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Artist Ise Lyfe Turns Abandoned Housing Project into Work of Art

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Abandoned, boarded up, and forgotten about housing complexes sit in communities throughout Oakland. Now, one artist has returned to his hometown to transform one dilapidated East Oakland housing project, Greenside, into a work of art.

Oakland native and renowned international and interdisciplinary artist Ise Lyfe is using the property to showcase a new level of a conceptual multi-media art exhibit.

“I feel it’s really important to take the opportunity to tell the story, not only of this particular site but of folks growing up in public housing,” said Ise Lyfe. “I see housing as a human right, and all people have a right to good housing, healthy housing.”

Ise Lyfe has been featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam series and traveled the world telling stories of struggle, pain, sacrifice, growth, and change. Unwilling to forget his hometown, he has pushed himself to the limit to create a body of “provocative” art that tells a story of Oakland’s public housing system in the art exhibit, “Brighter than Blight”.

Greenside housing complex, located on the corner of 77th and Bancroft avenues, has been condemned for a decade. During the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, the project was a major hub for drugs, violence, and illegal activity. Ise Lyfe and his brother Michael Savannah grew up in East Oakland and now call the abandoned complex the “standing dinosaur” of the community.

“For years this site was notorious for illegal activity, but a lot of people have come from this place and survived the struggle of living in Oakland,” said Savannah, who is managing the “Brighter than Blight” project. Oakland’s Affordable Housing Initiative provided the funding for Ise Lyfe to produce the project. The Oakland Housing Authority and District 6 City Councilmember Desley Brooks have also fully supported the program.

“The story of East Oakland is typically told from a negative lens… In the Brighter Than Blight Art Exhibit Ise Lyfe has brilliantly communicated the beauty, creativity, complexity, strength, humor and depth of the lives of the residents of “Greenside”,” said Councilmember Brooks. “This project is the first of its kind in the country between a local artist, a city council office and a Public Housing Authority. I am thankful to Oakland Housing Authority Executive Director Eric Johnson and his staff and the California Affordable Housing Initiative for their vision and courage to move this project forward,” she said.

Ise Lyfe’s conceptual art exhibit will showcase’ photography, paintings, sculptures, and literary works to tell the story of public housing. A tribute to grandmother’s house, video montages featuring testimonials of former Greenside residents and life size print-outs of provoking spoken word pieces are just a few of the art projects being featured. Savannah says the project is geared to serve as “a voice for those who won’t speak for themselves, to speak for the good and bad happening in public housing so stories won’t go untold.”

More than 30 young people, many of whom are living in public housing complexes, will serve as guides, directing guest through the hour-long exhibit; some youth will share their narratives of growing up in public housing in hopes of encouraging people to become apart of the discourse.

Ise Lyfe hopes his work sparks a trend for more art projects of this sort to happen, and project manager Michael Savannah says expanding the project throughout the city is definitely something they are thinking about once this project is completed.

“When we say ghetto and hood, we think Black. With “Brighter than Blight”, I am saying we are brighter than the negative circumstances here,” Ise Lyfe said.

The exhibit will show for two weeks, June 21 – 23 and June 28 – 30. When the exhibit closes, the art will be placed in museums and public housing complexes throughout the city. Admission to the event is free and all are encouraged to attend.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/BrighterThanBlight. Visit the Post News Group’s website to get a first look at a pieces he has created for the exhibit. Visit www.postnewsgroup.com

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Bay Area

A Win for the Warriors, A Win for the Community

Fans screamed their admiration and from there, the hype was permanent. From the open-roofed buses, players waved to fans and threw merchandise like glasses and shirts. Once you heard crowds of people shouting “MVP! MVP”, you knew that the star player, Stephen Curry, came down the street.

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Warriors Greeted Like Heroes by Dub Nation Fans in S.F. About 1 million people crowded the Market Street Parade route in downtown San Francisco Monday as the Warriors celebrated the fourth championship in eight years. Alongside his wife, Ayesha, Steph Curry hoists his MVP trophy to the raucous glee of Dub Nation fans who traveled from as far away as Ohio, Texas, Seattle, Washington and Ontario, Canada. NBA photo.
Warriors Greeted Like Heroes by Dub Nation Fans in S.F. About 1 million people crowded the Market Street Parade route in downtown San Francisco Monday as the Warriors celebrated the fourth championship in eight years. Alongside his wife, Ayesha, Steph Curry hoists his MVP trophy to the raucous glee of Dub Nation fans who traveled from as far away as Ohio, Texas, Seattle, Washington and Ontario, Canada. NBA photo.

