Oakland Local

On November 19, KQED Pop, a web initiative of public media outlet KQED, ran a blog post entitled “A San Franciscan’s Guide to Living in Oakland.” The article was written by Serena Cole, a UC Berkeley art teacher and Oakland resident for the last decade. Cole listed several places she recommends for new residents forced out of San Francisco due to high rents – in other words, the very same people commonly referred to as gentrifiers and hipsters. Most of Cole’s picks were in typically gentrified areas like Piedmont, Temescal and Rockridge, although she puzzlingly included the Missouri Lounge—which is in Berkeley, btw—and a taco truck within a stone’s throw of Lake Merritt.

Where it gets interesting, though—and the reason we’re writing this article—is a paragraph Cole wrote which stated the following:

The only rule to living here is to find where to go and not to go. The places I am going to take you on a tour through will label me as ‘bougie’ by Oakland standards, but I don’t think there is anything elitist about coming home in one piece. So stay out of East Oakland and West Oakland. That doesn’t sound like it leaves much, but it does. Trust me, my friends have been violently mugged in East Oakland and had the same house robbed three times in West Oakland. But be my guest if you want to go to either for ‘cool points.’

Jerk chicken at the Jerk-Off Competition at Linden St. Brewery

Jerk chicken at the Jerk-Off Competition at Linden St. Brewery

Hold on. Full stop. Let’s back up. Did KQED’s blogger just tell recent SF transplants to avoid three-quarters of the city on general principle? Yup.

Overlooking the strong possibility that many of those said transplants might be residing in those parts of the city anyway, since rents are more affordable—West Oakland has gained 20,000 new residents, most of them white, in the last decade, and housing prices in East Oakland’s flatlands are the least-expensive in the city—on the surface, this statement not only seems elitist, but racist.

Needless to say, Oaklanders were none too happy about seeing their city dissed by a CCA grad with a “fetishized association with anything perceived of as high art, fashion, or wealth.” The blog post generated more than 200 comments, most of them negative.

A candy-painted lowrider at the Laurel St. Fair

A candy-painted lowrider at the Laurel St. Fair

Here are some of the responses to the post: “As a member of KQED, this story is disgraceful, and frankly embarrassing,” wrote Gil Batzri.

“The article conveys that we don’t count; the only people who are important, the only people who need to be protected, are ‘her’ people,” said Johanna Workman, an East Oakland resident.

“Most of the places the author writes about does not make her appear ‘bougie,’ as she writes, but negligent about Oakland,” opined “Melinda,” while “usapatri0t” dubbed the article “the whitest white person write up of Oakland ever.”

“Marissa,” a native San Franciscan who has lived in Oakland for 15 years, said, “this article is embarrassing and um, super offensive.” Mercedes Gibson, also a native Oaklander, chimed in, “if you feel like Serena, please consider ALL of Oakland East and West, and simply stay away.”

Some commenters questioned their financial support of KQED, in light of Cole’s post.

Davey-D DJs at a recent function

Davey-D DJs at a recent function

The blog post—and KQED—fared no better on social media. Radio personality, journalist, and webmaster Davey-D took the  media outlet to task with a lengthy Facebook post, in which he admonished, “you guys should be ashamed of yourselves for allowing such a disparaging article that bashes on our city and its hard working residents… I guess with small minded, bigoted attitudes like the ones displayed in your article you should definitely stay out of West and East Oakland and the town in general… Middle finger to you guys for allowing that article to be published.” Davey’s post generated more than 50 comments, most of which expressed similar sentiments.

Elsewhere on Facebook, reactions were similar. Oakland resident Renee Geesler said, “Anyone who has to read an article to find cool stuff to do in Oakland should just stay the fuck out of the city, period… The offending paragraph is a perfect example of the common mentality of a bougie douchebag.”

By 4pm Tuesday, KQED was in damage control mode. An editor’s note stated: “This post has generated a lot of passionate feedback, specifically about the way it addresses East and West Oakland. We hear you! It was not our intention to dismiss these communities.”

Bobby Seale speaks at an East Side Arts Alliance townhall meeting

Bobby Seale speaks at an East Side Arts Alliance townhall meeting

Shortly thereafter, another editor’s note indicated the offensive paragraph had been removed, and KQED issued another blog post, which claimed the article was meant to be “tongue-in-cheek.” Sometime later, the original post was removed from the website. In its place was a note which read: “We apologize for publishing the post, which does not reflect the values or mission of KQED.”

