Posts tagged ‘Black Panther Party’

August 28, 2013

Arts in the Valley, Saturday and Sunday, August 17-18, 2013,1480 KYOS AM, Merced, CA

by arthouseflower

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Arts in the Valle host Kim McMillon interviews Belva Davis, the first black female TV journalist in the West. Belva Davis shares the story of her extraordinary life in her memoir, Never in My Wildest Dreams.

To Listen to interview with Journalist Belva Davis, click onto the link:

Never in My Wildest Dreams is a book about courage and achievement from pioneering journalist Belva Davis, who helped to change the face and focus of TV news. When Davis started her journalism career, the major media outlets were largely closed to African Americans and female reporters. In the earliest part of her career, she worked for black newspapers and black-programmed radio stations. In 1966, when, racial barriers began to fall, she became the first black woman hired as a television news reporter in the western United States.

Many of the explosive stories of the ‘60s ’70s and ’80s intersected with her private life. She spent months covering campus demonstrations, anti-Vietnam war protests and the rise of the Black Panthers. She married William Moore, who became the first black television news photographer at a commercial station in California – at one point each of them had a station-issued gas masks to protect them during the protests. As she covered the kidnapping ordeal of heiress Patty Hearst, police informed her that white supremacists were threatening to abduct her own daughter. When she reported a series about alleged police misconduct, her son was mysteriously arrested. The family housekeeper turned out to be a likely spy on behalf of the Rev. Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple. And her daughter worked in San Francisco’s City Hall and was there the day Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated.

Never in My Wildest Dreams covers Davis’ years of reporting on the AIDS epidemic for which she won awards, but also the story of the tragic lost of her long time producer to the disease. There are stories of her travels to Cuba to meet with Fidel Castro twice, as well as to Kenya and Tanzania after the bombing of U.S. embassies in those countries. With honesty and openness, she talks about the difficulty of managing her family and professional career, while quietly fighting racism and sexism. Along the way she held fast to her dream–and changed the perception of who should and could be a good television news reporter.

Vicki Haddock , co-writer, worked closely with Belva Davis to organize nearly a half-century of a life filled with historic moments, a job she was well suited to handle. Haddock spent three decades in Bay Area journalism, working as a reporter, editor, and occasional columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner , and before that, as a political editor and writer at the Oakland Tribune.

Information from website,

March 7, 2013

Arts in the Valley, Saturday, March 2 (8 PM), and Sunday, March 3 (2 PM), 2013, 1480 KYOS AM, Merced, CA

by arthouseflower

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Arts in the Valley host Kim McMillon interviews Judy Juanita, the author of Virgin Soul, about her life as a former member of the Black Panther Party, and Estella Dunn, the President of the Merced Branch of the National Council of Negro Women about their membership drive.

To listen to Judy Juanita, click onto the link:judy juanita

Judy Juanita is an unusual and provocative writer who crosses the boundaries of genre, utilizing narrative, dialogue and journalism in poetry and fiction to probe social issues. A novelist, poet and playwright, her debut novel, Virgin Soul, about a young black woman coming of age in the 60s who joins the Black Panther Party, comes out from Viking on April 22. It has been excerpted in Crab Orchard Review, November 3rd Club, Imagination and Place: an anthology, and Rooms.

Novelist Jean Thompson said of Virgin Soul: “Hard to believe it’s been almost fifty years since the formation of the Black Panthers. The novel captures that time’s particular combination of violence and possibility, and the urgency of young people who invested everything in the possibility of change, even as grand rhetoric was undercut by very human failings. Geniece is smart, wounded, hopeful, and tough. It’s a pleasure to grow with her through these pages.”

Crab Orchard Review’s Allison Joseph said that Juanita’s fiction “should be required reading for anyone studying the vicissitudes of recent American history.”

Her poetry has appeared in Obsidian II, 13th Moon, Painted Bride Quarterly, Croton Review, The Passaic Review, Lips, New Verse News, Poetry Monthly and Drumrevue 2000. Ultimately, as critic Jendi Reiter said, her “hybrid poetic form liberates Juanita to include sentences that would feel too wordy and technical in a traditional lyric poem.” Referring to Juanita’s use of controversial language, Reiter said, “Some interesting postmodern themes arise…about language that points to its own inadequacy, yet cannot be silent. It’s also about the disjunction between signifier and signified. Repeat a word often enough and it starts to sound strange, almost nonsensical.”

