Black Power now

From the sounds of the Panthers to Angela Davis' thoughts on Occupy, this week's issue surveys some of today's progressive African American happenings

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ILLUSTRATION BY FAVIANNA RODRIGUEZ BASED ON PHOTO BY PIRKIE JONE

More than 50 years after the Black Panthers started policing the police in Oakland, where does Black Power stand today? This week's issue takes a look at the question through music, books, and political thought. 

>>BLACK POWER THEN AND NOW: How political struggle and concepts from the '60s are animating a new generation. And what does Angela Davis have to say about the movement today?

>>THE LEGACY OF RACISM: Killing the Messenger explores Black Muslim ideology and the cycles of brutality

>>BLACK POWER AND OWS: The two movements have it in them to merge, but it's going to take some work. An editorial by Davey D Cook

>>IT'S NOT WHAT YOU GET, IT'S WHAT YOU KEEP: BBC journalist gathers black voices for posterity, links them to a civil rights timeline

>>PANTHER CRY: Listen Whitey! A new Bay anthology plays the sounds of black power

Comments

So the black population of SF has dropped from 12.5% in 1990 to 3% now.

What made that happen and why was that allowed to happen?

Posted by marcos on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 8:39 am

natural forces?

Posted by matlock on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 9:32 am

For those few who want to gain a deeper understanding of this issue and are willing to take some time to look beyond the whitewashing, I suggest two local sources; SFBAYVIEW Newspaper and the work of FRANCISCO DA COSTA.
The two most destructive activities are probably the Urban Renewal of the Fillmore in the '60's and the Bayview today (see Lennar Inc).

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 9:15 am

Patrick, the black population after Negro Removal in the Fillmore and Western Addition was still at 12.5% by 1990, decades after those projects did their worst.

Talking about recent political history, what was behind the decimation of the black population over the past 20 years or so, and why were San Franciscans unable to do anything about it while it was going on.

If we don't find out on whose watch did the black population dropped from 12.5% to 3%, then we can't figure out what steps failed so that we might hold those people who failed at their task accountable so that they are not in a position to make this happen to the next group not deemed worthy of San Franciscanhood?

Corporate power pushed and community power had no pull. Why was that and what can we do differently next time?

Posted by marcos on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 9:40 am

The ethnic composition of SF has always been changing and always will. You cannot micromanage nature.

Posted by Anonymous on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 11:20 am

Is it not a little disingenuous for a paper with not a single person of color on staff to be writing an article about black power then and now?

Posted by Greg on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 9:21 am

But even if that were true, your point is awful. If you want to hear journalists talk about themselves, you can go to Twitter for that.

Posted by caitlin on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 9:41 am
Posted by Anonymous on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 11:21 am

NO.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

First there was Dr. Noel Day’s Unfinished Agenda report, then the African American Out-Migration Task Force. Now one member of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission is trying to resuscitate this issue.

There is also a dedicated group of people that meet monthly at Dolores Street Community Services to address this neglected issue.

I was a member of the AA Out-Migration Task Force for two years and am supporting the efforts being undertaken by community members of the African American, African Immigrant, and Afro-Caribbean communities at Dolores Street Community Services.

As a Black man, who has lived in the Fillmore for over 25 years, I live and experience the sea change that has transformed this neighborhood. I do not for one minute begrudge the new residents who are moving in. They are a delight to live around. However, I am deeply hurt and feel betrayed by the economic, political, and racist forces that have driven this gentrification.

This is a sadly neglected issue.

Why it is not addressed head-on is a telling statement about San Francisco when you pull back the curtains of illusion.

Posted by Guest Larry on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 11:34 am

American cities should remain constant regardless of natural demographic changes?

That strikes me as an extraordinary piece of MIMBY'sim.

100 years ago, whites were 90% of this country. If a white person complained that it's only 65% now, some people would argue that is a racist statement.

If there are less blacks in SF, there are more blacks elsewhere. Why is that a problem?

Posted by Greg on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 11:56 am

Given that DSCS has been given city money and official stakeholders status by city agencies charged with leading gentrification in the Mission and DSCS has not been able to meaningfully impact development and economic policy to stop gentrification in the Mission, I'd not look to them for to do much else but figure out how to get crumbs in exchange for losing their community.