Oakland Local contacted several elected officials seeking comment. We received an email response from Mayor Jean Quan, who said she accepted KQED’s apology “in good faith,” while noting “West Oakland is home to the Brown Sugar Kitchen (owned by Tanya Holland, named 2013’s California Chef of the Year by the California Travel Association), famed metal works and education shop The Crucible, and a fascinating rich local history. East Oakland is home to the Oakland Zoo, the Coliseum, numerous great restaurants and gorgeous parks.”

Quan added that she hoped the station would use the “misstep” as an opportunity to “come see what these fantastic parts of the city are really like, and let your audience know what you find.”

The Black Cowboy parade is a West Oakland institution

The Black Cowboy parade is a West Oakland institution

In a phone interview, District Three Councilperson Lynette Gibson McElhaney said she had concerns about negative perceptions of Oakland being reinforced through media and was upset “to read a blog post uninformed and unenlightened about the true life blood of the Town.”

Gibson McElhaney added, “it’s important that the media tell the truth of who we are. I don’t want a perpetuation of the myth of black criminality.”

She went on to note her family’s long association with West Oakland, beginning with her mother, a resident of Harbor Homes, which she called the city’s first housing project.

Pete Escovedo performs at the Life is Living Festival

Pete Escovedo performs at the Life is Living Festival

Gibson McElhaney called West Oakland “a touchpoint of pride,” pointing to the blues scene once centered around Esther’s Orbit Room and the 7th St. strip, the “rich history” of McClymonds High School, and DeFremery Park, a historic meeting ground for the Black Panthers, and the current location for the annual Black Cowboy Parade and Life is Living Festival, as well as the Town Park skatepark run by Keith “K-Dub” Williams.

As far as new residents are concerned, she added, “we’re looking for people to come to Oakland who will embrace Oakland and all of its parts.”

Also contacted via phone, Davey-D noted the prevalence of crime in parts of San Francisco and San Jose. “Do we tell people to stay out [of those cities?]” When Cole mentioned East Oakland, he wondered, “what part of East Oakland are you talking about? You’re talking about an expansive area that’s more than half the city.”

In Davey’s view, “that wasn’t a tongue in cheek article. She was dead serious.”

A b-boy cipher at the Malcolm X Jazz Fest

A b-boy cipher at the Malcolm X Jazz Fest

He went on to point out that in both West and East Oakland, “there’s a history of activism.” Activists, he said, purposely moved to those areas to connect with the communities living there. Davey specifically name-checked Tony Coleman of OneFam and Regina Jackson of East Oakland Youth Development Center, along with Allen Temple, all of whom, he said, “put in work… trying to contribute to a solution.”

Davey also noted that happenings such as the African Griot exhibit currently at the African American Museum and Library in West Oakland are perfect examples of the types of events that outlets like KQED should be covering. “That was just an incredible exhibit,” he said.

A Flamenco dancer performs at the Malcolm X Jazz Fest

A Flamenco dancer performs at the Malcolm X Jazz Fest

Oakland Local also reached out to Cole and KQED [disclosure: KQED is a media partner of OL]. While the blogger did not respond to a reporter’s emails seeking comment, we did hear from Michael Lupetin, VP of Marketing and Branding, who stated his “initial reaction is to apologize profusely,” while reiterating KQED remains “very committed to the Bay Area.”

Lupetin pointed out that KQED Pop is a new web feature, and not part of KQED’s news division, which was intended to give new voices an opportunity to be heard. Cole, he said, was a “third-party blogger” and not “the voice of KQED,” who essentially wrote an op/ed piece which fell short of KQED’s high standards for in-depth journalism. The lighthearted tone intended in the blog “did not come across,” Lupetin admitted.

“We’re local, we’re here to serve,” he added. “In this case, we failed to do that accurately.”

While the incident certainly caused embarrassment throughout KQED’s Potrero St. headquarters, “we’re actually very grateful” that it happened, Lupetin insisted. “We’ve learned a tremendous amount from the feedback” from community members and subscribers, he added, noting that many KQED staffers live in Oakland. “When you make a mistake,” he said, “you need to learn from that. We take it very seriously.”