In drama, Juanita’s themes are social issues overlaid with absurdity, humor and pathos (in one play, a distraught nurse whose teenage son has overdosed falls head over heels in love with a duck). Her seventeenth play, “Theodicy,” about two black men who accidentally fall into the river of death, won first runner-up of 186 plays in the Eileen Heckart 2008 Senior Drama Competition at the Ohio State University.

“Counter-Terrorism” was produced at The Marsh, SF, 2008, and at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2004. This play about a homeless truth teller and her bourgeois counterpart began as a one-woman play, self-produced and self-directed, before becoming a two character full-length drama.

She co-wrote “Knocked Up,” a commedia dell’Arte about the morning-after pill. The play, which toured periodically from 1993-2006 with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, challenged the status quo when the men in a village, having denied a woman birth control, become pregnant and bloated.

Another play, “Heaven’s Hold,” was produced at Brava! Theatre, SF and the National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Since 2005, five of her plays have been produced at Julia Morgan Theatre in Berkeley, under the auspices of Woman’s Will, the Bay Area’s all-female Shakespearean company.

Judy Juanita’s poetry has appeared in Obsidian II, 13th Moon, Croton Review, The Passaic Review, Lips, New Verse News, Poetry Monthly, Drumrevue 2000 and Painted Bride Quarterly.

She was awarded New Jersey Arts Council Fellowships for her poetry and an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She taught writing at Laney College in Oakland, California, from 1993-2012.
For more information about novelist Judy Juanita, please visit,

To listen to Estella Dunn, click onto the link:
Estella Dunn is currently employed by the County of Merced with the Department of Mental Health for 15 years. Estella is the President of the National Council of Negro Women; Secretary for Love, Faith & Hope, Inc.; and Board member for Circles Merced. She believes her greatest achievement was the launching of the first African American Youth Conference by the NCNW.

The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) is a non-profit organization with the mission to advance the opportunities and the quality of life for African American women, their families and communities. NCNW fulfills this mission through research, advocacy, national and community based services and programs in the United States and Africa. With its 28 national affiliate organizations and its more than 200 community based sections, NCNW has an outreach to nearly four million women, all contributing to the peaceful solutions to the problems of human welfare and rights. The national headquarters, which acts as a central source for program planning, is based in Washington, D.C., on Pennsylvania Avenue, located between the White House and the U.S. Capitol. NCNW also has two field offices.
The NCNW was founded in 1935 by Mary McLeod Bethune, child of slave parents, distinguished educator, and government consultant. Mary McLeod Bethune saw the need for harnessing the power and extending the leadership of African American women through a national organization.

February 20, 2013

Arts in the Valley, Saturday, February 16 (8 PM), and Sunday, February 17 (2 PM), 2013, 1480 KYOS AM, Merced, CA

by arthouseflower

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Tune into Arts in the Valley as host Kim McMillon interviews David Hilliard, a founder member and Chief of Staff of the Black Panther Party, and UC Merced’s Producing Manager Gail Benedict about this Saturday’s production of Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men.

To listen to David Hilliard, Click onto the link:black panther
David Hilliard, a founding member and Chief of Staff of the Black Panther Party, is an incomparable authority on the life, legacy, and intellectual history of Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton. Indeed, no other scholar of or direct participant in the Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s and 1970s offers a more intimate understanding of Newton’s activism and ideas. First as childhood classmates and later as young adult comrades in the African-American freedom struggle, Hilliard enjoyed a close association with Newton that endured throughout the Black Panther leader’s lifetime.

Hilliard is author of the book, This Side of Glory, a compelling personal narrative and electrifying eyewitness account of the Black Panther Party, which highlights Newton’s fearless crusade against police brutality and other examples of social injustice. Hilliard’s life story dramatically illuminates this revolutionary movement and explains much of the U.S.’s present racial and political troubles. Hilliard’s thoughtful, well-balanced insights into Newton’s complex personality dramatizes the contradictions between the revolutionary icon and the private citizen.

