African arts showcase at UC Berkeley

The spirit of Africa was alive at the African Arts Society's "Showcase" on November 20 at UC Berkeley.

Ready to Learn Fun Fair

Children enjoyed face painting, legos and storytelling at the Ready to Learn Fun Fair at Peralta Elementary School in Oakland.

Occupy Oakland calls for West Coast Port Shutdown

Organizers say Port owners are "1%." Port begs to keep the Ports Open for 99% workers.

Oakland Labor Day BBQ hosts good time for 'fam bam'

The "I am Oakland" collective hosted the Labor Day Fam Bam BBQ at Mosswood Park on September 6.

Protest against censorship of Palestinian Children's Art

In response to censorship of Palestinian children's art by an Oakland art museum, dozens came out to protest in Oakland.

RIP Peabo Wellington

College of Alameda student Jepeabo Wellington was murdered days before the school year began.

Students gain college acceptance at Black College Fair

Hundreds of young people attended the third annual Black College Fair at Laney College, the second year the Oakland community college has hosted the event.

Kwanzaa: Kujichagulia

Credit: Nia Media

If someone asks you today, "Habari Ghani?" respond by saying, "Kujichagualia." Yes, you can say it too. (koo-jee-cha-ga-leah).

After lighting The Black Candle of Umoja last night, Kwanzaacontinues today on the theme of "Self-Determination."

Kujichagulia, Bay Area KwanzaaKujichagulia(Self-Determination), the second principle of Kwanzaa, means "To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves."

Be sure to vist Bay Area Kwanzaa ( for today's Kwanzaa events in the Bay Area.

Kwanzaa celebrations are taking place in San Francisco, Vallejo Oakland this afternoon, along with the annual Kwanzaa event in Vallejo by the Nairobi Cultural Committee.

Kwanzaa: Umoja

Umoja, Bay Area Kwanzaa
If someone asks you today, "Habari Ghani?" respond by saying, "Umoja." On this first day of Kwanzaa -- an African American celebration of family, culture and community --the focus of the day is Unity.

Umoja, Bay Area KwanzaaUmoja (unity), the first principle of Kwanzaa, means "To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race."

Be sure to vist Bay Area Kwanzaa ( for today's Kwanzaa events in the Bay Area.

Great celebrations are taking place in Oakland, San Francisco and Sausalito.

MUSIC: 'Black Santa' by Kev Choice

Check out the most recent episode of the "Daily Dosage" by Oakland bred artist Kev Choice.

This episode has "Black Santa" Claus coming to the town.

Laney College hosts Kwanzaa event

Tabia lights the candles for Kwanzaa

Laney College's African American Studies department hosted a pre-Kwanzaa celebration in December 2009.

The event, which featured song and poetry by Tabia, along with dance by Rehema Bah, honored Dr. Carole Ward-Allen for her 40 years with the Department. The event was organized by Tamika Brown, Ethnic Studies Chair.

Event slideshow:

Photos by Aaron Lowe of the Laney Tower.

More Kwanzaa events and information at Bay Kwanzaa.

Students protest Peralta Budget cuts

Peralta College students protested budget cuts at the December 17 Board of Trustees meeting.

Students criticized the Board for giving managers raises, while at the same time considering cutting critical student services and laying off employees.

The following video inaccurately cites fee increases as the reason for the protest, yet captures the spirit of the demonstration.

allowscriptaccess="always" allownetworking="all" allowfullscreen="true"

"Students protest Laney College cuts"

Prior to the meeting, Peralta students held a rally in the Laney College quad, before marching to the Peralta District offices.

For more accurate coverage of the meeting, visit the Laney Tower student newspaper or review The Black Hour host Reginald James' Peralta meeting Twitter coverage.

For information about Students Actions against Budget Cuts, visit No Cuts Peralta on Facebook.

Video: Shady Nate "Planes, Trains and Automobiles"

Ward faces Kessler for WBA title in Oakland

Oakland native and U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist boxer Andre Ward faces World Boxing Association Champion Mikkel Kessler tonight at the Oracle Arena.

Below is a video of Ward training in Oakland:

Kessler is the favorite in this fight, but we'll see tonight.

Hip Hop Chess Tournament in SF

BART buffs Gary King, Jr. memorial mural

Gary King, Jr. was gunned down by Oakland Police Sept. 20, 2007. And on Sept. 24, 2009, nearly two years to the day BART has buffed over a community mural erected in King's memory.

The mural, by artist Paul Barron, was painted at then end of 2007. Months earlier, the unarmed King was beaten, tazered and shot in the back by Sgt. Patrick Gonzales. has posted a flyer demanding BART pay for the mural to be restored.

--News brief from photographer and artist Mercedes Martin.

This Week in the Bay: Sept. 28-Oct. 3

Here's a rundown of events happening in the East Bay this week.

Mama at Twillight: Death by Love

Back by popular demand, Mama at Twillight: Death by Love" is back on stage at the Sister Thea Bowman Theatre in West Oakland.

The play touches on universal issues of love, family and gendered roles. It also looks specifically at the challenges of a black family facing the tragedy of HIV/AIDS infection.

This production is not recommended for small children. Teenagers and family groups are encouraged to attend. Tickets are $10.00 for seniors, students and( per person) for groups of 5 or more, $15 general admission, $20.00 table side seating with amenities (group rates available). Call the box office at (510) 208-1912 or via email:

The Sister Thea Bowman Theatre is located at 920 Peralta Street in Oakland. Check out the Lower Bottom Playaz doing Theatre in the Yard at the Prescott Joseph Center, Fridays & Saturday, 8 PM, Sundays, 2PM. Mama at Twillight runs through Oct. 11.

African American Male Conference at Merritt

Merritt College hosts its first African American Male Conference, "
Preparing Leaders for the World" Saturday Sept. 19 in the Student Center.

Black Men & Boys: Bring Your A Game

A Night of Short Plays REVIEW

By Flora Lynn Isaacson
Special to The Black Hour

PEN OAKLAND is a Bay Area Chapter of the International Organization of Poets, Essayists and Novelists. They are sponsored by PEN USA, the Clorox Company Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the West Oakland Senior Center and The Berkeley Daily Planet.

