If last nights Plan Oakland meeting at the Paramount Theatre is an indication of the role North American Africans will play in the City of Oakland, we are in deep deep trouble. Whites were the majority present so we know, despite pronouncements to the contrary, it is very likely their plans for the future of this city will prevail and predominate.
After spending over two hours at the event to discuss Plan Oakland, there was almost no mention of a plan for North American Africans in the downtown area, although we are proposing the Black Arts Movement Culture and Economic District for the 14th Street corridor.
In her remarks, Lynette McElhaney, President of the Oakland City Council, did announce an upcoming meeting with Black artists, although the comment period had expired. She has extended the comment period so our views can be included. Ironically, President McElhaney had promised to proclaim the Black Arts Movement District once she was inaugurated in January. We are perhaps guilty of not keeping pressure on her to fulfill her promise.
We know power concedes nothing without demands, especially when politicians discover other priorities. So we shall see if President McElhaney will get back on track with the proposal for the Black Arts Movement District. As she noted in her remarks, if you don't have a plan, others will have one for you. Thus, it would be wise for Oakland's North American Africans to attend the upcoming meeting for our input, otherwise the Plan Oakland for the downtown area will not include us, as per p usual.
At the Paramount, two Black developers gave a slide presentation and decried the minimal input of North American African expertise in building the downtown area in particular and the general development of Oakland. Yet he tell of how his mentor, Tom Berkley, developed the first container port in America at the Port of Oakland.
In short, unless we step to the front of the line and make some noise, don't expect inclusion in Plan Oakland for the downtown area or any other part of Oakland. As you know, we are being gentrified from the city limits, although there was mention of plans for housing development that included below market rate residences.
It was suggested Oakland follow the San Francisco proposition for a moratorium on development and evictions in the Mission District. It was suggested Oakland have a proposition O to slow gentrification, although we know gentrification is occurring coast to coast as whites invade traditional minority neighborhoods to grab land and real estate, displacing the ghetto residents with that great pseudo white liberal smile. They will even claim to support Black Lives Matter while simultaneously grabbing all the ghetto real estate or forcing eviction with insane rent increases. We understand the only reason San Francisco's Tenderloin District has not suffered gentrification is only due to community organization. North American Africans in Oakland must get organized or you will be displaced!
--Marvin X, Planner
Black Arts Movement
Please sign this petition: Black Arts Movement Cultural District for downtown Oakland
To raise cultural, economic and political consciousness in Oakland CA.
That's why I created a petition to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf which says:
"We demand the City of Oakland proclaim the Black Arts Movement Cultural and Business District along the 14th Street corridor, from Martin Luther King, Jr. Way to Alice Street and beyond. It will be an Afro-centric sacred space for people of good will and positive consciousness to gather and express themselves freely as divine beings in human form. Gov. Brown recently signed legislation to establish cultural districts throughout California."
Will you sign this petition? Click here: