African American


On today’s episode of “Crosscurrents,” we are talking about identity. We have heard how people, whether intentionally or not, can “pass” as another race, just by the sound of their voice. Passing can also be a full-time, physical endeavor. The United States has a long history of African Americans who chose to live as white in their daily lives. 

Alyssa Kapnik Portraiture

    

 


We are always adjusting the way we sound. It especially depends on the social situation we are in. Linguists call it "code switching," a term originally used for people who would switch between two different languages like Spanish and English.

Alyssa Kapnik Samuel

In many African American communities, mental health issues have a history of being undertreated and underdiagnosed. According to the federal government’s Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population, but less likely to seek treatment.

This is part three of a three-part series addressing mental health care within black communities.

Hands are clapping, children are bobbing their heads and most of the elders are wearing their finest hats and polished shoes at the New Revelation Community Church. Reverend Donna Allen leads a sermon.

“And this notion of law enforcement interacting with people with lethal force? Jesus would cry out, ‘I am the Prince of Peace and I tell you, no justice, no peace, no justice!’”

Alyssa Kapnik Samuel


In many African American communities, mental health issues have a history of being undertreated and underdiagnosed. According to the federal government’s Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population, but less likely to seek treatment.

This is part two of a three-part series addressing mental health care within black communities.

“When I look back on my life and I look at the things that I did, they were always people-centered,” says Cedric Jackson. He’s training to become a clinical psychologist, and says it’s something that’s always appealed to him.

Alyssa Kapnik Samuel

  

In many African-American communities, mental health issues have a history of being undertreated and underdiagnosed. According to the federal government’s Office of Minority Health, African-Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population, but less likely to seek treatment.

 

This is part one of a three-part series addressing mental health care within black communities.

Violinist Danielle Taylor is tall, in her late 20s, with a shaved head and a beanie cap propped to the side. She smiles a lot and upon meeting her for the first time, my instinct is to give her a hug instead of a handshake. When she picks up her violin for an impromptu song, she shifts into a deep calm.

Alexis Keenan

Art often shines  a light on bigger issues in neighborhoods, in our society, and in our personal lives. Local playwright, Echo Brown explores identity, empowerment, race, gender and Beyonce, in her new play "Black Virgins are not for Hipsters." 

"The whole play is me revealing myself in these intimate ways"-Echo Brown 

 

Click the audio player above to hear the entire interview. 

Kyung Jin Lee

Sixty-eight-year-old Oscar James stands on a hill overlooking the old Hunters Point Shipyard. He points out a street that’s now closed off by a chain-link fence. That’s where his family lived on a street once called Navy Road. There’s a striking view of the bay side of the peninsula.

“All that dirt, see it behind the lab, the road?” he asks. “From that road all the way back used to be water.”

Buffalo Soldiers ride on

May 18, 2015
Leila Day


Outdoor Afro

 

One of the Bay Area’s main attractions is its proximity to nature. Only 45 minutes separate Bay Area residents from arriving at the ocean, the mountains, or a hiking trail. But not everybody experiences the Bay Area’s natural beauty. A 2012 study by the Outdoor Foundation found that only 11% of outdoor recreation participants are black. And National Parks Service estimates that black Americans comprise only  7% of its annual visitors.

The Buffalo Soldiers were some of our country’s first park rangers. They proudly wore their uniforms with wide brimmed ranger hats and navy blue jackets adorned with gold stripes.  Just after the Civil War, the US government formed these regiments of black soldiers to patrol and protect nationally designated park land, claimed after the Indian Wars. And their journey started right here in the Bay Area where the Buffalo Soldiers gathered in San Francisco’s Presidio before heading into the mountains of Yosemite and beyond.

PHOTO BY CARLOS AVILA / SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE / SFGATE.COM

Brian Copeland has a weekly  radio show on KGO. Today he is a radio personality, actor, comedian, writer, and performer, but like many of us, he says he got to where he is today thanks to a series of coincidences.

Copeland tells the story of his life in an acclaimed show called “Not a Genuine Black Man.”

StoryCorps

After serving time in the Air Force, Nathan Baxter, an African American man from Pennsylvania, ended up in the South in the 1960s. Baxter learned a lot of lessons during and after his service – one of which was how difficult it could be to be a black man in the South at that time. He stopped by mobile Storycorps booth in Oakland to share some never-told experiences with his descendants.

The People's Community Medics

If you’ve ever picked up the phone to call 9-1-1, you or someone else probably needed help. Badly. And you probably assumed that after dialing those three numbers, help would come screeching around the corner, lights and sirens blaring.

Well, the residents of East and West Oakland say that depends on where you live.  In this special hour-long KALW documentary, “The Race to an Emergency” host Martina Castro and reporter Ali Budner trace the path of a 9-1-1 call in Oakland: from the dispatchers to the emergency responders. And they consider how geography and demographics figure into a crisis that has been brewing in Oakland for decades.

Click the player to listen to the hour-long documentary. For more information, links to sources, photos and data maps, please visit the documentary website, www.theracetoanemergency.org.  

Note: This piece first aired on October 8th, 2013.  To see the original post and hear the audio from that airing, click HERE.  

Courtesy of www.freedomhousedoc.com

The story behind the country's real first ambulance system carries themes of race and class. It was created in the late 1960s. Up until then, police would take patients to the hospital in wagons that weren't equipped with gurneys or medical equipment.

  

After leafing through local newspapers from the 19th century, local author Jan Batiste Adkins found stories of African Americans who helped shape San Francisco. She dug deeper and decided to write a book about the city’s black history, African Americans of San Francisco. The photo book chronicles the lives of significant black pioneers from the Gold Rush to today, covering everyone from escaped slaves who landed in the city, to the Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris. Jan Adkins joined KALW’s Hana Baba to talk more about that history.

Kyung Jin Lee

 

Over the past few days, protesters on both sides of the Bay have joined thousands nationally in expressing outrage over George Zimmerman’s acquittal in Florida. Over the weekend, more than 500 people gathered at Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza.

This is the week of Juneteenth – the holiday commemorating the day all black slaves in America were officially freed. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers captured Galveston, Texas. They brought news that the war had ended to slaves in Galveston who had not heard.

Genealogy is becoming an easier field to navigate these days, with websites and organizations encouraging people to discover their family heritage.

That’s what Oakland’s Regina Mason did, but on her own. In the upcoming film Gina’s Journey, Mason chronicles her adventure in searching for her family history. Being an African American, that meant she would surely encounter slavery, which she did.