From February 2008

Black Olympians in Oakland


Center Pic: From left to right: Front row – Bob Beamon, Irene Obera, Rosie Bonds; Middle row – Larry Livers, Marilyn King, Cherrie Sherrard, Mel Pender, Billy Gaines; Back row – George Carty, Leon Coleman and John Carlos. Pics at left: Top – Lothario Lotho; Middle – from left to right. Bill Patterson, Gay Plair Cobb, Back row- Ronald McClain, Jay Pimentel, Bottom – Elder Bob Pederson; Pics at right: Top – From left to right – Wil Hardee, Fred Williamson, Tom Guarino; Middle – Mark Cooley, Fred Williamson; Bottom – Hal Perry. Photos by Gene Hazzard and graphics by Petey Atkinson.

More than 350 people came to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’Temple on the Hill in Oakland Saturday night to pay tribute to famous, infamous, and sometimes overlooked sports figures who have distinguished themselves.
The audience was not disappointed as NFL standouts Jimmy Johnson, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson and Chuck Muncie, Olympic hurdler Cherrie Sherrard, University of San Francisco basketball star Hal Perry, track and field standout, George Carty, and sports sociologist Dr. Harry Edwards were inducted into the African American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame at the Church of the Latter-Day Saints. Read more

Carson Says Dial 2-1-1 for Housing, Senior Care, Food or a Job

Operators of the new 2-1-1 telephone service in Alameda County expect a dramatic increase in the use of the service – which enables callers to access multilingual health, housing and human services information 24 hours a day – now that it has expanded to the entire Bay Area.

KeithCarsonmug.jpgMore than 23,300 calls have been received by 2-1-1 in Alameda County since the service was launched in the County in July 2007. And 140,000 calls are expected in Alameda County this year.
Alameda County government leaders, including County Administrator Susan Muranishi and District 5 Supervisor Keith Carson said residents can reach caring, trained specialists who will match their needs with local services – such as job training and placement opportunities, senior services, food and nutrition programs and housing referrals – simply by placing a free 2-1-1 telephone call. Read more

Simon Reaches Out to Community

Since being appointed a Commissioner to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in February 2007, Timothy Alan Simon has thrown himself into his new role
TimothyASimontop.jpg “It is very important to me to reach out to and make connections with the community in order to hear from them as well as spread the word about how the CPUC can help them,” said Commissioner Simon. “As only the third African American appointed to the CPUC, I hope that I can increase diversity of thought and action and bring people of all colors together for the benefit of the state.” Read more

Blues and Black History


By Ronnie Stewart

The “Blues in the Schools” Program which uses local blues musicians to provide instruction on the playing of musical instruments as well to teach the history of the Blues and to students will receive much-needed financial support from The West Coast Blues Hall of Fame and Awards Show held 7:00PM, Saturday, March 29, at the Oakland City Center Marriott Hotel, 1001 Broadway.
The City of Oakland and the West Coast Blues Society will honor blues, jazz and gospel artists for their contributions to the art form called Blues and to celebrate Black History Month. This year’s inductees will cover a very broad array of greats who helped to keep blues alive. Eighteen artists will be inducted into the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame and the Bob Geddins Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to the artist who has most influenced a generation of musicians.
This year’s show will induct Pinetop Perkins, Ray Taliaferro, Fillmore Slim; Lady Bianca; Lil Frances; Joel Dorham, Coke Escovedo, Adolph Jacobs, Freddie Hughes, Ferdinand “Fats” Washington; The Continental Club; The Passions; The Hawkins Family (Edwin, Tramaine, Walter); Nat Dove; Nick Harper; Lee Ashford; Connie Bailey; and Joe Simon. The Bob Geddins Lifetime Achievement Awards presented to Lady Esther of Esther’s Orbit Room and Frosene Phillips.
TICKETS: $30 in advance; $35 at the door – After Party included. or

