Rather be alive than remembered
January 1, 2011 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Oakland's Turf Feinz (previously) dance in memorial for Oscar Grant (previously). While the riots in Oakland received more media coverage (previously, previously), there's been several memorial murals painted across Oakland and numerous songs channeling local anger, outrage, observations, lamentations, reflections, and frustration. The news gave the nation broken windows and burning cars, while the town continues peaceful protest, 2 years later.
posted by yeloson (11 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks, yeloson, for this post. The news cycle moves on, but the people who live there carry on. This is so nice to see - continuing, productive community engagement, news or no news.
posted by VikingSword at 2:52 PM on January 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

The link for "several" is dead. Great post otherwise. These are powerful statements from a community that only gets negative attention. I hope one day Grant's family sees justice done.
posted by irisclara at 4:28 PM on January 1, 2011

D'oh. "Several" should link here.
posted by yeloson at 4:45 PM on January 1, 2011

Last night I met a friend of mine at Levende. He's just moved to the Bay Area from the east coast, so I tried to give him a rundown on Oakland. Who is Chauncey Bailey? What was the Your Black Muslim Bakery? What about the Black Panthers? What's the nature of class and race struggle in Oakland and how does it lay out geographically? How is the city government complicit? Who were the Riders? What's the history of the city government? What's up with the Port of Oakland? (Yeah, I'm terrible at casual conversation)

He'd heard of the riots and vaguely knew there was such a person as Oscar Grant, but, amazingly, didn't know his name. I tried to explain how important Oscar Grant is to Oakland, but I think he thought I was exaggerating. Later, we passed the murals on our way to Temescal, and he saw Oscar Grant with a beatific smile and angel wings stretching across a quarter of a block, and he was like, Wow, you weren't kidding.

I love this dance group. I'm totally pleased to have another one of their videos brought to my attention. From the outside maybe Oakland doesn't get great press, but I don't read too much of that - stuff like this is Oakland to me, so I stay positive. Thanks yeloson!
posted by doteatop at 4:49 PM on January 1, 2011 [9 favorites]

This one, doteatop? It's a few blocks from my apartment and I think it's pretty neat.
posted by brundlefly at 6:15 PM on January 1, 2011

Thanks for this post--the handsome lad in the red sweatshirt is my nephew, and I'm really proud of what he's doing here.
posted by swingbraid at 8:07 PM on January 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yep, that's the one, Brundlefly.
posted by doteatop at 9:04 PM on January 1, 2011

swingbraid: any chance of getting him to post to this thread? He's got great moves; I'd love hearing a bit more about how he got started dancing, what his experiences have been like... tons of questions.

this is a great post btw. I heard about the shooting when it happened and was horrified by the footage. It's so great to hear about the ongoing peaceful protest.
posted by dubold at 2:28 AM on January 2, 2011

Excellent post. Everyone should click on brundlefly's link, it's incredible potent. "The absence of tension." If only in our time.

Thanks for this, yeloson
posted by Wuggie Norple at 6:42 AM on January 2, 2011

dubold: I don't know if I could pin him down to post here (he's 17 and we're in different states), but I can tell you that he's been dancing for years (with both formal and informal training), and is one of the youngest members of Turf Feinz.
If you have more specific questions feel free to mefimail me and I'll pass them along to him--I'm sure he would love to share his experiences!
posted by swingbraid at 7:23 AM on January 2, 2011

"The absence of tension." If only in our time.

In case anyone isn't familiar, it's a quote from Martin Luther King from

Letters from a Birmingham Jail :

"First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will."
posted by yeloson at 9:52 AM on January 2, 2011 [4 favorites]

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