Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hurricane Isaac

It's that time of year: Winds sweep across the Pan Pacific, blowing from the west coast of Africa, the spirits of its children buried beneath the currents spread throughout the world. Marshall Lamm invited me to see Esperanza Spalding tonight. I didn't know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised when the singer/musician treated her audiences to a socially conscious tour of America with stops at the doors of the prison industrial complex and mother nature.

Freedom was a theme, that and human survival. It was Earth Day yesterday in Oakland, as it should be everyday, what with the recent oil spill in Richmond, California, Spalding said as she played a song she composed for the planet's birthday April 21, 2012.

This particular song had a haunting tone, the musician on electric bass, her countrabass lying on its side nearby.

Accompanied by a dynamic horn section with acoustic and electric key boards, singers and of course Spalding on vocals and bass--what she calls her Radio Music Society, the evening moved fluidly from a fireside chat on relationships and love to the concluding number which spoke to Spalding's philosophy.

I'd been wondering about the giant boom box on the stage.

Spalding could have been speaking about KPOO, KCSM, KPFA maybe Wanda's Picks, when she talked about the power of music to speak about issues and feelings words might not communicate as well. She had the audience think about times when they were in the car or shower and a jam came on they loved and perhaps didn't know or catch all the words. She invited everyone to sing their song.

It doesn't have to be in the right key, she said. The inclusive nature of the closing song, fit well with the overall ease that characterized Spalding's concert.

I'm not 30, she said when speaking of the man whose life was robbed of 30 years: Cornelius Dupree (born September 22, 1959). Snatched off the streets, he spent 30 years behind bars and was released when the witnesses, even jurors recanted their verdict. See

Makes one think, she said, about Freedom. Don't take it for granted. She encouraged the audience to get involved in prison abolition.

Another moment was her intro to Black Gold. Thoughts of Troy Anthony Davis were present, as Trayvon Martin's name was called by the male singer who reflected on the negative media surrounding black men. Spalding facing him reminded her artist of his ancestors and how they survived much worse, and to remember this.

If black people could and did survive enslavement, Jim Crow and separate and unequal legislation for centuries we will also. Call on your ancestors, she told him, for strength and support during these times and remember, "You are black gold." I thought it interesting that I had in my purse a book of Slave Narratives edited by Belinda Hurmence called: Before Freedom: 48 Oral Histories of Former North and South Carolina Slaves. This is a compilation of two earlier collections: My Folks Don't Want Me to Talk about Slavery; Before Freedom, When I Can Just Remember.

Hailing from Oregon, Portland, Spalding invited her brother on the stage to perform the encore number, which was about the roses in Oregon. The Pacific Northwest is where I am headed this weekend, Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. There are a lot of great plays there this year, among them, one Party People, looks at the Black Panther Party for Self Defense and is a collaboration between the Festival and Universes, a theatre ensemble from New York. They performed at Geronimo ji jaga's commemoration at East Side and at deFermery or Lil Bobby Hutton Park last year.

What an intuitive composer and arranger, this Spalding artist (smile). Her song about kings, was cute. This was performed during her relationship section of the set and featured one of her two trombonists--he has five children and supports them on a trombonist salary she stated (smile). The artist also referenced a spiritual king, God, perhaps the one she should have been looking to for guidance all along.

Another song featured Tia Fuller, whom I'd just seen a couple of weeks prior with her band at the San Jose Jazz Festival; I'd forgotten she was a part of Spaldings band (smile).

Afterward, the artist, who opened SFJAZZ's fall season in a concert Jazz Continuum series: "Esperanza Spalding, 21st Century Superstar," met her fans, dressed ceremonially in all white. She made her entrance to the lobby down the stairs from the grand tier, accompanied by two burly black men--

Many folks were there to greet her whom I knew from the social justice movement like Makani Themba, Jahaharah Alkebulan Maat, and Ericka Huggins.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hermano, the film

Shot in Venezuela, Hermano, directed by Marcel Rasquin, is a powerful film where relationships or bloodties do not dictate who one calls brother—Hermano. Brothers are bound by love, bound by work, bound by necessity.

