at Oakland City Council Black History Celebration.
photo Adam Turner, BAMBD Media Team/Post News Group
The audience stood to sing the Black National Anthem by James Weldon Johnson:
Lift Every Voice and Sing
Till earth and
Ring with the harmonies of
Let our rejoicing rise,
The list'ning skies, let it resound loud as the
Sing a song full of faith that the
Dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of
The hope that the present has brought
Facing the rising sun of our new day
Let us march on till victory is
Stony the road we trod,
Felt in the day that hope
Unborn had died;
Yet with a steady
Have not our weary feet,
Come to the
Place on which our fathers sighed?
Come over a way that with tears has been
We have come, treading our path
Through the blood of the slaughtered,
The gloomy past, till now we stand at
Where the white gleam of our star is
God of our weary years,
Our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus
Far on the way;
Thou who has by thy
Led us into the light,
Forever in the path, we pray
Lest our feet
Stray from the places, our God, where we met
Least our hearts, drunk with the wine of
The world, we forget thee,
Shadowed beneath the
May we forever stand,
Tru to our
Tru to our native land
When she called Marvin X to the mike, he called for a United Front of all Oakland citizens. Marvin X recently moved to the ideological position long held by his dear friend of 47 years, Black Arts Movement chief architect Amiri Baraka. Baraka repeatedly called for the United Front against imperialism and globalism.
Amiri Baraka (RIP) and Marvin X. They enjoyed a 47 year friendship as Black Arts Movement movers and shakers.
Marvin praised President McElhaney and the entire city council for passing legislation proclaiming the Black Arts Movement Business District along the 14th Street corridor downtown. He asked the crowd were they ready to see the Red, Black and Green flag flying along the BAMBD corridor. They shouted yes!
Earlier in the day the poet/planner had a conversation with his adviser and childhood friend, Paul Cobb, Publisher of the Oakland Post News Group. Paul chided him for his leadership style that apparently came from his work in the Black Arts Theatre. Paul said, "You can't treat people like they're actors in one of your plays. You must share leadership in a communal manner. And you can't be paranoid like your friends Bobby Seale and Huey Newton were in the Black Panther Party. You must trust people to some extent. Everybody is not your enemy and didn't somebody tell you there are more people who love you than hate you?"
Paul Cobb's Editor, Chauncey Bailey
assassinated at 14th and Alice,downtown
in the now declared Black Arts Movement Business District.
The BAMBD shall honor Chauncey Bailey.
Bay Area Artists and Activists honor the memory of Chauncey Bailey at
the Joyce Gordon Gallery in the BAMBD, 14th and Franklin.
photo Adam Turner and Gene Hazzard, Post News Group
After listening to Paul, Marvin X went home for a power nap before the event at City Hall. But after a few minutes he got a call from Newark, New Jersey. It was Mrs. Amina Baraka, widow of Black Arts Movement chief architect Amiri Baraka.
Professor Molefe Asante, Mrs. Amina Baraka, Marvin X, Amiri Baraka, Jr. and Kenny Gamble, Producer of the Philly Sound. They participated in the Black Power Babies conversation produced by Muhammida El Muhajir and Black Talk Radio station WURD, Philadelphia.
Mrs. Baraka told him she'd just talked with art workers in Oakland that she had told him to avoid but was now calling to let him know she'd changed her mind and he must call for a United Front of the entire radical and progressive community; not just Blacks, but Asians, Latinos, Whites, Native Americans and gender groups.
"The time is too critical for disunity. You must call for the United Front of the entire community or we're doomed. If you call for the United Front, I will put all my resources behind your Black Arts Movement Business District. If my son, Ras Baraka, Mayor of Newark, cannot come the the West Coast to assist you, I will send one of my other sons. You know I have four sons: Amiri Baraka, Jr., is the Mayor's chief of staff. My other sons are Obalaji and Ahi. I will send you whatever books of my husband you need, and give you rights to produce any of his dramatic works. just do the United Front!"
BAMBD also calls upon the City to stop their eviction of Anyka Barber's Betti Ono Gallary, an essential venue in the BAMBD.
Gallery owner Anyka Barber is facing eviction from the BAMBD
by the City of Oakland. We must fight her eviction! Black Businesswomen
Matter! We call upon President McElhaney and Mayor Libby Schaaf
to stop the eviction of our sister.
Bishop J.E. Watkins gave the opening prayer and said he is opening a TV studio at Liberty Hall, the building founded by the Garvey Movement.
Elaine was introduced and invited everyone to the 50th Anniversary of the Black Panther Party that will take place at the Oakland Museum of California in October.