A Service of Song And Celebration Of the Life Of Melvin Dickson

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Join the New Commemoration Committee for the Black Panther Party as we Celebrate the Life of Black Panther Party member and the founder of CCBPP Melvin Dickson.

When: Saturday, November 17, 2018

Where: Qilombo, 2313 San Pablo Ave, Oakland, CA

Time: 6pm -12am

For any questions please use contact form below.

Thank you

 

 

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TCXPI Presents: A Brief History on African Americans and the Right To Vote – Literacy Tests Pt. 2

 

Literacy Tests

Today, most citizens register to vote without regard to race or color by signing their name and address on something like a postcard. But it was not always so.

Prior to passage of the federal Voting Rights Act in 1965, Southern states maintained elaborate voter registration procedures deliberately designed to deny the vote to nonwhites.

This process was often referred to as a “literacy test,” a term that had two different meanings — one specific and one general. Some states used an actual reading test. But the test results were rigged by biased registrars who were the sole judges whether — in their opinion — you were sufficiently “literate” to “pass.” They often did not require white applicants to take the test at all, or always “passed” those who did. Black applicants were almost always required to take the test, even those with college degrees, and they were almost always deemed to have “failed.”

The more general use of “literacy test” referred to the complex, interlocking systems used to deny Afro-Americans (and in some regions, Latinos and Native Americans) the right to vote so as to ensure that political power remained exclusively white-only. In addition to tests and registration procedures, these systems of racial discrimination and oppression included poll taxes, police power & intimidation, economic retaliation, and violent white- terrorism. It is in this general sense that the term “literacy test” is applied to those southern states that did not us an actual reading test.

  • Poll taxes. A “poll tax” was a tax you had to pay in order to vote. At one time, state and local poll taxes were common, but by the mid-20th Century they were mainly limited to the South as a means of preventing Blacks and poor whites from voting. State poll taxes ranged from $1 to $5 per year, and some towns and counties levy additional local poll taxes. In Mississippi, for example, the state’s poll tax was $2 per year (equal to $15 in 2012). That might not sound like a lot of money, but for impoverished families feeding their children on free federal “commodity” food it was a sum that forced them to choose between voting and necessities of life. And many of those at the very bottom of the economic ladder — sharecroppers, tenant farmers, agricultural laborers, coal miners, timber workers, and so on — existed entirely outside the cash economy. They had to buy their necessities at over-priced plantation or company stores on credit and their pay went directly to the store, not them.

  • Police intimidation. The various state, county, and local police forces — all white of course — routinely intimidated and harassed Blacks who tried to register. They arrested would-be voters on false charges and beat others for imagined transgressions; and often this kind of retribution was directed not only at the man or woman who dared try to register, but against family members as well, even the children.

  • Economic retaliation. Throughout the deep South, white businesses, employers, banks, and landlords were organized into White Citizens Councils who inflicted economic retaliation against nonwhites who tried to vote. Evictions. Firings. Boycotts. Foreclosures. Small-scale farmers needed a crop loan each year in order to buy seed, fertilizer, fuel, and food until they could sell their cotton or tobacco after picking. Banks denied those loans to Blacks who tried to vote, forcing them off the land.

  • White terrorism. And if economic pressure proved insufficient, the Ku Klux Klan was ready with violence and mayhem. Cross-burnings. Night riders. Beatings. Rapes. Church bombings. Arson of businesses and homes. Murder and mob lynchings, drive-by shootings and sniper assassinations. Today these people would be called “terrorists,” but back then the white establishment saw them as defenders of the “southern way of life” and upholders of “our glorious southern heritage.

While in theory there were standard state-wide registration procedures, in real-life the individual county Registrars and clerks did things their own way. The exact procedure varied from county to county, and within a county it varied from day to day according to the mood of the Registrar. And, of course, it almost always varied according to the race of the applicant.

In honor of the ANKHcestors, GET OUT AND VOTE!

