Dec 26, 2008

Dr. C. Diane Howell dies

Black Business Listing publisher, Oakland Black Expo producer

By Reginald James

Dr. C. Diane Howell, publisher of the Black Business Listings (BBL) and producer of the Black Expo, has died. Howell, a beautiful brown 58, died from complications of pnemonia at 10:24 p.m.

"She was hospitalized a few days ago, and her condition worsened,” according to an email sent to members of the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of the BBL/Black Expo. “Last night she was called home."

Dr. Howell is a clinical psychologist by training. After graduating from Hyde Park High School in Chicago, she went on to attend Barnard College, Columbia University in New York City where she received her B.A. in Psychology.

Determined to go to school and see the world, she then headed for Berkeley, CA where she attended the University of California at Berkeley. She soon became, to her knowledge, the first Black woman to receive a Ph.D. from the Psychology Department at the University, according to

Upon graduation she became licensed as a psychologist and opened a part-time private practice. As graduate student, she became involved in the Bay Area Association of Black Psychologists, and became the organization's president in 1983.

In order to increase the association's visibility, she started a newsletter in 1984. That newsletter, “Black Perspectives,” evolved and changed, not only her life, but many others.

In 1989, she founded the Black Business Listings (BBL). Although she had no reserves, she was determined to promote economic development in the African American community. She continued her practice as a full-time psychologist until the demand for BBL allowed her to do so no more. She became a full-time publisher. The next year she began coordinating Black Expo in Oakland and in 1996 she took over full responsibility for producing the event, after the national, Black Expo USA, removed Oakland from its’ schedule. Howell focused on "raising the bar" and creating a well-produced, multi-faceted, much anticipated event that has something to offer everyone.

Since then, Howell made sure that the event offers something for everyone. The event—which drew tens of thousands every July—including a College Day Program for young people and their parents, a Home Buyers Fair, a Health Fair that aims to reduce the health disparities in the Black community and an Internet CafĂ© where young and old can learn more about computer technology and the internet. A variety of vendors—some local and others from throughout the country—were able to connect directly with attendees.

Black Expo ProducerDr. Howell has received numerous awards for her tireless efforts to encourage African American economic development. Most recently, she was awarded the “Community Award” by the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area’s Annual Gala in San Francisco. She was not present to accept the honor.

Just over a year ago, Dr. Howell wrote the obituary for another beloved member of the Oakland community, Chauncey Bailey.

An account will be set up at Alta Alliance Bank on Monday for donations in lieu of flowers, according to the BBL.

“Our appreciation goes out to all of you who have touched her life, and as always please keep her family in your prayers,” said the email.

The Howell family has requested that emails not be sent to the Black Expo email address, or the office. Instead, contact:

Adriann McCall 510-435-0961/, or
VaShone Huff 510-269-0206/

Nov 7, 2008

'Change Gone Come'

Nov 4, 2008


Photo Courtesy of Shanghai Daily

Obama wins!

First Black President of United States


Barack Obama has made history.

On Nov. 4, 2008, the world watched as the junior Democratic Senator from Illinois was elected the 44th President of the United States of America.

“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer,” said President-elect Obama.

Running on a platform of “Change,” Obama captured 365 electoral-college votes, besting Republican Presidential nominee Arizona Senator John McCain’s 162. Two hundred and seventy votes are needed to win.

After thanking his campaign staff, the “love of my life” his wife Michelle, he thanked his two daughters who “earned thatnew puppy that’s coming with us to the White House,” said Obama.

He also thanked his grandmother, who passed away Monday night.

“And while shes no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure,” said Obama.

“Yes We Can,” said Obama.

For Obama’s complete speech, click here.

Barack Obama's Victory Speech

By Barack Obama

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

Its the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

Its the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

Its the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

Its been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and hes fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nations promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nations next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy thats coming with us to the White House. And while shes no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics - you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what youve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to - it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didnt start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington - it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generations apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didnt do this just to win an election and I know you didnt do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how theyll make the mortgage, or pay their doctors bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who wont agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government cant solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way its been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, its that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if Americas beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one thats on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. Shes a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing - Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldnt vote for two reasons - because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that shes seen throughout her century in America - the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we cant, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when womens voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that We Shall Overcome. Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we cant, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Nov 2, 2008

Vote Tuesday November 4

Your vote counts! Remember to vote Tuesday, November 4.
Need more info, visit the California Secretary of State's page.

Oct 28, 2008

Review: "The Express "

Timeless tale back in the hearts of audiences

By Cassandra Juniel

“The Express” depicts the true story of two-time Syracuse University All-American running back Ernie Davis, who became the first African-American to be awarded the Heisman Trophy.

The movie stars Dennis Quaid, who plays the role of Davis’ coach, and Rob Brown, who plays Davis. It is directed by Gary Felder and produced by Derek Dauchy, Arne L. Schmidt and Ryan Kavanaugh and is rated PG for parental guidance, due to violent language involving racism and a light scene of sensuality.

Davis is described as humble, due to his mannerism with his superiors, as well as people he regularly encounters.

He is patient because he waited for the right time to make decisions regarding his team’s well being.

Davis was tenacious, as he remains steadfast, despite name calling from the crowd, bottles being thrown at him and the possible danger he placed his team in by playing.

Lastly, he is categorized as an overcomer because he fights against racism as it continued to beat against him. He broke racial barriers and did not allow them to overtake his life by giving up or giving in. [For complete story, click here]

This story originally appeared in The Advocate, student newspaper of Contra Costa College. Visit The Advocate online at

Hood CNN: This Week w/Jasiri X

Jasiri X is a Hip Hop artist from Pittsburg, PA. For more information about Jasiri, visit

Oct 23, 2008

"America is ready for Barack Obama to be President"

America is ready to have a president that represents all Americans. America is ready to have a President who knows what it is like to grow up in a single parent home on welfare.

America is ready to have a President who knows what it is like to go to live with grandparents when it is necessary for a better home environment. America is ready for a president who will reward employers who create and revive industries here in the United States and penalize those employers who are shipping industries to foreign countries robbing our country of jobs, taxes and the dignity of honest work.

Americans are ready for a President who will put “his money where his mouth is” and fund education initiatives that work to prepare Americans for “high and low tech jobs”. Americans are ready for a president who represents the proverbial “melting pot” that this country was supposed to become before the horrors of slavery by race and Jim Crow laws became the reality.

America is ready for Barack Obama to be President and I am so proud that he has chosen to identify himself to be Black.

The King of England didn’t voluntarily give the colonies their independence.
The southern states didn’t voluntarily give up their slaves.
The segregated schools didn’t voluntarily allow African Americans to enroll.
The citizens of American can’t wait for the bigots of this country to decide that it is the right time for a Black American is be President.


James Menifee
Instructional Assistant, CIS Computer Lab
Laney College, Oakland, CA

Oct 20, 2008

2010 – American Wasteland

By Dedoceo Habi

Barack Obama has won the election. Peoples across the United States have rallied, using their voice, their actions and their money to demonstrate to the “powers that be” our choice to move America in a different direction – in the right direction. Young and old, poor, middle class and rich have all come to the conclusion that we are doomed if we continue the course that has nearly brought America to ruin.

