From May 2011

Assembly Unanimously Votes to Increase Fines Against “Johns”

Sandre Swanson

A bill to fight the commercial sexual exploitation of children swiftly passed the Assembly with a 72 to 0 vote. AB 12, the Abolition of Child Commerce, Exploitation, and Sexual Slavery Act (the ACCESS Act), would increase the fine against a person engaging in commercial sex with a minor to up to $25,000. Assemblymember Sandre Swanson (D-Alameda) made the following statement on the floor of the Assembly:
“The ACCESS Act would grant a court the discretion to fine a ‘John’ who has sex with a minor up to $25,000 and directs those fines to support programs that help commercially sexually exploited minors. Sadly, the average age of girls entering prostitution in California is only 12 years of age. Some of these girls are victims of human trafficking; some of them are victims of sexual abuse; some of them are victims of abandonment and mental abuse. But they are all victims. And they are all children.”
Swanson further explained that part of the motivation behind AB 12 was to clean up misunderstandings about the sex trade and align the fines for commercial sex acts with children to those for statutory rape.
“A child is unable to legally consent to sex,” said Swanson.  “That’s precisely why we have statutory rape laws. These children are not out on the street being victimized by choice. But the men who pay to have sex with them are out on the streets by choice.”
One of the bill’s many coauthors, Assemblymember Dickinson, commented on how the bill will help anti-human trafficking efforts in Sacramento. “Unfortunately, Sacramento has become a center of human trafficking and AB 12 makes some serious improvements in attacking that problem. I thank Assemblymember Swanson for bringing this important bill to the Legislature.”
Swanson concluded, “It’s time that our state recognize that ‘Johns’ are a significant part of this problem and treat the commercial exploitation of minors as seriously as we treat statutory rape and other forms of sexual abuse. AB 12 raises the fines against men who keep this ugly business alive.”

Freda Payne’s Family is Her ‘Band of Gold’

By Paul Cobb

Front: Isabel Cagnolaeti; Second row: (l to r) Monica Cagnolaeti, Tanya Cagnolaeti, Alex Cagnolaeti, Freda Payne; Back row: Marlin Thrower, Henry Williams, Anne Williams, Paul Simon. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

Singer Freda Payne is related to Oaklander Ann Williams. They age first cousins. During Payne’s recent performance at Yoshi’s San Francisco, she with her Oakland extended family for dinner, fun and reminiscing.  Ann’s mother Ozeree Farley Williams and Freda’s father Samuel Farley are sister and brother who hail from Winnfield, Louisiana. Ann’s family moved to California and Freda’s family moved to Detroit.
Ann said her favorite song “Bring the boys home and bring them back alive. My brother and my nephew extemporaneously provided background for the song at Yoshi’s. They were so good that the audience thought they were the regular accompaniment.
And Mr. Jose, the legendary hairdresser who had a shop on Alcatraz Avenue in Berkeley is also, a long time of friend of Freda. Mr. Jose was there rooting on the front row. Freda packed the house. She will be returning to Yoshi’s with her interpretations of Jazz legends Sarah Vaughn, Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald. And she can scat like Louisiana homeboy Satchmo, too’, said Ann Williams.

O.T.H.E.R.R Has Another Way For You to Raise Money for Your Cause

Charles Patton

By Paul Cobb

During the past month I have been asking those with fundraising ideas and strategies
to send them to the Post. This week I was interested in the news I read from the Catholic Online website touting a Harvard University study about coffee’s medicinal value for prostate cancer That news surely got my and other men’s attention. This was quite a coincidence because the Post received four proposals and/or business ventures offering coffee as a way to help groups raise money in this beleaguered economy.  T he Harvard School of Public Health study said Read more

Posey hurt, Giants lose in extra innings

San Francisco, CA – It’s not unusual to stun a sellout crowd at AT&T Park. But to watch a player get hurt is not something anyone expected tonight.  Buster Posey was crushed at home plate by Scott Cousins and did not immediately get up.  After pounding his fist in pain on the ground he was carried off the field by trainers.

