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Bessie Taylor and her autistic son, Devonte, cropped

When a mother and her autistic son are evicted: The story of Bessie and Devonte Taylor

When a mother and her autistic son are evicted, where are they supposed to turn? For Bessie Taylor of Monterey County, every option has come up short. Now, she’s worried about what comes next. Bessie and Devonte Taylor are staying in a motel, but come Friday, the money for that will run out. POOR Magazine is currently seeking legal support for the family to overturn the illegal eviction from public housing as well as collecting emergency donations for Bessie and Devonte to keep them temporarily housed in the motel so they are not on the street.

Behind Enemy Lines

If Black lives matter – A message to the youth from behind enemy lines

Jan 29, 2015
A protester sits in front of a street fire during a demonstration in Oakland following the grand jury decision not to indict the cop who murdered Michael Brown. – Photo: Stephen Lam, Reuters

If Black lives matter, make it clear that your just outrage extends to and will not tolerate the “con game” being run on the public and California Legislature by the PISC, CDCR and PBSP, wherein men like Ricky Kaidi Matthews, Sondai Ellis and others continue to be held hostage in tortuous solitary confinement awaiting sham case-by-case reviews after having been lied to repeatedly by prison administrators.

Prisoner Human Rights Movement: Agreement to End Hostilities has changed the face of race relations without any help from CDCr

Jan 28, 2015
“The Agreement to End Hostilities” – Art: Michael D. Russell, C-90473, PBSP SHU D7-217, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532

I encourage all men and women prisoners to continue to press onward with our Agreement to End Hostilities through all corridors of state and county facilities. We are fighting for human justice. We call on all citizens to get involved with social change now. We shall not allow even Gov. Brown to destroy our faith in humanity. The Prisoner Human Rights Movement shall stand as ONE clenched fist in solidarity against CDCr oppression.

Pattern of practice: Centuries of racist oppression culminating in mass incarceration

Jan 26, 2015
After more than 400 years of Black history in this country, Black children must still remind the public of their humanity.

After winning their freedom in the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history, Blacks were in many cases and places denied basic human, civil and political rights, literally forcing New Afrikans back into slavery by denying them a right to life. Over the years the government declared and waged war on the New Afrikan communities – war on unemployed “vagrants,’ war on crime, war on drugs, war on gangs – culminating in mass incarceration.

The way forward to end solitary confinement torture: Where’s the army?

Jan 25, 2015
“Solitary Confinement Is Torture” – Art: Michael D. Russell, C-90473, PBSP SHU D7-217, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532

I snapped to the fact that once we successfully exposed this torture program to the world, making the people aware, at least some of the responsibility shifts to the people to hold the lawmakers responsible. It’s unbelievable to me to see the numbers of people out there who are aware of the continued torture we are subjected to, and yet they’ve failed to take any action to hold those responsible accountable.

The voice of a slave who is not afraid to speak out against Alabama’s wickedness and corruption

Jan 21, 2015
After a roof caved in a year ago in another part of the prison, more beds were moved into this already overcrowded dorm.

When I arrived at Childersburg Community Work Center on Oct. 25, 2013, I did so with one of the worst cases of ringworm any of the medical staff here or at St. Clair had ever seen. How that came to be I will explain later. It didn’t take long for me to see that I was at a very nasty and unconstitutional facility, and on Nov. 19, 2013, I filed a formal complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice and the State Fire Marshall.

Humanity indicted for our silence in the face of torture
Phil Africa of MOVE dies under suspicious circumstances in Pennsylvania prison
Prison closings in Virginia mean worse conditions for prisoners
Federal Pell Grant eligibility for people in county jails or juvenile hall
Support SB188: Give Delaware prisoners a shot at freedom
Nurse fired for speaking out: ‘I am on a mission to stop torture at CDCR’
The Palestinianization of Blacks in the United States
No matter what they say or do, we die
Pennsylvania politicians pass Mumia Gag Law: Help fund the lawsuit to stop it
‘Helping Me, Help Me’: Help returning prisoners find work, stay free
Prisoners’ Agreement to End Hostilities as the basis for the abolition of ‘legal’ slavery
Lucasville vet: Refusing to snitch on men merely protesting inhumane prison conditions cost me 27 years
Chairman Shaka Zulu: Resistance is the way forward
I grew up in Guantánamo: Now that you have heard my story, you cannot turn away
California’s savage system of confinement: An end to solitary is long overdue

