Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mighty Real: An Anthology of African American Same Gender Loving Writing

I got my Contributor's Copy of, "Mighty Real" yesterday. I have an essay in it titled, 'Let The Healing Begin." After opening I ran my fingers across the covers and just held it close to me trying to absorb all the words through my pores. From The Harlem Renaissance through 60's Revolution. On the shoulders of Richard Bruce Nugent, James Baldwin, Assato Saint, Audre Lorde, Nella Larsen, Essex Hemphill, Joseph Beam, and many many others we stand in this new collection....and AIN'T WE FIERCE!!

I began reading some of the other contributions by friends and others I know and had it reminded me how talented they are. Sometimes I forget because they are my friend but I was definitely in the presence of artistic brilliance.

There are some writers I don't know personally and others I have recently become acquainted with in that grand scheme of social networking called, "facebook" but I am looking forward to taking a few days of being with myself and just reading what is we have contributed to our community as griots and gatekeepers.

This extensive collection includes poetry, short stories, plays, essays, sermons, & interviews. Edited by Royce Bryant Smith & Darius Omar Williams I know it has been a long process of conception and birth and I personally am grateful to, "be in the number." Both Darius and Royce deserve our thanks and congratulations for a job not just well done but one that goes over and above.

Please do yourself a favor and add this to your personal library and suggest it to friends near and far. If you are a celebrant of Kwanzaa it would make a great zawadi. You may not receive it by Jan 1st the day gifts are exchanged but in the spirit of Kwanzaa this is a gift that will uplift and illuminate.

Mighty Real is available on,, and

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ban On Gay Blood Donations: Go To Helen Weytt!!!

When I was in college all the clubs, organizations, and fraternities used to have a contest to see who could donate the most blood each semester. It was one of the most popular events throughout the year. There was fierce competition not just so we could get extra many for our groups but because we knew donating blood was a great way to help other people in crisis.

A dear friend and colleague Stephanie Nawyn who is now an Associate Professor of Sociology at Michigan State University, and was a great help to me when I coordinated the Lorde-Baldwin Learning Tree a literacy program at Unity Fellowship Church in Los Angeles (I remember when she had her first child Henry and he would sit on my lap and try and put the tips of my locs in his mouth)

Time flies, Henry is now riding his bike to school
and has a sister Meredeth who I have yet to meet.

Enough of the memory lane. Some of Stephanie's students have posted an excellent video on youtube about the ban on Same Gender Loving/Men Who Have Sex With Men being able to donate blood. They offer great insight & information about why the ban was put into place originally and the reasons it should be overturned.

Support comes from Senator John Kerry as well as others and they give you address and information on how to contact the FDA if you'd like to send a letter on how to overturn the ban and also to Go To Helen Weytt ("Hell & Wait") if you'd like to support the current ban. All this from their own Fox-E News Special Report....

It hurts me deeply that I am no longer allowed to donate blood and I know it could help save lives. Please view this and take action....

Friday, December 10, 2010

Emergency Town Hall Meeting!! Speak Up Against Same Gender Loving People Being Killed In Uganda!!

If You Are In The NYC Area Please Attend.....


The Global Justice Institute, GLAAD, GLO TV Network,, The Fellowship, MCC New York, Rehoboth Temple

Media Contact : Joseph Tolton, Blur Advertising 646-765-6960

African Americans protest Bahati’s US tour to promote “kill the gays” in Uganda

WHAT: Emergency Town Hall Meeting to challenge Ugandan PM David Bahati who is currently promoting his “kill the gays” bill on a trip to the United States

WHEN: Saturday, December 11, 2010

1:00 p.m. (SHARP)

WHO: Pastor Joseph W. Tolton - Rehoboth Temple/The Global Justice Institute
Bishop Zachary Jones - Unity Fellowship Church/Brooklyn
Rev Pat Bumgardner - MCC/The Global Justice Institute
Dr. Marjorie Hill - GMHC
Tokes Osubu - GMAD

WHERE: Rehoboth Temple Christ Conscious Church

310 West 139th Street, New York, NY 10031

(Fredrick Douglass & Edgecombe)

WHY: LGBT People of African Descent and our allies, family and friends are responding to the immediate attack on our fellow brother and sisters in the country of Uganda. The conservative Christian right organization known as The Family and so-called “ex-gay” activist Scott lively exported hatred to Africa with a direct threat to the LGBT community in Uganda by funding and sponsoring the “Anti-Homosexuality” bill which would introduce the death penalty for gay people and require extradition of gay Ugandans around the world.

