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In Memoriam

In Loving Memory

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Marvin Norman, 55

Marvin Norman of Oakland and Antioch, California, died at the age of 55 after enduring a ferocious battle with COVID-19 for more than four months.

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Marvin Norman

Marvin Norman of Oakland and Antioch, California, died at the age of 55 after enduring a ferocious battle with COVID-19 for more than four months.

He transitioned on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, in Santa Clara, CA.  

Marvin Gay Norman was born on Jan.19, 1966, in Houma, Louisiana, the son of Dennis Norman Sr. and Cora Mae Prevost.  He was the youngest of eight children.  

After moving to California in 1991, he met and married Terri (Gray) on April 20, 1996. Married for more than 25 years, they built a loving family.  

In 2000, he was hired as a longshoreman, becoming a crane operator at the Port of Oakland.  Together with his ILWU 10 brothers and sisters, he worked on the docks, moving products through the Port terminals. 

Marvin Norman was a religious man.  Most important to him was having a family, being a husband and providing for his family. He enjoyed his life and those around him, always ready with a smile and southern hospitality.

He enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, cooking and was an avid fan of all sports, especially football.  He was a dedicated fan of the New Orleans Saints and the Morehouse College football team. 

He would make a yearly trip to support his youngest son’s game.  When his children were younger, he would often cheer and coach from the sidelines at their soccer, football and basketball games. 

 Additionally, he was a great cook, pouring love and a smile into the meals he prepared.

His happiest moments were being able to spend time with his family and friends, which included his four dogs.  

He was preceded in death by his parents and the family members Darrell “Flick” Norman, Evette Norman and Angela Norman.

He is survived by his wife Terri Norman; daughter Marshante Roberts and three sons Marvin “Smurf” Jones, Joshua James Norman and Daniel Isiah Norman; seven grandchildren, ages, 13, 7, 6, 5 and 3; as well as siblings: Ralph Hayes, Inez Williams, Bettie Jean Norman, Carnell Norman, Connie Berry, Dennis Norman, Jr., Bernadette Norman, and Mary Butler; by his in-laws Sam Brownstone and Virginia Brownstone; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. 

 Condolences may be sent to 4735 Crestone Needle Way, Antioch, CA  94531.

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda 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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Education

Educator Brenda Joyce Mapp, 72

She was a retired teacher, serving in Oakland at Horace Mann Elementary School for over 20 years. She was a member of North Oakland Missionary Baptist Church.

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Educator Brenda Joyce Mapp, 72

Brenda Joyce Mapp, 72, a resident of St. Augustine, Florida, formerly of Oakland, CA, died Aug. 11.    Born in Berkeley, she was the daughter of the late Roddie and Mildred Proctor and had resided in St. Augustine for the past 5 years.

She was a retired teacher, serving in Oakland at Horace Mann Elementary School for over 20 years. She was a member of North Oakland Missionary Baptist Church.

She was a critical part of the Oakland Partnership Program, the group that was responsible for diversifying the Oakland teaching force by helping hundreds of Black, Latinx, Indigenous and Asian people to get into teaching.   Every teacher candidate was required to take half a dozen tests before being allowed to begin a teaching program, even though each candidate already had a college degree.  

Brenda spent her weekends at the library and in people’s homes helping them to study and encouraging their confidence.

Super-teachers Eric Ross and Eleanore Stovall spoke lovingly of Brenda.  Said Eric, “My heart is broken.”  And Eleanor said, “Brenda was always there when I needed her. 

A family member said on Facebook that she “was a God-fearing woman, who loved people, football, food, reading, and cooking for her grand-puddings. She played such a pivotal role in our lives and will be greatly missed. “

She is survived by her son, Timonthy Mapp, St. Augustine; son-in-law, Erik Proctor, San Francisco; sister, Cathy Harris, California; “sister” Pam White,  two grandchildren, Timonthy Mapp II, and Tahlia Mapp.