Peralta officials address budget woes

Community colleges will no longer be "open-access" institutions if state budget priorities are not changed.

That was the message given to Peralta faculty, staff and students at a packed budget presentation Sept. 9 in D-200. The Peralta Federation of Teachers (PFT), the union for Peralta faculty, sponsored the event.

Budget crisis (part 1) video courtesy of Peralta TV's P-Span

"There are a quarter million students who normally attend California Community Colleges that are not going to get in."
Chancellor Elihu Harris
"There are a quarter million students who normally attend California Community Colleges that are not going to get in," Chancellor Elihu Harris said. Some Peralta student services may see as much as 50 percent of their budgets cut this year. In the 2010 spring semester 400 class sections may be cut.

Harris told the group of primarily faculty members, "We're certainly doing what we can to cut expenses. We've cut the district budget six percent and are asking colleges to cut about two percent.

"Categoricals are going to be the hardest hit," Harris continued, referring to the possible 50 percent reduction in matriculation, EOPS, CalWORKS and DSPS program funding. "That's going to be disastrous."

Vice-Chancellor of Finance Tom Smith said that approximately $12 million of the Peralta's budget is being cut. Peralta's annual budget is over $100 million.

"We are trying to cut as far away from the classroom as possible," Smith said. Various Peralta employee groups have been asked to take up to 12 furlough days, or unpaid days off, to help meet the budget deficit. These include not only part-time and full-time faculty, but classified staff as well as administrators, confidential employees and unrepresented staff.

Smith discussed the challenge of meeting the fifty percent law - a budgetary restriction that requires half of all funding to be spent on the classroom. He stated that many colleges are cutting adjunct faculty, which is on the "wrong side of the fifty percent law," according to Smith. Five community college districts have informed the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office that they will not comply. Peralta intends to comply with the law.

Wise Allen, associate vice-chancellor of education services, gave an overview of Peralta's enrollment--the district's bread and butter.

"Enrollment is what generates the bulk of revenue in the Peralta District," Dr. Allen said. Enrollment is up 11 percent, according to Allen.

The largest source of Peralta's state funding is based on the district's number of Full-Time Equivalent Students (FTES). One full-time student taking 15 units is equal to one FTES. Peralta is currently serving approximately 20,300 FTES, yet are only being funding for 19,300 FTES. Peralta was informed of the reduced FTES funding after schedules had been built, according to Dr. Allen.

To increase revenue for the state, community college enrollment fees were increased 30 percent this summer to $26 per unit. For the first time, however, the revenue from fee increases are going to individual community college districts, and not the state's general fund. Still, Peralta is bracing for another round of mid-year cuts - a midyear budget reduction.

"We're the only system in the state where, mid-year, the state can go back and take money out of our budget - after adopting a budget," Allen said. For the past three years, community college budgets have been cut mid-year.

Vice-Chancellor Smith said that reserves would be used to pay for anticipated mid-year cuts, and previously told the Tower that reserves would be used to pay for Disabled Student Programs and Services, as it is federally mandated that those services be provided to students.

Smith added that community colleges are no longer funded as "open access" institutions.

Community college is "supposed to be open access for student to go to community college in California," Smith said, but "that policy of every student who wants to go to college can go to college, that's no longer funded."

Allen also discussed the disparity in higher education funding between community colleges and the UC and CSU systems. The UC system receives approximately $19,000 per FTES. The CSU system receives approximately $12,000 per student. While K-12 receives approximately $8,000 per student, community colleges receive just $4,600 per FTES.

Abel Guillen, vice-president of the Peralta Board of Trustees who was also present at the meeting, called the presentation a "sterilized version" of the budget cuts' impact on people.

"What we're missing here is the human impact of what these budget cuts are," Guillen said. He said the cuts to the categoricals will most affect "people who would otherwise not be able to come back to school." He suggested starting an "awareness campaign" to inform the public of the budget cuts' impacts to the community colleges.

Marty Hittleman, president of the California Federation of Teachers - the statewide faculty union - blamed Sacramento politicians for community college budget woes. He talked about the state's 2/3 majority requirement to pass a budget and inadequate funding for Proposition 98, a state proposition enacted to set a formula to guarantee a minimum amount of funding for K-12 and community colleges.

"If we don't change that, we're going to continue to have budget problems," Hittleman said.

A Merritt College student attending the forum expressed concern for future generations of students.

"What are they going to have if they continue to cut," she said, referring to current elementary and secondary school students. "The plan needs to change to work for the community."

Article by Reginald James, Editor.

Watch Gang Wars: Oakland (Part I)

Last night, the Discovery Channel aired a new episode of Gang Wars. This episode hit close to home: Oakland.

Some folks see this stuff as a badge of honor, while others see it as source of shame. Either way, for another image of what's happening on the streets of Oakland, watch this docu-drama.

This Week in the Bay: Sept. 14-19

Here's a rundown of events happening in the East Bay this week.

The Van Jones Takedown

By Rosa Clemente

Over the Labor Day weekend Van Jones, a member of the Hip Hop generation and special advisor for green jobs at the White House Council for Environmental Quality, tendered his resignation, and it was accepted by the Obama administration. I will be the first to say that I never found Van Jones to be a radical, a Black Nationalist or a communist as Fox News has suggested.

Although I appreciate his book The Green Collar Economy, I never believed that a green economy will save working people. I felt that the book gave solutions on how to save the current capitalist system. And fundamentally that presents a problem, as many in this country are suffering because of capitalism and its failures.

Twenty-four hours in Gaza

‘From the Ghetto to Gaza Speaking Tour’: Welcome M-1 of dead prez to the Bay Area – East and West Oakland, San Francisco, Sonoma, San Jose, Santa Cruz – for six days of sharing his recent experiences in Gaza, Cairo and Europe and comparing them with ghetto life in the U.S. – six events Sept. 24-29 benefiting the SF Bay View and Block Report Radio

source: San Francisco Bay View

By Mutulu Olugbala
aka M-1 of dead prez

You may have heard me say, “I work for the people; the streets are my office.” Well, my recent mission to Palestine was a testament to that statement. Through the Existence is Resistance organization, I bore witness to a very moving and eye-opening experience.

