From March 2011

Shelvie Douglas Kidd, 94

Shelvie Douglas Kidd

Shelvie Douglas Kidd departed this life March 4, 2011.  He was born in Vernon, Louisiana October 4, 1917 to the union of Wesley and Lulu Sherrod Kidd in Vernon, Louisiana.  He received Christ at an early age.
He was the youngest of 13 children.  In 1935 he met and married the late Cloteal Amos Kidd.  To this union were two sons, Algie LaRue and Gary J. Kidd, and one daughter, Sharon Anne Kidd.  The family moved to Berkeley, California in 1942.   The social science graduate of Grambling University served in World War II in the army and was a Master Mason of Mt. Olive Lodge No. 9 in Berkeley.  He worked at Del Monte Cannery in Oakland, California for 15 years and retired from Southern Pacific Railroad Company as an engineer in 1968 with over 40 years of service.
After retirement he continued working and was employed by the Berkeley Police Department as a crossing guard for 18 years.  Shelvie served as a deacon and treasurer for North Oakland Missionary Baptist Church in Berkeley for many years and his favorite scripture was Proverb 3:16.
He enjoyed fishing and was a huge fan of legendary boxer Muhammed Ali, the San Francisco 49ers and the San Francisco Giants.  He was a very compassionate man and active in the community, always helping and giving someone a ride.  He lived to see a Black president and his favorite team win the World Series.  Most importantly, Shelvie’s family came first and foremost.
Shelvie leaves to mourn one son, Gary Kidd, a son who preceded him in death in 1999, Algie LaRue Kidd, one daughter, Sharon A. Kidd,  one grandson, Andre Kidd, one daughter-in-Law, Joyce Walker and one Sister-in-Law, Fannie Mae Kidd (100 yrs. old) of Ruston, LA.  He also leaves to mourn a host of nieces, nephews and siblings; Dr. Rev. Harold Kidd of Los Angeles, CA and Frank Kidd of Louisiana, Billy Kidd of Vallejo, CA, Chester Kidd and Charles Kidd of Arizona, Donald, Dorothy and Eddie Lee Cockerham (deceased) of Berkeley, CA, Elois Kidd of Rustin, LA, Minnie Grant of Chatham, Louisiana and four God daughters; Sharon Sweet (Webster), Christina Harper, Charlotte and Literia Weatheroy; two God Sons, Anthony Weatheroy, and James Gwynn (J.J.) of Fairfield, CA and devoted cousins Willie Faye Kidd of Oakland, CA and Oleria DeBose of Long Beach, CA.
Funeral services will be held on March 11, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. at North Oakland Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. Sylvester Rutledge, Pastor. Located at 1060 32nd Street, Oakland, CA.  Burial immediately following services at Rolling Hills Cemetery in Richmond, CA.  Viewing and quiet hour will take place on Thursday March 10, 2011 at CP Bannon Mortuary located at 6800 International Blvd, Oakland, C

AT&T Motivates History Makers with Speaker Series

By Ashley Chambers

AT&T 28 Days Speaker Series came to Oakland’s Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, Monday, February 28, celebrating Black History Month. Hosted by Grammy-winning hip hop artist, actor and activist, Common, this free event travelled to five different cities in the U.S., presenting five different African American history makers. Businesswoman and philanthropist, Cookie Johnson, wife of NBA star Magic Johnson, was the speaker in Oakland, inspiring others to keep dreaming.

AT&T started the 28 Days Speaker Series in 2009, bringing relevance to African American innovators and motivating others to make their own history. Loretta Walker, AT&T Vice President of External Affairs, says, “This has been a wonderful program because it’s a way for us to not only show our support for the African American community but we also are making a commitment. I mean what better way to show others how key history makers were inspired.” Read more

AT&T Motivates History Makers with Speaker Series

By Ashley Chambers

AT&T 28 Days Speaker Series came to Oakland’s Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, Monday, February 28, celebrating Black History Month. Hosted by Grammy-winning hip hop artist, actor and activist, Common, this free event travelled to five different cities in the U.S., presenting five different African American history makers. Businesswoman and philanthropist, Cookie Johnson, wife of NBA star Magic Johnson, was the speaker in Oakland, inspiring others to keep dreaming.

