Hard Knock Radio

Power To The People – The Legacy of Black Organizing in Oakland

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From the Facebook event description:

Passed on from a long lineage of Oakland’s Black Radical Tradition, today’s movement leaders continue to reclaim power.
Just as the Black Panther Party asserted bold demands focused on creating economic, social, and political power fifty years ago, we find ourselves in a pivotal moment for radical transformation, policy change and Black liberation.

  • In this discussion, we’ll hear:
    What lessons can be learned from the Black Power movement when radical ideas suddenly take hold and unprecedented opportunities emerge?
  • How are arts, culture, and movement building being used as critical strategies to celebrate and uphold Oakland’s legacy of Black power and activism so that we can continue the work of racial justice movement building for the long haul?

This conversation is part of a series honoring Akonadi’s 20-year anniversary, celebrating two decades of supporting racial justice organizing and policy advocacy in Oakland.


Elaine Brown is the CEO of Oakland & the World Enterprises, Inc., which is dedicated to launching and sustaining for-profit businesses for cooperative-ownership by formerly incarcerated people and other people facing monumental social barriers to economic survival. Throughout the last four decades, Elaine Brown has been committed to effecting progressive change in the United States. In addition to Black Panther Party leadership, which included editing the Party’s news organ, running for public office in Oakland (1973 and 1975), and leading the Party (1974-1977) as its Chairman, Elaine has authored and edited several works about the plight of prisoners and the injustices in the criminal justice system and prison reform. Elaine is presently co-authoring ‘For Reasons of Race and Belief, The Trials of Jamil Al-Amin’ with Karima Al-Amin, and completing the nonfiction book ‘Melba and Al, A Story of Black Love in Jim Crow America’.

Carolyn Johnson (“C.J.”) joined the East Oakland Black Cultural Zone Collaborative in 2019 with thirty years of experience in entrepreneurship and business management, non-profit operations, finance, and commercial real estate. She is a native of Oakland, California, and a proud graduate of Castlemont High School. She brings to the Collaborative her homegrown knowledge of East Oakland, where she was born and raised, and her commercial real estate experience encompassing twenty years of both commercial investment and leasing transactions in the Bay Area.

Cephus “Uncle Bobby X” Johnson is a social justice activist at the forefront of ending police violence in America. After his nephew, Oscar Grant was murdered by a BART police officer in 2009, Cephus founded four grassroots social justice organizations: the Oscar Grant Foundation, Love Not Blood Campaign, California Families United 4 Justice, and a National Families United 4 Justice Network, which is a nationwide collective of families impacted by police violence. Cephus has received many prestigious awards for his social justice police accountability work and served as a leading expert on the creation of the National Impacted Families Movement of police murder.


Davey D is a multi-media journalist, professor, hip-hop historian, radio show host, DJ, activist, speaker, and commentator with a long history of playing and reporting on hip hop, fostering community awareness and involvement, and questioning structures of power. He has gone from underground to commercial, college radio to Free Speech Radio, all the while reporting and commentating on the specific issues in the context of local and global politics.