As a man-at-arms in an African Liberation Movement in the U.S. which is currently in the process of re-organizing and re-inventing itself in these times, I see the role of international solidarity critically important to our future world view. So when asked, “Why are you all the way over there when there is a war going on in your own community?” I proudly quote dead prez’ “Psychology” (“Let’s Get Free,” 2000): “My enemy’s enemy is my man!”

Ghetto to Gaza Tour with M-1 of dead prez

Increased fees, more students, less services

Students attending the Peralta Colleges this fall are faced with higher fees, crowded classrooms and reduced educational options.

The governor approved a 30 percent fee increase this summer, effective for the Fall 2009 semester, increasing student enrollment fees to $26 per unit, up from $20. This increase was justified as a way to reduce California's deficit.

Mumia: Between the Government and the People

As democratic forces mobilize in response to the suspicions resulting from the recent Iranian presidential election, they are meeting repression from a government that is fueled by the twin forces of paranoia and theocracy.

Lovelle Mixon: Martyr or Murderer?

On March 21, 2009, 27-year old Oakland resident Lovelle Mixon shot and killed four Oakland police officers after a "routine traffic stop" in East Oakland.

Following the shooting, a debate ignited as to whether Mixon was a hero, or a monster. This video "Of the World" asks the question. Featured are Bakari Olatunji of the Uhuru Movement, Oakland Police spokesperson Jeff Thomason and Oakland journalist JR Valrey.

Hit me on Twitter, New Video by Mistah FAB

Black August

In honor of all our fallen freedom fighters, prisoners of war in America's prisons, we celebrate Black August.

According to the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement:
Black August originated in the concentration camps of California to honor fallen Freedom Fighters, Jonathan Jackson, George Jackson, William Christmas, James McClain and Khatari Gaulden. Jonathan Jackson was gunned down outside the Marin County California courthouse on August 7, 1970 as he attempted to liberate three imprisoned Black Liberation Fighters: James McClain, William Christmas and Ruchell Magee.

George Jackson.
Ruchell Magee is the sole survivor of that armed rebellion. He is the former co-defendant of Angela Davis and has been locked down for 40 years, most of it in solitary confinement. George Jackson was assassinated by prison guards during a Black prison rebellion at San Quentin on August 21, 1971. Three prison guards were also killed during that rebellion and prison officials charged six Black and Latino prisoners with the death of those guards.

These six brothers became known as the San Quentin Six. To honor these fallen soldiers the brothers who participated in the collective founding of Black August wore black armbands on their left arm and studied revolutionary works, focusing on the works of George Jackson.
To honor this legacy, during the month of Black August, brothers and sisters hold a conscious fast.
In the month of August the brothers did not listen to the radio or watch television. Additionally, they didn't eat or drink anything from sun-up to sundown; and loud and boastful behavior was not allowed. The brothers did not support the prison's canteen. The use of drugs and alcoholic beverages was prohibited and the brothers held daily exercises because during Black August emphasis is placed on sacrifice, fortitude and discipline. Black August is a time to embrace the principles of unity, self-sacrifice, political education, physical training and resistance.

The tradition of fasting during Black August teaches self-discipline. A conscious fast is in effect FROM SUNRISE TO SUNSET (or suggested from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm), this includes refraining from drinking water or liquids and eating food of any kind during that period. Some other personal sacrifice can be made as well. The sundown meal is traditionally shared whenever possible among comrades. On August 31, a People's Feast is held and the fast is broken. Black August fasting should serve as a constant reminder of the conditions our people have faced and still confront. Fasting is uncomfortable at times, but it is helpful to remember all those who have come and gone before us, Ni Nkan Mase, if we stand tall, it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.

The Black Hour recognizes Black August and the need to remember political prisoners. Free 'em all.

'Rebirth of 'Village Bottoms' with Marcel Diallo on CNN's 'Reclaiming the Dream'

Amidst the pending gentrification taking place in West Oakland, there is a strong Black resurgence.

That upliftment is being led by the Black Dot's Marcel Diallo. Check out this recent feature with CNN's Soledad O'brien on the Rebirth of the 'Village Bottoms.'

Learn more about the Marcel Diallo, visit the Black New World.

Blue Moon Thursday at Holla Back Open Mic Series in Oakland

Looking for a great place to hear poetry or music? Exchange ideas with enlightened minds? Check out Blue Moon Thursday at Holla Back, Thursday July 30.

This Blue Moon features Javier Reyes and Colored Ink celebrating CI's 8th Anniversary.

There will also be another special feature by Paradise Freejah Love.

Open Mic sign-up begins at 7:45 p.m, program begins at 8:00 p.m. Food and refreshments before 8:30 p.m.

The event will be hosted by The Black Hour producer Brother Reggie. This event is free.

Eastside Cultural Centeris accessible by AC Transit bus lines 1, 1R and 62.

Rare Michael Jackson interview on Soul Beat TV (1979)

As the world mourns the death of Michael Jackson, rare jewels from his life are emerging. Recently, Joe Jackson's experiences in Oakland have emerged and are seen as part of a revolutionary influence on the young Jackson Five.

Check out this rare interview of Michael Jackson on Soul Beat. Year: 1979

Michael Jackson dead at 50

The King of Pop, "The World's Most Successful Entertainer" Michael Jackson was announced dead today after suffering from a heart attack. He was 50 years old.

Jackson is one of the most internationally recognizable faces, despite major facial transformations since he was first introduced to the world by the Jackson 5. Jackson has sold over 750 million records, has 13 Grammys, and is adored by hundreds of millions throughout the world.

The Black Hour would like to express our condolences to Michael's family.

But in celebration of Michael's Life, we want everyone to do the moonwalk tonight.

The Sealed Letter

A short film by an aspiring student filmmaker from Laney College, Sandra Smith, "The Sealed Letter" is the story of a decent, studious young man who is reaching a breaking point in his life due to the routine negativity of his West Oakland home.

