Wanda's Picks August 1, 2012
Today we are looking at Black Liberation, the first day of Black August, a month New Africans look at fallen comrades as well as successful revolts against enslavement, whether that is 500 years ago or presently- -we are concerned with the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual liberation of black people.
We are joined by artist, writer, April Martin-Chartrand, whose exhibit Treasured Cigar Box series, at the San Francisco Public Library, (Main Branch) in the African American Center, 3rd Fl., through Aug. 2, 2012, invites audiences into a world of the global slave trade perspectives between Africa, Europe, the Americas, and America (USA). These multidimensional assemblage cigar boxes (15 boxes) incorporate recycled and found objects, keys, money, and hand painted paper. This series bridges the gap by connecting the major Colonial slave trade shareholders of the New World.
Treasured Cigar Box (series) offers knowledge and research into the deeper meaning on how the exploitative, atrocious and brutal servitude, and harvesting of tobacco by circa 12-million African Slaves fueled the beginnings of the modern day corporations.
We then shift the conversation to a major travesty of justice, the MOVE 9, members of the collective who have been incarcerated for 34 years.
Ramona Africa, Minister of Communications for the MOVE organization, updates us on the status of these freedom fighters who have been denied parole since they have been eligible in 2008, because they refuse to confess to a crime they did not commit.
We play a recent commentary by Mumia Abu Jamal, where he reflects on what Judge Malmud said when asked what was the charge. Ms. Africa updates us on the nine, now eight MOVE members & their families--children, like Mike Africa, born when his mother, Debbie is incarcerated at eight months. Ramona says Debbie delivers Mike in the cell and the prison is not aware of Mike's birth for two days--two precious days.
Except for those two days years ago, Mike who was raised by his grandmother, hasn't been able to see his mother, Debbie or father, Michael, except behind bars. A father now himself, his children have been unable to have a normal healthy relationship with their grandparents.
This is the affect of incarceration on children and the children's children, what about husbands unable to see their wives, like Charles Africa, whose wife dies while he is incarcerated? Then think about our national and world community which is robbed of such fine human potential, not to mention the wasted human and economic resources spent over the past 34 years which could have used more positively beyond incarceration.
But as Ramona Africa says, none of us is free until we all are free, so the fight continues. Call news outlets, write letters to the editor and keep this faulty parole system on the minds of Americans. No one's freedom should be contingent on confession to guilt when he or she is innocent and as Mumia's commentary states, the MOVE 9 are innocent according to jurist Malmud 34 years ago.
We close with an interview with Sister Sheba Makeda Haven, who opens with a poem for Black August: The Pig Within.
A member of the Sacramento based Kuumba Collective artists participating in Mudcloth Madness, currently up at the African American Museum & Library, Oakland through August 7, she shares the genesis of the beautiful lamp she made on display there which uses mudcloth, precious stones and other sacred cloth and ornamentation--functional art at its best (smile).
Sister Sheba, member of the Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey's UNIA, former Black Panther Party member, freedom fighter esp. in the realm of public health, and deaconess in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, shares a poem written for Black August.
She also speaks about a petition asked the government release the records collected during the illegal counter intelligence program conducted by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI, Mr. Garvey COINTELPRO's first casualty.
Music: Babatunde Lea's African Tapestry; WolfHawkJaguar; Sankofa film excerpt: "Spirit of the Dead;" Ben Vereen's Defying Gravity