LGBT communities of color in the USA and across the globe are at greater risk for hate crimes and persecutions. Killing LGBT people in Uganda or anywhere else around the world is wrong.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Scottsboro Boys Closing...

I was really hoping that this musical would be able to sustain an audience and eventually tour. I first heard about it because I am a big fan of Colman Domingo. I'd seen him in, "The Big Gay Sketch Comedy Show" where among other things his Craiglist's ads as Maya Angelou and also the musical, "Passing Strange" I always thought the story of the Scottsboro Boys was an interesting time in America's history. It wasn't a story I was even aware of in school. It's not covered in many history books but it's definitely a familiar story if you have roots in the south. Because of the death of Fred Ebb this was to be the last collaboration for Kander & Ebb who wrote such musicals as Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Chicago, The Rink, and others. With their use of dark material as a source for musical theater and the addition of Susan Strohman I really thought this show would have a long run. But it is closing this Sunday December 12. The soundtrack which includes one of my new favorite songs, "Go Back Home" is available on-line at and

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mighty Real: An Anthology of African American Same Gender Loving Writing

Mighty Real: An Anthology of African American Same Gender Loving Writing
By Edited by R. Bryant Smith and Darius Omar Williams

A collection of African-American Same Gender Loving Literature featuring both new and established writers. Grounded in a poignant and truthful sensibility, imbued with the realities of sex and love, Smith and Williams present a culmination of poems, short stories, radical essays, sermons, plays and interviews honoring notable figures within the SGLBT community.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Art Isn't Easy....: Thoughts on For Colored Girls, Tyler Perry, & Upcoming Books...

I was planning to go see, "For Colored Girls" this weekend until I read the opinions of a few people I really respect for their thoughts on things artistic. I should say I am not a Tyler Perry fan. I don't think I ever will be. I think the best thing he ever did was produce, "Precious" so it would get a bigger audience. I was hoping that would be the situation with, "For Colored Girls" but I learned he directed I was still going to see it because of my love for the original work. I've decided I'm still going to see it just for the opportunity to hear Ntozake Shange's words performed by some of my favorite actresses like Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Loretta Devine, Kimberly Elise, Kerri Washington, Thandie Newton, and others. What I've decided to do though is order the dvd of a production that starred Alfre Woodard, Lynn Whitfield, Carol Malliard (of Sweet Honey in the Rock), Shange, and the theme song sung by Patti Labelle and watch it after I see the film.

What has struck me the most is the vitriolic response not so much to the film but to Tyler Perry. As I said I am not a fan of his work but whatever my personal feelings toward that I try and stay away from personal attacks on him. I have my own reasons for why I don't like his work but some of the things that I have read from others really border on being mean spirited. If you don't like someone's work that's one thing but to attack their character and not know them (and seeing them on interviews is not knowing them, that's only a glimpse of them) is not good reporting to me. I have made my peace with going to see this work and am looking forward to whatever happens having a good experience.

I began hearing about a new musical, "Scottsboro Boys" by Kander & Ebb earlier this year because I had become "friends" with Colman Domingo on facebook. I saw him first on the, "Big Gay Comedy Sketch Show" on the logo network. The show itself has some really great moments and some not so great but a guilty pleasure of mine is him reading craigslist posting as Maya Angelou....

When he looks to the heavens after reading the postings which I suspect are real text I just lose it. I then saw him on PBS with the broadway production of, "Passing Strange." An incredible show that I think everyone should get on dvd. Currently Scottsboro Boys has moved to Broadway and I really hope it does well enough to tour. I haven't admitted this publicly to many people but I have started playing piano again and I would love to learn this song.

