In going inside San Quentin to screen an episode of his new CNN series that was filmed there to prisoners, Bell raises crucial issues.
With two young daughters — Sammy, 4, and Juno, 7 months — W. Kamau Bell needs to be home early these days. Hence the name of his new stand-up show, “Home by 10,” running at The Marsh in Berkeley through Aug. 22.
On Friday, March 13, I attended a panel on race and racism held at Willard School that included Kamau Bell, and Michael Pearce, owner of the Elmwood Café. The discussion was a result of an incident at the Elmwood Café where an employee told Bell to leave because she assumed he was a homeless person harassing a group of women sitting at an outside table. Bell, who is African American, was in fact showing his wife, who is white, and her friends, a book he had just purchased.
At a community forum held in the wake of a well-publicized accusation of racism at a Berkeley café, a new initiative was announced to help train local businesses in handling implicit bias.
A date has been set for a public conversation between comedian W. Kamau Bell and the owner of a Berkeley café where Bell says he was the victim of racial abuse.
Gibor Basri and Jessica Broitman have been married more than 40 years and have a 24-year-old-son. Basri is a professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley and the vice-chancellor for equity and inclusion. Broitman is a psychoanalyst who runs a non-profit, low-fee psychotherapy clinic in the Presidio. As a biracial couple (Basri is Jamaican/Iraqi/Jewish and Jessica is white and Jewish), they have seen prejudice and bias first-hand, even in Berkeley. Berkeleyside asked them to write about their experiences.
Two new East Bay breweries are getting closer to opening, while B-Side BBQ and Café Rustica are calling it a day.
UPDATE, 7.07 p.m.: W. Kamau Bell says he is committed to attending the open meeting on race, and happy that BUSD stepped up to organize it. “I will be there. And my wife and kids will be there. This is about our families,” he said. Bell, who was out of town working when he spoke to Berkeleyside, said that as “a black comedian who talks about race,” his schedule is very busy this month, but that he is determined to be present at the forum. He added: “We never called for anyone to be fired.” He said he was aware of many of the new details reported by Berkeleyside today, and had talked to Elmwood Café owner Michael Pearce today to stress that he would be at the forum.
The cafe's owner says he was appalled to hear the comedian was asked to leave the café as he was chatting to his wife and a group of friends.