Within the close community where brothers Daniel and Julio live –the slums of La Ceniza, football is the most positive communication for the two brothers and the larger brotherhood or team. The boys worship the Carracas Football Club.

Hermano resonates—with biblical fervor. What happened when Cain slew Abel or Joseph’s brother tossed him into a well? Certainly, such actions were antithetical to a Partridge Family Reunion, but in Rasquin’s film—the lines or boundaries that hold the brothers bleed into other spaces, some irreversible.

The world Hermano reveals is tough—pain inevitable and almost expected. Soccer is escape. It is the window between the two brothers. It is where words are unnecessary—It is how the two men say: I love you. Mom bakes cakes, Julio runs drugs and Daniel goes to school, loves his mom, worships his brother who saved his life (on the elder Julio’s birthday). And then Julio takes his gift back—

Filled with suspense, great characters, esp. first time acting debuts by Elia Armas (Julio) and Fernando Moreno (Daniel) and the supportive cast including the actors who portray the coach, the mom, the girl Daniel loves who belong to someone else, the street children and the gang leader.

I guess I don't have to go there, but I will. Is it coincidental that the darker brother is the bad boy and the good kid is lighter complexioned? Certainly, Julio's complexion shows the presence of Africa in Venezuela.


Wanda's Picks August 24, 2012

This morning the plan was to have Karrin Allyson on to talk about her latest CD, nominated for a Grammy, 'Round Midnight. She'll be in town next week at the Rrazz Room, August 29-Sept. 2, but I could reach her (wrong number) so I played a few tunes from the CD and talked about her work. We might be able to reschedule this for next Friday, which will be broadcast early in the morning, as I am headed for Ashland, Oregon, for the Shakespeare Festival. I am so excited, they have a really great season this year.

Muziki Robeson was our next guest. He has a special concert lined up at Yoshi's in Oakland, Monday, August 27, 2012, 8 p.m. He is still jazzed from the tribute he choreographed to honor the late violist, Billy Bang, at the Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival, featuring Michael White, Tarika Lewis, Sandi Poindexter, India Cooke, Kash Killion, and others, he decided to have three violinists, whom all happen to be women from that historic gathering. He says they will be recording for perhaps a Live at Yoshi's later release, that evening (smile). Just coming down after a ten day fast, Muziki was looking great when I stopped by his studio to pick up a copy of his Stealth Jazz, which we feature this morning.

Dinizulu Gene Tinnie, artist and activist from South Florida, a man who honors our ancestors with his life and work, joins us to talk about some significant dates and the postponement of the commemoration planned for Sunday, August 26, in Key West. There is a storm coming.

We close with a prerecorded interview with writer, actor, producer, Derek Ting about his first feature, a Financial Thriller: $upercapitalist--Wall Street Meets Asia, opening at Opera Plaza in San Francisco on Van Ness. Ting and others will be at opening night tonight. Visit

Duane Muziki Roberson

A gifted, inspired pianist, composer and musician, "Muziki' has gained an impressive and respected reputation performing jazz locally, nationally and internationally for more than 30 years. Reared in Seattle, Washington, the Chicago native joined the U.S. Army immediately following high school. It was during a tour of duty in VietNam that he was introduced to jazz. Inspired by the drummer Michael Carvin and others in the Army Band, he returned to the States and taught himself to play piano. Attending college on the G.I. Bill, he studied music theory and composition.

Today, he resides in the San Francisco Bay Area playing piano regularly with The Muziki Roberson Quartet that features Aarron Germain on Bass, Dave Ellis on Reeds and Babatunde Lea or Ranzell Merrtitt on Drums. Vocalist Dwight Tribble performs intermittently as a guest vocalist. Previously he performed 12 years as an award-winning musician and composer with the world renowned San Francisco Mime Troupe.