When he receives an envelope addressed to him from a prospective college, he realizes he is teetering on the edge of a big change in his life and attitude.

Check out The Sealed Letter on Peralta TV.

Uptown Unveiled: Street Party Tonight in Downtown Oakland

Uptown Unveiled
In case you haven't heard, there will be a huge street fair in Downtown Oakland tonight from 5-10 p.m. Uptown Unveiled takes place Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 19th & Telegraph in Downtown Oakland. In fact, the fair will have three stages and take up six blocks.

The fair promises to "offer a glimpse into the hip, happening downtown neighborhood." Indeed, a decade ago, even five years ago, this area looked drastically different. (We'll save that for another post)

Check out tonight's line-up:

Uptown Stage
Telegraph Avenue near 20th Street
Sponsored by The Uptown Apartments5:00 - 5:20 Youth Movement Records (Various Genres)
5:20 - 5:40 Nu Dekades (Hip Hop)
5:40 - 6:00 Do Dat (Hip Hop)
6:05 - 6:25 Jimmie Reign Featuring the Live Band Z-Ro (R&B)
6:30 - 6:40 Ericka Nelani (Singer/Songwriter YMR)
6:50 - 7:35 Sekhou Senegal (World/African)
7:35 - 7:55 Ro Sham Bo (a cappella)
7:55 - 8:15 Los Rakas (Latin Hip Hop)
8:15 - 9:05 Fito Reinoso y Ritmo y Armonia (World/Cuban)
9:15 - 10:00 The Kev Choice Ensemble (R&B/Jazz/Hip Hop) with Special
Guest Appearance by Zumbi of Zion I

Van Kleef Stage
Telegraph Avenue near 16th Street
Sponsored by Oaksterdam University
5:00 - 5:40 Annie Sampson (Blues)
5:50 - 6:30 Blue Bone Express (New Orleans Jazz)
6:50 - 7:15 Damon & The Heathens (Oakland Punk/Soul)
7:20 - 7:35 Fogo Na Roupa (Brazilian Carnival Drum and Dance)
7:35 - 8:00 Damon & The Heathens (Oakland Punk/Soul)
8:20 - 8:35 Hot Pink Feathers Parade Core and The All-Star Marching
Band (World Cabaret/Samba Burlesque)
8:35 - 9:05 The Funkanauts (Oakland Funk)
9:15 - 10:00 Materialized featuring Steve Adams and Dan Lebowitz
of ALO (Rock)

Fox Square Stage
19th Street between Telegraph and San Pablo Avenues
Sponsored by the Friends of the Oakland Fox/California Capital Group
5:30 - 5:45 Destiny Arts
5:55 - 6:15 Oakland Public Conservatory of Music
6:20 - 6:45 Pop Lyfe
6:55 - 7:15 Miko Marks
7:20 - 7:50 Birth of the Cool
8:00 - 9:00 John Santos

The event accessible by any downtown Oakland AC Transit bus line.

Black Sci-Fi Film Festival in Oakland

This is for all you Black Futurists, original Sun people descendants.

Third Root Productions is hosting a Black Sci-Fi film Series in Oakland starting this Thursday, June 18. Show time is 8-10:30 p.m.

The series begins with a double feature and discussion.

The AfroFuture is now!

June 18 – Double Feature & Discussion : Sun RA: Space is the Place, 1974 and Last Angel of History, 1997.

July 16 – Brother from Another Planet, 1984. (directed by John Sayles, starring Joe Morton)

Aug 20th. – Born in Flames, 1984. (directed by Lizzie Borden, starring Honey and Flo Kennedy)

For advance tickets go to Brown Paper Tickets and there will be limited Tickets will also be available at the door.

The festival will take place at the Golden Bridge Lofts at 330 13th Street at Webster in Oakland from 8-10:30pm

For more information, visit Third Root.

TBH Videos: Summertime in the LBC, by Dove Shack

The Black Hour's (TBH) Throw Back Hiphop Video of the Week

Summertime in the LBC
The Dove Shack

Happy Birthday Tupac Shakur

Tupac Amaru Shakur, aka 2Pac was born June 16, 1971 and was died September 13, 1996. He would be 38 years old today.

We wanted to bring something out to honor Pac's life and came across a great post by our Brother Davey D. Check out Davey'd 1991 interview with Pac. It is before the ATL police officers, before rape case, before the shooting, before the so-called East Coast vs. West Coast beef, yet right after he was beat by Oakland Police. He was 20 years old, five years before his death.

Also, 25 Joints to get you through the Day, Tupac style.

Tupac's life means many things to different people. We want to know, what did Tupac's life mean to you? How do you remember him most?

Omali Yeshitela speaks in Oakland

'Why We Must Organize to Stop Police Terror Against the African Community '
From Oscar Grant to Lovelle Mixon

Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, speaks June 14 at the Uhuru House in East Oakland.

Yeshitela is a fiery orator and courageous organizer who has worked for the liberation of African people for over forty years.

Omali spoke this Thursday at the Humanist Hall. Hear Yeshitela Sunday, June 14 from 4-6 p.m. at the Uhuru House at 7911 MacArthur Blvd in Oakland. For more information, visit

Davey D speaks at first Peralta Black Graduation

President Obama's Weekly Address (6/12/09)

Weekly Address: Health Care Reform, the Key to Our Fiscal Future

Watch the video or read the transcript.

The White House also has a "fact sheet" with more information on Mr. Obama's plan.

Juneteenth Festival in Berkeley

Juneteenth, a celebration of freedom, hope and change, is a reminder that the quest for freedom has been an ongoing, hard fought battle.

The Berkeley Juneteen Festival will be held Saturday, June 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m in South Berkeley.

"The Berkeley Juneteenth Festival highlights African American culture, and is an all American celebration with diverse attendance and participation by all Bay Area communities," event organizers said. "Juneteenth, a celebration of freedom, hope and change, is a reminder that the quest for freedom has been an ongoing, hard fought battle."

Last year's Berkeley Juneteenth celebration was cancelled. But the show must go on!

