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.

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

TBH Event: Black Graduation for Peralta Colleges

A Black Graduation Ceremony will be held Saturday, May 23 for students of African Descent attending the Peralta Colleges.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Cecilia Arrington, former African American Studies professor at Merritt College.

The event is free, and will be held at North Oakland Missionary Baptist Church, 1060 32nd Street in Oakland.

Eight early Black newspapers in the Bay Area (Part I)

The Bay Area has a legacy of Black media. Early newspapers protested the inhumanity of slavery and the need for equal rights for Black people.

"The paper has always been committed to civil rights and complete equality. I think that's been the primary goal of the black press. It was our stated goal to attain first-class citizenship, and to be a watchdog for whatever injustices based on racism occurred to let the world know about it."
Thomas C. Fleming, 1997, co-founder of Sun-Reporter

Here are some of the early Black newspapers on the West Coast:

  1. Mirror of the Times

  2. Founded: 1857
    Ceased Publication: 1858
    Oldest Black newspaper on the West Coast.

  3. The Elevator

  4. Founded: 1854
    Ceased Publication: 1898

  5. San Francisco Vindicator

  6. Founded: 1887
    Ceased Publication: 1906

  7. Western Outlook

  8. Founded: September 1, 1894
    Ceased Publication: 1928
    Editors: John Lincoln Derrick and Joseph Smallwood Francis
    Published: Weekly
    MOTTO:“A Journal Devoted to the Interests of the Negro on the Pacific Coast and the Betterment of His Condition.”

  9. Oakland Sunshine

  10. Founded: 1914
    Ceased Publication: 1922

  11. California Voice

  12. Founded: 1917
    Aqcuired by Metro Reporter Newspapers (Sun-Reporter) in early 1960s

  13. San Francisco Spokesman (The Spokesman)

  14. Founded: 1931
    Ceased Publication: 1935
    Founder: John Pittman
    Frequency: Weekly
    Following the folding of The Spokesman, Pittman went on to write for People’s World—a West Coast communist party publication that was the only newspaper to hire Black people to write.

    8) The Reporter

    Founded: 1944
    Founder: Thomas Fleming

    Founded: 1945
    Combined Dr. Carlton Goodlet’s The Sun (former editor of Howard University’s “The Hilltop”) and Flemings Reporter.

    MOTTO: “That no good cause shall lack a champion, and that evil shall not thrive unopposed."

Do you know of any other early Black newspapers in the Bay Area?

Oakland's 'Mother' Wright dies at 87

The Black Hour is saddened to hear that Mary Ann "Mother" Wright has passed away. She was 87 years old.

The Oakland Tribune reports, "Mary Ann Wright, better know as Mother Wright to all the needy people in Oakland and beyond who she helped feed and clothe during every holiday season for the past 30 years, died Thursday at Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley after a long struggle with heart problems, one of her daughters said Friday."
"People got to eat more than twice a year."

She was born in Louisiana, and later arrived at the depot on 16th Street and Wood Street in West Oakland in 1950. Mother Wright has 11 children and 33 grandchildren.

Mother Wright began feeding the needy in 1980. Prior to being recently hospitalized, she kept her Monday through Friday schedule of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. feeding the needy through her foundation based on San Pablo Avenue.

"People got to eat more than twice a year," she said told the Oakland Tribune in 2006."I'm here every morning before daylight."

Learn more about Mother Wright and her mission at the Mother Mary Ann Wright Foundation.

You can also get involved at a local food bank:

TBH host honored at journalism conference

The Black Hour host Reginald James was "honored at JACC convention" last month.

Tower Bunch, Laney Tower, Laney CollegeAs reported in the Laney Tower newspaper,"Former Tower Editor-in-Chief Reginald James received two awards from the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) State Convention."

"He received First Place for Student Designed Advertisement for "The Tower Bunch" ad, (left) and a Meritorious Award for Enterprise Story for a piece on work-study disparities" at Laney College.

This year, "the two awards were the only two brought in by Laney."

View the original article on

Freedom Friday: "Liberation" by Outkast

From Outkast's 1998 Aquemini, "Liberation." Features Cee Lo, Erykah Badu and Big Rube. Revolutionary slideshow features images from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr to the Black Panther Party's Freedom Schools.

What does this song and images inspire in you?

Seven ACORN workers charged in voter fraud probe

Source: AP

Pittsburgh, PA-According to the Associated Press, "Seven Pittsburgh-area ACORN workers were charged with falsifying voter registration forms, with six accused of doing so to meet the group's alleged quota system before last year's general election."