News & Views

Cages Kill-Freedom Rally in Santa Cruz

Jan 30, 2015
Sin Barras organized the Cages Kill-Freedom Rally to save lives after six people locked up in the Santa Cruz County Jail have died since August 2012, declaring, “These deaths are an act of collective punishment against people who are most in need of aid, and who are consistently denied community-based resources.” – Photo: Denica De Foy

Sin Barras organized the Cages Kill-Freedom Rally to save lives after six people locked up in the Santa Cruz County Jail have died since August 2012. The Jan. 24 rally was endorsed by a wide range of local, statewide, national, and international groups, demonstrating that murder and torture is happening in jails and prisons everywhere, not just in Santa Cruz. Stop the abuse and torture in the Santa Cruz County Jail and jails and prisons everywhere!

Making torture legal

Jan 29, 2015

In the wake of the Senate Intelligence Select Committee’s report on CIA torture of terror suspects, we are reminded how little Americans know about how the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency rolls in the real world. So, did they torture people? Yup. Did they kill people? Yup. Did they violate laws? Yuuuup. But guess what? Under the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2001 they’re immune from prosecution.

Marissa Alexander released from prison: Supporters celebrate, demand full freedom

Jan 28, 2015
Marissa Alexander leaves the courtroom on Jan. 27 – free at last, sort of. – Screenshot: WJXT

Supporters of Marissa Alexander in Jacksonville, across the U.S. and all around the world are overjoyed that she has been released from jail after serving three years behind bars for defending her life. In 2010, Alexander, a Black mother of three from Jacksonville, Florida, was forced to defend her life from a life-threatening attack by her estranged husband by firing a single warning shot that caused no injuries.

Yalani just wanted to cash his paycheck to help his mom with the rent

Jan 28, 2015
Yalani Chinyamurindi and his sister, Takeyah Davis-Chandler, in about 2013

On Jan. 9, 2015, at close to 10:00 p.m., my son, Yalani (Mighty Born) Chinyamurindi (of Zimbabwe Hahari, the House of Reverence), was working at BeniHana Japanese Restaurant in San Francisco’s Japantown. Yalani had a half hour lunch break. Even though the rent was paid, he was eager to contribute to the household. With check in hand, he left the restaurant with a work colleague to cash it. Only life is what’s happening as you make other plans … The funeral is Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, 2:00 p.m., at Bryant Mortuary, 635 Fulton St., San Francisco.

Community protector Bo Frierson tipped from wheelchair for protesting SFPD’s assault on his cousin

Jan 27, 2015
SFPD tries to tip Bo Frierson out of wheelchair 011815 poster

Devaughn Frierson Jr., better known as Bo, endeavors every day to protect his community and, like the Black Panthers, he doesn’t turn his back to abuse by police. As a community journalist who is a Black disabled man like Bo, I wanted to get to know what drives this activist, who is a hero to his neighbors but was treated abominably by San Francisco police.

Congolese protest election delay: ‘Non Kabila Rwandais’
Wheelchair mobility plus education equals a bright future for Eunice Atim of Uganda
‘Friends of Victoire’ launched to free Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire
Children of incarcerated parents say no to a new jail in San Francisco
Our future and the solar mandate of Assembly Bill 327
Shaking down the poor: The infiltration of a landless people’s movement
Black men disrespected in Mayor Ed Lee’s State of the City address
Hajj Malcolm Shabazz: Malcolm and Martin came at the same enemy from different angles
Congo’s problems are Museveni, Kagame and Kabila, not the FDLR
Rep. Barbara Lee: We’re still living in ‘two Americas’
New SF board president should fight for new Human Rights Commission
Today the Fillmore went dark!
Victory! Community pressure DID reverse the dangerous secret Lennar-City decision to implode Candlestick Stadium
Five years later: Haitians step up their fight for independence and democracy
An open letter to the technology industry: Honor the King Holiday ‘The time is always right to do what is right’

