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.

TBH Photos: Power Shift Conference in Washington DC

The Black Hour host Reginald "Brother Reggie" James is in Washington, DC attending the 2009 Power Shift Conference. James received a scholarship, along with Laney student Tiana Drisker, from Global Exchange to attend the conference. Click the photo above for exclusive photos from the conference.

TBH News: Oscar Grant's Birthday

This coming Friday, February 27th, is Oscar Grant III's Birthday. He would have been 23 years old.

People are encouraged to wear blue ribbons or armbands all day (Blue was Oscar's favorite color).

TBH News: Laney students headed to Powershift in D.C.

Powershift Conference in DCOver 10,000 students and youth are headed to the Nation's Capitol for a historic youth summit on Climate Change, Powershift.

Two Laney College students will be among the thousands attending this year's Powershift.

Tiana DriskerTiana Drisker is a nursing student who also works part-time at Communities for a Better Environment (CBE). Tiana was a registered Dental Assistant with one-year of experience when she enrolled received an AA in Liberal Arts from Laney College. She kept on working through her degree, splitting time between her role as a registered dental assistant, student, and EOPS student aid. Most recently, she has been able to utilize her 6+ years experience as an Instructor at Western Career College’s Dental Assistant Program. She has also been involved with the Sustainable Peralta effort.

Reginald JamesThe second student is non-other than Reginald James, aka Brother Reggie, Executive Producer of The Black Hour. James initiated the Peralta EasyPass program that gives full-time students semester-long unlimited ride bus passes for $50 per semester.

He currently interns at AC Transit in External Affairs. James also serves as Managing Editor of the Harambee Newspaper ( where he writes the column, "Red, Black & GREEN."

Both Drisker and James received scholarships to attend from Global Exchange, an international human rights organization based in San Francisco that focuses on social, economic and environmental justice.

The summit, being organized by the Energy Action Coalition and a network of other organizations, will have numerous workshops and sessions focusing on building a new economy based on renewable energy. Students will also participate in lobbying congress on March 2.

TBH Videos: "Different Person" by Jimmie Reign

The video for "Different Person" from Jimmie Reign's debut album "Pretty Girl." Her album comes out Feb. 22.
For more info on Jimmie Reign, check her out at

Huey P. Newton Birthday Party

Click to get event info Celebrate the life of Dr. Huey P. Newton--co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense--at the Black Reportory Theater in Berkeley Feb. 22 at 5 p.m.
The program will feature:
  • Spoken word

  • Open mic

  • BPP photo exhibit

And performances by Beats & Flows and Destiny Arts.

The program is sponsored by the Black Panther Commemorator Newspaper.

For info visit Facebook or

TBH Poll: Were you offended by the New York Post's editorial cartoon?

The New York Post, a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdock, has come under fire for a cartoon that has been said to have racial overtones.

What do you find the cartoon offensive?

VIDEO: 2009 Black History Month Forum "The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas"

On Tues. Feb. 11, The Black Hour Radio Show hosted the first of a series of Community Forums. This forum, in celebration of Black History Month, focused on the national Black History Month theme of "The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas."

Panelists included Peralta Colleges Chancellor Elihu Harris, Vice-Chancellor Jim Bracy, African American Studies Professor Tamika Brown and CARE Coordinator Mildred Lewis.

Video by Moushumi Sen

Caravans for Justice

Bay Area Meeting Locations

Buses Load at 8 am

East Palo Alto
2415 University Avenue

Olivet Missionary Baptist Church
807 27th St./San Pablo Ave.

Muhammad Mosque 26B
5277 Foothill Blvd.

820 23rd St.

San Francisco
Muhammad Mosque 26
5048 3rd St.

For more info, call (510) 436-0205.

TBH News: Farrakhan to speak in Oakland

Louis Farrakhan
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, will speak in Oakland today, Tuesday February 17 at Olivet Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Program begins at 7 p.m. Olivet is located at 807 27th Street, near San Pablo Avenue, in Oakland.