It sounds so touching and beautiful. I even suggested it to a great friend of mine Haqumai Sharpe as something he should add to his repertoire. The show is based on the notorious case of the Scottsboro Boys who were accused of raping two white women on a train passing through Scottsboro, Alabama. Told in the minstrel form it should be an interesting take on a night in musical theater. Leave it to Kander & Ebb to come up with a way to share another "dark" story. Susan Stroman directs and choreographs and from what I've seen and heard adds some incredibly subtle moments to the production.

Drumroll Please......

My Book, "Touch...Poems & Other Writings of Love, Erotica, & Sensuality" is finally coming out. I've created a page on facebook if you'd like to be among the first to know when and where to get it. Thanks to all who have supported me on this journey. As most of us creative types know Art Isn't Easy. You can plan but then life shows up and takes away your plans and ideas of what you want to happen but I can tell you honestly everything about this project is in divine order. My friend Anthony Batiste used his considerable talents to design the covers and the models and photographers who let me use their work have been especially supportive. Take a look!! I am blown away but what we created!!!

I'm also pleased to announce a piece I wrote called, "Let The Healing Begin" will be included in anthology due out soon called, "Mighty Real" edited by Darius Omar Williams & Royce Bryant Smith. I originally wrote the piece as a speech given at the National Convocation of the Unity Fellowship Movement. I really enjoyed it and didn't know what to do with it and ended up submitted it to this anthology. I am very honored to be a part of the collection and looking forward to its debut.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Few Of My New Favorite Things...

The Shubutanis A Young Ice Dancing Pair
The Lakers New Championship Rings

The Lakers New Championship Jackets (Gotta See If They Got 'Em In Big Boy Size)

This Picture....

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Review: I Was Born This Way by Archbishop Carl Bean

I consider myself a, "Church Boy" and by default a, "Preacher's Kid" (my mother married my step-father a Pastor when I was around 12yrs old). Some of my earliest memories are of church and family, family and church. From my grand-father who was Chairman of the Deacon Board so long they gave him the title of, "Deacon Emeritus", my mother who became President of both the Baptist Minister's Wives & Widows Union & the Interdenominational Minister's Wives & Widows Fellowship, to my being a choir director all stemmed from being in church.

Being Same-Gender Loving in the black church can be difficult to manuever. Talk about Don't Ask-Don't Tell it became increasingly difficult when I thought I might be ready to come out but then the AIDS crisis struck. People were very liberal in their condemnation. Folks were being baptized with the label, "abomination", and the disease was being seen as punishment for the "gay lifestyle".

After a long journey and a determination to break free I stopped attending church for a long while. I thought if I were gay I had to give it up. Sunday morning became my religion but I never lost faith. For some reason I knew there was something I hadn't been taught, something was missing. I knew the love of God as much as I knew there was air, oxygen flowing through my lungs but I'd always been taught like many people that there was only one way to God, sinners were going to hell, and a multitude of other hogwash that was used to control & oppress people.

I began reading on my own but still missed the fellowship that a church can offer. After volunteering for a program called, "Shanti" I began to hear about Unity Fellowship Church. I'd heard of Carl Bean but wasn't very familiar with him or his work. Imagine my surprise that when I finally decided to visit the church which at the time was located on Jefferson two blocks west of La Brea that is was 10 minutes from where I lived. All I had to do was turn a corner and what I'd been searching for was there (there's a metaphor for life in there somewhere).

Bishop Bean wasn't there the first Sunday I attended but because I wasn't sure where the church was I got there early and the first person I met was a man named, "Deacon Charles" he was very nice and sat and talked with me while we waited for services to begin. Charles was bald, very effeminate, had eyebrows drawn on, and pearl earrings. Although he was nice I was thinking, "what have I gotten myself into?". His kindness and sincerity though were just what I needed when it came to connecting. Once service began I heard testimonies of other people, the sanctuary began to fill, and then choir marched in singing, "Walk In The Light". The processional was lead by Vera Owens who I'd recognized from Pentecostal Community Choir and the Southern California Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America. The song really ministered to me. When the lights went down for affirmation and the worship leader began to tell us we were made in God's image, that we were not a mistake, that God loved us all I wanted to cry but I am not one for crying in public too much so I held it in. I received a pamphlet as a visitor that day that outlined the church's mission and ministry. It listed how God was present in all religions and faith traditions. I knew then this is what I had been looking for.

