Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Candlestick Implosion? Stadiums, Race & Money…Golden State Warriors, Ambassador Andrew Young of "Selma" & J. Edgar Hoover Black Man Passing As White…SF Filmmaker, Native San Franciscan & SF NAACP Media Chairman Speaks Up!

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Jacquie Taliaferro, Founder, LaHitz Media
Jacquie Taliaferro, LaHitz Media CEO
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January 8, 2015
Stadiums, Race & Money!

There was a "Town Hall Community Meeting" about Candlestick Park a few
weeks ago. Entrepreneurs and activists want to keep the stadium open for two more years to book concerts, soccer matches and other special events to bring money into the area. Lennar and others want to tear it down but they were denied a permit to blow it up, so far.  If you search the Internet you'll see some of the stories.  It's amazing how sterile some of the reports are, given the Bayview's overlooked and underserved population that has dealt with health hazard after health hazard from Pacific Gas and Electric to the Navy's Toxic Nuclear Dumpsites.  Some of the media reports have an ignorant tone of "the natives are restless again" in the Bayview.  Yet community activists like Shirley Moore Vice President of the Bayview Hill Neighborhood Associationare undaunted and are calling for action as seen in this petition campaign to stop the implosion of Candlestick .
In what often seems to be the Tales of Two Cities within San Francisco, The Golden State Warriors are planning to build a new stadium in San Francisco they say will bring revenue to the city.  With the Warriors sporting the best record in the NBA momentum is flying high. They did call the city home years ago playing at the Cow Palace and at Civic Center.                  

A T & T Park

 Lets take a look at some of the historyaround sports stadiums in San Francisco. Before Candlestick, Pac Bell and AT&T Park (Home of 3 World Championships), there was Seals Stadium. In 1931, the Seals were a minor league baseball team based in San Francisco starting in their playing field at the corner of 16th  & Potrero, now the Potrero Center with

Seal Stadium
Safeway, Office Depot, Radio Shack, Petco, Chase, Ross, Lane Bryant, Vitamin Shoppe etc.  Seal Stadium was the Giants home for two years until Candlestick was built in 1958. Kezar Stadium was the first home of the San Francisco 49- ers  and the Oakland Raiders for one season only.  (My dad, a World War II Veteran, would take me and 

John Riley Brodie
otherneighborhood kids to the games there all the time. That's where I met face-to-face famed stellar quarterback, John Riley Brodie, Number 12.  Why isn't he in the NFL Hall of Fame yet?   Kudos to Arif Khatib for honoring Brodie as the first Euro-American in the African-American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame).  The much-loved Kezar preceded memory packed Candlestick Park (The Catch, I, II & III, Final Beatles Concert and fans who survived the weather) and the new Levi Stadium.  Kezar is still alive and kicking as it is now going through a $3.2 million dollar make over.
In the early 20th Century bicycle racing was a top sport and the Polo Field located in Golden Gate Park was the venue. A velodrome was constructed in 

Marshall Taylor "Black Cyclone" 
1906 and it became the Polo Field and the most popular place for racing on the West Coast from the 1900's well into the 50's. Then bikes had one gear, no freewheel plus no brakes. The accelerating and decelerating of the bike came purely from the cutting and the strength of the cyclist. ( Marshall Taylor of Indianapolis, Indiana was a World Champion at the turn of the century, a winner of major races in the U.S. and Europe.  Now people still bike, run, play soccer, frisbee and picnic there. Of course the number one thing it is known for would be concerts.   The "Outside Lands Arts and Music Festival" (Named so because at one time it was considered way on the other side of San Francisco like the Sutro Baths) hosting International Stars like Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Al Green, Kanye West, Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers, Dave Stewartand many others.

