In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Americans of Spanish and Mexican descent remained concentrated in what had been the Spanish and Mexican colonial territories in the southwestern United States: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and California. During the Spanish and Mexican colonial regimes, these territorial possessions were only sparsely populated with missionaries, soldiers, a few ranchers and farmers, and very few persons of commerce and trade.
My message is not just to the men and women in these solitary holes. I myself am in one right now. My message is to the whole 2.5 million victims of mass incarceration and prison slavery. Everyone! All of us around the country, let’s just shut down. Wherever you are, just stop working. If you are in solitary confinement, spread the word to those rotating in and out. When they try to lock up those who organize and lead the shutdowns in population, don’t even give up.
Juan Parras explains: “Today is the 20th anniversary of Executive Order 12898 to address Environmental Justice in ‘Minority’ and Low Income Populations, issued by President Clinton. We came to Denver to celebrate our successes but, more importantly, we came because the work is far from done.” Mr. Parras and others are attending the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) meeting in Denver this week.
Solitary confinement does little or nothing to promote public safety or prison safety. It is not only harmful but unnecessary and incredibly costly. Violence levels plummeted by 70 percent of previous levels when the commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections reduced the number of prisoners held in solitary confinement by 85 percent.
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 16th Strike” will make its San Francisco Bay Area premier in Black August 2013 in Oakland and San Francisco, brought to you by Krip-Hop Nation and the San Francisco Bay View newspaper. The feature-length documentary will be screened Saturday, Aug. 17, 1 p.m., in the Koret Auditorium of the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St. In the words of filmmaker Toni Alika Hickman:
I was flown here to Texas on June 14. This is a bit more dire than the February ordeal, so it calls for at least as much sustained and broad help. (Rashid was abruptly transferred from Virginia, where he’d been held, mostly in solitary confinement, since 1990, to Oregon in February 2012, where he was placed in Oregon’s Orwellian Snake River Correctional Unit, an unvarnished behavior modification program.)
Like President Clinton in his first run for president, Oakland’s city auditor developed her creds in the conservative community by creating a Sista Souljah moment. She publicly spanked two Black City Council members. These council members, Desley Brooks and Larry Reid, were trying desperately to level the economic playing field in Oakland. They were trying to integrate the money.
Scalia has made it clear why this case is before the Court – it’s about race and white “race entitlement.” The Voting Rights Act was passed because no group is going to “apportion themselves out of power.” If the Court rules in favor of Shelby County in the face of its racist record, it will be doing nothing more than validating white power and racism.
This year, on the 150 anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, we all need to heed the words of Sister Jayne Cortez: “And if we don’t fight / if we don’t resist / if we don’t organize and unify and / get the power to control our own lives / Then we will wear / the exaggerated look of captivity ...” And don't miss Wanda's excellent, no holds barred reviews of “Django Unchained,” “Lincoln and “Red Hook Summer,” plus Dr. King birthday events listing and much more
Monday, Nov. 26, at the Bay Area Black Media Awards event hosted by Greg Bridges and sponsored by the San Francisco Bay View and Block Report Radio, it was so wonderful to see all the media friends and family for an evening of celebration. KPOO, KPFA, New California Media/Pacific News Service, Wanda’s Picks Radio, Oakland Post, Globe, Poor News Network, Oakland International Film Festival, Black Panther newspaper alumni and others were in the house as “Best” this and “Best” that were saluted.
Terry Collins, co-founder of KPOO 89.5FM, and Willie Ratcliff, publisher of the San Francisco Bay View, blessed the airwaves last Tuesday afternoon with a warm and revealing discussion of life and resistance and the upcoming Black Media Appreciation Night, honoring the champions of independent Black media. Black Media Appreciation Night is this Monday, Nov. 26, 8 p.m., at Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Jack London Square, Oakland. For tickets and more information, go to http://www.yoshis.com/oakland/jazzclub/artist/show/3104.
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.
The SAFE California Act to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole will be on the November ballot in California. Here are the perspectives of three men on San Quentin’s death row. Kevin Cooper writes: "Please don’t get me wrong, as I have my say concerning this SAFE California Act. I am not in favor of capital punishment either! But I do know that there has to be a better way to end capital punishment within this state than the SAFE California Act."
On May 12, Sonoma State University awarded honorary doctorates in humane letters to former Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill and his wife Joan, paid for with a $12 million “donation.” On the same day, William Penn University awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, despite his army’s atrocities in Rwanda and Congo.
This is the month we wear our Blackness with pride – so walk on, walk on. I want to thank Rhodessa Jones, Shaka Jamal, Pat Jamison, Elaine Lee, Walter Turner, Vera Nobles and Elouise Burrell for your leads and references for South 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.
A new light rail line through South Los Angeles to the airport that promises thousands of jobs got the green light Sept. 22 from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) board of directors. Now that the project can move into its construction phase, the Black communities the rail line will pass through are asking whether they’ll benefit and who will win the contracts and jobs.
October is Maafa Commemoration Month. The term Maafa refers to the Black Holocaust, that period when African people were stolen and traded in the greatest, most widespread cooperative economic venture to date, which resulted in the displacement of human beings as commodities. The Kiswahili term Maafa extends that definition of loss and trauma, that is, PTSD or post-traumatic slave syndrome – the flashbacks, both conscious and unconscious, reoccurring instances of the atrocities 150 years after the end of slavery which have direct association to the brutality of chattel slavery.
Against the background of the mass revolutionary Black power and prisoners’ movements in the U.S., a four day revolt began on Sept. 13, 1971, at the Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, N.Y. Its repression killed 39 people. When George Jackson, Black Panther and political prisoner, was murdered at San Quentin by the guards on Aug. 21, 1971, his book “Soledad Brother” was being passed from prisoner to prisoner and tensions were running mounting. A prisoners’ rights movement was growing.