The kid from Hunters Point serenaded King, conducted orchestras

One of the most anticipated books in recent years will be the autobiography of Raphael V. Taliaferro, whose rise from unassuming beginnings in San Francisco’s Hunters Point neighborhood speaks volumes about the limitness potential within all human beings. Ray Taliaferro, as a generation of radio listeners along the West Coast have known, dominated late night […]

Read More The kid from Hunters Point serenaded King, conducted orchestras

African-American Public Radio Consortium airs New Inspiration for the Nation

During the anniversary week of the March on Washington, George Kilpatrick’s New Inspiration for the Nation airs an interview with National Black Business Month co-founder John William Templeton on his new book Year of Jubilee: State of Black Business, 10th edition. Templeton, chief economist for the West Palm Beach, FL fourth-stage hedge fund Ibis Partners, […]

Read More African-American Public Radio Consortium airs New Inspiration for the Nation

“Things have reached a boiling point”

“San Francisco’s Negroes — they comprise about 12 percent of the population–are planning to do something drastic unless they are given more opportunities in employment and representation on the several civic commissions and other entities. This opinion was expressed yesterday by Wilfred T. Ussery, chairman of the San Francisco chapter of the Congress of Racial […]

Read More “Things have reached a boiling point”

Ramsell thriving in Obamacare

It is as if the nation is catching up to Sylvester Flowers. Forty-nine years ago, the Howard University-trained pharmacist made it his mission to insure that the marginalized had access to prescription drugs and quality health care. Now that mission is national policy in the Affordable Care Act. Starting from a single pharmacy in San […]

Read More Ramsell thriving in Obamacare

The Califia Moment: What’s Wrong with the History

prepared remarks for Missions and Manumissions, California African-American Museum, May 15, 2011 As the Smithsonian travelling exhibition InDivisible suggests, it is both historically and sociologically unwise to differentiate between black, Indian and Latino history. We have robbed our young people of that most important sense of belonging by failing to inculcate the deep and enduring […]

Read More The Califia Moment: What’s Wrong with the History

My first ambulance ride

It has taken me a week, 3,000 miles and a global icon to wrap my arms around my first trip in an ambulance. I collapsed during a reception while I was selling a book, the kind of thing that should make me happy, which may have been part of the problem. As eight firemen and […]

Read More My first ambulance ride

Well, we’re movin’ on up

When I launched Griot, the African-American, African and Caribbean business daily in 1995, it was the culmination of more than 20 years of study and work about the need for effective news coverage of economics, science and technology for Africans in Diaspora. My thesis at UNC-Chapel Hill had explored the role of news for black […]

Read More Well, we’re movin’ on up

Obama’s Little Richard moment

Dwayne Wade had heard it all year. Despite attracting two additional All-Stars to the Miami Heat, neither he, nor Chris Bosh nor LeBron James was capable of hitting the big shot or beating elite teams. Wade particularly had a dark cloud over his head when it came to the Boston Celtics, the Eastern Conference champion. […]

Read More Obama’s Little Richard moment

Predatory preservation

Testimony, Land Use Committee, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Monday, May 2, 2011 Deep inside the context statement for the first historic district in San Francisco Jackson Square is a streetscape drawing of the buildings with the year of construction atop each building. Most fall between 1907 and 1910 and have detailed descriptions. Oddly, 550 […]

Read More Predatory preservation

Where’s our piece of the pie?

Anyone over a certain age knows the lyrics by heart. “Well, we’re moving on up…” The theme song of the Jeffersons helped introduce a new archetype to American society — the successful black enterpreneur. It came at a time when 80 percent of black workers were laborers and domestics; with only 40,000 black professionals and […]

Read More Where’s our piece of the pie?

Unearthing Silicon Valley’s Olmecs

Four thousand years ago, what scholars consider America’s first civilization created monuments which still boggle the imagination. At San Francisco’s DeYoung Museum, the Olmec sculptures are featured in an exhibition of grand scale. As thrilling as the massive 12 to 16 ton sculptures is the question of how the Olmec people actually moved the pieces […]

Read More Unearthing Silicon Valley’s Olmecs

First to rise from the ashes

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake is one of the hooks that led me to write the novel Cakewalk: an historical novel about the unsung creators of jazz music. As I mentioned in my first book signing at Marcus Books exactly one year ago, it was quite compelling to learn that an African-American Pullman porter had […]

Read More First to rise from the ashes