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.

Free Mumia Summit held at Oakland's Laney College

On December 11, an anti-death penalty summit was held at Laney College in Oakland. The program focused on Mumia Abu Jamal, the recently executed Troy Davis, Stanley "Tookie" Williams, and current inmate Kevin Cooper.

Ramona Africa of the MOVE organization speaks out for freedom for her friend Mumia Abu Jamal.

Abu Jamal has been on death row for 30 years for the shooting of a Philadelphia police officer that activists say he did not commit. It was recently reported that the District Attorney would no longer seek death penalty in Abu Jamal's case. Africa called for Abu Jamal's freedom.

Barbara Becnel speaks
Barbara Becnel speaks about her friend "Tookie" Williams.

Barbara Becnel, president of the Stanley "Tookie" Williams Legacy Network shared how he wished to use his life example to save other children from violence. Williams was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

The Stanley Tookie Williams Summit was previously held at Merritt College from 2007-2010. The program moved to Laney College this year. Speakers included prison abolitionist Angela Davis; Ramona Africa of MOVE organization, and fighter for Abu Jamal; William's friend Barbara Becnel; Crystal Baybee of Committee to Free Kevin Cooper; rapper Boots Riley; and more.

Free Mumia at Laney College video by Peralta TV

Photos by Reginald James for

Occupy Oakland plans West Coast Port Shutdown

On Monday December 12, Occupy Oakland is joining with the anti-Wall Street Movements along the entire U.S. West Coast to shut down the ports.

During the November 2 General Strike, Occupy Oakland had tens of thousands in the streets, including thousands blockading the Port of Oakland.

"The ports play a pivotal role in the flow and growth of capital for the 1% in this country and internationally. For that reason alone it is the ideal place to disrupt their profit machine," according to the West Coast Port Shutdown website.

Organizers point out that workers have long been attacked at the ports: the 1934 San Francisco General Strike lead to police violence against dock workers, the 1946 General Strike in Oakland had been the nation's last general strike; and in 2003, protesters at the Port of Oakland protesting the War in Iraq were also violently attacked, leaning to Oakland Police changing their policies on crowd control.

Occupy Oakland is a local site that began October 10 following the September 2011 Occupy Wall Street Movement. For Occupy Oakland stories, visit or Further updates also available at and on Twitter.

Fashion, poetry, dance at UC Berkeley "Showcase"


The African Arts Society event, "The Showcase," took place November 20. The event featured fashion, poetry, dance and musical stylings of UC Berkeley students.






Photos by Reginald James.

Occupy - 99% vs. the 1% Animation

"Who is the '99'?" "We are the 99!"

So goes the rallying cry at Occupy Wall Street demonstrations throughout the nation. But what do those numbers really mean? The UK Guardian explores the data about wealth inequality and concentration and the United States.

The real questions may be: What does it mean that the rich get richer? And what will it take to change this system?

Police teargas Occupy Oakland protesters

Hundreds of protesters who took to the streets to protest Tuesday's pre-dawn raid of the downtown Occupy Oakland encampment were met with tear gas and flash bangs from police.

The protest began at a 4 p.m. at the Main Library near Lake Merritt. Protesters marched in the street down 12th Street to Broadway. Protesters then made their way to 9th Street and turned into Old Oakland. At the intersection of 9th and Washington, police attempted to stop protesters from proceeding towards the police station or the jail where occupiers who arrested during the morning's raid were held.

A conflict soon ensued where police jabbed batons at protesters who were yelling obscenities at police. Using a banner to push police back, a few officers charged the group grabbing two protesters. While attempting to handcuff the two men with zipties, police who surrounded the arresting officers were hit with bottles or vinegar and yellow, red and aquamarine paintballs. The conflict soon escalated as police threw flashbangs into the crowd. Protesters regrouped and marched up Broadway back towards 14th Street in an attempt to retake the plaza.

Protesters began removing barricades across from Frank Ogawa Plaza, renamed "Oscar Grant Plaza" by protesters. An Oakland Police Sargeant gave an order to disperse for an "unlawful assembly" warning protesters to leave or face arrest. Meanwhile, police put on gas masks. Dozens sat down at the intersection seemingly prepared to take an arrest, but were convinced by others to march on.

The group proceeded north on Broadway and merged onto Telegraph. The group continued up Telegraph and turning back towards Broadway passing Youth Radio. The group heading up Franklin Street to the intersection of Thomas L. Berkeley Way where the crowd rallied at an intersection surrounded by banks: California Savings and Trust, Chase, Union Bank and Wells Fargo. Protesters continued East on Berkeley Way to Snow Park, a second Occupy Oakland site that was an extension of Oscar Grant Plaza that was also raided.

The group headed back to Broadway and marched towards the plaza. There, protesters were met with another order to disperse. This time, police fired tear gas into the crowd causing protesters to flee east on 14th Street. A woman in a wheelchair was unable to leave from near the barricade until a group of men went back to help push her chair. All coughed and gagged as they attempted to cover their faces with rags and their sleeves.

Protesters walked to Alice Street, back towards Snow Park, turning west on 19th Street. The group headed past the Fox Theater, the Uptown Park, to San Pablo. Marching back towards Oscar Grant Plaza the group debated which direction to go; east on 17th, continue down San Pablo to the Plaza (and police) or down Clay Street.