Sandre Swanson speaks at Laney

TBH Photos: The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas

Community Forum Series Begins

The Black Hour hosted our first Community Forum Series, "The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas" on Feb. 10. The panel, above, included Peralta Colleges Chancellor Elihu Harris, Vice-Chancellor Jim Bracy, CARE Coordinator Mildred Lewis and African American Studies Professor Tamika Brown. Prior to the event, the Red, Black & Green Flag was raised on the campus' flag pole.
Click above to see exclusive photos. Podcast coming soon.

Global Warming Teach-In at Laney

You don’t have to have Super Powers to save the world. You just need information and dedication.

That was the message given to students during the National Teach-In on Global Warming held Feb. 5 at Laney College.

“You’ve heard about global warming and climate change, but not you’re going to hear some of the details,” said Geography Professor Mark Rauzon; organizer of Laney’s teach-in. Laney joined millions of people, including 67 California schools—eighteen of which were community colleges—who participated in a dialogue to save the impoverished planet.

Global warming is the increase in the Earth’s temperature. While there are natural causes, the heating of the globe has increased due to human activity.

Laney’s teach-in began with a web cast with messages from national leaders in the fight against global warming, including a welcome from U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair of the Senate Environmental Committee. Boxer was followed by Eban Goodstein, national teach-in co-director.

"You will be the greatest generation because you will bring an end to global warming."
Eban Goodstein

“You will be the greatest generation because you will bring an end to global warming,” said Goodstein, who also organized ‘Focus the Nation’—the 2008 teach-in that included nearly 2000 colleges, schools and community organizations. He said the National Teach-In was organized to encourage Americans to discuss solutions for the first 100 days of the new administration. “You have to demand leadership from faculty” on campus “and demand action from Congress,” he added.

Goodstein emphasized the need for young people to stay involved, especially with the momentum gained from the recent election, which young people largely decided.

My introduction to environmentalism was through recycling, but I didn’t do it for Mother Earth at first...I collected cans for cash. A different kind of ‘green’ and a different kind of ‘change.'
Reginald James

The Black Hour host Reginald James, who also interns at Alameda Contra-Costa Transit (AC Transit), shared his own personal experiences with environmentalism and the power students have to enact change.

“My introduction to environmentalism was through recycling, but I didn’t do it for Mother Earth at first,” said James. “I collected cans for cash. A different kind of ‘green’ and a different kind of ‘change,’ right?”

James shared his experience as a student advocating for a discounted group bus pass program for Peralta students. A pilot program called the Peralta EasyPass began in 2008 and over 1,200 students took advantage in the fall semester, according to James.

“Students have power, but you have to exercise it,” said James. “You can help us with the upcoming referendum to make the bus pass program permanent or join your campus’ ‘Green Club.’

We are the greatest generation; we just have to act like it."

This article originally appeared in the Harambee Newspaper at

Related Post: TBH host speaks on Global Warming

TBH Photos: The Black Hour hosts speaks on Global Warming and Climate Change

Reginald James (aka Brother Reggie), host of The Black Hour, spoke during Laney College professor Mark Rauzon's Geography classes for the National Teach-In on Climate Change. James, an intern at AC Transit discussed carbon emissions, environmental racism and environmental justice, and how students can be involved in the fight against Climate Change.
For more information about the Teach-In, visit
Photos by Mark Rauzon/

TBH Events: Quest for Black Citizenship in America

TBH Event: Sat. Feb. 7, African American Health Summit, Bridging the Gap Media Conference

Killer BART cop granted bail

Former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, left, shot 22-year-old Oscar Grant III, left, in the back while he laid down on the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland. After numerous protests, Mehserle was arrested Jan. 14. He was granted $3 million bail on Jan. 30

Protesters enraged, nine arrested

Former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, who killed the unarmed Oscar Grant III, meant to fire his taser and not his gun, according to his defense attorney who convinced a judge to set bail Jan. 30. He remained in jail through Friday night, according to the County Sheriff's Department, despite reports that he was released.

