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East Oakland bred welterweight pro boxer Bilal Mahasin is shaping up to be one of East Oakland’s most recognizable hometown heroes on the boxing and social front. I caught up with Bilal after his recent fight at the Oracle Arena, where he fought on the undercard of the Andre Ward vs. Alexander Brand fight. We talked about his most recent fight, training while behind enemy lines, his life mission and more.
Opesanwo Ifakorede is a local herbalist that was originally taught about the world of herbs by his grandmother a generation ago. He recently did an “Urban Practical Herbalism Workshop” at Deep Roots Urban Refuge in East Oakland. For those that did not get a chance to make it, I really want to whet your appetite for the subject. Check out Opesanwo Ifakorede in his own words.
Kevin Epps is a legendary Bay Area filmmaker from Hunters Point, who is one of the few godfathers of the hood self-made dvd revolution. This year 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the completion of his film “Rap Dreams” which highlighted the careers of Hectic, Kev Kelly and Mistah F.A.B. Mistah F.A.B. will be accompanying filmmaker Kevin Epps at the screening of Rap Dreams on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 7 p.m., at the New Parkway in Oakland.
“Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution” by author and professor Devyn Benson is an impressive study on the history of racism and Black organizing in Cuba prior to the 1959 revolution and right after it. I talked with author Devyn Benson about racial nuances as we discussed Black Cuban history. Check her out in her own words in this exclusive interview.
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.
When you talk about grinding and hustling for your dream, Oakland’s DLabrie has rocked mics from New York to Seoul and collaborated with some of the most intellectual rappers of our generation. A few months ago he premiered the “Stay Black and Die” video, which included appearances by rappers M1, Shamako, Mac Mall and Ray Luv, at the Oakland International Film Festival. He is definitely someone who has a lot to say. Check out DLabrie in his own words.
The Leimert Park Village Book Fair is held in the well preserved and nationally known Los Angeles Black artistic and cultural neighborhood Leimert Park, home to legendary filmmaker and owner of the Kaos Network Ben Caldwell and the Black bookstore Eso Won Books. Cynthia Exum and her crew have been organizing the Leimert Park Village Book Fair for a decade, which is no small feat. So I sat down with her to discuss this monumental accomplishment.
Writers, poets and expressionists of all types are on the frontlines of the battle for our minds against the corporate ideals that are being promoted to us. And Malcolm Shabazz Hoover is one of these essential keyboard banging psychological warriors. Check him out in his own words talking about his literary debut, “144 Poems for God, Love, Truth, Justice, Peace and Hip Hop.”
The air has gotten worse, not better. So these are some of the things that are caused by the dust, the construction and the latent chemicals they have not cleaned up since World War II – plus the current concentration of light industry just outside our neighborhood that all blows into our neighborhood. Yet currently less than 1 percent of African Americans who live in Bayview work in that area and reap the economic benefits. All we get is the pollution and death.
Trinidadian filmmakers Garth St. Clair and his wife, Natasha Nunez, are two of the many cinematic junkies who have traveled to San Francisco from far and wide to attend the 18th Annual San Francisco Black Film Festival, which is taking place at a number of theaters around the city this weekend. Their documentary, “Trafficked,” screens at the festival at the African American Art and Culture Complex in San Francisco on Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m.
Oakland City Council President Lynette McElhaney discusses the most recent sex scandal sweeping OPD and other Bay Area law enforcement agencies, where over two dozen officers and agents had sex or inappropriate dealings with the same underage girl. Councilwoman McElhaney equates sex work with slavery. She also stresses the need for the community to help organizations that support women and girls who have been abused by the sex industry.
This year at the San Francisco Black Film Festival, “Codigo Color, Memorias” is one of the internationally made jewels that will be exposing the Bay Area to the issue of colorism in Cuba. “Codigo Color, Memorias” will screen on Saturday, June 18, at the African American Art and Culture Complex. I sat down with the filmmaker, William Sabourin, for an exclusive Q&A about his informative and perfectly timed film. Check him out in his own words.
This upcoming Friday, activist and rapper Sellassie of the Frisco 5 will be interviewing Bobby Seale, the co-founder and chairman of the Black Panther Party, in front of an audience. I hooked up this Q&A with Sellassie so he could talk about his experiences with the Frisco 5’s hunger strike as well as his upcoming event with Bobby Seale. Stay tuned.
Parliament Funkadelic was the cultural symbol for Black music in the ‘70s – genre-bending, fun, cool, sexy, futuristic and political. Filmmaker Bobby Brown captured their epic history in his documentary “Tear the Roof Off the Mother,” screening Sunday, June 19, at the Boom Boom Room as a part of the San Francisco Black Film Festival. For a lineup of the films and events in this year’s festival, Thursday through Sunday, June 16-19, go to sfbff.org, and read about many of them here on sfbayview.com. Check out Bobby Brown as we discuss his film in this exclusive Q&A.
When I first heard the statement that “The Black Woman Is God,” it wasn’t new or spooky to me, because I grew up in a family with over a hundred members and everyone knew that my grandmother’s say was the final one. She was the family’s guide or god. I talked with “The Black Woman Is God” exhibit’s cofounder Karen Seneferu about this year’s show and the concepts and history behind this very important annual art show in the Bay.
“Lambadina,” an international love story originating in Ethiopia before moving to the U.S., will be screened on opening night of the San Francisco Black Film Festival, Thursday, June 16, 6-9 p.m., at the Coppola Theater at San Francisco State University. The story is about childhood love, family, friendship, commitment, sincerity and history. Come check out this beautiful feature length film and meet the filmmaker, Messay Getahun, as well as check him out in this exclusive Q&A.
Sia Love’s debut hip hop album, “For the Record,” was released last month. The production on the album goes from ‘80s pop to the ‘90s sound of Hip Hop to the traditional stringed instruments and drums of Africans from Latin America. Her vocals are rhythmic, strong, soothing, confident and filled with wisdom. Check out this flame on the rise in her own words.
Ty-Licia Hooker is one of the most dynamic Black women working in Oakland for the good of the Black community and other underserved communities. This former Black Girls Rock awardee is the executive director of Boost! West Oakland, a non-profit dedicated to empowering young people and strengthening their academic performance. They were just awarded the prestigious Partner Organization of the Year Award from the Oakland Unified School District.
The third annual Sacramento Black Book Fair is taking place from June 3 to 5 in Oak Park at many different locations, featuring a number of different people who have other talents and careers and are authors also. We need to support literacy in our community and to support authors writing the stories that come from our experience and are suited to benefit our people. I talked to the director of this monumental event, Mrs. Faye Kennedy, about this year’s happenings. Check her out in this exclusive Q&A.
Right out of the musical lineage of Parliament Funkadellic, Georgia Ann Muldrow, Dudley Perkins and the Dungeon Family steps Bay Area bred producer Oji and his crew, the Ascension Team. Oji’s music is on some futuristic other level type of space vibe. He is like an Andre 3000, on a production level conjuring sound chemistries not ever heard before in widely known rap music. Check out Oji as he talks about his craft.