From October 2009

49ers Announce Community Relations Events and Respect for Family as the Theme for the Month of November

Santa Clara, Calif. – The San Francisco 49ers today announced their November 2009 community relations events and theme: Respect for Family. During the month of November, the 49ers will focus on spending time in the community to demonstrate respect for families through various events across the Bay Area.

“Giving back during the holidays and teaching our community the importance of family is very important to the 49ers organization,” said Joanne Pasternack, community relations director of the San Francisco 49ers. “We pride ourselves in helping those in need during what can be some of the toughest months of the year for many in the Bay Area.”

Throughout November, the 49ers will participate in several community-related, hands-on volunteer projects in the Bay Area.  The featured event of the month will take place on Tuesday, November 24, 2009, when the team will participate in Serving Thanksgiving Meals at the Ray and Joan Kroc Salvation Army Corps Community Center and Railton Place in San Francisco. Players and their families will be serving a Thanksgiving meal to youth who have aged out of the foster care system as well as chronically homeless adults, veterans, and low-income seniors.

The November 24th event will take place from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Salvation Army at 240 Turk Street, San Francisco, Ca, 94102.

Other events during the month of November will include:

On November 3, the 49ers will participate in The Red & Gold 52 for 49ers Card Game Tournament with Seniors. At this event, residents of the Valley Village Senior Center in Santa Clara will play card games with current and former 49ers. Games included are Spades, Hearts/Crazy Nines/Golf, and Go Fish. Prizes will be awarded to all who participate.  The event will take place at the Valley Village Senior Center at 390 N. Winchester Blvd., Santa Clara, Ca, 95050 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

On Tuesday, November 17, 2009, the team will participate in Stocking the Food Bank at the San Francisco Food Bank. Players and their families will help sort Thanksgiving food and load the items into vehicles for delivery to needy families in San Francisco.  The event will take place at the San Francisco Food Bank located at 900 Pennsylvania Avenue, San Francisco, Ca, 94107 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Each time the 49ers perform community service work, they educate the community about the franchise’s award-winning RESPECT campaign. The RESPECT campaign teaches youth and the community the necessity of showing respect for their schools, families and communities.

Editor’s Note: For more information about the above community events or if you’re interested in attending and covering an event, please contact Lisa Goodwin and 408-562-4957 or HYPERLINK “”

By Malaika Bobino

Warriors Lose Home Opener

Oakland, CA – The Golden State Warriors hosted the Houston Rockets tonight for their season opener.  In front of a sellout crowd of 19,596, the Warriors gave the fans a great basketball game despite losing 108-107.  Rookie sensation Stephen Curry made his NBA debut and did not disappoint.  Curry, the Warriors first-round draft pick started at point guard and finished with 14 points, seven assists, four steals and only two turnovers.  He distributed the ball well, created shot opportunities and is a burst of energy on the floor.

“I’m feeling very comfortable out there by staying on the attack in the point guard position and keeping the defense on their heels,” said Curry.  “Coach Don Nelson has a lot of confidence in me and I guess it’s starting to rub off to my advantage.”

The Warriors controlled the tempo during the first half with their outside shooting and defensive rebounds.  They gave the crowd lots to cheer about especially when Stephen Curry made a block shot under the Rockets basket then quickly passed the ball across the court to Monta Ellis for an open dunk!  All of the five starters for Golden State had points on the board early but something happened in the second half.  The third quarter belonged to the Rockets and Luis Scola who alone outscored the Warriors with 15 points.

“I was feeling good offensively, I got a lot of shots and opportunities,” said Scola.  “This is a huge win and a good start for us to keep it going.”  “We can’t worry about whose not here, we have a lot of guys that can play and we just have to worry about what we have to deal with.”

The Rockets are without their two best players Tracy McGrady (micro fracture surgery on left knee) and Yao Ming (left foot surgery).  Coach Rick Adelman spoke prior to the game about seeking a “go-to-scorer” that can lead this team on offense.  Newly acquired Trevor Ariza was 3 for 8 and scored 12 points in Houston’s loss to the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday night.  Adelman isn’t sure how long it will take for Ariza to get comfortable on the floor with his new team and knows it’s going to take time.

Trevor Ariza had this to say about his progression with his new team, “as we play more games I’m starting to get more comfortable.”  “My teammates are giving me a lot of confidence by telling me, if I’m open shoot the ball more and if I’m not open look for a good shot and take it!”

The Warriors rallied in the fourth and got back in the game.  With seconds remaining guard Aaron Brooks got called for a foul which gave Golden State one last opportunity to tie the game with a 3-point shot.  The ball went to Anthony Morrow who missed the basket and the Rockets sealed their victory.  Houston improves to 1-1 and even after the win coach Adelman is still concerned on who will be the person to lead his team offensively night after night.  Veteran Shane Battier has more confidence than his coach that things will turn around quickly for this Rocket team.

“We have a lot of new guys and it’s always challenging to win games I don’t care if your LeBron James,” said Battier.  “We have a young roster and I stand the oldest at 31.”  “We have a long ways to go before we become the team we need to be but, we fight hard and play well together.”  “We have a democratic offense that needs to be aggressive and my job is to get those guys out of their shell and attack more on the offense.”

The Warriors look for their first win this season when they go on the road to face the Phoenix Suns this Friday.

Written by: Malaika Bobino

Raiders Suffer Worst Home Loss

Oakland, CA – One week after beating the Philadelphia Eagles, the Oakland Raiders suffered the worst home loss in the history of their franchise.  The Raiders hosted the New York Jets who beat them 38-0.        Last week the team looked like they could match up against NFL team, but today something went terribly wrong.  Quarterback JaMarcus Russell for the first time this season was benched and replaced by Bruce Gradkowski in the second quarter.

Russell’s woes began early in the 1st quarter when he was tackled from behind by Calvin Pace on the first play from scrimmage, that caused Russell to fumble the ball.  Jets DE Marques Douglas recovered the fumble at the 4 yard line and Thomas Jones carried the ball for a 1 yard touchdown putting the Jets up 7-0.  Later in the 1st, Russell over threw his intended receiver and Jim Leonhard intercepted the ball and ran it back 44 yards.  Two plays later Mark Sanchez scored a 3rd yard touchdown on a quarterback draw.  Before being taken out Russell’s pass intended for Todd Watkins was picked off in the end zone by Darrelle Revis.

“It was a step back, the way we played and ran the defense is definitely not a step in the right direction,” said Nnamdi Asomugha.  “JaMarcus getting benched early just means that they are trying to get some life in the offense and change somethings up to see how the guys respond to it!”

By halftime the Jets were up 24-0 and they showed no mercy in the 2nd half.  Mark Sanchez completed 9 of 15 passes for 143 yards, scoring a touchdown on a 3 yard run and threw a 35 yard pass to Davis Clowney.  Overall, the Jets rushed for 316 yards on 54 carries.  Sanchez could not contain his confidence in his team and felt they played extremely well.

“When our running game goes like that, anybody can be quarterback,” said Sanchez.  “Running the ball as well as we did didn’t require me to do too much so, it was a great day for our running game!”