Sources: 

Civil Rights Movement Voting Rights: Are You “Qualified” to Vote? Take a “Literacy Test” to Find Out Literacy Tests & Voter Applications

Black Panther Party Member Melvin Dickson has transitioned.

DicksonOn October 25, 2018 at 9:30 am, Melvin Dickson, Black Panther Party Member and Founding Board Member of the Commemoration Committee BPP transitioned.

Born November 15, 1940 in the south, Comrade Melvin left in 1959 to join the US Navy. He came to the Bay Area, after being honorably discharged from the US Navy in 1963. He moved to Oakland, CA  in 1963 and worked for Foremost Dairy.

In 1966, he connected with the Black Panther Party founders at City College on Grove St. (now Merritt College on the hill). He became a member of the Black Panther Party For Self Defense in 1966. He along with many others Black Panther Party members worked diligently to create social programs and bring awareness to the plight of Blacks in the Oakland community and Black communities throughout the nation.

After the death of Huey P. Newton in 1989, Comrade Melvin established the Commemoration Committee Newspaper. The Commemorator newspaper was a newspaper printed in South Berkeley from 1990-2013 by the Commemoration Committee for the Black Panther Party and focused on promoting the goals of the Black Panther Party as outlined in its Ten Point Program. The newspaper served to teach the history, goals, and principles of the Black Panther Party, as well as report community news mostly related to living wage employment, violent crime, and adult literacy.

In addition to the newspaper, programs of the Commemoration Committee for the Black Panther Party included a Monthly Film Series highlighting demands for education, health care, housing, and jobs, and the Bobby Hutton Literacy Program. The newspaper editorial staff included Melvin Dickson, Clifford Cody, and Leroy Dupree.

Rest In Peace and Love Comrade Melvin Dickson. Your legacy will live on!

Sources:

Online Archive of California

Melvin Dickson and Harvesting The Fruits

Melvin Dickson – Free Breakfast Program, Black Panther Party

The Ballot or the Bullet by Malcolm X April 3, 1964 Cleveland, Ohio

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Mr. Moderator, Brother Lomax, brothers and sisters, friends and enemies: I just can’t believe everyone in here is a friend, and I don’t want to leave anybody out. The question tonight, as I understand it, is “The Negro Revolt, and Where Do We Go From Here?” or What Next?” In my little humble way of understanding it, it points toward either the ballot or the bullet.

Before we try and explain what is meant by the ballot or the bullet, I would like to clarify something concerning myself. I’m still a Muslim; my religion is still Islam. That’s my personal belief. Just as Adam Clayton Powell is a Christian minister who heads the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York, but at the same time takes part in the political struggles to try and bring about rights to the black people in this country; and Dr. Martin Luther King is a Christian minister down in Atlanta, Georgia, who heads another organization fighting for the civil rights of black people in this country; and Reverend Galamison, I guess you’ve heard of him, is another Christian minister in New York who has been deeply involved in the school boycotts to eliminate segregated education; well, I myself am a minister, not a Christian minister, but a Muslim minister; and I believe in action on all fronts by whatever means necessary.

Although I’m still a Muslim, I’m not here tonight to discuss my religion. I’m not here to try and change your religion. I’m not here to argue or discuss anything that we differ about, because it’s time for us to submerge our differences and realize that it is best for us to first see that we have the same problem, a common problem, a problem that will make you catch hell whether you’re a Baptist, or a Methodist, or a Muslim, or a nationalist. Whether you’re educated or illiterate, whether you live on the boulevard or in the alley, you’re going to catch hell just like I am. We’re all in the same boat and we all are going to catch the same hell from the same man. He just happens to be a white man. All of us have suffered here, in this country, political oppression at the hands of the white man, economic exploitation at the hands of the white man, and social degradation at the hands of the white man.

