edit to add, the next day: the Rev. Kaloma Smith has an op-ed in today’s Weekly that has some sugestions to improve public safety here, apropos of race or bias. I posted this set of commments:
Ventura is a historically black neighborhood in Palo Alto.
I hope Rev. Kaloma Smith leans in on what becomes of that neighborhood, especially with Sobrato and Wheatley salivating at the profits in the upzoning deal. (Fry’s and the expansion)
I also think Palo Alto could use a Black History Museum, as part of the Palo Alto History Museum.
In a related story, I hear that Verve Records is going to release a recording make here in 1968 of Thelonious Monk playing at Palo Alto High School soon after (MLK) was killed.
I had a Marcus Shelby concert on the books at The Mitch in April when the pandemic hit and when we reschedule that maybe we can have him double down on the socially conscious element of his work; for instance, he has done programs with Angela Davis. (Stanford Lively Arts does a lot of this as well, but we the town not gown can do our share, too). Marcus by the way came and played when Mildred Howard built her bottle house at King Plaza, a few years back.
I also want to shout out to the amazing George Floyd mural on cardboard that is taped to the plywood that it protecting the Apple store on Uni – it is so well done that it made me wonder if Apple itself or the landlord Elizabeth Wong had covertly commissioned it – i.e. are looters less likely to demolish something that seems hip to BLM.
There’s a bench at Cubberley for Bill Green the US champion in 1980 in the 400 — I actually think that if we re-open Cubberley we could change the name to Bill Green Center.
I usually don’t tip my hand like this but I am really tripping on a Nicole Butler Lisa Harris jazz and voice program based on the writings of Octavia Butler, “earthseed”.
I’m a white guy but a lot of my work in the arts involves my wanting to learn more about Black Culture.
Lastly, I think Aram James does a lot on the public safety front, and of course LaDoris Cordell is a treasure. Maybe we should name something for her.
Two hundred and fifty years ago some white people named this area for a very tall tree. It’s time to name for something here for a pillar of justice like LaDoris.
I also think that the scrutiny of Zach Perron and Wayne Benitez show that Palo Alto is very serious about the values that Rev. Kaloma Smith articulates here.