Less than six months after winning an election that was fraught with deception, falsehoods, miscounts, and every other abomination one could imagine, President Obama mysteriously falls ill and can no longer serve in his capacity of President. Vice President Biden is ensnarled in a fabricated plot around bribery and unethical actions. Citizens around the country – even around the world – sit stunned by these developments, unwilling to internalize the images and information the “media” espouses around this tremendous change. Once again Americans are beat into silence by the fear mongering and disingenuous deeds of those who wish to maintain power over the masses – by those who wish to perpetuate the cycles of cheap (dare I say slave) labor, perpetual struggle, and “crimes” that are spawned from an individuals need to eat, to sleep… to live.

And then a new leadership is placed in charge… a Republican “leadership” that is firmly rooted in continuing the work of mr. bush and those who share his vision of world dominance. mcCain, or even palin will “helm the ship”, oblivious to the plight and lives of the many millions of suffering Americans.

And many Americans just sit there… ravaged and immobilized by fear and their need to enjoy some semblance of a false “normal” life…

The world as we know it is no more. Big brother watches and dictates our every move. We are OWNED by the very system that was originally created to FREE us, however now the “WE” that is owned represents Blacks, Latinos, Whites, and every other ethnic group that is not part of the established ruling elite.

We go about our daily toil mechanically, trying not to think about the hardship that has befallen us… trying not to dwell on the fact our very livelihood is controlled by some pre-engineered software program that has already mapped out our futures… trying not to acknowledge the fact that the once mighty and vibrant voice of the American people has be quieted to nothing more then a “disgruntled” whisper as we go about our lives of cheap domestic servitude.

For sure there will be those who find a way to survive – even better their lives – but they are now the minority.

Slowly, ever so slowly our conscience is raised. From deep within there comes a KNOWING that something has gone terribly wrong… and our whispered frustrations begin to shift. No more will we allow the very foundation of our humanity to be bought and sold as chattel to the one who callously wields control over our destinies. Soon, so very soon, the whispers are echoes from hither and yon… soon and very soon our voices are heard as a chorus of empowerment to realize the collective desires of our masses.

And soon, very soon, we finally understand the true meaning of the words the founders of this great country wrote in OUR Declaration Of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security

And during this time of awareness, during this time of fear and wanting, we begin to understand that the thing that unites us, the thing that sparks our will and gives us the courage to overcome the dis-information that continually floods our senses, the commonality that we all share – regardless of ethnicity or status – is our heavy hearts.

Hearts made heavy by the fact our spirits will not tolerate any more societal dysfunction and human suffering. Hearts made heavy to move us to action to safeguard our society, and to make certain a better way is delivered. Hearts that have been made heavy by all the fear, shook, machinations, hypocrisy and corruption we KNOW exist – hearts made heavy enough to move us to act.

Yes, you might come to realize that MY heart is heavy. My fears are real and are shared by many different peoples across this great country that is America. And you might begin to see the truth of how this could become a reality for us…

But I have to ask you something… Isn’t this all the truth of this very day?

While Senator Obama has not fallen ill, and with Senator Biden is not caught up in some political set-up… EVERYTHING else I’ve said IS true.

Everything, that is, except the part that we are willing to stand up to this tragic system to maintain our collective freedoms. On that… I am sad to say, we have fallen short, for so many are caught in the cycles of control that give power to those who benefit from our efforts.

We talk, and talk, and talk. We think about it and then we come back to talk some more.

What has been gained?

If we are to think in terms of what is right and good and beneficial to ALL Americans – regardless of ethnicity – then we ought to also be reminded of the power we all have as individuals and as community to affect the changes we all so dearly need.

One final word… The opening sentence of this dispatch is absolutely true and it is absolutely true in this very moment…

Barack Obama has won the election.

Oct 15, 2008

Harambee Editor honored

Student wins journalism awards at JACC conference


Harambee Managing Editor Reginald James was honored at the NorCal Conference of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) October 11 at San Jose State University.
James, former Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of the Laney Tower newspaper at Laney College in Oakland, won first place in the News Photo competition. He also won second place in the Student Designed Advertisement contest and fourth place in the Informational Graphic contest. He also received an honorable mention for front-page layout for tabloid-sized newspapers.
"It is an honor to receive these awards and to be recognized," said James. "I hope that my achievement can be a source of inspiration for others, particularly African American students, who are too often missing in the newsrooms on campuses across the state."
"I will use the skills I learned at the Tower here at Harambee. I will share what I've learned with Harambee's staff," James added.
James served as Tower EIC 2007-08, as well as JACC NorCal Student President 2006-07.

Oct 11, 2008

Hood CNN: This week with Jasiri X

This week with Jasiri X, rapper breaks down the Wall Street financial crisis, the $700 billion bailout, Gov. Sarah Palin in the media, and the lame duck President George W. Bush.

Oct 10, 2008

Is America ready for a Black President?

Harambee Readers sound off:

Is America ready to have a Black President? Will America elect Barack Obama?

"Though it seems heaven sent, we ain't ready to have a Black President"
-Tupac '2PAC' Shakur, 1996

"Yes, America is ready for an African America President. It is now time for real CHANGE."
-Marlene Christine Hurd. President, Black Caucus of CalSACC

"If America's ready for gay marriage it's ready for a black president."
Jemuel Johnson, Black Student Union, American River College

"It's an idea whose time has come."
-Dr. Mujahidun Sumchai, former Black Student Union Advisor, Laney College

America is ready for Barack Obama to be President and I am so proud that he has chosen to identify himself to be Black. [Click here to read full submission]
--James Menifee, CIS Instructional Assistant, Laney College

ABSOLUTELY -- else they'd better GET READY! YES, Obama will most definitely be elected. Any other result, trust me, is fraud or stolen!!!
I waited in line 4 hours yesterday to vote!!!
--Cheryl Jamison, Student Trustee, Mt. San Antonio College

Oct 9, 2008

African Americans, Latinos less concerned about global warming

Communities lack education, worry over cost of implementation, according to survey

By Reginald James

Although people of color are most adversely affected by global warming, it’s a lower priority among African Americans and Latinos, according to a survey released by The Research and Policy Institute of California (RPIC). The survey also found that communities of color were under-educated on legislation and policies intended to combat global warming.
Education and awareness on environmental issues and legislation appears to be low – and frequently absent – within the communities of color, based on RPIC’s findings.
“Education is a key factor in the lack of awareness about environmental legislation and the many components within the legislation that goes beyond just providing a cleaner environment or improving air quality,” said Casanya Ursery, Executive Director of RPIC.
RPIC surveyed nearly 200 community leaders throughout the state to serve as a broad indicator of how educated their communities are and the perceptions they have regarding proposed state legislation such as Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act passed in 2006.
The community leaders surveyed consisted of public policy leaders, civic leaders and key influential business leaders in the state’s African American and Latino communities. Participating organizations included the California Black Chamber of Commerce (CBCC), the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (CHCC), and the state’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Though environmental education and awareness was not high, overwhelmingly respondents of the survey placed the development of renewable energy sources as the most pressing environmental priority.
“African-American and Hispanic small businesses and families will be hardest hit by the higher electricity, fuel and food costs resulting from AB 32, and yet this survey shows that there is very little known about the state’s proposed climate change plan in our communities,” said Aubry Stone, President and CEO of the CBCC

Oct 5, 2008

Green Technology Summit in Pasadena

Harambee editor to present on transportation, educational partnerships


On October 8-9, Green Technology Magazine is hosting the Green California Community College Summit, “Building Gateways to the Green Economy” at the Pasadena Convention Center.