The importance of sports and societal change is discussed in this short clip with Ambassador Ambassador Andrew Young, whose role in the Civil Rights Movement is most recently featured in "Selma." (See write up about the LBJ Controversy.)
Ambassador Young and Jacquie Taliaferro Talk Impact of Sports on Social Justice
Ambassador Young and Jacquie Taliaferro talk about the Impact of Sports on Social Justice at past press briefing for  the Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series.
The new Warriors Arena will be built and get old just like Seal Stadium, Candlestick Park, Kezar, Wrigley Field in Chicago, Ebbetts Field in New York etc...  With the impact of Blacks in fueling the sports economy, the question is, "where will Black contractors and businesses be in the planning and building of stadiums?"  

Rendering of New Warriors Stadium
Fred Jordan, President of (SFAACC) San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce and one of the top contractors in the state says, "People come to town and ignore African American companies. My company had to fight to build the luxury boxes and other construction at Oracle Arena. These outside companies do not pay any dues in this city; however they go straight to City Hall and cut deals that put money in their pockets at the expense of local citizens that have been working in the City for years, plus they get on-going tax breaks, like Twitter, Goggle and Facebook. We shouldbe at the table from the very beginning."
Reverend Dr. Amos Brown, President of the San Francisco NAACP adds, "The Warriors must come here (SanFrancisco) with peace and goodwill to all. Black folks pay taxes like everyone else and must be awarded the same opportunities as others. This means economic opportunities for all, not just those Black men running up and down the court."
What is the mindset behind the sports teams?  A Letter from the NAACP, following the sterling comments from Donald Sterling, gives a point of view. Months before the NBA season started my company La'HiTz*Sports contacted the Warriors to co-host a community event and provide player panelists for "Youth & Sports Day" to include sports related films.  Additionally, I requested press passes to cover some games. With all of the bad publicity around some of our top athletes many of us in Entertainment & Sports Media think working with Black companies is very important and the lack of interaction with Black businesses is evident in creating today's climate. 

Media coverage of Black sports figures can be better understood as one sees a lack of color in newsrooms that is similar if not surpassed by the conditions in the early '70's, when forces like Civil Rights maverick Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Jr. bulldozed the way for reporters like Belva Davis to work at White media corporations. Washington Post's Dorothy Gilliam and PBS' Gwen Ifill have a few words on diversity in the newsrooms today.  

Publicist, media consultant, media and community activist, Jackie Wright recently gave a point of view on media coverage in Media on Former Ravens' Running Back Like "White on Rice."
Local experience gives yet another indicator of the mindset of sports executives. I recently ran into one of the new Warrior's public relations team members on 3rd street in front of the Bay View Opera House, Theo Ellington, who previously worked for City Hall and deemed as one of the up and coming Black leaders. I asked him what's going on with the Warriors. He told me in front of another person,"I am going to keep yours and others Black owned businesses from doing business with the Warriors." I was shocked at what he said so I asked him, "what did you just say" and he said it again. I think he had no idea I would write about this although he knows I own a media company.

The experience with Ellington brought forward to me the "crab in the barrel" phenomenon that plagues Blacks in corporate America, instead of leveling the playing field for people they supposedly represent because of the color of their skin, they instead block and pull down the ones that look like them.  I also saw visions of Stephen in the film "Django Unchained," so delusional because of the limited power he was given (to control the other Blacks for "Massah"), he thought he was White. 

Samuel L. Jackson as "Stephen" waits on "Calvin Candie"  played by Leonardo Di' Caprio in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained."
Additionally, one of my colleagues expressed an unbelievable moment at of all places, the San Francisco Foundation Center a few years back.  (Kudos to the Foundation Center for developing panel on the workplace environment. It should not be held responsible for comments by its guests).  When the person who was the representative Black on a panel was asked among several professionals about the role of diversity, the young man said "diversity has nothing to do with racial distinctions anymore.  It goes beyond that.  Do you bring diversity in language? Do you speak Russian or are you an Indian from Southeast Asia?" That type of corporate whitewashing of the brain has resulted in African Blacks being hired over Blacks in America, the sons and daughters of former slaves who built this country with blood, sweat and tears.  As a result of that mindset, America is still handing Blacks, the sons and daughters of former slaves," an insufficient check and some Blacks are helping to write it.  In the spirit of "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," one Black African in America, truly an African American (ironically the term can apply to a White African immigrant also), says Black Africans who come to the U.S. should not be so smug in their degrees, dress and demeanor.  Moji Akinde says "They Will Kill Tunde As Quickly As They Kill Tyrone."

