Friday, October 10, 2014

Peralta Community College District 50th Anniversary Grand Reception, Thursday, October 30, 2014, 6:30

We congratulate the Peralta Community College District, Merritt College in particular, as the birth place of the Bay Area Black Cultural Revolution, including the Black Panther Party, Black Arts and Black Studies Movements. Merritt gave birth to two Black Panther groups: The Black Panther Party of Self Defense (Bobby Seale, Huey Newton, et al.) and the Black Panther Party of Northern California (Ken Freeman, Ernie Allen, Oba T'Shaka, et al). Through the Afro American Association meetings at Merritt ,headed by Donald Warden, aka Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansour, students gained knowledge of African consciousness. According to AAA member Ed Howard, Kwanza originated in Oakland. Maulana Ron Karenga was the Los Angeles representative of the AAA. As per the Black Arts Movement, Merritt students were key, e.g., Sarah Webster Fabio, Ellendar Barnes, Ernie Allen, Richard Thorne, Maurice Dawson, Kenny and Carol Freeman, Ann Williams, Isaac Moore, Adam David Miller and Marvin X. Merritt had the first Black Studies program in the nation, although San Francisco State had the first on a major college campus. Alas, many of the San Francisco State University students involved in the BSU and Student Third World Strike at SFSU were Peralta College District transfers. --Marvin X, A.A., Sociology, Merritt College, 1964

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