Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Oakland Mayor Elect Libby Schaaf endorses the Black Arts Movement 50th Anniversary Projects

Black Arts Movement 27 City National Tour


The mission of the Black Arts Movement’s 27 City Tour is to continue the cultural revolution we initiated during the 1960s. This cultural revolution is still needed for a variety of reasons.  The Black Arts Movement(BAM) was aborted due to the radical nature of our task which was the liberation of our people in harmony with the political movement. Today, the need to address the political condition is critical. But more importantly is the cultural condition, the reactionary values in hip hop and adult culture.

Through art therapy we will address the lack of mental and physical wellness in our communities. As per physical wellness, Wellness trainer Geoffery Grier says, "The most revolutionary thing a Black man (and woman) can do is lose 30 pounds."

In terms of mental wellness, the 50% or more drop out (and push out) rate of students in our schools is partly the result of our dire mental health condition.

Not only is there a critical need for a positive curriculum and teachers with an undying love for our children, but the mental health condition of our children requires counselors with radical values of wellness based on a holistic approach to solving our myriad psychosocial and economic issues, especially trauma, unresolved grief and perennial joblessness, compounded with the pervasive lack of desire to do something for self. A team of artists, educators, mental and physical wellness trainers must be a part of this project so we can more effectively deal with our wellness in a holistic manner.

Art can and must address critical issues through performance and community dialogue, including peer group sessions. It is of critical importance that the people speak and socalled leaders listen and learn!

The BAM Isaiah 61 project will make books available monthly to the incarcerated.  This project is in partnership with The Post Newspaper Group. We especially call upon the spiritual community to make conscious books available to the incarcerated brothers and sisters.
Since many of the Black Arts Movement workers are elders, the timeline would be at least two years to complete this project, including planning and production. Sonia Sanchez said, "The idea of a 27 city tour, makes me tired."

While we will have a core group of participants in the 27 city tour, additionally we will involve local BAM workers who will be recruited to participate and establish a BAM center in their city, no matter if it is a 50 seat theater as Amiri Baraka suggested.

We shall begin the BAM 27 city tour with performances in the following Bay Area cities: Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, San Francisco, Palo Alto and San Jose. The Opening gala will be at Oakland's Laney College, February 7th, 2015.  Marvin X and the BAM Poets Choir and Arkestra will perform. The BAM Isaiah 61 project will exhibit the artwork of inmates from San Quentin prison.

From Laney college, Marvin X and the BAM Poets Choir & Askestra (with special guests) will perform at venues in Oakland's Black Arts Movement  District, from 14th and Martin Luther King, Jr. Way to 14th and Alice Streets,  including the Afro-American Museum/ Library, Frank Ogawa Plaza, Academy of da Corner, Geoffrey's Inner Circle, Joyce Gordon Gallery, and the Malonga Center.
We estimate the overall budget for this project will be 2.7 million dollars at $100,000 per city, including artist fees, promotion, advertisement, rental of venues, insurance, security, lodging, food, transportation, book purchases and documentation.

Marvin X. Jackmon,M.A.
Project Director, Black Arts Movement 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.”

Council Woman Desley Brooks Backs the BAM 50th Celebration:

"The depth and breadth of the contributions of African Americans to this community are enormous in the areas of music, education, politics, the arts, sports, civic engagement, social justice and so much more." 
–Desley Brooks

  The Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra at the BAM conference, University of California, Merced, 2014.

National Advisory Board Members

Mrs. Amina Baraka
Ras Baraka
Amiri Baraka, Jr.
Sonia Sanchez
Danny Glover
The Last Poets
Askia Toure
Haki Madhubuti
Dr. Natan Hare
Dr. Cornell West
Dr. Angela Davis
Dr. Tony Montiero
Dr. Mohammed Ahmad
Mae Jackson
Nikki Giovanni
Rudolph Lewis
Maurice Henderson
Emory Douglas
Elena Seranno
Greg Morozumi
Woody King
Kim McMillan
Ayodele Nzinga
Geoffery Grier
Nefertiti Jackmon
Muhammida El Muhajir
Paul Cobb
Walter Riley
Conway Jones
John Burris
James Sweeney
Fahizah Alim
Nisa Ra
Aries Jordan

Elizabeth Catlett, “Negro Es Bello II,” 1969
Elizabeth Catlett’s lithograph…juxtaposes two masklike faces with a grid of decals bearing the Black Panther logo and the words “Black is beautiful.” In both word and image, the work proclaims its resistance to a century and a half of white-identified popular culture designed to keep African Americans in their place by insisting that they are not beautiful.

Marvin X with the Black Arts Movement Poets Choir and Arkestra at the Malcolm X Jazz/Arts Festival, May 17, 2014, Oakland, California. Festival produced by Eastside Arts Allicance.
photo Gene Hazzard

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