Tony Coleman and Bikes 4 Life staff in West Oakland

Tony Coleman and Bikes 4 Life staff in West Oakland

As a result, he said, KQED would be reviewing its editorial guidelines and working with the editorial team to determine “what is appropriate content” for its pop culture blog. It was unclear at press time whether Cole would be writing any more blog posts for KQED Pop.

 

The short URL for this post is http://oak.lc/6FcRm.

34 thoughts on “Oaklanders Respond to Controversial KQED blog post (Opinion)

  1. It seems like all these oh-so-Oakland people would LOVE an article that advises San Francisco people to avoid three quarters of the city. I mean, isn’t this same crowd hoping that SF people avoid 100% of Oakland?

    There are mixed messages here: folks hate that SFers are moving here, but also hate that there are areas they dont want to move to.

    Know this: if you keep insisting that Oakland is portrayed as cool, people will want to move here.

    What difference does it make if someone from KQED talks shit?

  2. All this shows is that the Bay Area is full of those lovely, Type-A personalities whom completely lack any sense of empathy with their fellow humans. You continue about your Hack McHackstein lives, dedicated tools who are filled with a sense of individuality and freedom by politicians and corporations, but in reality have neither, because you either lack the mental capacity or the courage, or both.

  3. What amazes me about this discussion is that no one other than the Oakland elected officials, Mayor Quan and Council member Gibson McElhaney, recognizes the political dimension of our high crime rate.

    These pols of course work hard to deny their responsibility for refusing to act effectively to reduce crime.

    Oakland is, largely, a fine place with good people. But it’s also a major center of institutionalized racism which its government does not have the courage or ability to deal with.

  4. I live in Oakland, and 3/4 of Oakland isn’t worth visiting. I’ve even been chased out of neighborhoods by people yelling and cursing for me to leave. If Oakland wants to be 100% it needs to be willing to accept outsiders. It needs to stop doing crime on each other. 3/4 of Oakland isn’t worth visiting because 3/4 of Oakland doesn’t want any outsiders visiting, it’s their turf, they know everyone who lives on the block and you don’t belong. That still doesn’t stop them from avenue rivalry. But it’s certainly worse if you’re there and don’t have a reason to be there. That being said, the 1/4 of Oakland that I live in, is leaps and bounds safer I feel than the entire 100% city of SF. I get concerned walking late night in San Francisco cause there’s always weirdos out late at night there in every area of that wretched city. Every crime report I’ve had to file is with San Francisco. It’s concerning there even during the day sometimes. So I don’t feel any need to live there or go back there. I like where I live now.

  5. I don’t think Oakland residents want to insist Oakland is cool then complain when people move here. I think most of us would just appreciate a more informed view of our city. If you don’t feel the same way about your city, perhaps you should find a home somewhere that gives you more of a feeling of pride.

  6. Thank you for this thoughtful comprehensive piece recapping the controversy.

    I can imagine KQED is appreciative of this wake-up call and I’m not surprised you were contacted by their VP of Marketing and Branding.

    KQED’s blog content strategy is foolishly misguided and, as this controversy proved, it will ultimately hurt their brand.

    Public media supporters do not donate money for the creation of vapid, ignorant, and offensive “pop” fluff content. The internet is already bursting with low-quality tripe for free.

    In addition to the offensive content and tone of the blog piece itself, KQED’s affiliation with the content was particularly shocking because readers do not expect KQED to publish simplistic, racist, and classist portrayals of Oakland that are often the norm in mainstream media.

    There is a higher expectation for listener-supported media and it is naturally upsetting to donors that KQED is devoting precious resources to a catty, low-quality, and link-baiting blog.

    Quality media succeeds at cutting through the clutter precisely because quality is so scarce. It’s a shockingly poor leadership decision at KQED to contribute to the clutter when people donate to ensure a quality alternative to the noise of mainstream media.

    I would not be surprised if offended Oaklanders ignore future KQED pledge drives and decide to donate their money to quality alternatives like Oakland Local instead.

  7. All great points as rebuttal to the KQED post.

    One thing: I don’t believe that’s a flamenco dancer. It could be Folklorico, but not flamenco.

  8. Oakland is our home. It is not a ‘cool spot.” For those of us who grew up here, have family and community here, calling Oakland “cool” seems so juvenile.

    I wish Jean Quan would stop that BS.