Those in corporate America that stand on the backs of those who labored for

A young J. Edgar Hoover
Civil Rights, should be supported in their positions as long as they do their jobs with excellence and don't forget the ones that paved the way and the ones they were supposedly hired to represent.  It is time to stop parading out Black faces in times of Crisis, especially when those Black faces don't represent a substantive difference from White Faces and racist policies.  Black faces/White faces, throw in the complexity of people like infamous FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, a Black man passing as a White man, whose self-hatred put him on a path of obsession to destroy Black leaders, you realize it's the heart of the matter that matters.  Beyond color, the motivation of the heart and mind must be brought to the forefront. 

We must all take a note from Ted Tuner as he started TBS (which now broadcasts NBA games) and eventually created CNN.  You must just keep moving pass those who do not see your POV
(Point of View) and/or vision.  

A. Jacquie "Jac" Taliaferro is Dir. La'HiTz*Media & NAACP SF Media  Chair
Additional Articles by Jacquie Taliaferro

"SAY IT LOUD R-E-S-P-E-C-T" Needed at "Get On Up" Screening 

Martin, Money, and Movies

David and Goliath Fight with Wells Fargo

NFL Cash and Community 

Ships Ahoy! Americus Cup & $1 Billion

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Friday, July 25, 2014


NFL Former Head Coach/Player Herm Edwards talks with Jac at American Century Golf Tournament, Lake Tahoe.  #22 and #46 What's in a Number?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tavis Smiley on President Obama at SF NAACP Gala; Honorees & Leadership

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Jacquie Taliaferro, Founder, LaHitz Media
Jacquie Taliaferro, LaHitz Media CEO
LaHitz Logo
CommentaryFor Immediate Release
November 24, 2013
"Times They Are A Changing"
The NAACP, like many organizations is going through a change to keep up with these rapidly changing times.  National President Ben Jealous is moving on at the end of the year and the search for a new president has begun.

Here in San Francisco, our NAACP is facing a need for great change.  At the recent Freedom Fund Gala,  it was very clear that change is in the air.   The evening was a great mix of entertainment and food for thought with music icon Pete Escovedo as entertainment and my old BET mate, Tavis Smiley as keynote speaker.  The honorees were:  A Philip Randolph Institute (SF NAACP Presidential Medal Of Honor Award)

Tavis Smiley addresses SF NAACP Freedom Fund Gala. 
Photo Courtesy of Lance Burton, Planet Fillmore Communications

Publishers of the San Francisco BayView Newspaper, Dr. Willie And Mrs. Ratcliff (Sf Naacp Frederick Douglass North Star Award), Rev. Cecil Williams,(SF NAACP Bayard Rustin Award), Belva Davis (SF NAACP Ida B. Wells Award), Dr. Caesar Churchwell (SF NAACP Advocacy Award), Roberto Y. Hernandez ( SF NAACP Community Award), and  Mohammed Nuru, (SF NAACP Public Service Award).
It was great to see my nominees Mary and Willie Ratcliff, publishers of the San Francisco Bayview Newspaper, Roberto Hernandez of San Francisco Carnaval and a community activist for years who is now at the forefront to "Stop Mission Evictions Now," and Dr. Caesar Churchwell, a community leader who has given via his dentist practice and in so many other ways, all made it through the vetting process to receive their due respect.  These four people have been in the forefront of Media-Arts & Entertainment, plus community activism for over two decades.

Dr. Churchwell recently retired from his dental practice however, he is still active in the community.  Concerned about the lack of access for Blacks in the Arts, he set up a meeting with the San Francisco Film Commission's Executive Director Susannah Greason Robbins for Kevin Epps, Jackie Wright, and myself to map out more opportunities for the development of the "Black Film" and media industry in San Francisco.  

