Tagged Special Features

“West Oakland, When Oakland Was Oakland”

By Mary Rudge
Part 2

Mrs. Janet Keith Hill and Mrs. Jessie Allen Brown were neighbors and best friends on Shorey Street since childhood. They fondly relate their memories of West Oakland.

Shorey.jpg“West Oakland; That’s when Oakland was Oakland.” Janet Hill enthusiastically recalled. “I loved to scout around and my mother let me roam freely. She was one of the few who was in favor of children satisfying their curiosity, seeking and experiencing. Most kids stayed indoors, had chores and studied, and weren’t out on the streets. They could come out and play at certain times. I would tie my jump rope to the ring of the metal hitching post in front of the old mansion and  Jessie and I would jump rope. We had great times together.
“But I was the mischievous one, just naturally interested, curious about everything. On my own I would explore, peek through windows, because I wanted to know what people did and how they lived their lives. I was a healthy, active, energetic child. It was a good and safe neighborhood for children, then, and I felt happy with my freedom. I loved the whole area, all the people,” said Janet Hill. Read more

Revisiting 7th Street: The Blues Capitol of The West

Terryjonesfile.jpgBy Terry Jones

Part 1

Just the other day I was on my way to visit a cousin in West Oakland and missed my turn and wound up on 7th Street. Amidst the urban renewal, the U. S. Post Office, the Bart station, and modern apartments still stand some of the old reminders of a grander time for Black businesses and the Black community in West Oakland during the 1940s and 50s.. While I am too young to remember its glory days, my cousin tells me that 7th street was a real “happening place” back in the day. Given what I see now, I wonder how this could have ever been true. What brought Black people to 7th Street and what changed this “happening place?”
The story of Black people in West Oakland and on 7th Street is tied to the Transcontinental Railroad terminal, navel shipyards, industrial development and a war. These factors pulled Blacks from the south, but they were also pushed by the brutalities of racism and economic oppression. Read more

They Rode Back To The Crime Scene To Watch

Tapes Reveal Them Laughing About Shooting Bailey’s Face Off

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTQYOgxa8ZM[/youtube]

SLPD VIDEO TRANSCRIPT REVISED 06/18/08
On August 2, 2007, journalist Chauncey Bailey was gunned down in Oakland, CA.
Bailey was investigating Your Black Muslim Bakery, a once prominent Oakland African-American organization. [Chauncey photo]
Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV was arrested August 3 during a raid for a separate kidnapping case.
Police placed Bey and two associates involved in the case, his brother Joshua Bey and Tamon Halfin, in a San Leandro police department room, where they were secretly videotaped.
CLIP 1
Bey IV has repeatedly told police he knew nothing about Bailey’s death.
But, on the tape, he demonstrates what happened when Bailey was shot by a masked gunman.
10:14:42: Fourth: That fool said, “Pow, pow! Poof!” [Fourth throws his head back as if demonstrating what happened to Bailey when he was shot] He a soldier for that shit! Read more

Equinox: The Movement

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elVfgnaiS58[/youtube]

Set in Oakland, CA, Equinox is the story of a boy’s tumultuous journey toward manhood. 18-year-old Malachi Cross embarks upon this journey as he joins a powerful ‘rites of passage’ program to teach him the lessons of true strength, courage, and power that his dysfunctional family and emasculated father can’t give him. The story is complicated as his high school peers plan to take over the local radio station “for the people,” his girlfriend hates the new Malachi, and things at home take a turn for the worse, putting him to the test. Baayan Bakari talks to the Post about the film.

1. How did you get interested in filmmaking?

I got interested in film when I realized the extraordinary power of the medium to move me. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s not true. It’s worth a million.

2. What was your role in the film making process and what kind of production team do you work with?

I was the director, cinematographer, producer and editor. I was responsible for the creative side. But I have been blessed with a team of people that have stepped up to support the effort.

3. Describe the inspiration for your film?

I went down to Los Angeles with a script entitled Summer Reign a drama. I was told that black dramas don’t sell! I was determined to continue to make my own films, from my own spirit. This film is about the work that I’ve been doing within the community for years. I been apart rites of passage programs, I’ve taught young men in schools etc… Yet I had never scene my work depicted honestly on the screen. So I decided to create those images.

4. In what ways has Oakland influenced your filmmaking and artistic aesthetic?

Oakland is full of these types of programs. Oakland is the land of consciousness and grassroots organizations. It’s the home of the Black Panther Party.

