Friday, June 10, 2016

Dr. Ayodele Nzinga replies to Lynette McElhaney on Marvin X and Tale of the Eloquent Peasant

Dr. Ayodele Nzinga replies to President Lynette McElhaney's response to Marvin X and Tale of the Eloquent Peasant

Dear Madam President McElhaney,

Marvin X, my mentor and elder, found your response quite eloquent and urged me to respond to you since you referenced my efforts in engaging the community to help with the implementation of a Black Arts Movement Business District. I am deeply committed to the creation of a Black Arts Movement Business District as envisioned by those who dreamed it fifty years ago. Marvin X and the late Amiri Baraka, both internationally known founding members of The Black Arts Movement envisioned Black Cultural Districts nationwide. In his hometown, Newark, New Jersey, Baraka called his vision The Jazz District. Marvin’s vision for his hometown, Oakland CA., is an immense one. It is in service to that dream that I join the conversation.

Your reply reminds us of the weight of your responsibilities as a council person and you state your current priorities. Thank you for offering us your understanding of where BAMBD fits into current City of Oakland matters as well as the short outline for implementing the stages of BAMBD.  As a resident of District 3 who works and lives in the BAMBD footprint, I appreciate your timely update. There is a great deal of community interest in the successful implementation of a vibrant cultural district that will help address some of the issues that are priorities for you.

The things you are prioritizing should indeed be pressing issues for the entire council. I note that some of your priorities align the proposed pillars of BAMBD, which we envision as a comprehensive entity with a design that addresses pressing needs of Oakland’s disenfranchised and marginalized North American African communities in a wholistic fashion.

In my humble opinion, the successful implementation of the Black Arts Movement Business District is the only tangible solution currently offered to provide relief to a portion of the city’s population who feel they are part of a purge. Neither 90 day moratoriums, nor plans to provide affordable housing in 2020 will serve those who need solutions to exorbitant rents now. Considering the fact that $2,270.00 a month is the median rent for a one bedroom in Oakland according to Zumper which places Oakland in a tie for 5th on a list of the most expensive cities in America for renters, housing is certainly a pressing issue, which if unaddressed will result in the continued exodus of low and moderate income people from Oakland. If something is not done there will be no substantial North American African population in Oakland to enjoy or benefit from a Cultural District.

We look forward to the implementation of BAMBD and its potential to provide additional economic opportunity in Oakland.  The same population plagued by negative interactions with law enforcement is by and large the same group that is affected by housing issues and urgently needs the work you are attempting with police reform. A recent report cites that much of the cycle of violence in Oakland can be tied to structural disparity; that cycle of disparity places the disenfranchised in negative relationship with law enforcement and hastens gentrification while amplifying displacement.

I applaud your efforts to speak to the negative relationship with law enforcement and its deadly effect. I eagerly await the opportunity to assist in the implementation of BAMBD to offer a space to grow solutions that speak to your priorities as well as our vision for North American African survival and meaningful progress in Oakland.   

I am also encouraged by your acknowledgment of our community organizing, our visioning and collaborative research of existing cultural districts to better inform any decision of what form our own district should adopt. To that end I request a meeting with you to discuss pending development in the BAMBD footprint and to formally request the assistance of your office in the process of drafting community benefit requests for any and all pending development within the footprint.  

I look forward to the reconvening of the Culture Keepers to hear your progress on these matters and to work closely with you to make BAMBD a comprehensively designed vehicle that offers tangible ways to address our total needs.

In Service,

Ayodele Nzinga, MFA, PhD

Founding Director,

Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc

BAMBD Servant & Architect 

Agenda of the Black Arts Movement Business District Town Hall Meeting, Sunday, June 12, 3-6PM
by Aries Jordan
Aries Jordan


The next Black Arts Movement Business District Town Hall is scheduled for Sunday, June 12/2016, 3-5pm at East Side Arts Alliance, 23rd and International Blvd, Oakland.

 Inline image 2

Table of Contents
1. Geoffery's Inner Circle
2. Calendar of Events
3. Will we resist America's Black removal plan? Marvin X 
4. Marshawn Lynch's Beast Mode opens in the BAMBD
5. Joyce Gordon Gallery 
6. Anyka's Betti Ono Gallery
7. Marvin X and the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant
8. Lynette McElhaney replies to Marvin X and the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant 
9. Dr. Ayodele Nzinga replies to President of Oakland Council, Lynette McElhaney's response to Marvin X and the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant
10. African American Museum/Library
11.The Last Rites of Muhammad Ali and review of film Muhammad Ali
12. Malonga Center for the Arts 
13. Kiss My Black Arts
14. Two poems by Aries Jordan
15. Economy tied to gun violence in Oakland
16. Oakland Main Library
17. Book discussion of Black Hollywood unChained edited by Ishmael Reed, San Francisco Public Library, July 3, 2016
18. Hillary Clinton wins Democratic presidential primary: a good or bad day for women?
19. Black woman crowned Miss America 
20. The Black Panther Party and the Black Arts Movement Business District 
21. Black people in the USA are in a state of economic emergency 
22. BAMBD Town Hall meeting agenda Aries Jordan 
23. Poem by Black Arts Movement chief architect ancestor Amiri Baraka 
24. Qatar and the BAMBD Billion Dollar Trust Fund 
25. BAMBD Supporters: Donald Lacy, Fania Davis, Margaret Gordon
 BAMBD Culture keepers will meet soon.


 Businessman Geoffery Pete, Post News photographer Troy Williams and BAMBD planner Marvin X

                                CALENDAR OF EVENTS

BAMBD Town Hall, Sunday, June 12, 3-6pm, Eastside Arts
San Francisco Juneteenth Festival, Saturday, June 18

Berkeley Juneteenth Festival, Sunday, June 19

West Oakland Juneteenth, June 25, San Pablo and Brockhurst

Book Discussion of Black Hollywood unChained, San Francisco Public Library,
July 3, 1:30-3:30
100 Larkin Street, Civic Center, San Francisco

25th Oakland Black Expo, Saturday, July 23, Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza

City of Oakland Cultural Keepers, Tuesday, July 26, 6-8pm, Oak Center Cultural Center, 14th and Adeline

Black Arts Movement Theatre Festival, Sept, Flight Deck Theatre, Broadway

Donald Lacy's play Color Struck, Laney College Theatre, Sept.

Black Arts Movement South 51st Celebration, Dillard University, New Orleans LA
September 9-11, 2016

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