Arts and Culture

Happy Pride from the Richmond Progressive Alliance!

Happy Pride from the Richmond Progressive Alliance!

We celebrate the beautiful and expansive LGBTQ+ community.

We honor our queer and trans ancestors who suffered from government persecution, hate crimes, HIV/AIDS, shame and social stigma. We also commemorate those who fought for liberation. We remember that Pride was born of protests against police brutality (amidst the criminalization of “same-sex” dancing), including Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco in 1966 and Stonewall in New York City in 1969.

We commit to resisting homophobia and transphobia in our lives and in our laws, international persecution of LGBTQ+ people, and the racism within the LGBTQ+ community.

Please enjoy this pride playlist, a compilation of songs submitted by LGBTQ+ RPA members. Listen on Spotify, or as individual YouTube links:

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Richmond Rainbow Pride Event: Infinite Pride

By Jamin Pursell

Richmond Rainbow Pride is having its 8th annual Pride event on Sunday, June 5th 2022 at noon, broadcast on twitch.tv. Established in 2014, Richmond Rainbow Pride is a group of LGBTQIA individuals and allies who live, work and play in or near Richmond and who have come together for the collective benefit of the LGBTQIA community.

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Urban Tilth and The Richmond Our Power Coalition are Demanding #NoShade on our Community Health and Futures!

By Katt Ramos

North Richmond Farm

Within one month of purchasing the North Richmond Farm, Urban Tilth learned that our dreams of growing a healthy, community driven vision for positive development in North Richmond was being threatened by a new massive Panattoni Inc. project planned for the parcels on the eastern boundary of our farm. This development would severely impact the North Richmond farm as well as the youth in the nearby elementary school.

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Rosie Lee Tompkins, Richmond Quiltmaker

By Shiva Mishek

Rosie Lee Tompkins, 1985. Photo courtesy of BAMPFA.

In the mid-1980s, psychologist Eli Leon stumbled across the work of Rosie Lee Tompkins at a Marin flea market. He devoted the rest of his life to collecting her quilts. At the time of his death, Leon had amassed over 500 works by the artist, who chose to live in complete anonymity.

Rosie Lee Tompkins is the pseudonym of Effie Mae Martin Howard. The now-renowned artist was born in rural Arkansas in 1936, where she was one of fifteen children in a sharecropping family. Tompkins moved to Richmond in early adulthood, during the Great Migration of African Americans away from the Jim Crow South and into western states. She lived and worked as a nurse in Richmond until her death in 2006.

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The Activist Celebrates Black History Month

Buying Power of Shipyard Workers, MacDonald Ave., 1943

The Activist dedicates this issue to Black History Month, in tribute to the profound and myriad ways Black people have shaped American successes, culture, and economic life. In this recognition, which can hardly capture the sheer breadth of Black history in the United States, we also want to note the urgent and ongoing need for Black liberation and amends in a country that exists, as it is, on the labor and lives of Black Americans.

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Arts and Culture Highlight: Art of the African Diaspora

By Amy Spencer

Wisdom Lap, by Tiffany Conway

Art of the African Diaspora, in partnership with Richmond Art Center (RAC), supports artists of African descent in the Bay Area through representation, professional development, and building a creative community.

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Arts and Culture Highlight- David Flores

David Flores is a poet, hip hop lyricist, educator, and mindfulness trainer. He is the current Poet Laureate for Richmond. His present position is Lead Trainer for the Mindful Life Project. David is a former elementary school teacher of eleven years at Grant Elementary. He was born and raised in Richmond, where he currently lives with his wife Juanita and college aged children, Maya and Francisco.

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Arts & Culture: Activist Co-Chair Edits & Publishes a Book

Dancing with the Divine: A Flow of Grace by Carla De Sola, ed. by Diana Wear, and designed by David W. McCauley, Jr. (Self-published, 2021), 182 pp.; www.omegakairosbooks.com.

“Dance is revolutionary movement. It has the power to connect us to worlds beyond our own. A dancer’s outstretched hand says come...take this journey. I’m reminded as I read Dancing with the Divine that dance, as expressive as a raised fist symbolizing power, offering connection to the divine through art, is such a warm and welcome revelation.”

BK Williams, Activist, Richmond, California

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Arts and Culture Highlight- Luis Cubas

Luis Cubas is a Richmond-based photographer. His journey to photography started when he was a student at Richmond High School. He took a photography class and had the good fortune of having a dark room to develop film and prints. Initially Luis didn't give it much thought, but photography became important to him and was soon taking pictures every day. Over time, the art form evolved from a hobby to a business, allowing Luis to travel, meet people and follow his passion.

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Arts and Culture Highlight- JD Arandía

Local Richmond artist JD Arandía is a podcast host, stand-up comedian, and County Arts Commissioner. JD is Bay Area born and raised. He grew up on a steady diet of Cantiflas, Chespirito, Jim Carrey and The Simpsons and from the first time he made someone laugh he was hooked. He enjoys the art of comedy because it brings light to all aspects of the human experience.

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