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Colin Kaepernick mural destroyed in Atlanta days before Super Bowl

ROLLINGOUT.COM — Two days before Super Bowl LIII, a prominent mural of Colin Kaepernick was torn down in Atlanta.

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By A.R. Shaw

Two days before Super Bowl LIII, a prominent mural of Colin Kaepernick was torn down in Atlanta. The mural, which was located on a building that stood across the street from Morehouse College, featured Kaepernick in an Atlanta Falcons uniform.

A.R. Shaw

[/media-credit] A.R Shaw

But on the afternoon of Feb. 1, the entire building was destroyed.

Created by artist Fabian Williams in 2017, the mural became somewhat of a landmark. People from across the nation would visit the mural to take photos in front of it.

“I call this mural Kaeplanta,” Williams told me in June 2017. “I’ve been following his protest since last year. And seeing that he was being shut out by the teams in the NFL, I decided to do a piece with him being in an Atlanta Falcons uniform. I believe what he stands for aligns with the city’s history and legacy.”

Remains of the former building.

[/media-credit] Remains of the former building.

Williams also said, “A lot of the freedoms that we enjoy today is because of the men and women in Atlanta who sacrificed for us. Kaepernick is this generation’s version of that. We should make a space for him. Whether he wins a Super Bowl or not is irrelevant to me. I’m concerned with what he can bring with his sacrifice on and off the field.”

However, a fire occurred on the interior of the building six months ago. The wall remained intact after the fire.

According to the AJC, the owner of the building has yet to reveal why the building was destroyed.

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

This article originally appeared in Rollingout.com

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David Drake: A Potter Who Inscribed His Work With Poetry

It was August 16, 1857. David Drake (c. 1800– c. 1870s), an enslaved African American, had just completed a 19-inch greenware pot. On it he inscribed: “I wonder where is all my relations / Friendship to all and every nation.”

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A pot created by David Drake. Wikipedia photo.

It was August 16, 1857. David Drake (c. 1800– c. 1870s), an enslaved African American, had just completed a 19-inch greenware pot. On it he inscribed: “I wonder where is all my relations / Friendship to all and every nation.”
According to some collectors and scholars, this message demonstrates “Drake questioning his heritage and personal history … signifies [his] positivity despite facing the many brutalities of slavery, including the loss of personal identity.” Further, by etching what is clearly a personal expression, Drake defied a South Carolina law forbidding Blacks to read and write.
South Carolina’s Negro Act of 1740, prohibited educating enslaved Africans, punishable by a fine of 100 pounds and six months in prison. Most Southern states in the early 1800s restricted Black literacy.
Drake’s date of birth is unclear. It is said that it was during the first half of 1800. The first legal record of him (June 13, 1818) describes “a boy about 17 years old country born … mortgaged to Eldrid Simkins by Harvey Drake.”
The (Harvey) Drake family owned a plantation in Edgefield, S.C. The term “country born” refers to enslaved Blacks born in the United States rather than Africa. David Drake lived and worked in Edgefield’s pottery factories for almost all his life.
David Drake was first enslaved by Harvey Drake, who alongside Abner Landrum, owned a large pottery business. Known to be a religious man, Landrum was the publisher of a local newspaper, The Edgefield Hive. Scholars speculate that he taught Drake to read the Bible, even if doing so was a punishable offense.
After Harvey Drake’s death, David Drake was enslaved by Landrum. In 1846, Landrum passed away. Drake was then purchased and enslaved by Landrum’s son Franklin, who was abusive. While owned by Franklin, Drake never inscribed his works. But Drake’s life, his works, blossomed in 1849, when he was sold to Lewis Miles.
Miles owned the pottery factory, Stony Bluff. There Drake created his best works once again inscribed with poetry. The number of pieces produced increased from one every few years to seven in 1859. Having produced alkaline-glazed stoneware jugs between the 1820s and the 1870s, Drake is recognized as the first enslaved potter to inscribe his work. He became a free man when the Civil War closed (1865).
According to Drake scholar Jill Beute Koverman, Drake created “more than 40,000 pieces over his lifetime.”
When Drake was alive, his pots sold for around 50 cents. Today they fetch as much as $50,000 and have auctioned for as much as $369,000. A butter churn with the inscription “This is a noble churn / fill it up it will never turn,” sold for $130,000.
Various collections including his work can be viewed at museums including the Smithsonian collection of the National Museum of American History in Wash., D.C.
It is thought that Drake died in the 1870s because according to scholars, “he is not found in the 1880 census.”