AT&T started the 28 Days Speaker Series in 2009, bringing relevance to African American innovators and motivating others to make their own history. Loretta Walker, AT&T Vice President of External Affairs, says, “This has been a wonderful program because it’s a way for us to not only show our support for the African American community but we also are making a commitment. I mean what better way to show others how key history makers were inspired.” Read more

Honoring Community Achievement Maestro Michael Morgan

The goal of Black History Month is to educate Americans about African Americans’ cultural backgrounds and notable achievements. It is this spirit that we recognize Maestro Michael Morgan, music director of the Oakland East Bay Symphony.
Maestro Morgan was born in Washington, DC, attended public schools there, and began conducting at the age of 12.
In 1986, he became the Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Later that year, he made his debut with the New York Philharmonic. He has appeared as a guest conductor with most of America’s major orchestras as well as the New York City Opera, St. Louis Opera Theater and Washington National Opera.
Maestro Morgan is celebrating his 22nd anniversary with the OEBS. He also serves as Artistic Director of Oakland Youth Orchestra, Music Director of Sacramento Philharmonic, Artistic Director of Festival Opera in Walnut Creek, and teaches the graduate conducting course at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
The San Francisco Foundation has honored him with one of its Community Leadership Awards and he received an Honorary Doctorate from Holy Names University.
Under his artistic leadership symphony activities reach over 75,000 children and adults annually. A major accomplishment is the MUSic for Excellence Program which provides comprehensive instrumental music instruction in grades K-12. MUSE currently serves 3,000 students in 20 Oakland public schools.


Let Us Pray to End HIV/AIDS and Its Stigma

Pernessa C. Seele

By Jesse Brooks

“The National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS”, which began March 2, is a time  for African American churches to become centers for AIDS education and compassionate care.
AIDS is destroying the Black Community. The stigma of AIDS continues to persist. Our religious institutions must lead the struggle in stopping the spread of AIDS and command more services and resources for people who are infected and affected.
The idea of a week of prayer in churches originated in 1989 when  Pernessa C. Seele, CEO of The Balm In Gilead,  started, The Harlem Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS.  It was so successful that it became known as “The Black Church Week of Prayer” which has continued till today.
Seele wanted a way to invite all believers to step forward beyond the walls that divide us into the circle of conscious prayer for the healing of AIDS. “Let us not allow the issues that divide us to prevent us from entering into a circle of prayer and education with all of our brothers and sisters”, she says, “Let us seek divine guidance for our own individual and congregational paths toward AIDS awareness, advocacy and service”.
The Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS was the nation’s first national HIV/AIDS mobilization campaign. It has reached more than 5 million African Americans.
The late Dr. Dorothy Height, Civil rights pioneer, spoke to President Barack Obama at the White House, “We need to be able to talk about HIV as we talk about jobs, as we talk about housing, as we talk about civil rights. We all have a responsibility to break the silence about this disease – to speak out about HIV, to know that our families and friends and churches are there to support us. And if someone talks to us about HIV, to listen, to learn, and to accept and help if we are called upon”.
On Friday, March 4, Oakland will participate in REAL TALK II, 6 to 9 pm, at Word Assembly Church with Bishop Keith Clark at 410 14th Street. And a youthful ‘Chat ‘n Chew’ program will be held 10:00am to 1:00pm, Saturday, March 5, at the Allen Temple Baptist Church Life Center, 8400 East 14th Street, Oakland with Reverend Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Jr. Both events will feature music, free refreshments.
The time is now to raise the visibility of HIV and AIDS. Let us confront and overcome the stigma that helps keep HIV alive in our communities. We need to talk openly about tough issues like homophobia and discrimination that prevent too many African-Americans from seeking HIV testing and treatment, and support from their friends and family. I invite the readers to join with me, especially those that can’t attend the events listed above, to offer daily noon prayers.

Children Raise Money for Children’s Hospital

Anese Atkins-Henesley delivers Rosa Parks speech.

