The Black Dot Cafe, which we blogged about last week, is part of a larger effort of The Village Bottoms community in West Oakland to re-claim and re-vitalize their neighborhood. Anchored at one end by the Black Dot Cafe and at the other by the Black New World cultural center, the three block stretch of Pine Street has the potential to become a vibrant historic and cultural focal point of West Oakland.
Besides the Black Dot Cafe, we are also working with Marcel Diallo, and other members of the Village Bottoms Community, and EcoCity Builders to upgrade the Black New World space so that it can once again become a cultural events gathering venue. Between the Black Dot Cafe and the Black New World are other cultural and historical attractions as well as the beginnings of a large community garden. The lot where the garden is situated is big enough to have space for a sizable greenhouse and an aquaponics system.
Right now we are primarily helping with the drawings and documentation for the two spaces at either end of the district, so that they can begin functioning and drawing people to the neighborhood. Funding the improvements necessary to getting the permits and licenses is as always the major challenge. Anyone who wishes to help please check out the website of Friends of the Black New World. Or be in touch with us -- we’d love to have your involvement!