His composing and keyboard playing helped the brilliant Jazz/Funk/Latin music and poetry group "Mingus Amungus" garner local and international acclaim from 1993 to 2000. Among his other performance partners are inventive jazz violinist Michael White, replete with a trip to Lagos Nigeria's 1977 FESTAC where he performed with Stevie Wonder and members of the band Osibisa. He also has played with saxophonist David Murray, violinist Billy Bang and many others. "Muziki" - meaning music in Swahili - remains heavily involved with The Grassroots Composer's Workshop that he joined earlier this century. The five horn and rhythm section group focuses on composing and arranging for large ensembles. Four years ago he added vibes to his musical instrument repertoire. His favorite musician is Wayne Shorter. (from

Dinizulu Gene Tinnie

I found this really cool video with Brother Dinizulu talking about his work and growing up in Long Island after a stint in the Bronx. “The One Who Makes Thunder.”

It is now confirmed that Hurricane Isaac, being a very wide storm, will bring inclement weather to Key West over the course of the coming weekend, and evacuation orders are already being announced.

Therefore, the Annual Observance of the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition at the Key West African Cemetery, scheduled for this coming Sunday, August 26 (also the anniversary of the arrival of the first of the Key West African refugees in Liberia), has been cancelled.

The next such commemorative occasion will be the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery [which still continues today in many parts of the world] on December 2. The United Nations has also designated March 25 as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Derek Ting

Derek Ting conceived the idea after he moved to Hong Kong in 2005 to work as a producer for CNN. As an expat he noticed that the community has a strong financial community. He was seeing the influx of many newcomers to work in Hong Kong. Many of the first were financial types from New York looking at Asia as a new frontier. As he explored further, meeting more people, he noticed a great deal of the major corporations were run by Hong Kong family dynasties. He thought, what would it be like if these two powers, the expats, and the big families went to war? How would the Eastern and Western cultural and corporate values clash?

Wanda's Picks August 22, 2012

Ann L. Chinn, executive director of the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project (MPP) is a self-described community activist. Ms. Chinn's work has included children and family advocacy with Washington DC government and work as a retailer, textile artist, and organizer of a collective artists' market. She has also written an extensive family history in collaboration with family members:

Kamala Damaris serves as Development Assistant for the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, California. Rooted in a commitment to diversity, the East Bay Meditation Center operates with transparent democratic governance, generosity-based economics, and environmental sustainability. Kamala is here to talk about the Dharma-thon, a 24 hour fundraising event benefitting the East Bay Meditation Center. By either buying a ticket for or raising pledges of financial support of the Dharma-thon, qualifying participants may engage in 6, 12 or 24 hours of Dharma activities such as sitting and walking meditation, drumming, yoga, tai chi, belly dancing, chanting, entertainment, fun and community. Visit

For the last three years, Anita Shontel Woodley has used her play - Mama Juggs - to raise consciousness and money for the battle against breast cancer. After dozens of performances and honors, she’s set to debut a new production. Inspired by true stories from her life, The Men In Me is an intimate performance about the Black men in her family as they fight to overcome desperate circumstances. Woodley, an Oakland native, will bring both shows to The Fellowship of Humanity Hall in Oakland on Friday, August 24 at 8:00 p.m. and Sweet Fingers Jamaican Restaurant Saturday, August 25 at Midnight.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wanda's Picks August 15, 2012

Sister Lola Hanif joins us to speak about Sacred Space, which meets second Thursdays each month. This is the last month at the East Bay Meditation Center, Thursday, August 16, 4pm – 6pm at the East Bay Meditation Center, 2147 Broadway, Oakland. This month Sister DJENNE BA will lead the workshop. She is dedicated to raising the consciousness of the planet through a Spiritual understanding of the Universe.She is available for private consultations, lectures and hands-on workshops. Visit Lola Hanif is a humanitarian and community activist.

She is founder and director of Lola’s Light; an organization established to promote good personal and community mental, spiritual and physical health.She holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Education with an emphasis in health issues in the African American community and a master’s degree from the University of Creation Spirituality. Ms. Hanif established Sacred Space Spiritual Support Group in 2007 and over 130 (single count) African American women have been meeting monthly ever since. Sacred Space is a spiritually-based, emotionally safe and supportive environment for African American women to gather, network, experience a sense of community support and is a means of advocating healthy, peaceful African American families. Sacred Space offers presentations and information regarding good mental, spiritual and physical health practices. She has also created an all natural, shea butter healing balm which has proven to be affective for relief of arthritic joint pain.