The Raiders looked lifeless on the field and had no motivation to come back from such a big lead.  Russell turnovers were so costly that the Jets defense didn’t have to work too hard.  He committed 13 turnovers and was 6 for 11 for 61 yards.  Coach Tom Cable stated that despite his quarterback’s struggles he will still be the starting quarterback.

“I thought he was really out of sorts early in the game with two interceptions,” said Cable.  “For the first time I did not feel that he gave us the best chance to have success we needed to have offensively.”  “JaMarcus will continue to be our starter, there is no issue there.”

The Raiders will play the San Diego Chargers this Sunday away before their bye week.

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Written by: Malaika Bobino




Warriors End Preseason with Win

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Oakland, CA – The Golden State Warriors have ended their preseason with a win over the New Orleans Hornets 126-92.  Despite the team missing six players due to injuries and illness, the Warriors took control of the game early.  The Hornets played without their star guard Chris Paul (sick), newly acquired forward/center Emeka Okafor (sprained toe) and David West.

The first quarter belonged to the Hornets, they played strong and controlled the paint.  Unfortunately, for the Hornets the first quarter was the only time they played cohesively.  The Warriors came alive in the second quarter.  Anthony Morrow was the leading scorer with 34 points, he was expendable all over the floor, passing the ball, creating and hitting outside shots.

At halftime Golden State led 55-53, then dominated the remainder of the game.  The Warriors first round draft pick, Stephen Curry had his best game with a ‘behind the back” pass to Monte Ellis followed by a 3-point shot that put the Warriors ahead and they never looked back.

“I feel pretty comfortable on the floor,” said Stephen Curry.  “Each game I feel like I understand where I need to be and what plays I need to make more and more…”  “There are still some mistakes I made out on the floor but for the most part I do feel pretty confident running the point guard for this team.”

Curry, who has struggled with his shooting during the preseason, finished with 14 points on 6-13 shooting, 10 assists, 6 rebounds and 5 steals in 38 minutes.  The Warriors outscored the Hornets 71-39 in the third and fourth quarters.  The Hornets committed 12 turnovers in the second half and just shot 44 percent.  Darren Collison led the team with 17 points while Darius Songaila added 16 points and eight rebounds.

“We gave up too many lay ups and there was no communication on defense,” said coach Byron Scott.”  “In the first half we ran the offense well but in the second half we played like we didn’t know each other.”  “We’re not were we want to be to start the season, we have a long way to go!”

The Warriors finished the preseason 4-4, coach Don Nelson used his reserves for tonight’s game and they did not disappoint.  All of the 8 available players put points on the board and played as a team.  Both Ronny Turiaf and Mikki Moore controlled the paint allowing no second or third shots for the Hornets.

“If we stay together and defend on the floor we can beat any team in the league, said Mikki Moore.”  “While our main guys are out some of the younger guys have stepped up and that’s what we need.”  “Turiaf and I are the energy guys, we both have to come out on the floor and provide that extra push that is often needed.”

The Warriors will have the next five days off before facing the Houston Rockets for the season opener at Oracle Arena.

Written by: Malaika Bobino

Tiger Leads USA to Presidents Cup

By Lee

San Francisco-Tiger Woods had a calm look on his face, as the United State team looked on from the elevated stage at the closing awards ceremony at Presidents Cup at San Francisco ’s Harding Park’s Golf course.
A few hours earlier, Woods, helped clinch the win 19.5 to 14.5 win the cup for the United States over the International team, with Woods dominant performance against South Koren Yang Yong Eun.
In the match-up against Eun, the man who defeated Woods in this year’s PGA Championship, Woods got his revenge as he went 5-0 in matches against Eun, to clinch the Presidents Cup early Sunday afternoon. It was the first time Woods clinched a Presidents Club match. In reflecting on his win, Woods said the United State team play was unified.
“We played great as a team,” said Woods. USA Captain Fred Couples “did some great pairings, put us together with some guys we knew we could play really well with.”
The Presidents Cup is a set of men’s golf matches that pits the United States against an international team made up of countries from throughout the world, except for Europe . The win by the United States team was the third straight over the International team.
The USA team had NBA hall of famer Michael Jordan, as the assistant to Captain Couples. Jordan helped to work to improve the confidence level of golfer Sean O’Hair, as well as some of the the younger golfers on the team.
Besides Woods and O’Hair, other golfers on the USA team included Kenny Perry, Phil Mickelson, Justin Leonard, Zach Johnson, Anthony Kim, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink, Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan and Steve Stricker.

A delighted US captain Fred Couples congratulating his star player Tiger Woods after winning the Presidents Cup.

A delighted US captain Fred Couples congratulating his star player Tiger Woods after winning the Presidents Cup.

Seymour's the Future for Oakland

Oakland, CA – It’s been a tough road for the Oakland Raiders this season.  Many have criticized the Raiders as being the worst team in the NFL, yet there is ten more games left of the season?  Several of the Raider players will tell you, “the fat lady has not sung yet”!  One player in particular is new to everything that surrounds him in the silver and black.  Except when he steps onto the field, his motto “faith, family and then football”!

Newly acquired defensive linemen Richard Seymour was traded from the New England Patriots on September 6, 2009 for a first round pick in the 2011 draft.  Seymour spent eight seasons with the Patriots, winning three Superbowl’s, making five pro bowl appearances and was named to four ALL-Pro teams.  The trade shocked many including Seymour who felt “blindsided”.  He didn’t report immediately after the trade stating, he had to make arrangements for his family.

“I had no idea I was getting traded?” said Seymour.  “Given the nature of the business nothing surprises me.”  “My family comes first and once they were settled, I was ready to go!”  “It’s been an adjustment coming to Oakland but the players have made my transition easy as well as the coaching staff.”

Seymour was born in Gadsen, South Carolina, where he received a great balance of “tough love” and “nurturing” from both of his parents.  Besides being a terror on the field, Seymour enjoys fishing and the outdoors with his wife and kids.  He describes himself as a “man of faith” who finds strength from reading the bible.  During the off-season Seymour attends church every Sunday and often attends Chapel with the Raiders. Through faith and accomplishments in life he enjoys giving back to the community.

Blessing God’s Children (BGC) is a foundation he developed to help inner city kids get an opportunity to better their education.  There are Summer camps to learn about education and etiquette.  Health fairs to discuss the importance of hygiene and “at rick diseases”.  Dentists are also brought in to give the kids check ups that maybe to costly for parents.  Seymour’s foundation has also given away computers, laptops and play stations to the children.  The future goal is to build a center for academic achievement in his hometown and empower kids for success mentally, physically and spiritually.

“School is very important to me,” said Seymour.  “I make appearances and speak with the kids but my main goal is to give a part of me by developing this foundation.”  “I’ve been blessed to where I can provide for these kids whose parents can’t afford to give them a better education.”

Seymour was drafted sixth overall in the 2001 draft and has been considered to be the best defensive linemen in the NFL.  When it comes to work Seymour takes his job very seriously and coming to a team that now stands 2-4 is no joking matter.  Seymour along with the rest of the team know their best is yet to come.

Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha spoke highly about his new teammate, “Richard has been great since joining the Raiders.”  “His presence and leadership are huge, he has a lot of carry-over from the Patriots philosophy on winning.”  “He brings that encouragement and knowledge in the locker room, meetings and on the field.”  “Guys respect that!”

Oakland’s defense has been stellar since the arrival of Richard Seymour.  He plays hard every game and hopes to continue his career another five or six years.  Seymour always maintains a positive attitude and believes the teams woes will eventually turn around for the better.

“The best gift I can give to Oakland is bringing this organization back to the playoffs.”  “To be part of the building process is what I revel in and that means a lot to me.”

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Written by: Malaika Bobino

Raiders Victory Stuns Eagles

Oakland, CA – The Oakland Raiders victory over the Philadelphia Eagles 13-9 shocked the NFL and the Eagles.  After an embarrassing loss to the New York Giants last week, the Raiders finally came together and played great football.  Oakland silenced their critics with countless plays that shut down the Eagles passing game and dismantled the defense.

Oakland’s rookie wide receiver  Louis Murphy turned his talent into defense as he provided blocking for TE Zach Miller.  Murphy sprinted up field, laid out two Eagles defenders Quintin Mikell and cornerback Ellis Hobbs.  JaMarcus Russell successfully connected with Miller on 86 yard pass that led to Oakland’s only touchdown of the game.

“This win was about the Raiders and we wanted to put it all together as a team (special teams, defense and offense),” said Richard Seymour.  “It feels good to get a win at home, we came together as a team and this is something we hadn’t done thus far in the season.”

The Eagles played horrible and looked deflated, Donovan McNabb was sacked six times.  The Raiders defense dominated throughout the game with both Richard Seymour and Trevor Scott having a pair of sacks each.  The Raiders turned the tables on a team that is known for their blitzing, leaving the Eagles dazed and confused.  They blitzed McNabb repeatedly, forcing the Eagles to kick only three field goals throughout the entire game.

“We weren’t able to take capitalize off the opportunities and you have to tip your hat to them as they were able to package a scheme this week,” said McNabb.  “They knocked us out of our rhythm and again I credit them for doing a good job this week.”

The curse of Oakland’s offense has been lifted!  Week after week in practice the players have discussed how this team needs to come together as a team.  In week six the Raiders did just that by shutting down one of the best NFC teams in the NFL.  The win is what the Raiders needed after struggling the past three weeks.

“The Raiders out played us and out coached us,” said Eagles coach Andy Reid.  ”All the way around I thought they did a great job.”  ”I thought they tackled better, blitzed better and coached better.”

The Raiders surpassed the 200 mark offensivley for the first time in five games.  They improve to 2-4 this season and will face the New York Jets at the Oakland Coliseum next Sunday.

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Written by: Malaika Bobino

Howard Students Confused Over Obama’s Peace Prize

By Tasion

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the world’s highest honors – bestowed to individuals for their achievements during the previous year. Does President Obama deserve this honor?
“The Peace prize is supposed to be based upon achievements not for potential achievements. I am confused as to why he is even receiving the award,” stated Olivia White, transfer student from Berkeley, Ca.
Two other presidents received the award – Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson – but it was given to them years after being in office. President Obama had only been in office for 11 days when he was nominated for the award.
Since his nomination President Obama has launched an initiative to reduce nuclear weapons and has promised to close Guantanamo Bay prison. Yet wouldn’t it be justified for him to receive the award next year to see if all actually fulfilled and achieved?
Alfred Nobel, the awards founder, stated in his will that ““shall have done the most, or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”. Many of this coincides with President Obama’s vision but it has not come to fruition.
The Norwegian judge took a different approach and awarded Obama for his future but this does not seem justifiable when individuals such as Mahatma Gandhi and Eleanor Roosevelt, were never recognized for all they actually achieved.
“I love President Obama and support him in all of his efforts but this is just very random. It is unexpected and comes across, on the judge’s behalf, as a publicity stunt,” stated Olusola Zaccheus, a graduating senior from Nigeria
Regardless of the confusion, the decision is final with no appeal and aside from personal opinion Howard University students congratulate President Obama on receiving the award.
Tasion Kwamilele is a student at Howard University in Washington where she is a correspondent for the Post and the Hilltop newspapers.

Dr. Robert C. Scott, 65

By Jesse Brooks

As disparities of HIV/AIDS continue in the African community, our fight against the epidemic has been dealt a devastating blow. On Oct. 8th, news left from Oakland spreading throughout the Bay Area, reaching down the coast of California and as far as the continent of Africa, disbelief and mourning sat in throughout the HIV/AIDS community, that Dr. Robert Scott had died.
Scott who died October 8th, from complications of blood clots, had been a leading advocate and legend in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Locally and globally, he served people of African descent and countless others. His dedication and fight in the HIV community started back before the disease even had a name. Standing over 6 feet, it was his unique ability to touch people and connect communities together that will be hard to duplicate. Scott used his practice, and credentials to raise awareness about the disease and the factors of stigma that continue to fuel the transmissions.
Born in Chicago, Scott earned his BS at Parsons College in, Iowa, MS and M.ED. at University of Illinois, and MD at University of California, San Francisco. In 1969, settling in Oakland, he taught biology at Laney Community College. He completed his medical internship at Emory University Hospitals in 1975 and his residency in internal medicine at Stanford University Hospitals in 1977. Later that year he started a private practice in Oakland. He was a Regent’s Scholar of the University of California and a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Beta Beta, and other national honor societies. He was an usher at Allen Temple Baptist Church, where he chaired the AIDS Ministry Committee. In 2004, he became the first African American licensed to practice medicine in Zimbabwe. The ministry adopted an orphanage, “Mother of Peace” which shelters children with AIDS whose parents had died from the disease. Dr. Scott’s Oakland, California based practice served over 4,000 patients. Dr. Scott was also a co-founder, and co-chair of the AIDS Project of the East Bay, the first and largest service organization in Alameda County. For all his work, Dr. Scott was awarded the Humanitarian award in Oakland for his HIV efforts and community services. Dr. Scott was father not only to his adopted son Melvin; he was a father-figure to the AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe, a confidante to thousands of HIV positive patients, and a community role model. Indeed, Dr. Scott’s commitment to those who are in need cannot be underestimated—he was known to still make house calls. Funeral: Saturday, Oct 17 at 11am at Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Allen Temple AIDS Ministry.
Send questions and comments to or call 510-575-8245.

Dr. Robert C. Scott and Gloria Crowell of Allen Temple HIV Ministries in Oakland, and Jesse Brooks.

Dr. Robert C. Scott and Gloria Crowell of Allen Temple HIV Ministries in Oakland, and Jesse Brooks.