Faces Around the Bay: Jorban LeBlanc

Jorban-Leblanc.jpgJORBAN LEBLANC is enjoying her first experience at the Exploratorium, the S.F. museum of science, art and human perception. A second grader at Ruby Bridges in Alameda, she especially enjoyed the “sand and hop scotch”. She is shown in the photo working her way through the hop scotch maize.
The Exploratorium was alive with children and families “immersed in a vibrant, sprawling landscape of sights, sounds and curiosities”. There is something for every age and it’s hands on! There is a Tactile Dome where you journey through total darkness, your sense of touch your only guide. You can investigate the common features of all living things; examine the fundamental physical phenomena that makes the world work; listen and learn all about sound; experiment with the way you think, your attention, emotion and judgment; and explore the science and wonder of vision. It is an endless experience of wonder and intrigue for children-even babies- and adults.
Check it out at (415) 563-7337 (main office), (415) 397-5673 (recorded information) or visit

Hunters Point Residents Turn In Signatures To Place Shipyard Development on Ballot

By Wade Woods

Last Friday residents of the Alice Griffith Public Housing Project filed into the Election Office with 12,500 signatures to kick off a campaign to build much needed replacement housing as part of the ballot measure to revitalize Bayview-Hunters Point.
Joining the residents at the signature turn-in event were Mayor Gavin Newsom, District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, Supervisor Bevan Dufty, Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting and other supporter of the ballot measure entitled “Bayview Jobs, Parks and Housing Initiative which will be on June election ballot.
“This is an exciting, hopeful time for the residents of my district,” said Supervisor Maxwell. “New parks, new jobs and many benefits to the existing neighborhood: that’s what the people of Bayview-Hunters Point need and deserve.” Read more

African American Historical & Cultural Society Kicks off Black History Month

CulturalComplex.jpgPhoto and text by Wade Woods.

Last Friday an over flow crowd of African American community residents and Leaders jammed into San Francisco City Hall to commensurate the beginning of Black History Month. The crowd included dignities including Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, Mayor Gavin Newsom, NAACP President Amos Brown, Rev. Arelious Walker, and others. The event was presided over by San Francisco Historical Society President Al Williams.

Community Activist Espanola Jackson Celebrates 75th Birthday

By Wade Woods

Since moving to San Francisco in 1943 Espanola Jackson has been in the fore front of advancement of the cause of African Americans in the City.
Born in Shiro, Texas since coming to San Francisco, she has been a resident of the Western Addition, Chinatown, South of Market and Bayview-Hunters Point communities. Her family was the first to integrate the Oakdale Public Housing Projects in 1954. Espanola is the mother of six children, twenty-two grandchildren, forty-four great grandchildren and one great great grandchild. She attended Geary Elementary school, Girls High School and San Francisco State University.
Espanola-Jackson.jpg Among her accomplishments and struggles in the area of civil rights for African American in San Francisco include: Participation in demonstrations protesting the lack of Black managers and clerks in banks and grocery in the Bayview Hunter point and car salesmen on Auto Row on Van Ness Ave. In response to these demonstrations then Mayor Shelly set up the San Francisco Human Rights Committee. The committee became what is today the Human Rights Commission. After organizing residents for welfare rights in 15 public housing projects became the first California State president of the Welfare Rights Movement. Jackson was responsible for the citywide free lunch program. Read more

Lucy Ellis Johnson Mourned

Lucy-Ellis-Johnson.jpgLucy Ellis Johnson passed away suddenly on February 1, 2008.
Born on October 20, 1926 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, she lived in San Francisco most of her life. She was a member of NationTakers Ministries She was Treasurer of the Children’s Home Society and active with the Booker T. Washington Senior Center. She was also involved with the Booker T. Grandparents group and the Edgewood Children’s Center. She loved to crochet, visit with friends and family, and was a member of numerous religious, social, and humanitarian organizations.
She was a long time member of Four Seasons Concerts and traveled with them often. This photo was taken at a recent Christmas Concert at the W. Hazaiah Williams Cultural Center in Berkeley.
Lucy always had a kind word to say to everyone; her love for people was evident in her comforting words, quick wit, gentle manner, and beautiful smile.
She is survived by her loving husband David, her children Douglas, Claire, Michael, and Patricia, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. The family is requesting donations go to the Children’s Home Society. Service arrangements will be announced.