Culture Currents

Upcoming Events

 » Full event list and descriptions
HAITI ACTION COMMITTEE STUDY GROUP: The (Ongoing) Haitian Revolution Jan 30 2:00 PM Niebyl Proctor Library, 6501 Telegraph Ave., Oakland We invite you to be apart of our monthly study more>>
MUSICAL HAPPY HOUR at Radio Africa & Kitchen Jan 30 5:30 PM Radio Africa & Kitchen, 4800 Third St. (across the street from the Bayview Opera House), San Francisco Bayview Opera House @Radio Africa & Kitchen

4800 Third Street, more>>

West Oakland Unites to Keep Black Families in their Homes! Jan 30 6:00 PM 682 30th St, Oakland Black West Oakland family is set to be forcefully thrown more>>
Mindful Drumming Jan 30 7:30 PM Attitudinal Healing, 3278 West St., Oakland Mindful Drumming is an ancient indigenous technology that uses the more>>

Bill Duke reflects on Martin Luther King, race and colorism

Jan 29, 2015
Bill Duke

As the nation celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.’s 86th birthday, we are immersed in an intensive, often divisive conversation about race in America. Sixty years after King marched through the streets, as he did in Selma and cities throughout the South, we find ourselves still on the streets battling many of these same issues. My concern is that we are too narrowly focused. We need to make sure we battle this issue of race on all fronts.

The indispensable weapon is culture and the power of the spoken word

Jan 21, 2015
“Incantations and Rites” was presented Dec. 6 by Daughters of Yam (at left) – devorah major and Opal Palmer Adisa – featuring their poetry and the music of Destiny Muhammad, Harpist from the Hood. – Photo: Malaika Kambon

Our community, our humanity; our ancestors, elders and children; our poets and artists from across the Diaspora: All were brought together on Dec. 6 for the sharing of “Incantations and Rites” with the Daughters of Yam, with Destiny Muhammad, “Harpist from the Hood,” and with the hood itself. Our focus was on the issues of our Black young men being assassinated in the streets.

African American classical music: Renaissance woman P. Kujichagulia speaks

Jan 20, 2015

On Sunday, Feb. 1, 1-3 p.m., to kick off Black History Month, she will be giving a lecture called “Racism and All That Jazz” on African American classical music, aka Jazz, in the Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St. “I’m honored to have the fabulous Yemanya Napue, percussionists Val Serrant and Sosu Ayansolo and visual artist Duane Deterville collaborate with me on this presentation,” she says.

Mumia’s daughter Goldii leaves a powerful legacy

Jan 18, 2015
Goldii performs at Mumia’s 55th Birthday and Book Release Party in 2009.

The Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition announced her passing on the afternoon of Dec. 17: “It is with deep sadness that we share the news about the transition of Goldii. From a daughter’s perspective, she was a dynamic spokesperson, speaking stirringly of the impact incarceration has on children and families. She was also a staunch advocate on behalf of her father’s innocence.”

Disobedience is being Black or Brown

Jan 18, 2015
'Disobedience is Being Black or Brown' art by Victor Garcia 1014-1, web

I’ve been drawing all my life, drawing with everything but paint, but most of my art had no meaning. Other artists I have seen in the Bay View and other publications have inspired me to create this piece, which carries a message: The baby in handcuffs represents the young boys torn away from their mothers or society to be eternally incarcerated in men’s penitentiaries – thus the “SB260” on the breast plate.

Ronald ‘Elder’ Freeman: He walked the San Quentin yard with the noble stature of a revolutionary
Ten things you should know about Selma before you see the film
‘Selma’: Unexpected bounty
‘Selma’ shockingly and sadly relevant
No joy, no peace
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