  9. The outrage the KQED article “A San Franciscan’s Guide to Oakland” has spawned is as intriguing as it is baffling.

    Admittedly, the suggestion to stay out of East and West Oakland stung when I first read it, but it didn’t enrage me to the point of losing perspective, as it seemed to do for other readers. In fact, when I felt that sting, I went back to the top and began re-reading. From that I was able to grasp context, see the article anew and make a judgement call about how much of it I would take to heart based on the author’s point of view – which she clearly states.

    This hoopla has proven to me that people’s ability to both read incisively and think critically has declined.

    A second or third read might help a reader recognize that the author states: “The only rule to living here is to find where to go and not to go. ” Period. End of sentence. That’s real. End of story. That is the author’s experience and that is mine. The author – from experience – made a judgement call that informed her actions. As a result, she’s stuck to what she knows. The Piedmont area. Similarly, I’ve stuck to what I know. As a result, I’ve been known to walk E18, International, in and out of the murder dubs at times ranging from 9pm to 3 or 4am BY MYSELF. Would I welcome others to do likewise? Not necessarily. Something bad could happen. Or nothing could happen. The point is, my experience is different and it is clearly more forgiving than the author’s. It may be because I’m black, because I’m observant, or because I’m a little cray that I frequently did (and still sometimes do) this but it doesn’t reduce the possibility of danger. That’s a fact for any urban area (I’m from L.A. originally), especially for women — and I’m one of those too.

    All those people who commented about Serena’s limited scope were simply RE-stating the admitted obvious. What I truly wonder is how many of them know East and West Oakland outside of Brown Sugar Kitchen and Soul’s Restaurant. When I visited friends in the bottoms, in the dubs, in the deep east past 106th, went to my first sideshow when I was a youngin’, watching scrapes fly down MacArthur, I knew well enough to know that the sense of community was so strong that outsiders were immediately noticed and that knowing someone already in the community partially paid my cost of admission until I, too, was known.

    Personally, that’s what I love about Oakland: the sense of community. That’s why I live where I live, because I know my neighbors and they know me. Because when I fell running and had to stop for a while, the people I’m pretty sure were knocks asked where I’d been when I got back on track a few months later. Because I live in the same city as Ishmael Reed and my co-worker, friend, and fellow Cal alumna has family history in West Oakland that goes back three and four generations — and she’s not the only one. And we’re all in close proximity.

    Oakland is about the treasures one finds in the cuts. Just because Serena wasn’t afforded the same opportunity to discover those things doesn’t automatically indicate she’s racially insensitive, dumb, brutish, snobbish, or exclusive. That’s just a part of her reality, and as a person, she’s entitled to it.

    I’m sad KQED felt cornered into completely disowning Serena, especially since SHE was the one who asked the article be taken down (not intending to offend) and since this may potentially lead to un-provocative, watered-down pop articles in the future.

    Though this is way longer than I intended, I just wanted to put some thoughts out there. I work with Serena. We don’t work in the same office, we’re not best-ies, she doesn’t work a job I’m secretly vying for. She’s a quirky person with dry wit and striped socks. Despite how it was received, I truly believe her intention was tongue in cheek; perhaps it wasn’t successful. In any event I don’t think it warranted such an outcry, but at the same time…I’m secretly impressed that something so small could strike such controversy, especially at the hands of someone so low key and non-confrontational. I’m just saying. Y’all light weight made her a star…

    I’ll stop there. My friend says people will think what they think (so true) and ignorance has no cure.

    Peace.

  10. What a crock of crap. I’m black, from a “hood”, and I avoid both East and West Oakland. Great advice from the young lady. Oh, and only “activists” are welcomed? People should go where they want and do what they enjoy.

  11. My experiences are like Mic Jones.

    However, I think Serena shows another problem with Oakland.

    Our officials have pandered to people like Serena.

    We have placed them before us. We have spent too much time debating on what is the “real” Oakland, changing names of neighborhoods in order to break away from our history, etc.

    And so we can “celebrate our diversity.”

    Serena was just a wake up call.