At this point, Mandingo Hayes–a man accused of being a police informant during the Oscar Grant movement–emerged, attempting to lead protesters down San Pablo towards police saying, "I don't care if its police there." The crowd went down 17th Street.

The group turned back onto Telegraph and headed back towards the plaza. There, a conflict ensued between a small group of protesters throwing items at police. Police responded with a flash bang and one officer unloading a small paintball-looking weapon. Protesters gathered at the intersection chanting "Let's Go Oakland!"

Another dispersal order was given repeatedly. Eventually, a group of protesters headed east on 14th Street to Franklin. A small fire was started near Golden Lotus restaurant, which had since closed, but was extinguished by a small group of protesters. Another round of tear gas was shot towards protesters, including one round that was shot all the way to the middle of the intersection of 14th and Franklin that nearly hit a woman. Protesters continued in the streets with some heading up Harrison and others north on Webster Street. The smell of tear gas could be smelled as far as Disco Volante, which allowed some teary-eyed, coughing protesters to come inside and use its restroom (and hear some jazz).

Oakland Police plan to have a press conference this morning but have not yet announced the time.

Protesters vowed to reconvene every day at 14th and Broadway at 6 p.m. until they have retaken Oscar Grant Plaza.

Children enjoy face painting, storytelling at Oakland fair

Sixth annual Ready to Learn Fun Fair held at Peralta Elementary School

Painting faces

Books, Face painting, Storytelling and Robotics. These are a few of the activities at the 6th Annual Ready to Learn Fun Fair held on October 1 at Peralta Elementary School in North Oakland.

Clifford the Big Red Dog was a crowd favorite.

Clifford the Big Red Dog

Buki the Clown returned with a new friend this year: Oliver the Clown. The two clowns did face painting for children (and some adults too). There was also a story time that featured a spirited reading of "Green Eggs and Ham" and a puppet show.

Playwell Teknologies featured a lego building booth to encourage children's interest in engineering and robotics.

Good News in Oakland, the online TV show focusing only on the good news taking place in Oakland was on hand too.

Other vendors included the YMCA, Oakland Public Library, Alameda County Children Support Services and more. The event, sponsored by the Office of Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson seeks to provide children and families with educational and health resources that will support child development.

This year, Peralta Elementary received a National Blue Ribbon School Award, only one of two in Alameda County to receive the award. The school was noted for its efforts at reducing the educational achievement gap.

Spining the Wheel

Photos, story by Reginald James. Originally posted at

Palestinian Children's Art Protest

Protest Against Censorship of Palestinian Children's Art by MOCHA

Dozens of people picket the Oakland Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA).

Two weeks after the Middle Eastern Childrens' Alliance for Peace (MECA) announced that Zionist groups had pressured the Oakland Museum of Children's Art (MOChA) to cancel its planned exhibit of Palestinian children's artwork, dozens came out to protest censorship on Friday, September 23.

Children came out to protest censorship of their Palestinian peers' artwork.

The art was made by children depicting the 2008-09 Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip. Members of the museum board claimed that the graphic depictions of violence was not "appropriate."

Hilman Sorey, chair of the MOCHA told the San Francisco Chronicle, "Our aim, as with all exhibits, is to foster insight and understanding. However, upon further review and engagement with the community, it became clear that this exhibit was not appropriate for an open gallery accessible by all children."

Yet the museum previously showcased similar content. "In 2007, it exhibited paintings made during World War II by American children in the Kaiser shipyard child care center. The art featured images of Hitler, burning airplanes, sinking battleships, empty houses and a sad girl next to a Star of David," and "In 2004, art by Iraqi children hung on the museum's walls. The pictures, made shortly after the U.S. invasion, included a picture of a helicopter shooting into a field of flowers," the Chronicle reported.

Another protest was held on Saturday, September 24, in which MECA revealed that they secured another venue around the corner for the art exhibit.

Photo: Dave Id/

Your browser is not able to display this multimedia content.

Photos by Reginald James. Video by Dave Id of This story was originally posted to

Thousands attend Black College Fair at Laney College

Laney College hosts Black Recruitment Fair

HBCU Fair 2

Hundreds of Bay Area students attended the third annual Black College Recruitment at Laney College on September 14. Many were accepted “on-the-spot” by the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) present.

“The response of the Bay Area was tremendous and the community came out in record numbers,” said Dr. Alan Rowe, CEO of the United College Action Network (U-Can). “The recruiters were happy in the way they were received and the number of students accepted tonight was about 700.”

Many students brought their transcripts, SAT and ACT scores along. That helped the recruiters determine their eligibility for admissions and scholarships.

Tuskeegee Recruiting

Tashauna Burnette and Kaley Bragg, seniors at American High School in Fremont, were both accepted into ten colleges, including their favorite: Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas.

“It’s amazing. That’s where we want to go. It’s our dream to go to college and be roommates,” Bragg said. The young women had previously visited the college in April as a part of the Young Scholars Program. Burnette is interested in studying Sociology while Bragg is interested in Zoology. The young women came to the event prepared with their transcripts and SAT scores. They even had their own business cards.

RecruitingDozens of recruiters from HBCU’s pitched their institutions to students and their families to see what would be the best fit.

“Every school they apply to may not be the best place for them,” Philander Smith recruiter Gregory Douthard said. “We want to get them the experience on campus, with college visits.”

Many parents and family members came along to assist their children and younger siblings with applications.

