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Saturday, December 14, 2019
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Welcome to segregated California

As a descendant of former slaves and as an immigrant from the South, I have a unique perspective on segregation. My parents migrated to Oakland from Jackson, Mississippi, in 1944. In Jackson there were signs which posted the segregation policies. In California there were segregation policies, but no signs.

White supremacy rising: Monument to KKK founder being rebuilt in Selma,...

In Selma, Alabama, no less, scene of historic battles for Black civil rights, white supremacy advocates are re-building a monument to an early American terrorist, war criminal and widely acknowledged founder of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedford Forrest. Selma activist Malika Sanders is angry and she’s fighting back.

John Burris sues Chevron for refinery fire that sickened over 14,000

Bay Area attorneys John Burris, Matthew Kumin and Patrick Goggin joined forces to file a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of victims of the Chevron refinery explosion on Aug. 6. The resulting toxic plume released after a pipe failed in the troubled Crude Unit No. 4 covered areas in which thousands of residents live, work and play. More than 9,000 sought treatment after the fire. The lawsuit charges that Chevron was grossly negligent in handling an accident that, with proper safety measures and a timely response, could have been avoided.

Congratulations, graduates!

Shontrice Williamson and Adrienne Wilson graduated from San Francisco State University - Shontrice receiving her degree in Africana studies and Adrienne a master’s in public health. Both were also chosen to represent their fellow graduates at commencement by wearing the symbolic hood of their colleges. Only seven graduating students were selected for this honor.

Wanda’s Picks for June 2012

I would like to wish all the fathers a blessed and happy Fathers’ Day 2012. It is a hard time to be a parent of a youngster, not to mention an adolescent or youth. The challenges are great, in direct proportion to the rewards. I’d like to congratulate the young fathers who are stepping up and participating in their children’s lives, especially when society equates parenting with one’s largess or paycheck.

Prisoners at Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison on hunger strike

On May 22, brave prisoners at Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison began a hunger strike. A recently released prisoner discusses torture at Red Onion: “having your fingers broken, being bitten by dogs, being strapped to beds for days, being forced to defecate on yourself – I mean all of this has led to these men demanding to be treated as human beings.”

Youth homelessness on the rise in Richmond

Continuously over the last four years, Jessica Comstock, 22, has been homeless, relying on a network of local emergency shelters for her survival. She is just one of a growing number of young people between the ages of 18-24 who are slipping into homelessness in the city of Richmond.

Funk Season 2011: Violence at Niner vs. Raider game mirrors mayhem...

The Battle of the Bay, the annual pre-season game between the Raiders and the Forty Niners, is something most football fans look forward to every summer. It just so happens that this year’s game took place in one of the worst Funk Seasons in recent memory.

Immediate release sought for wrongfully imprisoned autistic youth

A Voice for Neli, a grassroots advocacy group formed to bring awareness to the plight of Reginald “Neli” Latson – an autistic teen the group contends was wrongly convicted and sentenced to serve time in a Virginia state penitentiary – is urging Gov. Bob McDonnell to pardon the youth.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned: An interview with...

Kenny was a real happy person. He had a beautiful spirit. He loved his mom. He was really into music and underground rap and really liked most of the local Bay Area underground artists – people from Hunters Point and Fillmore. Now that the police in San Francisco have killed Kenny, we’re going through a lot with the police in Seattle. They brought out the SWAT team to my home for nothing. The police said that my son was a piece of trash and that he got what he deserved. I don’t think nobody deserves to be killed in the fashion that my son was.

Chevron’s global victims confront CEO

At Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting, impacted community members who had traveled to the company’s headquarters from around the globe confronted CEO John Watson with the brutal human and environmental abuses caused by the oil giant’s operations.

Break the siege on Gaza NOW!

Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human will be leaving from unspecified ports in the Mediterranean in late June to break the siege on Gaza carrying about a thousand journalists, teachers, students, attorneys, human rights activists, members of parliament and others from 22 countries.

Wanda’s Picks for May 2011

Happy Mother’s Day to Yuri Kochiyama! I’d like to also wish the women who haven’t seen their children in a long time, some since birth, a special Happy Mother’s Day. Our prayers are with you even if you feel alone at a time when in America prisons systematically separate mothers from their children, often permanently.

Mounting opposition confronts San Mateo’s anti-local hiring assemblyman

A sea of overwhelming opposition in cities from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles has risen against San Mateo Assemblymember Jerry Hill and his anti-local hiring measure, Assembly Bill 356, which threatens state funding for any California city with a local hiring policy.

The faces of local hire

The new local hiring law is a tool to maintain and promote San Francisco’s working class by giving local workers a leg up on projects they pay for as taxpayers. It goes into effect this week amid high hopes and growing excitement.

Church sits in to stop sheriff eviction – Wednesday, March 16,...

Wednesday, March 16, beginning at 6 a.m., Bible Way Apostolic Church, 201 MacDonald Ave., Richmond, Calif., will hold a special early morning church service and is inviting the Richmond community to attend. That's when the sheriff is scheduled to evict the congregation.

From the Occupied Territories: Awaiting the assassination

The recent violent and furious protests by armed sign carriers at town hall meetings, called to discuss health care reforms, recall not the democratic discussions New England used to be famous for so much as distant white protests against civil rights reforms. Cartoons disparaging the president and his family bring to mind an earlier time when Blacks were routinely ridiculed in the nation’s press.

We ARE we

On the first of January this year, 2009, Oscar Grant was murdered by a BART police officer. This crime gained national media attention and united a community as people from various walks of life came together to demonstrate, voice their righteous indignation and demand justice. People protested, marched, rallied and attended numerous community meetings. Thirty days later, on Jan. 30, my son was shot 17 times and his friend was murdered. There were no marches. There were no rallies. There were no protests.

Environmental justice advocates win major victory over Chevron in Richmond

Chevron's 107-year-old Richmond refinery is the largest industrial polluter in the region, and communities in Richmond, particularly low-income and communities of color, already suffer from industrial pollution-related health problems. Putting a halt on this expansion project will prevent increased pollution in Richmond and throughout the Bay Area.

Village Bottoms Farms: Growing our food, owning our future

Marcel Diallo is a legend in Oakland for having put in over a decade of cultural work with the Black Dot Artist Collective, and now he is the main architect of a Black cultural district, the Village Bottoms Cultural District in the Lower Bottoms of West Oakland, near the old Army base.

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Crime, punishment and quality of life

This is the story of the enduring and ineffable bond between a homeless mother and her homeless child and of their noble struggle to survive in a harsh and unforgiving world.

Should UN peacekeepers leave the Democratic Republic of Congo?

The UN troops in DRC are called “peacekeepers,” but MONUSCO’s real mission is managing the “silent violence” in which perpetrators cannot be readily identified, atrocities go unreported, and resources are smuggled out of DRC through Rwanda and Uganda.

Restrictions on First Amendment speech rights warrant congressional investigation – later...

False convictions leading to imprisonment prove to be a transportation of slavery. Left uncorrected while mouthing off about insignificant facts takes the country into the direction of barbarism.

Wanda’s Picks for December 2019

Within the craziness, artists like Cherie Hill, Gabriel Christian and Chibueze Crouch have opened with their work windows into spaces where Blackness – just everyday Blackfolkness – is a ticket or key or pass code into rooms others seated behind us out of sight and mind/full/ness cannot enter.
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To solve multiple crises at once, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez unveil ‘Green...

The 54-page Green New Deal for Public Housing Act, which Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez introduced at a press conference, was co-sponsored in the Senate by Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and endorsed by more than 50 climate and affordable housing organizations.