The conference focuses on best practices for green facilities as well as the role of the California Community Colleges’, the largest system of higher education in the world, role in creating a diverse “green collar” workforce. “Green collar jobs” refer to occupations and careers which provide families with living wages, as well as contribute to reducing industry’s often harmful affects on the planet.

Harambee Managing Editor Reginald James will be presenting on partnerships between regional transportation agencies and community colleges, as well as receiving the “Full Circle Award” for his work establishing such a partnership between the Peralta Colleges and Alameda Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) while he served as Student Trustee.

“Reginald James successfully advocated for the creation of a bus pass program for the community college students at the four Peralta Colleges,” said Acting Director, Physical and Environmental Planning Charlotte Strem with the University of California, Office of the President. Strem previously attended James’ session, “Get on the Bus!” at the 7th Annual UC/CSU/CCC Sustainability Conference CalPoly San Luis Obispo in August.

After advocating for the passage of the program, which saves students approximately $1000 per year, James was offered an internship in External Affairs for AC Transit.
“He how is learning about bus pass programs from the transit operators perspective, said Strem. “This combination of information and perspectives about advocacy for a program and operational implementation will provide the audience with a deeper understanding of what it takes to put a bus pass program into place.”

James’ session is titled, “Increasing access to education through public transportation.”

The Full Circle Award is being presenting to James and another former Los Angeles Trade Tech student for their efforts of giving back to their community colleges.

“In this economy, considering the high price of gas and other ridiculous expenses directly related to education, community colleges have to do what they can to keep our colleges accessible and affordable,” said James. And referring to his presentation, he said “I have a responsibility to use my experience to empower others.”

Oct 2, 2008

3rd Annual Angel City Classic

By Ricky Ricardo

Los Angeles-The Angel City Classic has already become one of the hottest events to attend at the beginning of the autumn season in Southern California. The Angel City Classic has already established itself as one of the premier football games between two powerhouse football teams from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The Angel City Classic offered the best value for ones entertainment dollar compared to the game across town between UCLA and Fresno State. The Angel City Classic is one of twenty five football games played between Labor Day Weekend and goes on until the middle of November.

The pleasant aroma of BBQ ribs, chickens, hotlinks and other mouthwatering delights greeted me during the inaugural tailgate party in the southeast parking lot of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. A recent article in a local paper has an interesting take on tailgating. “It’s all about food, friends, fans, the game and having a good time. Everyone is out there is living life to the fullest, sharing food, life. It is a uniquely American phenomenon.” Stated Jay DiEugenio-aka “The Tailgate Guy”

My next stop for the day was to check in at Gate 4 to pick up my credentials to cover the 3rd Annual Angel City Classic.

The 3rd Annual Angel City Classic offered attendees a day long fun filled festivities for the entire family. The Career/Cultural Expo were spread out on the inside perimeter of the Coliseum. This was a very popular gathering area. The High School Band Clinic was in full swing when I arrived east of the Sports Arena near Figueroa Street. The clinic featured band members from Morehouse, Prairie View and USC Marching Bands giving pointers to potential high school seniors contemplating attending one of the above mentioned schools.

The Youth Football Game featured two of the top Pop Warner Football Teams. The kids have a lot of potential if they continue playing football as they get older.

The Greek Step Show has become very popular in mainstream media with a couple of movies made about or featuring a Greek Step Show. About seven different groups performed representing several fraternities and sororities to a captivated audience.

Immediately after the Step Show, I had to rush unto the fields to witness the High School Band Showcase. Participating schools consisted of Inglewood High School, Crenshaw High School, LB Jordon High School and Dominquez High School. This portion of Angel City Classic was one of the highlights for me.

Ruben Cannon and Jimmy Fisher and Contagious Praise sang “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, followed by an outstanding version of the National Anthem performed by Kelly Price. Nick Cannon and Debbie Allen addressed the crowd during commercial breaks. The 3rd Annual Angel City Classic was broadcast live on Fox Sports Network.

Christian Simmons (King) and Brianna Holmes (Queen) presided over the 3rd Annual Angel City Classic. The coin toss featured Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Dr. George C. Wright, President, Prairie View A&M University, Dr. Robert Michael Franklin, President, Morehouse College and Mr. John Fleming III and players from both schools. Veteran radio personality Cliff Winston called the play by play gridiron action.

Prairie View Panthers is the defending champions of the Angel City Classic. They successfully defended their title in a hard hitting, hard fought game against Morehouse Tiger. The game was evenly played with Morehouse Tigers leading the game 17-14 at half-time. The Prairie View Panthers re-grouped after half-time and went on to defeat the Morehouse Tigers 28-17 before a crowd of 53,000. Prairie View Panthers improved their record to 4-0. The Battle of the Bands during half-time of the game was another one of my highlights. I was captivated by the sight and sounds of the Prairie View A&M “Marching Storm” with “The Black Foxes Dance Troupe” and Morehouse House of Funk Marching Band with The Mahogany in Motion Dance Troupe.

Congratulations are in order and extended to the 2008 Farmers Insurance Group UNCF National Scholarship Award Recipients: Daniel A. Nwachokor, a Junior at Grambling State University, Amanda Omogun, a Sophomore at Clark Atlanta University and Kristina Anne Doughty, a Sophomore at Spelman College. One lucky person won a 2009 BMW Coupe 1 courtesy of Farmers and Long Beach BMW.

The 3rd Annual Angel City Classic concluded on a rousing and soulful note. The 5th Quarter-Post Game Concert featured a musical tribute to the late great soul singer Isaac Hayes. The 90 minute concert featured the soulful sounds of N’Dambi, Anthony and Tarsha Hamilton, Lalah Hathaway and Angie Stone. The ultimate grand finale featured all of the singers on stage performing “ I Wished I Didn’t Miss You” by Angie Stone.

Ricky Richardson is a free-lance photojournalist who is employed at El Camino Community College in Torrance,CA.

Oct 1, 2008

Presidential speeches and the economy

Items off the table

By Mumia Abu Jamal

As the national political conventions fade into the fog of our short-term memory, few items seem to have penetrated the made-for-TV presentations.

We remember a few snippets (if we're lucky), a few disparate images, an emotional impression, perhaps.

I'm willing to bet that few of us remember any meaningful discussion of the real economic problems faced by the U.S. That's because none of the major presidential candidates have even the remotest solutions to the economic problems plaguing the country, for both are ardent advocates of globalization -- and globalization ain't the solution -- it's the problem.

For globalization emerged as a tool of U.S. economic power to dominate the world in the post-Cold War era. It was designed to open up foreign markets to U.S. and Western businesses, using the illusion of "free trade" to crowbar into local and national economies.

Chalmers Johnson, in his 2000 book, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of Empire (N.Y.: Owl Books) puts forth precisely this thesis with clarity and conviction. He illustrates how much of this could be traced to former president Richard Nixon's abolition of the post-World War Bretton Woods agreements, which pegged world currencies to the dollar, and the dollar to U.S. gold reserves. From that day on, economies became free floating, and whole new industry was born -- finance capital, or the business of speculating in, and profiting from, the moneys of others. Such a system, especially when wedded with the protectionism that prevailed in East Asia for some 50 years, created havoc around the world, where foreign wealth destabilizes local markets, for the quick buck.