A few weeks later I finally met Bishop Bean. He is a force of nature. One of those people that when he enters a room the level of energy automatically rises. Whether it's his laugh, his voice being raised in song, or his preaching he lifts you. Even in quiet moments of consultation he has the ability to make you feel as if your situation is the most important to him. He's a man of action and of great faith. I do not think there is any coincidence that he and my mother share the same birth date of May 26th.

A few years before I left Southern California and moved up to the bay area a fellow Unity Fellowship Member, Frankie Lennon was running a writing workshop called, "The Talking Drum". She asked me to help facilitate the group. At first I was intimidated. Frankie is an incredible writer and teacher. I am not sure if I can call her a contemporary of Nikki Goivanni she actually went to and got in trouble with her in grade school. She encouraged me to become a part and I am so happy I did. She has since become a great friend and confidante. A true unexpected treasure in my life. While we were running the workshop Bishop Bean who always encouraged my writing, performing, and other artistic endeavors began to tell me he had been approached to write a book. I told him I thought it was a wonderful idea. The way he can weave a story is magical. With his wide range of knowledge and incredible history I knew it would be great reading.

That book is finally here, "I Was Born This Way: A Gay Preacher's Journey Through Gospel Music, Disco Stardom, and a Ministry in Christ" came out as loud and bold as Archbishop is. I don't think he can ever be accused of being a shrinking violet and in that respect he doesn't shrink from revealing much of history that has inlcuded alot of pain but certainly it also tells of how he has triumphed. His stories of childhood abuse, attempted suicide, cross dressing, prostitution, drug use, foster care, family dysfunctions can seem overwhelming but with this book you get a great sense of the purpose of Archbishop Bean. He always had faith. He always knew there was something. One of his great gifts is to be able to speak to a large crowd but make it seem he is speaking to you. He doesn't have to "talk up" to educated people, or "talk down" who haven't had the chance for education. He just somehow magically is able to translate a message through the power & passion of his words. I consider him to be one of the finest theologians of our time.

I've spoken to him about ways to promote the book. I told him I thought he should get a few musicians, background singers, and go into deeper detail about some of the stories in the book. If he sang and did that there is no way people wouldn't be moved to buy it. Just a couple of weeks ago I visited Unity on my birthday and got a chance to speak and pray with him. He always remains in the pulpit after service for anyone who'd like to have prayer or consultation with him. He told me some of the details of performing, "I Was Born This Way" at the height of disco era at a club in West Hollywood where his friends were asked for 3 forms of ID to get in. Even though the story is also told in the book hearing it from his mouth with his embellishments had me laughing out loud!! He also told me about his group, Carl Bean & Universal Love. There's a picture of them on the back cover and in the book. He had me laughing how they had to snap the picture quick because the guys in the group were trying to look, "butch". The only straight member of the group chose to be shirtless.

Archbishop is a wealth of knowledge and history. Hearing him talk about his calling to help people of color in the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis helps me to always re-focus on what I've been called to do.

I could go on and on about Archbishop Bean. I always enjoy our exchanges. He continues to inspire, teach, and mentor me to this day. I asked him to sign my copy of the book and his inscription reads, To Jair, My brother is in Christ and in the Creative Arts. Love Archbiship Carl Bean.
I'm honored he includes me in his fellowship and I am honored to have him as part of mine...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tasty Talk With My Girl Lily (Like The Flower)

'Good Gumbo' Radio (Join in)
Host: lilyliketheflower -

Episode: EPISODE24 - 'Good Gumbo' Radio: Raising Teens in 2010
Good Gumbo' Radio covers an eclectic blend of relevant topics. Hosted by author/poet lily (like the flower)

'Good Gumbo' Radio combines straightforward talk and witty flavor to create hearty conversation! Join us every Saturday at 10a PT/ 1p ET. Contact for details on FREE advertising opportunities.
Call ID: 80315

Visit to listen to past episodes of 'Good Gumbo Radio'. Follow lilyliketheflower on twitter @mamaincense

Scheduled Time:

Date: Sat, October 9, 2010
Time: 01:00 PM EDT

How to participate:

Call in:
Dial: (724) 444-7444
Enter: 80315 # (Call ID)
Enter: 1 # or your PIN

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dreamgirls On Tour...