Claudine Shine, mother of Oakland School for the Arts senior Jalen Preston, also credited her son’s involvement in the Young Scholar’s Program as helping to prepare him for college. Her objective Wednesday night was to find the best, affordable college for her son.

“Our goal is to apply for an HBCU and receive a President scholarship that will pay for all of the tuition or at least half,” Shine said.

Brittney Robinson of Oakland was heading to her class when she stumbled upon the event. She was later accepted into two colleges: Morgan State and Grambling State University.

“I was excited … inside,” Robinson said of not wanting to break her professional cool by screaming. “I didn’t know this was even going on. I kind of ran into it and took advantage.”

Over 1,800 students and their families attended the event, according to Laney College Dean of Student Services Newin Orante, who added that, “There’s more work to do after the event.”

“It went really well. We’re intent on seeing what the registration numbers are and find out how many of our OUSD and Laney College students came,” Orante said, since many OUSD students come through Laney.

Encinal students

“Whether our youth make it to these colleges or not, the primary goal is to show them there are options and opportunities,” Orante said.

With no Black Colleges west of the Mississippi–besides the Charles Drew Medical School in Los Angeles–Shine said she’s not worried about her son leaving home. “I think that’ll help him grow. Sometimes as African Americans, we keep them in the nest too long,” she said.

Shine added, “We need to do like the birds and push them out the nest and let them fly.”

And with tuition for higher education becoming less affordable for many Black students, the Historically Black Colleges and University are another option, Rowe said.

As for getting into college, two young scholars, Burnette and Braggs, have advice for their peers:

“Stay on top of everything. You have to work hard,” Burnette said.

Kaley said a high school counselor tried to discourage her when she was a high school freshman, doubting that she could even go to college.

“Don’t let anyone get in the way of your dreams,” Kaley said.

For more information about U-CAN, visit

UC Berkeley Yard Show

UC Berkeley Yard Show


Oakland Fam Bam BBQ


The Oakland Fam Bam Labor Day Get Down was really like a family reunion. The Labor Day event had the spirit of Oakland's Carijama, a defunct festival that took place at Mosswood park every May up until 2004. There was even bicycle parking by Red, Bike and Green.

There was a jumper for the children (even though it was leaning like some grown folks were inside), food, dancing and live art.

Oakland artists Refa1 and Khufy were painting "Somalia" and "Unapologetically Black."

Artist and educator Karen Senefru gathers dirt to mix with sage that will be put inside a satchel for an upcoming art exhibit.

SLIDESHOW: Oakland Fam Bab Labor Day Get Down Photos

People danced to everything from Michael Jackson to Too $hort. And after the Electric Slide, lil' brotha Essau set the dance circle off.

Essau Bilal dances before his many admirers.

After folks danced to the sounds of the DJ D-Sharp and Aebldee, among others, the drums took center stage. Folks went to go watch "The Wiz" in the amphitheatre.

Jazmine Vassar leads the Samba impromptu ensemble at Mosswood Park.

Mosswood was transformed into the Malonga Center, as the sounds of samba vibrated to the top of the trees, into the dusk sky.

The video below created by Sasha Kelly of C-Proof features footage from the event and an interview with the event organizer, Travis Watts, of I-Am Oakland.

Photos, story by Reginald James. These photos were originally posted on The Daily Regiment.

Peabo Wellington, college student, remembered

Jepeabo WellingtonCollege of Alameda student Jepeabo Wellington was murdered on August 24. He was 24 years old.

The Oakland native was coming from a peace vigil in West Oakland when he was apparently approached by men asking where he was from. When he replied, "East Oakland," he was gunned down.

A vigil was held on August 25 for Peabo at the College of Alameda, where he was a student. Friends and classmates shared stories about Peabo, who was quick with a smile and a kind word, and enjoyed laughing with others.

Best friend remembers

Peabo worked in the EOPS–Extended Opportunities, Programs and Services–offices and previously worked in the campus bookstore. Peabo was previously involved in the Alameda County Independent Living Skills Program (ILSP) and his worked once landed him on the front page of the Oakland Post newspaper.

A large "Stop the Violence" banner near candles was visible in the campus quad. Blue and white balloons were released in his memory after the noontime vigil.

Releasing balloons

Peabo planned to transfer to Howard University in Washington, D.C. and had been talking to college recruiters since attending the Black College Fair at Laney College in 2010.

He was also an expecting father, possibly twins, according to friends.

Ten days before his untimely death, Peabo posted this Facebook status, "Its almost time to go back to school one more semester and its graduation time 2012." The post continues, "the world wont end for me but it will definitely begin ~YOUNG LIFE~."

RIP "Bo."

"Sweet Tooth" by Khari - Music Monday

This week's Music Monday is from Oakland-based poet and artist Khari Toure. The song is called, "Sweet Tooth."

Chauncey Bailey murder trial begins, four Blacks removed from jury

By Reginald James
Black Chauncey Bailey Project

A jury was selected Monday morning in the murder trial of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey.

Former leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery, Yusef Bey IV, and Antoine Mackey are standing trial for Bailey's murder. Bey alleged ordered the killing, while Mackey allegedly drove the getaway vehicle.

A former bakery worker DeVaugndre Broussard confessed to the shooting after an Oakland Police raid the day after Bailey's assassination. He later recanted, only to confess again and testify before a grand jury. He is expected to testify as a part of a plea deal.