Now in speaking like this, it doesn’t mean that we’re anti-white, but it does mean we’re anti-exploitation, we’re anti-degradation, we’re anti-oppression. And if the white man doesn’t want us to be anti-him, let him stop oppressing and exploiting and degrading us. Whether we are Christians or Muslims or nationalists or agnostics or atheists, we must first learn to forget our differences. If we have differences, let us differ in the closet; when we come out in front, let us not have anything to argue about until we get finished arguing with the man. If the late President Kennedy could get together with Khrushchev and exchange some wheat, we certainly have more in common with each other than Kennedy and Khrushchev had with each other.

If we don’t do something real soon, I think you’ll have to agree that we’re going to be forced either to use the ballot or the bullet. It’s one or the other in 1964. It isn’t that time is running out — time has run out!

1964 threatens to be the most explosive year America has ever witnessed. The most explosive year. Why? It’s also a political year. It’s the year when all of the white politicians will be back in the so-called Negro community jiving you and me for some votes. The year when all of the white political crooks will be right back in your and my community with their false promises, building up our hopes for a letdown, with their trickery and their treachery, with their false promises which they don’t intend to keep. As they nourish these dissatisfactions, it can only lead to one thing, an explosion; and now we have the type of black man on the scene in America today — I’m sorry, Brother Lomax — who just doesn’t intend to turn the other cheek any longer.

For complete transcript click here

For video, click here

 

2018 Ballot – Oakland, California

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This is a comprehensive list candidates and measures on the 2018 ballot for Oakland, CA. Compliments of EB Citizen

Oakland
Mayor
Cat Brooks, community organizer
Ken Houston, community organizer
Saied Karamooz, Oakland Privacy Advisory Commission
Peter Liu, Oakland businessman
Tatmon Marchon
Pamela Price, civil rights attorney
*Libby Schaaf, mayor, Oakland
Nancy Sidebotham, community activist
Jesse A.J. Smith
Cedric Anthony Troupe

City Council
District 2
Nikki Fortunato Bas, community organizer
*Abel Guillén, councilmember, Oakland
Kenzie Smith, community organizer

District 4
Pamela Harris, non-profit finance professional
Matt Hummel, Oakland Cannabis Regulatory Comm.
Nayeli Maxson, Alliance for Community Development
Charlie Michelson
Joseph Simmons
Joseph Tanios, Oakland city employee
Sheng Thao, chief of staff, Councilmember Kaplan

District 6
*Desley Brooks, councilmember, Oakland
Natasha Middleton, analyst, ALCO Probation Dept.
Marlo Rodriguez, registered nurse
Loren Taylor, management consultant
Mya Whitaker

School Board
District 2
*Aimee Eng, school board member, Oakland

District 4
Clarissa Doutherd, exec dir, Parent Voices Oakland
Gary Yee, former OUSD superintendent

District 6
*Shanthi Gonzales, school board member, Oakland
Anthony Wilson (write-in candidate)

City Auditor
*Brenda Roberts, city auditor, Oakland
Courtney Ruby, former city auditor, Oakland

MEASURE V (50+1 majority)
Oakland measure allowing cannabis businesses pay taxes quarterly; allow manufacturing, cultivation businesses deduc vale of raw materials from gross receipts; allow council, without future ballot measures, to amend cannabis business tax to increase it, but never to decrease rate.

MEASURE W (2/3 majority)
Oakland vacant property tax on parcels used less than 50 days per year: $6,000/parcel; $3,000/condominium units, raising $10 million annually to address illegal dumping and discourage vaants properties for 20 years.

MEASURE X (50+1 majority)
Oakland measure increasing the Real Estate Transfer Tax: 1 percent up to $300,000; 1.5 percent over $300,000–$2 million; 1.75 percent over $2 million–$5 million; and 2.5 percent over $5,000,000; and a lower rate for first-time homebuyers and low-moderate incomes, raising $9 million annualy

MEASURE Y (50+1 majority)
Oakland measure to amend its “Just Yes Cause for Eviction Ordinance” and remove the exemption for owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes; allow council to add limitations on landlord’s right to evict under the ordinance, without a future ballot measure.