A byproduct of this new globalized economy was the hollowing out of American industries, the loss of manufacturing jobs, and the failure of America's domestic economy.

Johnson cites the work of City College of New York historian, Judith Stein, for examples of how U.S. industrial policy became a wrecking ball to Black communities both in the South and North, industries abroad was a keystone of U.S. strategic policy, and encouraging steel imports became a tool for maintaining vital alliances. The nation's leaders by and large ignored the resulting conflict between Cold War and domestic goals" { p.195}.

While presidential candidates argue over taxes on capital gains, millions of Americans struggle to make ends meet. Tens of thousands of people have lost their homes, due to lost jobs or foreclosures.

It is a globalized economy for capital, high finance, and speculation, but it can hardly be considered one for working people. For them, a hundred barriers bloom, making it harder than ever to chase jobs.

Both major candidates are deaf to their plight, and thus are ill-disposed to address it, much less solve it.

(Column written September 4, 2008, Mumia Abu Jamal)

Sep 27, 2008

First Presidential Debate held in Mississippi

On Friday, September 26, the first U.S. presidential debate was held between Democratic Party nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-ILL) and Republican nominee John McCain (R-AZ). The debate was held at "Ole Miss," the University of Mississippi Oxford.

The 90-minute debate was moderated by the News Hour's Jim Lehrer. The debate focused on Foreign Policy and National Security.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

Part 7:

Part 8:

Part 9:

Part 10:

Part 11:

Sep 25, 2008

Reginald James' Myspace Blog

Sep 22, 2008

Hip Hop is the "Hood CNN"

Rapper Chuck D, of Public Enemy, once said, "Hip Hop is the 'Hood CNN,'" meaning that Hip Hop music is a venue to continue the African oral tradition over music.

Hip Hop artist Jasiri X has created a new Hip Hop style weekly recap of the news, as told from a urban standpoint.

This week with Jasari X, Episode 3

Sep 20, 2008

'Blacks against Obama' stir up campaign rally

[*H*]A dozen Black men protest University of Miami Obama campaign rally

By Reginald James

For the second time in two months, a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-ILL) was interupted by protestors. The irony to many is that the protestors have been Black.

'Blacks against Obama' protest at campaign rally' video
*Editors Note: Video posted and edited by GOP member

According to news reports and available internet videos, the group who interupted the University of Miami rally were mostly Black men. Their signs read, "Blacks against Obama", "Jesse Jackson hates Obama," and "Obama endorsed by the KKK." The last signed refers to the endorsement of Obama by Senator Robert Byrd, a Grand Dragon in the KKK.

He attempted to calm the protestors down by stated, "“Hey young people out there – it’s no problem for you to put your signs up, but let everybody – let me finish what I have to say, alright?" When the protestors continued, Obama fans attempted to drown out the demonstration by chanting "Yes we can" while waving matching campaign signs.

The protestors were escorted out of the crowd by security forces, with what appeared to be no incidences. The protestors left while holding up their signs as the crowd cheered loudly.

After the men were taken out of the stadium, Obama said "Alright, let's get back to work," to the excitement of the crowd. "Settle down, everybody," he added.

The men are believed to be a part of a group called Michael Warns, as "" was written on the bottom of most of the protest signs.

A youtube video posted by "Michael the Black Man" after the protest suggest that Obama is the "beast" or "anti-christ" warned about in the Bible.

"Obama the image of the Beast" Video by

A separate but not completely unrelated protest was staged by a group of Black people in St. Petersburg in August. The demonstrators, a part of the International Democratic Uhuru Movement (InDPUM).

The demonstrators shouted, "What about the Black community, Obama?" The protestors were also shouted down by Obama supporters. "Baarack obama is running for president and he's running around representing the interests of everybody except for his own community, the Black community," said Diop Olibaga, an InDPUM organizer. "So we put the question right on front street: What about the Black community Obama?"

"What about the Black community, Obama?" Youtube Video

POETRY: "Bank the Bankers"

Bank the Bankers

Bank the bankers
Fleeing Russia with pants in hand
Fleeing Wall Street cross Brooklyn Bridge
The fundamentals are sound said Bush/McCain
Then Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae bit the dust
Bank the bankers
Those communist in capitalist drag
Sharing the robbery of workers
Homeless in the snow
Bankers ski in the Alps
Gleaming Wall Street Journal
Sliding down the slope
Champagne on ice
Bank the bankers
Bear Sterns
Washington Mutual
Bank of America
Thieves in the night
Who is Federal Reserve?
To workers in the cold
Who is the Treasury?
To grandma’s house gone
She in shelter bout to stroke
Don’t understand the sub prime loan
Her son took out
He gone on dope
Like the president
Drunk in white house
Fundamentally sound
Just ride out this crisis
Don’t lose yo cool
He tells American people
Fleeing Katrina and Ike
Hurricane hit Wall Street
Taxpayers took tab
Bank the bankers
Let them taste jail
Eat zoo zoos and wham whams
no end in sight
Let the dollar fly in the air
bankers don’t care
They home by the fire
In the pickle room
don’t care
workers have no homes
No car
No stocks, no bonds, retirement gone
Burial insurance in hand,. thank God
What good is that?
Bank the bankers
Those loose loaning pigs
Even the jobless got loans
Bankers didn’t care
Sell the notes to China, Russia
Saudi Arabia
Sell Citibank and Chase
Sell America to whomever
Give a loan to whomever
No credit check
No collateral
No job
Sell America
Sell yo mama
Bankers don’t care
Greed rules this day
The heartless have their homes
Their summer & winter retreats
Bank the bankers
Let them eat pizza on Riker’s Island
Or Leavenworth.

Marvin X is a prolific poet, author, and speaker. One of the lesser known poets of the Black Arts Movement, he regularly contributes to Harambee, the Oakland Post, and maintains his own blog. Read more at Marvin X Writes:

Sep 14, 2008

Student leaders wanted

Black Caucus seeks Executive officers

By Semaj D. La Niger

Are you a community college student who is interested in meeting new people, improving your leadership skills, and empowering other students?
The Black Caucus of the California Student Association of Community Colleges (CalSACC) is currently seeking students to serve in vacant positions on its 2008-09 Executive Board.
Vacancies include Secretary, Communications Officer, Parliamentarian, Central Region Chair and Northern Region Chair.
“Students have an opportunity to participate in a statewide network that collectively represents over 200,000 students of African Descent,” said Black Caucus President Marlene C. Hurd. “Officers gain organizational experience, numerous networking opportunities, and will receive assistance in reaching their academic goals.”
In addition to the duties of the position, all students will be required to hold a minimum of two (2) office hours per week. Students must be registered at a California Community College with three (3) units and have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0.
For more info about the vacancies, contact President Hurd at •H•

Sep 1, 2008

Raising Red, Black & Green

In honor of the Black August, Marlene C. Hurd, president of the Black Caucus of the California Student Association of Community Colleges, raised the Pan-African Flag at Laney College in Oakland, CA. The colors of Red, Black and Green, commemorated by Pan-African revolutionary Marcus Garvey are symbolic of the African Diaspora.

Red represents the blood of the people, Black represents the people's skin and melanin, while Green represents the land, our Earth.
Laney College is located in Oakland, CA; the birth place of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.