With all of the cut backs in the Arts, entrepreneur and artist, Roberto Hernandez, has carved out a niche in the Bay Area that speaks to artistic excellence coupled with passion for community.  He recently hosted the ground breaking of the new Mexican Museum.  He's involved with too many projects to name, so I will talk about the one we are involved with, S.F. Carnaval.  Roberto was the driving force making Carnaval 2013 happen when it was in serious danger of demise.  It's the sign of the times, both Juneteenth and Carnaval, the signature Black and Brown events are barely surviving while the Irish, Chinese, Gay, Union Street, Outside Lands and Stern Gove street fairs and festivals are all doing well.

Willie & Mary Ratcliff have been on the media cutting edge since buying the San Francisco Bayview Newspaper.  They have twice won the National Newspaper of the Year Award presented by the National Black Chamber of Commerce.

Keynote speaker of the evening, Tavis Smiley was engaging.  I remember the occasion at BET when he asked President Bob Johnson "why would you sale BET?"  Smiley's thinking was close to mine, a vibrant media outlet is worth more than money.  However, it does take money to run a company and BET ran into the same block as Essence and Motown which are also no longer Black-owned, "DISTRIBUTION." 

The day we announced that Tavis was going to be our guest speaker at the NAACP gala, because of his criticism of President Obama, people started asking "why him?"  The night of the gala, Tavis addressed the elephant in the room head on.  "If you think I voted for John McCain please put down the crack pipe."  He also pointed out that President Obama is not a dictator or above criticism.  He told the audience that he supports "Our President," however he has yet to meet with the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) and he pointed out Obama's poor record on Black economic issues.  As Smiley pointed out those two main points he also talked about the backlash against African Americans because of the Black President.  The theme for the evening was quite clear, everyone should be held accountable and leadership unchallenged is pathway to mediocrity at best and ultimately destruction.

(As a sidebar, President Obama will be at the SF JAZZ Center on Monday, November 25 for a fund raiser and the Betty Ong Recreation Center in Chinatown to talk about immigration reform.  Near his all time low approval rating, It will be the President's ninth visit to the Bay Area over a two year period).

The President's administration is not the only one experiencing a low approval rating, here in San Francisco, the NAACP leadership has grown old and is stuck in the '60's.  It is time for a change.  It's time to embrace all ages and changing ideas that are based on the strong fundamental foundation of social justice.  The wisdom of age cannot be forgotten, nor the vigor of youth and new vision ignored.

There are many subtleties to having a party or a gala.  Some of the most strategic and world-changing ideas have resulted from connections made at parties and galas through the centuries.  My company's contact with the San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers and the Warriors to attend this year's gala was for a purpose.  As former Ambassador Andrew Young pointed out in an interview last October (World Series Month), sports has been an avenue to level the playing field in society.
Ambassador Young and Jacquie Taliaferro Talk Impact of Sports on Social Justice
Ambassador Andrew Young and Jacquie Taliaferro Talk
Impact of Sports on Social Justice
This is one of the reasons we started LSN (LaHitz Sports Network) to cover world sports.  The playing field still needs to be leveled although there is a Black President.  You'll be able to see LSN videos and stories in the San Francisco Bayview, LaHitz and other media partners.

By A. Jacquie Taliaferro, 
SF NAACP Communications Chair
SF Filmmaker
San Francisco Native

Other Articles by A. Jacquie Taliaferro:

LaHitz Sports Network

America's Cup Overflows $1 Billion or More

Martin, Money and Movies

The 56th San Francisco International Film Festival kicks off April 25 and runs though May 9, 2013. With over 80 films from around the world you would be world's toughest critic not to like at least three films. See what A. Jacquie Taliaferro has to say about one of the longest running festivals in the United States of America.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

LaHitz Sports Network

Jacquie Taliaferro, Founder, LaHitz Media
Jacquie Taliaferro, LaHitz Media CEO
LaHitz Logo

For Immediate Release
November 5, 2013
Election Day!
LaHitz Sports Network

LaHitz Sports Network's launch date is 11-11-13.  In the meantime, in between time, we will be bringing you sports updates and feature stories from around the world.