Hmmm...What do these seven ACORN workers (above) have in common?

Wanted: Black Scientists

Are you the next Benjamin Banneker? You could be!

The Black Scientist Project (BSJ) at Stanford University wants you. The Stanford School of Education are seeking participants who have majored and/or obtained a degree in science.

The purpose of is to identify the factors influencing the experience of individuals who become scientists and the study will examine the ways Black scientists and science majors experience science.
"This knowledge may inform the development of programs, curriculum, and other supports designed to help current and future Black students in their pursuit of a science career."

See "Introduction to Black Scientist Project" Video.

"We are interested in the academic and cultural experiences of Black scientists and students as they engage in science within classrooms, with teachers, and other students," said the Dr. Bryan Brown, assistant professor of research at Stanford. "Additionally, we are compiling a series of autobiographical video testimonies and stories of those who did become scientists.

"The investigators hope to identify why some people are able to pursue degrees and/or careers in science while others do not. The findings of our study will provide a rich understanding of the significant experiences, challenges, and successes that guide the experience of those who are interested in science," said Dr. Brown. This knowledge may inform the development of programs, curriculum, and other supports designed to help current and future Black students in their pursuit of a science career."

To participate in the study please visit"and take the brief survey!

Of Pirates and Piracy

Somali piracy vs. Wall Street pirates by
Cartoon by Khalil Bendib

Of Pirates and Piracy
By Mumia Abu Jamal

In the news of late is the piracy drama off Africa's horn - the eastern coast of Somalia.

All of a sudden, piracy is a problem, one needing military, if not global solutions.

Every petty politician is bum-rushing the mike, to spout off on how pirates are "thugs", "criminals", or the latest Western curse, " terrorists".
"If piracy is a crime when individuals do it, what is it when states do it? Who can deny that America was stolen and swindled from the Indians? Or that millions of people were stolen from Africa to work for them for centuries? Is that piracy-- or just plain policy?"

Such pronouncements almost always leave me cold, or, at best, ambivalent, for behind these events lie a history that cries out for clarity and perspective.

If piracy is a crime when individuals do it, what is it when states do it?

Who can deny that America was stolen and swindled from the Indians? Or that millions of people were stolen from Africa to work for them for centuries?

Is that piracy-- or just plain policy?

Piracy did occur in the 17th and 18th centuries, and this was either cases of conflict between colonial powers (where British 'privateers', for example, would target and steal from Spanish ships), or simply in pursuit of profits.

The Somali state has been absent for a generation, and as such, what is today's piracy but making a living, albeit a dangerous one?

When Ethiopia was armed and egged on to invade Somalia several years ago by the Bush administration, was that state piracy?
Pirates are retail; nations are wholesale.

When the U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003, removed it's government, imposed its puppets, bombed its people, and ran a third of its population into exile, based on lies--was this piracy of one nation against another--or 'national security?'

Pirates are retail; nations are wholesale.

Who are the 'thugs', the 'criminals', the real pirates?

To my knowledge, no band of pirates has ever stolen a nation.

Guess who has?

In Theaters: American Violet

With over 2.3 million humans stored in new age concentration camps, America has the largest prison population in the world. Although China has four times as many people, it's prison population of 1.5 million is still second, according to the Pew Center for the States.

When the for-profit prison industry mixes with "tough on crime" politicians, it's easy for the average American to get caught in the crossfire; especially if you're Black.

Based on true events, American Violet tells the astonishing story of Dee Roberts (Nicole Beharie), a single mother raising four children in a small Texas town, trying to survive as a waitress.

Police raid the projects-military style-and drag Dee from work in handcuffs, dumping her in women's county jail. The evidence: the word of a police informant facing his own drug charges.

Dee is offered the choice: plead guilty and go home as a convicted felon; or, remain in prison and fight the charges thus, jeopardizing her custody and risking a long prison sentence.

Her mother (Alfre Woodard) encourages her to take the deal, but Dee chooses to fight the system.

American Violet, based on the true story of Regina Kelly is a must see film.

Visit for more info, showtimes and to watch the trailer.

Thursday, May 7 is the last day to see it in most Bay Area theaters, but starting Friday, May 8 American Violet plays at the El Cerrito Speakeasy Theater.

Who is the real 'agent provocatuer?'

JR Valrey, Agent Provocateur ? East Bay ExpressThe East Bay Express (EBX) is not known for favorable reporting of the Black community. In fact, the Emeryville based weekly has written hit pieces on numerous Black folks--from Ron Dellums to Marcel Diallo.