Aug 29, 2008

Marcus Garvey Day in LA

The UNIA & ACL PRESENTS the 19TH ANNUAL MARCUS GARVEY PARADE AND FESTIVAL- Los Angeles, California. Saturday August 30, 2008.

This year’s parade will be held on Saturday August 30, 2008 starting at Adams and Crenshaw and will proceed to Leimert Park at Crenshaw and Vernon. The parade starts at 10 a.m. and participants will arrive at the parade starting point at 8:30 a.m.

The parade will be followed by the Marcus Garvey Festival that will take place in Leimert Park from 12 noon to 6 p.m. The festival will offer entertainment, information booths, speakers and free fruit to the community.

The parade and festival will be held to commemorate the life and valuable contributions of Marcus Garvey and the UNIA & ACL. Mr. Garvey is credited with organizing the largest mass movement of people of African descent around the world to date. This year’s theme is “The Legacy of Leadership.”

Additionally, the Full and Complete Exoneration of Marcus Garvey will be one of the main focuses of the 19TH ANNUAL MARCUS GARVEY PARADE AND FESTIVAL.

The legislation H.CON.RES.24 sponsored by Congressman Charles Rangel, which will lead to the exoneration and pardon of Marcus Garvey, will be explained to the community.

For information on the exoneration see the following websites: and

For additional information on the 19th Annual Marcus Garvey Parade and Festival contact UNIA at 323-428-3897.

Aug 22, 2008

13th Annual Ron Brown Business Economic Summit

The California Black Chamber of Commerce (CBCC) hosted its 13th Annual Ron Brown Business Economic Summit, Aug. 21–23 at the Westin LAX Hotel in Los Angeles.
The Ron Brown Summit promotes economic development by bring together diverse suppliers to interface with private/public corporations to enhance mutual small business objectives.”
CBCC also launch its Junior Chamber. “Empowering and Preparing African American Youth for Business Success brought together 500 young people from throughout California. Topics included entrepreneurship and financial literacy, mentoring opportunities and workforce readiness. •H•
–Charles Perkins

Half a million African Americans have HIV

Half a million African Americans have HIV, and although only 13 percent of the U.S. population, African Americans account for half of new HIV infections, according to a report by the Black Aids Institute.
The AIDS epidemic for Africans in America is severe as some parts of the African continent.
“AIDS in American today is a Black disease,” said Phil Wilson, founder and CEO of the institute.
This comes on the heals of a Center for Disease Control (CDC) report about new HIV/AIDS cases. It was previously estimated that 40,000 infections occured in 2006, but it is now estimated that there were 56,300 infections.
CDC’s new method estimates infection rates for African Americans at seven times higher than whites.
“The continued severity of the epidemic among Blacks underscores the need to sustain and accelerate prevention efforts in this population,” said the CDC.
“While race itself is not a risk factor for HIV infection, a range of issues contribute to the disproportionate HIV risk for African Americans in the U.S., including poverty, stigma and higher rates of other STDs, and drug use,” the CDC added. •H•
–Reginald James

New State Student Senate transitions

Representing 2.6 million students

By M.J. Abdulbari

The Student Senate Council for the California Community Colleges (SSCCC) met this summer to prepare it’s incoming officers for the new academic year.
Representing 2.6 million students in the shared governance process at the state level, 30 student representatives began their terms this past July, including Marlene C. Hurd, president of the Black Caucus of the California Student Association of Community Colleges, who serves as a senator for Region III.
Former San Mateo CCD Student Trustee Richael Young was elected the SSCCC’s first woman-president in it’s three-year history.
Young, “honored to represent our students in this capacity,” looks forward “to the upcoming opportunities to make education California’s first priority.”
Sacramento City College student Troy Carter, who served as the SSCCC’s Communications Officer last year was elected Vice-President. Steven Ferguson of Glendale College was elected Secretary, Avery Ryder of San Diego Mesa College was elected Treasurer while David Fisher of American River College was elected Communications officer.
The 30-member body is comprised of 20 regional senators, two from each of the California Community Colleges (CCC) ten region, along with ten at-large senators.
Although five students of African Descent ran for at-large senator positions on the council at the Spring General Assembly in May, none were elected.
“It highlights the need for our organization to empower people locally,” said Hurd, “in order to elevate us at the state level.”
Hurd was appointed to serve alongside Young as the SSCCC’s representative to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, the.
The SSCCC, in addition to the work of various committees, is currently preparing for its’ fall General Assembly which will be held Oct. 22-24 at the San Jose Doubletree.
SSCCC meets on the first weekend of each month. •H•

Nas' Untitled

Nas recently released his second consecutive controversial titled album, “Untitled” (previously titled “Nigger” until the NAACP cast fire and brimstone upon his label company for allowing him to use the N-word after they buried it 6-feet deep from the vocabulary of the world).
Before Untitled was released, there was much anxiety in the music industry and the Hip-Hop world about just why Nas would use the N-world to title his album and what message he could possibly have after the NAACP just abolished it.
Nas has not let me down. Nas has taken the concept of what society deems as being a “Nigga/er” and has eloquently decoded the notion through historical and present context.
Nas explores the ideas of having a Black president to the traditional (stereotypical) eating habits of many famlies.
He rhymes about the unfair propaganda that Fox News has been guilty of as well as an analysis of the relationship “Niggers” to a slave master. He surprisingly captures a more realistic glimpse of the Black experience which has been recently higlighted by other mainstream media such as CNN’s Black in America serieies.
Untitled is an instant classlic like his other albums, Illmatic, It Was Written, and God’s Son. “Nigger” brings back informational and motivational style HipHop back to the mainstream, creating a long neeeded dialogue between listeners about something more depth and provacitve than majority of the materialistic, self-hatred advocating music that has permeated through the Hip-Hop industry.
It allows the listeners to focus on more positive attributes rather than the redundant argument of “Hip-Hop destroying Black America” as reflected in BET’S series Hip-Hop vs. America.
Although there may be some inaccurate information on it, Nas brings it with his lyrical delivery making an album that is educational, artistic, motivating and dope. •H•
–Charles Perkins

The Boondocks II (Review)

Complete second season DVD

What began as a cartoon strip in a student newspaper is now the most controversial cartoon on TV. Aaron McGruder’s The Boondocks is somewhere beyond South Park and Family Guy. On steroids and viagra. The show consistently exposes the truth that “most Black people don’t talk about when they think white people are listening,” as Huey Freeman (Regina King) said in season one.
In season one, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King–who was actually just in a coma, not assassinated–came back and in order to get the attention of his people he said, “The N-word.”
After being kicked off with a satirical spoof of a fictional Soul Plane 2: The Black Jacking, showing the difficulty would-be terrorists would have hijacking the Black NWA airlines, season two presses the limits of dark comedy and even has an episode where a teacher calls Riley the N-word, based on a true story.
While seemingly out of touch with reality at times (for a cartoon), season two never strays far from the series greatest strength: truth.
Season two was also marred with controversy, but ironically not because of what was aired, but what wasn’t.
Two episodes were banned from TV in the U.S. but aired in Canada. Clips were constantly being uploaded to, and removed from, online video sites like and
The first banned episode, Hunger Strike, Huey vows to go on a hunger strike until BET is taken off the air and all it’s top executives commit Japanese ritual suicide.” Mocking BET (which now stands for Black EVIL Television) top execs are depicted in an Austin Powers Dr. Evil fashion. Huey meets a Al Sharptonesque Reverend (Rollo Goodlove) who is more concerned with “shining”than Huey’s actual cause. Not far from the actual experience of many aspiring revolutionaries. The second banned episode shows Uncle Ruckus (that Black guy that hates Black folks) and his own reality TV show.
The show also pokes fun at the image of so-called gangsta rappers, with the return of Gangstalicious (Mos Def), who is on the down low. (Not the R. Kelly type either–as far as we know). Riley’s grandfather gets worried when he sees Riley wearing Gangstalicious’ new fashions (i.e. pink, sandles, capris and halter tops). Not mention ‘licious’ new song, “Homies ova Hoes.” Complete with a DL4 snap beat and all. The Boondocks will make you laugh and think. The $40 price tag might make you think twice, but think of it as an investment for your critical thinking skills. •H•
–Reginald James