MEASURE Z (50+1 majority)
Oakland measure establishing workplace protections for Oakland hotel workers with 50 or more rooms, and a minimum hourly wage of $15 with benefits or $20 without benefits and increased with inflation.

MEASURE AA (2/3 majority)
Oakland charter amendment establishing a $198, 30-year parcel tax on single-family properties to fund early childhood and pre-school education, improve high school and college graduation financial assitance; raising $25 million $30 million annually.

Source: EB Citizen

 


TCXPI Presents: A Brief History on African Americans and the Right To Vote. Pt. 1

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A LOOK BACK…..

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A Voting Line – 1948

With the November 6, 2018, quickly approaching, I want to take this time to present a brief history of African Americans in the AmeriKKKas and their “Right To Vote”.

As an African American, I have voted in elections in Oakland, California from the time I reached eighteen in the late 1970s. I have volunteered on various campaigns throughout my life – from stuffing envelopes, to canvassing the community, to making phone calls. I was raised to believe it is the civic duty of ALL African Americans to ALLOW their voices be heard by exercising their voting rights.

According to the Library of Congress, a terrible and bloody Civil War freed enslaved Americans. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution (1868) granted African Americans the rights of citizenship. However, this did not always translate into the ability to vote. Black voters were systematically turned away from state polling places. To combat this problem, Congress passed the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870. It says:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Yet states still found ways to circumvent the Constitution and prevent blacks from voting. Poll taxes, literacy tests, fraud and intimidation all turned African Americans away from the polls. Until the Supreme Court struck it down in 1915, many states used the “grandfather clause ” to keep descendants of slaves out of elections. The clause said you could not vote unless your grandfather had voted — an impossibility for most people whose ancestors were slaves.

This unfair treatment was debated on the street, in the Congress and in the press. A full fifty years after the Fifteenth Amendment passed, black Americans still found it difficult to vote, especially in the South. “What a Colored Man Should Do to Vote“, lists many of the barriers African American voters faced.

The fight for African American suffrage raged on for decades. In the 1930s one Georgia man described the situation this way: “Do you know I’ve never voted in my life, never been able to exercise my right as a citizen because of the poll tax? … I can’t pay a poll tax, can’t have a voice in my own government.”

Many brave and impassioned Americans protested, marched, were arrested and even died working toward voting equality. In 1963 and 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brought hundreds of black people to the courthouse in Selma, Alabama to register. When they were turned away, Dr. King organized and led protests that finally turned the tide of American political opinion. In 1964 the Twenty-fourth Amendment prohibited the use of poll taxes. In 1965, the Voting Rights Act directed the Attorney General to enforce the right to vote for African Americans.

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African Americans line up to vote after the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The 1965 Voting Rights Act created a significant change in the status of African Americans throughout the South. The Voting Rights Act prohibited the states from using literacy tests and other methods of excluding African Americans from voting. Prior to this, only an estimated twenty-three percent of voting-age blacks were registered nationally, but by 1969 the number had jumped to sixty-one percent.

In honor of the ANKHcestors, GET OUT AND VOTE!

Sources: 

Voting Rights for Blacks and Poor Whites in the Jim Crow South

Voting Rights For African Americans

 

Pastors, Black Panther Co-Founder, Residents React to Outside Money Pouring into D-6 Council Race (Oakland Post)

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A community coalition comprised of Pastors, former Black Panther Co-Founder, Bobby Seale, Civil Rights attorneys and residents held a press conference this week calling out “money in politics” in the race for Oakland’s District 6 Council seat.

The group is responding to Mayor Libby Schaaf, her big money donors and Building Trade Unions tied to powerful, luxury real estate developers, who are now pouring outside money into the race to unseat District 6 Councilmember Desley Brooks.

Brooks has been a staunch critic of Schaaf and the lack of African American workers employed at construction sites throughout the city.

