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Through the Concrete: Poetry Inspired by the Bay Bridge 25 (Music by Dog-Maw and the Plastic LA Skyline)

  • Red Bay Coffee 3098 East 10th Street Oakland, CA 94601 (map)
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On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2016, black.seed, in response to a call from the Anti-Police Terror Project shut down the west-bound span of the Bay Bridge. This was done in order to reclaim the true radical legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. The purpose of this peaceful march was to bring attention to the constant cries and screams of black and brown mothers, sisters, brothers, and fathers for the widespread murders of black and brown people at the hands, and within the custody, of police. 

The group went out to protest the deaths of Mario Woods, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Natasha McKenna, Tony Robinson, Ralkina Jones, Gynnya McMillen, and the vast list of others killed by the hands of police officers from precincts across the United States, Bay Area included.

Similar to the march on Selma and the brief occupation of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in March of 1965, the group occupied the Bay Bridge for ninety-six minutes (in homage to the #96hours of action called by APTP.) They made a bold statement by linking their black and brown bodies to chained vehicles. They were subsequently arrested, and their hands were restrained with zip-ties for six hours.

We wanted to come together as writers to raise donations to go toward legal fees, but black.seed has asked instead to have the proceeds go instead to The Last 3% Coalition in San Francisco. The Last 3% (so named because they represent the 3% of Black San Francisco) is working to fight gentrification and police violence in the city of San Francisco. The Last 3% Coalition is endorsed by black.seed, BLM Bay Area, APTP, and other activist groups. black.seed and the Bay Bridge 25 supports the work they are doing, and invites you to do the same. 

Readers include:

Cassandra Dallett
Lisa D. Gray
Claudette Davis
Kwan Booth
Joshua Merchant
Tatyana S. Brown
Amos White
Fred Dodsworth
Rochelle Spencer
Nanci Armstrong-Temple
Sarah Kobrinsky
Melissa Louise
Soma Mei Sheng Frazier

... and we can surely add more to the list (three minutes of reading) ...

With music by Dog-Maw and the Plastic LA Skyline. 

Join the Association of Black and Brown Writers, Nomadic Press, and Sarah Kobrinsky (the 2013-2015 Poet Laureate of Emeryville) on February 26 at 7 PM at Red Bay Coffee in Fruitvale to raise awareness about black organizing against gentrification and police brutality.

RSVP via Facebook here.