Most recently, 100,000 copies of the EBX hit the street with another Black face on the cover. This time it was journalist JR Valrey, associate editor for the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper and producer of KPFA's Block Report Radio. He is also the Minister of Information for the Prisoners of Conscienceness Committee (POCC).

The EBX front page feature has a front page headline of "Agent Provocatuer" and feature headline of "JR Valrey Is an Agent Provocateur."

"The KPFA producer is not your typical police reporter. He grew close to accused criminal Yusuf Bey IV. He was arrested for arson in the Oakland riots. Now he's speaking up for cop killer Lovelle Mixon."

Minister of Information JR, by Khalil BendibBut don't take our word. Read the piece for yourself.

You can also read a response to the article by Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr. of the POCC.

Then check out Undercurrents column from J.Douglass Allen-Taylor from the Berkeley Daily Planet.

Do you think JR is an "agent provocateur?" Why was this language used? What does this article accomplish? Does it help the causes which JR chronicles? Or does it hurt them?

Throw Back Hip Hop: Deep East Oakland

Nearly 15 years ago, Black Dynasty came out with the classic "Deep East Oakland."

Black Dynasty was formed by Kariem Abdullah and his brother Dion Stewart in the 1980s, according to All Music Guide. Their first album Asphalt Jungle came out in 1993 and sold 10,000 copies.

In 1995, they released Deep East Oakland. It sold 20,000 copies and got them on tour with Too Short and DJ Quik.

The video features aerial shots of Highland Hospital (See: Alameda County Medical Center) and the Bay Bridge, FILA hats, shirts and shoes, a cell phone so big that it could be a cordless payphone.

But things fall apart. Stewart was shot and killed a few years later by a convenience store owner in a falled robbery attempt.

But Black Dynasty isn't dead.

Abdullah recorded Reality Check in 2002. It features a sequel to DEO called, "Deep East Oakland, Part II."

Check out Black Dynasty's "Deep East Oakland."

TBH Question:
Do you know what other song that came out in 1995 had a similar sample? What song and artist did they both sample?

Baynard Rustin

Baynard Rustin
This week, the Laney College Gay-Straight Alliance and the Associated Students of Laney College (ASLC) kick off Queerfest IV.

Considering all the controversy in California surrounding Proposition 8, the state ballot proposition passed by voters November 4, 2008 that changed the state constitution to state marriage was only between "a man and a woman" and eliminated the right of same sex couples to marry-we thought it was time for The Black Hour to weigh in. Somewhat.

In the aftermath of Proposition 8 passing, there was backlash against members of the Black community--especially LGBT members. CNN exit polls that showed that African Americans overwhelmingly supported the amendment, were found to be exaggerated.

Opposed to taking a position on this case--as the California Supreme Court should be doing so this month--we decided to honor one of our overlooked ancestors who worked tirelessly for our freedom; Baynard Rustin.

"To be afraid is to behave as if the truth were not true.”

"A master strategist and tireless activist," according to, "Bayard Rustin is best remembered as the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, one of the largest nonviolent protests ever held in the United States. He brought Gandhi’s protest techniques to the American civil rights movement, and helped mold Martin Luther King, Jr. into an international symbol of peace and nonviolence.

"Despite these achievements, Rustin was silenced, threatened, arrested, beaten, imprisoned and fired from important leadership positions, largely because he was an openly gay man in a fiercely homophobic era," according to the website for his life story Brother Outside: The Life of Baynard Rustin.

Rustin argued in his book, 'Strategies for Freedom', that for a movement to have a permanent and transforming imprint, it should have a legislative goal attached which will transcend the whims of the emotions of the moment. Describing a different struggle that America faced with the advancement of civil rights, he wrote that:

"Moral fervor can't maintain your movement, nor can the act of participation itself. There must be a genuine commitment to the advancement of the people. To have such a commitment is also to have a militant sense of responsibility, a recognition that actions have consequences which have a very real effect on the individual lives of those one seeks to advance."

"Twenty-five, thirty years ago, the barometer of human rights in the United States were black people. That is no longer true. The barometer for judging the character of people in regard to human rights is now those who consider themselves gay, homosexual, or lesbian."

