Tag Archives: Black Okie Communities

Our Revolution . . ? Continuing the Bern

Last night, August 24th, Bernie led what I see as a flawed kickoff for Our Revolution. This is the organization he founded to continue the political and economic revolution started by Occupy and Bernie’s campaign for President. I watched the livestream of Bernie and a few others at a house party in Sebastopol CA.

This post included my critique of the kickoff event and links to articles on Our Revolution and the resignations of the majority of its staff.

the Nation has an article on the kickoff and the resignation of several staff members

https://www.thenation.com/article/returning-to-his-roots-sanders-launches-our-revolution/

my comment to it:

Bernie’s kickoff livestream to house meetings had several strategic flaws to my ears.

I heard no appreciation for MoveOn, Avaaz, TruthOut, and other organizations and progressive media who supported Bernie strongly. They’re fundamental to Our Revolution.

I heard no mention of the war machine, military industrial complex, Pentagon whose mission seems to be ever increasing profits by fighting and losing conflicts, creating more need for weapons.

I heard hardly anything about the non-electoral side of Our Revolution. We need to do much more than get our candidates elected and our propositions passed.

Our Revolution provided no guidelines to hosts to encourage discussion and action planning by house meeting guests. What a wasted opportunity!

I’m 82 and was sad to see our group of 23 was mostly over 60, with the son of the household the only young person who came out in this very progressive town of Sebastopol. Whassup?

The Guardian has this  article on the livestream and the resignation of staff members
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/25/fleeing-the-bern-half-of-staff-quit-sanders-legacy-project-before-it-begins

an important point in this article:  “A grassroots organizer who worked alongside the Sanders campaign in New York said Sanders’s presidential campaign had tended to ignore groundwork already done by Sanders supporters. They said there was concern among grassroots activists that Our Revolution, under Weaver, would attempt to do the same.”

“During the campaign we would always already have operations running and would be doing things and the campaign would show up and throw everything out. It happened in New York and made it very difficult to organize,” the organizer said.

The New York Times published another article on the walkout of the majority of Our Revolution’s staff: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/25/us/politics/bernie-sanders-our-revolution-group.html?_r=0

The naming of Teviston

Lloyd Tevis
­once owned more land
than he could ride across
in a day’s time.
He fought Miller & Lux
for the water of the Kern River
way back before it became
a channel of dry sand.

In 1961 I pulled off 99
into Teviston
as a storm ended
and the dark sky opened
to let the setting sun shine
upon the shacks of Black Okies.

Teviston was lit up
puddles reflecting day’s last light.
The homes
pieced together from scrap wood
glowed intensely.

How would Lloyd Tevis
have calculated the value
of this one and only memorial
to his great wealth?
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The Beavers: a Teviston success story

Teviston slideshow: a Black Okie Community

I produced this narrated slideshow on Teviston—one of California’s Black Okie Communities—for the Framing Migrant Labor exhibit at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Agrella Gallery. My photos of the Wilson family are part of an exhibit that features Matt Black’s work, along with photos by Otto Hagel and Morrie Camhi.

Revisiting Black Okie Communities

In the 60s I discovered a number of African-American towns in the San Joaquin Valley, later dubbed Black Okie communities by author Mark Arax. These towns are a little known part of California history, which my photographs and radio shows documented for the first time. In the Spring and Summer of 2015 I revisited South Dos Palos (on the west side of Merced County) and Teviston (on Hwy 99 in Tulare County). To my surprise I found several families of the kids I’d photographed. I was able to photograph them at church and at family reunions in both towns.

I’ll be uploading galleries of photographs from the 60s and the present day, as well as links to articles and academic research on this forgotten side of California history.