From December 2008

Berkeley Clergy Share 2009 Goals

By Dion Evans

While people are making New Year’s resolutions and starting new diets that will last about two weeks – I thought it would be great to know what our local clergy are seeking to accomplish during the 2009 year. Many local clergy were in attendance at Scott’s Restaurant during a Clergy Membership Drive for the Baptist Minister’s Union of Oakland and Vicinity. Here are some of the local pastor’s responses to a question regarding their 2009 church goals.


Rev. Dr. Marvis V. Peoples – LIBERTY HILL BAPTIST CHURCH, Berkeley

“Our goal is to make disciples for Christ. For 2009, we will be taking a good look at our children and youth ministry to ensure effectiveness. Also, we will seek to spread Christ’s mission in our neighborhood in order to enhance all generations within our church.” Read more

The Warriors Win at Home Against the Champs

mailaka.jpgBy Malaika Bobino

OAKLAND, Calif. — The best gift given to the Golden State Warriors came the day after Christmas. Beating the defending champions 99-89 was a bitter sweet victory. Stephen Jackson returned to the line up after missing four games due to a sprained hand was simply spectacular in leading this team to a win after losing seven of their last eight games.

After trailing most of the game by 10 points something happened at the end of the third quarter. The solid defense known by the Celtics did not prevail and the Warriors took advantage in controlling the paint. “I was worried at halftime when I saw we were shooting 56 [percent] and they were shooting 39 and it was a 12-point game,” Rivers said. “I was completely concerned about it. … Once they start making shots, it’s tough to turn them off, and we couldn’t make anything.”

Kelenna Azubuike’s 3-pointer with 7:47 to play cut the Celtics’ lead to 76-74 before Ray Allen hit a floater on the other end. Jackson then scored eight straight points for Golden State. He followed Allen’s bucket with a 3 at 7:03, hit the go-ahead basket with 6:02 to play to make it 79-78, then made another 3 at 5:33. After Eddie House’s 3 pulled Boston to 93-87 with 1:17 left, the Celtics had two misses and Jackson knocked down a pair of free throws with 36.2 seconds to go. Read more

Oakland Clergy Share 2009 Goals

By Dion Evans

While people are making New Year’s resolutions and starting new diets that will last about two weeks – I thought it would be great to know what our local clergy are seeking to accomplish during the 2009 year. Many local clergy were in attendance at Scott’s Restaurant during a Clergy Membership Drive for the Baptist Minister’s Union of Oakland and Vicinity. Here are some of the local pastor’s responses to a question regarding their 2009 church goals.

hl-garnett.jpgPastor HL Garnett – NEW HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH, Oakland

“Our goals are found within our 2009 Emphasis Theme – ‘Taking the Next Step Up in Sharing Jesus.’ Our goal is to involve every one of our youth, young adult, adult, and seniors to live their lives, everyday, reflecting the light of Jesus to all they encounter.”

james-watkins.jpgBishop James E. Watkins – JACK LONDON SQUARE CHAPEL, Oakland

“Our goal for 2009 is to accomplish something completely foreign to most churches – perfect a communications training program for at-risk youth. Our church will seek to use the power of communication (Television, Radio, Film, etc.) to give the youth in the community a second chance to live a first class life.”

timothy-hawkins.jpgPastor Timothy Hawkins – BIBLE FELLOWSHIP MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH, Oakland

“Our theme for 2009 is A NEW LIFE and A NEW PURPOSE. Our goal is to target whole families for the LORD. We have been raising young preachers to assist in our strong teaching focus and family focus.”

lawrence-vanhook.jpgRev. Dr. Lawrence VanHook – COMMUNITY CHURCH FOR CHRIST, Oakland

“One of our natural goals will be to acquire some permanence for our location. Our spiritual goals for 2009 will be to continue in our trainings – FORGIVENESS AS A WAY OF LIFE. Learning biblical forgiveness has challenged our membership and community to forge excellent relationships for the sake of Christ. We will also lay the groundwork for initiating a prison ministry and establishing residential housing.”

