The hateful, racist inhumanity of our prison system delivered to political prisoners, to Elders like Russel ‘Maroon’ Shoatz, is criminal and none other than death sentence by proxy.
Survival in the midst of historical and current long-term determined torture by prison guards against prisoners under the California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation is testament to the human spirit, and glaring evidence of our social decline as human beings to allow the existence of such atrocities.
What would MLK think about our fractured and divisive country and world of today? He would be shocked by so many unhoused, hungry, suffering people, mass incarceration, children in cages, extreme poverty, the climate crisis, and trillions spent on the Pentagon, ongoing wars and now, nukes in space (Space Force), a new war for oil looming, and extreme income inequality. He would be upset by the lying fascists running and ruining our country.
You may think you know this story. A man lives the high life of a drug dealer, becomes a fugitive, goes to prison for a long time and eventually redeems himself. But you would be wrong. Malik Wade’s story is much, much more. While “Pressure” is a story about a man existing in Dante’s Inferno who transformed himself into an educated and enlightened person, it will also take you on Malik’s sometimes painful but never boring journey that has led him to who he is today.
The Oakland International Film Festival is an opportunity for Oakland to shine – its artists the polish and vehicle. From its inception 15 years ago, when the City of Oakland was one of the only cities in the nation with a film office, sadly eliminated an administration ago, this festival has maintained its focus – on Oakland and its diversity of talent: directors, writers, actors, technicians – famous and up and coming. The festival is on April 4-8. To learn more and get tickets, visit http://www.oiff.org and https://oaklandroots40th.info/.
I didn’t know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised when Esperanza Spalding, the singer-musician, treated her audiences to a socially conscious tour of America with stops at the doors of the prison industrial complex and Mother Nature. The evening moved fluidly from a fireside chat on relationships and love to the concluding number, which spoke to Spalding’s philosophy.
In a momentous decision Jan. 27, Botswana’s Court of Appeal quashed a ruling that denied the Kalahari Bushmen access to water on their ancestral lands.