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Ronald McKinley

My World: Race in America

By Ronald K. Mc Kinley I recently had a conversation, discussion, with someone I held in some regard. What we discussed is not important. We did not agree. This someone said to me “In your world,” when we did not concur. I could not respond. It was strange. We were not alone; others were listening,...

The Drum Circle and the Criminalization of Free Speech

By Ronald Keith McKinley The Drum Circle has been under siege since its inception twenty-five years ago. A loud vocal minority has always found it offensive. Randy Banks, ex-marine and capoeira instructor, started this drum circle in response to suppression of drumming on Ocean Front Walk. Randy took us to the hill just east of...

Beachheads Write on the Beachhead

CJ Gronner Every town needs a newspaper, and The Free Venice Beachhead has been the one for Venice, California since 1968. I joined the collective staff in 2009, after writing a story about my beloved bike getting stolen … and then getting it back! The fact that Beachhead readers cared enough – first to read,...

Sponto Lives Art Exhibit Party

By Ronald McKinley Sponto was alive on the night of August 24. The Venice I know and love was there. The music was provided by the BACKBONERS, with Bill Burnett, Suzy Williams, Ginger Smith and Kahlil Sabbagh in the line-up. Suzy’s husband, Gerry Fialka, was the MC and the curator of the art show. The...

PRISON NATION

By Mary Getlein Eugene Debs said it best: “While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison I am not free.” This quote was used in a political poster to help create the movement against the...

They don’t like Cheerios: Race in America

By Ronald K. McKinley I was born, and raised in American Apartheid, in New Orleans. I was born in 1950. I still remember the “White only” signs. We were colored then; we became Negroes, finally morphing into black. I sewed my “Black Is Beautiful” patch on all my bell bottom jeans. I graduated from high...

Circumstance and Opportunity

By Ronald McKinley There is a bike parked just left of the multi-use utility pole on the corner of cold and homeless. We mill about; I mean “we”, not French for more sex. It’s cold, my hands barely work. I am writing with a pen. I prefer a lead pen. I make mistakes. Just right...

The Venice Drum Circle (Free Expression) 

By Ronald McKinley The police routinely stop the Venice Drum Circle. The time is never the same, sometimes sunset, sometimes not. Sunday, November 25, at 5:10 P.M. the circle was stopped. The sunset was beautiful. The First Amendment to the American Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, gives us the Freedoms. The freedom to...

Roseanne Barr, None Other

By Ronald K. Mc Kinley Roseanne Barr, Presidential candidate for the Peace and Freedom party,  spoke on September 22 at the Church in Ocean Park. Sponsored by the Venice chapter of the Peace and Freedom Party, the event drew a full hose of about 400 attendees. Born Roseanne Cherrie Barr on November 3, 1952 to...

Skateboarding While Black

By Ronald McKinley While skateboarding home on a nice, warm summer afternoon, Ronald Weekley, Jr. was beaten and then arrested by LAPD. Not beaten and arrested; there is a difference. The charge was for skateboarding on the wrong side of the street, and resisting arrest. Weekley has a broken nose, fractured cheek, and a concussion....
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