The community coalition is calling upon Mayor Schaaf and her supporters to immediately cease the outside money they are pumping into the local race and maintain what they deem a “fair and clean” election, free of distortions and attacks.

Read Full Article – Oakland Posts

UPDATE: CONGRATULATIONS Autumn Goolsby, African American Homecoming Queen at Antioch High School, Antioch, California

UPDATE: I have been informed by AHS that there were African American Homecoming Queens prior to Autumn Goolsby. Nevertheless, HAT’S OFF to her for becoming this years Queen!

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Autumn Goolsby, The FIRST African American Homecoming Queen 2019 at Antioch High School, Antioch, California

For those of you that KNOW ME, know how I feel about sharing and disseminating OUR STORY/Black History/American History. As founder and creator of The Chinue X Project, Inc.(TCXPI), one of my goals is to bring awareness to the many contributions made by Africans/African Americans, both in the US and abroad. Contributions that have been distorted and/or omitted from True World and Human history.

TCXPI, An Afrocentric Online Educational Resource Service

This story is no different.

Last evening, as I was viewing my Facebook timeline, I came across a share by an acquaintance.

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Autum Goolsby, Antioch High School Homecoming Queen 2019

On Friday, September 28, 2018 Autumn Goolsby, the daughter of my Skyline High School classmate and acquaintance, Jeff Goolsby, was crowned Homecoming Queen 2018, becoming the FIRST African American Homecoming Queen at Antioch High School in SIXTY-THREE YEARS!

Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I am so filled with LOVE for her ACCOMPLISHMENT and the history being made here.

KNOWING what I KNOW of the history of African Americans in the Bay Area. From Castro Valley to Orinda, to Antioch to Berkeley to Oakland to Richmond and beyond. Knowing what I know of my OWN experience as a native of Oakland, Ca, and a product of the Oakland Unified School District in the 60s and 70s…THIS is a huge accolade for Ms. Autumn. 

When I found out about her milestone last evening, through her Dad sharing it on Facebook, I started searching the internet, trying to find the story. Other than her parents (Lorraine and Jeff) sharing their JOY, I found nothing on this.

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I remember when I was in high school and my own memories of homecoming some forty years ago. Homecoming with all its fanfare, was a big deal. I didn’t run for homecoming queen, but I know for those that did it was a big deal become homecoming queen. That was forty plus years ago for me. I can just imagine how Autumn feels. I do know how her parents feel. They are ecstatic and proud of their daughter’s achievement.

More importantly, to have an African American become Antioch High School’s Homecoming Queen 2019 after 64 years is MONUMENTAL.

With that said, I reached out to various news media outlets and shared the story, in hopes that they too will find her accomplishment as I do. A proud moment in Black History in the Bay Area.

I am by no means a journalist at any stretch of the imagination. I just make every effort to dissemination Our TRUTH!

Recognition GIVEN where it is DUE!

CONGRATULATIONS Autumn Goolsby! You have made history – THE FIRST BLACK HOMECOMING QUEEN 2019 at Antioch High School!

#tcxpi

Justice For Nia Wilson

Nia WilsonSince the Oakland community received the news that Nia Wilson, an 18 year old Oakland native was murdered and her sister Letifah was injured while riding Bart, we have come together in solidarity in making sure that justice be served and her life be honored and respected.

On July 22 at approximately 9:45 pm, Nia and her sister were riding bart and both were brutally attacked by John Lee Crowell a supposed transient. To view Letifah’s account of the attack click here.

Twenty four hours later, white supremacist, John Lee Crowell was in custody. He is being charged with murder and attempted murder. I am not sure why the charges do not include hate crime

The Oakland community has unified in protest, resistance, and celebration of Nia Wilson’s Life and Legacy. May justice be served for her.

If you would like to donate to her family’s expenses please click Justice For Nia Wilson

Rest In Peace Nia Wilson

Sources: BartSF Chronicle, KRON4