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Alameda County Arts Commission Public Art Call for Artists – One more week to apply!

The application deadline is Wednesday, September 15, 2021 (10:59pm Pacific Time). For more information about the Call for Artists, please visit the Alameda County Arts Commission’s website at http://www.acgov.org/arts.

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ACAC-Public Art Call for Artists

The Alameda County Arts Commission invites visual artists to submit an application to the new Alameda County Artist Registry, a prequalified list of artists that will be used for upcoming public art opportunities managed by the Alameda County Arts Commission. Public art opportunities will include outdoor and indoor projects with a range of budgets and will be appropriate for artists working in a variety of materials and styles.

The Artist Registry will be primarily used to commission visual artists to create new artwork, however, there may be opportunities to purchase or license existing artwork. Artists interested in being considered for public art opportunities with the Alameda County Arts Commission during the next three to four years should apply.

View the complete Call for Artists for details and additional eligibility requirements at https://bit.ly/ArtistRegistryCall. Applications for the Artist Registry must be submitted online through the CaFÉ™ website at https://bit.ly/ACCAFElink.

The application deadline is Wednesday, September 15, 2021 (10:59pm Pacific Time). For more information about the Call for Artists, please visit the Alameda County Arts Commission’s website at http://www.acgov.org/arts.

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My Park Moment Photo show opens in San Francisco Presidio

While a lot of establishments such as restaurants, movies, amusement parks and places where people gather were closed for the past 18 months because of COVID-19, one of the few places people were able to enjoy themselves was at parks.

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Courtesy of Lee Hubbard

While a lot of establishments such as restaurants, movies, amusement parks and places where people gather were closed for the past 18 months because of COVID-19, one of the few places people were able to enjoy themselves was at parks.

The New York based non-profit Photoville wanted to highlight this. With a partnership with the San Francisco Presidio Trust, Photoville presented the My Park Moment photo show, which celebrates people loving parks.  

The photo show features pictures of people at parks throughout the United States. The exhibit at the Presidio is spread out over 14 acres of new parkland with trails over tunnel tops creating scenic overlooks and picnic sites in a dramatic display of public art. It will be up from now until August of 2022.

“This exhibit is a celebration of community,” said Michael Boland, chief Park Development and Visitor Engagement officer at Presidio Trust. “It shows how we as Americans can enjoy open spaces. How people can have fun, get fit, fall in love and do a lot of things outside at parks.”

There were 7,000 photo submissions from professional photographers to people with cell phones, of which 400 were selected for the exhibit. The photos were picked by a committee of artists, photographers, and cultural critics from throughout the Bay Area. 

Outside of the 400 pictures used in the show, four photographers who submitted multiple works were given stipends and highlighted for their work as Visual Story Award winners.

One of the Visual Story Award winners was Sheilby Macena, an Oakland photographer, who has 12 pictures in the My Park Moment exhibit. Her work focuses on the citizens of Oakland and specifically, the merchants at Lake Merritt during the pandemic.

“My work comes from the exhibit Black Joy at Lake Merritt, which shows Black people at the Lake, during the pandemic, particularly along sellers’ row,” said Macena.

Sellers Row was a group of 20 to 50 vendors who set up along Grand Avenue and Lake Shore Drive in Oakland by Lake Merritt. This scene would often conflict with many of the new residents in the area.

“My pictures showed Black life and it was a great way to document folks. It was a fun time, but you knew it wasn’t going to last,” continued Macena.

It didn’t. Nearby residents complained and media attention was brought to the Lake. Today, vendors at the Lake are required to have permits and there is a heavier police presence then what was taking place during the pandemic.

“The pandemic was hard on people and parks,” continued Boland. “Parks for some were the only outlet for people.”

Marissa Leshnov also had her work featured in the Presidio exhibit one Visual Story Award winners. Her work profiled the Oakland OMies, which showed a group of Black women practicing restorative yoga in the Presidio.

“These women came together as Black women, supporting each other and promoting wellness,” said Leshnov. “It’s important that people see themselves reflected in the art and I hope this brings people out to the Presidio to see the exhibit.”

The San Francisco Post’s coverage of local news in San Francisco County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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