Faces Around the Bay: Christopher Hicks and Kellyn Fennell

Hicks-Fennell.jpg Photo and text by Barbara Fluhrer.

Christopher Hicks (left), student at University of California, Berkeley and friend Kellyn Fennell (right), student at Berkeley Community College, are seen here looking at a book at Marcus Book Store in Oakland. They were two of 20 students looking at books when we took this photo and owner Richardson explained, “Professor Robert Allen refers students to Marcus and it is always crowded with students when classes start up.”
Both came from Southern California to study in Berkeley. When we inquired about the low ratio of African American students at Cal, Hicks responded, “the African American enrollment is about 10%, but we have created our own bubble and have a strong community group. The African American Studies department is great and the primary source of African American professors……..there are a few others in the Sociology and English Departments.”
Hicks is studying to become a C.P.A., and Fennell intends to go into Marketing/Advertising.

Civil Rights Leaders Press Dean on Delegates

Two civil rights leaders — one a prominent Obama supporter — have written DNC Chairman Howard Dean to press him to resolve the looming conflict over Florida’s and Michigan’s role at the Democratic National Convention.
“We are deeply concerned about the prospect of a Democratic Party convention fight over the seating of delegates elected in the Michigan and Florida primaries,” wrote Mary Frances Berry and Roger Wilkins, making pointed reference to “disenfranchisement of Older Americans, Latinos, and African Americans in Florida during the 2000 election and the subsequent issues of disenfranchisement in Ohio and elsewhere in the 2004 election.” Read more

Foreclosure Prevention Workshop

foreclosure_late.jpgSaturday, February 9, 9:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Free Admission
Faith Presbyterian Church, 430 49th Street at Webster, Oakland.
The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco invites you to learn about the steps you can take to avoid foreclosure proceedings resulting from adjustable rate mortgage resets—hear about your options from housing counselors, government housing agencies, and mortgage lenders.
Continental breakfast will be served.
Call (510) 653-9752 or email for information.

UN’s role in Haiti Challenged at UC Berkeley

By Kevin Pina

On Tuesday the former United Nations Envoy to Haiti, Juan Gabriel Valdes, came to speak at UC Berkeley at the invitation of Harley Shaiken and the Center for Latin American Studies. After his talk, members of the Haiti Action Committee accused him of crimes against humanity.
The United Nations stands accused by residents of one of Haiti’s poorest communities of having committed a massacre of unarmed civilians, not only once but twice. UN forces entered Cite Soleil on July 6, 2005 and December 22, 2006 with guns blazing. More than 50 people were reportedly killed including women and children.

Lillie Cage, 107, Wonder Woman to All

Lillie-CageCollage.jpgLillie Cage with her God-daughter Elizabeth Toliver-Cartwright. Cage shown with her current driver’s license and red car. Photos by Gene Hazzard and Graphic Design by Petey Atkinson

By Shirley Croft and Post Staff

Everyday is an historic day for Lillie Cage, the first Black nurse in Highland Hospital. A conversation with her in her Oakland home is an adventure of turning back the hands of time and at once hearing advice on how to live by the rules for future good health and even how to prevent home foreclosures.
She was 24 when Carter G. Woodson founded Black History observances during February. She was born before the automobile was invented.
“I have not had a cold in 20 years, I’ve never missed a day’s work because of sickness, my health is good and my doctor, Gordon Lake, has said to me that if I keep going the way I’m going and if others were like me, he would be out of business,” said Lillie Cage. Read more

No Future For Black Children Who Cannot Read

By Phillip Jackson

To know the future of Black America in 15 to 20 years, one need only look at the dismal academic performance of 3rd- and 4th- grade Black students today. The 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress Report reveals that only 16% of African-American 4th- grade students in Illinois read at a proficient level or above. Unfortunately, Black students throughout the rest of the country do not fare much better.
As a group, without the ability to read well, no future exists for Black children in America. The real tragedy is that Black American students are no longer just competing against White American students.
They are competing educationally against the best and the brightest students globally. And Black students are failing miserably.
This failure exists after six years of No Child Left Behind, 53 years of Brown versus the Topeka Board of Education, and 142 years of being technically removed from slavery. If Black children cannot read today, they cannot become the Black doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers, bankers, accountants, technologists, business people or educators of tomorrow who will make Black communities successful. If Black children cannot read today, they are really no better off than their forefathers who were slaves. Read more

Faces Around the Bay: Hair Mercy!