  12. It really is significant that when an educated, professional, long time resident of a city writes a jokey blog about where to eat, which is a basic puff piece similar to a million we’ve seen before, but responsibly includes the information that it’s best not to wander around in certain parts of town if you aren’t familiar with them. Since she herself isn’t (because she got into a more liveable area when it was affordable), she doesn’t suggest the one or two businesses that exist in that area that someone might reasonably visit (I’m only speaking to W. Oakland, where I live, and I don’t go into East Oakland for exactly that reason). As a result of stating a fact, many of our local public dim-wits manage to excoriate her as a racist, among other slurs.

    Oakland has demonstrated once again that it has a long way to go before it’s an inclusive, living city, instead of a desolate, corrupt backwater, and this incident really showcases that. If there weren’t a lot of truth to what she said in that paragraph, I doubt you would have seen this level of hysterical denial. Shamefully, local politicians even joined the hissy fit. Lynette McElhany, I’m in your district, and you’re starting to get on my nerves. Quan is another matter that will hopefully be addressed soon, and her deficits are well established, so it’s unsurprising that she had to join in.

    Maybe the angry, victimized mouthpieces that suck up the most air around here need to step back and realize this town is part of the bay area, and state economy, and people will move here sometimes (if they don’t have children, that is), and don’t need a passport to do so. Some of those people aren’t interested in taco trucks, or hip hop, or overpriced dining, or skate parks. It may have to become a more diverse place, and allow some other cultural values to exist without denouncing them as racist whenever they come to their attention. Address unfairness and oppression when it actually happens. Stop assigning motivations to people that are non-existent. This whole episode would be completely embarrassing if anyone actually knew about it, but since it’s Oakland, no outsiders will even notice this little dogpile.

  13. Eric can testify that he and I have had our online disagreements. But here, aside from calling Piedmont & Rockridge gentrified, I agree with him. Period.

    It is simply ignorant for anybody to call for others to not visit roughly 2/3 of our City. There are so many beautiful neighborhoods, diverse and not, that this is an obviously ignorant opinion. Calling it “tongue-in-cheek” is a poor excuse for damage control and poor excuse for a major underlying problem:

    KQED markets as representing the Bay Area, but it ACTS like it’s JUST for San Francisco.

    It is obvious that KQED editors know little about Oakland or they would have caught this. & KQED programming has LITTLE TO NO COVERAGE of Oakland or other Bay Area cities.

    I have repeatedly asked KQED & specifically FORUM to increase their non-SF local coverage. They simply have not AND they REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE PROBLEM -or- IMPROVE PROGRAMING IN ANYWAY to reflect this constructive criticism.

    Maybe they should share some of their airways with local programmers who will? Or, if they’ve become an unresponsive, ignorant monopoly, simply be broken up?

    Let me be clear – I enjoy their national and state programing. It’s their local programming that is either nonexistent or just plain sucks.

  14. The African American Museum and Library (AAMLO) is located where I’d call downtown, not West Oakland, which to my mind starts at the freeway.

  15. I do not, nor will I EVER, live in any part of Oakland. The main topic for this article is point on! The few times I’ve been to East, West Oakland I’ve SEEN and been involved with so much violence I’ll never return. And I hope others will take it more seriously than the FEW people who say otherwise. Oakland has a bad rap for a reason. So don’t refute others pointing out the obvious violence because it’s true. Do something about it before you say others are wrong. Oh, let’s not forget how Oaklan just passed a bill to go forward with using just about anything it can to snoop and pry into EVERYONE who even might pass through it’s borders. Nope, never going back.

  16. Mr. Dart,
    I respect your position. You came to Oakland, you don’t like it, you’re not coming back. End of discussion.

    However, Serena is a different story. She moved here, didn’t like most of it. Instead of leaving, she complains. That’s stupid.

    Now, many Oaklanders are offended. They write about all the good things about Oakland. Why bother?

  17. Oakland Native,
    Complaining/voicing your opinion is now stupid? Really? There is nothing wrong in certain parts of Oakland? I’m sorry but crime statistics disagree with you.

    Oakland has a lot of great things going for it but let’s be honest with ourselves. There are a lot of problems and problem areas which have had a lot of violence and crime. Have you ever used Oakland Crime Spotting? Just look at the those maps in East and West Oakland and you can see that while you might not like it, Serena is correct in that those areas are pretty rough (on a side note, Summer time has a much higher crime rate than other parts of the year) compared to say areas near Lake Merritt and Rockridge.

    Also, when people talk about SF, do you hear people advise visitors or future residents to visit Hunter’s Point, Bayview, parts of the Mission (which I use live in), the Tenderloin, parts of Portero Hill, and areas near Filmore without some sort of warning?