With the game tied in extra innings Cousins scored the winning run for the 7-6 win over the Giants.  However, at the cost of injuring a player was tough for both teams.  Posey suffered what seemed to be a left ankle sprain and will undergo a MRI tomorrow to determine the severity of the injury. Read more

Reserves come up big in Giants win

San Francisco, CA – They formed a friendship during the 2010 playoff run but neither were on the roster.  Yet, they provided mental support for the team and prayed for their moment in the spotlight.

That day finally arrived, bottom of the eleventh with the game tied Darren Ford made eye contact with his buddy Emmanuel Burriss as he walked up to the plate.  On the first pitch, Burriss drove a line-drive to right field and Ford picked up speed to home plate for the 5-4 win over the A’s. Read more

Lincecum's brilliant on the mound

San Francisco, CA – It was more than just a shutout, it was a triumph that no one saw coming.  Closer Brian Wilson headed toward the bullpen to warm up to his usual standing ovation.  Pitching coach Dave Righetti jogged onto the field after Tim Lincecum gave up a single to start the bottom of the ninth and warned him he was rushing his delivery.

After Coco Crisp grounded into a force out, David DeJesus was out at second and Crisp was safe at first. Lincecum regained his composure and struck out the last two batters for the Giants win over the A’s 3-0.  ”I would say this was one of his [Lincecum] best games,” said manager Bruce Bochy. Read more

Lincecum’s brilliant on the mound

San Francisco, CA – It was more than just a shutout, it was a triumph that no one saw coming.  Closer Brian Wilson headed toward the bullpen to warm up to his usual standing ovation.  Pitching coach Dave Righetti jogged onto the field after Tim Lincecum gave up a single to start the bottom of the ninth and warned him he was rushing his delivery.

After Coco Crisp grounded into a force out, David DeJesus was out at second and Crisp was safe at first. Lincecum regained his composure and struck out the last two batters for the Giants win over the A’s 3-0.  ”I would say this was one of his [Lincecum] best games,” said manager Bruce Bochy. Read more

Burriss comes up big in Giants win

San Francisco, CA – The Giants record their six walk-off of the season and it’s something many are getting accustomed to.  However you can’t predict who the hero will be and tonight no one expected it to be the switch-hitter.  Emmanuel Burriss saw action for the first time this season, as the designated pinch-hitter he crushed a single to right field bottom of the tenth.  Next up was Aubrey Huff who blasted a one-out single to right field bringing in the winning run.

“I was just trying to get something and put some wood on it”, Burriss said.  ”Fuentes is known for his change up, I faced him only once before at bat but I know what he has.  Confidence is the key and I just went in the game with it.” Read more

Mother’s Day at Wings of Love

This year Wings of Love honored Mother’s and all Women, with the theme “A  Woman And Her Lord.”
The women and young ladies wore hats as their Crowing Glory to commemorate this special day!
The women were showered with songs, words of appreciation and musical selections.
This year’s speaker was Reverend Monica Quick, First Lady of Friendship Baptist Church whose sermon title was “If Loving You is Wrong, Then I Don’t Want to Be Right.”
First Lady Cynthia Franklin of the Berea Temple SDA Church in Baltimore, MD., and Reverend Pamela Jordan Oakland were guests.  Elder Donna Hayes, Evangelist Rhonda Harris and Sr. Carolyn Wilson, Chairperson also officiated from the pulpit.
A delectable Fellowship Dinner (served by the men) was enjoyed by all in attendance.
The day was concluded with an afternoon tribute to all women which included a Praise Dance by Tonique Hunter, a Duet by Juliette and Eric Smith,  Presentation by Evangelist Rhonda and Ella Burks and a challenge to the women by ‘Pastor David and Cynthia Franklin of Baltimore, MD. Read more

Bishop Macklin Hosts White House Faith Rep

By Ashley Chambers

Ashley Chambers and Bishop J. W. Macklin. Photo by Willie Eashman.