billie-dempsey.jpgPastor Billie Dempsey – HIGHER GROUND BIBLE FELLOWSHIP, Oakland

“Our goal for 2009 is to run an effective and efficient administration along with getting our membership to take ownership of their commission and call to evangelism and discipleship.”

vince-collins.jpgPastor Vince Collins – NEW CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, Oakland

“Our goal for 2009 is simple – we want to put families back together. We want to create a bridge for families to be reconstructed for corporate worship and empowering the community. We can do this via the unity we find in Christ.”

gr-pace.jpgPastor G.R. Pace – FIRST TRUTH MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH, Oakland

“Our goal is to equip our saints to be more evangelistic and to enable them to go and share God’s Word with sinners in order to direct the community back to Christ.”                                                                                                                                         .

kd-barnes.jpgRev. Dr. K.D. Barnes – ABYSSINIAN BAPTIST CHURCH, Oakland“Our goal is to reach everyone we can for the LORD Jesus Christ. Our vision is to help these young men who are in Juvenile Hall. We want to be more involved in the penal system to help these young brothers out. As a church, we want to better prepare our children in ministry so they can make better choices.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         .

lester-cannon.jpgRev. Dr. Lester Cannon – CORNERSTONE BAPTIST CHURCH, Oakland

“Our goal for 2009 has been our life ministry goal – to obey and respond positively to the mandate of evangelism and discipleship. It is the foundation of our ministry.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    . thomas-harris-iii.jpg

Pastor Thomas Harris III – PLEASANT GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH, Oakland“Our goal into 2009 will be to the equipping of our leaders and proclaiming the Word of God so we can best assimilate our lifestyle to the Scriptures.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         . sylvester-rutledge-jr.jpgPastor Sylvester Rutledge Jr. – NORTH OAKLAND BAPTIST CHURCH, Oakland“Our goal is to be more involved with Christian Education and Family Relationships. We will, again, concentrate on our involvement with our community and seek reaching some of the people we have broken relationships with. Also, to help families come back together.”

Chicago is America's most segragated city

According to this article in the Chicago Tribune

Chicago, America’s most segregated big city

Racial lines were drawn over the city’s history and remain entrenched by people’s choice, economics

By Azam Ahmed and Darnell Little
Tribune reporters

Tribune photos by Chris Walker

The paths taken by Colin Lampark and Rosalyn Bates help illustrate why Chicago is the most racially segregated big city in America.

Both are young professionals with handsome earning potential. Both moved to the city a few years ago-Lampark, 28, to Lincoln Park; Bates, 31, to Bronzeville. And both chose neighborhoods reflecting their race, a practice common in Chicago.

Their personal stories, and many others, explain why blacks in Chicago are the most isolated racial group in the nation’s 20 largest cities, according to a Tribune analysis of 2008 population estimates. To truly integrate Chicago, 84 percent of the black or white population would need to change neighborhoods, the data show.

The calculations paint a starkly different picture from the ones broadcast across the nation during Barack Obama’s Election Night rally last month, when his hometown looked like one unified, harmonious city.

The fact is, racial patterns that took root in the 1800s are not easy to reverse. Racial steering, discriminatory business practices and prejudice spawned segregation in Chicago, and now personal preferences and economics fuel it.

“Once institutions exist, they tend to persist, and it requires some act of force to get them to change,” said Douglas Massey of Princeton University, an expert on segregation.

For Lampark, who is white, the move last year to Lincoln Park from Minneapolis came because he had friends there. It wasn’t a racially motivated decision, he said. Lampark, an engineer, just doesn’t know anyone on the South Side.

Bates, who is black, settled in Bronzeville for similar reasons.

“It put us closer to friends,” she said.

She, however, may pay more dearly for her decision. Segregated African-American neighborhoods have less access to health care, quality education and employment opportunities than white areas, the research shows. Black homeowners can expect to receive 18 percent less value for their homes, according to one study-a tax the researcher attributed primarily to segregation.

