Message to the Art Community

People Get Ready In the 60’s artists like Curtis Mayfield used their art to build a movement.

Unpacking the Tension Between Symbols, Systems, and Substance from The Breakdown with Shaun King.

Which Side Are You On? As sung by The Freedom Singers. Words were often adapted to the particular protest and location.

Who benefits from your art? Perhaps you would like to read this article about the art created during the Seattle protests. Saving Seattle’s protest murals

Saving Seattle’s Pandemic and Protest Murals

It Sounds Like a Symbolic Gesture

Freedom never descends upon the people. It’s always bought with price.

Henry Moore

The five pictures exhibited represent the questions we need to ask ourselves. What does Black Lives Matter mean to you? Whatever the answer is, how will you know when we have it? How will you measure it and what will you do to accomplish it? Our ancestors would have died in vain if we haven’t accomplished it. Freedom only comes after you have economic power. As Dr. King said, America has defaulted on its promissory note. This country’s wealth has been built upon our backs since its inception, for over 400 years, and we have never been adequately compensated. Our wealth should be attached to the nation’s Gross National Product. Freedom will not come until we have political power: One Man One Vote. Freedom will not come until our judicial system is just and disproportionality erased from the highest courts to local law enforcement. Freedom will not come until we own and control our means of communication from daily newspapers to television to radio to cyberspace. Freedom will not come until we have moved from consumers to producers and own the means of production, not just having jobs but providing jobs. Freedom will not come until we have education in the skilled trades, transportation, information, finance, investment, insurance, real estate, professional, scientific and technical services.

Before Apartheid
Our 400 years of enslavement began before apartheid. In South Africa the Dutch, the first settlers to arrive followed by the British, forcibly took over the land and made native Africans slaves to work on plantations. Later the Europeans would import more slaves from other areas such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar. Immigrants from India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan would later migrate to South Africa in search of cheap labor and were employed as indentured servants.

50 Years In Chains

The black box in the L in LIVES in the BLM mural represents the difficulties of 400 years of enslavement. The red box represents the struggle for freedom. The chains beneath the feet of Charles Ball represent the multiple times he escaped from slavery and was recaptured. In 1813 while a free man he enlisted in the Chesapeake Bay Flotilla and fought in the War of 1812. The green box represents a future with greener pastures. Curtis Mayfield’s song People Get Ready is calling for us to join the movement and continue the struggle through voter participation.

The Colors

According to the UNIA more recently, the three colors on the Black Nationalist flag represent: RED: the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and shed for liberation; BLACK: black people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state, is affirmed by the existence of the flag; and GREEN: the abundant natural wealth of Africa. Designed by: Marcus Garvey Adopted: 13 August 1920.

The Corona
The National Museum of African American History & Culture distinctive three-tiered form known as the corona is in an evocative symbol of traditional influences and ideas that have defined the shape of the African-American experience. In designing the upward-angled shape of the Corona, the architects drew inspiration from Yoruba architecture.

Mobilizing or Organizing After the Marches or Rallies

How I See It by Bob Lloyd

There are mobilizers and there are organizers. The demonstrations you have seen and participated in for George Floyd here and across the globe have been successful mobilization events. What is needed now is grassroot organization.

The map on the left are the communities in Spokane where this discussion needs to take place. Suggestions of what you can do in your community are at this link: Mobilizing to Organizing

Sunday June 7, 2020 started off at 10:30 am with meditation and yoga exercises at the Red Wagon. At 2:00 pm the NAACP had one of the largest outside rallies in Spokane’s history. The tone of this rally was set by Kurtis Robinson, Kiantha Duncan, and Le’Taxione. Kurtis Robinson welcomed a large standing crowd at the Lilac Bowl. Kiantha Duncan followed asking everyone to sit down on the grass and center themselves. She had three messages that she wanted to deliver to three groups of people. She thanked all who showed up to nonviolently express their outrage and disappointment with police brutality throughout the country. If there were those who came looking for trouble with signs with hateful speech, she wanted them to take those signs and sit on them. Then she called upon all law enforcement agents to obey the law and treat all demonstrators with respect and human dignity. My observation was that there were no visible signs of law enforcement. Le’Taxione told the audience that he was not speaking to make anybody feel good, he was there to express his strong objections to brutality and the status quo. But he made it quite clear he and the youth he brought would not allow anybody to hijack this peaceful demonstration. If so, they would be escorted out of town. These photographs bear witness to the unified desire that everyone should receive equal justice.

After your demonstrations at the Red Wagon or City Hall you could:

  • Ask 5 of your new or trusted friends for their email addresses and mobile phone numbers so you can set up a meeting regularly via Zoom to discuss strategies and planned measurable actions. Assign someone to send information about the measurable actions you plan to info@4comculture.com so they can be shared at the website 4comculture.com. Hopefully when the city opens up and you can have meetings in public places such as coffee shops you will be able to have these discussions face-to-face.
  • If you can find 4 people that will accompany you to an arterial in your neighborhood each could stand on a corner displaying their signs for an hour or more
  • Walk up and down the block or cul-de-sac where you live with your sign and handout sharing why you march and what others can do to help. This is something you can do alone.
  • Stand in front of the house you live in with your sign and have a discussion about why you march with anybody that will join you. Have two socially distant chairs nearby.

