday surrounded by his lovely wife MARY RATCLIFF, charming in a blue dress, staff and friends at a reception held in the lobby of the African American Art and Cultural Complex, prior to the BLACK MEDIA APPRECIATION NIGHT affair, sponsored by SF BAY VIEW, to HONOR UNSUNG HEROES who do not get their PROPER due for their outstanding work.
The Screening Room, a new local startup TV show, features up-and-coming filmmakers with interviews about their films, the filmmaking journey and future outlook. We were honored to have the lovely Sheila V. Harris as our host in a recent episode of The Screening Room. She interviewed two local filmmakers, Karen Ruiz, a native San Franciscan, and Rock Hemlock, originally from Dallas, Texas.
The 15th Annual San Francisco Black Film Festival was a huge success with hundreds in attendance. Some of the headlining films included documentaries on Iceberg Slim and Sly from the Family Stone. Tupac Shakur’s 42nd birthday was celebrated in style with a number of revolutionary and reality rap legends in the Fillmore celebrating him 17 years after his assassination in Las Vegas in ‘96.
The Black population in San Francisco drastically declined when urban renewal, Redevelopment and the gentrification of the Fillmore/Western Addition started in the ‘60s, bulldozed the hearts of African Americans, many forced to move out of the City.
The City along with its handpicked operator, Bay Area Video Coalition, are planning to close the Community Access Television Center on Dec. 20 without another location where programmers can produce their shows. A picket and press conference will be held on this attack on community access and free speech on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 4 p.m., at Channel 29, 1720 Market St. at Valencia, San Francisco.