A few dozen people packed the Alameda County Courthouse lobby Friday afternoon for the bail hearing's 43 available seats while hundreds more protested outside the courthouse. Inside the courtroom, the front rows were reserved for the families of both Grant and Mehserle.

Mehserle-who appeared with a red jail-issued jumpsuit did not speak. Instead, he was represented by his defense attorney, Michael Rains. He called Grant's killing a "tragic, tragic accident."

Two young women break out in tears after hearing that Mehserle was granted $3 million bail on Jan. 30.
Rains, who previously represented "The Riders"-the notorious group of Oakland Police officers who were acquitted of charges of abusing alleged drug dealers and planting evidence on others-stated Mehserle meant to tase Grant, not shoot him.

According to court documents, Mehserle was heard telling another officer, "I'm going to tase him, I'm going to tase him." Although it appears to conflict with another statement that said Grant was resisting and was reaching for a weapon. "I can't get his arms. He won't give me his arms," Mehserle allegedly said, "His hands are going for his waistband."

Judge Morris Jacobson, at the end of the hour-long hearing, said that Mehserle did not appear to be a threat to the public and set his bail at $3 million. He noted that Mehserle was a flight risk and was originally apprehended in Nevada. Jacobson did call Rains accounts inconsistent and stated that, Mehserle was willing to lie to avoid the consequences of his actions.

The defense requested bail set at $100,000, while others believed he shouldn't have been granted bail.

Prior to the judge issuing a gag order, the Grant family's attorney John Burris, who filed the $25 million civil suit against BART, stated that Mehserle was both a threat to the public and a flight risk.

"The family is very disappointed," said Burris, who noted that the $3 million bail was one of the highest amounts he's seen. "He has a right to bail, but $3 million is a considerably high amount." Although-considering his access to weapons-the bail was not enough for his family. Or for protestors.

News that Mehserle was granted bail was met with anger by protestors, already upset about the killing of Grant, the unarmed father of a four-year old daughter.

"This is ridiculous," said one young woman who left the courthouse in tears. "If he was Black, he'd still be in jail."

Protestors then marched from 12th and Oak chanting, "No justice? No peace!" and were joined by those who just left the courthouse. towards the front of the courthouse. On the same steps where members of the Black Panther Party once demanded "Free Huey," protestors expressed their outrage about the former officer being granted bail yelling, "F*** the police."

"There are only two ways out of this courthouse," shouted Mandingo Hayes. "Surround the building, don't let him leave."

Protestors then marched to OPD's headquarters where they had a standoff with officers. After the rear window of an unmarked police vehicle was smashed, protestors were tear-gassed and "flash bangs" were thrown rubber bullets were shot. Hayes was hit in the chest with a tear gas container.

Possibly enflaming the situation were reports that Mehserle had been released, including one by Oakland's mayor.

Mayor Ron Dellums released a statement to the media Friday afternoon alleging that Mehserle "posted bail and was released from jail." Meanwhile, the Mayor called "for peace in our streets." He later recanted the statement.

After being dispersed, protestors reconvened at 14th & Broadway where protestors stopped traffic, and two climbed on top of a #15 AC Transit bus.

Photo: & CounterPunch

Protestors then marched back towards the courthouse, but were met by police in riot gear. Not only were Oakland Police out in full force, but BART police, colleagues of the officer at the center of the controversy.

The streets were blocked off and protestors were pinched on 14th Street between Alice and Harrison. Protestors were told to disperse, and many did not. Things calmed down before sunset. In the end, five adults and four youth who were arrested, according to police.

Second officer's testimony
In recent weeks, the calls for investigation into the other officers have amplified after a video surfaced showing another officer punching Grant in the face. The officer is believed to be Anthony Pirone.

