By Marvin X, BAMBD Co-Founder
After the Oakland City Council made official the Black Arts Movement Business District (BAMBD) along the 14th Street corridor several months ago, not much has happened. The requested Universal African flag has yet to fly as a banner in the district. The requested vendors are not yet authorized to sell on or in the BAMBD. City Council President Lynette McElhaney pushed the legislation through but has had other priorities since then, including the upcoming elections.
Some of McElhaney’s agenda items are in line with the BAMBD five pillars as described in a letter of support by Dr. Ayodele Nzinga, but she has not received a reply from President McElhaney. The BAMBD community supporters are expected to attend the upcoming Culture Keepers meeting.
In a letter to BAMBD cofounder Marvin X, President McElhaney wrote, “Thank you for your support in promoting the independent, ongoing work of businesses and artists that are in the BAMBD (e.g. MCFTA, Betti Ono, Joyce Gordon Gallery, and Geoffrey’s Inner Circle). BAMBD expects that the final organizational structure will be one that establishes a strong foundation for future funding and will reflect the diversity of African arts, business and culture that is uniquely Oakland.
The next meeting of the BAMBD culture keepers is Tuesday, July 26, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oak Cultural Center, 14th and Adeline.