Eastmont Technology Center 12th Anniversary and Grand Opening Celebration, October 22

OCCUR will hold a 12th Anniversary of the Eastmont Technology Center (ETC) and Grand Opening celebration of its brand new facilities on Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 at 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at 6948 Foothill Boulevard in Oakland.
Invited guest speakers include Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, Oakland City Councilmember Desley Brooks and a keynote address from Dr. Randal Pinkett, CEO and President of BCT Partners and Season 4 winner of “The Apprentice.”
Once referred to as “an oasis in a troubled neighborhood” by ABC’s KGO Channel 7 news reporter, Willie Monroe, the original Eastmont Computing Center (ECC) was established in 1997 by OCCUR as a response to the ever-widening gap in technology access, usage and computer literacy in low-income communities.
For over a decade, ECC provided computer training and internet access to residents of underserved communities at the Eastmont Town Center in Oakland. Then in 2007, the Town Center was sold and ECC faced drastically high rent. With assistance from the City of Oakland, the new Eastmont Technology Center (ETC) was able to secure a new permanent location at the Helping Hands Community Center right across the street. Thanks to façade and tenant improvement grants from the City the facility was renovated and is now open to the public.
“We are thrilled to unveil the new home of ETC, which is so meaningful and vital to this community” said David Glover, Executive Director of OCCUR. “This kind of facility is helping to bridge the digital divide where it counts most.” Glover said.
The day’s events will also include a reception, performances by the Oakland Youth Orchestra, the East Oakland School of the Arts Dance Production class, the Castlemont High School Choir and guided tours of the new facilities.
OCCUR is a 55-year old community-based organization that develops and supports policies and projects that revitalize neighborhoods and empower its residents.
For more information, contact (510) 839-2440 or visit

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Bishop Frank Pinkard: They Don’t Make Them Like Him Anymore

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

The church was packed to capacity with well wishers and those appreciative of the life and ministry of Pastor Chris Williams – Harvest Fellowship Church in Oakland. The pews were full and so was the pulpit with preachers from all over the Bay Area to pay tribute to the Williams Family for 11 years of faithful ministry to the City of Oakland.
During a moment in the celebration, the congregation turned their attention to the projector screen to view a passionate message from Bishop Kenneth Ulmer of the Faithful Central Church in Los Angeles, CA. Bishop Ulmer is an icon among Christian preachers and his unique video captured the praise and worship of the Faithful Central congregation as he spoke directly into the camera words of blessing and gratitude for the life and ministry of Pastor Chris Williams.
Despite all the celebration and attention on the Williams family, Bishop Frank Pinkard of Evergreen Missionary Baptist Church still placed a challenge before the people. In a passionate speech, preceding his sermon, Bishop Pinkard explained how the people of God are blessed by being a blessing to their Pastor. He stated, “I don’t understand how people believe they can ‘do too much’ for their Pastor.” Bishop Pinkard continued to address the congregation with his charm and humor to the praise of many young preachers in attendance.
Pastor Chris Williams, in his remarks, made mention of how his father, the late Rev. Dr. MJ Williams of Bethany Baptist Church, Oakland would inform him on his return visits from college, “On Sunday you will be preaching at Evergreen for Pastor Pinkard.” Chris would be obedient to his father and a lifelong relationship with Bishop Pinkard was forged.
“They don’t make them like Bishop Pinkard anymore,” stated Pastor Chris Williams who went on to say “All this time I have not had the privilege of having Bishop Pinkard minister the Word of God among the Harvest Family. I am glad we have him today.”
Bishop Pinkard traveled to Harvest Fellowship with a multitude of members from Evergreen Church. Evergreen Choir, under the direction of Jamal Churchill, brought the congregation to their feet with their songs of praise.
In the end, Bishop Pinkard served as a public bridge to younger pastors as he honored Pastor Chris Williams. In a day when many Pastors are seeking to marginalize young, gifted and talented Senior Pastors like Chris Williams – Bishop Pinkard is making it his personal crusade to cherish, cultivate and champion their cause.

Bishop Frank Pinkard

Bishop Frank Pinkard

Joe Louis Walker Sings The Blues About Heaven And Earth

By Lee

“I’ve been down for so long that gettin’ up never crossed my mind,” Eugene Blacknell sang in 1984 on the last single he released. The Oakland guitarist died six years later, but now the song, originally a slow blues, has been revamped with a rocking beat by San Francisco-born singer-guitarist Joe Louis Walker, with help from keyboardist Eugene Blacknell Jr. and longtime Jay Leno TV bandleader Kevin Eubanks, for “Between a Rock and the Blues,” the 20th album of Walker’s 23-year recording career.
Walker and Eubanks first met in October of last year when they joined forces during an all-star salute to B.B. King hosted by Herbie Hancock at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The two guitarists played an impromptu rendition of the Jimi Hendrix blues “Red House.” They hit it off so well that Eubanks invited Walker and his Bay Area rhythm section –Blacknell Jr., bassist Henry Oden, and drummer Jeff Minnieweather — to his Southern California studio to record a dozen songs. Two — “I’ve Been Down” and “If There’s a Heaven” — appear on the new CD, issued by the Stony Plain label in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
“If There’s a Heaven” reflects Walker’s ongoing concern with the afterlife, which first surfaced in his haunting “I’ll Get to Heaven on My Own,” released in 1989 by the now-defunct HighTone label in Oakland. “It plays a part in my life,” the 59-year-old bluesman explains. “I came out of church, and both of my grandmother’s were Bible-thumpers. My father sent me to Catholic school for six years, and that affected me. And I was with the Corinthians (a Bay Area gospel quartet) for 10 years, and that affected me. But in the grand scheme of things, there’s that saying, ‘While we’re making plans, God’s laughing.’”
“Some people believe that you won’t pay anything for your actions here,” he adds. “Some people believe that you will pay for your actions here. I’m sort of in the middle.”
The other 10 tunes on the new CD, including a tortured treatment of “Blackjack,” an early Ray Charles blues about gambling, were produced in Rhode Island by guitarist Duke Robillard. Walker likens Robillard to Steve Cropper, the Booker T. and the MG’s guitarist who co-produced three of Walker’s CD in the 1990s. “I might play him a song with a Bobby Womack intro and a Muddy Waters slide with a Gospel Hummingbirds vocal background, and Duke won’t bat an eye,” Walker says.
Walker moved from the Bay Area to Paris six years ago and now resides in Westchester, New York. He has another rhythm section there but continues to use his Bay Area trio for West Coast and European engagements. For his appearances at 8 and 10 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, October 21 and 22, at Yoshi’s in Oakland, he’ll be backed by San Jose guitarist Rene Solis and Lucky 13. Solis organized the event, billed as “the Blues Guitar Extravaganza,” which also featured Garth Webber.
Send comments and story ideas to Lee Hildebrand at

San Francisco-born singer-guitarist Joe Louis Walker.

San Francisco-born singer-guitarist Joe Louis Walker.

