Sunday, November 30, 2014

INDIEGOGO CROWD FUNDING UPDATE ON BAM 27 CITY TOUR

Here’s an update for you from the ‘Black Arts Movement 27 City National Tour’ team:

Dear Mayor elect Libby Shaaf and Oakland
City Councilwomen Desley Brooks and Lynette Gibson McElhaney
On behalf of the Black Arts Movement, we congratulate you all for
 declaring support of the Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary.
Because of our role as artistic freedom fighters (Paul Robeson)
we have often been marginalized, books banned, language
censored, denied employment, especially by those in academia
and other sectors of society who have taken on the role of culture
police.
Your letters of support indicates a level of understanding that we
appreciate. We are confident the City of Oakland will provide us
with the necessary funding to make our Oakland celebration a
success. We especially appreciate your call for age-appropriate
Black Arts Movement literature in the schools.  I must add,
BAM literature must reach parents as well.
While we have the BAM Isaiah 61 Project in partnership with
Paul Cobb and the Post News Group, and will make every
effort to provide literature to the incarcerated, we agree with
Paul, "Crack a book before you are booked for Crack!" We
know BAM literature can inspire our children with cultural
consciousness, purpose and direction as they navigate
their perilous mental landscape, not to mention this world
full of pitfalls and land mines they must overcome.
Your endorsement of the Black Arts Movement District
along 14th Street is outstanding. Growing up on 7th Street
in West Oakland, along with Paul Cobb, we feel the creation
of a BAM District would allow Oakland's North American
Africans to experience the culture and art we enjoyed on
7th Street, Harlem of the West.
Trust me, your letters of support should silence the doubters
that such a project will be realized in their lifetime.
Sincerely,
Marvin X. Jackmon, M.A.
Project Director
BAM 27 City Tour

Mayor Elect Libby Schaaf endorses 

The Black Arts Movement



  BAM Executive Board Member Conway Jones with Mayor Elect Libby Schaaf

“Oakland is lucky to have an incredibly talented and diverse art community. 
The African American Arts Movement is a vital, historically significant part 
of the Oakland Arts Community.  With its focus on justice, equality, and 
self-realization, the message of black artists is crucial to support.  From 
rage to celebration, art allows expression, and expression is essential to 
a community as varied as Oakland.  The recent 1% for Public Art that I 
authored ensures that new art will be a priority in Oakland in the future. 
I agree with Post Publisher Paul Cobb that BAM 50th Anniversary 
celebration should encompass all cultural genres: visual, literary, and 
performance.  Age-appropriate books for African American students 
about the Black Arts Movement will literally bring the lesson home for 
families to share and aspire to.”

Comment on or view this announcement here.
Respond directly to the campaign owner here.
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Sincerely,
The Indiegogo Team

Afro-Cuban musician John Santos will participate in Black Arts Movement Celebration


 We are honored the great John Santos has agreed to participate in the 50th anniversary celebration of the Black Arts Movement. --Marvin X

 

 John Santos: Keeper of the Culture

John Santos: Keeper of the Culture
By
Published:  
In a career spanning almost 40 years, percussionist John Santos has gained world-wide renown and acclaim as one of the great composers and bandleaders in the Afro-Cuban jazz idiom. The four-time Grammy nominee is one of the foremost proponents of Afro-Latin music in the world today, known for his innovative use of its traditional musical forms and instruments. Santos has performed, recorded and studied with acknowledged Afro-Latin and Jazz masters such as Israel "Cachao" Lopez,Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Bebo Valdes, Armando Peraza, Eddie Palmieri, Carlos "Patato" Valdes, Francisco Aguabella, Max Roach, Steve Turre and Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros.

Born in San Francisco to Cape Verdean and Puerto Rican parents, Santos was exposed to a fertile musical environment which shaped his career in a unique way. As director of Orquesta Tipica Cienfuego and the award-winning Orquesta Batachanga, he was of the pioneers of salsa to the San Francisco Bay Area. As leader of the seminal jazz group Machete Ensemble, Santos was also instrumental in bringing traditional Afro-Cuban and other Latin American music to the area. Santos is also respected as one of the top writers, teachers and historians in the field, having conducted numerous lectures, workshops and clinics in the Americas and Europe, as well as writing about the music for numerous publications.

Santos also has a prolific career as a distinguished and creative multi-percussionist and recording artist, mainly with Machete Ensemble. His diverse credits also include working with Israel "Cachao" Lopez, Tito Puente, Bobby Hutcherson, the Cuban band Grupo Mezcla, Lalo Schifrin, Irakere, Santana, Cal Tjader, Danilo Perez, Ignacio Berroa, Omar Sosa and Jon Jang. In 2006, after a 20-year run, Santos disbanded the Machete Ensemble and is now playing with a jazz sextet which. comprised of some of his old comrades from that group, has released Filosofia Caribena, Vol.1 (2011) and Filosfofia Caribena, Vol. 2. (2013). Both of these recordings, released on Santos' Machete Records, are an homage to the richness of the Caribbean and Latin American cultures, to which Santos refers as Creole culture.

