Amiri Baraka, one of the most fiery political poets and cultural critics in Black Amerikkka, recently celebrated his 75th birthday. He is the father of the Black Arts Movement of the ‘60s and after 2001, New Jersey abolished the poet laureate position because they couldn’t fire him, the incumbent, after he wrote his controversial piece, “Somebody Blew Up America.” On Sunday, Nov. 8, 1 p.m., Amiri will be speaking in the Koret Auditorium of the San Francisco Library, 100 Larkin St., as well as at the Black Dot Cafe, 1195 Pine St. at 6:30 in West Oakland on the same day. Here’s a quick Q & A that I did with Amiri Baraka ...
Harvard professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates is arguably the most prominent Black intellectual in the U.S. On July 14, cops in Cambridge, Massachusetts, forced him to do a perp walk from his own home to a police car in handcuffs. The charge was disorderly conduct, but Gates’ real offense was being Black and unwilling to bow and scrape when ordered to do so by a white cop.
Madness went down in Paris, Texas, on Tuesday, July 21, as members of the New Black Panther Party and white supremacists squared off. The trouble took place when skinheads descended upon a rally held by members of the Black community to protest the Jasper-style dragging death of Brandon McClelland last September by two white men.
When Election Day arrives in November, the state of Virginia will likely play a huge role in determining whether Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain is the next president of the United States. Unfortunately, the vote tally from the Old Dominion will be illegitimate because the state will disenfranchise nearly 350,000 individuals who are barred from voting because of felony convictions.