DSCS seems more fixated on honoring the legacy of Eric Quezada who was poster activist for losing gentrification battles with a meeting space, with an affordable housing complex and next, I expect, a mammoth Kim Il Sung style bronze statue of the Great Leader.

These nonprofits and churches have cut deals with developers so that they get theirs and our communities get to suffer the business end of development. Hell, we had a luxury condo go through the approvals process last year that wanted to put its garage on a street where the residents would zoom past our local elementary school. Neighbors and the PTA got them to relocate it onto the arterial street. Nowhere to be found were any of the nonprofits who purport to care so deeply about Latino families when we reached out for support.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

"communities to suffer"? New homes are the life blood of communities.

Oh, and if garages are supposed to house cars then where exactly would you out them other than, er, on the street?

Posted by Greg on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

Unfortunately many Black politicians, pastors and civic leaders have been, and continue to be complicit. I'm not gonna 'take names' here, they have all been outed in the sources listed above. In a recent posting by Francisco he once again lists many of them.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

The idea that a constant racial demographic is somehow desirable is ridiculous.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

It is better to remain silent and have people think you are ignorant than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Educate yourself or STFU.
To others who are interested in exploring and trying to understand the ongoing institutional racism from the perspective of the 'victims', I highly recommend a series of events that were presented every year by Tavis Smiley on CSPAN. "The State Of The Black Union". Unfortunately it ceased production a few years ago but the following link should connect you to the first session in 2001, from there you can link to following years. There is so much powerful, poignant, revealing and humorous truth-telling here.
http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/BlackU

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

percentage population of any one race in SF changes over time?

Think really carefully before you answer . .

Posted by Greg on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

Wassup whitey, busy bleaching your hood for an evening on the town with the Knight Riders.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Mar. 22, 2012 @ 12:14 am

That's because you don't like the answer.

We don't have race quota's any more in this town. Problem for you?

Posted by Greg on Mar. 22, 2012 @ 6:32 am

There is inherent value in promoting diversity, particularly in an important international city like San Francisco. That means seeing the African American exodus as a problem and taking steps to understand why it's happening and address it. It also means making sure we have adequate housing available to the socioeconomic mix of citizens that we have today rather than allowing the rich to force out the poor and fundamentally change this great city. Simply ignoring these issues, as you seem to want to do, will make San Francisco a steadily richer and whiter city (not to mention clogging our transportation systems with the low-wage workers who make this city function), and if you're okay with that then we have nothing left to discuss because our values are quite different and discussion is useless. But suffice it to say that you're in the minority of city residents (although I suspect you don't really live here, based on the intolerant and conservative values you regularly espouse) because most San Franciscans do value diversity and inclusion, not simply plutocracy.

Posted by steven on Mar. 23, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

Research the causes. You don't need to go back to Exodus, just on the history of slavery in America in general, and black history in San Francisco in particular.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

Sounds sorta like Black Power Mixtape - which I loved. It's a great idea to take some of the cool music associated with this time and movement and put it into a book form.

Posted by Troll II on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

Agreed, but it is way past time for those of us 'peckerwoods' who groove to the sounds to explore the social roots and repression that created the music and become openly active in the struggle for civil rights, for ALL, not just those middle class white wannabe's who now find themselves increasingly shut out and subject to Massa's Master Plan.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

C'mon, is that the best you got...is that all you got... seriously...is that all you got - think, very - very - very carefully before you insert your mouth even further up your colon.
GO GIANTS
AVANTE ALEX
PIGASUS 4 PRESIDENT

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Mar. 21, 2012 @ 5:52 pm

That is so loaded with irony.

Posted by Matlock on Mar. 22, 2012 @ 1:19 am

You should look at how san jose has changed in the last 20 yeas it's gone from white with black underclass, to white with a Hispanic underclass. i don't hear anybody complaining about that. The only people who get bent out of shape by the statistics above are black people concerned that their power base as the largest and most politically powerful minority in the country is being eroded by other minorities.

Posted by jazzyman on Mar. 22, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

i think all over the world are changing diversially it is the way of the time.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2012 @ 10:16 am

every were is the same , you are not alone it is the way of the time

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2012 @ 10:18 am