Of over 100 potential jurors, there were seven women and five men selected for the jury, including two older African Americans. Five alternates were chosen too, including one younger Black man and an older Black woman.

  • Over 100 potential jurists
  • Jury selected Monday, March 21 in Chauncey
  • Seven (7) women
  • Five (5) men
  • Four African Americans removed
  • Judge denies motion challenging removal of Black jurors
Alameda County prosecutor Melissa Krum removed four African American potential jurors. Lawyers for the defendants, Yusef Bey IV and Antoine Mackey, challenged their removal. Krum argued that the African Americans were not removed from the jury pool due to race, but for other reasons.

One woman was "extremely religious" while another had a son who felt her son was "treated unjustly" by the criminal justice system. One man was formerly employed by "Spectator" magazine, and having someone on the jury who worked for a "counter culture" publication was "not in the interest of the people," Krum said. The man also had a positive attitude towards Black Muslims, and Black Muslim organizations.

The last juror dismissed, a young Black man, was dismissed before he could even be seated. Krum said he was removed because he of his "cynicism" and "mistrust" of the criminal justice system. Krum also said she did not believe that the young man, who lived in the community where Your Black Muslim Bakery operated and had patronized the establishment, had not heard about the murder trial.

Judge Thomas Reardon denied the motion. Opening statements in the murder trial may begin this afternoon.

"Lovelle Mixon" by Sleepy-D - Music Monday

Two years ago, young, Black Oakland resident Lovelle Mixon got into a shootout with Oakland Police that ended in the death of four Oakland Police officers, including two SWAT members, before Mixon was murdered himself.

This week's Music Monday features Oakland artists Sleepy-D and G-Wett with a dedication to the "Knock Down King," entitled, "Lovelle Mixon."

The shooting got national attention, a state's funeral for the officers (and four City Council room's named after them), and the demonization of Mixon, his family, friends, and supporters. Is Lovelle Mixon a murderer or a martyr?

Regardless, many young Black men in Oakland, with the murder of Oscar Grant fresh on their minds, victimized by generations of police terrorism, have saluted Mixon's resistance.

Omali Yeshitela to speak in Oakland at Humanist Hall

Omali Yeshitela, leader of the Uhuru movement, returns to Oakland to promote his latest book, "One People! One Party! One Destiny!" He speaks at the Humanist Hall on Tuesday, March 22.

Chairman Yeshitela is a veteran of the 1960s Black Power Movement, author, political theorist and a lifelong activist. He currently Chairs the African Socialist International and the Black is Back Coalition.

His newest book "reveals the causes behind the crisis in the world today and shows the way forward for African people and our allies." As the Chairman of the African Socialist International, Yeshitela is on the forefront of the demand for one united Africa, following in the footsteps of Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X before him.

Chairman Yeshitela was last in Oakland speaking on the one-year anniversary of the shootout between Oakland Police and 26 year old resident Lovelle Mixon. Many Hip-Hop fans will remember him from the intro song, "Wolves" on dead prez's "Let's Get Free."

After speaking on Monday at Modern Times Bookstore in San Francisco, he will speak at the Humanist Hall, 390 27th Street (between Broadway and Telegraph) on Tuesday, March 22 at 7 p.m.

"Throw the Rope" by WolfHawkJaguar - Music Monday

Oakland-based activist, actor, writer and filmmaker Adimu Madyum's new song, "Throw the Rope" is this week's Music Monday. The video, under his Hairdoo performing name, WolfHawkJaguar invokes the Orishas present in West Oakland.

Madyum recently directed the controverial documentary, "Operation Small Axe." And when he's not documenting the community -- like his recent work through Oakland Voices -- you will likely catch him onstage at the Sister Thea Bowman Theater in the Lower Bottoms.

Update: Adimu is raising money for a full-length film, "Hunter Poetry" and "Throw the Rope" is a part of that project. Help him raise money to complete the film via

Transformative Visions – Oakland Arts Event Promoting Peace, Justice and Possibility

"An explosion of love, set to jazz!"

That’s the way one person described this dynamic event. For the fourth year, Oakland-based nonprofit, OneLife Institute, will present Transformative Visions, a multimedia art show and spoken word/jazz concert with a message of peace, justice, and possibility. The event takes place from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 12, 2011, at Studio One Art Center, 365 - 45th St., in Oakland. Admission is free and open to the public.

Scheduled to coincide with the annual observance of A Season for Nonviolence, “Transformative Visions” is intended to both challenge and inspire by offering a spiritually-rooted response to the critical concerns of the present day.

The event uses the arts to address issues like violence, poverty, racism, and the environment, but instead of simply describing the problems, seeks to provide a vision of hope beyond the current conditions.

The concert will feature jazz legends the Richard Howell Quintet, with Destiny the “Harpist from the Hood.” Spoken word artists will perform original works that carry a message of positive social change. This year’s line-up includes Aimee Suzara, Chas Jackson, Tha Ghetto Prophet, Queen Jahneen, Lex, and Richard Moore a.k.a. Paradise. More than 20 Bay Area visual artists will present works affirming values such as dignity, freedom, compassion, interdependence, peacemaking, justice, and healing. The art exhibit will be on display through March 26th.

“Transformative Visions centers on the power of the arts to heal, activate, and build community,” says Rev. Liza Rankow, founder and director of OneLife Institute. “In these times of local and global violence and upheaval, economic crisis, and social division, it’s important to come together and affirm that each of us carries a creative vision. Within each of us is the power to transform ourselves and our world.”

