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Artist Shomari Smith Creates City's First Black Panther Party Monument

Walking through Oakland with artist Shomari Smith is like exploring history. Smith highlights the significance of the Temescal District for the Black Panther Party, where members would gather, eat, and plan. To honor this legacy, the Temescal Telegraph Business Improvement District is creating a public art installation. Fredrika Newton, the widow of Dr. Huey P. Newton, emphasizes Temescal's importance as the Black Panther Party's birthplace.

Last year, the Temescal Roots Project team and the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation selected Smith's vision for the monument, named "10 Points to Liberation." The piece, a curved concrete structure, will feature prominent Black Panther members and their Ten-Point Program, which outlines demands such as freedom, employment, education, and an end to police brutality.

Smith sees the project as his most significant work, aiming to preserve the Black Panther Party's history and legacy. The monument will be the first dedicated to the entire Black Panther Party, with only a bronze bust of Dr. Newton existing since 2022. The Temescal Telegraph Business Improvement District is raising $500,000 for construction, hoping to break ground in 2025. The monument will be located at the intersections of Shattuck, Telegraph, and 45th, where the iconic Kasper's Hot Dog once stood—a place frequented by Black Panther members for meetings and meals.

Link: CBSNews


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