From Incarceration to Living Hell part 2

Part 2
By Rico

It is 97days since I first wrote a story about a brother who was paroled to L.A. County. I reported that help and a job are available to him, here in Oakland. I’ll jog your memory a little. This brother was paroled approximately100 days ago. His mother lives in Oakland with property. This brother’s parole officer has been to the home where the brother would be living. The Parole Officer verified, with the employer, that he still has a job waiting for him, when he returns to Oakland.
This is what happened. He was paroled in L.A.County, where he was arrested . His parole officer was on a month long vacation, so he got permission from the day officer and came to Oakland.
Within a week, he had a job, reunited with his daughter and for the first time held his grand baby and had a one bedroom furnished apartment. Now this brother has a brother who also got out of prison a year or so ago, and started working for the San Ramon water company two weeks after he was released. Within this year, his brother got married, spent his honeymoon in Hawaii and attends church with his wife regularly.
The brother in L.A. has filed the 602 form and is holding on to his seat. He has two parole officers trying to get him up here to his job and family. But again he was denied. His parole officer told him to, “just hold on, because they always deny you the first time.”
The question is: how long does this brother have to hold on? His mother is a nervous wreck, and my brother is about to give up. Though we all have him in our prayers, he is losing hope by the minute.
Still, this is a closed county, even if you are making a change and are not being a burden on the taxpayer. So what should this brother do now, besides wait and pray in this overcrowded halfway house? His mother is driving down to L.A. weekly to give him moral support, but she says his faith is diminishing. So to the reader: if you know how to pray and believe in what you are praying for, please say a special prayer for this brother, that he will become a success story, instead of another failed convict.
Your Bro.

Domestic Violence in the Bay Area Needs Community Involvement

By Carolyn Russell

Death has visited our neighborhood again, in the form of domestic violence and intimate partner abuse; the recent deaths of two young adults, one who took his wife’s life and ultimately his own.
Murder-suicides in intimate relationships are often the result of one partner incapable of managing their emotions and in need of immediate professional help. The toll of not receiving the support needed is incalculable: families and friends left devastated and wondering why.
This tragedy of a man killing his wife left yet another family mourning the death of their loved one. The victims were helpless in saving their own lives from an intimate partner. Human relationships are often complicated to understand, and professional help is most often needed for everyone involved. These incidents are reminding us that we cannot abandon the knowledge of its existence in our homes, jobs and our community. Learning how to control emotions and manage anger must start early. The programs which work to address teen dating and domestic violence must be valued.
The Bay Area has recently experienced an increase in intimate partner violence, particularly in the African American community. These deaths often gain little attention, yet the impact on those left to mourn these deaths understand the need to speak out against intimate partner abuse and teen dating violence.
The community can give a voice to this issue through community involvement, supporting our legislators who are working to reinstate funding for programs that assist victims, whoever they are.
Educating men and women is key to creating a zero tolerance for domestic violence. Community members and leaders, faith based organizations, state and local communities share in the ownership of this problem.
Domestic Violence in the African American community is a long held secret and has been given little attention. Ignorance of this issue is no excuse, as domestic violence is commonly known and believed by some to be a private matter. These belief systems must change in order to eradicate relationship abuse.
We do not know if more domestic violence will occur due to service loss, however with the economy, loss of jobs and homes, stress in the family, tension will certainly exacerbate mental health issues if these behaviors currently exist.

You Have a Felony Conviction, Now What?

By Tanya

After a felony conviction it’s important that Black men and women return to society, not crippled for the rest of their lives because they have a record.
It’s important to understand that there are felonies that will stick with you for life such as:245A, assault with a deadly weapon causing “GB1”, great bodily harm, child molestation, or sexual assault.
But there are other felonies called “wobblers”, offenses that vacillate between a misdemeanor and a felony. With a firm commitment, the right attitude and the right attorney or consultant, these felonies can be a thing of the past.
One good consultant is Gighaiga Ramsey, former District Attorney in San Francisco and sports consultant. Ramsey has helped over ten clients expunge or reduce their felony convictions.
Sitting in his office surrounded by jerseys autographed by Kobe Bryant, Mark McGwire, Jerry Rice, Willie Mays and Steve Young, Ramsey shared important knowledge with me regarding how to regain a life after a felony conviction.
“The first thing you’ve got to do is believe and love yourself enough to know it is your responsibility to find the person with the knowledge to help you. There is life after a felony. One of my clients was charged and pled to eleven felonies and did a year in county jail. We structured his plea so as to make all the difference. However, you have a responsibility to change your life. The way you’re currently behaving is crucial. I’ve never been able to help someone who’s still doing dirt.”
Ramsey continues, “The next thing you have to do is find a judge who is not out trying to make a reputation. You have to find the right person, and they do exist. Judge Carol Brosnahan and Judge Henry Ramsey are two examples. Two District Attorneys in Oakland that are fair are James Meehan, Assistant D.A. and Casey Bates, D.A…”
Ramsey says, “Your next step is to file a motion. There are soft felonies and hard felonies. If you have a soft felony, you can ask for a reduction to a misdemeanor. If it’s a hard felony you can ask to have it expunged. Find an older judge that’s not up for reappointment and doesn’t have to worry about his political career. These judges are more likely to make a decision based upon the facts rather than reacting to political pressure. Don’t go to just any attorney. You have to go to someone who knows what they’re doing.”
“If you’re using a Public Defender, let him know he represents you and must do what you want him to do. God to trial if they’re going to put a felon on your record; don’t make a plea,” says Ramsey.
Ramsey concludes, “Most important is to keep in mind that things take time. You have a good chance if a gun wasn’t involved. It’s important when you approach the judge that you have a positive track record and a job. It’s important to come with people who will vouch for your character, like your boss. Take your last two pay stubs and show at least a year of clean living. The most important thing is to get off “paperwork” that’s parole, probation or warrant. And when you approach that judge give him something to work with. You have to give him a reason to risk his reputation to judge in your behalf.”
For more information contact Mr. Ramsey at (510)333-1935

Left to right:  Githaiga Ramsey, Bing Worthington (Snoop’s brother), Snoop Dog, rapper.

Left to right: Githaiga Ramsey, Bing Worthington (Snoop’s brother), Snoop Dog, rapper.

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Early Education Lasts a Lifetime

Preparing children to become socially, emotionally, and academically ready to learn is the gateway toward success. Educating parents about different options to assist them in selecting child care programs, kindergarten and other educational resources is essential to helping youth reach their full potential. Many families lack access to affordable, high-quality early childhood education programs. Today, only 58 percent of all 3 and 4 year-olds are in pre-kindergarten, family day care, or some type of Head Start program.
According to the National Institute for Early Education Research, children in early education programs aligned with the educational goals of early elementary school are more likely to graduate from high school and become productive members of their communities. They are also less likely to have children during their teenage years or become involved in the criminal justice system.
The challenge of identifying effective resources that assist in enhancing a child’s educational experience can be overwhelming for families. In an effort to provide supportive services to families, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, First 5 Every Child Counts, and PBS KIDS Raising Readers have once again teamed up for the Fourth Annual Ready to Learn Fun Fair on Saturday, Oct. 10 at Manzanita Community/SEED School, located at 2409 E. 27th Street in Oakland from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Admission is free.
The fun-filled atmosphere will showcase a variety of organizations that serve Alameda County residents that provide valuable resources for families to assist with education, nutrition and other supportive services to help children be successful in school.

