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It is with great sadness that I write about the passing of one of San Francisco’s daughters. Milan Rose Ardoin, 28 – and her mother, Valinda Rose Scott, 55 – was fatally shot at her home in Antioch, Calif., at 4:20 a.m. on the morning of July 5, 2018. Milan leaves behind a 4-year-old son, Mason Rome, who she often referred to as “the love of my life,” her beloved grandmother, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, former students, mentees, friends and coworkers.
Our story begins on any weekday morning in the mid 1940s, when thousands of men, migrants from the American South to “Frisco,” converged upon the gates of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard on their way to work. To do their jobs building and repairing ships for the biggest employer in the San Francisco Bay Area during the war time economic boom. By 1908, the San Francisco Drydock, operating at the shipyard, had become “the world’s greatest shipping yard.”
On Jan. 13, at 8:07 a.m., a ballistic missile alert went out to TV, radio and mobile phones in Hawaii; 38 minutes later, the alert was canceled. Authorities blamed the false alert on a button pushed in error during a shift change. During those 38 minutes, there was widespread panic. Many tried to find some sort of shelter. A few, realizing shelter would most likely not protect them, stayed out in the open. What would you do?
Stop! Stop whatever you are doing Right Now! And send $5 (five dollars) to the San Francisco Bay View. Ten dollars or twenty dollars would be better. One hundred dollars would be best! But five dollars is within nearly everyone’s capacity. And at least five dollars from you is needed to save the Bay View. If you have gotten anything out of this Paper Train, this decades-long labor of love, NOW is the time for the Big Payback! Think about it: The Bay View is our present day Underground Railroad, our Freedom Train! Full of freedom riders! Freedom writers! And freedom fighters! Support the Bay View before it disappears.
Each year, it is important to revisit this historic classic speech by the powerful orator, Frederick Douglass, delivered in 1852, stating, “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. … You may rejoice, I must mourn.” Listen to James Earl Jones reading the speech. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Michael Lange and James Brooks with Angela Wellman’s Oakland Public Conservatory would perform the work with jazz artists.
Saturday, June 10, The Father’s Day Celebration, a free event for Black fathers and Black male father figures and their families, will give space for a joyous Father’s Day event for the whole community. The Father’s Day Celebration will begin with family portraits, activities for the kids (Barbers, Books and Bridges), a live DJ spinning tunes perfect for the occasion and a keynote speaker, Adimu Madyun. Dining will be available.
Dimensions Dance Theatre presents its annual youth showcase, “The Village Matters,” on Sunday, May 7. Participants include Rites of Passage, Dimensions Extensions, LIKHA School of Philippine Dance, On Demand, BAY-Peace, Oakland Technical High School, Oakland High School, Bret Harte Middle School and Kipp Bridge Academy. The program also features guest artists Destiny Muhammad, “Harpist from the Hood,” and Batalá San Francisco.
Well-known veteran musician and producer Philip Hennen, aka “Phil the Mil(lionaire),” will soon be sharing a different aspect of his immense creativity. On this coming First Friday, May 5, 2017, from 6 to 9 p.m., Philip will showcase his striking “Mood City” photography, at the beautiful Joyce Gordon Gallery in downtown Oakland. Recently, Philip sat down to discuss his artistry with the Bay View’s Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at.
After earning both soaring praise and burning ire for sitting out the national anthem, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has turned his protest against police brutality into a positive force for change – by opening an education-based camp to empower kids. Kaepernick, in other words, wants to teach young people how to be the change – to educate themselves and stay healthy and safe. On a recent Saturday, Kaepernick hosted a free youth camp called Know Your Rights.
Covered California has released a list of the top areas in the San Francisco Bay Area where high numbers of people who qualify for subsidized health insurance are believed to reside. The “hot spots” released today show the estimated highest concentrations of subsidy-eligible uninsured individuals – people who qualify for help to buy health insurance through Covered California but have not yet taken advantage of it.
On Tuesday, Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m., the San Francisco Museum and History Society presents historian Bill Doggett on “San Francisco, World War II and African Americans”; his family lived and made much of that history. The program is in the Milton Marks Auditorium of the State Building, 455 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco. Join us Tuesday night, Sept. 8, for an evening of remembrance and education.
HOW SWEET IT IS, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 2015 NBA CHAMPIONS! NOW, THE BATTLE IS ON TO KEEP the team in Oakland and owners from moving WARRIORS TO SAN FRANCISCO Mission Bay and proposed new arena to be built at Third and 16th Street. While talking sports, CANDLESTICK STADIUM IS DOWN! GONE! Nothing left but the TOWER in the parking lot!
Libations to Ornette Coleman, musician, composer, March 9, 1930-June 11, 2015. Libations also for Brother Tahuti, a beloved elder who made his transition mid-June. Those of us who commemorate our African Ancestors of the Middle Passage have formed an organization which took me recently to Washington, D.C. At the website guests can learn about commemorations throughout the United States and beyond.
Classic Black (June 4 , 6 and 7, Southside Theater, Fort Mason Center) and A Night of Tribute in Dance: Blanche Brown (May 28, Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center) are shining examples of the majestic spectrum of African American artistic excellence in the Bay Area and two of 150 performances that are part of SFIAF 2015. Co-presented by Fort Mason Center, SFIAF 2015 runs May 21-June 7.
Over a 25 year period, 200 women in South LA went missing. Of these missing women, 100 were found dead. All of the women are Black and most were prostitutes. The refusal to let these women’s lives go unacknowledged is due to the work of Black Coalition Fighting Back Against Serial Murders. HBO will broadcast “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” on April 27.
Inspired by President Barack Obama’s “My Brothers Keeper” initiative, AfroSolo will launch Project Empowerment: The Audacity to Succeed II. An anthology entitled “Lighting up the Future: Letters From Black Men to Young Black Men and Boys,” will be a collection of letters from Black men designed to celebrate, uplift and motivate young Black men and boys to successfully transcend youth to adulthood. We cordially invite your participation.
HELLO! BACK AT YOU in the year 2015; which promises to be busy – especially in Bayview Hunters Point, which will increase its population with opening of new housing, a phase of ALICE GRIFFITH, in the spring; later this year DR. GEORGE DAVIS SENIOR CAMPUS, on Third and Carroll; AND DEMOLITION of Candlestick Park Stadium, IN PROGRESS, to begin building a new community.
Dr. Chinosole, born Patricia Thornton in New York July 14, 1942 (Bastille Day, she always reminded), died on Oct. 4, 2014, in Oakland. She was a brilliant intellect, academic, freedom fighter and friend. When she chose the name Chinosole, it was that one name, no first or last; it means “freedom.” Her friends, colleagues and family will gather to commemorate her life on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, at 1 p.m., at 550 24th St., Oakland.
Maafa 2014 - The waves were as tall as mountains or perhaps redwood trees –their gigantic footprints in the sand left many pilgrims flat on their backs wet from head to toe. In 19 years, I’d never seen waves as tall as those that Sunday morning. Many thanks to all who came and made the commemoration a huge success. It was great to have co-founder, Minister Donald Paul Miller, back in the circle.
When I got an email about a recent assault on a Black female sociology instructor at Coastal Carolina Community College in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Professor Kimberly C. Williams, whose student brought a noose to her class, I thought her case was an isolated event. Little did I know that assault on Black women professors is cause for alarm, given the fact that two instances happened in the same month in the same year.
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