Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Trustee Paulina Gonzalez Brito addresses the crowd at Berkeley City College’s 50th anniversary celebration. The event featured a block party along with a groundbreaking ceremony for the college’s new Milvia Street building. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
‘We’re still rising’: BCC celebrates 50th anniversary
College throws block party and breaks ground on new building
Sam O'Neil, Associate Editor • May 6, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
Archives
PCCDs classified employees pose for a pic at the first-ever professional development day for classified professionals. PCCD Chancellor Tammeil Gilkerson reflected on the event in her report to the Board of Trustees. (Source: PCCD)
Peralta’s leadership search, CCC public safety earmark, and “rumors” discussed at 4/9 meeting of PCCD Trustees
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • April 24, 2024
College of Alameda jazz professor Glen Pearson demonstrates his musical talent on his classroom piano. Hes one of the newest members of the Count Basie Orchestra, a historic 18-piece jazz ensemble that took home a Grammy this year.
The humble Grammy-winning pianist leading CoA’s music program
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • March 4, 2024
Archives

    Mural welcomed all who enter EOYDC

    Youth Development Center covers up old masterpiece

    Brooding bodies surge onto cracked streets stained with drops of ripened watermelon slices sold from a corner stand where two Mexican women chismes (gossip) after they hand you your change. 
    Babies push babies in strollers while toothless grins peek from under blankets. Colored shapes line the streets and, for 20 years, they stretched up and painted the walls.
    On Aug. 16, 1995, the Summer Youth Employment Training Program (SYETP) unveiled a masterpiece of heroes, pyramids, and a colossal head. 
    This 10-foot mural was on 82nd Street and International Boulevard, the front entrance of the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC), which was painted by local artists and the youth attending SYETP. 
    EOYDCNot only did the art depict influential people of color but it also mirrored the faces of its community. This significant work included Cesar Chavez; W.E.B Dubois; Philip Veracruz, a Filipino labor leader who fought alongside Chavez in the farm workers movement; and other influential people of color like Clara McBride Hale, Jackie Robinson, and Maya Angelou. 
    This potent piece also included MAAT, the ancient Egyptian symbol of truth, balance, order, law and morality, sometimes known as “the goddess of truth and justice.” A likeness of a series of colossal statue heads appeared in the mural, which are found throughout Meso- and Central America, signifying the Olmec civilization. 
    A few other depictions were of Mexican and Egyptian Pyramids; the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut, an Egyptian pharaoh; and the Colonnade of Ipet-Isut, the largest complex ever constructed in an ancient city of WO-SE in Kemet (Africa), a series of temples built over a period of nearly 20 years. Somewhere among all this greatness is Hannibal, the Nubian leader who invaded the Roman Empire on elephants for. There was this and there was more.
    On Sept. 29, 2015, the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new EOYDC revealed a more modern center. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff also came and took witness to this “New Era,” which is coincidentally the center’s newly adopted motto. For Regina Jackson, President and CEO of EOYDC for the last 21 years, this is an amazing opportunity. 
    As well it should be. Staff and students seem eager to find themselves within these new walls. But for the outsider looking in, this “modern” building may be a reminder of Oakland’s gentrification as it is the only rose in a bed in a bed of lilies.
    On a visit to the EOYDC I talked with Sion Walls, a young staff member, about the mural. Although she didn’t have much information about the mural itself, she did say that there would not be another to replace it and that the summer art program, where the mural was first created, was no longer held there. 
    Another staff member that had been at EOYDC before the mural was erected, and remembers the artist by name, assured me that the covering of the 20-year-old mural was a “horrible mistake” done accidentally by its exterior painters. The staffer continued with assurances that there was talk about a future mural. 
    Whatever the case may be, EOYDC is headed in a new direction. Although there is nothing wrong with beginning something new, history should never be forgotten, or covered up so the next generation of brooding bodies and toothless grins will have to chip away at layers of paint to find themselves.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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