Warren, 74, Helped Design BART

John Thomas Warren, Civil Engineer, died October 1.
He moved to the Bay Area in 1967 and his firm was responsible for such notable projects as the BART extension to the San Francisco Airport and the rebuilding of the Nimitz Freeway after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
John Warren was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He and all 10 of his brothers and sisters achieved graduate or post graduate degrees.
Warren earned his Bachelors from the University of Oklahoma and his Masters from Stanford University. He also served as a medic in the US Army from 1960-1965. Mr. Warren was a member of St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Berkeley, CA, a lifetime member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a distinguished member of the Stanford Alumni Association, and a well- known Bay Area Philanthropist
Mr. Warren was predeceased by his mother-Bertha Warren, father-Edward Warren, sisters-Alice Taylor, Kathlyn Edwina Wilson, Minnie Mae Jiles , Cheryl Mattox-Warren, and brother Clarence Warren. He is survived by his loving wife- Terrice Warren, devoted children – John Thomas Warren III ; Gerald Warren, and Stephanie Warren; Sisters- Mary Roberts and Lenore Wilson. Brothers- Clison Warren; Booker Warren; and Michael Warren,
Funeral Services will be held Friday October 9, 2009 at 11:00 am at St. Paul A.M.E. Church-2024 Ashby Ave. Berkeley, CA. 94703. Pastor Allen Williams will preside over the ceremony.

John Thomas Warren

John Thomas Warren

Read the Bible in One Year Take the 2009 Challenge!

By Angelina
Overall Archie

If you started the ‘Read the Bible in One Year’ challenge in January 2009 you would have started to read the ‘New Testament’ from October 8. Just think you have read the ‘Old Testament’. Even if you skipped some days it is OK. Just continue to read! Always start with the current date. Isaiah 28:10 says: ‘For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon, here a little, there a little.’ If you are faithful and daily read the Word of God, the Bible, the Holy Spirit will help you understand what you are reading, ‘line upon line and precept upon precept’. Your job is to daily read God’s Word and the Holy Spirit will take care of your understanding. The Christian Standard Version , CSV, of the Bible says in Psalm 119:129-130: ‘Your decrees are wonderful; therefore I obey them. The revelation of Your words bring light and gives understanding to the inexperienced.’ Read the daily Bible Reading plan in the Post newspaper. The list of scriptures will be printed so you can read the Bible in One Year .
If you fall behind in your reading, just start with the current date. Do not give up. Here are the readings for October 2009:
Oct. 1 – Habakkuk 1-3;;Oct. 2 – Zephaniah 1-3;;Oct. 3 – Haggai 1-2; Oct. 4 – Zechariah 1-5; Oct. 5 – Zechariah 6-10; Oct. 6 – Zechariah 11-14; Oct. 7 – Malachi 1-4; Oct. 8 – Matthew 1-4; Oct. 9 – Matthew 5-6; Oct. 10 – Matthew 7-9; Oct. 11 – Matthew 10-12; Oct. 12 Matthew 13-14; Oct. 13 – Matthew 15-17; Oct. 14 – Matthew 18-20; Oct. 15 – Matthew 21-22; Oct. 16 – Matthew 23-24; Oct. 17 – Matthew 25-26; Oct. 18 – Matthew 27-28; Oct. 19 – Mark 1-3; Oct. 20 – Mark 4-5; Oct. 21 – Mark 6-7; Oct. 22 – Mark 8-9; Oct. 23 – Mark 10-11; Oct. 24 – Mark 12-13; Oct. 25 – Mark 14-16; Oct, 26 – Luke 1-2; Oct. 27 – Luke 3-4; Oct. 28 Luke 5-6; Oct. 29 – Luke 7-8; Oct. 30 = Luke 9–10; Oct. 31 – Luke 11.

Progressive MBC Has A New Son

Men’s Outreach Ministry winning souls

By Dion Evans,
Religion Editor

Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, under the leadership of Dr. Earl Stuckey, has a new son in ministry – Brother Mike Adkins. Minister Mike is the manifestation of a few people who put their biblical beliefs to action.
It all started with Cornell Slaton, lead facilitator of Progressive’s Celebrate Recovery, hosting a FREE Breakfast every Saturday from 11:00a.m. to 12:30p.m.
Slaton’s service is followed up by Leon Foster. Foster is credited with looking for opportunities to share his religious beliefs. And Mike Adkins recounts, “I was walking past the church on my way to the Ashby BART Drum Circle as I did every weekend. One day Brother Leon Foster was standing in the parking lot and stuck his hand over the top of the fence and offered a hand of fellowship towards me.” Adkins further shared, “From that point I have always thanked the LORD for Brother Leon because he was compelled to share with me and did not resist or turn away.”
Leonard Rivers, the lead usher at Progressive, also heeded Stuckey’s call to service he learned from the Men’s Retreat. Rivers then requested Mike Adkins to become apart of the Ushers Ministry. He said Mike readily agreed to be an usher and “he is faithful, willing to learn and wonderful to be around.”
Elder Edward Cooper, who leads the Tuesday Night Anger Management courses stated, “Mike has had a tremendous impact on the church. Almost all of my students in the Anger class are not members of our church, but once I announced that Mike would be preaching his first sermon they all committed to attending.” Raymond Garza, said, “After hearing him preach and teach it renewed my faith and belief in the structure in family. Hopefully, I can inspire the people who came with me to change their thinking.”
Mike Adkins shares his inspiring transformation testimony and says, “You know how you kind of know you are called but nothing specific has happened yet, well, then something specific happened and it became very tangible at that point. I knew, clearly, I needed to pursue preaching the gospel. I am still not certain of my path, but as I am pressing and things are starting to fall into place.”
Dr. Stuckey likens Adkins experience to biblical passages, “It is like Andrew in the bible who won his brother, Peter, to the LORD. As far as I know, it is not recorded where Andrew won anybody else – but he brought his brother. However, look at how many people his brother, Peter, brought to the LORD. What Leon did, by reaching out in love to Mike, who knows how many will be won for Christ.”

