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.

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/

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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.

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