Being Black I am always visible! I am asking you to shed your invisibility.

History Lesson On Organizing

Kwame Ture: Converting the Unconscious to Conscious

Message To Our Spokane Brothas

What does it mean to be a brotha? Is that a term based upon skin color or ethnicity or is it an understanding of common goals? We are in a war that’s being fought on two levels. One is the immediate problem with COVID-19. The other is the systemic problems that lead to a disproportionate number of deaths among people of color and the poor.

If we are brothas we need to support each other in this war at both levels. We need to support each other in measurable ways, not just throw around cultural symbols. We need to start by asking little things of each other.

  • If you are a friend you will wear a mask because it protects you from me and me from you.
  • We need to believe in and support the idea of one justice indivisible. If you don’t know what I am talking about a starting point would be The 14 Principles listed at 4comculture.com.
  • The Spokane School District Board of Education wants to name several new school buildings. It would be nice if two of those schools were named after people of color. You can nominate someone: Nomination Link. I have nominated Frances Scott and Ruben Trejo.
  • It would be good to let us know your personal level of commitment: Ally, Actor or Accomplice. See page at 4comculture.com.
  • You need to have an online presence. You need to let your other brothas know what it is you stand for. One simple way to do this is to participate in online posting and messaging at Facebook.
  • Let’s become civic activists. Participate in local social justice organizations or engage in new methods of non-violent action that include physical, virtual and hybrid actions.
  • We each need to develop a social justice budget. It would be nice if you would donate on a regular basis to the things that you believe in. Let me suggest that you make a donation to anybody or any group that you choose, but do it in the name of Spokane Brothas. The reason I suggest doing that is to build a power base that would be respected. I would suggest a budget that would express your volunteer time as well as your cash contributions. For example a budget of $100 a month could include:
    • Volunteering: 7 hours a month at the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour would be about a $50 in-kind contribution. What if you showed up to volunteer in a Brothas T-shirt?
    • Send a check to the Black Lens. About $4.00 a month buys a subscription.
    • Contribute to an informational issue campaign. For example about $16 pays for a MailChimp service that will send your message to a mailing list of thousands that you have built. In times of quarantine and isolation you have to find ways other than community meetings to deliver information about your issues. You could buy a yard sign with your message or issue or candidate.
    • Give $20 to local and/or regional progressive organizations or blue political parties – to the same organization/s every month so they can feel your presence.
    • Give $10 to national progressive organizations or blue political parties – to the same organization/s every month so they can feel your presence.

If we only had 14 brothas contributing at this level this would be $1400 per month or $16,800 per year. Imagine what would happen if we had 100 brothas.

Your comments are welcome. If I haven’t heard from you by June 12, I will assume you are not interested.

Bob L. info@4comculture.com

Why We Marched: 1965

Were You There?

In the summer of 1965 the people listed below and I shared a common experience. Hundreds of us shared this experience. The experience changed my life. Student and parent protests against the Chicago School Board were focused by CORE in 1962, reaching a peak in the summer of 1965 with the Daily Daley Marches from Buckingham Fountain to Mayor Richard J. Daley’s house to protest school segregation and conditions.

As my friend Earless Ross and I marched we asked individuals in the line why they marched. We gathered numerous testimonies from those marching with us. I would like to know how that experience affected their lives.

If you are one of those listed below, know any of them or other people who participated in the Daily Daley Marches, please contact me:

Robert “Bob” J. Lloyd
text: (509) 999-1263
rdlloyd@comcast.com subject: Why We March
3314 S Grand Blvd. Spokane WA 99203

Authors of the Statements

James G. “Allen Jr.”, Marla Bollin, Dave Canon, Kathy Casey, Mrs. Ronald Crawford, Jesse Daniales, Ken Davis, Arnelle Douglas, Clevon Edgerson, Charles E. Gant, Mrs. C. R. Gillies, Lucille Gipson, Walter D. Glanze, LeRoy Griffin, Elihu Harris, Jerry Herman, Carol Hill, William Hollins, Margaret Hollowell, Walter Ireland (Freloud?), Jesse Jackson, Nathaniel Jackson, Thomas Richard Joiner, Russell D. Jones, Oliver Julius, Sue Kaply, William Kennedy, Helen Kitterer, Joh Kles, Len Lazar, Marchain Lightfoot, Mrs. Limbo, Robert Lucas, Garrick Madison, John Maloney, LaMar McCoy, Earl D. Mosley, Bill Murphy, Jack Ongemach, W. Robinson, Earless Ross, Mary S (Sroges?), Chuck Sanders, Janice (?) Saylor, Mary Settles, Laurie Shortreed, Charles Smith, Fred Smith, Ollie M.Smith, Robert Shively, Dan Solomon, Dick Sroges, Jesse Stanton, Tanya Stewart, Peggy Terry, Cheryl Thompson, Barbara Wakefield, Margaret Walker, Patricia Washington, Harvey Weiner, Mrs. Williams, Ronald G. Williams, Susan Williams, James Wright, Cara Young
Coordinating Council of Community Organizations Statement Written by Marchain Lightfoot

Others involved whom I would like to contact: Ted Manheart, Pat Packard, Rita Walford, Dennis Shriver, Gerald Thomas.