Pastors, leaders, and organizers came together for the Clergy and Faith Leaders Briefing last month at Glad Tidings Church of God in Christ in Hayward, where Bishop J.W. Macklin is the Pastor. Sponsored by the One Accord Project and Operation Richmond, this event brought together faith-based organizations and churches seeking to make an impact in their communities. Bay Area organizations The San Francisco Foundation and PolicyLink also co-hosted the event and O.C.C.U.R. was a participating organization.
Sabrina Saunders, Founder of the One Accord Project, and Pastor Henry Washington of Garden of Peace Ministries and Executive Director of Operation Richmond, joined together to make this collaboration work.
Keynote speaker and guest, Mr. Joshua DuBois, shared some wisdom as President Obama’s “right-hand man” and motivated some 250 people to take action in building up their communities. As President of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and a former pastor, DuBois had many resources to share.
“The goals I had were to connect leaders to share information for churches that are doing work in their community. I felt there needed to be a greater connection between the White House and African American clergy,” Saunders said. Read more

Walkers Stand Against Poverty

D’Wayne Wiggins

D’Wayne Wiggins of Tony Toni Tone, his band PopLyfe and Youth Radio performer Rayana Godfrey will join the entertainment line-up for the 6th Annual Walk To End Poverty May 21  at Lake Merritt from 9:00am to 1:00pm. The walk begins at 10:00am after the first hour of registration. The Aztec Dancers, Senior Line Dancers, Native American Dancers, Taiko Ren, Prescott Clowns and more will be performing live throughout the day.
The Walk  is hosted by Oakland’s Community Action Partnership in collaboration with the United Way of the Bay Area.
The “Walkers” hope draw attention to the conditions of the 76,000 Oakland residents who live in poverty. They also will acknowledge those who work tirelessly to eradicate poverty. Read more

Michael Lange as Malcolm X In New Play “THE MEETING”

San Francisco’s Jazz Heritage Center- Educational & Media Theatre at 1330 Fillmore Street will host a live stage performance of Jeff Stetson’s award winning play THE MEETING on Thursday May 19th, May 20th, and May 21 at 7:30 p.m., respectively, and on May 22,  at 3 p.m.
THE MEETING depicts a fictitious meeting between two of the most important leaders of the 20th Century – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. The one act play takes place a few days before the assassination of Malcolm X at New York’s Audubon Ballroom, high up in an intimate and modestly furnished hotel suite in the heart of Harlem.
In THE MEETING both men’s philosophies resonate and clash as they eloquently set forth their arguments on issues of freedom, dignity and respect not only for African Americans but for all people who have suffered at the hands of injustice. It imagines what could have happened had they actually met, joined hands and pushed in the same direction. Read more

Alameda County Proclaims May Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

From left to right: Carl Chan of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, Sherry Hirota of Asian Health Services, Supervisor Wilma Chan, Supervisor Keith Carson and Joanna Selby of the East Bay Korean American Senior Service Center celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Alameda County proclaimed May 2011 as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.  Asian Pacific American Heritage Week was initiated in 1978 and became a full month-long celebration in 1993 after President Bush signed it into law.
Supervisors Keith Carson and Wilma Chan presented proclamations to Carl Chan, Board Member with the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, Sherry Hirota, Executive Director of Asian Health Services and Joanna Selby,
Executive Director of the East Bay Korean American Senior Service Center Their choir sang God Bless America and traditional Korean folk songs.
More than one million Asian Pacific Americans live in the bay area and 390,000 reside in Alameda County.
Mina Sanchez, Senior Aide to Supervisor Carson, organizes and hosts a quarterly meeting with the Asian Community Collaborative (ACC) to maximize the exchange of information between Alameda County and the Asian Pacific American community.
The next meeting of the ACC will take place on Thursday, May 19 from 1 PM to 3 PM at the East Bay Korean American Senior Service Center at 1723 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland.  For more information, call (510) 272-6695 or visit Read more

Fail Up is Not a Failure

By William G. McCray III

Tavis Smiley (left) and William G. McCray III. Photo by David Scott.

