Art, Cultural Resistance & Transformation
“There are as many ideas and identities as there are Black people. We have never been a homogenous group. Black presence is fluid. Acknowledging Black presence is acknowledging Black diversity."
Thea Matthews, Artist, Poet, Activist
An interview with Aliyah Dunn-Salahuddin by Jarrel Phillips
Aliyah Dunn-Salahuddin is a professor at City College of San Francisco where she teaches African American history in the United States.
Jarrel Phillips: Talk about your experience in San Francisco. Are you from here?
Aliyah Dunn-Salahuddin: Yes, I’m definitely from San Francisco. My family migrated to San Francisco between the second and third waves of the Great Migration. They came from Kilgore, TX, which is a small railroad town that built up around the 1870s. My grandmother and her sisters came here pretty much just like a lot of other African American people, looking for new opportunities and a different way of life. They were sharecroppers… born on a farm. They didn’t have birth certificates. They did not know how to read. So they wanted to give new opportunities to my mother, who was born in San Francisco.
By Jarrel Phillips
I am a product of San Francisco and San Francisco is a product of me. San Francisco has always been a city in transition, characterized by its commitment to cultural diversity and creative communities. It was once home to a significant and vibrant African American population. San Francisco State University started the nation’s first Black Studies Program in 1968 and the Fillmore District was often called the Harlem of the West. But according to the last census, San Francisco has had one of the largest declines in Black population of any large city since the 1970s when Blacks made up 13.4 percent of the city. By 2013, the Black population was less than half of that and it has declined visibly since then. The African American middle class has almost disappeared and San Francisco’s public schools reflect that continuing decline in population. According to the San Francisco Unified School District, its African American student population plummeted almost 60 percent from 2001 to 2015.
(CLAWS) Collaborative Liberation Arts Workshop Series Spring Session:
a 5-week workshop series using movement and dance to open to change from within.
Biodanza facilitated by Mirjam Krohne
Five Saturdays, April 22 — May 20, 2017
Studio FAB 2525 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94612
CLAWS is a workshop series in Oakland that aims to create a laboratory where we can:
- experiment with new forms of collaboration using writing, theater and movement arts.
- explore how race, class and gender oppression can be resisted and transformed.
- work with one another inside and outside of sessions to create performance, story, and movement that can energize and liberate—personally and socially.
- create a community of reflection, performance and action.
An Interview with Emory Douglas by Jarrel Phillips
Emory Douglas is the former minister of culture and revolutionary artist for the Black Panther Party, who continues to be a progressive artist dealing with social commentary in his artwork.
By Christine Joy Ferrer
Blanca Gotchez Melara remembers it well. The potent fragrance of basil, black melons and geraniums adorning Nativity dioramas in her hometown of Santa Ana, El Salvador.
The Nacimientos or Nativities were never just Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus but a more elaborate arrangement of clay, wax, wood, metal, fabric, and beads depicting the Christ birth. The main focus was the replication of a whole town with three-dimensional illustrations from one’s daily life in a variety of scales, symbolizing one’s connection to one’s environment relative to the Nativity. The dioramas could include, among the biblical scenes, figurines of women making tortillas, farmers milk