As soon as I heard, "Dreamgirls" the current tour was coming to San Francisco I knew I wanted to be in the audience. There are certain shows that I have HAVE to see. Dreamgirls is one of those. This production did not disappoint. In fact it enhanced my love and appreciation for this work.

I've known about Dreamgirls since the original production and have always been in love with it. Through the '87 tour which featured one of my favorite performers, Lillias White, all the talk of the movie, a concert version, and then finally the movie. There is nothing like live theater that proves that when art & entertainment collide there is magic.

The cast was incredible, the production was amazing, and the audience receptive and appreciative. I told a friend if I were a smart man I would've bought a second set of tickets so I could see it again before it left town.

If you have the chance to see it do yourself a favor and do just that....

Friday, September 10, 2010

MoAD: Stirring the Waters, Fanning the Flames: Ericka Huggins in Conversation with Ronald K. Porter

Stirring the Waters, Fanning the Flames: Ericka Huggins in Conversation with Ronald K. Porter
Saturday September 25, 2010
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society has a mission to collect and preserve the history of LGBTQ people and make it accessible through its archive, exhibits and public programming. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the GLBT Historical Society is holding a series of important conversations across generations. As the first event in the Silver Anniversary Speakers Series, co-presented by MoAD, we are proud to present activist, educator, former political prisoner and leader of the Black Panther Party, Ericka Huggins, in conversation with UC Berkeley doctoral student in Social and Cultural Studies in Education, Ronald K. Porter. In addition to his dissertation research, which traces the intellectual history of African-American educational thought, Porter is conducting work on how the Black Panther Party considered both the nature and elimination of lesbian and gay oppression. Ericka and Ronald will discuss perspectives on LGBTQ history, the Black Panther Party’s relationship with the Gay Liberation Movement, sustaining activism, and promoting social justice. This conversation is critical not only to illuminate how black organizations of the past focused on the issue of sexuality, but also how such actions help us understand the connections between race and sexuality in today’s political climate.

Free with MoAD Admission.

For more information on Ericka Huggins, Ronald K. Porter, and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society, please consult these sites:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Good Gumbo Radio...

Join me and My Girl Lily and others as we stir up some Good Gumbo!!

Host: lilyliketheflower -
Episode: EPISODE18 - 'Good Gumbo' Radio: The 'N' Word
Why is the 'N' word still a point of contention in 2010? 'Good Gumbo' Radio covers an eclectic blend of relevant topics. Hosted by author/poet lily (like the flower), 'Good Gumbo' Radio combines straightforward talk and witty flavor to create hearty conversation! Join us every Saturday at 10a PT/ 1p ET. Contact for details on FREE advertising opportunities.

Scheduled Time:

Date: Sat, August 28, 2010
Time: 01:00 PM EDT

How to participate:

Call in:
Dial: (724) 444-7444
Enter: 80315 # (Call ID)
Enter: 1 # or your PIN

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Joy In The City 5th Sunday Concert Series @City of Refuge-San Francisco

Join The Music Department of City of Refuge As We Continue Our "Joy In The City" 5th Sunday Concert Series...

