Amoeblog

OMCA's Black Panther Exhibit Continues Through Black History Month 2017

Posted by Billyjam, February 6, 2017 09:18pm | Post a Comment

Fittingly the Oakland Museum of California's (OMCA) 50 year anniversary retrospective on the  Black Panthers, that opened a few months back in October 2016, will continue through this month of February: Black History Month 2017.  Entitled All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50 the popular exhibit's final day will be will be just a couple of days shy of the month's end on Feb. 26th when there is a special closing night party for OMCA members. If you have not already checked out this exhibit on the history of the homegrown Oakland revolutionary group you really should do so over the upcoming three weeks. Additionally be sure to read Rickey Vincent's insightful book Party Music on the Black Panthers little known house band The Lumpen who only released one record: the single “Free Bobby Now." Most likely for sale in the OMCA gift shop/book store, the 2014 published book and its author were profiled here on the Amoeblog three years ago during that year's Black History Month.  Meanwhile for their ongoing exhibit, OMCA's curators have set about presenting a balanced, fair, contemporary view of the Panther Party and "its aims to serve oppressed people and fight injustice." This they accomplish with an engaging gallery exhibit that portrays Black Panther members of both genders  with a variety of historical pieces on display. These include many very rare historical artifacts, never-before-seen photographs, first-person accounts from former Panthers, scholars, and community members, and contemporary art show how the Party continues to influence culture and activism locally, nationally, and internationally.

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Four Books to Read This Black History Month

Posted by Amoebite, January 30, 2017 03:10pm | Post a Comment

4 books to read this black history month

Celebrate Black History Month with a good read! These books don't flinch; they're powerful, motivating, and more important than ever. Our roundup includes one classic, two newer releases, and the must-read biography that inspired the Oscar-nominated picture everyone has been buzzing about; that's right, Hidden Figures. As they say, knowledge is power, so this February tuck into one of these excellent paperbacks -- maybe even surprise a friend or a family member with their own copy.

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

The non-fiction book that inspired the critically-acclaimed, box office-topping film starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae was written by Margot Lee Shetterly, herself the daughter of a scientist at Langley Research Center. This #1 New York Times bestseller goes into vivid detail about the groundbreaking, brilliant mathematicians who changed the world through their work on the space program.

Malcolm X

The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

Oakland's Unique "Tech and Soul Food 2016 Black History Month Speaker Series"

Posted by Billyjam, February 2, 2016 06:12pm | Post a Comment


Bay Area Black History Month events in this leap year include the Tech and Soul Food 2016 Black History Month Speaker Series at Impact Hub Oakland. The unique tech-talk-meets-soul-food series takes place over lunch and dinner on Wednesdays catered by Oakland's La Christa's Cafe with a choice of vegan, vegetarian, and meat soul food. The noon to 2pm and 6-8pm programs feature speakers addressing cultural and educational aspects of the modern tech age, all from an African American perspective. Brief talks are followed by a Q&A session. But the main portion of the program is an hour and a half workshop designed to further educate attendees on varied technology topics.

Blacks Online will be the topic discussed by Dawn Elissa Fischer who is a noted professor from San Francisco State University's trailblazing Africana Studies department. Kumi Rauf of I Love Being Black will speak on Online Stores (2/10). Brian Drayton of Oakland Spokes will giving an indepth talk on the innovative ways to utilize crowd sourcing for businesses (2/10). Meanwhile, both Melonie Green (KPOO, Omni Gallery) and "The Uber Rapper" Ashel Seasunz will speak on the topic of Arts and Technology (2/24). Green Technology will be the topic discussed by Ujamaa Villages (2/17).  Kicking off the new series tomorrow (2/3) will be Dream Nefra who will speak during both lunch and dinner sessions on the topic of  Blacks in Technology History.  As well as being a speaker, Dream Nefra is also the organizer of the series that comes under the recently formed Oakland-Berkeley Soul Food Tech meet-up group that is described as a group for people who are "in alliance with the African American community of Oakland, have web development skills to share or be helped on issues in technology" as well as providing soul food.

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Queen Josephine Baker and her banana skirt

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, February 28, 2015 10:25pm | Post a Comment

josephine baker paul colin la revue negre art posrt black history african american dance paris 1920s

Josephine Baker, American expat and French citizen, was a decorated World War II hero and civil rights crusader who spoke at the March on Washington in 1963 next to Martin Luther King, Jr. and further devoted her life to challenging segregation in America while attempting to raise a multiracial, multinational family of twelve children adopted from twelve different countries, her so-clalled "rainbow tribe", to further demonstrate her belief in the possibilities of racial equality. In spite of all her honors, humanitarian efforts, and dignified intentions, Baker is perhaps best known for being the vivacious cabaret dancer in the banana skirt.

josephine baker march on washington world war II hero medal of honor josephine baker rainbow tribe adopted family

Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1906 to a washerwoman and a vaudevillian drummer (who would later abandon them), Josephine took to the stage when she was about a year old. Her parents, who had a song-and-dance act, would occasionally bring her out onstage as a part of their finale, an appearance that unofficially marks the very beginning her 67 year career as an entertainer. Her official start came years later when she dropped out of school at thirteen and lived the life of a street urchin in the St. Louis slums, scavenging garbage cans for food, sleeping in cardboard shelters, and dancing street-corners for money.

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Overview of Recorded Speeches by Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Posted by Billyjam, February 27, 2015 10:14am | Post a Comment

In honor of Black History Month as well as the legacies of both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X I present an overview of some of the available recordings of these two fine African American orators - two activists whose speeches have been sampled numerous times in countless hip-hop tracks - especially back in the golden era of hip-hop when the music was more political. Also in this Amoeblog are a couple of videos of the corresponding speeches by each of these historic political figures. First up is Malcolm X whose 50th anniversary of his death was last Saturday. That day marked the anniversary of when he was shot and killed in New York City on February 21st 1965. Over the years (many after his all too short lifetime that ended months before his 40th birthday)  numerous recordings of speeches by Malcolm X have been released on record and CD, and also digitally. These include the 36 minute Malcolm X Speaks To The People In Harlem (Excerpts), and the 2CD set The Wisdom Of Malcom X whose 29 tracks include such speech segments as "Police Brutality and Mob Violence," "F.B.I. and The Black Muslims," "White News Media," and "Black Women In Prison." Others include The Ballot or The Bullet (Complete Speech) LP, The Unstilled Voice LP, and In His Own Words.

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