James Hamilton, 50, a deckhand from Woodlawn, can live with that. In his experience, which includes 30 years on the South Side, he doesn’t think that whites would welcome him to their neighborhood.

“It ain’t never been us,” he said. “It’s always been [whites]-just don’t want to be around us.”

To read the rest of the story go to the Chicago Tribune website.

Benediction of a Legend: A Successor is Chosen

By Dion Evans

(Editors note: Last week The Post published the 1st part of this story, detailing the retirement of Allen Temple Pastor J. Alfred Smith)

Allen Temple, one of the world’s greatest and most recognizable churches, has made a major decision.

They have selected a new Senior Pastor to lead their church into the dawning of a new era and had to go no further than the living room of their retiring Senior Leader – Dr. J. Alfred Smith Sr.

dr-j-alfred-smith-jr.jpgOn Sunday, December 14th – after concluding 10 separate Q&A meetings over a one week period with Dr. J. Alfred Smith Jr., Allen Temple was ready to cast their votes for a new Senior Pastor.

Over 1000 members participated in the voting process and Dr. J Alfred Smith Jr. was overwhelmingly declared the new pastor by an approval of 83%. “I am deeply honored. 83% demonstrated some confidence in my ability to lead. I will work not only to become worthy of that confidence but I will work doubly hard to try to win the confidence of the 17% who don’t feel that way at this point. We want to bring the whole church together,” stated Senior Pastor Elect, Dr. J Alfred Smith Jr. Read more

A Look Inside Baraka’s Toilet

marvinxprofile.jpgBy Marvin X

By definition a classic is a work that withstands the test of time, fad, beyond the ephemeral. A classic theme deconstructs one or more of the eternal concerns of humanity, love, hate, life and death, or the problems of life that never seem to get solved even when the solution is quite apparent. The simple solution to hate is love, so simple we must revisit the question and solution from time to time.

Almost forty-five years ago, Amiri Baraka examined the themes of racism and homophobia in his one-act play The Toilet. The set is a high school men’s room, wherein he gathers a group of young men to decipher the meaning of love and hate. Mostly black, the young men appear to be at an urban manhood training rite.

We see a myriad personalities expressing themselves in the rhythm and rhymes of the time-there are no pants sagging, no grills in teeth, but they are there seeking to discover their manhood, racial and sexual identity. Read more

Nauturi Au Naturel

Naturi Naughton:The Notorious Interview

By Kam Williams

Naturi Cora Maria Naughton was born on May 20, 1984 in East Orange, New Jersey where she started singing in the choir at New Hope Baptist Church at just 5 years of age. She turned pro by 14, when she became a member of the girl band 3LW. The group soon signed with Sony/Epic Records and went on a nationwide tour while their debut album, entitled “3LW,” went platinum, selling 1.3 million copies.

Away from the entertainment business, Naturi always remained an honor student, attending Seton Hall University where she majored in Political Science until her career became too demanding. Just before her junior year, she joined the Broadway production of Hairspray as Little Inez. As gifted as gorgeous newcomer may be, she remains humble and grateful to God for her blessings, and praises her parents for supporting her dreams and for raising her with so much love, encouragement, and faith.

Here, Naturi talks about her performance as Lil’ Kim in the much-anticipated motion picture, Notorious, a bio-pic about the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. (a.k.a. Christopher Wallace). In addition, she recently landed a lead role in the re-make of the screen version of Fame, the 1980 musical revolving around students at the New York Academy of Performing Arts. Read more

An activist and her dolls

 Here’s a great article from the L.A Times

Dolls of Hope promotes HIV/AIDS education and discussion

L.A. health activist Cynthia Davis has people make and exchange cloth dolls worldwide, from Compton to Tanzania, to break stigma.