Guest Include:

Ernest Larkins & Ambassadors For Change
Allen Temple's Men's Chorus

Appearances by:

City of Refuge Mass Choir
Charlene Moore & Her Best Friends

Art Showcase by Bronson

This Event Is In Tribute To Dr. Robert Scott & Fundraiser For Mother Of Peace Orphange In South Africa

City of Refuge Church-San Francisco
1025 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

August 29 · 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Some Upcoming Events In Oakland...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Wellness for LIfe Black Men's Health Conference 2010, "WORK OUT"

In The Meantime Men’s Group, Inc., Los Angeles’s premier Black Gay Men’s Wellness Organization will host its 10th annual Wellness for Life Black Men’s Health Conference ,’WORK OUT’, on Saturday, August 14, 2010 from 9a.m. to 3p.m. at the Wilshire Plaza Hotel, 3515 Wilshire Blvd., LA CA 90010, (located at the corner of Wilshire and Normandie). Valet parking and buffet lunch will be provided for the first 80 participants. This con...ference experience is free to the general public. (Conference subject matter will cater specifically to Black gay, same gender loving and bisexual men).

For additional information please contact In The Meantime at (323) 733-4868.


Enter the raffle to win one of the exciting prizes being presented during lunch. You will receive raffle tickets during each session where you fully participate.

(2) $100.00 gift cards to Macy’s (2) $50.00 passes to foot locker, (2) of the 10 tickets to magic mountain, Dinner for two at the Grand Lux, Beverly Center.


Wilbert Jordan, M.D., founder of the Oasis Clinic, Rodney Collins, M.D., Psychiatrist, Jewel Thais Williams, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.,M.S.O.M., Sankofa, Yoga Guru, Quincy Le Near, and Deondray Gossett, Producers, directors and creators of the award winning ‘D.L Chronicles’, and Jammie M. Hopkins, M.S.,UCLA Public Health Doctoral student.


James Miller, long standing treatment advocate, In The Meantime’s Wellness Award, Timon King, Case Manager, Gay and Lesbian Center, In The Meantime’s Emerging Leadership Award.


In The Meantime Men’s Group, Inc., Bristol Meyers Squibb, AIDS Health Care Foundation, Gilead Sciences

Read more:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Damage Caused In Downtown Oakland Is Not By Protesters Of The Johannes Mehserle Verdict

I want to state for emphatically & for the record that the damage caused by people last night in Oakland, Ca was not at the hands of people protesting the Johannes Mehserle verdict.

There was a peaceful gathering of 800-1000 people at the corner of 14th & Broadway beginning after the verdict was read until approximately 7:30pm. Several young people spoke as did community members, leaders, Oscar Grant I (Oscar Grant's Grandfather), Oakland Native Mark Curry of "Hanging With Mr. Cooper" fame, and many who were around in the days of the Black Panthers. There were people from a variety of backgrounds, faith traditions, and political ideas.

The damage and looting that occurred was done mostly by people who are not Oakland residents (at least 70% are from outside the area) and they just wanted a reason to loot (the 1st store attacked was a Foot Locker) and engage in lawlessness. These people covered their faces because they are cowards and used Oscar Grant's name & memory in vain.

Do not continue to follow media coverage that wants to only show what happened after night fell. It is misguided and skewed to create sensationalism & perpetuate stereotypes.

I attended the rally and held a friend as she cried. Listened to young people beg for answers and heard voices raised in call to action. I am not a native of Oakland. I became a resident just over 3 years ago and have come to love my city.

We Are Still The Town!!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Be Cool...

Free Legal Support For Anyone Arrested During Mehserle Demonstrations

The Bay Area National Lawyer's Guild Demonstrations Committee is ready to provide legal support for folks arrested during demonstrations related to the verdict of the
Mehserle trial. We run a legal hotline during protests and provide free or low-cost legal support for demonstrations and for people expressing dissent by organizing radical volunteer lawyers and legal workers around specific causes. We will be supporting demonstrations following the trial for Oscar Grant's murder. Legal Observers, a legal hotline and attorneys will be organized for the day the verdict is
announced, and however long it is needed following that day. We will provide legal support for anyone expressing their first amendment rights about this brutality.

Feel free to check out our website here:

The Demonstrations Committee won the Bay Guardian award in 1998 for "Best Folks to Call if you're Arrested for Civil Disobedience Award." We provide legal support and trainings to progressive groups organizing demonstrations or direct actions; offer legal observer trainings to law students, lawyers and activists; work to respond to police misconduct and protect the right to dissent. One of the ways we provide support, is by running a support hotline while people are on the streets and in jail.