Santos was also named Resident Artistic Director of the SFJAZZ Center for the year 2012-2013, an honor shared with Bill Frisell, Jason Moran, and Regina Carter.

All About Jazz: What made you decide to be a musician?

John Santos: My dad, from Cape Verde, was a musician who played guitar and accordion; In addition, both of my grandfathers, from Cape Verdean and Puerto Rican, were musicians. So, I kinda fell into the family business.

AAJ: What led you to playing congas and other percussion?

JS: In African and Caribbean cultures the drums lead you into a spiritual path as they are used not only for playing for entertainment purposes but also for religious and spiritual ceremonies. In addition to playing congas and other drums, I am also trained to perform on the Nigerian bata drums for religious services.

AAJ: Your first band, Orchestra Tipica Cienfuegos, was considered to be the top Latin dance band during the'70s, What set it apart from other Latin groups?

JS: Tipica Cienfuegos was structured as a charanga orchestra, a traditional Afro-Cuban setup which is comprised of violinists and a flutist instead of horns. However, instead of playing the traditional danzones, we played more modern dance music like Los Van Van. Now, with Orchestra Batachanga I mixed the rhythms of the bata with modern Latin dance music.

AAJ: You have performed with practically every master Afro-Cuban drummer who has roamed the earth during the last 40 years. Who were the ones who had the deepest influence on your music?

JS: It is hard to say, because all of them were great. In the Bay Area, we were blessed to have Armando Peraza and Francisco Aguabella living here. I also count Mongo Santamaria, Candido, Carlos "Patato" Valdés and Julito Collazo among my major influences. Other musicians whom I count as influences as well as mentors include the great Afro-Cuban bassist Israel "Cachao" Lopez, trumpeter Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros and the great timbalero, Orestes Vilato, with whom I was blessed to have played for many years. In the jazz idiom, I was blessed to have Dizzy Gillespies a mentor, as well as having the opportunity to play with him. I also had admiration for Max Roach, Steve Turré, John Handy, McCoy Tyner and Joe Henderson.

St. Louis Rams: Hands up, don't shoot--show unity for Michael Brown



Image: NFL: Oakland Raiders at St. Louis Rams
St. Louis Rams players put their hands up to show support for Michael Brown before a game against the Oakland Raiders at the Edward Jones Dome on Nov. 30, 2014.
Jeff Curry/USA Today Sports/Reuters

St. Louis Rams players show solidarity with Ferguson protesters

The most memorable thing about the St. Louis Rams on Sunday may not be their brutal 52-to-0 shellacking of the Oakland Raiders.
When the Missouri-based NFL team entered Sunday’s game some players symbolically recreated the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” rallying cry of Ferguson protesters who have been active in that city since the police shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, on August 9.
Supporters of Brown have maintained that he had his hands up and was surrendering when Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed him. Wilson and Ferguson authorities dispute that account, claiming that Brown attacked police and posed a deadly threat that day. A grand jury chose not to indict Wilson in the death of Brown last week and the officer has since decided to resign from the police department.

On Sunday, Rams stars Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens, and Kenny Britt all participated in the action, as they exited their home field tunnel to start the game. This is not the first time a Rams home game has been the site for activism on behalf of Brown. At a Rams-49ers Monday Night Football game in October protesters unfurling signs which read: “Black Lives Matter”
These Rams players’ show of solidarity was reminiscent of when Miami Heat players posed in hoodies to honor Trayvon Martin back in 2012. When the Los Angeles Clippers wanted to display their displeasure with their owner, Donald Sterling, after racist remarks he’d made privately went viral earlier this year, they purposely wore their warm-up shirts inside out and discarded their team jackets in the center of the court.

In the wake of the grand jury decision in the Brown case, a number of professional athletes have expressed their outrage via social media. New Orleans Saints’ tight end Benjamin Watson penned an open letter this week on the topic which was posted to Facebook and quickly went viral. 


“I’M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes,” Watson wrote. He added that he was frustrated by pop culture’s glorification of confrontations between police and citizens,” he wrote. “I’M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I’m a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a ‘threat’ to those who don’t know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.”

Open letter to Mayor elect Libby Shaaf, et al.



Dear Mayor elect Libby Shaaf and Oakland
City Councilwomen Desley Brooks and Lynette Gibson McElhaney

On behalf of the Black Arts Movement, we congratulate you all for declaring support of the Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary. Because of our role as artistic freedom fighters (Paul Robeson) we have often been marginalized, books banned, language censored, denied employment, especially by those in academia and other sectors of society who have taken on the role of culture police.