Bay Area children from Oakland, Richmond, and Vallejo put on a show in celebration of health and second chances at health in a grassroots fundraiser for Children’s Hospital in Oakland.   Held February 20th at the Holy Redeemer Event and Retreat Center in Oakland, the Lollipop Stop Children’s Fashion Show featured children ages 5 to 15 having fun as they danced and walked the stage modeling clothes by local designers Skylierwear, Turning Heads and Designer Diva
The Soaring Eagles Taekwondo Academy highlighted an eclectic blend of youthful talent who emphasized the fun of the physical activities children can get involved in to maintain health and well being.  Anese Atkins-Henesley (see photo), 8 years old, presented a rousing speech in honor of Rosa Parks that won applause from the crowd.  Anese was the winner of the Dr. Martin Luther King Oratorical Fest at Glenview Elementary School.  Shaneen Black, 13, of the San Francisco International Arts Academy treated the audience to her stunning vocal range.  Soloist Ashley DiAmante sang a track from her new album “My Story,” set to be released just days after the show.
Community partners  Crocker Highlands Elementary School, Glenview Elementary School and Burckhalter Elementary School helped produce the show.
JUNA,” Just Us Networking Association”, a collaboration of artists, craft people and small businesses who showcase the wide range of talent in the Oakland Bay Area, sponsored the event..  JUNA’s goal is to demonstrate how, through the creative arts, a group focused on healing, prospering and uplifting our community, can bring about positive change.  JUNA was founded by Valerie Cotton, Your First thought Event Design; D. Jean Collins, Black Lotus Enterprises, Donna Vaughan, Cobalt Blue Import and Export.



True Vine’s Growing Ministries

True Vine Ministries, under the leadership of  Zachary E. Carey, has been worshipping at the Grand Lake Theater for the past six years, but, do to their growth,  they will move to the auditorium of Oakland Technical High School, 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., Sunday, March 6, as it prepares to build The Jewel Center, its permanent facility at  896 Isabella Street (near West Grand and Market Streets) the current location of True Vine’s Bible Institute and administrative offices.
Pastor Carey envisions a multipurpose facility for worship, recreation and family services. He plans to build a restaurant, a gymnasium space that will also double as a dining hall. He said individual members of his church will also establish small businesses at the location.

Tidewater Boating at MLK Shoreline Park

The East Bay Regional Park District will open the Tidewater Boating Center in a public dedication ceremony led by Board member Doug Siden and Senator Loni Hancock at 1:00pm on March 5. The Boating Center sits on the shore of the Oakland Estuary at Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline Park at 4675 Tidewater Avenue. The shoreline complex has an ADA accessible dock for boat launching and kayakers.
The Tidewater Boating Center houses a boathouse, storage facility, a security residence and an administrative building.
The roof forms were inspired by the shape of an oar blade, and the complex is intended to be a landmark from water and shore.
Under a multi-year lease agreement, the Oakland Strokes, a non-profit junior rowing organization for middle and high schools, will operate the main boathouse and indoor training area and provide outreach to neighborhood youths.
The East Bay Regional Park District’s Recreation Department will operate the administrative building and additional storage facility. Recreation programs will also take advantage of the estuary access and Bay Trail connection at the park which includes biking, nature study, kayaking and canoeing.
Most of the $4 million facility costs are being funded through a State grant acquired in 2003 and through Measure CC, a Park District parcel tax passed by voters in 2004.
Call 1-888-327-2757, option 1, or visit www.ebparks.org/activities for information.