The hotline number to call if you see arrests occurring, are being arrested or have legal questions related to demonstrations is:

*(415) 285-1011

*Remember if you are arrested to say: "I am going to remain silent. I want to see a lawyer."

See you in the streets.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Verdict Expected Soon In Oscar Grant/Johannes Mehersle Case--Community Gatherting @14th & Broadway Oakland, Ca City Hall

A verdict is expected SOON in the case of the Police Officer who
murdered Oscar Grant on a Friutvale BART platform 18 months ago! If you are in the Bay Area:


1. Because WE WILL NOT BE DIVIDED. Massive street protests were the only thing that forced Mehserle's arrest. Lets remind ourselves that the streets are where people are strong together, where real change is won.
2. Because WE WILL NOT BE PACIFIED. Our anger is justified. It does not need to be “vented” or “cooled-down”. If anything, we need more resistance, more action, more mobilization.
3. Because WE ARE THE VICTIMS OF POLICE VIOLENCE, not the cause of it. Police are the only “outside agitators” in Oakland, and their violent behavior is what concerns us. We all know that police will blame the victim to try and justify their violence, by calling us violent. We won’t be manipulated.
4. Because THIS FIGHT IS NOT OVER. Whatever the verdict, our struggle continues. There is a long way to go to get justice for Oscar Grant, and for all victims of police violence. We need to stay united and active, to end police violence in our communities.

While the gathering does not have an official “permit”, organizers still intend to maintain a safe space for everyone, and need your help to respect the tone of this rally. The rally will be in the intersection of 14th and Broadway. Organizers are also not planning a march and want to avoid arrests or police activity within this space. Please do not invite police to enter this space or provoke the police from anywhere within or close by to this space. Please do tell everyone you know about this gathering – the best safety is in numbers.

1. Text "follow justiceforoscar" to 40404. You’ll get a text when the verdict comes down and updates about what happens at the protest.
2. Write the legal hotline number (415-285-1011) on your arm or body. Call this number to report arrests or to get legal support if you are arrested..
3. Bring earplugs for you (and some to share). OPD has recently purchased a LRAD sonic "crowd control" device.

The downtown gathering 14th and Broadway is being put on by legit community organizers who have been working for Justice for Oscar Grant for the last 18 months. Sadly, in recent days there has been a concerted effort by the mayor of Oakland, the OPD, and certain non-profits to disrupt our rally and keep people from gathering together. Please inform yourself and others! Many of those counter-organizing against our 14th and Broadway gathering have done nothing to fight for justice for Oscar Grant, and are more concerned with preventing property damage (helping the police) than they are with getting justice for Oscar Grant.

This is not over! There is much new information that has become available during the trial, including the fact that Oscar Grant’s autopsy showed that Officer Tony Pirone’s beating caused serious head injury to Oscar Grant before he was shot by Johannes Mehserle. Our organizing is not over, not even close! Look for information about actions demanding charges for Tony Pirone and Marisol Domenici, the firing of all the other police on the platform, charging the BART police with federal civil rights violations, and the disbanding of the BART police department.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yes, To Answer Your Question I Have Gone Laker Crazy!!

Laker Haters, Don't Be Jealous Of My Boogie!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ugandan Bishop to Visit Bay Area to Speak Against the "Kill the Gays" Movement

Next week, Bishop Christopher Senyonjo of Uganda will be visiting the San Francisco-Bay Area.

Anglican Bishop Senyonjo is considered the Desmond Tutu of Uganda for his LGBT inclusive ministry and stance against the very real 'Kill the Gays' movement in Uganda. The Bishop is on a U.S. speaking tour principally sponsored by Integrity USA, a 35 year old Episcopalian LGBT organization.

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo is a 78 year old grandfather of 11, and has been married for over 30 years. Because of his LGBT inclusive ministry and stance against the policies of genocide of LGBT people, he has been stripped of his Bishop status by the Church of Uganda. Upon his return to Uganda, he faces arrest and imprisonment.
Please see below for more information about the very active 'Kill the Gays' movement in Uganda.