Cover Art by Gerald Thomas 1965

Super Hero! You Need A Mask

Thanks Fawna and David! We will wear our super masks proudly.

Super-Heroism 101 : You Need A Mask
By Yvor Stoakley

Dear Friends,
While the jury may still be out (sorry about the legal jargon…it means there is still no clear verdict on this issue), “Masks Save Lives” (https://www.maskssavelives.org/ ) makes some compelling arguments for wearing masks in public during this pandemic. We each have to weigh these arguments and make up our own minds but here are some of the points they offer for consideration:

Western countries are experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 infections compared to Asian countries where mask wearing is a more culturally accepted practice.

·       There is broad consensus that individuals who are infected and individuals who are contagious should wear a mask in the presence of other people to reduce the incidence of infecting others.

·       It is standard practice in hospitals for surgeons to wear masks to avoid transferring germs to their patients.

·       Masks can protect against transfer of aerosolized droplets that may contain viruses.

·       Wearing a mask during a pandemic is a courteous gesture towards other human beings.

·       Masks trap virus particles on the inside preventing them from becoming airborne.

·       Without sufficient testing and given that many COVID-19 carriers may be asymptomatic (i.e., not exhibiting symptoms) it is best to assume that everyone could be a carrier.

·       Masks are only one protective strategy and should still be combined with social distancing, coughing into your elbow, washing your hands frequently, and other appropriate practices.

·       Masks can be easily made from readily available materials without preventing healthcare workers, first e responders and others from having masks they vitally need.

·       N95 masks are better than surgical masks, but anything that prevents breathing in moisture particles with viruses helps.

We clearly need more research and hard data to confirm or illuminate the effectiveness of wearing masks. And it is always good advice to consult with a doctor. But in a time when every individual is called upon to do his or her small part to “flatten the curve” and mitigate the spread of the corona virus, we can all wear a mask in public or when interacting with other people. At any rate, while you are sheltered in place, give it some thought. 

And furthermore, remember that many fictional superheroes and defenders of justice (e.g., Zorro, the Lone Ranger, Black Panther, Raven, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc.) choose masks.* 

*In law school they taught us to try any argument that we thought might be persuasive.

Help Name a New School After Ruben Trejo

EWU Professor Ruben Trejo 1937 – 2009

Spokane Public School District 81 is looking for nominations for names of new schools and buildings. We nominated Ruben Trejo for the new building for the On Track Academy located on the Shaw Campus. We also nominated Frances Scott (see the link) for the new middle school in NE Spokane on Foothills Drive.

Super-Heroism 101 **************** You Need A Mask


Super-Heroism 101: You Need a Mask

By Chicago cousin Yvor Stoakley, Attorney

Dear Friends,

While the jury may still be out (sorry about the legal jargon…it means there is still no clear verdict on this issue), “Masks Save Lives” (https://www.maskssavelives.org/ ) makes some compelling arguments for wearing masks in public during this pandemic. We each have to weigh these arguments and make up our own minds but here are some of the points they offer for consideration:

·       Western countries are experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 infections compared to Asian countries where mask wearing is a more culturally accepted practice.

·       There is broad consensus that individuals who are infected and individuals who are contagious should wear a mask in the presence of other people to reduce the incidence of infecting others.

·       It is standard practice in hospitals for surgeons to wear masks to avoid transferring germs to their patients.

·       Masks can protect against transfer of aerosolized droplets that may contain viruses

·       Wearing a mask during a pandemic is a courteous gesture towards other human beings.

·       Masks trap virus particles on the inside preventing them from becoming airborne.

·       Without sufficient testing and given that many COVID-19 carriers may be asymptomatic (i.e., not exhibiting symptoms) it is best to assume that everyone could be a carrier.

·       Masks are only one protective strategy and should still be combined with social distancing, coughing into your elbow, washing your hands frequently, and other appropriate practices.

·       Masks can be easily made from readily available materials without preventing healthcare workers, first e responders and others from having masks they vitally need.

·       N95 masks are better than surgical masks, but anything that prevents breathing in moisture particles with viruses helps.

We clearly need more research and hard data to confirm or illuminate the effectiveness of wearing masks. And it is always good advice to consult with a doctor. But in a time when every individual is called upon to do his or her small part to “flatten the curve” and mitigate the spread of the corona virus, we can all wear a mask in public or when interacting with other people. At any rate, while you are sheltered in place, give it some thought. 

And furthermore, remember that many fictional superheroes and defenders of justice (e.g., Zorro, the Lone Ranger, Black Panther, Raven, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc.) choose masks.* 

Best regards, 

Yvor 

*In law school they taught us to try any argument that we thought might be persuasive.