'Bay Area Cypher' voted best in state

BCC student, multi-media artist wins film festival for Hip-Hop documentary

By Reginald James

My mother was the queen of multi-tasking. She could cook while talking on the phone, all the while keeping a watchful eye on me that said: don’t get your butt whooped.
As multi-talented as she is, she has some competition these days.
Berkeley City College multi-media student Idris Hassan is an amazing one-woman show. She writes, directs, films, edits, and does it all with the grace and poise of a professional.

‘Bay Area Cypher is a performance documentary that blends live freestyle presentations with short interviews to showcase the uniqueness of Hip Hop in the San Francisco Bay Area.’
Idris Hassan, producer, director, writer, media activist

Initially, Hassan started with black and white photographer. She later explored magazine writing and editing which eventually led to audio broadcasting.
Her most recent production, “Bay Area Cypher” was voted Best Documentary/Interview in the state at the 3rd Annual Student Film & Video Festival. The festival is held by 3C Media Solutions, the California Community Colleges’ educational media distribution network.
“Bay Area Cypher is a performance documentary that blends live freestyle presentations with short interviews to showcase the uniqueness of Hip Hop in the San Francisco Bay Area,” said Hassan. “I’ve always been amazed at how folks are able to manifest spiritual energy through the art of freestyle rhyme and dance.”
Hassan is both an artist and activist, who is inspired by artists from mediums as diverse as jazz music a and scullpting to poetry and photography.
“As an artist I want to touch and inspire people of the world,” said Hassan, both an artist and an activist. “It is crucial for people of color to create, own and distribute their own media” and “also have to say media creation is vital for women of color, and Black Women in particular.”
She also created a documentary for the 10th Annual Black Caucus Leadership Conference.
“I enjoyed connecting with the diversity of students from the Black Student Unions (BSUs) of the various campuses,” said Hassan, “and being able to incorporate their comments.”
Hassan added, “I want to use my media skills and creative expression to promote justice, positive social transformation, and to inspire love. •H•

Umoja: Unity

Collective of educators empower students through culture, unity

By Reginald James

Umoja means “unity” in Swahili. While many are unaware of the words meaning–let alone Swahili–in the California Community Colleges, the word is even more popular.
“Umoja is a grassroots movement,” said Teresa Aldredge, a counselor at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento who is alsoVice-Chair of Program Development of the Umoja Community. Umoja’s mission is “enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African American and other students.”
Umoja a group of faculty, student support staff and administrators dedicated to the academic success of all students utilizing a curriculum and pedagogy specific to the African Diaspora indigenous to North America.
The Umoja movement began at Umoja I in 2006 at Diablo Valley College. The goal was to improve the success and retention of African American students. Two steering committees were formed; one for Northern and one for Southern California.
Based on the then-current African American student success programs (i.e. Chabot’s Daraja, Santa Monica’s Black Collegians, etc.) a statewide steering committee created a comprehensive draft of a statewide program.
While still in a development stage, the program already has success with phase I, Umoja programs at five campuses in the beginning of 2008.
Umoja III was held at Chabot in 2007 and Umoja IV will be held in San Diego in October.
(This is part one of a three part series focusing on California’s Umoja Community.)

Remembering Black August

By Rasheed Shabazz

The hot summer month of August is notorious in the Black community. From neighborhood cookouts indicating the end of summertime to the rise in hood shootouts resulting in increased inner city homicide rates. August is a month of significance.
For many Africans in America of the revolutionary persuasion, August has another significance: Black August.

Rebellious Nature of Black August:

• First enslaved Africans brought to Jamestown, Virginia in August 1619
• Henry Highland Garnett, a militant abolitionist, called for a general slave strike
• August Birthdays: Marcus Garvey, Dr. Mutulu Shaur, and Fred Hampton, Sr.
• The Underground Railroad started on August 2, 1850
• March on Washington was held August of 1963
• Prophet Nat Turner planned and executed an uprising beginning August 21, 1831
• Watts Rebellion (riots) held August of 1965 in LA
• The MOVE family bombed by Philadelphia police August 8, 1978
• George Jackson was assassinated by San Quentin guards August 21, 1971
• Visit for info.

“Black August originated in the concentration camps of California to honor fallen Freedom Fighters,” according to the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM). Honoring George Jackson, his brother Jonathan Jackson, William Christmas, James McClain and Khatari Gualden. Jonathan was gunned down outside the Marin County Courthouse on August 7, 1970 attempting to liberate McClain, Chrismas and Ruchell Magee. Magee is the sole survior of that uprising and has been on lockdown for 40 years.
George, who was assassinated by San Quentin guards August 21, 1971, is the founder of the Black Guerilla Family (BGF).
In August, many refrain from listening to the radio or watching television in commemoration of Black August. There is also a tradition of a Ramadan-like fast in which a “conscious fast” is in effect. In the spirit of sacrifice and discipline, many do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset.
“Black August fasting should serve as a constant reminder of the conditions our people have faced and still confront,” says MXGM.
Visit for more information. •H•

Addressing the African American Male 'Crisis' in Higher Education

(African American Male Focus, Part II)
(This is part two of a three part series on African American Males in Higher Education.)

By Reginald James

A2MEND, the African American Male Education Network and Development, held its’ first African American Male Summit in March 2008.
The summit identified and quantified ‘the need’ and brainstormed solutions to addressing the ‘crisis.’
Considering the low graduation rates, high homicide rates, the low attendance rate versus the high incarceration rate, A2MEND emphasized the role community colleges need to play in changing these trends.
‘These findings suggest that California Communtiy Colleges need to develop interventions that would appropriately reduce the racial and gender disparities in student sucess, persistence and achievement,” said A2MEND President Dr. Mark Robinson, vice-chancellor of student development at City College of San Frnacisco.
“Community colleges play a significant role in sustaining and increaisng the educational attainment of the American population, particulary for African Americans,” said Robinson. “One in every 14 African Americans who are enrolled in higher education attends a California Community College; moreover, one of eery seven African American community college students in the country is enrolled in California.”
Summit attendees also proposed a number of soultions. •H•

Fighting for Allensworth

Preserving our history, legacy

(Uncovering Allensworth, part 2)