By Sarah Clemens, Makiah Hiley and Daisha Williams

The Golden State Warriors have proved yet again that they are winners and they showed their appreciation for the fans with the party of all parties.

More than 1 million fans reportedly came to the parade held by the Dubs on Monday in celebration of their win against the Boston Celtics on June 16 with a score of 103-90 in the sixth game of the series.

By 7 a.m., fans who had come from around the Bay Area on BART, Caltrans, bike, ferry as well as those who had traveled from as far away as the state of Washington, Ohio, Texas and Canada had lined both sides of the parade route, which ran along Market Street from Main to Eighth Street.

Before the parade began, the Warriors team members, coaches, owners and more were welcomed to a dais displaying all four of the team’s NBA Championship trophies from 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2022.

The parade started a little after 11:20 a.m. as the day reached its high of 81 degrees. Despite the heat and crowding, the atmosphere was one of overwhelming joy.

Upon arrival at the event, you’d see diverse warrior fans with ages as low as 2 and as old as 72 all decked out in merch, full of excitement. At different spots, hot dogs, cold drinks, jello shots and merch were all being sold in scattered areas of the street and the scent of marijuana lingered in the air.

While waiting for the parade to start, you’d see clumps of fans hustling to get a good view with a lot of fans even climbing to high ground like light poles and bus shelters.

Golden State Warrior Draymond Green shrugs wryly while holding the championship trophy while riding along in his party bus on San Francisco’s Market Street on Monday. Twitter photo.

Golden State Warrior Draymond Green shrugs wryly while holding the championship trophy while riding along in his party bus on San Francisco’s Market Street on Monday. Twitter photo.

Convertible cars holding politicians and other dignitaries including three Bay Area mayors: Libby Schaaf of Oakland, London Breed of San Francisco and Sam Liccardo of San Jose. U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi was also present as was Rep. Barbara Lee who came in after celebrating Juneteenth the day before in her home state of Texas.

But the crowd roared to life at the sighting Draymond Green, whose bus was the first on the parade route.

Fans screamed their admiration and from there, the hype was permanent. From the open-roofed buses, players waved to fans and threw merchandise like glasses and shirts. Once you heard crowds of people shouting “MVP! MVP”, you knew that the star player, Stephen Curry, came down the street.

People went crazy as Curry graced the streets alongside his wife, Ayesha.

Klay Thompson rocks his captain’s hat after losing his championship cap while traveling on his boat to the parade. Instagram photo.

Klay Thompson rocks his captain’s hat after losing his championship cap while traveling on his boat to the parade. Instagram photo.

Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Gary Payton II frequently got off their buses to mingle with the crowd, taking selfies, glad-handing and in Payton’s case, dousing the crowd with a water cannon.

“You guys, Steph Curry is up there!” a girl excitedly told her friends, sometimes referred to as the greatest shooter in NBA history. Jerseys saying “Curry” were most common, but so were other blue and gold outfits, including a girl wearing a Warrior’s banner as a cape.

As the parade passed, fans breached the barriers, taking over Market Street despite the best efforts of police. But there were no security problems.

The Warriors have had a tough time recently and in their remarks several players have said that the lows have made this victory all the more sweet.

After losing the past two years, no one expected them to win this year’s championship especially since several well-known players suffered injuries.

In the end, the ups and downs left everyone, both the players and the fans, in high spirits.

When asked about how winning the championship felt, especially after enduring so many injuries, Klay Thompson said, “Just going to breakfast after and seeing everyone in the neighborhood so excited…That’s what it’s about.” He continued, “It’s the small things in life that inspire you to keep going like taking a picture with an old lady or a kid.”

This sentiment, the feelings of love and joy, is what makes the Warriors such a special team, and part of what makes the Bay such a special place.

Other sources for this story include CBSNews, Kron4 News, USA Today and The San Francisco Chronicle.

