Praises for The Bay View: The Last National Black Liberation Newspaper in the Country

Praises for The Bay View: The Last National Black Liberation Newspaper in the Country

By Jovanka Beckles

Art obtained from the official San Francisco Bay View Newspaper Facebook Page.

The Bayview continues to be a beacon of light in the media blackout of relevant Black issues that are largely ignored by mainstream media. As we celebrate Black history month in February—fully aware that every day is a Black history day and always has been in this country—The Activist acknowledges one of the oldest and longest running radical Black newspapers.

I personally am extremely grateful to Willie and Mary Ratcliff for their unwavering support of the progressive political movement in Richmond to bring about environmental, social, and racial justice. The Bay View covered our fight against Chevron recognizing that a win for the people in Richmond is a win for people everywhere.

I encourage everyone to check out The Bay View for up-to-date radical news on issues of importance to the Black community and, by extension, the radical progressive community at-large. Below you will find a brief commentary by former editor/publisher, Mary Ratcliff, and a poetic appreciative perspective from an incarcerated man who has both been impacted by the prison industrial complex and has benefited directly from reading The Bay View.  

—Jovanka Beckles, RPA Steering Committee Member

Founded in 1976 to carry on the work of Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, the San Francisco National Black Newspaper aims to inspire and embolden the community, calling for the power of the people to overcome the racism that plagues us in the economy, the environment, education and throughout our lives and build a world of justice for all. The Bay View publishes the people’s voices, especially from hoods around the Bay and prisons around the country. Our goal is to see the hoods thriving and the prisons abolished. Subscribe to the Bay View in print, and read it, updated daily, at

—Mary Ratcliff, former editor/publisher


Front cover of the July 18, 1997 issue

A Prisoner Praises The Bay View Newspaper

By writer and Poet E.D.H.

The Bay View, where the ones that are a part of the struggle
Get their raw and uncut news
From the prisons and jails all around the world
And also straight out of our neighborhoods.
The Bay Bridge has plenty of water under it,
But these monthly issues are far from watered down.
Even when the heat is turnt up, and the pressure is rising,
You’re still going to get the real about Treasure Island,
When these living conditions and these correctional officers’ misconduct
Repeatedly gets swept under the rug, we still have the freedom to speak,
And The Bay View is an outlet for that,
A one of a kind, Black-owned newspaper.
Can’t find another quite like it
Plenty of resources for everyone, inside and out.
At least someone is trying to build the structure and unifying with us.
This newspaper has a purpose and a destiny
For what they are trying to accomplish.
So if you are a fraud or a fake, you will get noticed asap.
The goal is to let caged voices be heard, to get our elders out,
Who have done more than enough of their share of time,
To get these laws changed that were made in slavery days,
To help the youth, seniors, in under poverty communities
Fundraise for yearly giveaways for holidays.
It’s not about putting or trying to keep
someone in jail and prison and held captive.
That’s a 180 of the original blueprint.
The Bay Area should be the new chocolate city.
It’s the foundation of the Black Panthers
And the hub of the people fighting for prison reform.
This is not nothing new; this has been going on.
That’s why we have to stop Black on Black violence.
That is when we will have control,
Have a voice and say so,
Not just in our areas, but the whole world,
You want to hear real Black news?
Tap in and read The Bay View.

—Dedicated to The Bay View editor Ms. Nube Brown


Front cover of the February 16, 1996 issue