In May of 1989, Muhammad Ali made a surprise appearance at a community dinner of the South Bay Islamic Association of San Jose, California (http://sbia.info/). It took us about three seconds to change the program and make him the keynote speaker for the evening. Ali spoke slowly, between a rasp and a whisper, and although time has dimmed my memory of the details, I can still recall the essence of his message: Take it easy. Enjoy life. Don’t take yourself too seriously but don’t forget you have a purpose in life as well.Details
Muhammad Ali—the three-time heavyweight-boxing champion, the incredible humanitarian, the inspiration for the activism of athletes all over the nation—passed away on Friday, June 3, and the world is in mourning.
Muhammad Ali for many people was more icon than athlete. Like Jim Brown or John Carlos he was someone who inspired African Americans and Muslims to fight oppression, move beyond the comfort of success and speak out against injustice no matter the cost or inconvenience. Between the Will Smith-led biopic and various tributes over the years, most Americans know that Ali spoke out against the Vietnam War, converted to the Nation of Islam and was a global humanitarian. However, there are lots of facts about his life that haven’t been picked up by the mainstream press.Details
The 10th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (lagff.org) came to a close Sunday, June 5 with a screening and N. American Premiere of “ Worlds Apart ” and the starstudded Orpheus Awards produced by Dorothea Paschalidou and directed by Yorgos Karamihos and hosted by Mena Suvari. In his opening remarks, Festival creative topper Aris Katopodis remarked “This 10th LAGFF is almost history, but it is also one that made history. Most films than ever, 56, most filmmakers present, 58, most North American Premieres 24, largest attendance and the belief that the future LAGFF will continue to shine, full of hope for Greek film, filmmakers and Greek culture, here in Los Angeles.”Details
The moment that pictures popped up of the parents of the child who tumbled into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, the predictable sparks flew. The four-year old toddler–and his parents–are African American.
The issue no longer was the heartbreaking tragedy of the killing of a prized and endangered animal. Nor was it simply heaving a big sigh of collective relief and much joy that a child was saved. The issue now was the enraged finger-pointing at the parents for bad parenting. Equally enraging was the counter-charge that the only reason there were such accusations was because they were black.Details
DEARBORN HEIGHTS — The Arab American community has reached a boiling point with the Dearborn Heights Police Department following a number of incidents where residents claim they were arrested without justification.
This week, a video circulated on social media showing a local Arab American woman being subjected to excessive force and arrested in front of her home, while her children were present.
The woman, who wished to be addressed as “Lena”, told The AANews that she was gardening on Sunday, May 22, at around 2 p.m. when she noticed that police had pulled her husband over down the street from their home.Details
BOSTON–Six years ago, my neighbor Karen had a stroke. Paralyzed on her left side, Karen can’t walk, cook for herself, or use the bathroom. “I have to depend on somebody to do everything for me,” she says.
Yet Karen, 61, who is divorced and without children, has managed to stay in her home — thanks to daily care from Mary, an immigrant from Ghana. Mary lives full time in Karen’s house, sleeping in a spare bedroom. Officially, Mary works 12 hours a day, seven days a week, for her employer, a private home-care agency. But in reality, Mary looks after Karen at all hours — bathing her, bringing her food and drink, changing her, helping her in and out of bed.
Mary makes $8.40 an hour before taxes — $1.60 below the Massachusetts minimum wage — from the private agency that employs her. She nets $610 a week for 84 hours of work — and makes no overtime, although state law entitles her to time-and-a-half for every hour over 40.Details
Twenty years ago today, I felt a lump in my throat as I began the hour drive from San Francisco to Sacramento to join the first-ever Immigrant Day.
The anti-immigrant fervor at the time had manifested itself in frightening ways. The spirit of California’s anti-immigrant initiative from 1994, Proposition 187, had catapulted its way to Washington, D.C., fueling the backlash against newcomer communities. Immigration and welfare reforms dominated the local and national policy agendas.
We couldn’t stay silent in the face of discriminatory laws and hateful rhetoric that targeted the most vulnerable in our communities.Details
Los Angeles-Los Angeles Transit officials (Metro) held a community celebration as they approach the halfway mark on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project. The free family oriented event was held on Saturday, May 7th, in Leimert Park Village, the cultural hub of the African American community.
The purpose of the celebration was a way for Metro officials to thank their neighbors and local businesses for their patience and continued support as Metro celebrate the halfway mark to construction completion; a major milestone!Details
Los Angeles-The Jazz Reggae Festival has been an integral part of the UCLA and Los Angeles jazz and reggae communities for the past 29 years. In honor of the festival’s 30th Anniversary, festival organizers are celebrating three decades of good vibes, jammin’ music and an atmosphere that is engaging and offers attendee cultural enrichment, with a one-day festival under the bright Los Angeles sun, Saturday, May 30, 2016.Details
A Vietnamese refugee brought to the United States by his parents as a child, Bao Nguyen was elected Mayor of Garden Grove in 2014, where he has increased government transparency and fought corruption. Upon his swearing-in, he became the first directly- elected Vietnamese American Democratic Mayor in the United States. He is the city’s first Vietnamese American and first Openly LGBTQ Mayor. Prior to his historic election, he served as member of the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education. Nguyen is running for U.S. Congress to represent California’s 46th District. He talked with NAM’s editor, Andrew Lam, author of “Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora.”Details