By Marlene C. Hurd

African Americans must fight daily to preserve our history. There are no easy battles. Our power and victories will only come through unity.
Allensworth, CA–the all-Black town that was governed, financed and run by Africans Americans during the 1900s–had embarked upon a new challenge.
In 2007, two large dairy farms had proposed housing 15,000 cows a just mile and a half across from the Colonel Allensworth Historic Park. The appearance and waste generated from the cows would have disgraced the park’s historical significance, its beauty and its tourist attraction.
As news traveled up and down the state, residents of Tulare County, where the park is located, organized. Eddie Abrams, President and Founder of the Family Resource House of Unity located in Oakland has taken bus loads of Californians and students to Allensworth over the past five years.
African Americans were excited to learn about the legacy Allensworth left, said Abrams.
“News of the dairy farms is not a local problem,” said Abrams. “People all over the nation should be concerned about this happening.”
Californians united to support preserving Allensworth traveling four hours by bus to attend the dairy hearings. The dairy proposal allowed African Americans and Mexican Americans to work together and resolve the Allensworth issues.
Then-Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally (D-Compton), who authored the legislation to create Allensworth State Park Dymally voiced concern that the appearance of the park had declined. To ensure the parks historical significance would not be lost, the “Protect Allensworth State Historical Park Committee was created.
Assemblywomen Wilmer Carter (D-Rialto) authored Assembly Bill 576.
According to the bill, “It would permanently protect the entire perimeter of the town and the park from any such ventures.”
The entire California Legislative Black Caucus including Dymally and Vice-Chair Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), now Assembly Speaker, stood alongside Assemblywoman Carter in support of AB 576.
On August 30, 2007 AB 576 passed in the Senate 23 to 15. As a result of people coming together to protect Allensworth State Historic Park a settlement was reached.
The Farmer was paid $3.5 million to keep his cattle two and a half away from Allensworth .
Unfortunately, due to the rising cost of gas, Abrams will not take bus loads down to Allensworth this year for the “Peace and Unity Day celebration.
The event will be held in Oakland at Merritt College September 20. Plans are still being made for the event.
For more information on the upcoming event contact Eddie Abrams at Family Resource House of Unity at 510 430-9931. •H•

All colleges should subscribe to Harambee

Dear Editor,

Congratulations are definitely in order to you…for your leadership and “role modeling” on multiple fronts while addressing the many issues facing community college students, particularly our Black students, as they strive to attain their academic goals. As I have shared with you many times, I am extremely proud of…the many contributions you have made to improve the situation and conditions for all Peralta students as well as California Community College students.
Thanks for sharing your earlier issue of Harambee. That publication was exemplary! I shared copies with many friends and family while proudly stating that ‘these are Laney College students...two of my former students’. As you can see, I was grasping for some of the credit for your superior work. The publication was informative, covered a wide-range of subjects, and was well laid out with multiple pictures that helped tell the story.
The Peralta administrative leadership will hopefully subscribe and have the Harambee publication distributed to the libraries and departments throughout the campuses. Issues of this publication should be available to students in all Student Centers and information centers.
All CCC campuses should subscribe to Harambee as well.

Odell Johnson
Laney College
Former President

Going 'Black' to school

By Reginald James

Back in the days when I was young, I’m not a kid anymore, but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again.
Those are the lyrics to one of my favorite songs and an all-time Hip Hop classic. The song instantly invokes memories of going Back-to-School. Cartoon character backpacks and lunchboxes, school clothes, and the girls I missed all summer-long.
These days, school doesn’t always have such sweet memories. It’s about getting good classes, a decent schedule, financial aid and text books, and preparing to transfer. Basically, much stress.
I’ve learned to be real stingy with my time. Not to be mean, but I can’t just ‘go outside and play’ these days. School is usually followed by work or studying.
Time management is of utmost importance; and not just managing, but prioritization. You have to make sure you are dedicated to completing your goals and not just distracting daily tasks.
You must protect your health too. Don’t just go for junk food. Eat foods that will feed your brain and empower you to be your best. You are the best.
And no one calls your house if you miss class. It is your responsibility. Not only to yourself, but to your family. Students must ask themselves many questions: Why are you going to school? How will your education empower yourself and others? These questions ultimately lead to the following questions: Who are you? What is your purpose?
Too many wander through life without knowledge of either nor the desire for such guidance.
Considering that for many Harambee readers, just a few hundred years, it would have been illegal to read this a few hundred years ago, we have a great responsibility to succeed academically that exceeds ourselves.
And our educations must not be for the benefit of our oppressors but for the benefit of our ancestors and descendants.
Sure, school can be difficult–we haven’t even got to institutional racism yet. You are not a victim, but the victor. So go ‘Black to school’ in style this year. Take hold of your future. It’s yours.
Reginald James is Harambee Managing Editor. For more ‘Black-to-School’ tips, visit

Student leaders wanted

Black Caucus seeks Executive officers

By Semaj D. La Niger

Are you a community college student who is interested in meeting new people, improving your leadership skills, and empowering other students?
The Black Caucus of the California Student Association of Community Colleges (CalSACC) is currently seeking students to serve in vacant positions on its 2008-09 Executive Board.
Vacancies include Secretary, Communications Officer, Parliamentarian, Central Region Chair and Northern Region Chair.
“Students have an opportunity to participate in a statewide network that collectively represents over 200,000 students of African Descent,” said Black Caucus President Marlene C. Hurd. “Officers gain organizational experience, numerous networking opportunities, and will receive assistance in reaching their academic goals.”
In addition to the duties of the position, all students will be required to hold a minimum of two (2) office hours per week. Students must be registered at a California Community College with three (3) units and have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0.
For more info about the vacancies, contact President Hurd at •H•

Don Dorsey appointed Foothill VP

Black Caucus Advisor begins new post Sept. 1

By Charles Perkins

Don Dorsey, advisor for the Black Caucus of the California Student Association of Community Colleges (CalSACC) has been appointed Interim Vice-President for Student Development and Instruction at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills.
Dorsey, who currently serves as Dean of Student Affairs and Activities, will serve September 1, 2008 to July 1, 2009.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to continue my work at Foothill College,” said Dorsey, who takes over at a time when his knowledge will provide a much needed continuity.
Dorsey began at Foothill in 1972 serving as a coordinator for math and science tutoring and soon after joined the caculty as associate coordinator for the campus’ multicultural Program. In 1982 he was hired as a counselor, and in 1986 he became the campus’ director of student Activities. Dorsey has served as a dean since 2000.
His leadership and “work in creating new programs at Foothill to promote a broader understanding of cultural perspectives, diversity and student equity earned him the John W. Rice Diversity Award from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office in 2006,” said Foothill College President Judy Miner. The prestigious Rice Award program honors the memory of the late John W. Rice, who served on the CCC Board of Governors from 1995 to 2000.
Under Dorsey’s leadership, the college recently completed a [enter dollar amount] renovation of it’s student center.
Some of his other achievements at Foothill include coordinating the Foothill Bridge Program that targets students who are under-prepared academically; he co-founded the Footihll De Anza minority Staff Associaiotn and served on its executive board from 1984 to 1988 and president in 1985-1986; co-founded the Foothill African American Networker; and led the development of a Black studies degree at the college.
While he has served as advisor of the Black Caucus since its’ inception, he is also a former President of the California Community College Student Affairs Association (CCCSAA), a professional association for student/life activies advisors.
“Don is an asset to any organization,” said Black Caucus Advisor Harold Tyler, who serves as Student Activities Advisor at El Camino College. Dorsey, an Emeryville resident is also very active in the community. Besides serving as a former trustee for the Emeyville Unified School District, he is also a local business owner, providing employment opportunities.
As President of Dorsey & Associates, Dorsey led the reclaiming of “Dorsey’s Locker,” a soul food restaurant and lounge in North Oakland. The restaurant has been an Oakland insitution since 1941.
Former Black Caucus Northern Region Chair President L. Davis, who has hosted a weekly open mic called Blue Candle said that Dorsey’s appointment is a “great victory for the Black community.”
“They have somebody who has a good spirit,” said Davis. "He is very disciplined and focused but will keep an ear to young people.” Davis commended Dorsey for his efforts to mentor young people. “Blue Candle has made me believe I can achieve anything.” •H•

