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San Francisco Black Film Festival Hosts Free Veterans, Father’s Day Tribute

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The San Francisco Black Film Festival will host a Veterans and Father’s Day tribute, presenting free documentaries, Sunday, June 18, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the War Memorial Building, 609 Sutter St. in San Francisco.

Love Separated in Life…Love Reunited in Honor(doc, 14min) by Jackie Wright starts at 3:45 p.m. Crossing history, time, social mores and seas, The Wright siblings honor Sp5 Wyley Wright Jr. (who died as an honor guard for Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara early in the Vietnam War) and “the wife of his youth,” Ouida Fay McClendon Wright, with a ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery, after exhuming him from a segregated cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida 50 years after his death.

Within a year, the ceremony in Arlington, ultimately led the Wrights to Vietnam, where they found the land in Vinh Long, Vietnam that had been named after their father, “The Shannon Wright Compound,” an honor they had no knowledge of growing up in the shadows of Fort Benning, Ga.

The trip to Vietnam found them on the land where the 114th Aviation Company had served and they connected with the family of Vietnamese photographer who had made the last wedding anniversary gifts of Sp5 Wyley Wright Jr. for his beloved ‘Ouida, the Love of My Life’ on their eleventh wedding anniversary.
Afro-Germanyby Susanne Lenz-Gleissner, Jana Pareigis and Adama Ulrich – Documentary (42 min), takes place at 2 p.m.

“Where do you come from?” “I mean, where do you really come from?” Hamburg-born Afro-German journalist Jana Pareigis has been asked these questions throughout her life. Traveling across Germany, she meets a refugee who was a victim of right-wing violence, as well as stars such as the rapper Samy Deluxe, the football player Gerald Asamoah and the contemporary witness Theodor Wonja Michael. They depict life as a Black person in Germany – and what needs to change.

Rolling in the Deep (short, 12min) by Marcellus Cox – starts at 3 p.m. A young African American man travels home to South Carolina looking to achieve a goal for his late Father by having a meal at a locally famous Whites Only Diner.

95 Never Looked So Good (9m, U S A) dir. by Tymm Holloway – This Documentary short, highlights Simeon Holloway accomplishments from early beginnings to the prominent historical record of his involvement in the elite first all-Black US B-1 Navy Band. The first African Americans to serve in the modern Navy at any general rank with no recognition from the Navy.

Brown Babies: Deutschlands Verlorene Kinder” Directed by Michaela Kirst of Tangram Films: “In 1946, the first of the babies fathered by members of the occupying forces are born in war ravaged Germany. Around 5,000 of these children have an Afro-American father and a German mother.

Many of these ‘Brown Babies’ grow up in Germany. What nobody realizes, however, is that many more babies were given up for adoption and subsequently went to live with new, African American parents in the USA. Both the American and German governments saw this as a convenient solution to an awkward problem, since the very existence of the ‘Brown Babies’ represented a scandal on both sides of the Atlantic. The adopted ‘Brown Babies’ grow up thousands of miles away from their real mothers and the country of their birth. Many of them don’t discover for decades that they have a German mother. Others however, can remember all too clearly the derogatory looks they were subjected to in Germany. Even in the USA, these ‘Brown Babies’ weren’t really accepted anywhere – too dark for the whites and too light for the Afro-Americans…”

“Veterans Don’t Serve Alone”-The Impact of Military Service on Families. The film starts at 4 p.m.

To obtain a free ticket, click here.

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Art

MC Arts Gallery Opens During the Marin Open Studio

The Gallery and its website display the art of a number of Black artists which includes: TheArthur Wright, Lumumba Edwards, and Maalak Atkins. Zwanda and Mitchell Howard also display their art at the Gallery. 

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From top: Oshalla Marcus (director/curator, MC Arts & Culture) with Osiezhe’s drawings to the right of the photo, Zwanda, Mitchell Howard , ISOJI’s Art Is Health Band: Carlton Carey (drums), Mwanza Furaha, (vocals), Jack Prendergast (bass), Ricardo Moncrief (keyboard), James Moseley (guitar, vocal). Photos by Godfrey Lee.

The MC Arts Gallery, located on 100 Donahue St. in the Gateway Shopping Center in Marin City, is open during the Marin Open Studios, which took place on Saturday and Sunday, May 1 & 2. 

The Gallery and its website display the art of a number of Black artists which includes: The Arthur Wright, Lumumba Edwards, and Maalak Atkins. Zwanda and Mitchell Howard also display their art at the Gallery. 

Zwanda seeks to be creative as she expands her ideas as a sculptress and painter. She is inspired by the human figure and dancers and is fascinated with music and the instruments themselves. Her art is a way to express this love and to share it with others.

Mitchell Howard studied art at San Francisco State University and the Computer Arts Institute of San Francisco. He was an art director at Cummingham & Walsh in San Francisco and has displayed his paintings at the Hannah Gallery, worked on the Rocky Graham Park Mural and has taught art at the Martin Luther King Jr. Academy Elementary School.

“Art can bring people together and illustrate things that people can relate to,” Howard says. “Art can also be powerful in sending social messages to society. Art makes you think, it expands your horizons and makes you use your imagination. People may see different things in the same painting.”

Osiezhe, Shakira Gregory’s son, will be displaying his drawings at the Gallery.

The ISOJI’s Art Is Health Band played last Saturday afternoon with Mwanza Furaha as their guest vocalist.

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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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Student Work – Nayzeth Vargas

There is freedom with the Zentangle; there is no expected visual outcome and students are less prone to creative blocks and self-criticism. 

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This piece was created by Nayzeth Vargas, a senior at Oakland Technical High School. The Zentangle Method is a therapeutic technique which uses combinations of contrasting patterns and values to create an image. Students were introduced to the Zentangle Method to offset the mental stress they were experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social isolation.  

There is freedom with the Zentangle; there is no expected visual outcome and students are less prone to creative blocks and self-criticism. 

Nayzeth is enrolled in the West Oakland Legacy and Leadership Project, an integrated arts program that supports youth in developing thoughtful, educated voices for their communities. Though art, youth practice mindfulness and boundless creativity. Enrollment for the West Oakland Legacy and Leadership Project is open to youth ages 13-18 through AHC, for more information visit ahc-oakland.org/legacy.

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