T.K. Butler 
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Re: “The Vanishing Underground: Oakland's Housing Crisis Is Also Displacing its Arts and Music Counterculture

"We are the people falling thru the cracks
Our backs broken from bending over backwards,
We can't go forward
Fallin' behind the finish line
We the People time after time
Find ourselves displaced,
Our future erased
The paper chase out ran us
We the People denied justice......"

Please share OUR story. Art is the connection between the identity and language. Art is the history of a people's culture and ancestors. Artists need to be valued more. The attraction of outsiders to Oakland is due to the cultural spirit of artists that have created a spiritual/creative refuge for unheard voices. Displacing us is an act of spiritual warfare. Silence will not protect you.


Posted by T.K. Butler on 09/21/2016 at 12:54 PM

Re: “Oakland's Perfect Storm

Judi, if that's your way of asking for a link so you too can read this powerful story in its entirety, I would be glad to assist you. Thanks! Please note that I did post the link at the bottom of my comment at 8:37. Sorry you missed that during your quest to note that I didn't. Also, I appreciate the sharing of quotes and the citing of thoughts by others. I love writing. Don't you?


Posted by T.K. Butler on 12/21/2015 at 11:09 AM

Re: “Oakland's Perfect Storm

Come on reporters!!!! Connect the dots and report THE WHOLE STORY and nothin but the whole story, so help you...."God".

Posted by T.K. Butler on 12/18/2015 at 8:59 AM

Re: “Oakland's Perfect Storm

It's been said that holding ASSETS is what determines a person's wealth. It has also been determined that HOME OWNERSHIP is one such asset. So we are discussing the HIGH COST OF RENTING but this article doesn't trace the root cause of why there are so many renters rather than home owners. However, the reporter who ran this story was inspired by the graduate school journalists at UC Berkeley Oakland North news staff, specifically Nailah Morgan, who reported on the DISPLACEMENT of families in the Bay and connected this displacement to the loss of assets and the shifting of "the middle class". There is a CLASS SYSTEM and a CASTE SYSTEM in this country that is impacting us all whether we agree with or like it or not. But we must arm ourselves with awareness.

WHEREVER THERE IS A "WAR ON... (fill in the blank) something in this country, be careful of the meaning of words and actions. "A PERFECT STORM" to describe a "housing crisis" has predicted it's own forecast. Just as did the "WAR ON DRUGS":

Quote, Oakland North:
The report adds that arrests and incarceration rates skyrocketed for males in low-income minority communities. Between 1980 and 2000, drug arrests for African Americans rose from 6.5 per 1,000 persons nationwide, while drug arrests for white people slightly increased from 3.5 to 4.6 per 1,000 persons nationwide. The Disparity By Geography report published by The Sentencing Project, a research and advocacy group involved with the US criminal justice system, adds that from 1980 to 2003, “African Americans were arrested for drug offenses at a rate that was 238% higher than whites, which translates into African Americans being 3.4 times more likely to be arrested for a drug offense than whites.”

Check it out for yourself.

Posted by T.K. Butler on 12/18/2015 at 8:48 AM

Re: “Oakland's Perfect Storm

Interesting data shared in Oakland North article:

Since the 1940s, Oakland and Richmond have been home to the largest populations of African Americans in the Bay Area. Thousands of African Americans migrated to neighborhoods in West Oakland and Central and Northern Richmond during World War II to work at the Kaiser Richmond shipyards and Oakland Army Base. Between 1940 and 1950, 1.5 million African Americans left the economically depressed South to escape Jim Crow, according to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Although the center didn’t break the numbers down by city, altogether 339,000 African Americans moved to the western half of the country.

The U.S. Census shows between 1940 and 1950, the African American population in Oakland jumped from 8,500 residents to 83,600 residents. Much of Richmond’s new population was housed in temporary structures, part of a wartime building boom that produced new neighborhoods of “dormitories, demountable houses, and apartment buildings,” according to the city’s website. At least 60,000 people lived in public housing, and many of those “temporary” housing units remain standing today.

After the war, when wartime industries slowed down, many newcomers lost their jobs and homes. Research by Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo, a professor at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, shows unemployment in the East Bay among nonwhites had soared to 29 percent by 1950, compared with 13 percent among whites.

Amid the decline in industrial production and plummeting need for blue-collar workers, public housing was torn down. “Shipyard ghettos” began to emerge near Moore Dry Dock and the Kaiser shipyards in Richmond and Oakland.

“The ‘L’,”—an imaginary L-shaped division of neighborhoods—“starts at North Richmond to the south side, and goes up to Cutting Boulevard to San Pablo. That’s where the city said blacks could live. And that’s where we lived,” said Charles Cavness, the founder of Richmond’s African American History Museum. “When they tore the projects down, there was nowhere to go. There were over 100,000 people looking for places.”

Posted by T.K. Butler on 12/18/2015 at 8:37 AM

Re: “Oakland's Perfect Storm

"A perfect storm". Hhhmmmm... there is nothing "perfect" at all about the misfortune that can occur when storms strike in nature and/or in people's lives. This is no time for metaphors or headlines ripped from Hollywood movies. People need SHELTER from the disaster that is occuring in Oakland. The city is being ripped apart and the divide and conquer mechanism is rearing up to cause more havoc. Africans born in America have a long his-story of displacement and although all of us humans are impacted, the facts regarding economic disparity between "the races"/"the classes"  resurface reminding us of the "shipwreck"  of a journey we've experienced getting to a place where our ancestors owned assets. The loss of those assets takes a toll on our families and communities opening the door for homelessness. Homelessness in the sense of not owning property. This ever present vulnerabilty leaves African American families exposed not only to the elements of Nature but to the predators and capitalists who use their creativity to ensure their own survival. Somewhere younger generations in African American families have lost their focus on the creative path to their independence and well being. And the housing crisis is a reflection of how so many factors are causes and effects each upon another. May we all be the change we want to see whether it's raining or the sun is shining. ...no matter "the storm".

Posted by T.K. Butler on 12/18/2015 at 8:29 AM

Re: “Oakland's Perfect Storm

Butler, now in her 30s, launched her jewelry business, True Fire Electric Production, in September. She wants to stay in Oakland because it’s a hub for artists. She couch-surfs among friends in Walnut Creek in order to afford the materials needed to produce her line of earrings. Every day, she catches the BART to the Lake Merritt station and then works inside local shops, which substitute as stable workspaces. She works on her earrings sitting outside by the lake, or at Noah’s Bagels. Butler sells her work at Oakland festivals: Hair festivals, dance festivals, any type of festival.

As the days get shorter and the nights colder, she reminisces about her grandmother’s home. “In order to be middle class, you have to have assets. In African American families, grandmothers bought their houses—that’s where the ‘Big Mama’s House’ came from,” said Butler. “When my big mama died, that’s a big example of how the displacement started.”

Butler’s story is not unique. After the great recession of 2008, inequality widened along racial lines as people lost their homes, often their only major asset. Earlier this month the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington, D.C. think tank, reported in “Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the Rest of US,” that the average white family today has net assets of $141,900, compared with the $11,000 for African American families. This hollowing out of the African American family asset base is a nationwide phenomenon that can be explained by the shrinking African American middle class. It’s even more a factor in “strong market” regions like the Bay Area, where housing costs are soaring.

Quote article by Nailah Morgan, UC Berkeley journalist via Oakland North newspaper

Posted by T.K. Butler on 12/16/2015 at 12:09 PM

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