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Geraldine Gillette Earp, 100

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Geraldine Gillette Earp

Centenarian Geraldine Gillette Earp died peacefully in her Coventry Park seniors assisted living residence Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, shortly after learning of the Biden-Harris win.

Born in Des Arc, Ark., on Feb. 16, 1920, she was a California resident for the past 80 years.

The eighth child and fifth girl in a family of 12 children, Earp is survived by her youngest sibling, Maxwell Gillette of San Francisco.

Earp grew up in Arkansas and came to California in1937 following her first husband, George Purdom. Other family members — Papa Charlie, Mama Emma, sisters Edythe and Gladys, and brothers Roscoe, Harold, and Maxwell — gradually followed.

A former secretary at Third Baptist Church, the church home of her second husband, Garland Earp, Geri was an aspiring minister whose real ministry was in the community.

Always concerned about helping others, Geri was actively involved with The Order of the Eastern Star, the OMI community, Jones Methodist Church, Bethany Center Senior Housing, and the Institute on Aging, along with other informal and formal groups.

She founded the Senior Action Network in San Francisco, advocating for special services for the elderly such as curbside kneeling busses.

She received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of California Berkeley in 1973.

In January 2007 she was presented with the Chronicle’s Jefferson Award in recognition of her many societal contributions.

Because of the coronavirus, there will be no public viewing.

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Art

City Council Approves $480,000 in Arts Grants

The city made the announcement Tuesday about the grants, which will support 772 distinct arts events and activities that will expose more than 110,000 participants to cultural programming.

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The Oakland City Council approved $480,000 in grants to 17 Oakland-based non-profit organizations and 20 individual artists through the city’s Cultural Funding Program, Neighborhood Voices.

The city made the announcement Tuesday about the grants, which will support 772 distinct arts events and activities that will expose more than 110,000 participants to cultural programming.

The grant program seeks to bring Oaklanders together to create and support a sense of belonging within a community, to foster social connections that lift people’s spirits, to encourage community well-being and offer visions for a collective future, according to the announcement.

The following individual artists each won $7,000 Neighborhood Voices awards:

Frederick Alvarado; Karla Brundage; Cristina Carpio; Darren Lee Colston; Maria De La Rosa; Elizabeth D. Foggie; Rachel-Anne Palacios; Laurie Polster; Hasain Rasheed; Kweku Kumi Rauf; Carmen Roman; Michael Roosevelt; Fernando Santos; Teofanny Octavia Saragi; Kimberly Sims-Battiste; Cleavon Smith; Lena Sok; Babette Thomas; Ja Ronn Thompson; Joseph Warner.

Each of the following organizations received $20,000 Neighborhood Voices awards:

Asian Health Services for Banteay Srei;

Beats Rhymes and Life;

Chapter 510 INK;

Dancers Group for dNaga GIRL Project;

Dancers Group for Dohee Lee Puri Arts;

Dancers Group for Grown Women Dance Collective;

East Oakland Youth Development Center;

Higher Gliffs for Endangered Ideas;

Hip Hop for Change;

Junior Center of Art and Science;

Mycelium Youth Network;

Oakland Education Fund for Youth Beat;

Oakland Theater Project, Inc.;

Sarah Webster Fabio Center for Social Justice;

The Intersection for Alphabet Rockers;

Women’s Audio Mission;

Youth Radio/YR Media.

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Community

Fourteenth Street Market Gives Community Healthy Alternatives in Oakland

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Photo credit: Auintard Henderson

Owner Oscar Edwards stands in front of his “14 Street Market” located at 416 14th St. in Oakland which opened on March 6.  Edwards says he “. . . built his grocery store to give access to his community and provide healthy alternatives and still have things they know as well.”  He adds that “Black press for him is the voice that helps to bring my ideas and expressions full circle to the people.”

“14 Street Market” is open 7 days a week, 10am – 8pm Monday through Saturday and 11am to 7pm on Sunday.  It’s your neighbor market with groceries, snacks, drinks and more.  

Follow them on IG:  https://instagram.com/fourteenthstreetmarket  

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Activism

The Story of The Mural Honoring the Women of the Black Panther Party

Vest says this project is also created in conjunction with the #SayHerName movement, and in response to the continued violence and systematic oppression of BIWOC, and as a result of the chronic blindness towards and seeming invisibility of Black women.

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Born and raised in Chicago, Jilchristina Vest moved to the Bay Area in 1986 when she was 19 years old. In 1995, after earning degrees in Black Studies, Women’s Studies, and Multicultural Education from San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco, she had a job working for OCCUR. 

There she learned about the rich history of African American success and activism in West Oakland and its connection to The Black Panther Party. And because of that history, Vest began her search for a home in West Oakland.  

After two years of searching and with the help of her friends and community, Vest bought a beautiful home. And about two-and-a-half years later, again with the help of her friends and community, the house was restored to its former glory.

Some 20 years later, Vest found a way to say thank you to Oakland, her friends, community and The Black Panther Party – all the reasons she is here. She has done it by assembling a team to install a 2,000-square-foot mural on the wall of her house to honor the unknown and unseen heroes of The Black Panther Party.

Located at the corner of Center Street and Dr. Huey P. Newton Way, work on the mural began in January of 2021.

Vest says this project is also created in conjunction with the #SayHerName movement, and in response to the continued violence and systematic oppression of BIWOC, and as a result of the chronic blindness towards and seeming invisibility of Black women.

The source of this story is the Women of the Black Panther Party Mural web site, https://www.wbppmural.com/

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