Image: "The Shaman's Heart" by Abba Yahudah (c) 2008. For more information, visit the One Life Institute.

"Gang Injunction" Brwn Bflo - Music Monday

This week's Music Monday track, "Gang Injunction" comes from Oakland Hip-Hop group, The Brown Buffalo Project.

A classic protest song from the New American mixtape, hosted by journalist and radio host Davey D, the artists flip Akon's "Locked Up." A wise choice as jail bars close throughout the composition, emphasizing that gang injunctions are a tool of the prison industrial complex and that many activists continue to oppose gang injunctions and racial profiling in Oakland.

Special shout out to Brwn Bflo for coming out in 2007 for Black and Brown Get Down at Eastside Arts Alliance in East Oakland.

The Art of Living Black Exhibit

More info:
The Art of Living Black

The Art of Living Black at Mills College
Being Black is an art. On Feb. 5, the Richmond Art Center celebrated 15 years of The Art of Living Black exhibit.

The only annual show in the Bay Area to exhibit artists of African descent, TAOLB features regional artists and works in ceramics, crafts, fine arts, paintings, photography, sculpture and textile arts.

the Campanil reports, "This year artists and founders of The Art of Living Black, Rae Louise Hayward and Jan Hart Schuyers were honored. In 1997, Rae Louise Hayward and Jan Hart Schuyers founded The Art of Living Black. Sadly, these two passionate leaders passed away -- Hart Schuyers in 1998 and Hayward in 2008."

There was also a satellite show at Mills College on February 26 and 27.

Photo: Jan Hart-Schuyers In her Image,Richmond Art Center. Video: The Campanil

Bay Area students prepare for protests to defend higher education

Laney College students march to downtown Oakland

Nearly one year ago, students from throughout the country held sit-ins, protests and occupations as a part of the March 4, 2010 Day of Action to Defend Public Education.

On Wednesday, March 2, Bay Area students will again demonstrate their opposition to fee increases and budget cuts.

In San Francisco, students at SF State and City College plan to rally at Malcolm X plaza from 11-noon, followed by a picket at 12 on 19th street and a march to City College's Ocean Street campus. City College, which will have a Teach-In from 10am-2pm on March 1, will have a 2pm rally. The Mission campus of City College will rally at noon.

In the East Bay, students in the Peralta Community College District are convening at Laney College at noon for a rally. Laney College student body president Dawna Williams said, "It's time for students to wise up and rise up."

"This event is not about shouting at buildings and placing blame but about being in the know," said student body vice-president Brian Nelson.

After the noontime rally, students plan to march over to the Peralta District's offices. On October 7, 2010, after a Laney rally, about three dozen students spontaneously marched over to the District offices and briefly occupied the Chancellor's office, demanding to see trustees. Some Peralta College students are planning to march to UC Berkeley afterwards.

Cal students plan on having a noontime potluck, followed by a mass rally at 5pm at Memorial Glade at UC Berkeley. There are plans for a tent city and organizers said, "We're staying until our demands are met!" There have been mass arrests are UC Berkeley in recent years after the occupation of Wheeler Hall and of the UC Chancellor's office -- both incidents drastically exaggerated by mainstream media.

Students protest, shut down Oakland freeway for March 4 'Day of Action'

While there was a mass walkout -- not to mention the over 160 students arrested after walking onto an Oakland freeway while protesting -- on March 4, this year's rally does not have as much anticipation as last year. Some organizers believe that because there is a new Governor--Democrat Jerry Brown replaced the "Terminator," Arnold Schwarzenegger--more "moderate" students are not active.

"Jerry Brown is planning draconian budget cuts to education in California to resolve the state's budget crisis, writes "We have a different solution: Chop from the Top, and Tax the Rich!"

Others hope that students will be emboldened by recent protests in Tunisia, Egypt and Wisconsin, and demonstrate in solidarity with labor.

Jasiri X - "American Workers vs. Multi-Billionaires" - Music Monday

This Week with Jasiri X, after creating an Egyptian solidarity track, "We All Shall be Free" with M-1 from dead prez, Jasiri reports live from Wisconsin where workers are fighting corporate stooges.

The track, "American Workers Vs. Multi-Billionaires" is needed when banks have been bailed out while workers are asked to take pay cuts and increased health and retirement costs.

"Our latest video "American Workers Vs Multi-Billionaires" was filmed on location in Madison, Wisconsin, where thousands of hard working Americans came together in unity to fight back against a Governor bought and paid for by Billionaires to break up Unions and deny workers collective bargaining and a living wage," according to OneHood.

"American Workers Vs Multi-Billionaires" was produced by Cynik Lethal and directed by Paradise Gray.

Black Equality (Still) We Have a Long Way to Go

This op-ed was published in the Daily Californian, the student newspaper at UC Berkeley last February.

By Stephan Moutouth
Special to

When I think of Black History Month, I think of celebrating the accomplishments of the African American people that preceded us in history. We celebrate the progress we have made as a result of the people who fought and died for change. We saw that progress come together on Nov. 4, 2008 with the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America. However, history does not stop with the Obama's election.

Yes, we have made great progress since slavery. Yes, we have come a long way since the segregated public areas. But we still have a lot of work to do and we still have a long way to go. Civil rights are still a struggle for many people of different races, genders, classes and sexual orientation to this day.