    In any case, people are coming to East and West Oakland regardless of what Serena or anyone else says. There’s been several articles even here in Oakland Local talking about the influx of new people who don’t seem to be phased by outside opinion.

  18. Let me tell you something, MS. Serena Cole, I lived in Oakland during my teen years all the way thru to 1999, then due to circumstances beyond my control was forced to move to SF Tenderloin until I found a better place and was able to save enough to move myself back to Oakland in the past year. Neighborhoods I have lived in in Oakland? 11th Avenue @ E. 22nd(1981-1982) 7th @ Fallon 1984, Foothill Blvd @25th Avenue (1984-1991), 16th @ Clay 1993, Prentiss off Davis & Coolidge, 1994-1995, Vernon St. 1995, McAuley off of Telegraph 1996, MacArthur @ 68th, 1996, Modesto Blvd off of Birdsall, 1997-1998, Piedmont Apts, (MacArthur @ Piedmont Ave) 1998-1999, High Street at San Carlos 2012, and more recently 73rd Ave/Hegenberger Area. I am multi ethnic, but predominately Puerto Rican from my father’s side and I LOVE OAKLAND, ALL OF OAKLAND. I find that if you are a positive person and treat people like you want to be treated, others respect you and don’t bother you. I had worse luck in SF (my first year living there, some idiot tried to mug me for my last $5, he found himself being arrested and jailed after a quick trip to the ER (er well trip to ER from booking)..anyway I have worked security all over Oakland and let me tell you, East Oakland is rich with culture (many different cultures) and I would kill and die for Oakland if it ever came under terrorist attack. I love this city and I love the people in it. MY grandparents lived and died in this city (natural causes). My mother and her siblings all born here in Oakland. If it wasn’t for this beautiful city, I wouldn’t be here. If you dislike Oakland so much that you have to make it look worse than people already think it is with your stupid blog, take your ass back to Berkeley or somewhere else.

  19. The fact is, East Oakland includes many happening neighborhoods that are safe and have a lot of positive things going on. That the author doesn’t know this shows she either doesn’t know the boundaries that make up East Oakland and/or she hasn’t been out of her areas well enough to write the article (eg. or recommend others where to go).

    KQED by default also doesn’t know Oakland well enough to have published this article, or to say that it has good local coverage.

  20. The paragraph did not include any mention of race at least as quoted. It mentioned crime.

    Who, precisely, drew the conclusion that a warning against crime is a warning against race?

  21. @someoneelse, it doesnt take a sociologist to see that advising people to “stay out of east and west oakland” is shorthand for “stick to the white parts of town.”

    “According to 2000 census tract data, Oakland is fairly segregated into ethnic enclaves. Persons who are Hispanic or Latino of any race were spread throughout the city, but densely concentrated in West Oakland, Fruitvale, and East Oakland. White people were densely concentrated in the Oakland Hills and in the Southeastern areas of the city. Black or African American people were concentrated in West Oakland and East Oakland.”

    (source: http://thetown.wordpress.com/2007/09/08/demographics-oakland-at-a-glance/ )

    “in 2000, East Oakland’s population was 51% black, 38% latino, and 4% white.”

    (source: http://www.acphd.org/media/53459/eoakland05.pdf)

    The numbers have shifted a bit since, but the fact remains that East and West Oakland are still predominantly black and Latino. in fact, West Oakland is still 2/3rds black, even.after losing 10% of its black population since 2000. And Latino populations are growing in East Oakland and other parts of the city.

    What is particularly interesting, however, is that Ms. Cole has yet to comment on the article or exactly what she meant by it. To this reporter, her silence speaks volumes.

  22. Someoneelse, By including all of East Oakland she included many safe areas of Oakland. As Eric highlighted she included about 75% of Oakland. She’s simply making a vast generalization and she’s factually wrong.

  23. Why do people have to “prove” anything to Serena? Why have people, even our city officials, gotten so defensive? They even have to list the “good” things about Oakland.

    We have more important issues than Ms. Cole. If she doesn’t like Oakland, she can leave.

  24. Thanks for a great review if a trifling affair. By the way, the photo at the Malcolm X Jazzfest is a bomba dancer from the Puerto Rican folkloric group Aguacero

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