CHANNING COOK-HOLMES joins us to talk with us about Stepology 2012 in San Francisco at the Herbst Theatre where Mr. Cook-Holmes is Music, Director/Dancer/Drums. An Inglewood, CA native representing the West Coast, Channing Cook Holmes is blessed with talents that have taken him around the world. His drumming ability, his syncopated rhythmic tap dance
style, his singing, and his natural audience appeal, have taken Channing from dance company (Jazz Tap Ensemble), to stage (Riverdance, tour and Broadway), to small screen, (Bojangles), to big screen, (Gangs of New York).

He is the consummate entertainer. Channing is adding directing and producing to his repertoire with the production of his current, award winning children's show Lil' Chan Can Tap Dance. Channing Cook Holmes is a "must watch" artist with more to come.

We speak to Jaime Silva about a POLICE RAID PEOPLE'S LIBRARY IN EAST OAKLAND the Biblioteca Popular Victor Martinez, a community library activists opened earlier in the morning in a derelict building at a former public library, and a Carneigie bldg., 1449 Miller Ave. Throughout the day on Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, community members helped clean the building and borrowed and donated books. Neighborhood children began work on a garden in the building's backyard; literacy and computer classes were planned in the coming days. Following a poetry reading that gathered dozens of activists and community members, some forty squad cars blocked off Miller Ave from International to Foothill, and police told those in the library that they had fifteen minutes to leave or they would be arrested for trespassing. Librarians quickly salvaged the library's collection and left the building; the police than formed a line in front of the library while the Department of Public Works laboriously boarded up the front door with plywood and secured the fence in front with plastic zipties. For information call Jaime at (510) 290-9997 or Biblioteca Popular

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wanda's Picks Radio Show Friday, August 10, 2012

Today's overarching theme was service. From our first guest, director of the Soul of the City Campaign, first generation Nigerian, Nwamaka Agbo, who began volunteering at the Ella Baker Center in 2000, because she believed in the organization's commitment to providing innovative solutions for some of the hardest problems impacting low-income communities of color, to actress Terri J. Vaughn, whose invitation to 30 or 40 girls to dinne*r, 15 years later is an organization Take Wings Foundation which teaches girls how to be women in practical steps. Take Wings introduces the girls to public service, the power of academic rigor and awards their achievement with scholarships to 2-4 year institutions. Terri is joined by singer, philanthropist, Kenny Lattimore, who wouldn't let me talk about his new record or his date in Oakland this September.

It was all about Terri and Take Wings and the 9th Annual Awards Banquet, August 18, 2012 at the Marriott Oakland, City Center. Kenny and Terri co-host the anticipated event, which honors people who are carrying the torch like this year's nominees, Mrs. The conversation is one of why the two serve & why they feel this investment in black community is a nonnegotiable. Visit

Their feelings reminded me of what Chris Rock said when asked about W. Kamau Bell's new show on Rock's network which premiered last night. Bell, a comedian from the Bay Area, look at Race impressed Rock who said in an interview with Terry Gross, he wanted to give the brother a leg up, as he recalled those artists who helped him get his first gig and allowed him to watch them and see how they perfected their craft.

Take Wings History
"TWF, founded in 1997 by award winning actress Terri J. Vaughn who is a product of one of the Bay Area’s most notorious inner city neighborhoods, has first hand knowledge of the challenges and choices that teenaged girls are faced with on a daily basis. As a result of this first hand knowledge, her own personal success and a desire to give back to her community, Take Wings Foundation was born. Ms. Vaughn was driven to develop an organization that would specifically address the needs of the young women living in Hunters Point and similar communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. TWF provides opportunities for girls to interact with positive role models, get them involved in community service projects, encourages personal growth and development, and provides a series of workshops geared towards developing positive self esteem.

