Ta-Nehisi Coates, ‘Unflinching’ Voice on Racism, Declared MacArthur Genius

Ta-Nehisi Coates

‘Writing without shallow polemic and in a measured style, Coates addresses complex and challenging issues such as racial identity, systemic racial bias, and urban policing,’ declared the MacArthur Foundation.

By Sarah Lazare / Common Dreams

Journalist, author, and leading voice on anti-black racism in America, Ta-Nehisi Coates, was revealed Tuesday to be one of 24 recipients of the 2015 MacArthur Genius awards.

“Writing without shallow polemic and in a measured style, Coates addresses complex and challenging issues such as racial identity, systemic racial bias, and urban policing,” declared the foundation. “He subtly embeds the present—in the form of anecdotes about himself or others—into historical analysis in order to illustrate how the implications of the past are still experienced by people today.”   [Read more…]

Haggen Stores Closing: Corporate Greed Costs Eight Thousand Jobs in California


By Doug Porter

Less than six months since taking over 146 Albertsons and Vons locations, the Haggen grocery chain has announced closings for all its locations in California, Arizona and Nevada. Twenty-five stores in San Diego county will be shuttered, just two days before Thanksgiving.  (More inside)

Pope Francis gave his long-awaited address to Congress yesterday. Local faith, community and labor activists took the opportunity to amplify the pontiff’s messages on the social justice and the environment, holding a press conference and a packed interfaith forum at St. Paul’s Cathedral. (More Inside)

There are many noteworthy events coming soon:

  • Point Loma Democrats will feature a presentation by Rabbi Laurie Coskey on the fight for $15 movement,
  • The Center on Policy Initiatives will hosting the Spotlight on Justice Awards, and
  • Organized labor is stepping up its game with the 2015 San Diego Conference on Labor and Community Solidarity.

(Details and more events inside)   [Read more…]

Lively Hoods


Why are we asking for jobs?

Most jobs are a lopsided trade agreement
where we relinquish the majority of our waking hours,
and our labor and talent
to make someone else
wealthy – wealthier!
in exchange for just enough money to survive.
Sometimes it’s not even enough
…used to be.

What we all really want
and need
is a means of living
that makes being alive meaningful.   [Read more…]

Freeps in the News: Jim Bliesner, Barbara Zaragoza, Jeeni Criscenzo

bliesner plaque

By Anna Daniels

San Diego Free Press contributors are a diverse and talented group of individuals. It will be a busy weekend for three of them with the unveiling of Jim Bliesner‘s sculpture Cultural Fusion, Casa Familiar’s Abrazo Award for Barbara Zaragoza and An Evening of Provocative Poetry with Jeeni Criscenzo. These events follow upon last week’s screening of SDFP video- journalist Horacio Jones‘ short film “Wingin’ It” at the 48 Hour Film Project in San Diego.   [Read more…]



Mr Trump
This is for Rosie O’Donnell and Megyn Kelly and all the women verbally abused by Donald Trump and other bullies like him.

Mr. Trump
We used to call people like you, “Know-it-alls”.
You know, those teenagers who just heard something on TV
and repeat it,
as if they personally did the lab experiment to prove it.
Or worse,
the ones who tell you this is the way it is,
and then quote chapter and verse from a book
written by men whose perspective of reality
was that the earth is flat. …   [Read more…]

Ta-Nehisi Coates Speaks to all of Us in ‘Between the World and Me’


By Susan Grigsby / Daily Kos

Over 50 years before I had ever heard the term white privilege, I sat out in the backyard of our middle-class suburban home and finished The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. I can still see the bright green grass and the blond wicker furniture, and the curling corner of the paperback book.

And I remember thinking that even though we lived in the same nation, we occupied different countries, James Baldwin and I. He lived in a world that I had never known existed even though it occupied the same city streets. His book’s impact on me was profound, as the kaleidoscope of my reality shifted and never again returned to its original angle.

The following year was personally tumultuous for myself and my family, which may be another reason that I remember that afternoon so vividly. In later years I thought that 14 was too young to be grappling alone with issues so complex. And perhaps it was, but the unfiltered result of that reading was that I could no longer accept that the reality I perceived was the only one that existed. And while I suffered from the same absolutism common to any teenager, always in the back of my mind lingered the knowledge that maybe everything I thought I knew was wrong.

Please join me for a look at the writing of the man considered by Toni Morrison to be the one to fill the intellectual void left by James Baldwin’s passing.   [Read more…]

Summer Chronicles #7: Ten Moments in Places that No Longer Exist in Downtown San Diego

open sign

The maps of our memories fray like fine gauze

By Jim Miller

We are where we are from. Place, our place or “home,” gives us a sense of rootedness and identity, but it is also transient, always moving and changing as we ride the river of time and space.

Some places are fundamentally grounded in a central idea of what “home” is, of what defines a locality—the people in such places hold fast, perhaps futilely, to some notion of what it means to be there.

Not us though, not here in San Diego where history and tradition outside of empty tourist spectacles are cast off like a snakeskin and our sense of place is transformed by the whims of boosters and marketing schemes, sometimes erasing whole communities in the service of civic marketing.   [Read more…]

Summer Chronicles #5: A Field Guide for Getting Lost in San Diego

salvation mountain

By Jim Miller

Back in 2011, over at the OB Rag, I did a column where I had some fun applying the idea of psychogeography to our fair city and played with the notion of the dérive observing that, “The purpose of dérive is to detourn the calculated space of the city, to turn it around and reclaim its lost meanings. The Situationists wanted to see how certain neighborhoods, streets, buildings, or other spaces ‘resonated’ with states of mind or desires. They wanted, as Sadie Plant reminds us, to ‘seek out reasons for movement other than those for which an environment was designed.’”

I then offered “A few general principles to remember…”   [Read more…]

Logan Library to Host Women of Color in Comics Panel


An interview with panel moderator and comic book writer/publisher Regine Sawyer

By Brent E. Beltrán

Comic-Con is here and, as usual, Barrio Logan has been left out of the official fun stuff. But we don’t fret around here. We do things for ourselves, like Chicano-Con and MARVEL vs DC.

But there is also something else taking place in San Diego’s favorite barrio. On Sunday, July 12 from 12:30pm to 1:45pm there will be a panel discussion at the Logan Heights Library called Women of Color in Comics: Race, Gender & The Comic Book Medium.

The panel is free to all and will be moderated by Lockett Down Productions Publications owner Regine Sawyer. There will also be some free giveaways to audience members from the panelists as well as free superhero comics for kids and parents donated by an anonymous friend of mine.   [Read more…]

Poetry at a Budget Meeting


By Ernie McCray

I had the honor of spending a day with a room full of progressive School Board Members from around San Diego County.

I wasn’t so sure, at first, as the subject was: Budgets. Whenever I got my budget sheets at my schools, it might as well have been expressed in hieroglyphics – I just can’t relate to language like “Total Available Funds minus Total Outgo.” Gives me vertigo.

I was there, though, to kick things off. And in doing that I shared three poems and one went like this:

Our schools now,
at this stage
of a rapidly aging New Century,
are about to introduce
our kids
to the realm of Ethnic Studies…   [Read more…]