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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.
Why do Black folks catch more hell in San Francisco than just about anywhere else? Why has a larger portion of the Black population been pushed out of San Francisco than any U.S. city? We detect the reason is Black Power, which used to be wielded skillfully by community leaders back in the day. With London Breed, a Black woman born and raised in the projects – someone who understands us as we understand her – leading the mayor’s race, this election is our opportunity to rebuild our Black Power by making up our minds to VOTE 100%!
Marking its 30th year of providing affordable housing services in the City this spring, the San Francisco Housing Development Corporation is centering its annual gala and awards dinner around a theme demonstrated by influential civic actions taking shape across the nation. SFHDC’s 30th Anniversary Gala and Awards Dinner, will take place Friday, May 11, at the California Academy of Sciences. The Bayview-based SFHDC is a nonprofit community organization that has provided affordable housing, financial empowerment, supportive services and economic development to low-income communities of color since 1988.
I am not a world-renowned freedom fighter. In fact, I contributed to the destruction of lives and communities. In spite of this ugly truth, Willie and Mary Ratcliff and the Bay View family have given me opportunities when no one else would. I am not unique. The Bay View is THE voice of countless Sisters and Brothers. Indeed, WE are the Bay View, and if we are not for ourselves, who will be for us? Twenty-four dollars is a paltry sum. The San Francisco Bay View is priceless.
It is with deep regret that I announce I am stepping down as editor of the SF Bay View newspaper. I stepped into the position with a great vision, no financial support and a host of challenges. Primarily speaking, without financial support there is very little that could really be done. I exhausted my personal savings as well as allowed my own production company and sole means of financial support to nearly crumble. The toll on me has been more than financial. It has been emotional.
As I complete this column, the situation in our continental African nation of Zimbabwe is growing evermore intense. Our Elder, Baba, Freedom Fighter and President Robert Mugabe has been forced to “resign” – and removed from his democratically-elected office by that nation’s military and the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) leaders – in an apparent coup.
My name is Troy Williams. On Monday, Juneteenth, Black Liberation Day, I agreed to be the editor for the Bay View newspaper. It is with great honor, respect and much consideration that I step into this position. I recognize that over the past 40-plus years the Bay View has been a voice for the people. Simply put, we speak truth to power, logic to the illogical, from the perspective of those who seldom have a platform to speak from. The time has come for us to stand together and share our insights in a manner that will continue to strengthen our voices and move us beyond the pitfalls that came before or lie ahead.
We, the people, have to realize that our current contradictions are not just about economics, but instead are about being able to speak truth to the powers that be. Case in point, if we hadn’t been able to express in great detail what we prisoners were suffering from while being held in solitary confinement and have our letters published in the Bay View, then our voice would have never been heard. But because the Bay View was there for us, the world came to our defense.
The San Francisco Bay View is an African American newspaper based in San Francisco, California. For over four decades, its progressive liberation journalism has been championing human right issues nationwide, especially on behalf of the thousands of men and women being warehoused inside one of the hundreds of dungeons dotting the national landscape of America. The owners of this newspaper, Willie and Mary Ratcliff, have been uncompromising in their support for prisoners. We owe them not only our support but our appreciation for being our spearhead in advocating for a variety of prisoners’ rights issues.
You are invited to the opening reception on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2-4 p.m., in the African American Center of the San Francisco Main Library of “I Am San Francisco,” a major exhibit that tells the personal stories of Black San Franciscans at a time when the Black population has been almost entirely forced out and includes a display of historic copies of the San Francisco Bay View, back to 1994, with the headline “We Shall Not Be Moved.”
The only defense that can protect the people is to assemble the power of the people. We are our only defense. We have suffered enough injustice at the hands of a very evil system – CDCr and PBSP – and it is time that we prisoners express that pain and suffering by all means at our disposal, because CDCr and PBSP are censoring SF Bay View in order to censor prisoners, because we are exposing cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners. We collectively commend and value the courage and commitment as well as the principled stand that the SF Bay View is taking to speak truth to power.
There’s more mischief underway at community radio station KPFA. KPFA subscribers will soon be receiving ballots in the mail asking them to vote on whether media activist Tracy Rosenberg should be recalled from her seat on the KPFA board. This swiftboat-style attack on the station’s hardest working board member must be defeated!
Wright Enterprises and LaHitz Media present “Our Media Matters” Theater Night in honor of Willie and Mary Ratcliff, publishers of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper, at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre for their premiere of “REJOICE!” a wonderful nativity play, 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011. To purchase tickets, call the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Box Office, (415) 474-8800, with the code “WE.” Treat your family and friends to a joyous evening and support the Bay View!
District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly, champion of the have-nots in San Francisco for a decade, has passed the torch and endorsed James Keys, his longtime legislative assistant and campaign coordinator, to be his successor. “James was by my side through my toughest battles,” Daly said.
The Chauncey Bailey Project was never about honoring and continuing the work of the late journalist Chauncey Wendell Bailey Jr. and answering questions regarding his death, as it claims on its website. The project and the Oakland police seem to have more of a lynch mob mentality in their investigation.