Let's start local firsts.  It's a super time to be a Bay Area Sports (Fan) Fanatic!  The Oakland A's made an amazing run to the play-off and were beaten by Detroit Tigers, who were beaten in the World Series last year by our Bay Area S.F. Giants!

The America's Cup ended a few weeks ago with Team USA Oracle coming from 7 points down to win the prize!  To put this in perspective, it would be like your team coming from 3 games to 0 in the World Series.  Fourth game 7th inning they are up 5-2 and your team goes on to win the series.  So does that make Larry Ellison the new William Alexander Leidesdorff?  "Good job," Team Oracle!

Football is in full swing with almost half the season played.  The San Francisco 49ers are 6 & 5 and the Oakland Raiders are 3 & 5 at the time of this article. Both look to be in the playoffs, if Oakland shores up its strong points, after that "Ouch" loss to the Eagles.  In the spirit of fair play, I am asking one more time for the Raiders and 49ers' fans to root for each other.  We are all one united Bay Area (Smile)!

Frank Gore SF 49er Star Running Back Secrets to Success for Young People
Frank Gore SF 49er Star Running Back Secrets to Success for Young People

Frank Gore teases V. Davis
Frank Gore teases V. Davis
49er Legend Bryant Young Speaks to Youth
49er Legend Bryant Young Speaks to Youth

Come and meet some of the Warriors at the S.F. NAACP Gala, November 9, 2013, 6:00 p.m. at the San Francisco Hilton along with San Francisco Giants & 49ers.  There are still a few tables and tickets left, if you act now. Journalists, Tavis Smiley & Barbara Rodgers, along with musician Pete Escovedo and other celebrities will light up the evening of purpose and fun.

Bill Russell (l) K.C. Jones(r) with coach and Celtics teammates.
 For a tip on the Warriors community outreach, some members paid a visit to K.C. Jones' alma mater, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School last month with a message to excel in school and gift bags for the students. (It was Portola Jr. High School when K.C.  went there and some years later, yours truly.) 

K.C. Jones grew up in "D Rock" (Double Rock) and attended U.S.F. with Bill Russell and a group of super talented youth that won back-to-back NCAA Championships for the "Dons" and put tiny USF in the national spot light in the mid 1950's.  K.C. and Bill were both Olympic Gold Medal winners on the 1956 U.S.  Men's Olympic basketball team with Bill serving as captain.   Jones and Russell were both drafted by the Boston Celtics and won many NBA Championships there.

Congratulations to Russell, who recently had a statue unveiled in his honor in Boston.  At the ceremony, his high school classmate, fellow San Franciscan, Johnny Mathis performed "I Am My Father's Son," written by Bill Withers for the occasion and performed with Mathis.

President Barack Obama Congratulates Russell Near Statute Created by Ann Hirsch of Somerville, MA.

"All I ever tried was to never shame my father''  Bill Russell

During the upcoming NBA season, LaHitz Sports will bring you interviews, stories, updates and two new series, "Flashback" and "What's in a Number."

Stay Tuned!
By A. Jacquie Taliaferro
SF Filmmaker
San Francisco Native

"Don't forget to vote!"

Other Articles by A. Jacquie Taliaferro:
Ambassador Young and Jacquie Taliaferro Talk Impact of Sports on Social Justice
Ambassador Andrew Young and Jacquie Taliaferro Talk
Impact of Sports on Social Justice
Michael Jordan @ American Century Championship Golf Tournament 2011
Michael Jordan & Other Celebrities @ American Century Championship Golf Tournament 2011

America's Cup Overflows $1 Billion or More

Martin, Money and Movies

The 56th San Francisco International Film Festival kicks off April 25 and runs though May 9, 2013. With over 80 films from around the world you would be world's toughest critic not to like at least three films. See what A. Jacquie Taliaferro has to say about one of the longest running festivals in the United States of America.