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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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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The Legend of Lead Belly Lives On With New Documentary and Releases

Posted by Billyjam, February 25, 2015 12:50pm | Post a Comment
He may have died 66 long years ago but the highly influential Delta blues artist Lead Belly's music is very much alive and well, as witnessed by the two new Lead Belly releases having dropped this month (Black History Month) - two CD releases whose content overlaps somewhat. A few weeks ago the Lead Belly / Woody Guthrie 1940 New York City radio station session WNYC Radio New York 12th December 1940 CD arrived in Amoeba via Keyhole Records. And this week the fine folks at the Smithsonian unleashed the 5CD set Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection which includes some of the same Lead Belly WNYC recordings found on one of the five CDs. The five CDs total include a total of 108 Lead Belly songs most of which are culled from the Folkways' deep archives - much previously released and found at Amoeba's online store. Sixteen of these tracks, collectors will be pleased to learn, are previously unreleased Lead Belly recordings.  Also included in the Smithsonian set is an engaging accompanying 140-page booklet that contains various essays, lots of photographs of the blues legend born Huddie Ledbetter in Louisiana in 1888, whose influences run long and deep with fans including the likes of John Fogerty, Kurt Cobain, Van Morrison, Tom Jones, Tom Waits, Robert Plant, Lonnie Donegan, and Ben Harper.

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