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Oakstop Gallery Is a Showcase for “Black Artists on Art”

Oakstop Gallery is displaying 36 artists from three generations in its exhibition, “Black Artists on Art.” It was inspired by Samella Lewis. an African American historian and artist, and the author of two volumes of Black Artists on Art. Trevor Parham and Samella Lewis’s grandson, Unity Lewis, collaborated on the exhibit.

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How We Find Our Silenced Voices and Learn to Sing

This child who had been silenced went on to become a world-famous poet who won three Grammys and spoke six languages. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. She had an abounding love for everyone. She was asked by the United Nations to write a poem for the world.

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St. Mary’s Center — Community in Action

This special section features stories published in Street Spirit that report on the crucial work of St. Mary’s Center in providing shelter and life-supporting social services to low-income and homeless seniors in Oakland. These exciting stories describe St. Mary’s inspiring work in building a vibrant community and involving seniors in creating beautiful art and organizing […]

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Feeling Broken and Blue: The Life and Art of Paul Nicoloff

Paul “Blue” Nicoloff, dressed in blue, on Telegraph Avenue. Blue was a Berkeley street artist who had survived bouts of homelessness, but then committed suicide in the fall of 1999.

Blue was a gaunt, emaciated, crazed-looking, street person dressed in torn rags. Blue’s sense of humor was the tiny life-raft that he clung to all his life, amidst the raging seas of his stormy soul. Perhaps that’s why his sense of humor was so brilliantly honed: He needed it so badly.
This article first appeared in the October 1999 issue of Street Spirit.

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Young Artists Take Stance on Prisons

“We cannot truly exercise our freedom until we allow everyone to be free, and most important, free ourselves. ” — Julia Tello

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Beautifully Composed Art with a Social Conscience

“Wet Night On Sutter Street.” A homeless person sleeps in a cardboard box outside an expensive clothing store in San Francisco on a rainy night. Painting by Christine Hanlon, oil on canvas, 20” by 32 1/3”

Christine Hanlon’s beautifully composed images of outcast souls struggling to survive in barren urban landscapes seem to be ripped from today’s news stories about increasing poverty in America. Yet, her deeply felt paintings also are timeless in their portrayal of classic themes explored by great painters through the ages.

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Artists Encounter the Poor in Image and Imagination with the Photography of Dorothea Lange

Today’s artists joined with Dorothea Lange to document the side of American life that is forced to live in the shadows — in the brush under an overpass. The writers in the Encounter with Lange project try to give voice to these images and to see the human faces of the poor.

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Shining New Light on the Desolate Streets of ‘The Other America’ — Dong Lin’s Photographs

A policeman tries to nudge awake a homeless man on the streets of San Francisco, but the man cannot be awakened. Photo by Dong Lin from his book One American Reality.

In one of Dong Lin’s chilling images, a policeman stops to nudge a homeless man lying on a San Francisco sidewalk, only to find he is already dead, just another accident statistic. The faceless fatalities in our midst are almost never seen. They live and die in a faraway place — the Other America.

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Photojournalism Hits the Streets: The Photography of Lydia Gans

A row of homeless men sitting on a San Francisco sidewalk. Photo by Lydia Gans

My sense of identification with the struggles and the dreams of people is as intense as ever. I am connecting with people right here in my neighborhood — the less visible people who are disabled or poor or homeless and whose images and stories need to be brought to public attention.

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A Life Consecrated to Compassion and Justice

On the bleak streets of the Tenderloin, a sister took a stand against inhumanity. Her solidarity was inspired by the beatitudes and consecrated to the poor.

The Invisible Natural Cathedral of People’s Park

Builders, please go away. Allow the beauty of an Invisible Natural Cathedral to remain, a living shrine of open space that gives refuge to all people.

Street Spirit Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin

This atrocity was happening in a very wealthy city. It was happening right under our noses. It was very visible. And there was not the united voice of the faith community speaking out. That was the spark of Religious Witness. From that moment, I knew what I had to do.

Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin, Part Two

“What’s forming in my mind is Jesus in the temple when he became angry at the unjust and very exclusive systems of society. That is the very reason that there are the poor and the marginalized. It is not enough just to provide food, clothing and housing.”

‘Such Is the Magic and Spirit of People’s Park’

The mayor has no understanding of the awful defeat the loss of People’s Park would be. No comprehension of the cost in lives and the sacrifices people have made for the Park’s ideals. So many still find it a refuge in a country needing a political and spiritual overhaul.

I Remember Who I Am

“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.