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‘Madagascar Made’: an interview wit’ author and photographer TaSin Sabir

TaSin Sabir is one of the best photographers I know. This woman of many talents just added another notch to her belt by becoming an author. Her debut literary work is called “Madagascar Made,” which is a multi-media memoir of her soul-searching 2011 quest for identity on the African island of Madagascar. The book party is on Sunday, June 29, 2 p.m., at the Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 145th St. in downtown Oakland.

Kevin Weston, maker of media-makers

Kev seemed almost immortal to me. Two weeks before he passed, I went to hang out with him at his house. I could see the sickness visibly eating at him, but when he opened the door, his eyes lit up, and he smiled like in the old days. I believe wholeheartedly that Lateefah’s love kept his immune system intact as long as it was. I had to write this so his family could know the giant that Kevin Weston was to me. Salute to one of the greatest editors that I know. Salute also to Lateefah for giving Kev a love he’d never seen before and for showing that there is still such a thing as Black love.

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil: Africa in the Americas

I don’t know if it is a will of iron, Ogun or foolishness, but I caught something viral, which I refused to keep, on the plane Monday, Dec. 23, when I flew to San Salvador, El Salvador, by mistake – yes, the booking agent booked me for San Salvador when I clearly said Salvador, BAHIA, Brazil (smile). I kept seeing San Salvador and thought, well, perhaps this is another way of referencing Salvador, Bahia.

Immigration policy is good policy? If so, for whom?

On Monday, Nov. 25, President Barack Obama visited the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco to talk about his Common Sense Immigration Bill slowly making its way through the United States Congress. Immigration is always topical in a country where most of us are immigrants even in the visible absence of its First Peoples.

Wanda’s Picks for October 2013

The 18th Annual Maafa Commemoration Ritual is Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, predawn. We meet at Ocean Beach, Fulton at the Great Highway. The ritual is for people of African Descent (Black people from throughout the globe). There are so many great events this month, but not enough space to list them all.

Heightened security: White Citizens Council bans popular KPFA host JR Valrey...

Who is this terrorist, this big bad JR Valrey who poses some sort of threat to the whole Pacifica network of five major radio stations around the country? First, he’s my friend and comrade at the Bay View, where we’ve worked together for over a dozen years, all his adult life. JR is our associate editor. During the same period, he’s also volunteered at KPFA radio, where his hard and highly acclaimed work finally won him a prime time show – Wednesdays at 8-9 a.m. – starting in May 2011. Immediately, listeners flocked to KPFA to hear this exciting new show.

Wanda’s Picks for June 2013

I am happy to report that our beloved Elder Ronald Freeman, veteran L.A. Chapter Black Panther Party founding member and deacon in the African Orthodox Church, is doing a lot better. Keep praying for him, ‘cause he wants to go home and get to Cuba. Send him cards at All of Us or None, c/o LSPC, 1540 Market St., Suite 490, San Francisco, CA 94102.

Bring JR back to KPFA now!

For the second week in a row, one of the largest audiences for any show on KPFA was disappointed not to hear the People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey and his Block Report on the air Wednesday at 8 a.m. Instead we heard an announcement by interim general manager Andrew Phillips that JR has been suspended. Getting punished for doing “too well” happens to Black folks much too often. Sign the two petitions to end the suspension of JR Valrey from KPFA and attend the Town Hall Meeting, Thursday, April 11, 6 p.m. at Laney College. This story is constantly being updated with new signatures and comments.

Wanda’s Picks for March 2013

Back when Mumia was a member of the Black Panther Party, he traveled west to work with the Oakland chapter – an important time in his evolution as a radical journalist. Now the story of his life and revolutionary times comes to The New Parkway Theater. Read about it and all of Wanda's Picks for March 2013.

Black Media Appreciation Night was a dream come true – thank...

From the powerful voice of Mumia Abu-Jamal opening the event to jazz rapper Do D.A.T.'s video-illuminated revelations on life in the hood, from beloved journalist Kevin Weston's story of his escape from death's door to renowned filmmaker Kevin Epps' telling about his first job delivering the Bay View, Black Media Appreciation Night at Yoshi's Nov. 26 saw stars like Panthers Big Man and Emory Douglas, Phavia Kujichagulia, Walter Turner, Donald Lacy, Wanda Sabir, Greg Bridges, JR Valrey and Dr. Willie Ratcliff place Black media on the front lines of the struggle for justice.

‘I Am America: Black Genealogy Through the Eye of An Artist’...

“I Am America: Black Genealogy Through the Eye of An Artist” will run from Nov. 5, 2011, through Feb. 2, 2012, at the San Francisco Main Library African American Center. A reception with the genealogists and artists will take place on Sunday, Nov. 20, 1-2 p.m. A program follows from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Latino Hispanic Room.

Wanda’s Picks for August 2011

How well indeed the creator saw fit to have the Muslim population worldwide join the hunger strike started by brothers in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay July 1, which continues in other California prisons, including I heard at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF).

Wanda’s Picks for July 2011

A number of trees have fallen in the forest this past month and we want to acknowledge the huge spaces their absence brings: Geronimo ji jaga Pratt, Black Panther, decorated veteran of multiple wars ...

Kamau Amen-Ra’s ‘Here’s Looking at You: A Visual Essay of Jazz...

Kamau Amen Ra’s work in this exhibit, which he curated, ranges from Goapele singing to Damu Sudii Ali, who was there on the same piano that evening. Each photo has a story. The younger artist and the only woman, TaSin Sabir, also has a range of images, each artist described with a poetic quote.

Wanda’s Picks for March 14

Kiilu Nyasha, Tarika Matilaba Lewis and Gail Asali Dickson are featured in the exhibit, "Woman Artists of the Black Panther Party," at the West Oakland Branch Library, 1801 Adeline St. The reception is Saturday, March 14, 1-3 p.m.