Tuesday, November 8, 2016

BAMBD calls for Town Hall Meeting: Toward Nonviolence in the Black Arts Movement Business District, 14th Street corridor

Monday, November 7, 2016

BAMBD Calls for a Town Hall Meeting: Toward Non-Violence in the Black Arts Movement Business District along the 14th Street corridor

For Immediate Release

November 5, 2016

Shooting in the 400 block of 14th Street

On November 5, 2016, just after 12:00 a.m., Oakland police officers responded to the 400 block of 14th Street on a report of a shooting. Officers were in the area and heard the shots. When officers arrived on scene, multiple victims were medically transported to local hospitals and some victims self-initialed transport to local hospitals.
Currently, the Oakland Police Department Felony Assault Section investigators are conducting an investigation. At this time, it appears the shooting took place outside.
Comment from The Movement, publication of the BAMBD
Toward Non-violence in the BAMBD
When I taught at Fresno State University, 1969, I thought my life was in danger when Gov. Ronald  Reagan told the State College Board of Trustees, "Get Marvin X off campus by any means necessary!" I had bodyguards everyday I taught at FSU. At 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland, I have no bodyguards except the people who watch every thing I do. They watch how I treat the people, how I talk to the mentally ill and others. They listen to the  sound of my voice. "My grandson informed me, 'Grandpa, you really are a nice person. And you're very funny too!" FYI, I am heart broken at the violence in the BAMBD. My classroom has been the center of protests at 14th and Broadway, e.g., Oscar Grant, Occupy Oakland, police violence and other issues. I was not prepared to get tear gassed a few minutes after the Marine was shot in the head by police at 14th and Broadway. I am too old for this, I told myself as I took refuge in Burger King, but the tear gas followed us inside. A child was coughing and puking from the tear gas. And this ain't war? --Marvin X
In our original vision for the Black Arts Movement Business District, we imagined an "...Afro-centric, culturally  and artistically rich, economically sustainable area, a sacred space for people of good will and positive consciousness to gather and express themselves freely as divine beings in human form."

BAMBD Planner-poet Marvin X and Lynette McElhaney, President of the Oakland City Council.

Even before and since January 19, when  the Oakland City Council made official the BAMBD, violence has revealed its ugly head to test our dream of a sacred space for our cultural survival and thrival. We have appealed repeatedly to City Council President Lynette McElhaney to fly the Universal African flag as an expression of cultural consciousness. Even after Madam Mayor Libby Schaaf was made aware of our request to fly the Red, Black and Green throughout the BAMBD and asked Madam President about the delay, banners yet fly to inspire North American Africans in Oakland to be their better selves. In the past, we have talked about Gay Pride in San Francisco and how their flag flies along Market Street to the Castro, their cultural district. People are careful not to be disrespectful in the Castro. Homophobia is not tolerated. Symbols go a long way to letting people know they are in a sacred space. 
Banners in the BAMBD will let ourselves and the world know we are civilized and divine beings in human form. Uncivilized behavior will not be tolerated in the BAMBD. It appears security is a top priority in the BAMBD. If we cannot secure our sacred space, it becomes another space controlled by those who do not believe in peace, persons who do not believe in good will. To enter the BAMBD, such persons must enter recovery programs to address their negative behavior. Membership in the BAMBD shall be based on civilized behavior. No physical violence, no verbal violence. The greeting should be, "Peace, I appreciate you sister, brother!" 
Does BAMBD need our own security force? Perhaps, especially if the OPD cannot secure the BAMBD. There are many cultural and business districts who provide their own security. 
We have also called for vendors as a symbol of economic self-determination. Do for Self! For years we have questioned why there are no vendors on the streets of Oakland, although there are vendors in the downtown area of Berkeley and San Francisco. Vendors can be a symbol of economic vitality, especially since we occupy few properties in the BAMBD. North American African street vendors can inspire economic entrepreneurship. Brothers and sisters seeing such entrepreneurship should be inspired to be positive rather than negative, especially in the BAMBD. City Hall responded that vendors are a policy issue. Well, eleven months have passed and the vendor request has not been addressed. Vendors are now ready to occupy the BAMBD when the word is given.
BAMBD Board Chair, Rt. Col. Conway Jones, Jr. at statue of Tommy Smith and John Carlos, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Wash., D.C.
We think addressing the points above, will help create a positive atmosphere in the BAMBD. As artists, vendors, residents, business persons, perhaps a Town Hall Meeting is in order. We have therefore asked the BAMBD Community Development Corporation Board Chair, Rt. Col. Conway Jones, Jr. to call a Town Hall Meeting to address critical issues in the BAMBD, especially security, vending, business improvement and development, housing, artist space, developers, gentrification, etc. We request the presence of City Officials, including the Council President and the Mayor. City Planners should be present. As per the Planning Commission, we suggest Mayor Libby Schaaf appoint BAMBD Chair Conway Jones, Jr., as a member. We call upon all City and County agencies to keep BAMBD abreast of all issues relating to our district. BAMBD must be informed on all matters relating to and/or occurring in the BAMBD. 
The BAMBD Townhall should be a meeting and greeting of all persons and groups associated with the BAMBD. Stay tuned for date, time and place of BAMBD Town Hall. Call The Post News Group for more information: 510-287-8200.

--Marvin X. Jackmon, M.A.,
BAMBD Co-founder/Planner

The BAMBD Cultural Keepers at Oakland City Hall

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