By the early 1970s, the Black Panthers were a nationwide/global organization providing free food, medicine, and legal services to the inner city poor. Hilliard’s book provides a first-hand account of Huey Newton’s shoot-out, the killing of Fred Hampton, how money was raised and spent, the sexual mores of the Panthers, and how illegal activities erupted and were controlled. The Panthers, once labeled, “the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States,” by FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, began to dissolve as police raids, gun battles, IRS investigations, trials, and prison terms decimated their ranks. Covert tactics turned Panthers against each other. What the government had not destroyed, the Panthers finished themselves.

Hilliard is currently at work on the first ever biography of the Black Panther leader, Huey, the Spirit of the Panther, to be published in 2005 by Thunder’s Mouth Press.

Since 1993, David Hilliard has directed the activities of the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, a grass-roots community-based non-profit organization committed to preserving and fostering Newton’s intellectual legacy. The Foundation has collected Newton’s writings covering the Huey P. Newton Reader, (Seven Stories, 2002), and his early work, To Die for the People, in addition to reissuing Newton’s autobiography, Revolutionary Suicide. A photographic history of the Party, The Legacy of the Panthers, has also been published. Hilliard’s work with the Foundation has been featured in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The Los Angeles Times, as well as on National Public Radio and the Pacifica Radio Network.

Now an internationally recognized authority on Newton and the Black Panther Party, David Hilliard teaches at Merritt College, Laney College, and New College, and lectures frequently throughout the United States. He was an advisor on the feature film, “Panther,” and on the Spike Lee-produced, “A Huey P. Newton Story.”
For more information, visit

To listen to Gail Benedict discuss the production of Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men, click onto the link:uc merced

“Black n Blue Boys / Broken Men”
BY | Dael Orlandersmith
Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 7:30 pm
UC Merced’s Dr. Lakireddy Auditorium
GAIL BENEDICT, Producing Manager
DUNYA RAMICOVA, Artistic Manager
“Black n Blue Boys / Broken Men”
runs 90 minutes with no intermission.
Audience members are invited to stay after
the performance for a discussion with the
artist and a panel of experts.
Not suitable for children under the age of 16
Dael Orlandersmith previously collaborated with the Goodman on “Stoop Stories”
during the 2009/2010 season. Orlandersmith first performed “Stoop Stories” in 2008
at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and Apollo Theater’s Salon Series;
Washington, DC’s, Studio Theatre produced its world premiere in 2009.
“Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men” was developed as a co-commission between the
Goodman and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it was staged in May 2012. Her play
“Horsedreams” was developed at New Dramatists and workshopped at New York Stage
and Film Company in 2008. It was performed at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in
2011. “Bones” was commissioned by the Mark Taper Forum where it premiered in 2010.
Orlandersmith premiered “The Blue Album,” in collaboration with David Cale, at Long
Wharf Theatre in 2007.
“Yellowman” was commissioned by and premiered at McCarter Theatre in a co-production
with The Wilma Theater and Long Wharf Theatre. Orlandersmith was a Pulitzer
Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Outstanding Play and Outstanding
Actress in a Play for “Yellowman” in 2002. “The Gimmick,” commissioned by McCarter
Theatre, premiered in its Second Stage OnStage series in 1998 and went on to great
acclaim at Long Wharf Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop; Orlandersmith won
the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for “The Gimmick” in 1999.
Her play “Monster” premiered at New York Theatre Workshop in November 1996. Orlandersmith
has toured extensively with the Nuyorican Poets Café (Real Live Poetry)
throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. “Yellowman” and a collection of
her earlier works have been published by Vintage Books and Dramatists Play Service.
Orlandersmith attended Sundance Institute Theatre Lab for four summers and is the
recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, The Helen Merrill Award for
Emerging Playwrights, a Guggenheim and the 2005 PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award
for a playwright in mid-career. She is the recipient of a Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwrights
Fellowship and an Obie Award for “Beauty’s Daughter.”

KIM MCMILLON, moderator
KATIE BROKAW, professor of literature
LINDA CAMERON, professor of psychology
DAVID LOCKRIDGE, founder and executive director, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)
Overcomers Program

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