Saturday, February 12, 2011

Official Oscar Grant Foundation kicks off in Oakland



Young Oscar Grant supporter waves the Black Power fist during as members of  "The Truth" out of the Laney College Black Student Union perform "I Am Oscar Grant"


(l-r) Reinaldi Gilder, Cephus "Uncle Bobby" Johnson-founder, Oscar Grant Foundation, Beatrice X Dale-Director, Oscar Grant Foundation, and Justin Metoyer, President, San Francisco State Black Student Union

One of numerous, intriguing pieces of art showcased at the Eastside Cultural Arts Center


The weather is beautiful and the energy is high but what fills the air is the determination, passion, and commitment by his family and the Oakland community to keep the legacy of Oscar Grant, III alive and ensure that his death not be in vain.  Together they launched the Official Oscar Grant Foundation with a dual purpose, “...to continue the political battle against police brutality and misconduct and the practical fight to help serve, uplift, and save other young Black men just like Oscar,” his uncle Cephus Johnson told me as the activities began.


Oscar Grant may have been physically killed by then-Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) police officer Johannes Mehserle on New Year's Day 2009, but he seemed as alive today as he did before Mehserle's single bullet to his back ended his journey on earth.


His family and his people celebrated him in work, song, and poetry today and I’m  not sure if it was planned to do this on the dot, but the day-long kick-off went from 10-10.  It started with a breakfast and community empowerment program at the East Oakland Youth Development Center and ended at the Eastside Cultural Arts Center with musical performances and spoken word.


More on this is coming in the print edition of The Final Call but until then, visit the Oscar Grant Foundation at www.oscargrantfoundation.com.




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