There is no place like home and for me home is Oakland. While here I was able to see and reconnect with a long time friend and mentor, Tavis Smiley.  Due to my being busy trying to be like him when I grow up we lost touch and the one man that would always encourage me to keep pushing and make my mark in journalism saw me walk in Marcus Bookstore with Post marketing representative David Scott, who also is a Christian comedian that keeps folk smiling.
During Smiley’s remarks ,he yelled “William, it is so good to see you man!”  Tavis was  shocked and surprised to see me. We got a chance to chat about Fail Up, marking the 15th book he has written.
“William, in this book I give an account of the 20 biggest failures that pushed me forward to greater success,” Tavis said smiling.
Failure is an option and it will happen, but you have to learn from your failures and to try again to be successful.  One of the greatest things he explained to me was getting fired from BET.  Had that not happened he would have never become a correspondent for CNN or ABC.  Additionally, had he not left NPR he would not have his radio show today. Read more

The Wilson Women Celebrate Mothers Day

By Tanya Dennis

These women are all descendants of Reverend Elias and Clara Wilson. From left to right: Front row: Roshana Hill, Alicia Platt; Second row: Ninety-year-old matriarch Melxenie Figg, Daisy Partee, Clara Robinson; Third row: Annie J. McKinzie, Imani Partee, Murtis Diallo, Darlene Tripp, Natasha Oden, Evelyn Meeks, Sheryl Partee; Fourth row: Mekeba Robinson, Debra Partee, Angela Washington, Dorothy Fields, Mildred Hill, Beverly Robinson and right at the back is Kianna Williams.

When the Wilson women celebrate Mother’s Day, people take notice, because of their sheer numbers, their regal attire and their camaraderie.
In 1972,  sisters Cornett Partee and Dorothy Fields, tired of cooking for their family on Mother’s Day, gathered the other Wilson women together and decided henceforth that Mother’s Day would be their day.
For the past thirty-nine years they have gone out to dinner and then retired to one of their homes for a dessert extravaganza.  Their numbers have ranged from forty-four to this year’s  twenty-nine attendees.  Each year they choose a different restaurant, a different theme, color or style of dress and prepare for a good time.
Dorothy Fields  recalls one year when they all dressed in African attire and went to LeBlanc’s in Piedmont .  “We stopped traffic, people were getting out of their cars asking us where we were from.  Imagine forty African-American women walking through Piedmont in African attire.  We made quite a scene. “
Some of the Wilson Women will be traveling to Memphis Tennessee June 18th for their annual family reunion. Their cousins are Regina and Pat Neeley, stars of “Down home with the Neeley’s” featured every Saturday morning on the Food Channel.  The Neeley’s reside in Memphis Tennessee and in addition to their show own a restaurant in Memphis and “Neeley’s Bar-be-cue” in three airports.
Annie McKinzie says, “There’s about two hundred in our family.  We held a reunion every two years,  but now, because we’re getting older,  we meet every year at the Neeley’s ranch and have a huge picnic and boat rides on the lake.” Read more

Bishop Bob Jackson: What Manner of Man is This

By William G.
McCray III

Top Left: Dashia Jackson (granddaughter) and Bishop Bob Jackson; Top Right: Dr. Doris Lembrick, Natasha Lewis, Bishop Jenkins, Bishop Jerry Macklin; Second row: Bishop Bob Jackson, Bishop Charles Blake, Elder Wendell McCoy, Patricia McCoy, Ellen Horton; Third Row Right: William G. McCray, Malakia Bobino, Bishop Charles Blake, Carla Thomas, Bishop Bob Jackson; Fourth Row, right : David Jackson, Annette Allen, Evang. Joyce Rodgers, Elder Edgar Allen; Fourth Row, left: Bishop Langston, Bishop Wilber Hamilton, Bishop Robert-Richard Carr, Bishop Jenkins, Bishop Donald Murray, Bishop Bob Jackson. Photos by Carla Thomas, Gene Hazzard and Stephen Fitch. Collage by Adam L. Turner.