The festival is held on Adeline Blvd. near Alcatraz Avenue. Visit the website for more information.

The Berkeley Juneteenth Festival is accessible by AC Transit bus lines 9, 15, 18, 88 and F.

Throw Back Hip Hop: "I Used to Love H.E.R."

Throw Back Hip Hop Video of the Week:

I Used to Love H.E.R. by Common

Uptown Unveiled: Photo Slideshow

A New Petition: Delete the N-word

Ten-year old Jonathan E. McCoy presents his petition to "Delete the N-word" at a Baltimore church during Black History Month. This young man wants you to stop using the N-Word.

"Negro. African American. Noir. Nero. Mohagany. Ebony. Nubian. Black. All of these words have the same meaning. Negro is a spanish noun descending from the word, Niger, meaning Black. Somewhere in history, it was translated to the N-word by those who refer to use as economically, politically and social disenfranchised." he begins.

"Rather than obliterate this disrespectful phrase, we have adopted it. Let me dispell the myth. As a people we are neither economically, politically nor socially disenfranchised," McCoy said.

"It is implausible, that 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that we still use this word that has no worth in our lives and our future," he proclaims. "So I'm petitioning you to delete the N-word from our vocabulary."

He then ends his presentation with a new voice to the Negro National Anthem, "Lift E'ry Voice and Sing."
Check out his video online or support his petition.

Have you stopped using the N-word? How do you react when you hear people say it? Black folks? What about non-Black folks?

Throwback Hip Hop: Jazzy Belle, Outkast

Throwback Hip Hop Video of the Week

Jazzy Belle - Outkast

Free outdoor concert series in Oakland

Want to hear some free music in Downtown Oakland?

Tomorrow, Oakland's Summer Sounds Concert Series kicks off.

Beginning June 1, you can hear live music every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. at Oakland City Center, at the corner of 13th and Broadway. The series ends August 26.

There is an awesome, ecletic mix of bands and genres. Tomorrow features Pure Ecstasy, playing the sounds of Motown.

Here are some other dope shows to check out:

Check out the complete list of artists performing at the Summer Concert Series.

The Decline of Black Radio

The has been a lot of talk about Black Radio in recent weeks considering H.R. 848 and it's potential to kill Black radio. But some say it has long been dead.

Marc Anthony Neal of A New Black Man questioned the legitimacy of Radio One's Save Black Radio campaign and asked "Should Black Radio Die?" while Cedric Muhammad of Black Electorate also questions supporting Black Radio when for the longest, these companies have abandoned the needs of the people by promoting Wackness in the Name of Blackness.

It was asked by Nigerian activist Tolu Olorunda, Is Black Radio Worth Saving?" and to the recent journalist's roundtable "Who killed Black Radio?" on Jared Ball's Jazz & Justice.

But a few months ago, a trailer for a new documentary was posted about "Disappearing Voices: The Decline of Black Radio."

This video is a must see, particularly in times where Black "Talk Radio" seems to be hot garbage masquerading as gossip and more commonly, as "news."

What do you think about the state of Black Radio? What shows do you listen to? (if any). How could Black Radio improve to fit your needs?

Obama's Weekly Address (5/30/09)

The Experience of Judge Sotomayor

View the address or read the transcript.

What do you think of Obama's Supreme Court nominee?

African Liberation Day, Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival in Oakland (5/30)

There are two great events happening in Oakland Saturday, May 30th.

African Liberation Day
12-6 p.m., Lil Bobby Hutton Park (Defremery Park)
16th Street and Adeline Blvd, West Oakland
Honor Kwame Nkrumah and a united AfricaSpeakers, music, vendors and more.
More info on ALD

The 9th Annual Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival!
11-7 p.m., San Antonio Park
18th Ave and Foothill Blvd, East Oakland
EastSide's 9th annual Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival is one of the last free festivals in Oakland, so come and enjoy! One of the most important pieces of our festival are the community of local artists and food vendors.
More info on MXJAF

Tell us about the events.

Funky Friday: "No Sell Out"

Malcolm X is 'No Sell Out'As the month of May comes to a close, The Black Hour would like to continue to honor our ancestor, our hero and our freedom fighter El Hajj Malik el Shabazz, also known as Malcolm X.
"This recording documents Malcolm’s voice at a time and space in history that some nineteen or more years ago. Its meaning is just as relevant today as it was then."
Dr. Betty Shabazz
This video features original words from Malcolm with music from the track "No Sell Out," produced by Keith LeBlanc in 1983. It is originally from a 12'' vinyl put out on Tommy Boy Music.

From the liner notes of the original LP, Malcolm's queen/wife Dr. Betty Shabazz said “This recording documents Malcolm’s voice at a time and space in history that some nineteen or more years ago. Its meaning is just as relevant today as it was then.

"His belief is that people must constantly monitor behavior, refine goals, and direct their objectives to insure that the right to life and work is a reality. Ultimately, our goals should be peace and brotherhood. After all, the universe belongs to all its inhabitants.”

It is hard, it is funky and raw, just like our brother. The sounds of the 1980s drums and snares, and bass highlight select words from Malcolm in a way that emphasizes his strength as a man, his fearlessness as a truth sayer and his ability to still make you laugh.

The video also features historic and original, inspirational images of Malcolm X.

Michael Eric Dyson in Oakland

Before I wanted to write the world, I sought to right it.
Michael Eric Dyson will speak in Oakland Thursday, May 28th. His new book is called, "Can you Hear me Now? The Inspiration, Wisdom, and Insight of Michael Eric Dyson "

“Before I wanted to write the world, I sought to right it,” writes Michael Eric Dyson.

Michael Eric Dyson in Oakland

Tickets: $10 Advance/$12 Door/$8.00 Seniors & Students
Advance Tickets Sold at Marcus Book Store (no checks)
3900 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. Oakland
Tickets, Info: (510) 652-2344

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? The Inspiration, Wisdom, and Insight of Michael Eric Dyson is a sampling of Dyson’s sharp wit and profound wisdom on the enduring problems of humanity. Learn more at Marcus Books.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Doors Open at 5:30.
East Bay Church of Religious Science
4130 Telegraph Avenue (the corner of Telegraph and 41st Street)
Oakland (wheelchair access)

Throwback Hip Hop: " '93 Til Infinity", Souls of Mischief

Throwback Hip Hop Video of the Week

'93 Till Infinity - Souls of Mischief

Honoring Black Veterans

Today is the U.S. holiday of Memorial Day, the day in which Americans honor those who have died during war time.