Mike Adkins

Mike Adkins

“Welfare is Dead – Almost History”

By Rico

Welfare is almost extinct. There’s no more going down to the welfare office to get on (General Assistance) GA, unless it’s an absolute emergency; and you will have to be employable. If you are lucky enough to get on, you will only be allowed to stay on GA for a period of ninety days out of a year. It’s already in effect. Alameda County only has a few signatures to go; then it’s a done deal. This even applies to the disabled or sick.
The GA dental plan can only be used to remove teeth. Ever try to get a job toothless? Will they be allowed to receive G.A, when there are no jobs for a toothless convict or full-blown addicts or other mentally disabled individuals with no one to help them through the system to receive social security? I know we pay taxes for this very type of social service; but instead it gets used for an equally absurd system – the prison industrial complex.
Just think of all the other monies the state, county and federal governments are taking from the taxpayer to build lavish state of the art prisons. And still the convicts to be released in a matter of days will have no job or place to go. A new 386 million dollar “Death Chamber” is being built in the San Quentin prison. What was wrong with the old one? Before Tookie Williams, we hadn’t fried anyone in over 20 years. Are we going to start frying again or is this just another ploy to line a few pockets? How far do you expect desperate men and women to go when there is no financial cushion between them and the streets? Added to this is pressure to release 40.000 convicts due to the over crowding by the end of this year. Clearly prison is not a deterrent to crime.
Last Saturday 9-19-09 they had an open house for the new juvenile hall in San Leandro. Who is it for, since many of our youth are catching felonies and being tried as adults? I predict it will become a lavish holding unit for one of our 34 operational adult prisons.
So to the convict I say, “take your time and go slow” as you did inside and don’t forget to pray because whatever help you receive will only come from divine intervention. Find a bible based church to go to, even if you don’t like church and feel it’s a bore, go anyway!! That is the only righteous path left to those serious about healing. If within the first two or three visits you don’t feel a change coming over you, you got a bigger problem!!
Your Brother

New HIV Vaccine Promises Progress and Hope

By Jesse

Sept. 25 headline news screamed of a break-through HIV experimental vaccine showing promising results. About two years after vaccine trials here in the U.S. came to a dead halt, these findings found that a combination of vaccines, one made in Paris, and one made here in South San Francisco, cut infections rates in a study of 16,000 Thailand volunteers, by 31.2%.
The study took place in Thailand. Thailand has one of the world’s largest HIV/AIDS transmissions rates, comparable to the plight in our country, especially when it comes to the high numbers in our community. AIDS complications are the leading cause of death there. This finding represents a revival and hope in the search for an AIDS vaccine for the world.
So what does this mean to the black community? For over a decade, Blacks have been disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. With respect to HIV, Black America looks more like many developing countries than like the high income North in which it is geographically located. Although blacks account for over half of new infections each year in the United States, they account for a low percent of experimental vaccine participants. African Americans must participate in clinical studies, if biological and culturally appropriate conclusions are to be reached. Blacks who volunteer for trails must realize they may be moving science forward only to help future generations.
For some Blacks, distrust of government may be the main barrier; for others, family responsibility, health risks and social concerns prevent participation. . Fortunately there are systems of protection built into today’s government sponsored research. Jonathan Fuchs M.D. MPH , Director of Vaccine Studies, of the San Francisco Public Health, Office of AIDS says, “No live, dead or weakened HIV is used in the making of the vaccines, so it’s impossible to become infected from them. The hope is that the vaccines will mimic HIV just enough to train the body how to fight it off if a person is ever exposed to the real thing”. He stresses that his department has a commitment to clinical trials locally and globally. “The next steps over the coming months and years are to look at what was the immune response from the vaccine, in the Thailand trial, which would create a guide for current and future trials”. His office will be partnering with East Bay organizations to promote more minority participation.
Right now, we have more tools than ever to stop the spread of HIV. Behavioral prevention works but behavioral change can be difficult, and some people are unaware of their risk. We also have treatments to make the lives of those who are infected longer and healthier. But treatment does not cure HIV, and many people who are infected don’t know it. Clearly, these tools by themselves are not enough to stop the epidemic. If we found an HIV vaccine that works to prevent new infections, millions of lives could be saved. Finding a vaccine, along with utilizing other tools, is our best hope for fighting the AIDS epidemic worldwide.
To find out more info about participation, you can call: 415-554-9068 or go to:
Send questions and comments to or call 510-575-8245

Alameda County Supervisors and SEIU Local 1021 to Forego Salary Increases

Alameda County last week announced that its largest union, SEIU Local 1021, will help the county government weather the severe economic downturn with a plan that will save as many services as possible for local residents while keeping union workers employed.
The County has seen revenues plummet as costs have soared. In July the Board of Supervisors approved a $2.4 billion budget for 2009-2010, closing an unprecedented $178 million budget gap. Further cuts were then adopted by the State legislature and the Governor to close the growing gap in California’s budget, including “borrowing” more local property taxes and redevelopment agency funds and making deep cuts to safety net programs and services for the County’s most vulnerable populations. For Alameda County, this means the loss of $40 million more in property taxes, $10 million of redevelopment agency funds and additional program cuts of at least $15 million to $20 million ─ on top of the $178 million funding gap.
Recognizing the severity of the budget crisis, members of SEIU Local 1021 met and discussed what they could do. The union offered to forego the three percent raise members were due to receive in December 2009. In return, the current contract will be extended for another two years to December 2012, preserving all the other terms of the agreement. This will save the County $5.5 million this year and $11 million annually.
“We understand these are tough times,” said Fran Jefferson, Field Director for SEIU Local 1021. “Our members stepped up and did the right thing for our community, protecting vital services for our neighbors and protecting each others’ jobs. I was impressed by their overwhelming willingness to help.”
SEIU 1021 members’ action comes as Alameda County conducts ongoing negotiations with its other employee labor groups aiming to help minimize the impact of this deep recession and to stabilize salary and benefit costs going forward. These negotiations reflect the tough fiscal times affecting Alameda County. In balancing the current County Budget, the Board of Supervisors was forced to eliminate 285 positions within the County workforce of about 9,300 full-time equivalent positions. SEIU 1021 represents about 4,350 Alameda County employees.
Throughout the budget deliberations, County supervisors and labor groups openly discussed the possibility of negotiating labor pacts that included employee concessions to save jobs. To date, the managers represented by ACMEA have stepped up and agreed to zero salary increases for three years and to begin sharing in the cost of their health care premiums next year. The unrepresented managers will also forego salary increases for three years and begin contributing towards health care premiums.
“Since the adoption of the 2009-10 budget we have been working diligently with our employee labor groups with an eye on minimizing layoffs and securing multi-year agreements that will help reduce and stabilize our costs,’’ Alameda County Administrator Susan S. Muranishi said. “The offer by SEIU members is a significant first step in that process, and it reflects a spirit of cooperation within our employee ranks and strong labor leadership that understands what is needed to help Alameda County navigate these difficult financial waters.’’
Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson said that amid the current economic difficulties all County employees are being asked to take unprecedented actions to keep County government operating. Carson said he hoped all County employee labor groups would agree to make sacrifices similar to those being made by SEIU 1021.
Carson, who chairs the County’s Budget Work Group, said, “I am proud of the positive working relationships we have developed with employee labor groups over the years, including their engagement and understanding of the budget process which certainly helped us to get here. We still have a way to go before we emerge completely from the economic storm we are currently in, yet this agreement is a sign of the collaboration and cooperation County government will need to survive these tough times and remain a positive force dedicated to improving the lives of residents of Alameda County.”
The Board of Supervisors approved the first reading of an ordinance adopting the amended memorandum of understanding on September 29 – the second reading will be noticed for October 13, 2009.

