Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Trustee Paulina Gonzalez Brito addresses the crowd at Berkeley City College’s 50th anniversary celebration. The event featured a block party along with a groundbreaking ceremony for the college’s new Milvia Street building. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
‘We’re still rising’: BCC celebrates 50th anniversary
College throws block party and breaks ground on new building
Sam O'Neil, Associate Editor • May 6, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
PCCDs classified employees pose for a pic at the first-ever professional development day for classified professionals. PCCD Chancellor Tammeil Gilkerson reflected on the event in her report to the Board of Trustees. (Source: PCCD)
Peralta’s leadership search, CCC public safety earmark, and “rumors” discussed at 4/9 meeting of PCCD Trustees
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • April 24, 2024
College of Alameda jazz professor Glen Pearson demonstrates his musical talent on his classroom piano. Hes one of the newest members of the Count Basie Orchestra, a historic 18-piece jazz ensemble that took home a Grammy this year.
The humble Grammy-winning pianist leading CoA’s music program
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • March 4, 2024

    Breakfast Program goes Brunch-style at Laney

    Black History Month event with speakers at Laney to celebrate Black Panther Legacy. By Eva Hannan, Co-Editor.

    In an inconspicuous corner of the fourth floor of the Student Center at Laney College is the office for one of the Bay Area’s most potent student legacies. The Black Student Union (BSU), originally founded in 1966 at San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University), quickly grew into a network of impactful and thriving clubs and organizations at colleges and universities across the U.S.

    One of the BSU’s priorities and successes was the creation of the Black Studies Department (known currently as Ethnic Studies and African or Africana Studies), which was first created at SFSC after a five-month student strike, the longest ever on a U.S. campus, forced the administration to recognize the program as a legitimate field of study.

    Though the concept has its roots in the Black Panther Party (BPP), the various clubs and student organizations have grown into a network encompassing the Western Hemisphere, Europe and beyond.

    In South America, Hablando Africano and Northern-Central-Southern African-American Unity work to inspire those of African descent to interact with their culture in a pan-continental manner.

    At Laney, Kevin Taylor, also known as “Chief Black,” is the president of the Black Student Union and participates in some of these globally minded student organizations, including Hablando Africano.

    “College students at the University of Panama got together and created a group that talked about African culture — news, history, events and ways to embrace culture from a certain avenue, which a lot of people can relate to in those areas,” Taylor said about the group’s formation.

    Throughout Black History Month at Laney the BSU will be honoring the concept of African American unity and health with activities, workshops and forums, Taylor said. Nearly every weekday has something going on for students during Black History Month. Many of the events were sponsored and organized by the BSU.

    One such event, a free brunch-style meal complete with highly anticipated guest speakers, will be served on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 12 and 13 in the Laney Quad. The 50th anniversary of the BPP’s Breakfast Program inspired the concept, Taylor said, and the BSU lined up speakers who could help students connect with community organizations that continue to flourish in the Bay Area.

    “We’ll be having two guest speakers a day, and they are all very popular around the community,” Taylor said.

    The speakers include BPP notables Billy X and Judy Juanita, who teaches English at Laney, on Feb. 12. The former Black Panther Saturu Ned and Wanda Johnson will speak on Feb. 13.

    Johnson is the mother of Oscar Grant, whose death at the hands of police on New Year’s Day in 2009, at the Fruitvale BART station, helped spark the Black Lives Matter movement and inspired other organized responses to police killings.

    “She is going to be speaking on behalf of the Black Panther Party legacy,” Taylor said, “and how it affected the Oscar Grant movement and the Oscar Grant Foundation, which combats police brutality.”

    Other events focus on Black Health and the LGBTQ community, as well as a poetry slam and a romance-themed version of Black Jeopardy for Valentine’s Day.

    The Laney library is hosting a series of film screenings for recently released Black-focused films including “Moonlight” and “Black Panther” (see the Events Calendar on pg. 7). The library will also host an African American Genealogy Research Workshop on Feb. 13 for those students interested in finding out more about their family’s origins.

    To find out more about the Black Student Union and other clubs on campus, check out Club Rush in the Quad on Feb. 5 from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. or visit

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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