Your letters of support indicates a level of understanding that we appreciate. We are confident the City of Oakland will provide us with the necessary funding to make our Oakland celebration a success. We especially appreciate your call for age-appropriate Black Arts Movement literature in the schools.  I must add, BAM literature must reach parents as well.

While we have the BAM Isaiah 61 Project in partnership with Paul Cobb and the Post News Group, and will make every effort to provide literature to the incarcerated, we agree with Paul, "Crack a book before you are booked for Crack!" We know BAM literature can inspire our children with cultural consciousness, purpose and direction as they navigate their perilous mental landscape, not to mention this world full of pitfalls and land mines they must overcome.

Your endorsement of the Black Arts Movement District along 14th Street is outstanding. Growing up on 7th Street in West Oakland, along with Paul Cobb, we feel the creation of a BAM District would allow Oakland's North American Africans to experience the culture and art we enjoyed on 7th Street, Harlem of the West.

Trust me, your letters of support should silence the doubters that such a project will be realized in their lifetime.

Sincerely,

Marvin X. Jackmon, M.A.
Project Director
BAM 27 City Tour

National Week of Action in Solidarity with the People of Ferguson


















NATIONAL WEEK of ACTION 
in SOLIDARITY with 
the People of Ferguson, St. Louis and Beyond

The Peace and Justice Studies Association, Center for Education Equity, The Sophia Project, Code Pink, Hands Up Coalition - D.C., and Why We Can't Wait-D.C.,  call on all people of conscience to participate in a week of action to bring and continue awareness around ending police violence against all people, especially people of color. This week of action begins Monday, December 1, 2014 and continues until December 5, 2014.
We do this to stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson and the larger St. Louis area.

The National Week of Action can involve any or all of the following:

1) Observing 4.5 minutes of silence in high-schools, college campus buildings, businesses, government offices, and places of worship.  This length of time is symbolic of the 4.5 hours Michael Brown's body lay in the street after he was killed on August 9th, 2014.  His parents have asked for such an observance; beginning at 12:00pm each day


2) Conducting human rights teach-ins about police brutality, racism and racial profiling, civic responsibility, and nonviolent action

3) Organizing dialogues in your community on race, legal reforms, and methods of citizen oversight of law enforcement

4) Organize vigils, reflections and prayers in communities around police violence, the targeting of minority communities, and the militarization of our society.

If you would like to facilitate a teach-in or dialogue and need resources and/or contacts, please see the attached document titled "Learning from Ferguson & Beyond".


This conversation cannot end! We cannot conduct business as usual!  Black lives matter! All lives matter!
We encourage all to act at whatever level appropriate and comfortable for your setting, but please do something
Every act helps, no matter how small. We can stop the violence. Thank you for your participation to end police brutality.

It would be wonderful if you record your event and upload to thetruthtellingproject.org


Please forward this email, facebook and tweet this message using hashtags:

#fourandahalf
#speaktruth
#blacklivesmatter

Visit the facebook event and spread here.
 

CONTACTS:

Dave Ragland:845-475-8205, Visiting Professor, Bucknell University, Lewisburg PA, and a native of St. Louis, MO,and Co-Director;The Truth Telling Project : thetruthtellingproject.org

Cris Toffolo: crisetoffolo@gmail.com. Professor & Chair, Justice Studies Department, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago IL.
                
Barbara Wien: Faculty Member, American University, Washington, D.C.
 
Alex Bodkin: The Truth Telling Project, bodkin@slu.edu: thetruthtellingproject.org

Saturday, November 29, 2014

BAM needs artist concept of The Black Arrts Movement District along 14th Street, downtown Oakland


Dear Visual artists,

In preparation of an official declaration of The Black Arts Movement District along 14th Street, downtown Oakland, we would like to see rough sketches of what such an African oriented district would look like. Sketch might include an African facade on buildings, flags of African nations, banners flying portraits of BAM artists, the Red, Black and Green flag and color scheme, North American African heroes and sheroes, especially Bay Area freedom workers, business people, political and spiritual leaders, youth leaders, vendors on the street, street musicians, street teachers, couples strolling, etc.

Please submit your sketches to jmarvinx@yahoo.com and/or Paul Cobb at goodnewspc@aol.com.
Call Marvin X at 510- 200 4164.

Bay Area artists in all genres  please plan to attend the gala celebration of BAM at the Laney College art gallery on Feb. 7, 2015. BAM Poets Choir and Arkestra will perform. The BAM Isaiah 61 Project will exhibit the work of San Quentin inmates.

Sincerely,

Marvin X,
Project Director
BAM 27 Tour, 2015























































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