5. How would you describe the indie film scene in Oakland/the Bay in general?

With the introduction of EQUINOX: The Movement on the cinematic landscape, I believe that the indie film scene is burgeoning. Specifically for Black Filmmakers? I hope that many more indie black filmmakers pick up their cameras and tell the honest stories about our community that are often never told.

6. Would you move towards major distribution and studio support or are you focused on indie work?

If a studio or major wants to support what I’m doing that’s great. But I’ve made a commitment to have the world see this film. So I don’t intend on it vanishing on some video store shelf.

7. Where can people see more of your work?

At www.equinoxmovie.com

8. What’s next?

I’m trying to produce a film about the hip hop fashion model industry.

Equinox: The Movement screens Saturday, June 14 at 4:45. For more information go to www.sfbg.com

Fillmo

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7G0DQ6O6-M[/youtube]

‘Fillmo’ takes a look at the current processes of gentrification and redevelopment within the once thriving area of the Western Addition in San Francisco. Nilja Mumin talks to the Post about the film.

1. How did you get interested in filmmaking?

Mumin: My late grandmother Geneva. She used to bake sweet potato pies when I was a child. As I got older, I would think back to my experiences with her, and with her pies. It was as if these experiences held so much of who I was, and who I am. I used these past images as my foundation, and during my junior year at UC Berkeley, I became increasingly interested in the intricacies of everyday life, moments, and experiences that translated beautifully to the big screen. I began to see life as a series of photographs, or images, strung together by stories; words. This eventually led to my first film.

2. What hats did you play in the filming process and what kind of production team do you work with?

I am an emerging screenwriter and director, with skills in editing and an eye for composition. I started out strictly guerrilla, due to my lack of equipment and thirst to create. I can remember shooting in North Oakland at 3am on a street corner, with a mini dv camera in my hand, as I directed my actors. That’s how I used to get down. As I gained more knowledge about filmmaking, I began working with other filmmakers, directed and writing my own projects and seeking others to contribute their camera expertise or editing skills. I just recently began graduate film school at Howard University, so I work with a full crew of talented student filmmakers, a script, and a cast. I fulfill all stages of the filmmaking process, from pre-visualization to post production.

3. Describe the inspiration for your film?

My last film, entitled LYE, was inspired by my experiences as a young black girl and the Eurocentric beauty standards that were continually aimed at me. LYE focused on a young girl, Tasha, who is obsessed with black hair magazines, and a “Pretty-n-Silky” image that she so badly wants to attain. The movie, shot on 16mm film, is a visual exercise in delusion, imagination, and childhood innocence.

4. In what ways has Oakland influenced your filmmaking and artistic aesthetic?

My first film was entitled Oakland, Ca. Oakland continues to be my artistic muse. The conception for my first film came from my fascination with the late night street corner activities of black men who stood on the block right outside of my window in North Oakland. I wondered: what are they talking about, who are they, and how can I bring their stories to life? And so, I did. I wrote and directed a short film focused in this North Oakland enclave. More than that, Oakland intertwines a natural urban realism with a gritty mysticism.

5. How would you describe the indie film scene in Oakland/the bay in general? Specifically for Black Filmmakers?

I cannot speak fully on the scene because I don’t consider myself fully enmeshed in it. I’ve always been a bit of a floater, and I go from place to place participating in events from San Francisco to Berkeley. The portion of the scene that I’ve experienced has been fruitful and full of potential and possibility. I especially appreciate the organic, and innovative visions of Oakland filmmakers; the indie film scene is but a manifestation of this.

6. Would you move towards major distribution and studio support or are you focused on indie work?

I am focused on whatever route allows me to share intimate, honest stories with people across the world. I am an independent artist, and believe that major distribution would enable the proliferation of my work.

7. Where can people see more of your work? What’s next?

My website: web.mac.com/Nijla. The website features my photography, video and film projects, and writing. What’s next: I am currently working on three documentaries (see my website for more information.) I am working on the development of a short film series chronicling the experiences of young black girls in their pursuit of becoming black women in America. Stay tuned!

Fillmo screens Sunday June 8 at 2pm. Go to www.sfbff.org for more information.