It seems like it was only yesterday that Bishop Bob Jackson burst on the Oakland scene winning souls for Christ.  Since the 90’s, Acts Full Gospel has grown by leaps and bounds and has created a perpetual buzz  over the city about this great church and its amazing pastor.
Beginning with only 13 members in 1984 the church now has over 7,500 members and over thirty active ministries.  Acts’ growth is because of a very simple set of rules known as “Seven Steps To The Kingdom” originated by Roosevelt Taylor.  His evangelism concept sought to win souls for Christ by following the seven steps that should only take seventeen seconds.  Through the divine leading of the Lord Bishop Bob rewrote Taylor’s tool and developed “Take Oakland for the Lord Jesus Christ”.
Bishop Bob has taught “The Seven Steps of the Kingdom” to pastors and churches around the world.  As a direct result he has expanded his vision to “Take the World for the Lord Jesus Christ”. Recently Bishop Bob was called upon by Bishop Blake, the presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) to teach a class on Evangelism.
His church has remains relevant with a Teen Church that is larger than some adult congregations.
In 2001 Bishop Bob founded the Men of Valor Academy, for men who are high school dropouts and or released from prison.
“We had to do something to break the cycle,” said Bishop Bob.  “Boy did I get in trouble when we started this ministry, Politicians and everyone turned their back on me.”
Unmoved, he continues his program that assists 80 men at a time, in getting their educational  training to become apprentices in construction trade skills.
His holistic approach led him to establish the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce. Read more

Sex with a Child is Rape, Even if Money is Exchanged

Swanson’s AB 12 Raises Stakes Against “Johns” as it Passes Public Safety Committee Unanimously

AB 12, the Abolition of Child Commerce, Exploitation, and Sexual Slavery Act (the ACCESS Act), would increase the fine against a person engaging in commercial sex with a minor to up to $25,000 and distribute those fines to agencies that support commercially sexually exploited minors. The measure passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee today with unanimous and bipartisan support.
“The ACCESS Act attacks child prostitution at its most wicked root – the men who pay to have sex with children,” explained author Assemblymember Sandré R. Swanson (D-Alameda). “Some child prostitutes are out on the streets as victims of human trafficking; some are victims of child and sexual abuse; some are victims of abandonment and mental abuse. But they have one thing in common: they are all children.”
“Children are not on the streets being victimized by choice. In fact, a minor is unable to legally consent to sex under any circumstances. A ‘John’, on the other hand, is on the streets by choice. Current law is too lenient against these predators. Our state must treat the commercial exploitation of minors as seriously as we treat similar forms of sexual abuse. Read more

Michelle Alexander to Sign Her New Book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”

Michelle Alexander

Michelle Alexander, legal scholar and noted author of  “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” will speak and autograph her books Friday, May 27,  from 7 p m. – 8:30 p.m. at the St. Paul AME, 2024 Ashby Ave., Berkeley.  The organization Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and All of Us or None National,  is sponsoring the event.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (The New Press, 2010). See
She said her book is a bold challenge to the widespread belief that our nation has finally “triumphed over race” with the election of Barack Obama. Jim Crow laws were wiped off the books decades ago, but an astounding percentage of the African American community is warehoused in prisons or trapped in a permanent, second-class status.
By targeting African Americans through the War on Drugs and the “get tough” movement, the U.S. criminal justice system now functions as a contemporary system of racial control. So many of the old forms of discrimination — denial of the right to vote, automatic exclusion from juries, and legal discrimination in employment, housing, education, and public benefits — are suddenly legal again once you have been branded a felon. Alexander argues that we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Read more

Afro-Caribbean Music and Dance Coming to Oakland

Lauri Anderson. Photo by Austin Forbord.

7th Annual CubaCaribe Festival of Dance and Music: La Tierra de Arará, is coming to Oakland for  two weeks of dynamic performances and events by master artists from Cuba and the Afro-Caribbean diaspora, including the Bay Area. The event takes place from Fridays – Sundays, May 20-28 at various times (schedule at at Week 1: May 20-22 Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Performing Arts, 1428 Alice Street, Oakland and  Week 2: May 26-28 Laney College Theater, 900 Fallon St., Oakland. Tickets are $10-$24, or at the door or call Box Office: 415-273-4633.

