Aswad “Baldhead” Muhommed started the Struggle to Bubble Movement, a homeless empowerment community survival program to feed his soul – not for a non-profit grant, not for a tax write-off, not because he is running for office or trying to sell an album, and not for a status symbol – but possibly for the transformation it has been for many.
May our Divine Mother-Father Creator of and in All – and beloved Ancients and Ancestors from past millennia, yesteryears and, literally, yesterday – find you and (y)our extended Family healthy and staying spirited during this dangerous worldwide pandemic, global imperialist monopoly capitalist economic devastation, and ongoing European and american “white” state and vigilante terrorism. WE offer our sacred-most thoughts for the healing of our dear editor, Elder Mary Ratcliff. Get well, Mama Mary! Asé.
The founder and CEO of Heart and Soul Communities, Ericka Tillis, is a pioneer in the senior-assisted living industry in Oakland and San Leandro. That pioneering vision has kept her facilities and residents unscathed by the COVID-19 epidemic while the virus has been running unbridled through the senior community and the Black and Latino communities of Alameda County.
Open Letter to: Killer Mike, Cardi B, Kanye, Jay-Z, P-Diddy, Ludacris, 50 Cent and others: Greetings and solidarity to each of you. In recognition of your individual voice, influence and cultural following among current generations of Black people – Africans in the Diaspora and on the continent – we salute you.
San Francisco – Healthcare workers sent an open letter with over 750 signatories to California Gov. Gavin Newsom on the morning of July 27 urging immediate action to reduce the state prison population to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The signers condemn the recent COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin State Prison as a “public health crisis that impacts not only those Californians who are currently experiencing incarceration, but all of us.”
History teaches us that the people who govern the United States have no regard for the health of Black people and in this case Black children. The Oakland Unified School District faces the looming ‘20-‘21 school year, beginning Aug. 10 and Black parents are rightfully terrified for their children’s safety faced with the federal push to carelessly open schools amid COVID spiking in Alameda County and new lockdown orders.
The East Oakland Youth Development Center aka EOYDC is a deep anchor in the Deep East Oakland community, helping Black and Brown families navigate the uncertainties of the historic COVID pandemic. Regina Jackson and staff have sustained this community lifeline and shined a light on the creative choices possible when critical disruption occurs.
200+ exclusively Black prisoners were brutally assaulted under Soledad State Prison Warden Craig Koenig’s command at 3 a.m. Monday – Tuesday Koenig reacted with a massive excuse binge after receiving numerous emails from the angry wives about their brutalized loved ones.
TreeMoon Cannabis Fashion is busy rebounding after having its production line interrupted by the COVID-19 quarantine. It's estimated that up to 60 percent of Black-owned businesses will not survive the extended COVID quarantine and national rebellions of 2020. Our Black community must step up our support for Black business at this critical juncture in history.
San Quentin Warden Ron Broomfield announced the prison is cancelling all phone calls, in the name of protecting everyone inside from spread of the virus. Maybe it is more to keep any information about what is really going on there out of the hands of families, friends and the MEDIA!
San Francisco – San Francisco County jail has seen a 40 percent increase in positive COVID-19 cases since June 18, 2020. This surge prompted a broad coalition of prominent entities to send a joint letter to the San Francisco Superior Court, urging it “in the strongest possible terms” to restore the zero bail policy in San Francisco to help reduce the jail population during the ongoing pandemic.
“I for one believe that if you give people a thorough understanding of what confronts them and the basic causes that produce it, they’ll create their own program, and when the people create a program, you get action.” – El Hajj Malik Shabazz aka Malcolm X
Oakland – More than 10,000 people have signed a petition asking Gov. Gavin Newsom to release prisoners to stop the COVID-19 infections racing through San Quentin and other state prisons.
Preventive medicine is the best medicine, especially in a capitalist country where the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed long encrusted health disparities that have been in place for centuries. Presently, people have had their ability to move around freely curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine’s shelter-in-place policy.
It is said that Mark Twain once quipped that “history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.” One cannot escape comparisons with 1968, and with widespread civil unrest, troops in the streets, warring abroad and a rabidly reactionary Republican president seeking re-election while executing his own Southern Strategy replete with dog-whistle appeals to “law and order,” such comparisons are not without merit.
San Francisco – Disproportionately Black homeless residents may face massive police enforcement due to a settlement reached between the City of San Francisco and UC Hastings College of Law, which compels the City to “employ enforcement measures” for those who do not accept shelter placements or safe sleeping sites – yet provides less than 10 percent of homeless residents with such offers.
Inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary being exposed to COVID-19 say prison officials are not doing enough to protect their health and lives. Department of Corrections violates state and federal guidelines that protect the life and health of those incarcerated due to Angola’s unique double bunked and overcrowding. LSP pays fines to the fire marshal, but fines do not make up for lives lost.
Some minority-owned small businesses applied for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) by the initial March 31, 2020, deadline and again thereafter. The EIDL program was intended to provide working capital to small businesses – apparently not exclusively – with funding of up to $2 million, including an immediate $10,000 advance within a few days after applications were submitted to the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Shortly after the flood in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, local residents risked their lives launching small boats to rescue people stranded on top of their roofs. This ad hoc group, which included many skilled Cajun boat pilots, became known as the Cajun Navy, a volunteer group who have saved thousands of people in other disasters including Hurricanes Florence, Harvey, Irma and Michael.
Homeless rights activist Nino Brown lives in a homeless encampment at Lake Merritt. He worries about a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic brewing in Oakland. Most scientists would agree that Brown describes a perfect condition for incubating a pandemic.