Equality California, the African American Arts and Culture Complex, the SF LGBT Community Center and the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition are honored to serve as co-hosts for the Bishop's San Francisco visit.

Honorary Community Hosts include:
Susan B. Christian Angela Brown + Julius Turman + Dr. Kenneth Monteira
Reverend Roland Stringfellow + Dr. Billy Curtis + Dr. Erica Britton
Joel Brown + Bennie Mackie + Timothy Silard + Lawrence C. Shorter

Please save the date(s) to attend both or either of the following events to meet Bishop Senyonjo, hear his story, and the fight to end the very active 'kill the gays' movement:

African American Arts & Culture Complex
762 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA
MONDAY, MAY 24 2010

San Francisco LGBT Community Center
1800 Market Street
San Francisco, CA
TUESDAY, MAY 25 2010

Moderated by Reverend Roland Stringfellow
Bay Area Coalition of Welcoming Congregations
Seating is Limited, So Arrive On Time

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sept 5, 2010 (Labor Day Weekend)

Oakland Is Set to Get Its Pride Back This Year

After a six-year absence, the East Bay Pride festival will return to
downtown Oakland Sunday, September 5 during Labor Day weekend. It will
be renamed Oakland Pride.

Welcome to Oakland Pride 2010!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Defying Gravity...

This past Thursday evening I got a chance to see one of my all time favorite singing groups, "Sweet Honey In The Rock". I've posted many times about them and their music so I won't go into too much detail, but just know I think they are the ultimate when it comes to performing music with a message as well as being entertaining.

On yesterday Friday I got to be a vocal workshop with one of the founding members Louise Robinson.

She had performed a full concert the night before and the group also had performed for school children on the morning of the workshop. Admittedly tired she gave so much of herself as a teacher and person in our workshop we all left floating, yes defying gravity.

It was a group of about 40 people. I was only one of the two men there but it didn't matter it was all about connecting to the "Beingness" of the experience. I met some amazing people and look forward to sharing with them in the future.

We used our bodies, our voices, and creativity to share ourselves as people and artists. The group consisted of singers of all levels and backgrounds but everyone shared in the experience.

After leaving I realized how much I love art, performing, and sharing. She really inspired me to continue on. I can't say I was having doubts but it's always great to get a nudge of inspiration and some confirmation that you are on the right path!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Black Panther Events: Los Angeles & Oakland...

I haven't gotten a chance to see this movie yet but I am glad it is getting more exposure. If you're in the Los Angeles area be sure to check this out...

41st & Central: The Untold Story of the LA Black Panthers will open Friday, March 26 for a limited, one-week engagement at the Culver Plaza Theatre in Culver City, across from Sony Studios. Tickets are $10.

This dynamic film won the Audience Favorite Award at this year's Pan African Film Festival. Originally scheduled for only one screening as the centerpiece of the festival ($30 per ticket), two additional screenings had to be added to accomodate the long line of folks who showed up. If you missed it, now is your opportunity to see this amazing historical documentary by filmmaker Gregory Everett whose father was a member of the LA Black Panther Party.

Come see former Panthers, Councilman Bernard Parks, Geronimo Pratt, Kathleen Cleaver, Elaine Brown, Erika Huggins and others talk about the rise and fall of the Southern California chapter of the Party, the killings of Bunchy Carter and John Huggins at UCLA, and the early morning shootout between the LAPD and the Black Panthers in December 1969 and so much more.

Tickets: $10 per person with 3 hours free validated parking
Show times: Fri-Sun 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm
Mon-Thurs 12pm, 2:45pm, 5:45pm, 8pm
Group sales: check or
Culver Plaza Theater
9917 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA

Another Black Panther Event In Oakland, The Origin Of The Legendary Group...

Lil' Bobby Hutton Day

Come celebrate our 12th annual honor of the life and legacy of Lil' Bobby Hutton and the Black Panther Party, who defended our community from senseless police murders and poverty

Saturday April 10, 2010
2-5pm @West Oakland Library
1805 Adeline Street
Oakland, Ca

Students & Tutors (speed matching)
Lil Bobby Statue
$50 Poetry Contest
More Info Call: (510) 705-8810