Nellie M. Neal Quilting Exhibit and Art Sale October 17

By Tanya

Quilting has a long and interesting history. Many believe it began in ancient Egypt and also with soldiers of long ago who used quilted garments in their war garb. However, quilting as we know it appeared in the 15th century as a means to keep warm in pre-electric, pre-gas environments. Over the next few centuries sewing layers of fabric together evolved into an art form.
Nellie M. Neal inherited the skill of quilting from her mother; however that skill laid dormant for over fifty years. Born in the small town of Paraloma Arkansas in 1928, Nellie worked several years as a Cosmetologist in Texarkana, then after accepting a job at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Oakland, she worked there for thirty-three years before retiring in 1996. After retiring, she queried as to what she was going to do next.
She fondly remembered her mother’s beautiful and colorful quilts. “As a child I would spend hours watching her create wonderful works of art. Quilting was the catalyst for social gatherings at our house and provided the much-needed escape from pressures of the out-side world. Everyone felt safe and comfortable quilting.”
African textiles created in Africa are noted for their bold, striking colors arranged in graphic patterns. However as slaves, the African quilting art form was assimilated into the Eurocentric American culture, as most slaves were pressed into sewing and quiltmaking for their masters. Stolen moments late in the night lead to an art form where slaves incorporated their own African culture into quiltmaking.
Trapunto quilting, a specialty of Neal’s is also called a “stuffed” technique and is a quilting technique that is quite decorative in that it utilizes at least two layers, which is padded from the underside. This produces a raised surface on the quilt. This style originated in Italy in the 16th century and appeared in the United States in the late 1700’s and remained popular until the Civil War. Neal’s work is “African-Art Trapunto”; hand-quilted, printed African themed fabric, that is matted and framed. Created from a singular piece of cloth with elaborate designs, quilting the graphic design brings texture and shadows to the quilt. Neal has taken this art form to incredible heights of beauty and wonder. One of her many customers is Dr. Maya Angelou and her art has been on exhibit at the City of Oakland City Clerk’s Office; Evergreen Missionary Baptist Church; Construction Systems Building & Design, Inc., San Francisco; and Crest Consulting in Oakland.
Neal will exhibit and sell her work Saturday, October 17th from 2 to 6pm. For location and more information call Rhonda Haley at 510-848-5733.

One Way Home Art by Miss Neal. Handquilted, Framed African Themed Fabric Artwork.

One Way Home Art by Miss Neal. Handquilted, Framed African Themed Fabric Artwork.

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Lerone Bennett Jr. Cuts Ties With Johnson Publishing

Lerone Bennett Jr., the venerated writer and social historian who worked at Johnson Publishing Co. for 52 years, including as executive editor of Ebony magazine, has asked that his name be removed from the publication.
He has been listed as “executive editor emeritus” since 2005, when he retired from Ebony at age 78.
Bennett told Journal-isms that he did not want to discuss the matter, but his daughter, Joy Bennett, vanished abruptly from the publication in August, marking the first time in decades that neither father nor daughter was on the staff.
Joy Bennett has not discussed her departure from the magazine.
Wendy E. Parks, a spokeswoman for the Johnson Publishing, publishers of Ebony and Jet, told Journal-isms, “We’ve reluctantly accepted Mr. Lerone Bennett Jr.’s request to have his name and honorary title of executive editor emeritus removed from the masthead of Ebony. Over the years, Mr. Bennett made many valued contributions to Ebony, both personally and professionally, and his wise counsel will always be appreciated.”
She said Bennett made his request several weeks ago.
Johnson Publishing has undertaken several major personnel changes in recent months, adding to turmoil at a company already affected by changes in the magazine industry, a recessionary economy and the death of the company’s founder, John H. Johnson, in 2005. His daughter, Linda Johnson Rice, is now CEO.
Bennett became an iconic figure during the John H. Johnson years. At Johnson’s funeral, he said of the publishing pioneer, “considering the depth from which he came, and the height he climbed and the obstacles he overcame, he was the greatest of all American publishers, black or white.” The crowd applauded with a standing ovation.
In announcing Bennett’s appointment as executive editor emeritus in 2005, the company called him an “internationally renowned historian and critically acclaimed author” and noted that he had “a long, distinguished career with EBONY covering most of the major civil rights events including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington.”
It noted that “Bennett has received numerous awards including the Distinguished W.E.B. DuBois Scholarship Award from the Association of Social and Behavioral Scientists, Inc., the ‘Salute To Greatness Award’ from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center For Non-Violent Social Change, Inc., the Literature Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.”

Lerone Bennett Jr.

Lerone Bennett Jr.

Soul and Gospel Stars Salute Frankie Beverly and Maze

By Lee

It has been 16 years since Maze featuring Frankie Beverly released an album of new music, although the popular Bay Area band continues to tour internationally. There is, however, a just-released CD of 11 of Beverly’s most famous compositions performed by such R&B artists Avant, Mary J. Blige, Joe, Kem, Musiq Soulchild and Mint Condition, as well as a gospel collaboration featuring the Clark Sisters, Kierra Sheard and J Moss.
“Silky Soul: An All-Star Tribute to Maze featuring Frankie Beverly” was produced by Beverly’s only child, Antioch resident Anthony Beverly, along with his wife, attorney Heather Beverly, R&B producer Rex Rideout and gospel producer Donald Lawrence. Although Frankie Beverly, who divides his time between homes in Lafayette and Atlanta, does not appear on the disc, several current members of Maze do, including guitarist John “Jubu” Smith and keyboardist Carl Wheeler, both of Oakland.
“The reason I chose guys from the band is because they understood the music and how it works,” says Anthony Beverly, 41, who played drums in Maze from 2002 to 2004. “I had to stay as true as I could to make it work, and I was able to pull it off.”
The album, which was recorded in Los Angeles and New York between March and May of this year, had been several years in the planning. “I was trying to think of a way to honor my father,” Anthony explains. “I made a list of the artists I thought I might want to work with. There were certain songs that I, like, wanted this person to do and nobody else.” Not one singer, he says, turned him down.
Anthony had first approached Oakland soul diva Ledisi about the project several years ago at one of her Yoshi’s shows. He asked her to sing “Happy Feelin’s” from Maze’s 1977 debut album.
“It’s a really nice spiritual song,” the vocalist says. “I didn’t really notice it was so spiritual until I started learning the words. I didn’t want to go too far from the original, but I also wanted to add my own flavor to it. Rex arranged it. I just did the vocals.”
“I grew up on Maze, being from New Orleans,” she adds. “If they came to town, it was a big thing. And they still come to New Orleans (annually at the Essence Music Festival). My parents played them all the time, but I never saw them in concert until recently when I did the Concord Pavilion with them, Chaka Khan and the Whispers.
“Frankie Beverly and Maze are like the Grateful Dead of the African American culture. That’s our music that’s played for family outings, family gatherings. It’s life music, it’s love music, it’s togetherness music, but it’s for everybody.”
Ledisi, whose fifth CD, “Turn Me Loose,” was released in August, headlines a free concert beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, October 11, at Woodminster Amphitheatre, 3300 Joaquin Miller Road in Oakland.
Send comments and story ideas to Lee Hildebrand at



Anthony Beverly and his father Frankie.

Anthony Beverly and his father Frankie.