Sarah Clemens, Makiah Hiley and Daisha Williams are Oakland School of the Arts students working as interns for the Post Newspaper Group.

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Bay Area

“Youth Sports Nation” to Support Northern California Youth Baseball All-Star State Tournament in Oakland

Terry T. Butler (“Mr. Community”) and MLB-Oakland A’s legend Bip Roberts of Youth Sports Nation will host by providing ballpark entertainment and building excitement around baseball. “As alumni of the Oakland Babe Ruth Baseball League, our goal at Youth Sports Nation is to teach the conception of unification and sportsmanship through the game of baseball,” said Roberts.

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MLB-Oakland A’s Legend Bip Roberts (left) and music legend Terry T. “Mr.Community.” Photo courtesy of Youth Sports Nation.
MLB-Oakland A’s Legend Bip Roberts (left) and music legend Terry T. “Mr.Community.” Photo courtesy of Youth Sports Nation.

Special to The Post

Music & Sports Legends Group Youth Sports Nation will support the Oakland Babe Ruth Cal Ripken Baseball League as the league hosts the Northern California Youth State Baseball All-Star Tournament.

The seven-day tournament — from July 2 – 8, 2022, will take place at Oakland’s Carter Gilmore Field at 1390 66th Ave. Games begin at 9 a.m. including the holiday weekend. There is no cost to attend.

Terry T. Butler (“Mr. Community”) and MLB-Oakland A’s legend Bip Roberts of Youth Sports Nation will host by providing ballpark entertainment and building excitement around baseball.

“As alumni of the Oakland Babe Ruth Baseball League, our goal at Youth Sports Nation is to teach the conception of unification and sportsmanship through the game of baseball,” said Roberts.

Oakland is one of eight cities in northern California that will host games. The other cities are Hayward, Rohnert Park, Tracy, Woodland, Elk Grove, River Park and Windsor.

This statewide tournament, which differs from Little League baseball in that players use a regulation size field, is for 12-year-old competitors. The winners of this tournament will advance to a regional section tournament and perhaps move on to compete in the Babe Ruth Cal Ripken World Series.

“With the need to increase community activities, we’re bringing families together through the game of baseball,” say board members of Cal Ripken Babe Ruth Baseball.

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Activism

Sheriff’s Deputies Skate with Marin City Youth

Sgt. Scotto and Deputy Gasparini, two officers from the Marin County Probation Department, came to interact with the youths and help them learn to skate and play basketball. Sharika Gregory, who hosted the event, really appreciates how Scotto and Gasparini interacted with the kids and said that it made a great difference.

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Top: Scotto lifting Aria, 7, so she can make her basketball shot. Middle: Sgt. Scotto and Dep. Gasparini of the Marin County Probation Department. Bottom: Scotto playing limbo. (Photos by Godfrey Lee)
Top: Scotto lifting Aria, 7, so she can make her basketball shot. Middle: Sgt. Scotto and Dep. Gasparini of the Marin County Probation Department. Bottom: Scotto playing limbo. (Photos by Godfrey Lee)

By Godfrey Lee

The Father’s Day Skating event on Sunday, June 12, at the Golden Gate Village’s Basketball Court in Marin City was a successful event that contributed positively to the relationship between the Marin County Sheriff’s Department and the Marin City community and helped some of the children get to know the officers.

Sgt. Scotto and Deputy Gasparini, two officers from the Marin County Probation Department, came to interact with the youths and help them learn to skate and play basketball. Sharika Gregory, who hosted the event, really appreciates how Scotto and Gasparini interacted with the kids and said that it made a great difference.

During the event, Scotto helped lift Aria, a 7-year-old girl, so she could make a basketball shot into the basket. Later Scotto played limbo with the children and tried his best to go under the rope.

The community generously contributed to the skating event. The Corte Madera Safeway and Costco donated the food. The Costco in Novato gave the skates. The Target in Marin City and the Marin County Probation Department also gave skates and gift cards.

Rev. Stephanie Ryder and the Redwood Presbyterian Church in Larkspur, also donated money to help to buy more skates for the events.

Gregory said that this was a very wholesome event for the community and will continue to host similar events in the future.

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