California budget still deadlocked

Could break record for latest in history

By Marlene C. Hurd

The California State Legislature is set to reach a milestone that most politicians likely won’t want to brag about. At press time, the state budget is nearly two months late, and counting. The current record of a tardy budget is August 31, 2002.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers continue to wrangle over how to fill the state’s $15 billion budget deficit, with Republicans and Democrats at war over raising taxes versuscutting services and borrowing.
Meanwhile, clinics are laying off workers and community college students are being denied grants. Colleges also have reduced funds for student workers, and many state employees are being paid minimum wage. The temporary pay cut has state workers getting the federal minimum wage of $6.55 per hour. Over 175,000 workers are affected. Over ten thousand others were laid off.
The governor had previously proposed cutting the competitive Cal grants, but withdrew the proposal after numerous students advocated against the proposal.
“Students will not get Cal grants that they need for college,” said Black Caucus Treasurer Charles Perkins. “Students need those grants for books and fees.”
Ironically, many community colleges have record enrollments. This means; more students, less money.
The governor and Democrats are proposing an increased sales tax. Republican lawmakers want to cut $10 billion in state programs and services and borrow $2 billion from the state’s lottery funds.
California will likely be the only state in the nation without a budget. The budget was due July 1, at the beginning of the fiscal year. Californian’s are hopeful a budget will be passed soon.

Aug 21, 2008

I Read Harambee

"I Read Harambee" seeks to show students, faculty, and staff reading Harambee on every campus of the California Community Colleges, and throughout the nation and world.

Send us your "I Read Harambee" submissions with a short paragraph to


Black Caucus Treasurer and Harambee Advertising Manager Charles Perkins reads about "Organizing Black Students" in the September issue of Harambee at Laney College in Oakland.




Laney College mascot "Eddie the Eagle" checks out an issue of Harambee.

Ten years of 'Critical Resistance' celebrated

Ten years ago thousands of activists gathered in Berkeley, CA and founded a movement to end the prison industrial complex. On Sept. 26-28, thousands will converge at Laney College in Oakland for Critical Resistance (CR10) for workshops, performances, action, reflection and celebration. For more info, visit •H•
–Marlene C. Hurd

Aug 20, 2008

Message from the President, August 2008

Community comes from, through unity

By Marlene C. Hurd

When you think of ‘community,’ what comes to mind?
Relationships. A sense of belonging. Family atmosphere and environment. Support system. A place of safety.
People having similar interests. Helping one another. Seeing people as a part of your extended family. Sharing. Caring. No racial barriers, age limits.
Just imagine if our communities, and our community colleges could reflect this beautiful appearance. What would it look like? The reflection of ‘Unity.’
Having the return of communities in our society would revive a sense of belonging, and having an extended support system, to supply the needs of every person in our communities.
The same is true for our community colleges who have served as a support system and a second extended family to many.
As a student on your college campus, your community starts with you. Deep within you have the power to make a difference. This will come by the choices you make.
Setting wise examples as a student will allow you to become a leader, and not a follower. Success will only take place as you bring your community into your inner circle of influence.
Who might your community be on campus?
Close Relationships you have built during your time on campus. Your study groups and classmates. Both can be seen as an extended family, who have taught you the dynamics of discipline, being a team player, building your leadership skills and excelling in your academics.
Our college presidents, administrators, faculty, counselors, and student support services staff. Each can be seen as your cheerleaders and support group, applauding you as you head to the finish line. Loving you like a parent.
The above groups serve as footprints, mentoring you through the good times and the difficult times. They challenge you to draw upon your inner strength of knowledge.
Our most important community; however, is family. This could be parents, siblings, close friends, community relationships etc. Your foundation. Always there when you need them. That’s why we must have unity, because without unity, there can be no community.

Aug 18, 2008

Increasing access to education with affordable transportation

On July 24, 2008, a press conference was held at Laney College in Oakland to celebrate the passage of Assembly Bill 1980, the Peralta College Transportation Accessibility Act and the launch of the Peralta EasyPass.

Black Caucus President Marlene C. Hurd and Secretary Reginald James, who served as Student Trustees for the Peralta Community College District (2006-2008), led the student effort to strike a deal between Peralta and AC Transit to lower the cost for bus passes for students.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Minorities to become the new majority

Nation follows trend found in California, Texas

By Rasheed Shabazz

History shows us that; where California goes, the nation will–eventually–follow.
California has the largest “minority” population in the United States, and since 1998, minorities have been the majority.
And by 2042, minorities who are now about one-third of the U.S. population, are expected to become the majority, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Previous predictions said this would happen in 2050.
“We [ain’t] no minority” said Harambee Managing Editor Reginald James. “We’re the majority, if you’re thinking globally.”
According to the bureau’s projections, the total U.S. population, now estimated at 305 million, is expected to rise to 439 million by 2050.
By 2023, half of the U.S.’s children will be so-called minorities, due to higher birth rates.
“We just have to make sure that this translates to just power,” said James.
“Many times the masses of people are still oppressed by a ‘minority,’ like White South Africa,” said James. “If this does translate to power, we can’t cause the same injustices and commit the same atrocities that others have commited towards us.”
James also suggests students research Francis Cress Welsing’s “Theory of Color Confrontation” and its’ implications.
The census projects the racial and ethnic breakdowns will be (with current percentages in parentheses): non-Hispanic, single-race white, 46%(down from 66% in 2008), Latinos, 30% (up from 15%); Black, 15% (up from 14%); Asian, 9.2% (up from 5.1%), American Indians and indigenous Alaskans, 2% (up from 1.6%). •H•

Aug 15, 2008

Black Caucus transitions

By Jacquinn Scales

While some students took off summer to vacation, members of the Black Caucus of the California Student Association of Community Colleges (CalSACC) were hard at work.
Over the summer, the Executive Board met to transition officers and keep moving the organizations agenda forward, despite a number of obstacles.
Black Caucus President Marlene C. Hurd was hospitalized after being hit by an airport shuttle bus while riding her bicycle in Oakland. She suffered a broken ankle, but not a broken spirit.
When the July 26 retreat was rescheduled when locked out of Berkeley City College, the organization regrouped.
The group has met via teleconference and is hard at work planning activities for next year.
The Board voted to create and continue to publish Harambee. The Board also will be presenting workshops at the UMOJA IV conference in San Diego.
For the fourth year in a row, the Caucus will also be presenting at the CCCSAA Student Leadership Conference. This year’s theme is “America’s Next Top Leaders.” Both events are in San Diego.
The Board also voted to hold it’s 11th Annual Black Caucus Leadership Conference (ABCLC) at Foothill College. Foothill was the site of the 6th annual conference.
For more info, subscribe to the listserv at