"Far too many movements lack both a (legislative) perspective and a sense of responsibility, and they fail because of it," Ruskin wrote.
Source: Bigtree's Journal

Later in his life, he became an advocate for gay rights. He was probably the first person to suggest that "gay is the new Black" in terms of human rights. In 1987, he said:

"Twenty-five, thirty years ago, the barometer of human rights in the United States were black people. That is no longer true. The barometer for judging the character of people in regard to human rights is now those who consider themselves gay, homosexual, or lesbian."

Learn more about Baynard Rustin on wikipedia.

Did you vote for or against Proposition 8? Why?

2009 Time 100: World's Most Influential people

Time 100, 2009 coverEvery year, TIME Magazine claims to name the 100 "people who most affect our world."

This year, TIME features: Van Jones, John Legend, Oprah Winfrey and of course Michele and Barack Obama. Not to mention-Hadizatou Mani.
Who else made the list? And who didn't?

Is there anyone you know that is missing from TIME's list? Anyone that shouldn't be on the list? Who are the 10 most influential people to you?

Monday Motivation - Michael Jordan: Failure

Sometimes, in order to succeed; you must first fail. Take it from arguably the greatest basketball player ever; Michael Jordan.

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”

Shout out to Brother Jesse Muhammad with the Final Call Newspaper for this post.

President Obama's Weekly Address

"Government Actions to Address the H1N1 Flu Virus"

"In his Weekly Address, the President discusses the government’s response to the 2009 H1N1 flu virus, from school closings to activating online social networks. He urges Americans to be calm but cautious," according to the White House blog.

Watch President Obama's Weekly Address or read the transcript.

What was your reaction to news about "swine flu"?

AUDIO: The Black Hour 'goes green' - April 2009 - Environmental Justice

Photos: Flickr user

Listen to the complete broadcast from 9th Floor Radio.

The April 2009 episode of The Black Hour was dedicated to environmental justice. Guests included: Nehanda Imara, organizer, Communities for a Better Environment; Virtuous "V", rappe; Tyrone "Baby Champ" Stevenson, inventor of the Scraper Bikes; Mark Hall, Oakland Parks & Recreation; and Bhret Skipper, Berkeley City College Green Club.

For more episodes of The Black Hour, listen to

Peralta Colleges Students approve Proposition A

Students overwhelmingly approved Peralta's Proposition A: EasyPass in the April 28-29 student elections.

Of the 972 ballots currently counted, 88 percent voted YES on Proposition A: EasyPass, according to district officials. There are nearly 150 provisional ballots at Laney College that have yet to be counted.

Read complete story on the Laney Tower.

African Liberation Day

"Africa Must Unite!"
Kwame Nkrumah

The History of African Liberation Day
African Liberation Day (ALD) started on April 15th, 1958 in Accra, Ghana as Africa Freedom Day during the first Conference of Independent African States. The name and date was changed respectively to African
Liberation Day and May 25th in Addis Ababa during the convening
of the first Organization of African Unity (OAU) session in 1963.

Although the OAU immediately proved to be ineffective as the tool for
liberation that revolutionary founders like Kwame Nkrumah intended,
since 1963, ALD has continued to be commemorated annually throughout
the African world as a rallying point to organize and unite the African
masses for justice and liberation.

Why is ALD Important Today?
Despite the elections of the first African female president in Liberia, the first African president in the U.S., a developing high profile of African people in worldwide media, and continued political rhetoric that things are improving, the masses of African people still face systematized class, national (race), and gender oppression and exploitation.

Whether in South Africa, France, Australia, or the U.S., Africans still get shot down by police as standard practice. Now more than ever it is clear that Pan-Africanism; the total liberation and unification of Africa under scientific socialism, is the necessary antidote to the suffering that continues to afflict African existence wherever we live.

ALD continues to serve as a beacon to bring together all Africans, regardless of geographical birth/location, language, education level, or circumstances. The message from ALD is clear; the reason Africans suffer is because Africa is still not free.

So wherever you live, whatever religion you practice, whatever language you prefer, if you are African and care about the suffering of your people, ALD is the perfect launching pad for you to focus on making Pan-Africanism a reality for Africa and all of her scattered and suffering children.

For more information about ALD visit:

All African People's Revolutionary Party

African Socialists International

Laney College's 'The Ants and the Grasshopper' Photos, Audio and Trailer

Did you check out Fusion Theater's recent production "The Ants and the Grasshoppers at Laney College?

Check out the You Tube Trailer for the forthcoming DVD.

You can also listen to complete audio from the Wednesday, April 22, show.

Photos from Laney College's 'The Ants and the Grasshoppers' Or check out photos by Yokovision.

Learn more about Laney College's Fusion Theater

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