A journal dedicated to truth, freedom of speech and radical spiritual consciousness. Our mission is the liberation of men and women from oppression, violence and abuse of any kind, interpersonal, political, religious, economic, psychosexual. We believe as Fidel Castro said, "The weapon of today is not guns but consciousness."
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Toward The BAM/BAMBD Billion Dollar Trust Fund by Marvin X
Toward the BAM/BAMBD Billion Dollar Trust Fund by Marvin X
Economics and the BAMBD
The primary question is how shall we make money in the BAMB District? What about a mixed portfolio? We can walk and chew gum, can't we? Aside from businesses already in the district, what else can be added to monetize? For sure, as artists we have creative properties to monetize. Perhaps this is our essential connection to the BAMBD business persons. Far too often we have the art, the show, but lack show business. Surely business persons can assist us in getting our show business together, e.g, how to package, produce, promote and sell our creations in a professional manner. Let's do things in a big way as a businessman used to tell our community. Do for self is in the BAM tradition. We had no choice but to publish our own writings once it became clear the commercial presses weren't interested in our products. Only a few writers were able to publish commercially. Most of us printed chapbooks to get our works to our people. Today there is publishing on demand and China. The Chinese can give us a very good deal. My daughter recently had her book published there.
But we can begin by taking an inventory of our products. Some of us have archives all over the house, e.g., manuscripts, paintings, audio and video productions. I've made more money from my archives than from my books, and my archives were in boxes that would be trashed upon my transition. This is the usual procedure with us. When the elders depart, we enter the house to take jewelry, China dishes, silverware and other items. But the letters of mom, pop, auntie, grandmother, we throw in the trash, in reality the gold: photos, diaries, scrapbooks, notebooks, etc.
Performing artists can collectively produce concerts, readings, books, audio and video tapes for sell to our people thirsty for conscious knowledge.
My daughter is a Bonds attorney. Some time ago she suggested training young people as bond sales persons. We can raise money for the BAM District through the sale of bonds on the grassroots level as well as on the municipal and state level.
We suggest the Afrikan Women's Market Day and the Black Farmer's Market Day on weekends, maybe in the Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza. Lynette McElhaney, President of the City Council, mentioned how the plaza is underused.
We want street vendors in the district on a daily basis, similar to Berkeley and San Francisco. We can begin with a pilot project from Clay to Franklin along 14th. This will give our people a place to sell their creations and products. This will encourage entrepreneurship among youth and adults.
There can be Art and Soul concerts monthly on different blocks for the exhibition of the many genres of art: paintings, crafts, food, clothing, books, CDs, DVDs; performance: R and B, Jazz, Hip Hop, Spirituals, Spoken Word, lecture/discussions, healing sessions to address the plethora of ills, physical, mental, spiritual.
For sure, we can sell BAM memorabilia: tee shirts, caps, jewelry and other products promoting BAMBD.
We can have tour guides for visitors and local people ignorant and/or curious of BAMBD. The City has a downtown tour guide, but we must expand the tour.
Stores and shops must have high standards with holistic items that will improve our health rather than destroy us physically and mentally.
All merchants in the district should pay membership dues for the greater good. Artists should pay membership dues as well.
We want to acquire housing and other properties for artist space, business space and housing for our people in the downtown area. We suggest the Land Trust for BAMBD properties. The SRO hotels can be acquired and sold with the life estate title, i.e., the people can own their space for life, but upon their transition, it reverts to the Land Trust. Generally speaking, homelessness can be solved over night with the life estate.
Mental health session must be required so we can recover from our addiction to white supremacy, Type I and II (Dr. Nathan Hare).
In order to do for self, we will initially need help from City, State and Federal agencies, along with generous donations from Silicon Valley firms and Globalists who have caused much of the displacement and destruction of the cultural vitality of our community. Governor Jerry Brown recently passed legislation to establish cultural districts throughout California.
As per the Oakland Downtown Plan, there may be the need for an immediate moratorium on rents and evictions in the BAMBD. The final Downtown Plan should include the necessary changes in the zoning laws, permits and tax structure.
We need to establish a billion dollar trust fund for the district. This should be enough to endow us for the next few years as we pass the baton to our children. They won't be able to say, "Why ya'll didn't leave us nothin' (somethin')?
These are some of my thoughts. What do you think? We welcome your comments.
The BAMBD is part of the City of Oakland’s downtown plan for the next 25 to 50 years. If it is to survive and thrive, the must be an independent endowment trust fund established to avoid city politics and budget crises that may cause defunding of the BAMB. So while we are not averse to receiving grant funds from city, state and governmental agencies, the BAMBD Billion Trust Fund would insure an independent repository of funds for the life blood of the BAMBD. We want the trust fund to be primary supported by the North American African people of Oakland and elsewhere throughout the nation. It will be a symbol of self-determination of the people. While we would not turn down funding from government and corporate entities, The BAMBD Billion Dollar Trust Fund should symbolize and express the spirit of cultural and economic independence of the Black Arts Movement. As citizens, we have every right to receive funds from governmental and corporate agencies but the primary contributors to the fund should be North American Africans. In the past, too many of our organizations have been funded by persons and agencies not in harmony with the true aspirations of North American Africans. It must be clear that we will not compromise our principles and values for financial assistance. We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors who called for cultural and economic independence.