CarterCalhoun.jpgPhoto and text by Barbara Fluhrer.

Gwen Carter, left and Tammy Calhoun are pictured working at The Post Newspaper Office. They met at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Richmond and have been friends ever since.
“We hang out and shop together for clothes, shoes and accessories,” says Calhoun. Carter lives in Hercules with her family while working part-time at The Post and majoring in accounting at Merritt College. Calhoun resides in Richmond and plans to attend Contra Costa College; she hopes to be a nurse.
Carter attends the Market Street 7th Day Adventist Church in Oakland “regularly”, and Calhoun goes to Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, “sometimes”, in Oakland.
About the hair? Carter laughs, “I’m just creating”, and Calhoun says, “I wake up in the morning and put my hair in a bun, and this is what you see”. Piercing? Tattoos? Calhoun says she’s afraid of needles, and Carter admits to wanting to do piercing, but “I don’t know what my mom would say. So as long as I’m living at home, I doubt I’ll do it.” Calhoun had the same response! Calhoun still doesn’t have a tattoo, and Carter refused to comment!

The Origins of Black History Month

The story of Black History Month begins with historian Carter G. Woodson. Woodson was passionate about black history. His passion, however, evolved in the most unlikely place. While working at a coal mine when he was twenty, the daily conversation of the black Civil War veterans often focused on interesting historical facts not recorded in history books. Cartergwoodson.jpgWoodson realized that despite the constantly evolving history of the African American experience, documentation was sparse. Read more

Obama and Clinton Locked in Tight Democratic Race

ObamaClinton.jpgDemocratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton surged ahead of Barack Hussein Obama in the delegate count after Super Tuesday as of press time Wednesday. Clinton posted 1,045 delegates while Obama posted 960 delegates. Clinton received 57% of the California delegates while Obama received 42%. Clinton thanked Mayors Gavin Newsom and Ronald V. Dellums for helping her carry California. With both Democratic Presidential aspirants locked in a race for delegates throughout the remaining state contests the unseated delegations of Florida and Michigan loom large.

Plato and the Woman at the Well

By Marvin X

A woman asked Plato why are the youth out of control ? He replied that youth are out of control because adults are out of control and youth observe then emulate their behavior. Even during the revolutionary 60s, the militants, who are the fathers and mothers of today’s youth(some are grandparents) were guilty of contradictions, or saying one thing but doing another. They talked black power but went home to beat their wives and women. They preached discipline but were guilty of drug abuse and abuse of power. Much of our behavior was patriarchal white supremacy actions that debased women, considering them less than human. Of course we learned this behavior from our white supremacy socialization. True enough, there were many good things we learned and achieved during that time, and many sincere and honest people gave their lives for the cause of freedom. But if we had been more sober minded, we would have been able to detect agent provocateurs and snitches. We would have been able to see through the US Government’s counter intelligence program or Cointelpro. With sobriety and discipline, we might have been able to show our children better examples of male/female relations, and perhaps today’s youth would be more respectful of women, elders and peers. Read more

Tom Joyner Foundation Partners with National Education Association

$1.1 Million Goes to HBCUs to Prepare More Minority Teachers for Urban, Rural SchoolsTom Joyner, the nationally syndicated radio personality and philanthropist, today announced a new $1.1 million grant with the National Education Association to increase the number of fully certified teachers in minority and hard-to-staff schools across the country.

The Tom Joyner Foundation-National Education Association Teacher Licensure Scholarship Program will continue on the campuses of four historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs): Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Cheyney, Pa.; Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Ga.; Harris- Stowe State University, St. Louis, Mo.; and Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, N.C. And beginning this year, six new HBCUs will come on board: Alabama A&M University, Normal, Ala.; Howard University, Washington, D.C.; LeMoyne-Owen College, Memphis, Tenn.; Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena, Miss.; Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Va.; and Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas. Read more