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Thursday, December 5, 2019
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‘Far, Far Better Things’ playing through May 19 at Live Oak...

It is easy to become what you know, so easy. What’s difficult is resisting. Unresolved trauma haunts the gene pool. A son, Josh (actor Yohana Ansari-Thomas) witnesses his mother’s murder or its aftermath – Dad’s bloody shirt and subsequent kidnapping of the children until he is captured. This same boy, now man, still has unresolved memories of that day when his mom was shot and the housekeeper “stood there and did nothing.”

West Coast Premiere of ‘Jazz,’ based on Toni Morrison’s book, Marcus...

“Jazz,” adapted by Nambi E. Kelley from Toni Morrison’s novel, is a tragic composition. Performed across a series of lyrically connected (woven) tapestries: colors, sounds, fractured memories … missing people, guns (bullets) falling tears, treetops, wild woods, sharecropped promises, fire terror, unclaimed bodies … too many bodies to count … love.

A Black Mother’s Day adventure

"There is so much power in stillness. We live in a very fast paced world with Internet and everyone on their phones every five seconds and everyone’s attention span is crumbling. I think it is definitely easier to be busy, to be on the run from your life, to be out there in the wilderness fighting for your life than it is to be actually still and really connect to the people who made you. That’s much more challenging. So yeah."

August Wilson’s ‘How I Learned What I Learned’ closes Sunday

August Wilson, playwright, was very much at home in the SF Bay. I will never forget his workshop production of “Jitney” at Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, where he encouraged a woman who criticized the absence of substantive women characters in his plays to write her own. Wilson said his journey was personal, yet there was room on the stage for multiple voices and perspectives.

What is David Banner’s God Box? Let him tell you May...

“Why would I allow myself to drift when I can direct it? I was born with the instructions. Right and exact, consciousness, inner guidance, knowing, choosing how to act in every situation. I create me. Believe it. Turning thoughts into things. Turning vibrations I feel into thoughts. Impulses I receive …”

‘The Urban Retreat,’ a play by A. Zell Williams directed by...

At its core, “The Urban Retreat,” a play by A. Zell Williams directed by Darryl V. Jones at Lorraine Hansberry Theatre through April 6, is a father’s redemption story; however, it is also the story of a son who strays from his creative roots. Actor Lenard Jackson’s Trench Deep finds himself caught and entangled looking for answers as does his reluctant mentor and teacher, Chaucer Mosley (Adrian Roberts), who is also running from demons.

Wanda’s Picks for March 2019

Wanda's picks of April 2019's most exciting goings on!

Wanda’s Picks for January 2019

I have been thinking a lot recently about restorative justice practices and violence – physical, psychological and emotional violence and the harm to persons, immediate and long term, as well as the harm to their associate families and communities. Not much attention is paid to the survivors of violence unless the violence is by the state, yet every day people are making choices which harm innocent people. Why is the activist community silent when it comes to advocacy for these silenced survivors?

Wanda’s Picks for December 2018

Happy Kwanzaa Season! Check with thevillageprojectsf.org for all the details. Happy Birthday, Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson (Dec. 19, 1875 – April 3, 1950), father of Black History, founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Happy 60th Birthday to those born in 1958 (smile). ASALH’s 2019 theme Black Migrations emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities. While inclusive of earlier centuries, this theme focuses especially on the 20th century through today.

Jonestown genocide 40 years later

On Nov. 18, 1978, the world as we knew it was changed forever: 918 victims, of whom 305 were children – including 40 infants – lost their lives along with U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan and a United Press International film crew. The place was Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana – that Paradise of Pain – founded and led by James Warren “Jim” Jones, forever rendered infamous by its name “Jonestown.”

Wanda’s Picks for November 2018

Congratulations to Brothers in Pen for a fantastic book party and reading Oct. 20 at San Quentin State Prison. The work, whether fiction or poetry, creative nonfiction, memoir or dramatic lit, is stellar and the huge panel afterward, where the writers shared their creative process and the importance of art in their lives, was equally valuable and enlightening. That such beauty is possible behind bars is testament to the power of art to light darkness.

Bring Amani to the Bay to be our new Bay View...

On Tuesday, Aug. 21, the first day of the historic National Prison Strike, Democracy Now interviewed Amani Sawari. The segment began with an excellent interview with Cole Dorsey of IWOC and then suddenly the bright, brilliant, radiant face of 23-year-old Amani filled the screen and a voice of eloquence, inspiration and power filled the room. All it took was host Amy Goodman saying she’s a journalist, and, involuntarily, spontaneously, I pointed at the screen and shouted, “There’s the new Bay View editor!” Amani and I have been talking ever since, and she came to visit Oct. 8-12. What fun we had.