By Ari B. Bloomekatz

Cynthia Davis, one of Los Angeles’ best-known HIV/AIDS activists, has logged 580,000 miles on her Camry station wagon and replaced the engine twice in her decadelong campaign of using dolls to educate young and old about the deadly disease.

Her latest stop was at Westchester High School a few days before Christmas. As usual, Davis brought along her Dolls of Hope: hand-stitched pieces made by AIDS awareness groups around the world.

She used the colorful cloth dolls to help lure students to her information booth. Once she had their attention, Davis went to work.

“Did you know that the rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia in Los Angeles County are increasing fastest among black and Latina women between 15 and 24?” she asked a group of four Latina students. Read more

Ethiopian Immigrant Adjusts to Israel in Coming-of-Age Tale on DVD

Live and Become
(Va, Vis et Deviens)
DVD Review by Kam Williams
9 year-old Schlomo (Sirak Sabahat) ended up in Israel in 1985 as part of Operation Moses, a humanitarian airlift of about 8,000 Ethiopian Jews fleeing religious persecution. The only thing wrong with this picture is that he didn’t deserve to exercise any right of return like his fellow refugees, given that he was actually a Christian whose starving mother had him take the place of a deceased child.

Nonetheless, upon his arrival in Tel Aviv, he is presumed to be a Jewish orphan by the couple who adopt him, Yoram (Roschdy Zem) and Yael Harrari (Yael Abecassis). While hiding the fact that he is neither Jewish nor orphaned, Schlomo does his best to adapt to the culture and customs of his new homeland.

However, he soon finds that even if he were Jewish, most white Israelis seem to have a problem with his skin color, and don’t real consider him one of the Chosen People. This proves particularly challenging when he hits puberty and takes an interest in girls, especially Sarah (Roni Hadar), whose racist father doesn’t want his daughter dating a black kid. Read more

The Fillmore Center Gives Back

By Post Staff

2008 marked the year that the Fillmore Center re-opened its long anticipated renovated plaza, the focus of the plaza was providing a vibrant gathering place for both Fillmore Center residents and all members of the local community.

During warmer weather periods, the plaza will be used as a venue for public outdoor concerts, outdoor movies and various other community events.  The plaza has already become a favorite gathering place for many and has provided a wonderful Christmas gift to the community.

Paul Hyams, Regional Manager for the Fillmore Center, continues to serve as an active board member for the Fillmore Jazz District Community Benefit District (CBD) which is an organization that serves the people of this neighborhood by promoting the district, and providing for the area cleaning and safety. Read more

Local Groups Receive $600,000 in Grants

In response to continuing financial turmoil and increased community need, the East Bay Community Foundation and its donors have made more than $9.1 million in grants since the beginning of the current crisis in mid-September, including almost $600,000 to programs in Alameda and Contra Costa counties that focus on advancing economic opportunity for adults and families and ensuring young children are successful in school.

“Now, more than at any time in recent memory, East Bay residents are struggling to make ends meet,” said Nicole Taylor, the Foundation’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

“The Foundation’s own grants specifically targeted at providing economic opportunity and ensuring success of young children in the education system that leads to economic opportunity are vitally important priorities,” she said. Read more

O’ Town Passions World Tour & CD Project

By Charles Aikens

passions.jpgOld school Oakland singers The O’ Town Passions have been giving into there passion more and more lately, showing up on radio play lists and are preparing to head out on a world tour.  Their new recording, Not The Father, is a neo-soul tune that speaks to having a respectful relationship.

“It makes me feel good to see the Passions are finally getting the national notoriety that they deserve,” said Reynard Thomas, CEO of Prime USA Records“ I’m elated we were a major factor.”

“The new release, distributed by Prime USA, will turn the Passions into the worldwide celebrities  that they’ve always been in the Bay Area,” said Thomas, who added that  “the Passions coined the musical phase “Stop The Violence.” They also have been recognized numerous times as humanitarians and socially conscious group.

Read more

Langella, Jolie, Ledger & Davis Honored By Film Critics

By Kam Williams

melvinvanpeebles.jpgThe African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) has named “The Dark Knight” as the Best Picture of 2008.