Ironically, it is Pirone's statements that helped Mehserle get bail.

Pirone, like Mehserle was also put on paid administrative leave following the incident.

According to department training records, Mehserle attended a six hour class for training with the X-26 taser. He passed the taser user certification test on Dec. 3. While he passed the test and was certified, he carried the taser for a dozen shifts and had never used it.

Court documents filed by the defense portray Mehserle as a young, law abiding peace officer, while portraying Grant as an intoxicated hoodlum.

Protestors vow justice
Protestors demonstrated outside the courthouse and in front of the District Attorney's office since the morning time.

"They inside that White House right now," preventing justice said Oakland New Black Panther member Mandingo Hayes referring to the county's courthouse. "I want to go to Santa Rita so I can have access to Mehserle and punch him in the ****ing head."

Referring to the consequences of the former BART officer getting bail, Hayes said, "And they can't say, 'its anarchists, its hoodlums, ohh it's the homeless downtown kids. Cause I'm going to be leading the pact."

Others held signs that said, "Jail all racist killer cops" and "Disarm BART police." Equal disgust surrounding other victims or police brutality were reflected with signs that read, "Justice for Gary King" and others who had pictures of people "killed by law enforcement."

Inside the courthouse, many of those who could not get in the courtroom interrupted the proceedings chanting, "We are Oscar Grant! We are Oscar Grant!"

Orloff, Gee must go
Oakland Minister Keith Muhammad of the Nation of Islam Mosque #26B, upon leaving the courthouse, stated that community members were working on the recall of District Attorney Tom Orloff, and BART police Chief Gary Gee.

"Orloff does not represent the victims," said Muhammad, referring to the numerous cases of police brutality in which police should've been charged. "There is a relationship between the District Attorney and police that offers protection," said Muhammad. Orloff took two weeks from the time Mehserle killed Grant until he had the former officer arrested. "It would've been even longer without the people in the street protesting."

The morning of the Jan. 7th-the initial date where the highly televised uprising took place following a more "peaceful" demonstration at the Fruitvale BART station, one week after the shooting-Muhammad and members of the Black Clergy held a press conference demanding a meeting with Orloff. Orloff had previously refused, but once the clergy, along with Oakland City Councilwoman Desley Brooks and hundreds of others waited outside his office until he agreed to meet with them. Initially, Orloff attempted to divide the group and meet with three representatives, but eventually he let every one in.

A letter of intent has been signed by ten voters, and Orloff must respond by next week. Next, there must be a petition with ten percent of voters in the county to recall the DA.

Muhammad also expressed frustration with Gee, who was recently "discovered to be raising support for Mehserle."

"Gee signed a letter for Mehserle's support and for officers to donate money. Why would he do that? He quit and hasn't been talking to BART," said Muhammad. Mehserle "was insubordinate. He shot [Grant] then says nothing. That is not the reaction of a peace officer nor of a militarized force like BART," suggesting that protocol was not followed.

BART Board members have also expressed their frustration with General Manager Dorothy Dugger and Chief Gee, including board member Lynette Sweet who

Minister of Information JR of the Prisoner's of Consciousness Committee (POCC) attended the demonstration and suggested that "it's not the state acting willfully" that got Mehserle arrested, but "it's the people."

"This didn't just start in '09. It's not unheard of," said JR referring to police shootings, which POCC refers to as "police terrorism." On New Year's Day alone there were two other shootings of unarmed Black people, said JR.

Upcoming actions
Community members who are upset with the killing of Oscar Grant are encouraged to attend the Community Council Townhall Meeting Sat. Jan. 31 from 4-6 p.m. at Olivet Missionary Baptist Church on 27th Street in West Oakland.

Additionally, a call for a Saturday night rally from 6-8 pm at Oakland City Hall has also been called for.

TBH Music: Wake Yo Game Up Outro

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