Black August

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKlWELvdU2E[/youtube]

Political Prisoner George Lester Jackson’s (Gary Dourdan, CSI) short life became a flashpoint for revolution, igniting the bloodiest riot in San Quentin’s history. In a story ripped from history’s headlines, Black August traces Jackson’s spiritual journey and violent fate, from being sent up on a one-year-to-life sentence for robbing a gas station of $71 to galvanizing the Black Guerrilla Family with his incendiary book of letters, Soledad Brother, to the fierce August day when his younger brother Jonathan shocked the world by taking a California courtroom hostage to protest Jackson’s upcoming trial. Tcinque Sampson talks to The Post about the film.
1. How did you get interested in filmmaking?

Sampson: We live in a media-crazed era in this period of our struggle. My need to transmute the deep rage of black/underclassed people in this nation into something constructive and creative, moved me to expressing myself on film.

2. What was your role in the film making process and what kind of production team do you work with?

I am writer, executive producer, and co-director of the film Black August. We worked with a full production crew. I made it a point to bring in as many local crew members, as possible from the bay Area to be a part of this historical effort to bring to film this controversial subject matter, which is an indigenous part of the Bay Area/national history of our struggle. This story stars Gary Dourdan (CSI’s Warrick Brown), as prison activist, revolutionary, and new York Times best selling author George Jackson. we shot on 35mm film, and albeit we started out indie, were subsequently picked up by Warner Brothers Pictures.

3. Describe the inspiration for your film?

I am one of the many beneficiaries of the legacy of George Lester Jackson. This is an important part of our national history, whose story and legacy has been recorded in multiple languages around the world, i.e., “Soledad Brother, (Prison Letters of George Jackson)”, “Blood in My Eye”, a posthumous release, following the death of George Jackson, killed by California Department of Corrections, prison guards at San Quentin on August 21, 1971.

This story is still news today, it is a period/shelf piece whose human story is a source of inspiration and positive force of motivation, still today, and appeals to the entire spectrum of our struggle, from academics to the most hard-core of our youth.

4. In what ways has Oakland influenced your filmmaking and artistic aesthetic?

Oakland is but a small part of my historical experience upon which I call upon to inspire the framing my work. I juxtapose the my experiences in the City of Oakland from which I sprang with the two decades I spent in captivity inside various units of the United States Industrial Prison Complex.

5. How would you describe the indie film scene in Oakland/the bay in general? Specifically for Black Filmmakers?

I was treated with much respect by many professionals on the Oakland Film scene. In particular, i give a solidarity shout out to Amy Zinns, of the Oakland Film Office, whose tireless efforts and guidance helped to get me through the growing pains of meeting constant opposition to the principle subject matter of Black August, and thus with her direction I found the course to make Black August a reality.

To the contrary, there are those on the Oakland film scene whom still carry the altruistic traits of their ex-slave masters, and whose soul purpose is to put out content for money, damn the effect. I personally commit to only doing works that move us to a new community order, a New Afrikan way of defining ourselves.

6. Would you move towards major distribution and studio support or are you focused on indie work?

I will always move in ways to exploit my work at the broadest range, and highest levels of exposure.

7. Where can people see more of your work? What’s next?

I am currently working to bring to the big screen, “From Superman to Man”, based on a novel by progressive writer/historian, J.A. Rogers.

I am an invader in this industry. Black August is my first work. Many say, I am “lucky”, to have been picked up by a major on my first time out on the dance floor. I intend to prove to “those of little faith”, how wrong they are on the luck theory. History will be the judge, as to whether I am truly a film-maker/story-teller with vision, or simply another il-legitimate capitalist, using Black suffering to bank on. we all need to eat, but we all have props to pay to those who made our struggle the more clear.

Black August Screening Friday, June 13, 6pm. Go to www.sfbff.com for information.

Black Directors Celebrate Film Diversity

By Kwan Booth

The San Francisco Black Film Festival kicked off it’s latest installment on Wednesday June 4. The festival, now in it’s 10th year, has become one of the preeminent destinations for Black filmmakers around the country, showcasing over 100 films from the United States and around the world over a 10 day period. This year’s festival, which runs June 5-8 and 11-15 includes documentaries, features and short films that explore the various attitudes and aesthetics of the African Diaspora. The Post talked to 4 directors about their work and inspiration. Click the links below to read the interviews and watch footage from each film.

