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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.
Every two years, Block Report Radio and the SF Bay View newspaper get together to sponsor Black Media Appreciation Night, a night when we honor the very best in Black media from around the Bay Area. BMAN 2014 is Saturday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m., at the African American Art and Culture Complex (AAACC), 762 Fulton, San Francisco. Tickets at EventBrite (click the banner above). Headliners are pianist Kev Choice, comedian Donald E. Lacy, and Phavia Kujichagulia and Ma'at. Read on for the full list of honorees ... and more.
Jason Anderson has been a staunch activist in the Oakland area for about half a decade and has been working very hard on keeping the historic Liberty Hall building, the original Oakland home to Marcus Garvey’s UNIA in West Oakland, in the hands of the Black community. It has been an uphill battle, but this veteran of Occupy Oakland is up for the challenge.
The purpose of this particular article is to clear up misconceptions that have surfaced about Marcus Book Store. By now, most people are aware that in May 2014 San Francisco Marcus Book Store became the site of a tragic event: The store was ransacked and dismantled in broad daylight by the people who acquired the building in a bankruptcy sale. Their action was part of an overall scheme to publicly embarrass our family and dismantle an African American-owned legacy business recently designated by City officials as a cultural landmark. The Sweisses are accountable for their actions, morally and legally.
Stephanie Woodford is currently a student of piano attending St. Ignatius College Preparatory and is about to graduate. The arc to Stephanie’s educational success continues. One hundred seventy-three high school students have been selected from around the globe to attend Grammy Camp Los Angeles. This is a marvelous and outstanding chance to gain exposure in the professional music industry.
Last week, rather than allow Marcus Books family members to relocate after evicting them, the Sweis family stole all of the books and used sledge hammers to smash the book shelves and furniture. To the Black community, this is a repeat of history, where invaders come in time and time again to smash the symbols and evidence of a people’s greatness. This will NOT be tolerated. Will you stand with us and DEMAND the Sweises respect our history? We need to pressure the Sweises to do the decent thing.
The undisputed flagship of Black history and literature, Marcus Books, is currently fighting to stay alive in San Francisco, which might now be known as the undisputed pinnacle of wealth-hoarding and displacement. The Johnson family is planning a series of actions to fight this unjust removal, but for now readers can call Royal Cab and tell the Sweis family to sell Marcus Books back to the Johnson family.
Marcus Book Store is in the midst of a grassroots campaign – from Jan. 20 to Feb. 20 – to raise a million dollars in 30 days. Personally I am committed to reaching out to the people directly. The power is still in the people. Exercise your power. KEEP Marcus Books LIT! For the next 30 days we would like everyone to memorize and repeat the mantra, “Please, donate $20 in your own name and HELP ten others do the same! Thank you.”
We recall the words of the great Black abolition leader Frederick Douglas: “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” After years of studies, pleading, begging for jobs and contracts in our city, we are prepared to call a boycott of conventions coming to San Francisco. For Jan. 1, 2014, two national organizations of Black meeting planners, controlling 75 percent of the $40 billion Black convention and meeting industry, have been notified to stand by until our meeting with the SF Travel Association and the City. SFAACC, along with a coalition of other Black and concerned organizations, will present the following DEMANDS in an upcoming meeting with SF Travel, the Hotel Board and the City of SF.
As I read from the July 2013 issue of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper, Marcus Books is in trouble. I would be remiss not to speak up and help prevent this beautiful and beloved landmark from imminent eviction. Hence, I am sending a letter to the president of these United States plus sharing my Marcus Books love story with all.
Marcus Book Store, at 1712 Fillmore St., San Francisco, is packed with knowledge it has purveyed since 1960, for 53 years. Now the oldest Black book store in the country has been ordered out. But the community is REFUSING to let Marcus Books close. The Sweises, who bought the property, want the judge to evict Marcus Books. Everyone is urged to BOYCOTT their businesses, Big Dog City Cab and Royal Cab companies. On Tuesday, July 2, 3 p.m., the community will caravan to the Sweis home in South City for a PROTEST RALLY at 4 p.m.
The Village Project and the Bayview Y present San Francisco’s seventh annual Kwanzaa, featuring a special celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. This year’s event will again highlight the seven principles of Kwanzaa (Nguzo Saba), with 14 free events taking place over seven days throughout San Francisco.
My OG potna, Fleetwood from Frisco, just put out his second book, “Bloodtest.” It is an urban fiction novel that is based right here in the Bay Area. It is important for us to support the writers, media-makers and artists in our communities who tell our stories.