Directed and co-written by Christopher Nolan, the Warner Bros. Pictures release captured a majority vote by the organization, which is comprised of African-American media professionals from across the nation.

Frank Langella was selected as Best Actor 2008 for “Frost/Nixon.”  Angelina Jolie earned AAFCA recognition as Best Actress 2008 for “The Changeling.”

“Although our organization gives specific consideration to work by artists of African descent, the performances of Mr. Langella and Ms. Jolie are undeniably transcendent and deserving of our recognition,” remarked AAFCA outgoing President Gil Robertson, who will assume the role of East Coast Vice President in 2009. Read more

Robin Jackson Joins Mo MAGIC

By Kevin Jefferson

robinjackson.jpgRobin Jackson recently joined Mo MAGIC after earning an MBA in 2007 from Mills College.

She earned her BA in economics from UCLA.  Prior to attending graduate school and joining Mo MAGIC, Robin worked for a number of years as a legal librarian for a two Bay Area law firms.

From early on Robin has volunteered with a number of organizations, including the Rosa Parks Rape Crisis Center in Los Angeles and the The Global Fund for Women in San Francisco.

She is currently a volunteer tutor with The Village Project and helps out when needed with The Handful Players here in the Western Addition.  She loves living in the Western Addition and being part of a vibrant, active community.  Read more

Racial Consciousness of Blacks and Asians

According to a new study Asian Americans are less attached to their racial identity than Black Americans.

This finding confirms that minority politics in the United States today is more complex than generally realized and that understanding the increasingly multicultural nature of the U.S. requires perspectives that incorporate, but go beyond, the Black historical experience.

The study which led this finding was conducted by political scientists Jane Junn (Rutgers University) and Natalie Masuoka (Tufts University). It is entitled “Asian American Identity: Shared Racial Status and Political Context,” and appears in the December issue of Perspectives on Politics, a journal of the American Political Science Association (APSA). Read more

OCCUR Urges Faith Leaders To Fight Poverty, Foreclosures

By Post Staff

occur.jpgDuring the toughest economic times in memory, faith based institutions and their non profit collaborators are being told that the impact of their services and programs must extend far beyond the sermons.

At a conference held by OCCUR and The San Francisco Foundation FAITHS program, every speaker echoed an overwhelming sense of urgency regarding the enormity of the faith based challenge.

Currently faith based institutions control 9 to 11% of the real estate in urban America, and are in the best strategic position to directly confront the critical issues that the economic downturn has produced such as hunger, homelessness, high unemployment, increased emergency healthcare, childcare and after school programs. Read more

Dellums Appointed to U.S. Mayors Working Group on Economy

By Post Staff

Mayor Ron Dellums has been appointed to serve on a special United States Conference of Mayors Working Group on the “Main Street Economic Recovery Plan,” which will look at developing and advocating for a national package to create jobs and rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

Dellums is one of 24 mayors who will serve on the working group.

“The negative economic impacts in Washington undoubtedly affect our nation’s urban areas. When the cities of America speak with one voice, with a common goal, our national leaders have no choice other than to take heed,” Dellums said. Read more

The Benediction of a Legend

Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr. Prepares to Retire

pdphotos-d-019.JPGBy Dion Evans,
The Baptist Post

“May the LORD watch between me and thee while we are absent one from another,” are words spoken in many churches across America at the conclusion of their worship service.  The thought is – we will dismiss ourselves from one another today with the expectation of returning to one another’s presence.

However, at Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, CA the benediction of the ministry of Dr. J. Alfred Smith Sr. is coming to its finality.

Many standards regarding Church Policy, Programs, and Purpose have improved in the Bay Area since the arrival of a Kansas preacher, his wife, and their five children.