Has Oakland’s Parking Division “Jumped the Shark”?

By Gregory K. Taylor

Parking Division photos by Gregory Taylor

Trying to understand the Oakland ’s Parking Division is like figuring out the “theater of the absurd.” That department has “jumped the shark,” or started to decline in quality beyond the point of recovery.
To prove my point, I received a citation November 3, 2010 , and as of May 9, 2011 , more than 6 months later, I have yet to receive my refund of $70.00 which I posted as bail.
I wrote an article on the 17th of March about a phone encounter I had with the infamous “Lula” who told me to go ahead and call the Mayor when I complained about her unprofessional attitude.  Her confidence in responding to me in that manner seems to be bolstered by Mayor Jean Quan, who as a councilmember pushed for more parking fines to generate greater revenue, and who at the start of her term as Mayor, embarrassingly, had her own car booted for not paying her parking tickets. Read more

“Jumping the Broom” Ranked No. 3 During Opening Weekend

Producer Tracey E. Edmonds

Jumping the Broom delighted movie goers across the country last weekend. During its debut weekend, Jumping the Broom grossed an estimated $15.3 million to finish its opening weekend at number 3 according to final weekend box office numbers, making Jumping the Broom the highest ranking comedy in the country.
Produced by Our Stories Films, an RLJ Company, and released by TriStar, a Sony Pictures Entertainment company, Jumping the Broom received an “A” CinemaScore grade across all categories, solidifying its longevity and success. This grade is determined by a survey given to opening-day audiences.
“The film’s success demonstrates the talent and creativity among our African American writers and actors,” says producer Tracey E. Edmonds. “One of our goals with this film was to showcase African American family dynamics and love in a positive light. We wanted Jumping the Broom to be a testament of Black love and to be an uplifting film for our viewing audience.” Read more

HIV/AIDS State of Emergency

By Jesse

A state of emergency is usually reserved for major natural disasters or civic unrest. And it is usually announced with the following words, “We interrupt this article to inform you that African Americans are in a state of emergency around HIV and AIDS.”
An emergency declaration normally brings attention and resources to the problem. But since this declaration was declared in Alameda County in1998, little has changed and little has happened.
Alameda County pioneered the Emergency Declaration as a strategy and it was championed by the Congressional Black Caucus.
In 1996, for the first time in the epidemic, the number of new AIDS cases among African Americans surpassed that of whites. 1996 was also the year that antiretroviral therapy revolutionized HIV care, resulting in a sharp reduction in HIV-related illnesses and deaths.
For awhile hope abounded. Now, unfortunately, when we look at HIV/AIDS by race and ethnicity, we see that African Americans have more illness, shorter survival times, and more deaths. Read more

Union Bank And KQED Honor Bay Area Asian Pacific Americans as Local Heroes

Union Bank and KQED honored four extraordinary Bay Area Asian Pacific American Local Heroes at the 16th Annual Local Heroes Awards celebration at KQED in San Francisco. L-R: Paul Osaki, Executive Director, Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California; Donald Young, Director of Programs, Center for Asian American Media; Takashi Tanemori, Founder, Silkworm Peace Institute; Dr. Gregory Fung, Co-Founder, Friends Of…

