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Wanda’s Picks for October 2011

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.

1971: Attica prison rebellion

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.

Just rock, or Black rock? An interview wit’ the rock band...

Although what we call rock began with musicians from the era of Chuck Berry and Little Richard, it has long been associated with being a white genre of music, characterized more historically by the music of Elvis Presley and the Beatles. That is the reason I wanted to do this interview with the Black Houston-based rock group Peekaboo Theory.

Keep AAMLO and all libraries open, Oakland!

A recent evening at the African American Museum and Library in Oakland was special. The line wrapped around the corner of 14th Street at Martin Luther King Jr. Way as people lined up to hear Isabel Wilkerson talk about her book, “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.”

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. "

Chevron’s global victims confront CEO

At Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting, impacted community members who had traveled to the company’s headquarters from around the globe confronted CEO John Watson with the brutal human and environmental abuses caused by the oil giant’s operations.

DeVoine Entertainment celebrates 146 years of Black independence

As we pay tribute to the legends and pioneers of Juneteenth, like early Juneteenth pioneer Rev. Jack Yates (John Henry Yates), we give a special salute and on-stage re-creation of one of the early Juneteenth celebrations, then called “Freedom Day Celebrations,” by ex-slaves in a nightclub.

Global and local people power unites

Crying “Have a Heart, Save Our Homes,” a large Bay Area coalition marched in a driving rain from City Hall to the San Francisco Federal Building – Causa Justa/Just Cause, San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE and many more.

Wanda’s Picks for February 2011

On Feb. 18, 7 p.m., at Modern Times Bookstore, Krip-Hop Nation will present an author panel of new books by Black disabled writers and friends, including Toni Hickman of Texas, Adarro Minton of New York, Allen Jones of San Francisco and friends of Krip-Hop Nation, DC Curtis and Bones Kendall of Los Angeles.

Power to the people: A welcome prison victory in Ohio

Although on a very small scale (which by no means diminishes the deed), we, the people, have wrought a revolution – “a sudden and momentous change in a situation” – and accomplished in 12 days what the powers that be have repeatedly told us would never happen.

A great rally, a great victory for the Lucasville hunger strikers

The rally at Ohio State Penitentiary was attended by a large crowd, including many members of the families of the hunger strikers, despite the freezing weather. And there's wonderful news: All three have resumed eating because they achieved a victory. The prison authorities have virtually met their demands. The strikers are in high spirits, and now they can turn their attention to their death sentences. Before, they were fighting about their conditions of confinement, but now they begin the fight for their lives.

One year after Haiti earthquake, corporations profit while people suffer

One year after an earthquake devastated Haiti, much of the promised relief and reconstruction aid has not reached those most in need. Less than 2% of the $267 million spent so far has gone to Haitian firms, the rest to "masters of disaster," big U.S. firms that hire Haitians to do the back-breaking work for $5 a day.

Lucasville prison uprising leaders go on hunger strike

Four death-sentenced prisoners, wrongfully convicted of crimes following the 1993 prison rebellion in Lucasville, Ohio, started a hunger strike Jan. 3. They say they would rather die, if they must, on their own terms, rather than on a gurney by lethal injection. They want to strike a blow against confinement conditions so inhumane that they amount to torture.

Hunger strike of the Lucasville uprising prisoners starting Monday, Jan. 3

Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar), Jason Robb and Namir Mateen (James Were) will start a hunger strike on Monday, Jan. 3, to protest their 23-hour-a-day lockdown for nearly 18 years. They were sentenced to death for their alleged roles in the 11-day Lucasville rebellion in April 1993. They are innocent! They were wrongfully convicted! They are political prisoners.

‘Go home to New Orleans – you do Voodoo!’ say Houston...

New Orleans Katrina survivor and advocate Eugenia Brown, still unable to return home, was told by her landlord in Houston that there are laws for people from New Orleans and there are laws for the people from Texas. She asks, is this fair?

The largest inmate protest in US history

I hope you’ll consider giving your support to the massive prison strike going on in Georgia right now. Inmates at several institutions in the state have coordinated the largest prison strike in U.S. history as a collective fight for their rights to educational opportunity, decent health care, access to their families, and an escape from cruel and unusual punishment.

Racism in schools

In Alabama, a teacher uses a hypothetical assassination of President Barack Obama as an example in a geometry lesson. A North Georgia teacher allowed four students to don mock Ku Klux Klan outfits for a final project in a high school social studies class.

‘War comes home’ with Ft. Hood shootings

While investigators probe for a motive behind the mass shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas Thursday, in which an army psychiatrist is suspected of killing 13 people, military personnel at the base are in shock as the incident “brings the war home.” “Fort Hood is pretty much a ghost town right now,” said Specialist Michael Kern, an active duty veteran of the Iraq war.

The Village Bottoms Open House: an interview Duane Deterville of the...

Duane Deterville is a dedicated organizer in the Village Bottoms Cultural District in West Oakland and is the host of their Oct. 29 open house. The SF Bay View thinks that this open house is important because the Village Bottoms is a collective of Black business owners and homeowners who are working together to protect their property and institutions and to generate business. Listen to Duane in his own words ...

Mental Graffiti: an interview with Houston-based artist and radio producer Zin

Zin is a hip hop Pacifica Radio legend living in Houston who has a show called S.O.S. Radio in Texas. He also is an up and coming hip hop crooner, kind of like Nate Dogg, but with a Southern twang. He has a new album out called “Mental Graffiti,” which is definitely some conscious mellow music to ride to. I touched down with the man with many faces, so that he could let y’all know a little bit about his personal history as well as his new album.