 

To leave a gift or write a memory, go to www.stjohnsfamilyfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Brenda-Mapp/

 

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda 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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Arts and Culture

Michael Morgan, Music Director and Conductor, Dies at 63

He served three decades with the Oakland Symphony and was a passionate advocate for change

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Michael Morgan leads the Oakland Symphony in a concert curated by W. Kamau Bell; Photo Courtesy of KQED

Michael Morgan was the music director and conductor with the Oakland Symphony. He died August 20, 2021, at an Oakland hospital. He was 63.

During a career that spanned 40 years, Maestro Morgan was one of the rare Black conductors to rise to prominence. He had guest appearances with leading the top orchestras of St. Louis, Los Angeles, Baltimore, New York, and San Francisco. He served as assistant conductor of the Chicago Symphony.

Maestro Morgan became music director of the Oakland East Bay Symphony in 1991. He also served as artistic director of the Oakland Youth Orchestra and was the music director of the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra.

He was artistic director of Festival Opera in Walnut Creek for more than 10 seasons. He taught a graduate conducting course at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He was music director at the Bear Valley Music Festival in California. He conducted the San Francisco Ballet for several performances. He also conducted the San Francisco Symphony.

Maestro Morgan did much more than bring classical and new music to Paramount theater audiences. He brought music to thousands of underserved children in the Oakland public schools.

 “Michael Morgan was an advocate for change, both within the classical music community and also outside, in his community and beyond”, said Paul Cobb, publisher of the Post Newspaper Group.

Morgan’s “’Let Us Break Bread Together’ concert presented music from the Black Panther era that reflected back on the protest music from the 60’s and 70’s”, Cobb continued.

Morgan was always interested in providing an early education in classical music. “Talk to people of whatever color in any professional orchestra, and ask them where they started, and you’ll find that most of them started, as I did, in a public school somewhere,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle in 1998.

“And if there’s not that possibility, then of course there’s not going to be people at the other end,” he said. “It’s impossible to maintain the respect of an orchestra if they think that the only reason you’re there is that they needed a Black conductor,” Morgan said.

Maestro Morgan started the Symphony’s MUSE program as a multi-component music education and enrichment initiative to serve young people at public schools and community sites throughout Oakland.

These programs were free to participants, ensuring that each year thousands of young people have access to a variety of music education and enrichment activities, regardless of their economic situation.

“The MUSE program is a lifeline in difficult times. It’s not just a token – it’s keeping the music program afloat in Oakland. It’s the tipping point between success and failure”, said Ted Allen, former Instrumental Director, Skyline and Oakland Technical High School.

At the onset of distance learning during the Covid-19 pandemic, all engagement visits and teaching artists adapted their work with students to an on-line format in partnership with OUSD into 2020-21.

MUSE has continued to be there for the community as programs, captivating and exciting students about music, encouraging a lifelong passion for the art of sound.

Over 2,500 students are served through the symphony’s school programs hosted by MUSE. The students work with professional musician mentors from the Symphony as part of the In-School Mentor and After School programs.

Michael created the “NOTES FROM” series, designed to welcome different elements of our community into the symphony family.

The diversity of the Bay Area is well known and was reflected in the concert hall in the NOTES FROM programming.

These programs included NOTES FROM Persia, China, the Philippines, Mexico, NOTES FROM LGBT America, and the African Diaspora.

Michael DeVard Morgan was born in Washington, DC, Sept. 17, 1957.His father, Willie DeVard Morgan, was a biologist. His mother, Mabel Morgan, was a health researcher.

When Michael was 6 years old, his father bought the family a piano. Michael began to play two years later. By the age of 12, he was leading two orchestras, one founded by Michael at MacFarland Junior High School and the other at the People’s Congregational Church.

In his teens, while a student at McKinley High School, he was named conductor of the Washington D.C. Youth Orchestra. He attended the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, originally as a composition major.

While at Oberlin, Michael worked with conductors Seiji Ozawa and Leonard Bernstein at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts. He accepted the position of apprentice conductor at the Buffalo Philharmonic in 1979.

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda 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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