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Slavery has indeed marked this nation. Its soot leaves a residue the best detergent cannot wipe away or wash out. Truth – bitter, the missing ingredient is hard to swallow, let alone see – yet this is what The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and by extension The Legacy Museum: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration demands we face. It is not in your head or imagination that these atrocities to other people reside.
Now, as the San Francisco Bay View newspaper’s 40th birthday year comes to a close, is the time to bring up to date the historical sketch of our paper that I began with Part 1 in the January paper. Piles of old papers rest on my desk, waiting to be read once again – a banquet of stories and pictures of our lives, our hopes, our goals. Let me let you taste the flavor of the freedom we continue to fight for in the age of Trump.
This is a public notice to all freedom fighters, activists and community leaders: SLAVERY IS NOT DEAD! Did the 13th Amendment abolish slavery? Ask anyone in the United States this question and they will answer most emphatically: Yes, of course it did. If you, the person reading this article and call to action, believe this as well, please allow me to inform you: You are wrong! Slavery is not dead! Rather than abolish slavery, the 13th Amendment LEGALIZED it!
For us to make sense of the relentless, 400-year-long onslaught of racist violence against New Afrikans and other nationally oppressed people in Amerika and the absence of a collective program of comprehensive self-defense and secure communities among the majority of the New Afrikan population in the U.S., it’s important we first grasp the origin of this contradiction, as all other points of contradiction and irrationality flow from it.
Directed and performed by Dr. Ayodele Nzinga and The Lower Bottom Playaz, “King Hedley II” is the ninth of the late Afrikan playwright August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, a 10-play docudrama of Afrikan life in the U.S. during the 20th century. This all Afrikan theatre company is on its way to performing the cycle in its entirety, a feat unparalleled in world history, and delivers a riveting performance. Hurry! The play closes Sunday.
Maafa 2014 - The waves were as tall as mountains or perhaps redwood trees –their gigantic footprints in the sand left many pilgrims flat on their backs wet from head to toe. In 19 years, I’d never seen waves as tall as those that Sunday morning. Many thanks to all who came and made the commemoration a huge success. It was great to have co-founder, Minister Donald Paul Miller, back in the circle.
Sunday, Oct. 12, marks our 19th Annual Maafa Commemoration. This is a time when we gather to remember our African ancestors, especially those who endured the transatlantic slave trade or the Middle Passage, the Black Holocaust. It is a time for Pan Africans to gather and celebrate life and recommit ourselves to the work of liberation: spiritual, psychological, economic and political.
“Israel” is an up-to-date apartheid state. “Israel” is a wicked occupying force. “Israel” is a raw, primitive, viciously colonialist state, other “neo-colonialisms” notwithstanding. Whether in Gaza or the West Bank, Palestine is not supposed to defend itself against apartheid, occupation or colonialism in this basic logic of the white Western capitalist world, but it does – valiantly. Long live Palestine!
Congratulations to Gerald Lenoir for carrying the torch and blazing the way for so many social justice issues from HIV/AIDS awareness in the Black community to his recent work in just migration for Pan Africans. Much success on your new work! Farewell to Alona Clifton and much success in Atlanta. Congratulations also to Almaz Negash, founder and director of African Diaspora Network in Silicon Valley for her national recognition and award at the Continental African Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.
With negative corporate rap taking hold of youth pop culture and our young people’s minds, this Islamic inspired “Karbala Mixtape” is doing its much needed part to fill the cultural void with constructive, meaningful music that pushes one to be a better, more informed person. Imam Hashim Alauddeen helped to oversee a roster of talented artists who have contributed to this project.
When Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Orders, Number 3, he had no idea that, in establishing the Union Army’s authority over the people of Texas, he was also establishing the basis for a holiday, “Juneteenth” (“June” plus “nineteenth”), today the most popular annual celebration of emancipation from slavery in the United States.
On Wednesday, Feb.13, 2013, for over three hours, the Laney College Forum rang with the sounds that only an evening spent with artist, musician, activist Charlotte Hill O’Neal, affectionately known as “Mama C,” could produce: the sounds of love, laughter, awe and welcome of a community embracing one of its own.
Going back to nature is going back to what’s natural and good for your health and wellbeing and going back to your natural selves. Going back to nature is going back to Black, Mama Nature’s original people. We should teach our children about the cycles of the moon and the difference between planting and harvesting seasons, the ancient Afrikan Sciences of the Years.
Judith Jamison looked regal on stage with Farai Chideya last month in The Forum Conversations at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Her message seemed to be one of preparedness and presence – being, as our sister Ayana Vanzant says, in spirit. Muslims call this the sirata-l-mustaqim or the path of the rightly guided.
In 2012, the Maafa is a penal colony in U.S.-occupied Haiti – the national penitentiary. This image expresses a reality reminiscent of chained Africans in the hull of a slave ship bound for the Carolinas. In Haiti, prisoners without human rights are guarded by the world arbiters on human rights, the United Nations. This is how prisoners are treated. Forgotten and abandoned.
Love has everything to do with it, and “Precious” shows us that where there is love, there is no intent to harm or cause pain. Precious’ life was the antithesis of love; how many children and adults confuse pain for love until they learn better?
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.
The Maafa Ritual begins before dawn on Sunday, Oct. 11, about 5:30-6 a.m., at Ocean Beach on the Great Highway at Fulton Street in San Francisco. Invited are Black people interested in honoring our ancestors who perished in the European Slave Trade and its aftermath via colonialism and other forms of genocide like incarceration, terrible occurrences or reoccurring disasters felt today. Maafa Awareness Month was founded and has been organized by Bay View Arts Editor Wanda Sabir for 11 years.
We will begin to rewrite the story of this land, erasing the exclusion and isolation that waved at us mockingly as an estranged flag was tossed and tussled by torrential winds. Perhaps now those stripes and bright stars will symbolize a dream in which we all can stake a claim.