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Black History Month In The Bay Area

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 29, 2015 09:05pm | Post a Comment

Black History Month, San Francisco, Oakland, Bay Area

In honor of Black History Month, the Amoeblog is proud to provide this sampling of Bay Area events that are not to be missed. Watch this space for new additions.

Sunday, 2/1/2015, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Racism and all that Jazz

Like Traditional Negro Spirituals and the Blues, Jazz evolved in the United States to survive the horrors of racism. Join Renaissance woman Phavia Kujichagulia (Griot, educator, & activist) on this journey into Jazz from Africa to America. She has performed and lectured extensively throughout the continental USA, the Caribbean, and England.
Koret Auditorium
Main Library
100 Larkin St.
San Francisco

Friday, 2/6/2015, 12:00pm -1:00pm
2015 Black History Month Kickoff : A Century of Black Life, History and Culture in San Francisco

Presented by San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society (celebrating its 60th anniversary).
City Hall Rotunda
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco

Wednesday, 2/112015, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
African American Oakland: An Historical Overview

In this overview, Oakland History Room librarian Dorothy Lazard will share key and little-known stories of the social, cultural, economic and political contributions of African Americans in Oakland.
Main Library
Oakland History Room
125 14th Street
Oakland

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This Is Black History

Posted by Billyjam, January 28, 2015 02:32pm | Post a Comment



In honor of Black History Month, which is celebrated each February in the US, is the above video from the UK where Black History Month is celebrated in October. Enlightening, uplifting, and brimming with black history facts (including a lot of African American history) in its seven and a half minutes, this video and song loudly celebrate black history with mic performances from Jody McIntyre, Logic, Big Ben, Jaja Soze, bigCAKES, Genesis Elijah, MC D, Cerose, Big Frizzle, Wordplay, Haze, USG, Rodney P,  and (my favorite) Akala with production courtesy of Last Resort.

The track, which was released a few years back by Global Faction, showcases the collective talents of a large group of London rappers who each spit informed lyrics, such as the emcee Wordplay who raps, "I went and picked up a book, took an hour to read through. Learn about a party that’s empowering the people. About Huey P and Bobby Seale, the Panthers. Not the media spin, I’m reading Howard [Bingham]. How they try and discredit these guys’ names. FBI, Cointelpro, the CIA. But I never forget my man dem, bredders like Fred Hampton. Died for the rights of my people, I’d like to thank them."

 

New Life for Oakland's Continental Club

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 5, 2015 06:03pm | Post a Comment

Continental Club, OaklandBy Brent James

Nestled inconspicuously on 12th Street in West Oakland in a neighborhood known as Prescott (or the “Lower Bottoms” to the longtime residents of the area) is a quaint little building that you will probably miss if you blink. A structure of brick and hardwood and matted red carpets that haven’t been touched since the 1960s, the building standing at 1658 12th Street is the Continental Club – a once a mighty Jazz and Blues supper joint that helped Oakland and the East Bay Area garner the reputation of being the “Motown of the West.” Along with Slim Jenkins’ Supper Club, Esther’s Orbit Room, and dozens of other nightclubs that sprawled along 7th Street, the stages in these rooms once hosted the likes of Jackie Wilson, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Etta James, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Ike and Tina Turner, and even Jimi Hendrix. The list goes on and the stories are endless if you’re lucky enough to get some face time with the “old timers” of the area. In this neighborhood, people still say “good morning” and spend many a Summer night on their porches, so that’s pretty easy to do.

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Rickey Vincent Discusses "Party Music" - His New Book on the Black Panther Party House Band, The Lumpen

Posted by Billyjam, February 20, 2014 11:00am | Post a Comment


Rickey Vincent
- the veteran Bay Area funkateer, radio DJ, University of California-Berkeley professor, and author of the bible of funk music (Funk: The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of The One (St. Martin's Press) is back with a new book that beautifully melds two of the author's passions - the history of local music and politics - and this month has doing some readings in San Francisco of his book. Next week he will be at the Main Public Library on Wednesday Feb 26th. "Party Music: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers' Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music" - recently published by Chicago Review Press is the story the short-lived five member funk band The Lumpen who, back in the late 60's/early 70's in Oakland, were the Black Panthers house band. Little known for many years after the fact the Lumpen were a close knit collective of activist musicians who used music and song as their medium to deliver their revolutionary ideology with the record "Free Bobby Now" about Bobby Seales. Even Vincent, a scholar on funk and local music, did not know about The Lumpen until he randomly found out about them about. Vincent instantly knew he had to learn more about the Lumpen, their music, and their historical impact, and to share this information with the public at large. The result is Party Music which neatly ties together the black music tradition with the black activist tradition. This week I caught up with Rickey Vincent to ask him about his new book, the significance of its content, and what to expect at his San Francisco book reading next week.

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More than just riots and towers -- Exploring Watts for Black History Month

Posted by Eric Brightwell, February 13, 2014 11:07pm | Post a Comment
INTRODUCTION TO WATTS

Welcome to Watts mural

It seems to me that reputation of Los Angeles's Watts neighborhood is based almost entirely on two things – the Watts Rebellion and the Watts Towers. Results of a Google search for “watts” can be divided into three categories: photos of the towers, black and white images of burning buildings, and people with the family name of Watts (i.e. Naomi, Charlie, and Reggie). Pop culture and the media almost never present Watts in a positive light – usually they don't mention it at all. 

Metro Blue Line heading to Los Angeles
Metro Blue Line heading to Los Angeles

Watts is, however, a community of 37,000 Angelenos – most of whom probably don't sell drugs, aren't in gangs, and probably spend many days not dwelling on half century-old riots or neighborhood folk art – impressive and important as both are. With that in mind, my friend Bruce and I met at 7th Street/Metro Center in the Financial District and headed down the Blue Line to Watts. 
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's hand drawn map of Watts
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of Watts


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