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At Dr. Ratcliff’s 90th Birthday Party,

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Dr. Ratcliff takes the mic at the annual Juneteenth Festival on Fillmore on June 18, 2006. – Photo: Kamau Amen Ra
  • See Kevin Epps’ new film
  • Join the Honor Roll!

by Mary Ratcliff

What’s happening at Dr. Willie Ratcliff’s 90th Birthday Party on Friday, Sept. 16, at 5 p.m.? You will walk into Radio Africa Kitchen at 4800 Third St. at Oakdale to the fragrance of delicious Ethiopian Soul Food and the fellowship of people who believe in freedom and support Dr. Ratcliff and his San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper. We want to greet YOU; your presence will make Dr. Ratcliff’s 90-year-old heart leap with joy!

Kevin Epps’ film premiere: ‘Dr. Willie’s Wisdom’

The Bay View newspaper and Bayview Hunters Point, the fiercest hood in the Bay, celebrated Juneteenth this year in the Ruth Williams Memorial Theater at the Bayview Opera House watching filmmaker Kevin Epps’ blockbuster film, “Straight Outta Hunters Point,” inspiring folks from HP to pour out their testimonies about the hardships we’ve survived since the film premiered 20 years ago.

Filmmaker Kevin Epps accepts his award at the Bay View newspaper’s first Black Media Appreciation Night, on Nov. 26, 2012. The award he holds in his hand was created by another Hunters Point superstar, artist Malik Seneferu, who created similar awards for all the honorees. – Photo: Scott Braley

Since then, Kevin has searched through mountains of footage and found his interviews with Dr. Ratcliff. He’d used clips in “Straight Outta” – clips of Dr. Willie’s wisdom that introduced several segments of that film. Now, on Sept. 16, you’ll watch more of Dr. Willie’s wisdom in a brand new film with that name as its working title. The new film will, we hope, inspire young people to step out on faith and become community leaders!

Join the Honor Roll

Some of the Bay View newspaper’s supporters have overcome great odds and succeeded financially to the point where you have something to share with good folks pursuing a worthy cause, such as the Bay View. We need you to step forward and support the Dr. Ratcliff Editorial Fellowship to be launched at his Sept. 16 birthday party.

The Bay View newspaper will publish an Honor Roll naming everyone who donates, no matter how large or small the amount. The Honor Roll’s top tier will get top billing – those of you who can contribute $1,000 or more. If you don’t have that kind of resources, ask someone you know who does. All donations are tax deductible.

The contributions will fund a $45,000 a year salary for a new news editor; read all about it here: – and apply if you believe you’re the one! Nube Brown has been doing a superb job in that role but wants more time to concentrate on her first love, working with prisoners to abolish prison slavery.


At Dr. Ratcliff’s 90th Birthday Party, we’ll hear directly from Editor Nube Brown and from members of the San Francisco Bay View Foundation’s board of directors – Chair Kevin Epps, political leader Gloria Berry, environmental justice leader Arieann Harrison and media producer Will Hammons. Your questions and comments are welcome!

After the film screening, we’ll invite you to step forward and give a testimony about Dr. Willie. Has he touched your life in a positive way? Do some of the ideas he’s expressed in the Bay View over the years deserve a try? 

He often recalls that when he first arrived in San Francisco in 1950, Hunters Point was the happiest hood he’d ever seen. Everybody was working and making good money, enough for many to buy a home and start a business. The community solidarity was so strong that no one locked their doors. The children had a village to raise them.

When Dr. Willie returned to make Hunters Point his home in 1987, he joined the elders who taught us to vote as a block –  VOTE 100%, they’d say – so the Black community often swung the vote our way on issue after issue. Black Power was a force to contend with. City Hall even kept its promises sometimes. The Black community had HOPE for the future.

We want to continue to be your independent, unapologetically Black newspaper that tells the story of our communities’ resilience, our intelligence, our strength and our creativity to build and succeed against all odds. Come join us on Friday, Sept. 16, at 5 p.m., and let’s kick off the campaign for the Dr. Ratcliff Editorial Fellowship and to build Black communities throughout the Bay where peace and prosperity and freedom and justice reign! See you on the 16th!

Bay View co-publisher Mary Ratcliff – and Dr. Willie Ratcliff – can be reached at [email protected] or 415-671-0789.

The post At Dr. Ratcliff’s 90th Birthday Party, appeared first on San Francisco Bay View.


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