"TWF provides a variety of activities for young women that give them the opportunity to interact with positive role models, receive academic scholarships and awards, and participate in community service projects. Young women participate in three all day workshops each year that address a variety of issues that are of concern to teens which include dating violence, HIV/Aids, teen pregnancy, peer pressure, weight and body image, social responsibility, academic success, career development, successful emancipation from foster care, spirituality and various other topics. The youth also complete 40 hours of community service as well as an essay on a topic of our choosing. Through their participation in these various activities, health, wellness, self sufficiency, personal responsibility and academic success are emphasized and supported. TWF encourages youth to utilize communication skills, critical thinking skills and problem solving. TWF offers a safe and supportive place for youth to discuss personal issues that affect most underserved youth.

"TWF is operated by a half time Executive Director and a “working” board where members recruit participants, design workshops, organize fundraising events, and tend to all of the other day-to-day matters. They serve as staff, provide transportation for participants, develop workbooks and materials for workshops, recruit speakers, and devote hundreds of hours to ensure that the program provides quality services" (
With a homebase in Atlanta, Terri said she relies heavily on her sister and the wonderful board she has developed to facilitated this directive. Kenny who took over the introductions by telling us about Terri's The Green Room Actor's Lounge," which is a community center masquerading as a coffee shop/book store.

It says of itself: "At The Green Room we are all about events. Our 2500+ square foot space is equipped with a full coffee/tea bar, 20-25 seat theater room, conference room and performance space. Whether your'e looking to book wrap parties, birthday parties and celebrations, book signings, acting karaoke, spoken word, movie nights, ladies night out, etc., The Green Room is the Place for your next event." But the Green Room also has vocal/writing music classes, acting basics. Visit

Eddie Gale, Kash Killion and Destiny Muhammad

AfroSolo's Jazz in the Gardens last week featured these three artists, Kash Killion and the Killion Trillions and The Destiny Muhammad Trio (with Special Guest trumpeter, Eddie Gale). It was one of those experiences I wanted to make last forever if not musically, then via conversation. When Eddie came onto the stage, the air shifted, Destiny sang the sun from behind the clouds and when Kash joined the ensemble for a finale, Ascension, well up was not a metaphor (smile).

My show is early, and for working musician yes to Wanda's Picks Radio, means too early for comfort, but everyone came through even Eddie dog, who had to postpone his walk.

The conversation moves between art& freedom, specifically the parallel between, jazz and black life--how as a people we have had to keep improvising as the rules changed, laws were ignored and opportunity seemed predestined--our collective fate not mirrored in the west's crystal ball.
Yet, here we are still here, still beautiful, still powerful.

Music: Eddie Gale selections: "African Sunrise"; "The Rain" featuring Ms. Faye Carol; Judith Sephuma "te Tshephile Mang".

Kash Killion is a San Francisco based sarangi player, cellist, bassist, vocalist, and composer, who began his professional music career at age ten. Kash is a visionary musician who stretches the boundaries of what one would expect from string instruments. He hears the cello as a bass, a violin, a guitar, a saxophone, and a piano, and he seeks to share that with his listeners. He strives
to put the sarangi and other string instruments in unusual situations and play any style of music
and make it sound authentic.

Destiny Muhammad, performing/ recording artist/ composer is also known the Harpist from the Hood, rewrites classical and modern recordings for vocals and harp. Her first introduction to the Harp was at nine years old, however, a trip to Belgium as an adult reintroduced her to the mother of the modern harp--The Kora. Muhammad has quickly become a jazz harp artist of note. Her trajectory is similar to Joni Mitchell in that they both got pigeonholed early on in the folk tradition with their instruments and styles, but both moved towards a kind of 'jazz ever-calling' where songwriting and originality rule.

Eddie Gale's biography by Nathan Bush

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Life Cycles, A Review of Beasts of the Southern Wild, at Landmark Embarcadero in San Francisco

By Wanda Sabir

Beasts of the Southern Wild, directed by Benh Zeitlin is a lyrical film about a community in Southern part of the Louisiana Gulf Coast called "The Bathtub." Surrounded by water, this little island is cutoff from the mainland more than just physically. It is the philosophical separation that makes its people look suspiciously at what those on the mainland see as normal. Inherent in their lives is a respect for all living beings. The line between childhood and adulthood doesn't exist as a father teaches his daughter to be tough, so tough she has her own house, which she burns down on purpose (smile). The two even share a drink when the child, who is supposed to be tough, and tough means to accept life without tears . . . the two break down. The kid, is after all, a child, perhaps eight, maybe younger.