Many people like to say that we live in post-racial society, citing the election of President Obama as proof. But we are not in a post-racial society when we have students at UCSD making a mockery of so-called black behavior and culture.

For those of you who are not aware of what happened at UCSD, some members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity on that campus planned a party called the "Compton Cookout" in which the invitation encouraged everyone to act like black people which, in their eyes, became synonymous with being "ghetto," wearing clothing like jerseys, Baby Phat and White Tees XXXL, starting fights and curse, and making loud noises and grunts.

The invitation also stated that they would be serving 40's (40 oz. beer bottles), Kool-Aid, watermelon and chicken as if this was an accurate characterization of the things all black people eat.

They went further into disrespect by stating that "ghetto chicks" have short, nappy hair and because they have a "limited vocabulary" they make up for it by forming new words or "cursing persistently." This mockery was said to be in honor of Black History Month. The behavior attributed to black people in this invitation is not the way all black people behave. And the way someone speaks, looks or eats should not be viewed as anything negative or "ghetto."

The biggest problem is not that the planners are members of a historically white fraternity, but rather the way they have portrayed the behavior of black people while silently implicating people of color everywhere as "the negative other." And the fact that the University of California has not taken any serious action in this matter is mind boggling. Many people-black, white, Hispanic and people of all races, genders, classes and sexual orientation-have expressed outrage towards this incident.

The university must take action in order to make a statement that everyone deserves a space where they can receive a quality education without feeling unsafe or threatened by hate. Something needs to be done to protect students from ALL kinds of hate: racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.

I will not stand for this and I refuse to allow this unacceptable incident to pass. Black communities across the state are mobilizing in protest of such acts of clear disrespect, discrimination and disgrace. We will not allow people misrepresent and desecrate black culture and accomplishments in the name of Black History Month.

Some do not believe it is a big deal. My question to them is when is enough enough? I am tired of black people being depicted as ghetto and low class, while despite being shut out of jobs and education, still managing to earn great accomplishments. I am tired of black people being called ignorant and only good for starting fights and making trouble. I am tired of our black culture being degraded. I am tired of black people being disrespected and dehumanized. And I am tired of the underrepresentation of black students on this campus.

We cannot just let this pass. I understand that we cannot let these things breaks us, however that does not mean we have to stay silent about it. By tolerating this type of behavior, we are encouraging it.

One thing that I have learned from Black History Month over the years is that we as a people never quit no matter how hard things get.

Did Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quit after every time he was thrown in jail? Did Nelson Mandela quit when he was arrested for his involvement in the anti-apartheid protests in South Africa and spent 29 years in prison? We need to stand in solidarity condemning the actions by the members of Pi Kappa Alpha at UCSD and demand that further action be taken.

This is not about revenge or retribution. This is about standing up for what we believe in and demanding the respect that every person in this world deserves.

Below is a link to a petition in protest of the UCSD's "Compton Cookout." To show your support, please sign the petition.

Stefan Moutouth is a UC Berkeley Political Science major, and currently serves as a CalSERVE Senator on ASUC, the Associated Students of the University of California, at Berkeley (CAL).

'Dig Deep' features dance, storytelling, film at EastSide Arts

The EastSide Arts Alliance is holding, "Dig Deep" on Saturday, February 26 in Oakland.
Dig Deep is a multidisciplinary evening of dance, storytelling, food and film featuring Amara Tabor Smith & Traci Bartlow.

Amara Tabor-Smith presents excerpts of Our Daily Bread; a dance theater piece celebrating food, it's folklore and how it shapes our cultural identity. Traci Bartlow's work in progress, Rich Fertile Soil, is a multi-media theater piece explores connections to family, farming and the entrepreneurial spirit.

The event takes place at p.m. at the EastSide Cultural Center located at 2277 International Blvd in Oakland. For more info, visit

Black College Expo returns to Oakland

The Black College Expo is coming back to Oakland. On Saturday, February 26, colleges and universities will be at the Oakland Marriott from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m..

Students should bring their transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, seminars for students and parents, and could possibly get scholarships and admissions "On the Spot." There will be a Step Show and Dance Competition from 3-5p.m. Admissions is $8 online, or $10 at the door. Visit for more info.

Oakland Museum celebrates sounds of West Africa

On Friday, February 25, the Oakland Museum of California is hosting, "O ZONE: Soundtrack—The Drum." The six-hour event celebrates the "power and resilience of the drum from West Africa to California!"

Performers include: Lagos Roots Afrobeat Ensemble (featuring members of Fela Kuti & the Afrika 70, Sonny Okosuns); master drummer CK Ladzekpo and famed composer Anthony Brown; hambone player Derique McGee, and more. There will also be a presentation by Duane Deterville on California's history of resistance in jazz and the role of jazz in visual art.

The event takes place from 5-11:45 at the Oakland Museum, located on Oak St between 10th and 11th Street across from Laney College.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan hosts Black History Month event

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is hosting a Black History Month celebration on Friday, February 25 at the African American Museum and Library of Oakland featuring emcee and pianist Kev Choice.

The purpose of the event is to attract mentors for Oakland youth, and raise funds for her proposed mentoring program. Quan wants 2,000 Oaklanders to mentor the city's youth.

The event takes place from 6-8 pm at AAMLO, located at 14th St and Jefferson, and is being co-sponsored by 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA) and the First Fridays group. A $15 donation is requested to support the initiative.