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“Fillmo’”, Nilja Mumin, Director, Screening Sunday June 8, 2pm

‘Fillmo’ takes a look at the current processes of gentrification and redevelopment within the once thriving area of the Western Addition in San Francisco.

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“Black August”, Tcinque Sampson, Director, Screening Friday, June 13, 6pm

Political Prisoner George Lester Jackson’s (Gary Dourdan, CSI) short life became a flashpoint for revolution, igniting the bloodiest riot in San Quentin’s history. In a story ripped from history’s headlines, Black August traces Jackson’s spiritual journey and violent fate, from being sent up on a one-year-to-life sentence for robbing a gas station of $71 to galvanizing the Black Guerrilla Family with his incendiary book of letters, Soledad Brother, to the fierce August day when his younger brother Jonathan shocked the world by taking a California courtroom hostage to protest Jackson’s upcoming trial.

“Equinox: The Movement”, Baayan Bakari, Director, Screening Saturday, June 14, 4:45

Set in Oakland, CA, Equinox is the story of a boy’s tumultuous journey toward manhood. 18-year-old Malachi Cross embarks upon this journey as he joins a powerful ‘rites of passage’ program to teach him the lessons of true strength, courage, and power that his dysfunctional family and emasculated father can’t give him. The story is complicated as his high school peers plan to take over the local radio station “for the people,” his girlfriend hates the new Malachi, and things at home take a turn for the worse, putting him to the test.

“The Revolution”,Trevor Parham, Producer/Writer, Screening, Friday June 6, 7:30

A music video for the Napalm Clique, highlighting the social and educational value of hip hop.

Revolution

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nWg9TECn5w[/youtube]

A music video for the Napalm Clique, highlighting the social and educational value of hip hop. Trevor Parham talks to the Post about the video.

1. How did you get interested in film making?

trevor.pngParham: I started making short films and stop-motion animations with my siblings when I was nine years old. My parents had just bought a Hi-8 camera, so we took every chance we
could to get our hands on it.

2. What was your role in the film making process and what kind of production team do you work with?

I was the Writer/Producer/Editor of Revolution. Forming our production team was actually pretty organic… After writing the treatment and sharing it with the Napalm Clique, I brought in the other arm of Eklectyk Creative Media, Aled Ordu, to develop a narrative and direct the film. From there, I just pulled together a team of close friends to form our crew: Our co-director and camera operator was a neighbor in my apartment building. Our Director of Photography was an old friend from high school, who was working as a commercial photo assistant, and had never worked in video before. Our Assistant Director was also a close friend from high school who produces music (and had also never worked in video), and our hair/makeup artist was brought in by our DP.

All of our cast, crew, and extras were just friends of ours. We sent out a mass text message a day or two before the shoot and had about 60 people show up for an all-day Sunday shoot. Some of the people I hadn’t even invited, because I hadn’t seen them in years… they just showed up because they heard it was the place to be.

3. Describe the inspiration for your film

The lyrics inspired me to choose this song for a video. It seemed like each MC was trying to educate the listener… it wasn’t just one of those, “ooh, I’m so great!” tracks, but instead, sounded more like, “hey listen to what I’ve got to tell you, it’s important”. They each had a different perspective, which made me feel like they were each teaching different subjects in school. In particular, the Fred Hampton Jr. interview I had shot a while back made me think that we could make the second MC a History teacher, showing a film to his class. From there, I just tried to elucidate Fred Hampton Jr.’s interview as much as possible by incorporating clips of the historical revolutionaries he described.

4. In what ways has Oakland influenced your filmmaking and artistic aesthetic?

To quote Davey D, “Oakland is the land of the hustle”. Oakland hip hop artists like Too Short and Mystik Journeymen have been known worldwide for their independent hustle, selling CDs hand to hand on the street in every neighborhood they could travel to. Most of my friends make music, and hustle their work in the same way, so when I first started making videos, I would just go out on the street with them and sell my DVDs along with their CDs.

As for my artistic aesthetic, I’ve just always seen Oakland hip hop artists as innovators, always taking the state of the art in different directions. Groups like Digital Underground and Souls of Mischief had really clever styles and always seemed to have fun with their art, but most importantly, something about what they did would always make me think. For me, that’s what I strive to do with my art– break the mold, while having fun, and making people think.

