Monday, December 5, 2016

All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50

All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50 at the Oakland Museum is an amazing exhibition, full not only of astonishing artifacts of art and design, but also of myriad opportunities for education and the dispelling of myths. And it runs until February. If you're in the Bay Area, or will be in the coming months, I strongly urge you to get over there!

Above, a reproduction of a poster by Emory Douglas, 1969

Elizabeth Catlett, 1970

Ellen Bepp, 2015

Jail cell bars, circa 1966, provided courtesy of the Oakland Police Department

Sadie Barnette, 2016

Student Research Facility, mid-1970s

Kenneth P. Green, Sr. 1960s

Kenneth P. Green, Sr. 1960s

Kenneth P. Green, Sr. 1960s

Kenneth P. Green, Sr. 1960s

Kenneth P. Green, Sr. 1960s

Kenneth P. Green, Sr. 1960s

Page from The Black Panther newspaper, 1969

Detail of above page

Memorial wreath given courtesy of It's About Time Archive, 2016

Unknown maker, circa 1960

Library of books for picking up and browsing

Party certificate of community service, 1972

Ducho Dennis, 1969

Hank Willis Thomas, quilt made from decommissioned prison uniforms, 2015

One of thousands of bags of groceries given away to community members by the party

Stephen Shames, 1970

More recommend reading

Ruth-Marion Baruch

Dolores Huffman, dress with black panther pattern, 1968

installation for museum visitors to list party members or others they want memorialized

Unknown artist, 1971

architectural fragments from a house demolished during redevelopment in Oakland, 1968

Ducho Dennis

Official list of demands

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Poem #18

Thanksgiving weekend, 2016

we were sitting on the hotel porch in the
watery afternoon light just the three of us
bundled up in sweaters our eyes closed our
faces turned towards the warmth of the sun

when it occurred to me that maybe just
maybe it was ok to relax for a minute that
running around in a panic all the time wasn’t
going to help anything that best-case scenario

we were all in this new mess of a world for the
longterm and that ultimately the ability to check
out for a moment to refill our reservoirs of energy
and tenacity was not something to feel guilty about

but rather an essential capacity which
would in the coming months and years
become absolutely necessary were we to
manage to make ourselves of any use at all

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Speaking at the CLA Annual Conference

I find that various things which happened just before the election have tended to get swept under the rug and forgotten about. But here's one worth pulling back out. Earlier this month I had the distinct honor of speaking on a panel about the state of nonfiction with distinguished librarians Vanessa Walden and Jennifer Lawson at the California Library Association's annual conference in Sacramento (full disclosure: Vanessa is also one of my very best pals in the world -- when we were done panel-izing we took our kids to the train museum and it was super fun).

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


If, like me, you are looking for concrete actions to take in this new world we find ourselves living in, here is the very best article I have found on the subject:

Where We Go From Here from the Rumpus

This one is also useful:

What To Do by Lindy West

And, if you want, this site will send you a weekly email of four actions to take:

There's also this page which lists copious other resources. I haven't had a chance to go through them all in detail yet, but from what I've dipped into so far it looks very fruitful:

"Stay outraged" image source is alas unknown, but I'm on the hunt for it, if anyone has any clues please send them along!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Art for Right Now

Here is some of the best, most sanity preserving, art, design, illustration, and photography to come across my radar in the past week.

Above: Lula Hyers

Micah Player

Nook Gallery

Nathaniel Russell

Christopher David Ryan

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Poem #17

April 1990

how I got into theater
in the first place was
by starring in the
eighth grade play

which we wrote ourselves
adapting scenes from old
archie comics I was betty my
brunette friend was veronica

I loved everything about it the
memorizing lines and evening
play practices the backstage
hubbub of putting on makeup

even the singing and dancing
since of course it was a musical
I was hooked and would remain
so for the next half dozen years

image source is here