Laney College hosts Youth Health Fair

Assembly Member Sandre Swanson is teaming up with his alma mater Laney College to host a Youth Health Fair on Saturday, February 26 from 10a.m.-3p.m.. The event is free.

The Youth Health Fair includes free screenings for obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol and asthma, and free vision and dental examinations. There will also be referrals to local health providers, assistance with obtaining health insurance, free hair cuts and even free food.

Those interested in enrolling in state and county benefit programs should bring proof of citizenship and identification (original birth certificate and CA identification/driver's license).

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Laney College Gym at 900 Fallon St in Oakland.

Malcolm X - "No Sell Out" - Music Monday

The Bay Area celebrates the life of El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, Malcolm X, in many ways. Oakland has the Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival each May. The Peralta Colleges designated Malcolm's birthday as a holiday, while Laney Colleges students and members of Club Knowledge held the Malcolm X Consciousness Conference from 2003-2005, while the Laney Black Student Union recently held the Malcolm X Summit in 2010.

But each of these focus on Malcolm's birthday of May 19. In honor of the day Malcolm X was martyred, February 21, here's a special Music Monday dedicated to Malcolm.

No Sell Out by Keith LeBlanc was a 12" put out in 1983 with the approval of Malcolm's widow, Betty Shabazz. It features quotes from Malcolm over a funky, electro rap beat.

Supervisor Carson Presents 'Family Journeys,' celebrating African American families, Bay Area Black History

Are Blacks leaving the Bay Area? San Francisco's Black population has dropped to 3.9 percent, according to recent Census data.

The Bay Area is a vital aspect of our collective history, yet many youth are not familiar with the story of their ancestors. Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson is organizing a unique Black History Month event on Saturday, February 19 at the Black Repertory Theater in Berkeley.

Family Journeys: The Migration of African Americans to the Bay Area and Intergenerational Dialogue will feature an informative panel discussion where audience members will learn about the Great Migration and the contributions of African Americans to the Bay Area. They will hear the stories of the men and women who arrived to work in the shipyards and stayed to raise families, worship and create a flourishing and diverse community and Bay Area history.

Panelists include: Professor Dr. Oba T'Shaka, former Chair of the Africana Studies Department at San Francisco State University; Pastor Dr. Martha Taylor, Elmhurst Presbyterian Church; and Betty Reid Soskin, Outreach Specialist at Rosie the Riveter WWII/Home Front National Historical Park. The panel will be moderated by Davey D of Hard Knock Radio.

Following the panel, audience members will have the opportunity to participate in an intergenerational breakout session in which youth and elders will listen to each other and absorb knowledge about family histories and African American culture. Youth participants have been invited from the Berkeley High School African American Studies Department, McClymonds High School Culture Keepers, Beyond Emancipation, Berkeley Youth Alternatives, East Oakland Youth Development Center and Leadership Excellence.

In addition to the discussion, the goal is to make certain that African Americans in Alameda County receive the resources and information they need to research and create their own family tree. Audience members will learn about the Regional Family Resource Center and how to research their own ancestry online, with genealogy software, at libraries and with County resources.

The Family Journeys event will kick off a semester-long project that will introduce high school youth to the study of genealogy and get them excited about documenting their own family histories. With the help of experts from the African American Genealogy Society of Northern California, the youth will learn about research tools and resources, interviewing their relatives, and documenting their findings with web and video tools. Each student will produce their own family tree and tell the story of their ancestors through pictures, documents and video. The results will be presented in a final event in May that will showcase the youth projects front and center.

Family Journeys is being sponsored by Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, The Socially Responsible Network, The California NAACP and The Oakland Black Firefighters Association.

Images: Top, Safero; right, Flickr user Omega418.

Jasiri X & M1 of dead prez "We all Shall be Free" - Music Monday

Jasiri X and M1 of dead prez teamed up for timely track in solidarity with the people of North Africa, "We All Shall be Free!"

Rise by Rashondra Angelle - Music Monday

This week's Music Monday is the debut video for Long Beach-based artist, poet, educator and singer Rashondra Angelle. "Rise" has an inspiring, smooth, laid back groove that makes you want to move. Or, better yet, rise!

Check out Rashondra Angelle at Or, you can check out her live performance of Rise at the KRST Center in Los Angeles.

Black clergy, officials strategize to address crime, violence in Oakland, Berkeley, beyond

Black elected officials, religious leaders gather in Oakland with law enforcement officials to strategize on crime reduction.

By Reginald James

Elected officials and clergy gathered in Oakland on Wednesday to strategize and share best-practices on crime prevention. The breakfast meeting, hosted by the Black Elected Officials and Faith Based Leaders of the East Bay and chaired by Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, featured a policy expert and four Bay Area police chiefs.

“We have every one of these programs operating in our community but we need to use all the resources in a systematic and coordinated way."
Junious Williams
Urban Strategies Council
Oakland has many violence prevention programs, including street outreach workers—community members with information about job opportunities, substance abuse services and health resources. There are also vocational training programs, conflict resolution and youth leadership and mentoring programs. Because of a lack of coordinated effort, the overall impact to the community has not been maximized, panelist said.

“We have every one of these programs operating in our community but we need to use all the resources in a systematic and coordinated way,” said Junious Williams of the Urban Strategies Council. He added that there was also a need to bolster efforts to get neighbors and families to know one another. “The lack of social connection in neighborhoods has created a whole culture about snitching that makes it impossible for law enforcement to intervene when violence has occurred.”