Priorities of BAMBD Billion Dollar Trust Fund
As indicated in the BAMBD pillars, housing is a priority. There must be market rate and affordable housing for workers, artists and common people in the BAMBD. We propose all properties in the BAMBD should be placed under the land trust to preserve land and properties for future generations, especially to stem the tide of gentrification. To help end homelessness, we seek to acquire SRO hotels for the homeless and grant them life estate titles to their dwellings. This will end a certain degree of homelessness overnight. Housing would assist those recently released from incarceration and those suffering from drug abuse, mental illness and partner abuse.
The BAMBD trust fund would acquire commercial properties for the district that would include office space, retail space, performance and exhibit space. In certain cases, we may need to re-gentrify properties for the benefit of the BAMBD community, placing such properties under the land trust.
We propose the establishment of the Dr.David Blackwell Institute of Math, Science, Technology and Art as an anchor educational institution in the BAMBD. The institute is in honor of the great North American mathematician who taught at the University of California, Berkeley. We invite UC Berkeley to partner with BAMBD in the establishment of the Blackwell STEM and Art institute. Silicon Valley corporations should also support the Blackwell Institute.
Again, the BAMBD trust should rely on the primary support of North American Africans who do indeed have the wealth to fund their cultural and economic endeavors.
The BAMBD Billion Dollar Trust Fund would be under the direction of a community board with a vision for the future.
We invite non-profit groups in the BAMBD area and vicinity to partner with us to make the BAMBD a reality. We would especially appreciate such groups partnering with us to apply to the MacArthur Foundation’s 100 Million RFP for long range projects with broad community support.
MONDAY, JANUARY 16, 2017
How Marvin X would allocate the BAMBD Billion Dollar Trust Fund
Marvin X, the Black Arts Movement Business District co-founder and planner, suggests the BAMBD Billion Dollar Trust Fund would be allocated as follows:
$100 million for General Fund
$100 million for Five Year Plan
$200 million for mixed use rental housing (seniors, artists, workers, mentally disabled, recently incarcerated, single parents)
$100 million for mortgage loans, especially for purchase of modified SRO hotel rooms with life estate titles for the chronically homeless, thus ending homelessness overnight
$100 million for job training
$ 100 million for micro and macro loans to entrepreneurs
$100 million to establish the David Blackwell STEM Institute (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
$100 for land and real estate acquisition
$100 for reentry assistance to displaced former residents of Oakland
TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 2017
we love africa! marvin x speaks on the black arts movement business district
This event is to honor and uplift our Black and African community. We will be showcasing the richness and diversity of the Black and African culture through food, dance, music, and fashion. We will be collaborating with Black and African businesses to help give them a platform in the community while encouraging people to purchase products and services from them. This event as a whole will unify and bring together communities who may feel that they are alone or marginalized in this era of gentrification. We will encourage standing together, standing tall, and working together to make our community flourish.
Bio of Marvin X
Marvin X was born May 29, 1944, Fowler CA, nine miles south of Fresno in the central valley of California. In Fresno his parents published the Fresno Voice, a black newspaper.
Marvin attended Oakland’s Merritt College where he encountered fellow students how became Black Panther Party co-founders Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. They taught him black nationalism. Marvin’s first play Flowers for the Trashman was produced by the Drama department at San Francisco State University, 1965. Marvin X dropped out to established his own Black Arts West Theatre in the Fillmore, 1966, along with playwright Ed Bullins. Months later Marvin would co-found Black House with Eldridge Cleaver, 1967.
Marvin introduced Eldridge Cleaver to Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. Eldridge immediately joined the Black Panther Party. Huey Newton said, “Marvin X was my teacher, many of our comrades came from his Black Arts Theatre: Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Emory Douglas and Samuel Napier.”
One of the movers and shakers of the Black Arts Movement (BAM) Marvin X has published 30 books, including essays, poetry, and his autobiography Somethin’ Proper. Important books include Fly to Allah, poems, Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality, essays on consciousness, and How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, a manual based on the 12 step Recovery model.
Marvin received his MA in English/Creative writing from San Francisco State University, 1975. He has taught at San Francisco State University, Fresno State University, UC Berkeley and San Diego, Mills College, Merritt and Laney Colleges in Oakland, University of Nevada, Reno. He lectures coast to coast at such colleges and universities as University of Arkansas, University of Houston, Morehouse and Spelman, Atlanta, University of Virginia, Howard University, Univ. of Penn, Temple Univ., Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, UMASS, Boston.
His latest book is the Wisdom of Plato Negro, parables/fables, Black Bird Press, Berkeley. He currently teaches at his Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland. Ishmael Reed says, “Marvin X is Plato teaching on the streets of Oakland." For speaking, readings and performance, contact Marvin X @ email@example.com, 510-200-4164. www.blackbirdpressnews.blogspot.com