Chauncey Bailey Mural at Hayward High

The Cooley Family

By Carla
Thomas

Hayward High School recognized one of their greatest graduates last week on a rainy evening and unveiled a beautiful mural in honor of slain Oakland Post Editor-in-Chief, Chauncey Bailey from the class of 1967.
“The rain is Chauncey’s tears of joy,” said Chauncey’s nephew, filmmaker Amin Cooley of Los Angeles.  “Chauncey was courageous, passionate and didn’t give up.  He was very dedicated and stood for the little people and he made others hear their voice.”
Chauncey’s brother Errol Cooley, a retired fireman of Lincoln, California reminisced in the school’s library as he turned the black and white pages of the school year book.  “It feels good to be here and it brings back a lot of good memories.  This library is significant because this is where Chauncey developed his skills,” Errol stated as he pointed to his picture sporting a full afro.  “It’s an honor that people are doing this for our family and that enough people loved him enough to paint a mural of him.  His legacy is continuing and it shows here at the high school.”
Errol credits his brother for teaching him to draw and leading a fun neighborhood football team.  “Because of Chauncey, I was able to do pen and ink artwork, oils and acrylics and when he was around he always made everything more exciting and always left you with something to think about.”
Errols’ wife Altha and son Jamil were also proud of the event.  “My uncle always encouraged me to work hard and follow my passion and he stood for greatness.   His life’s work and experiences are invaluable to the new generation.   “This a special day for the family and the mural is beautiful,” said Altha Cooley.
Hayward High Library Supervisor Sheryle Gray, English Teacher Connie Miller, Lillian Litzsey and DaBora Lovitt of BWOPA-Hayward along with Jamil Holmes, President of the Black Student Union, worked on the mural project for three years.  “Having the family here means a lot, we did this for the family,” said Litzsey.  “Chauncey was a great man and his life is an inspiration to me,” said Holmes.  “It’s great when the students have an idea that allows them to partner with the community,” said Hayward High School Principal George Bullis.  “I’m proud they are able to see the fruits of their labor.”
Artist Ricardo Lazo of Kri8tiv N8tivz said, “I’m speechless to be a part of this and it’s an honor to paint the story of such a great person.”
Amin Cooley continued, “Our family misses Chauncey, we love him and are very happy that his death didn’t go in vain.  People really care.”
Unable to attend, Mark Cooley via telephone expressed his thoughts in a speech given to his brother and says, “This is wonderful and my sister Lorilei (of Atlanta) and I are grateful for this honor.”   Chauncey Bailey made an indelible mark in the world of journalism for over 4 decades prior to his death August 2, 2007.  The trial for the murderers of Chauncey Bailey will begin this month in Oakland.

The Lady Was a Champ

As an Army Intelligence Officer for Abraham Lincoln, she posed as a maid in the “Confederate White House” .  Her photographic memory recorded all the enemy secrets. She tried to burn down their building, then disappeared.

Mary Elizabeth (Van Lew) Bowser was born around 1839 on a plantation in Virginia.  John Van Lew, the wealthy Richmond merchant who owned the plantation, died while Mary Elizabeth was a child; thereafter, his wife and spinster daughter, Elizabeth Van Lew, freed all the family’s slaves.  Mary Elizabeth was sent to a Quaker school in Philadelphia to receive an education.
Elizabeth Van Lew, despite having been raised in a rich family that owned many slaves, was fervently anti-slavery.  She took part in local abolitionist activities, and was so outspoken that she developed a local reputation for eccentricity.  When the Civil War began, Van Lew assisted Union Army Intelligence in any way she could.  Confederate loyalists in Richmond did not seriously suspect her of spying throughout most of the war; they would have expected a spy to keep a low profile—Elizabeth Van Lew constantly called attention to herself by acting as if she were insane.  All the while, she was a very productive spy.
Van Lew sent for Mary Elizabeth, who returned from Philadelphia to assist her in her efforts.  Sometime around her return to Richmond, Mary Elizabeth married a free African American man with the surname of Bowser.  Van Lew used her local connections to obtain Mary Elizabeth Bowser a position as a household servant in Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ White House in Richmond.
Bowser’s co-workers and employers never imagined that unassuming Mary Elizabeth, who DID know how to keep a low profile, had a photographic memory and an ulterior motive.  As she cleaned, she made mental notes of any military information she discovered lying around on the President’s desk or in his office, and wrote it down later in her room.  When she waited at table during official dinner parties, she listened carefully to conversations among the highest-level leaders of the Confederacy as they discussed strategy; she recorded them later, in private.  Her notes were passed on to either Van Lew or to a Union agent named Thomas McNiven, who worked out of a local bakery.  When the bakery wagon came to Davis’ White House, Bowser would meet it outside to pass on her information.
It is not possible now to obtain many details about Mary Elizabeth Bowser’s life; after the war, the Union Army intelligence destroyed  personal data about her and records of the information she collected.  They did this for her protection, so that she would not be subject to retaliation from Confederate sympathizers.
Van Lew suffered many social repercussions due to her assistance to the Union Army during the war, and ended up quite poor at the time of her death.  Mary Elizabeth Bowser left some personal diaries, but unfortunately her descendants accidentally threw them away some time during the 1950s.  However, her role in Civil War espionage has not been forgotten, and she was inducted into the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps Hall of Fame in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, in 1995.  During the ceremony, her contribution was described thus: “Ms. Bowser certainly succeeded in a highly dangerous mission to the great benefit of the Union effort.  She was one of the highest placed and most productive espionage agents of the Civil War.”