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Samad from OPED page 8 which to me makes her African American—has a sincere demeanor and has been the underdog in every race she has run. She won because she is known for “delivering for her constituents,” something few politicians are known for anymore. Black politicians think they’re celebrities instead of policymakers. Laura doesn’t present herself that way, which caused us to bond. Laura’s race to Congress has been meteoric, going from Long Beach City Council to the state Legislature to Congress in less than two years. In her four years in Congress, she has been the victim of some bad press and bogus allegations. Bad press does not a good heart make, of which I will be the first to attest. We are not who they say we are … we are what we show we are. The truth is in the pudding, not the deceit. Laura has shown us something entirely different than what the press has said. And because of the bad press, we have people in the Black community trying to either leverage her or flip her—both schemes for opportunists—and seem almost willing to concede a congressional seat for personal politics games. Personal politics has destroyed communities in Southern California, and now it threatens to destroy a congressional seat, that if it goes away will never come back. People are holding the seat hostage for two Assembly seats. Gaining four Black Assembly seats won’t be worth losing one Black congressional member. This is a seat the Black community must hold if it is in their power to hold. Their issues with Laura should be discussed, mediated and can be negotiated. Losing a Black congressional seat is non-negotiable.


That’s why I’m supporting Laura. Anthony Asadullah Samad, Ph.D., is a national columnist, managing director of the Urban Issues Forum ( and author of the upcoming book, REAL EYEZ: Race, Reality and Politics in 21st Century Popular Culture. He can be reached at or on Twitter at @dranthonysamad. DISCLAIMER: The beliefs and viewpoints expressed in opinion pieces, letters to the editor, by columnists and/or contributing writers are not necessarily those of OurWeekly.

July 229, - July2012 9, 2009 Feb. 23 - Feb.

‘Dreamscape’ revisits killing in Riverside



Rhaechyl Walker as Myeisha Mills (Tyisha Miller).

„ Performed in poetry, dance and beatboxing

Horne from OPED page 8 cialists and historians to learn how both to identify and preserve items of historical value. Examples of such entities include photographs and jewelry to military uniforms and textiles. We applaud his continuing work, and this highquality testament to Black historical achievements and contributions. The National African American Museum should be exceedingly useful in pushing the envelope to ultimately create a unified American history that includes the participation of all of this country’s citizens and residential groups. Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday. DISCLAIMER: The beliefs and viewpoints expressed in opinion pieces, letters to the editor, by columnists and/or contributing writers are not necessarily those of OurWeekly.


On Dec. 28, 1998, 19-year-old Tyisha Miller lay comatose in her aunt’s locked Nissan Sentra at a gas station with the motor and the radio running. Family members said she was shaking noticeably and foam was coming from her mouth. A.38-caliber pistol lay in her lap. When the relatives’ efforts to arouse Miller failed, they called authorities, and four Riverside police officers responded to the call. With Miller in apparent need of medical attention, they forced entry into the car. According to the officers, when they broke a side window Miller sat bold upright. Fearing for their lives, the officers opened fire 24 times, hitting Miller 12 times, four in the head. The officers claimed they had acted in selfdefense. When the coroner’s report was released, it caused an uproar and many protested at police headquarters and demanded an investigation. An assistant attorney general called Miller’s death “a terrible tragedy,” but “found no evidence to sup-

port federal criminal prosecution.” Through poetry, dance and beatboxing, “Dreamscape” explores the life of Myeisha Mills (Tyisha Miller) and re-frames her death by following the trajectory and impact of the 12 bullets that struck her, each one triggering its own unique memory, according to the press information. “Even though I knew about the incident and the subsequent demonstrations and actions, I was very reluctant to write a play about the incident because of how tragic and volatile it was; that’s why it took me up to seven years to write ‘Dreamscape,’” said Rickerby M. Hinds, associate professor of playwriting at the University of California, Riverside. Hinds completed the first draft in 2005. “The topic is important to me on a number of levels,” Hinds said. “First, the inequity of treatment of African Americans in our society continues in spite of obvious progress that has been made, and I believe that this problem continues to hold us back, not only as a people, but as a society. “Secondly, or it probably should be first, I have a 19-year-old son and I fear for his safety in a place

see DREAMSCAPE page 20

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