Dr. Smith Sr. came to the West Coast in “an old beat up Rambler” to work with American Baptist Churches of the West in the Pension Board.  Dr. J. Alfred Smith Sr. – a legendary giant in United States of America among Pastors, People, and Politicians -  is dawning on the benediction of his ministry as Senior Pastor at Allen Temple. Read more

OUSD, youth groups recieve grant to prevent relationship abuse

By Post Staff

barbaramcclungmug.jpgThe Oakland Unified School District – along with the Family Violence Law Center, Youth Alive! and Youth Radio – has received a $1 million grant to prevent relationship abuse among adolescents.

The four-year award will expand  “intimate partner violence” prevention efforts through expanded leadership training and policy work, as well as classroom education, after-school and summer activities at five Oakland schools. The programs are expected to reach 1,600 Oakland students.

“Violence between teens who are currently, or were previously, in a relationship is an underreported issue that requires a significant combination of vision, resources and commitment to address,” said Barbara McClung, the OUSD Integrated Support Services Manager who will administer the grant. Read more

Dellums’ First Two Years

 dellumspress.jpgMayor Ron Dellums discusses his first two years with Paul Cobb, Oakland Post, E. Kelly Rayburn, Oakland Tribune, Chris Heredia, San Francisco Chronicle. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

By Post Staff
Part 1

Mayor Ron Dellums met the press last week to discuss the accomplishments and needs of the city during his first two years.

“Now that we have 837 police officers which is more than ever before, we have the foundation to build a strong public safety program,” said Dellums.

He said the public will start experiencing significant reductions in crime because of his reorganization that gives full authority to the Chief to deploy officers where needed. Read more

Mayor: Don’t Shut Off Utilities

By Post Staff

Mayor Ron Dellums is calling on Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the East Bay Municipal Utility District to place a moratorium of up to 120 days on turning off utilities for foreclosed properties in Oakland.

“We need to ensure that tenants in Oakland have water, light and heat even if their landlords have failed to make utility payments because their property has been foreclosed, “ said Mayor Dellums. Read more

A Post-Obama Kwanzaa

By Michael Eric Dyson

When Dr. Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966, he aimed to knit together black communities tattered by racial injustice and isolated from their African heritage. Karenga turned to West Africa and the language of Swahili to coin the term for a holiday celebration that means “first fruits of the harvest.”

Kwanzaa unfolds over the seven day period from December 26 to January 1 and breathes through seven principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. Though planted in Black Nationalist soil, Kwanzaa eventually flowered in black bourgeois America and has been globally recognized.

A new documentary film, “Black Candle,” made by M.K. Asante and narrated by Maya Angelou, traces Kwanzaa’s origins in the black power movement to its flourishing as a holiday embraced by 40 million people worldwide. Read more

Eartha Kitt, "Santa's Baby", succumbs to cancer

By Conway Jones

Diva, legend and international celebrity Eartha Kitt has died at age 81.

With her curvaceous frame and unabashed vocal come-ons, she was among the first widely known African-American sex symbols. She was proclaimed as “the most exciting woman alive” by Orson Welles in the early ’50s.

Kitt was the illegitimate child of a black Cherokee sharecropper mother and a white man.  She worked in cotton fields and lived with a black family. She was sent to live in Harlem with an aunt at age 8.

By her early teenage years she was working in a factory and sleeping in subways and on the roofs of unlocked buildings. Read more

Dellums Expands Bailey Probe

By Post Staff

Mayor Ron Dellums has called for an expanded, in-depth investigation into the Police Department’s handling of the investigation of Chauncey Bailey’s assassination.

Dellums said “I’ve asked the attorney general to engage with us in a parallel investigation going forward. I asked Judge Henry Ramsey to act as a master in that process, he has agreed to that.”

When the Oakland Tribune revealed that Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey could still be alive if the Police had not changed their plans to raid the Your Black Muslim Bakery, it caused a storm of concern from the Mayor, City officials and faith-based leaders.

They have called on Attorney General Jerry Brown to expand his investigation of the Police Department(OPD) Administration.

“Everything should be on the table in this investigation,” said Dellums. Read more