Wanda’s Picks for October 2018

It’s all about the ancestors, believe it or not. The invisible realm controls the outer. Those who believe in magic are in touch with reality – a truth, the initiated, those beings open to a creation story they participate in. Life is a collection of unedited stories; the end of a chapter does not mean the end of the book. With that said, the MAAFA Commemoration is upon us once again, celebrating its 23rd anniversary.

Wanda’s Picks September 2018

We lost Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin on Aug. 16 (March 25, 1942-Aug. 16, 2018). We also lost Kofi Annan (April 8, 1938, to Aug. 18, 2018), the seventh United Nations Secretary General and the first from Sub-Saharan African to lead the International organization. When we think about Black women and their navigation of public spaces, we remember the recent deaths of Nia Wilson, 18, and Jessica St. Louis, 26, who were not safe when they should have been #safehername.

Thank you, Brother Ron

He was our local Frederick Douglass. Even looked a bit like him: dashingly handsome, tall, strong, fierce, dedicated, educated, elegant and eloquent. And deeply rooted in the community. The former civil rights activist, mayor of Oakland and congressman, who put programs for the people ahead of war and weapons of mass destruction, the honorable and distinguished elder Ron Dellums joined the ancestors July 30, after making his presence felt on this planet for 82 years.

Wanda’s Picks for July-August 2018

The 50th Anniversary Conference of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) opened with a reverent and celebratory tribute to the ancestors and welcome to those present. Presented by Daktari Dance Medicine Collective, 50 dancers, drummers and cultural workers sprinkled medicine into the hearts and minds of those in the grand hall that night. From the welcome call, Fanga Alafia, to the “Invocation and Libation,” Diaspora dances Yanvalou, Parigol and Ogum and Spoken Medicine, the theme for the 50th Annual Conference “Building for Eternity,” June 27-July 1, 2018, was evoked, ratified and confirmed.

Shout-out from Malik in Texas to Kwame in Indiana: Support Prison...

All of my life, I have wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. We have been taught to want for my brother what I want for myself. In this moment in history, I want freedom for ALL political and politicized prisoners. Kwame Shakur is the co-founder and chairman of the New Afrikan Liberation Collective, and he has begun a Prison Lives Matter movement which is holding a remarkable event in Indiana on July 18, 2018. The theme will be “Prison Lives Matter: In the Spirit of Nelson Mandela.”

The joys, and CRIMES, of Juneteenth

As WE commemorate Juneteenth Freedom Day(s) again this year, it is always necessary to OVERstand the real Lessons in the Blessings (as my beloved God-Mother ELIZABETH ELIZANN OAKS-ARMSTRONG would often say). While Juneteenth is possibly the oldest and largest commemoration of the “official” ending of the murderous war of enslavement, many of our people have never grasped its true origins and significance.

Libations for Kiilu Nyasha on Wanda’s Picks Radio

Introduction: Kiilu Nyasha, Black Panther veteran, revolutionary journalist and mother of every movement, joined the ancestors on April 10, and just three days later, Bay View Arts Editor Wanda Sabir opened the phone lines on her morning radio show for tributes to our revered comrade. To listen to the entire show, go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wandas-picks/2018/04/13/wandas-picks-radio-show-special-tribute-to-kiilu-nyasha or listen here. – Editor

The Legacy Museum: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration demands we face...

Slavery has indeed marked this nation. Its soot leaves a residue the best detergent cannot wipe away or wash out. Truth – bitter, the missing ingredient is hard to swallow, let alone see – yet this is what The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and by extension The Legacy Museum: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration demands we face. It is not in your head or imagination that these atrocities to other people reside.

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I will not be silenced!

The Trump administration has an overt and covert campaign of suppression aimed at journalists, activists and servants of the people – including Comrade Malik, who plans to edit the Bay View upon his release.

Swept to death

At thanks-taking time, we are not asking for a friggin’ one day of charity; we are asking for liberated land, de-criminalization and our own self-determiNATION so we can solve our own problems and build movements and long-term solutions like Homefulness. We will not continue to be swept to death.

Alternative community under fire: Wood Street Collective is being threatened with...

People are being kicked out of the last place they could park or build shelters. The City of Oakland has not provided alternative places to be and the planned “safe parking lot” is months from completion.

Students host concert to benefit other children experiencing homelessness

The next children-helping-children benefit concert for the Homeless Children’s Network is Sunday, Dec. 1, 5 p.m., at the Mission Dolores Chapel, 16th & Dolores Street, San Francisco. Learn more at https://www.hcnkids.org/post/concert.