Friday, December 3, 2021
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Mandela’s legacy extends from South Africa, the continent to the world

Nelson Mandela’s passing has drawn responses from throughout the U.S. and the world. To oppressed and working people, Mandela was a symbol and example of self-sacrifice and lifelong commitment to revolutionary change. Although the struggle inside South Africa and throughout the region is by no means complete, the legacy of Mandela through the ANC, SACP, COSATU and other affiliated organizations will live on.

Wanda’s Picks for December 2013

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.

Wanda’s Picks for September 2013

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.

Tracing the African slave trade at the Indian Ocean: Mangapwani Beach

David Livingston, the English explorer, is given a lot of credit for halting or ending the slave trade here. My guide said Livingston’s maps made it easier for the Arabs to penetrate the “interior” and that after the British abolished slavery, the Arabs continued at the Mangapwani Caves located about “20km north of Zanzibar Town along the coast” (Lonely Planet 144).

Rwanda’s M23 prepares to fight the UN Brigade, as Obama urges...

Speaking in Tanzania at the end of his African tour, President Obama urged “countries neighboring the Democratic Republic of the Congo” to make peace. Congo shares borders with nine African nations, but the president declined to say which of them he was referring to. Obama spoke about the U.N. brigade at a press conference, but declined to name Rwanda and Uganda as the aggressors in eastern Congo.

In Tanzania, did Obama call out ‘Congo’s neighbors’ strongly enough to...

In Tanzania, President Obama said, “The countries surrounding the Congo, they’ve got to make a commitment to stop funding armed groups that are encroaching on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Congo.” As the U.S. calls on its allies to cease funding armed groups in the Congo, the U.S. should cease funding of Rwanda and Uganda.

Wanda in Africa

Wanda flew from the Bay Area on June 5 and landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, two days later. She sends these commentaries on the rather rare occasions she has internet access. Enjoy! June 13 – I am in Gondar, Ethiopia, left Lalibela this morning. It was a short flight. It is entering the rainy season, so I walked into a storm. I didn’t have my coat and got drenched to the core.

Charlotte Hill O’Neal – Mama C: Urban African spirit visits Laney,...

On Wednesday, Feb.13, 2013, for over three hours, the Laney College Forum rang with the sounds that only an evening spent with artist, musician, activist Charlotte Hill O’Neal, affectionately known as “Mama C,” could produce: the sounds of love, laughter, awe and welcome of a community embracing one of its own.

India emerges as leader in 21st century ‘Scramble for Africa’

“Africa shining” is just as potent a mirage as “India shining”; the shine is restricted to the economic and political elite on both sides of the Indian Ocean. African leaders – both elected politicians and traditional chiefs share the responsibility for allowing the pillage of their continent in the name of economic growth and development.

Rwandans and Congolese should be allies, not enemies

It’s time for dialogue between Rwandan and Congolese people of like mind to finally end the 16-year war between our two armies and their various ancillary or surrogate militias. The vast majority of both of our people need democracy, political space, economic opportunity and a common share in their countries’ resource wealth.

Wanda’s Picks for January 2012

Life isn’t fair: Too many kids and not enough food, fat cats bringing in all the money and government services like free hospitals and free education is not free for those who need it because, like everywhere, bureaucracy breeds corruption, whether we are in Madagascar or the United States.

The new land grab in Africa

The issue at stake is not only one of increased food insecurity, but an attack on food sovereignty or peoples’ right to produce their own food. Land grab is a violent act to take away peoples’ right to food, access to their ancestral land, their social and historical ties, and their overall right for human dignity.

Kabila, Tshisekedi and Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is in political crisis. The Independent National Electoral Commission announced that incumbent President Joseph Kabila is the winner, with 49 percent of the vote. But his leading challenger, Étienne Tshisekedi, rejected the results and declared that he now considers himself the nation’s president.

Rwanda: Current President Kagame confessed ordering predecessor’s plane shot down

The truth must now be told. Paul Kagame, then overall commander of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), was personally responsible for shooting down the plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana home from a peace summit. His assassination triggered the Rwandan Genocide.

Imperialism will be buried in Africa

The North Atlantic tribes, under the banner of NATO, and their Arab flunkies are lining up for a showdown in Sirte. Muammar Qaddafi and the Al Fateh revolutionary forces remain defiant and have issued statements saying that they will never surrender.

Congo: Let’s be frank about Dodd-Frank

Dodd-Frank and its proponents penalize the people of eastern Congo but do little to curtail the militias and their backers. Congress should confront the real causes of the conflict, which are failed leadership and corruption in Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, and predatory policies of Rwanda and Uganda, which destabilize eastern Congo while benefiting from the mineral trade.

Massive land grabs in Africa by U.S. hedge funds and universities

“A new report claims farmers in Africa are being driven off their lands to make way for vast new industrial farming projects backed by hedge funds seeking profits and foreign countries looking for cheap food. "

Geronimo ji-Jaga: Tributes from Black Panther comrades and current political prisoners

On Thursday, June 2, 2011, came word that former Black Panther leader, Geronimo ji-Jaga (née Elmer G. Pratt) died in exile in Tanzania.

Malcolm and the music

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), born 86 years ago on May 19, 1925, was loved by the oppressed and hated by the oppressors. Our “Black Shining Prince,” in the words of Ossie Davis, aimed to “use whatever means necessary to bring about a society in which the 22 million Afro-Americans are recognized and respected as human beings.” His influence is immeasurable - from music to foreign policy to religion. Today Islam, followed then by very few, is the second largest religion in the United States and Canada.

Good Americans: The dark side of the Pullman Porters Union

As we celebrate the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, America's first African America labor union, let us not forget that African American rail workers were instrumental in organizing not only the sleeping and chair car porters, but the dining car workers as well.
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