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John P. Kee really knows how to throw a party. Recently, the legendary recording artist threw a concert celebrating the 70th birthday of his mentor and gospel icon, Bishop Rance Allen. Kee hosted Jason Nelson, Yolanda DeBerry, Isaiah Templeton, Shawn Bigby and Zeeksong for a spirited and packed-out concert at his New Life Fellowship Church in Charlotte, N.C. Those artists who couldn’t appear in person sent greetings via Instagram. A Korean soul music quartet, Korean Seoul, serenaded Bishop Allen with an a cappella rendition of the Rance Allen Group’s signature tune, “Something About the Name Jesus.”
I have always said that if you want to understand the nature of a thing, you must research its origin. I would venture to say that the iconic freedom fighter and servant of the people Malcolm X was the first “Prison Panther,” although he was not known officially as such. However, when Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in 1966 at Merritt College in Oakland, California, the legacy of their hero, OUR HERO, Malcolm X was on their mind.
The answers to the problems are all wrapped together in the beautiful writing of Coates, a man whose politics are still forming, but on such a large scale that these criticisms must come with an urgency, as West delivered them. I respect West magnificently for his actual work in activism, both historically and currently. If Coates is to continue being called the voice of my people, he has to move from being a traditional intellectual who walks the line of academic and objective writer into the space of organic intellectual that he likely sees himself as, who is activistic in nature.
I went to San Francisco’s 2017 Dr. King Day celebration riding the same wave that hounded every other participant. As I suspected, a tragic election caused crowd levels to swell significantly compared to a year ago. I’d say at least three times the number of 2016 attendees walked in this year’s march. One ugly cloud loomed: the transfer of federal powers – which finally did arrive four days later – had crept oh so dreadfully near.
Wait. Patience. Stay Calm. We’ve been waiting for dozens, hundreds, thousands of indictments and convictions. Every death hurts. Every exonerated cop, security guard or vigilante enrages. The grand jury’s decision doesn’t surprise most Black people because we are not waiting for an indictment. We are waiting for justice – or more precisely, struggling for justice. The young people of Ferguson continue to struggle with ferocity.
For the past four years, community activists and civil rights leaders in the Houston area have been fighting hard to establish a civilian review board with prosecutorial power over local police. The board would oversee the activities of a Houston Police Department (HPD) which has had a “love affair” with the use of excessive and lethal force on Houstonians. The problem with HPD is much larger than it appears and affects everyone in Houston.
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.
When Martin Luther King was killed in Memphis, he was about to join the sanitation workers in their protest for a union and more decent wages. The movement for civil rights was taking hold in the North and America didn’t like it – so off with King’s head.
Jazz Hudson is one of the new up and coming poets out of the Bay who has been making a name for herself at poetry readings - one of the most loquacious and passionate young sistas to come out of the concrete jungle of Oakland in a long time.
We must protect Hard Knock Radio, Flashpoints and Full Circle from the KPFA chopping block because in essence we are protecting our right to an accessible community radio station, where we can learn, teach and participate in local struggles for community power.
Johannes Mehserle's trial begins Monday, May 18, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Alameda County Courthouse, 12th and Oak Street, in Oakland. A strong community presence has been requested by the Oscar Grant family and allies. A teach in to prepare for the trial is Sunday, May 17, 1-4 p.m., at Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland. And wish Tatiana Grant happy birthday. She turns 5 on May 16.
This past Sunday over 1,200 people showed up at Salem Methodist Church in Harlem to listen and weigh in on a discussion that has been raging on in our communities but is oftentimes swept under the rug.