5. How would you describe the indie film scene in Oakland/the bay in general? Specifically for Black Filmmakers?

The indie film scene in Oakland is different than other cities like New York and LA. There’s not a big industry presence, but the arts really thrive here, so most of the work is really rich and vivid. If there were more of an industry presence here, then the Bay Area indie film scene would really be a force to be reckoned with. Look how well we do with Technology and Music! People in the Bay just have a progressive mindset, period. If you exposed more of those creative and innovative minds to filmmaking it would totally change the game, just like we have with every other industry.

I actually don’t see much from the Oakland indie film scene too often, but whenever I do, it’s got that Bay flavor to it. As for Black Filmmakers in Oakland, I find that a good amount of film is either about music or social change.

6. Would you move towards major distribution and studio support or are you focused on indie work?

I’m definitely open to studio support and major distribution, but that will never motivate my work or my creativity. I’ll keep doing what I do the way I like to do it, and if it gets picked up, it gets picked up. If not, I’ll still make sure it gets seen. I’ve just always walked to my own beat.

7. Where can people see more of your work? What’s next?

People can see current work from Eklectyk Creative Media on our YouTube channel: youtube.com/eklectyk. You can also see other work on the video’s website, www.revolutionthevideo.com, or on our company website: www.eklectyk.com

We’re currently working on some more Bay Area music videos and other short projects that address education and social change.

The Revolution screens, Friday June 6 at 7:30. Go to www.sfbg.com

4,000 Deaths Too High a Price

As the death toll of American soldiers has reached 4,000 in the U.S. occupation in Iraq, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-9) released the following statement:
“This is a sad milestone and my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the 4,000 soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their service.
“This great loss is a stark reminder that President Bush’s failed and disastrous policies have real and tragic consequences. It is a stark reminder that even in the midst of the Iraq recession, nothing compares to the human costs of this war and occupation. It is a stark reminder that our nation was misled into a senseless war that now must end. Read more

“Obama: From Promise to Power” by David Mendell

Reviewed by Terri Schlichenmeyer

obamabook.jpgWelcome to 2008, a year of campaign ads and – ultimately – a moving van at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Have you made up your mind to which candidate you’ll throw support?  If your opinion isn’t set in concrete, read “Obama: From Promise to Power” by David Mendell.  It might not change your thinking, but it might make you take a second look.
Born to a white woman who was originally from Kansas, and a father born and raised in Kenya, Barack Obama is a self-admitted child of many cultures. When Barack (who was born in Hawaii and named for his father) was two years old, Obama Sr. left the family to attend Harvard, then returned to his native country.  Despite the abandonment, Obama’s mother painted her ex-husband in a very favorable light and taught her son positive history about African American culture.  Read more

Is Water the Next Oil?

water.jpgWater is an essential commodity for our growing nation and yet our leaders regrettably overlook its importance.
Budgets for infrastructure maintenance and improvements continue to be slashed at the Federal, State and municipal government levels.  It is another national problem waiting to happen, with the question being not “if?”,but “when?”
Water shortages are one of the most looming threats for our communities in the near future.  In some communities, the shortages may be severe or catastrophic.
A majority of the nations ground water is servicing the needs of a constantly growing domestic population.  The demand for water increases twice as fast as the population base.
Industrialization and agriculture techniques are harming the supply of clean water. High quality potable water is becoming a commodity. Read more

A Strong Workforce: For our State, For our Families, For our Future

By Assemblymember Sandré R. Swanson

SandreSwanson.jpgAs Chairperson of the Assembly Labor & Employment Committee, California’s working families are at the forefront of my mind every day.   Our budgetary crisis has thrown into stark focus the many issues our workforce faces, highlighting the reforms and investments we must make now to ensure that Californians continue to prosper, and that our state becomes even more competitive as we move forward into the 21st century.
Our first and most important task is to ensure the health, safety, and education of our children is truly our top priority, and that our State budget reflects that value.  Education is the cornerstone of our workforce, with the best educated generation, the Baby Boomers, having led the way as they graduated from quality public schools to build one of the most powerful economies on the planet.
Sadly, we are now struggling to keep even the most rudimentary programs and services in place, falling from the top ten to the bottom ten in terms of our funding for schools in this country.  The results can’t be more apparent: incredibly high dropout rates, increasing incidences of youth violence, and more and more students unprepared for college or the workforce.  In the end, we spend more on state services for the unemployed, and even more on incarcerating well over 100,000 prisoners, the most in the nation, many of whom are unable to read at a middle school level. Read more

Dymally Seconds Bass' Speaker Nomination

arttorres.jpgWhy register as a Democrat? If you believe in good jobs, a balanced budget, choice, a clean environment, quality education, more cops on our streets and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals – join us as Democrats to unite people in California. We are pro-family and pro-children. We fight for a quality education and safe schools for our children. We’ll continue to fight to raise the minimum wage, protect Social Security and provide quality and affordable health care for all people.