The Black Hour would like to give respect specifically to those of African descent who have died defending this country.

African Americans given the ultimate sacrifice for this country since Crispus Attucks was the first to fall in U.S. Revolutionary War. We also give honor to those who have died in major conflicts such as WWI and WWI, the Vietnam War as well as the U.S. proxy wars around the world.

Charles Hamilton punched by girl!

New York rapper Charles Hamilton gets punched by an ex-girlfriend.

Caravan for Justice III

Johannes Mehserle has begun his preliminary hearings for the killing of an unarmed father on New Year's Day.

And the struggle for Justice for Oscar Grant continues.

Weekly "I am Oscar Grant' Townhall Meetings

Every Saturday 4 - 6 pm
Olivet Missionary Baptist Church
807 - 27th St. / San Pablo Ave.
Oakland, CA
View Map
On Tuesday, May 26, join thousands of Californians will take up the third Caravan for Justice at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. Buses will be departing from various locations throughout the Bay Aret that morning between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The caravan is to lobby legislators in Sacramento on the issues of Oscar Grant and police killings (revising the "Police Bill of Rights" that shields their misconduct records from the public), repressive gang laws, reforming Three Strikes, and the San Francisco 8, former Black Panthers and associates being retried by Attorney General Jerry Brown for a 1971 police killing based on evidence extracted by torture in 1973.

See complete bus schedule on or follow Caravan for Justice on Twitter.

Free Show at Yoshi's San Francisco

The Black Hour prides itself on being futuristic, Hip and jazzy. Well, you can enjoy all three tonight at Yoshi's in San Francisco.

Black Edgar's Music Box will be performing tonight, May 22 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Black Edgar's (aka David Boyce and Max Macveety) is "Afro-Futuristic Jazz."

Black Edgar "blends dub, abstract jazz, funk, spoken word and afro beat into a psychedelic melange executed by a being from another dimension, whose main purpose is to groove and enlighten the people of earth." Learn more about the group at Black Edgar

And the show is FREE to e-mail subscribers*. If you're interested in going, hit us up at theblackhour [at] gmail [dot] com for more info.

*There is a $3 service charge for tickets. Yoshi's is located in the historic Fillmore District of San Francisco.

TBH Photos: I am Oscar Grant (Slideshow)

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Check out I am Oscar Grant photos.

Throw Back Hip Hop: Lucini (This is it!)

Throw Back Hip Hop Video of the Week

Lucini (This is it) by Camp Lo

Happy Birthday Malcolm X

"You show me a capitalist, and I'll show you a bloodsucker."
Malcolm X

El Hajj Malik el Shabazz, more commonly known as Malcolm X was born May 19, 1925. Had he not been assassinated February 21, 1965, he would be 84 years old today.

Five books about Malcolm X

  1. The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    By Alex Haley

  2. Malcolm Speaks: selected speeches and statements
    By George Breitman

  3. Malcolm X: the man and his times
    By John Henrik Clarke, A. Peter Bailey, Earl Grant

  4. Malcolm X: The FBI File
    By Clayborne Carson, David Gallen, United States Federal Bureau of Investigation

  5. The Last Year of Malcolm X: The Evolution of a Revolutionary
    By George Breitman
Malcolm taught us many things in his life and from his life. From his advocacy for Black pride and Black power to our people gaining improved self-images; economic development, honoring women, becoming moral and spiritual beings, Pan-Africanism and more.

Most importantly, Malcolm taught us about real change; the power of transformation, as exhibited by his life.

After having his dreams crushed in an oppressive system, he turned to the streets. After hustling for years, he was imprisoned. In prison, began following the teaches of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and upon his release in the early 1950s, he became his most outspoken student minister.

A decade later, he split from the Nation of Islam (NOI) and adopted orthodox Islam. Upon returning from Hajj (pilgrimage) in Mecca, his views on race relations in America changed. He never had the opportunity to build his new organization (Organization of African American Unity)-modeled after Africa's OAU, but his speeches give us a wealth and knowledge of his ever evolving philosophy.

Today, Peralta Colleges students have a school holiday, or a day off for Malcolm X's birthday. Instead of taking the day off, use this day to learn more about our people and work for our mental liberation.

Here are some famous quotes from Malcolm.
  • "You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom."
  • "Any kind of movement for freedom of Black people based solely within the confines of America is absolutely doomed to fail."

  • "Time is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. You don't need anything else."
  • "Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery."

  • "Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."
  • "Sitting at the table doesn't make you a diner, unless you eat some of what's on that plate. Being here in America doesn't make you an American. Being born here in America doesn't make you an American."

What did Malcolm X teach you?

Monday Motivation: Don't Let Up

This post is especially for college students approaching finals. Don't give up.

Check out this video.

For those struggling, don't give up.

For those doing well, don't give up.

BART shooting hearing begins today

Oscar GrantA preliminary hearing for the former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle-who shot an unarmed rider on New Year's Day-begins today.

The purpose of the hearing is for the prosecution to attempt to persuade a judge to bring the case before a jury. The hearing was originally planned for March 23, but was postponed at the request of the defense attorney in the aftermath of the slaying of four Oakland police officers.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the hearing could last two weeks, with witnesses from both prosecutors and defense attorneys.

Defense attorney Michael Rains, known for getting the infamously crooked cop gang the Oakland "Riders" off, is trying to get the charge of murder down to manslaughter. He also attempted last week to get the county District Attorney's off the case. If this happens, State Attorney General Jerry Brown's office will take over.

Mehserle has pled not guilty to the charge of murder and is out on $3 million bail.

Oscar Grant's family has filed a $50 million wrongful death civl suit against BART.

