Since Aug. 20, 1619, with the arrival of the first documented slaves planting their feet on the soil of American land, Black resistance has been an important aspect of what it means to survive while Black in America.
Let there be no mistake. Shooting and killing an unarmed Black woman, who professed to be pregnant in Houston, Texas, or “bagging” a small in stature 12-year-old in Sacramento must be called out for what it is. These actions are more reflective of the practices of “slave catchers” and “Jim Crow” era law enforcers than of proper urban policing techniques focused on de-escalation and by governments truly committed to empower police officers to “protect and to serve” our entire community.
What makes San Francisco Mime Troupe the award-winning theatre it is is its amazing work, which is always topical and timely. Its current production, July 1-Sept. 10, “Walls” is no different. Playwright and SF Mime veteran Michael Gene Sullivan’s new work looks at federal immigration policy from George W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton to Barack Obama and Donald Trump. The quartet has much in common, each president responsible for policies which criminalize its immigrant population.
The People's Minister of Information JR interviews Dawn Silva of the Brides of Funkenstein, who also worked with the Black Panther Party, Sly and the Family Stone, Parliament Funkadelic, the Gap Band, and Ice Cube. We talk about her life transitioning from the Panthers to Sly to Parliament to the Brides to the Gap Band. She gives a lot of intimate not talked about history from the 70's. Tune in for more at BlockReportRadio.com.
The politics, color and income of Oakland is changing rapidly, similar to what happened over in San Francisco, where the population went from 16 percent Black in the 1970s to 3 percent Black and shrinking today. Oakland, like many other largely Black cities, is being plagued by gentrification. Instead of suffering in silence, Timothy Killings, a member of the Northern California People’s Housing Union, invites you to join the collective this Saturday, 12-3 p.m., at the Quilombo Community Center, 2313 San Pablo in West Oakland. Food and child care will be provided and all are invited.
To formerly incarcerated people, their families, friends, allies and comrades, join us for a day of grassroots legislative visits at the California State Capitol on Monday, April 27. We need to speak out when our suffering outlasts our jail or prison sentences. Bills are being considered that directly relate to our capacity to thrive as human beings. Buses will roll out of both Northern and Southern California. Join us.
Damon Shuja Johnson writes: "I am writing this letter to humbly ask if I can call upon you to send a letter of support on my behalf to the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH). I need your help!" During Shuja’s nearly 30 years of incarceration, medical neglect has made him permanently disabled and confined him to a wheelchair. He’s stayed sane by developing into an outstanding artist. Now it’s time to bring him home to his loving family.
Today, Jan. 23, 2015, I appeared before the Director’s Review Board and I was granted release from PBSP SHU (Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit) after 26 years in solitary confinement. I’m to be transferred to Salinas Valley State Prison, where I’ll be able to have human contact and new experiences and hopefully be able to re-meet my family.
Tirrell Muhammad, chairman of the board of the directors of the Golden State Giants semi-pro football team, sat down with the SF Bay View newspaper to talk local football. He talks about some of the star players and upcoming open tryouts and introduces us to the some of the head honchos within the organization. Check him out.
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.
Following a mass hunger strike by prisoners in California last year, some state legislators promised to reform the use of Security Housing Units (SHU). This week, Assembly Bill 1652, passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee. It now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. If the bill becomes law, prisoners would only be sent to SHU for specific serious rules violations that come with determinate SHU sentences.
Typically we don’t show up to the fight until several of us have been shot. We don’t show up early on not because we don’t care, but because in general we don’t know how. That’s why Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) is establishing a policy academy to increase civic participation by formerly incarcerated people, both locally and statewide. Our first training drew 50 people to the Watts Labor Center in Los Angeles.
On Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP), coordinated its West Coast Days Of Action across three states and 11 cities. From 2005 to 2014, WRAP has worked to build a large people’s movement rooted in and accountable to groups and individuals defending poor peoples’ constitutionally-guaranteed human right to exist in public space, acquire housing and employment, and enjoy equal protection under law.
This season we have lost two pillars of our San Francisco Bay Area community, Samuel Fredericks and Upesi Mtambuzi. Cedar Walton, pianist, also made his transition this year, along with Donald Duck Bailey, drummer, both men beautiful human beings. Upesi, Samuel, Cedar and Donald all brightened our world. Their unique hues and shapes and sounds will be missed ... that last live jam.
On the 20th anniversary of the demise of my father, Fred Ali Batin Sr., the 18th anniversary of the Maafa Commemoration San Francisco Bay Area – the Ritual Sunday is Oct. 13, 2013; see http://maafasfbayarea.com/ – and approximately the 60th day of the hunger strike to end the inhuman conditions in California’s Security Housing Units or SHUs, I just want to pause and reflect.
The California Innocence Project director, Professor Justin P. Brooks, along with attorneys Alissa Bjerkhoel and Michael Semanchik, will walk 600 miles from San Diego to Sacramento to protest the incarceration of their innocent clients, bring attention to the cause of wrongful convictions, and present clemency petitions for 12 clients, “The California 12,” to Gov. Jerry Brown.
Once again, a family is left grief stricken after the police are called regarding a mental health emergency. On Saturday, Oct. 8, 2012, Fremont police officers shot and killed DeJuan Eaton, age 37. When police are called in to deal with mental health situations, all too often the outcome is the loss of a loved one. Use of deadly force is not an acceptable resolution.
Word has just reached us that Steve Champion, a prisoner on San Quentin’s death row well known as an inspirational advocate for justice and as one of the trio with Stanley Tookie Williams and Anthony Ross, began a hunger strike last Thursday, Oct. 4. His demands – still unmet – are listed in “The struggle never stops,” published in the July Bay View and reprinted here, and he asks that all who believe in justice flood the San Quentin warden and Corrections Department (CDCR) spokespersons with calls and emails.
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.
Sometimes one gets tired of living in a place that doesn’t want you there, Zaccho Artistic Director, Joanna Haigood, states at the reception Thursday at the California Historical Society. The only problem is 154 years later, Black people are still unwelcome in San Francisco, which is what “Sailing Away” addresses so eloquently without words.