Police chiefs agreed, adding that budget cuts have pitted services against each other, making it difficult to decide how to prioritize spending. Despite the need for increased public safety, more community involvement was needed.

“We need to move from locking people up to community engagement,” said Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts. Besides intervention, there’s a need for prevention, he argued. “We have to make a difference in people’s lives before people are in the system,” Batts said.

Other panelists include Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan, San Leandro Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli and BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey.
With reduced budgets and police layoffs, law enforcement said the need for community involvement was greater than ever.
“I tell my people all the time, ‘There is no more help coming. It’s only us’,” said BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey. “But ‘us’ is not just police. When we work together, there [are] so many more of us than them.”
The meeting’s topic struck a deep chord with the group as one of its founding members, Berresford “Berry” Bingham, was found dead Tuesday. Police have not said how Bingham was killed, but are investigating his death as a homicide.

“Many of you knew him as an active member of SEIU, and from founding this organization nine years ago,” Carson said at the beginning of the presentation. “It’s sad that a person who epitomized public service found himself dying in a way he dedicated his life to overturning.”

Despite this most recent tragedy, both panelists and attendees were optimistic about the potential to prevent crime, but said more coordinated, community involvement was needed.

Before the meeting ended, attendees were encouraged to get involved with a number of youth-serving and violence prevention organizations, including The Mentoring Center, Youth Alive, and the Alameda County Public Health Department. Recently, a faith-based group, Soldiers Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) pledged to rally every Saturday between 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at sites where murders occurred in Oakland the week before.

Visit the Facebook page of the Black elected Officials and Faith Based Leaders of the East Bay for more information about the group.

Disclosure: Reginald James is the New Media Specialist for Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson.

Egyptian solidarity demonstration in San Francisco

New revolutionaries at Egypt solidarity protest in San Francisco

On Saturday, January 29, a solidarity demonstration with the Egyptian people was held in San Francisco.

Over 350 people marched up Market St, according to organizers, with nearly 1,000 people rallying in the U.N. Plaza near Civic Center.

For over five days, Egyptians have hit the streets demanding dictator Hosni Mubarak, president of Egypt, resign. The recent unrest in Tunisia sparked what some are calling the new Egyptian Revolution. Mubarak is widely unpopular in Egypt, but maintains power by silencing opposition and use of police forces to crush dissent.

U.N. Plaza

While traveling throughout Egypt (Kemet) in the summer of 2010, many Egyptians expressed their displeasure with Mubarak's rule. While many had hope in U.S. President Barack Obama, many were wary of his continued support for the Egyptian dictator.

Financial Literacy Workshop at Laney College

Laney College Theatre
900 Fallon Street
Oakland, CA 94607
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Welcome and Overview of the CA Educational Systems and Costs
  • “Start saving now”: Overview of Ways to Save for College
  • Financial Resources and Financial Aid Information

Millions of dollars of available financial aid money for college students never makes it.

Assemblymember Sandré R. Swanson is co-hosting a Student Financial Aid Workshop at his alma mater of Laney College on Thursday Jan. 27. The workshop will give students an overview of higher education in California, ways to save for college, and financial resources and financial aid resources.

The program takes place from 6-7 p.m. in the Laney College Theater.

There will also be a Cash for College 2011 the same night at the East Bay Consortium. The workshop will give high school students information about financial aid. The second workshop is from 7-8:30pm at the East Bay Consortium at 314 E. 10th Street.

To RSVP, please call 866-305-9991 or e-mail
For more information, please call (213) 833-6025.

Black clergy, officials to strategize on addressing crime in the East Bay

Local Black elected officials and clergy will meet on Wed. Jan. 26 in Oakland to discuss solutions to crime in the community.

Speakers include: Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts and Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan, as well as other experts who will share their strategies on combating crime and other forward thinking initiatives.

This meeting by the Black Elected Officials and Faith Based Leaders of the East Bay, will be an opportunity for residents to learn how can be active in addressing issues of crime, according to the Office of Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson.

The meeting takes place Wednesday, January 26 at 7:30 a.m. at Geoffrey’s, located at 410 14th St. Breakfast will be provided for all attendees. There is a cost of $5.00 per person for all non-members. RSVP with Aisha Brown via email or by calling (510) 272-6686.

Netta Brielle - Screaming - Music Monday

Using her tremendous music talent to speak out against violence, Bay Area songstress Netta Brielle recently released the video for her song, "Screaming."

"I was determined to shoot this video in my hometown, Berkeley, CA, because in the last few years the crime rate has increased drastically," Brielle said. "With all the negative attention Berkeley and Oakland, CA have been getting in connection to gun violence, I felt it was very necessary for me to bring something positive to my community."

Brielle continues, "Keith Stephens, Zillion Cash, Ronnie Easiley, Marcus Mosely, Maceo Smith, Shandonee Williams, Gary Fergusen, Jr., Ricky 'Greedy' Devers and Khatari Grant are just a few young people who grew up in my neigborhood that have been victims of gun violence. Growing up, violence was always right around my corner until one day it ended up in my backyard."

"I want the youth in my community as well as communities across the world to know that they can follow their dreams, because they do come true (as corny as it may sound.) I want young girls to know "I'm just like you" and I'm going to be that example... "

An example of greatness.

Visit and read more about Netta Brielle.


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