History Maker Makes History

swansonbass.jpgAssemblywoman Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, will become the first African American woman to hold the post of Assembly Speaker in the United States, and following the customary nomination by the incumbent Speaker, Fabian Nunez, the motion was seconded by Assemblymember Mervyn Dymally.
Dymally, an early supporter of Bass’ candidacy for the coveted Speaker’s position, was among the 48 Democrats she assembled the day before to garner the nomination.
“Assemblymember Bass is someone who believes in reconciliation.” Dymally said. “She will make an outstanding Speaker.” Read more

Obama's Nation

 By Post Staff   

Untitled-1.jpgBarack Obama called for  sweeping social and political  reforms as part of a movement  “from the bottom up” during  a speech to thousands of supporters in downtown Oakland  on March 17. “The country calls us, history beckons us… there’s a better future for America,” said  Obama, as he was greeted by  supporters who waved signs  bearing his name.

The  civil  rights  struggle  and voting rights movement  for  women  proved  ordinary  people “can make change…  we can speak with a million  voices,” said Obama. Oakland Mayor Ronald V.  Dellums introduced Obama  and also called for an end to  the war in Iraq. The former state legislator and civil rights attorney  hopes to become the first Black  President of the United States.  Polls show the Illinois Senator  is closing the gap on frontrunner New York Senator and former First Lady Hillary Rodham  Clinton. Read more

Presidential Candidate Clinton Tackles “Black” Issues

By Conway Jones

CobbClinton.jpgSan Francisco – U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) met with Bay Area African-American ministers and community leaders last Friday at the African American Art and Culture Complex. The Democratic presidential candidate discussed her programs to deal with problems facing African Americans, particularly children and youth violence.
She also touched on the senseless murder of Chauncey Bailey, Editor of the Post Newspapers. Senator Clinton’s Bay Area visit followed her appearance the day before in Las Vegas, Nevada. There, she addressed the National Association of Presidential Candidate Clinton Tackles “Black” Issues Black Journalists, where she discussed, “a crisis of the 1.4 million young men of color between 16 and 24 without jobs and out of work, and too often without hope.” She continued that theme in her talks in San Francisco. Senator Clinton’s comments were direct and showed her depth of understanding of all issues raised by this group. She dispelled any misconception that she doesn’t understand what Americans face daily, or that she lacks the courage to be President. Clinton invoked the killing of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey. The former First Lady said she deplored the violence that resulted killing “an investigative journalist doing his job. Read more

Faces Around the Bay: Jorban LeBlanc

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

Faces Around the Bay: Christopher Hicks and Kellyn Fennell

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

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

Faces Around the Bay: Hair Mercy!

CarterCalhoun.jpgPhoto and text by Barbara Fluhrer.

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

The Origins of Black History Month

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

Chauncey Bailey: The Cross and the Lynching Tree

Chaunceyin blue suit.jpgBy Marvin X
From the 12th floor office of the Oakland Post newspaper at 14th and Franklin, one can look down the block to a tree at 14th and Alice. Chauncey Bailey was lynched near that tree, although it was not in the tradition of a white lynching, but in the neo-America, his lynchers were black. And although the suspect is a young black man, there are witnesses who say the killer was an older person. Does it really matter, except for the fact that we are now doing the work of the KKK. We wear the hoods these days, and the fad is to wear gear with “stupid” designs, including skull and bones, thus signaling to the world our deathly intentions. We have become death angels, as sinister as the suicide bombers in the Middle East, although we have no purpose, no mission, except to kill another black, for of the nearly 130 killed in Oakland last year, not one white man was killed by a black. And for the most part, this is true throughout America. Our youth exhibit an animal consciousness as opposed to their spiritual consciousness. No, they do not use the mind God gave them, as my mother told me to do, but they seem motivated by a demonic spirit of hatred of self and kind, causing them to perpetuate the internal violence Dr. Franz Fanon wrote about in Wretched of the Earth. Read more