Union Bank, N.A., and KQED recently partnered to honor four extraordinary Northern Californian Asian Pacific Americans as local heroes during the 16th Annual Local Heroes Awards celebration held at KQED in San Francisco on May 41.
This year’s honorees received their awards in recognition of their leadership and dedication to serving their communities: Dr. Gregory Fung, Co-Founder, Friends Of…,Paul Osaki, Executive Director, Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, Takashi Tanemori, Founder, Silkworm Peace Institute and Donald Young, Director of Programs, Center for Asian American Media.
“These local heroes demonstrate an unwavering dedication to positively impacting their communities,” said Union Bank Senior Executive Vice President Pierre Habis, head of Community Banking.  “Through their passion, leadership and dedication, they improve our lives and inspire our friends, families, and neighbors.  We applaud their commitment to serve.”
The awards celebration also included multiple musical performances.  Brenda Wong Aoki and Mark Izu, co-founders of First Voice, performed “Aware.”  Later in the program, Habib Khan, a specialist in Indian Classical music, and Farhan Qureshi, performed “Tarana.”  The Murasaki Ensemble entertained guests during the reception following the award ceremony.
The Local Heroes Award Ceremony airs on the following dates: Read more

Tavis Smiley Hits The Bay Area

Talk show hosts hits area with message of “Fail Up”

By Lee Hubbard

Belva Davis (left), TV host (retired), celebrity, and author, shares her book, “Never in My Wildest Dreams”, with Tavis Smiley, TV and Radio host and author of “Fail Up”, following his presentation and book signing at the Commonwealth Club of California noon program. Photo by Conway Jones.

Nationally known television talk show host and media personality, Tavis Smiley was in the bay area Tuesday talking about his recently released book, “Fail Up” which is part testimonial, part inspirational, highlighting how one can learn from failure.
Smiley, who has written 8 books in his media career that has totaled 20 years, was first in San Francisco at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club on Tuesday afternoon. Later that night, he appeared at Marcus Books stores in Oakland.
“Failure is preparation for the next opportunity,” said Smiley, in front of an overflowing room at Marcus Books.  “This book lays out 20 of the worst failings I have ever had.  But, these failures, which we all have, led to lessons that I learned that have led to some of my successes.”
Smiley, 47, was raised in Kokomo, Indiana in a three bedroom trailer that housed 13 people.  He attended Indiana University where he was a member of the student senate and director of minority affairs.  During the summer of his junior year, he got an internship in Los Angeles working with Mayor Tom Bradley in the Office of Youth Development.
After his senior year in college, he left Indiana, moving to California. He continued to work for Mayor Bradley until 1990. In 1991, he ran for Los Angeles City Council coming in fourth place to incumbent, Ruth Galanter. He then began airing radio commentaries, the Smiley Report, and hosting a public affairs radio show. In 19966, Smiley began hosting and executive producing BET tonight until 2001, when he left due to a contractual disagreement with BET management. Read more

Health Will Be Focus at SF Juneteenth Festival

Back row, from left to right: Dr. Michael Huff, African American Health Disparities, Veronica Shepard, Southeast Health Center,Micah Lubensky,Black Brothers Esteem SF AIDS Foundation, Thomas Simpon, Afro Solo,Veronica Alphonso, American Red Cross Bay Area, Louis Garrett Sr. President SF Juneteenth, Melloney Carrol, Western Addition Family Resource Center, Kevin Jefferson V-President SF Juneteenth; Front row Celicia Browns, California Pacific Medical Center, Rev Carolyn Dyson, California Pacific Medical Center, Rachel Townsend, Event Coordinator SF Juneteenth.

By Lee Hubbard

The San Francisco Juneteenth will be a community event with food, games, informational booths, entertainment and the celebration of black life and black freedom in San Francisco, June 18-19.
The San Francisco Juneteenth follows the tradition of the national Juneteenth black celebration that commemorates the news during the civil war, when blacks in Texas were informed by executive order they were officially free.
This news led to celebration amongst blacks in the state.
Since that time, Juneteenth has become a black family like celebration, becoming an official state holiday in Texas in 1980. Juneteenth is now celebrated in various cities and states across the United States. The San Francisco celebration has been going on for 61 years.
“The San Francisco Juneteenth started with Wesley Johnson, the owner of the Texas playhouse. He is from Texas and he wanted to bring the celebration to California,” said Kevin Jefferson, the Vice President of the San Francisco Juneteenth.  “So he would ride a horse up and down Fillmore Street in celebration of the Juneteenth.”
This year’s Juneteenth will be back on Fillmore Street for the first time in several years. Read more