Protestors plan to rally outside today, as well as other days of the trial.


What: Preliminary Hearing for Johannes Mehserle

When: Monday, May 18, 2009. 8:00 a.m.

Rene C. Davidson Superior Courthouse of Alameda County
1225 Fallon St., Rm 100 Oakland, CA 94612

More Info: (510) 891-6031

Neil Henry new dean of UC Berkeley School of Journalism

The Berkeley Daily Planet reports that Neil Henry will become dean at the UC Berkeley School of Journalism.

"UC Berkeley’s search for a dean for its Graduate School of Journalism came to an end May 7 when it selected interim Dean Neil Henry for the position...An award-winning journalist, author and professor, Henry has filled in as dean of the school since Orville Schell left two years ago."

Henry worked as a foreign correspondent in Nairobi, Kenya for 16 years at the Washington Post and also wrote Pearl's Secret, and autobiography in which he seeks to learn more about the white part of his family tree.

Reactions to OPD shooting

This video, by UC Berkeley graduate journalism student N'jeri Eaton, documents some of the communities reaction to the March 21 shooting of four Oakland Police officers by Lovelle Mixon-who was lated killed by OPD's SWAT team.

March 21, 2009 from N'Jeri Eaton on Vimeo.

Special thanks to the San Francisco Bay View for this link.

Check out N'jeri's work.

The Black Hour Live at 3 p.m.

It's our time, again.

The Black Hour Internet Radio Show will broadcast live today (Fri. May 15) on 9th Floor Radioat 3 p.m. (Pacific). This month's episode focuses on art + liberation. Our guests are all creative folks engaged in the arts, and in various struggles for social justice.
  • Our first guest will be Refa One.
    Refa One is traditionally known as an accomplished street calligrapher and muralist, but he is also an accomplished photographer-including more sensual works.

  • Our second guest is none other than Idris Hassan.
    Idris is a Berkeley City College student and an accomplished writer, photographer and filmmaker. She is currently promoting her documentary "Bay Area Cypher." The film is "a performance documentary that blends live freestyle presentations with short interviews to document the unique creativity of Hip Hop in the San Francisco Bay Area."

  • Our final guest is Desirena Cortijo.
    Desirena is a Laney College student, an English tutor and author of "My Journey Home: Changes Through Writing." (Available on Amazon)
Don't miss The Black Hour on 9th Floor Radio. And you can always check out our archives.

African Liberation Day in Oakland

Community Honors Pan African Unity, the Panthers Legacy & African Liberation Day in West Oakland

DeFremery Park should be declared “Lil’ Bobby Hutton Park in honor of his life and all those that have sacrificed in the fight against injustice

In this time of global crisis, Africa must remind high on the minds of her children dispersed throughout the world.

This month, the All African People's Revolutionary and African Research Committee will host African Liberation Day: "Honor Nkrumah: The Global Crisis calls for Global Unity-Build One Unified Socialist Africa."

The event will take place May 29 12:00 p.m. at “Lil’ Bobby Hutton” (DeFremery Park) in West Oakland, the community will hold a march and rally; youth panel and community presentations from Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Haiti Action Committee, AIM, Irish, Pan African Network, Nation of Islam, and performances by local Oakland hip hop artists Ise Lyfe and Jahi, as well as Los Angeles' Sadiki Bakari and Rashondra Angelle.

If you go
Friday, May 29, 6-9 p.m.Saturday, May 29, 12-6 p.m.
Laney College (Room E-200)
900 Fallon Street
Oakland, CA
March & Rally“Lil’ Bobby Hutton”
(aka DeFremery) Park, 1651 Adeline Street
Oakland, CA 94607

May 25th, 2009, marks the 52nd anniversary of African Liberation Day (ALD). ALD has assisted in furthering the struggle to introduce and educate the African community about the worldwide movement to achieve Pan-Africanism as the solution to the problems Africans face in over 113 countries in which we live around world.

We are reminded of the origin African Liberation Day by our ancestor, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) who explained, “ALD was founded by Kwame Nkrumah on the occasion of the First Conference of Independent States held in Accra, Ghana and attended by eight independent states. The 15th of April was declared African Freedom Day to mark each year the onward process of the liberation movement, and to symbolize the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.”

This year's theme and program will highlight the situation in the Congo , Zimbabwe and Haiti and "will address these geo-political issues through the lens of political prisoners and the resilience of our brothers and sisters continue to demonstrate as we fight for social justice" according to organizers.

Stop BART's Oakland Airport Connector

Dear AC Transit and BART riders,

Just last week, The Black Hour was pleased to announce the passage of Proposition A: EasyPass, on the April 28-29 student elections at Peralta. As we have much to celebrate students getting $31/semester unlimited AC Transit passes, we also should be concerned that our BART fares might be going up - now and in the future (Just as AC Transit's fares will increase July 1).

Already facing a budget shortfall and planning on raising fares this year, BART is looking at getting further in debt. And you know what that could mean - more fare hikes (or a reduction in service) down the line.

On Thursday, May 14th the BART Board will vote whether to approve a rail extension between the Oakland Coliseum BART and the Airport. This half-a-billion dollar project will replace the current shuttle – all to shave a whopping five minutes off the average trip length and “provide a convenient, safe and comfortable connection between BART and OAK.” This ‘smooth ride’ will cost $6 each way, on top of their BART fare to the Coliseum.

At a time when people are struggling to barely afford bus fare, this so-called extension will only benefit those going to the airport who can afford the $12 round-trip (and those who get the jobs–probably not us). The rest of us will have to pay for the all debt incurred by the project. And the East Oakland residents and local businesses will also pay – they’ll get no new service, just the noise, construction, shadow of the 'connector' cutting through their neighborhood–just like BART ripped through the historic 7th Street in West Oakland when the system was built.

All bad.

But You Can Take Action:

Join The Black Hour in telling the BART Directors that this project makes is bad for our community. Call them at (510) 464-6095, email them at or show up on the day of the vote (9am on May 14th in their Board conference room, 3rd floor of 344 20th Street in downtown Oakland).


