Sunday, November 30, 2014


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
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.
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.”

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