The writing is what gets the audience. The externalized thoughts of this little girl who speaks to a mother who is no longer present, a dad who is sick, and we find out later, dying. When Hurricane Katrina comes, the folks in The Bathtub don't evacuate, they make plans, which are in constant flux. Like life, they roll with the tides and when rescued . . . they leave.

Wild. . . containment is not something they are used too. When learning about the melting glaciers and the prehistoric animals that walked the planet before us, Hushpuppy, is able to have a meditative acceptance of life as it cycles --sunrise, day, sunset.

The interchange between the beasts whose nature is survival juxtaposed with that of the human species, who are also beasts, Hushpuppy's teacher tells her students, yet with a twist. The wild boars might eat their kin if hungry enough, but for the tribe Hushpuppy belongs too, it never comes to that. She does say, when her dad disappears, that she might have to start eating her friends, if he doesn't return soon.

He does, return, that is, dressed in a hospital gown. One never quite knows what is on Wink's mind, except he loves Hushpuppy and loved her mother, a mystery we never quite solve. While watching the lazy luscious film, it reminded me rhythmically of Julie Dash's Daughters of the Dust. The lyrical quality of the film also comes through as well. It was Dash's pen and palette that created this landscape, along with exceptional co-stars, the three women, among them Barbara O. In Beasts it is Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry, neither actors, before this illustrious debut who make the illusion tangible.

This beauty is also enhanced I'm sure in the technical presence of Art Academy University, and the San Francisco Film Society. Shot on location in Louisiana and its Ninth Ward, one sees the levy breached. (An editorial aside: Whenever I think about the AAU, it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth odor in my nostrils. It's president is responsible for Lorraine Hansberry Theatre's displacement, and subsequently its founders death--okay, she didn't kill them, but they might have lived longer if they hadn't experienced this loss.)

Perhaps what is so remarkable is how natural the actors appear with one another. The mixed race community is a few families large, but though isolated, they are not unaware of what life is like outside The Bathtub island they create for their families.

Who are the beasts, one might ask of herself after the film: the people who plug their sick into a wall or the people who teach their children to fly? There are so many picturesque scenes. Almost all the ones with Hushpuppy in them are keepers (smile). The memory of her father holding her as a baby, juxtaposed with that of a woman holding her and dancing is one, the other is when she cooks a meal with a blow torch and the final is when Hushpuppy talks to the mammoth boars. It's pretty remarkable. Oh, and one more, when Hushpuppy sits buried in crayfish shells.

Another beautiful moment is Hushpuppy's creation story, the story of her parent's first meeting, where everything falls away except their attraction for one another.

The spunky child is pretty remarkable as is her dad. Her life illustrates the fact that it is best if we tells our children the truth, Wink and Hushpuppy's lives are what they are because of this. Hushpuppy tells her father that if he dies her life will be over. He tells her that she will live much longer than he will and that is when she cries.

In the end, they are both crying. Hushpuppy listens to heartbeats in leaves, birds, hogs, and other human beings. She knows this is life's rhythm as she lies down, next to her dad's heart one more time.

Wanda's Picks August 8, 2012

Today we are continuing our conversation with Fiberalchemist April Martin-Chartrand; we then shift to an interview with three women artists, playwright Mfoniso Udofia, Erin Michelle Washington, Arts Organizer, Soul Productions, and Itero Udofia, director, MoAD Youth Media Project. We conclude with a special conversation with Michael Africa Jr., born 34 years ago, a month after the date of the unlawful detention of his parents, Debbie and Michael Africa Sr., and other MOVE 9 family.