The Black Hour Internet Radio Show

Check out this op-ed in the Oakland Tribune.

TBH Video - Passing Me By, The Pharcyde

TBH - Throwback Hip-Hop Video of the Week

Passing Me By, The Pharcyde

TBH Special: "East 14th: True Tales of a Reluctant Player" Exclusive Interview

Don Reed has seen many things in his lifetime. And as a teen, he went from being a straight-laced, God-fearing, pavement pounding church boy to a Son of a Pimp.

Reed has performed and written for film, television and theatre. His work on an HBO special of up-and-coming comedians years ago caught the attention of Bill Cosby and led to the creation of a guest-starring role for him on “The Cosby Show.” Don went on to play the recurring role of Chip in “The Cosby Show” spin-off “A Different World” and was recently in "Bee Movie Shorts" starring Jerry Seinfeld.

Reed came to Laney College May 7th for an exclusive interview with The Black Hour. He talked about growing up in the 1970's in Oakland. He talked about his experiences in the entertainment industry; from his start with Robert Townsend, voice overs and writing for sitcoms, to directing for the big screen and stand-up. He laced us with some game on how up-and-coming artists can get in on the entertainment industry.

His one-man show, "East 14th: True Tales of a Reluctant Player" is based on his life, and the characters he knows.

The show runs May 8 through June 14 at The Marsh in San Francisco. Learn more about the showEast 14th online. If you are interested in Reed's entertainment advertising work, check out Reedliculous.

And be sure to come back to to check out that exclusive interview.

"Africans and African Americans: A Dialogue Towards Unity"

Laney College to host Pan-African discussion in OaklandHow does the media portray Africa and Africans? How does the media portray African Americans to Africans? Do you consider yourself Black? African? African American?

These questions and more will be discussed May 12 at Laney College during the forum, "Africans and Afrian Americans: A Dialogue Towards Unity." The purpose of the discussion is to bring students of the African Diapora together to speak with each other--without being filtered by the media.
A Dialogue Towards Unity
Tuesday, May 12, 12-1:30 p.m.
Laney College Forum, Oakland, CA

The event is a part of The Black Hour Internet Radio Show's Community Forum Series. In February, The Black Hour hosted, "The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas."

The event takes place Tuesday, May 12 at Laney College in Oakland in the FORUM from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by the United African Club of Laney College and the Laney Black Student Union. The event is free.

9th Floor Radio featured in The Oak Book

"The most political/topical show is the monthly The Black Hour (3rd Fridays)...has been on for a muckraking into local Oakland political corruption and police brutality is as controversial as KPFA’s JR Valrey's, and as informative as KPOO’s Prison Radio programming."
The OakBook Magazine

9th Floor Radio, the station which hosts The Black Hour, was featured in The OakBook (formerly NovoMetro), an internet news site focused on Oakland news, blogs and events.

The article discusses the origins of 9th Floor Radio, the work of our Station Manager Melissa Dale Neal and talks about a couple of shows on the station.

Of course, The Black Hour was highlighted:

The most political/topical show is the monthly The Black Hour (3rd Fridays). Host Brother Reggie has been on for a year, and his in-depth muckraking into local Oakland political corruption and police brutality is as controversial as KPFA’s JR Valrey's, and as informative as KPOO’s Prison Radio programming.

Check out The Oakbook's feature Oakland's Real Radio Station or the article's writer, Chris Stroffolino(who teaches at Laney College).

"Treat Your Mother Right" by Mr. T


In honor of Mother's Day, The Black Hour wants to remind you to treat your Mama right! And do it all 365.25 days of the year. Check out this 1984 song "Treat Your Mother Right" by Mr. T.

Before a Nation, by Mumia

Cartoon by Khalil Bendib.

Before a Nation
By Mumia Abu Jamal

As the temperature of war increases in Iraq, and the U.S. increases troops in Afghanistan, an unanswered question looms.

Not, 'what is a nation', so much as why is this a nation, and when?

When we speak of Iraq, Afghanistan or even Pakistan as nation-states, we are really speaking of political elites in their capitals, and of relatively new political identities that are not truly agreed upon even in those states.

Many of these nations had their borders drawn, not by themselves, but by diplomats in Europe, more for their interests than the inhabitants thereof.
In many of these countries there are millions of people who see themselves, first and foremost, as members of ancient tribes, to whom loyalties lie.
Let me give but one example: remember the former Pakistani president-general Pervez Musharraf? In the year he was born, there was no Pakistan. He was born a citizen of northwest India.

In many of these countries there are millions of people who see themselves, first and foremost, as members of ancient tribes, to whom loyalties lie. They are Pashtun, Punjabi, or Tajik.

In Ayaan Hirsi Ali's autobiographical work, Infidel, she recounts the childhood memory of her and her sister standing in their back yard in Somalia, reciting the lineage of their clan. Standing over them was the daunting figure of grandmother, a switch in hand, and woe to the child who would forget or overlook an ancestor.

Her grandmother didn't demand that they recount the rulers of Somalia. What was important was tribe, clan and sub-clan histories and lineages.

For millions and millions of people, in Africa and South Asia, one's clan is crucial; nation is ephemeral. For before nation, there was clan. When one is in distress, there is clan. When one is endangered, there is clan.
Nation is a collection of strangers. Nation is the faraway capital. Nation is the oppressive force that imposes taxation, or unwanted military presence.
Nation is a collection of strangers. Nation is the faraway capital. Nation is the oppressive force that imposes taxation, or unwanted military presence.

As the U.S., under Obama, plans to downsize in Iraq, and beef up in Afghanistan, it faces a force that Americans have not had to consider for several centuries; the power of tribes (here, I speak of the so-called 'Indians', a European name imposed on a host of tribes, clans, and sub-clans).

This is the true social and political power that lies beneath the ossified and often corrupt national governments in which the U.S. has invested billions.

There is the formal nation-state, with all the structure that Americans like, but unseen is the true movers and shakers of society -- identity formers -- tribes.

This may be the rock upon which all U.S. efforts, all of its billions, all of its military might -- shatters.

(C) Mumia Abu Jamal, 2009

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

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