April Martin Chartrand, Fiberalchemist, Author, and Illustrator presents "Fiberalchemy" as way to express her artistic creation. Her work ranges from chemical textile painting & sculptural sewing (wall relief) which incorporates found object assemblage, digital art graphics, and poetic expressions. She views textile as object - a finite end in itself that need not seek completion by being part of something else. This medium can be molded into countless forms to express the full range of human emotions and also disrupts that which is precious. This self-taught chemical painting and sewing process allows her freedom to create a wide array of textural surfaces ranging from very soft-paper texture to a thick leather quality which is perfect for the 2-demensional hand-painted and sewn wall sculptures, and mix-media paintings.Ms. Chartrand is a national award-winning fiberalchemist (She placed 1st place in Textile Division at the Atlanta Life Insurance Company’s Annual Art Competition.): Her winning work "Sailing on Motion" is housed in the Atlanta Life Insurance Companies’ private collection in Atlanta, GA. To continue, she is a published author of "Angel’s Destiny: A Novel Story of Poems & Illustrations" (2009 - ISBN 978-061-530-2515) which is currently available on,, Alexander Books, and Books Inc. (Market Street & California Street locations) San Francisco, CA. Finally, her "Afikamono" art series was featured at San Francisco City Hall’s – lower level gallery in 2000.

In 2002 Chartrand was a featured artist on KRON TV News Health segment, "Art, AIDS & African Americans" for her "Condom Card Project." In 1999 Chartrand was featured in Emerge Magazine for her community role as an artist and activist. To continue, her radio and television appearances include: KQED Radio Forum, KUSF Radio, KTVU TV #2 10:00 pm News, KTVU TV #2 Bay Area People (Afrikamono Series was featured), and KRON #4 Bay Area Back Roads (‘Travel’s Tails Series’: This segment featured the "Allen Allensworth State Historic Park.").

On April 1, 2010 she received a San Francisco City and County "Certificate of Honor" penned by Mayor Gavin Newsom and July 1, 1997 she received a proclamation day - "April Martin Chartrand Day in San Francisco" penned by Mayor Willie Lewis Brown, Jr.

Mfoniso Udofia is a New York based storyteller, actor, slam-poet and teaching artist. She attended Wellesley College for Political Science and obtained her MFA in Acting from San Francisco's award winning, American Conservatory Theater. During this stay in the Bay Area, Udofia pioneered a youth initiative, The Nia Project, which provided artistic outlets for youth residing in Bayview/Huntspoint and she became a regular player in the underground slam scene. Ms. Udofia is currently completing a trilogy chronicling the lives of a traditional Nigerian family transplanted in America. The first play in this installation, The Grove, is a 2012 Eugene O'Neill National Playwright's Conference semi-finalist. Also, Udofia's feature film Fred, in which she plays VIctoria and, starring Elliot Gould, will headline the 2012 Edinburgh Festival! Follow her @mfudofia and keep up on the scoop at

Erin Washington is currently at Oregon Shakespeare Festival as a Fair Apprentice for the American Revolutions Cycle, specifically focusing on engagement around “Party People” by Universes. She just finished a New Play Producing Fellowship in the American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage. She graduated from Florida A&M University with a BA in Theater and later received her MFA in Acting from American Conservatory Theater where she grew her passion for the arts. In 2009, Erin started Soul Productions, a production company that exposes urban communities to emerging independent artists who are pioneering new approaches to music, theater, and film.

Commentaries from Delbert Africa on MOVE 9. He gives us this number to call to demand their immediate parole: 717-772-4343; Mumia Abu Jamal also reflects on the 34th Anniversary of the MOVE 9. Visit

Music: Billy Harper's Knowledge of Self featuring Amiri Baraka.

Click the link in the title or here

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Bay Area Meeting to Discuss: California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP)

Joint the Movement!

Greater Bay Area
California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP)
African American Population Report
Regional Meeting

All Are Welcome to Attend
Free Lunch Served
Free Resources

For information about the CRDP, visit
Contact Dr. V. Diane Woods, CRDP Director at (951) 201-4364

Sponsored by the African American Health Institute of San Bernardino County, California Dept. of Mental Health and California Pan-Ethnic Health Network.