BlackArthur Violent Displacement: East Oakland is dismantled by displacement, one family, one elder at a time

Tiny - Posted on 12 April 2016

“I know they never had any intention of us being here in their plans,” said Master Frohm as my Sun Tiburcio and so many young boys and girls call him who attend the beautiful school he founded that is Frohms Martial Arts Academy on BlackArthur at Seminary in East Oakland. Frohms Academy was just served an exhorbitant rent increase by the new owners of their building and are being forced to leave their neighborhood of 16 years.


“Frohms Martial Arts has been on this block in East Oakland for 16 years,” Master Frohm continued, “I started this school because Martial Arts saved me,” Master Frohm, whose name is Ernest Leon Frohm III, told us the story of his martial arts instructor who saw, even when his mama didn’t, that he was being influenced by local drug -dealers and going down the wrong road. Challenging him with the dedication necessary  from martial arts practice, his Sensei stopped Master Frohm in his tracks and put him on a path to become the consciousness building, empowering teacher to so many he is today.


“Im not sure where i will go, I am currently without a home, luckily i have a community so I’m staying with friends,”  said musician, medicine carrier and elder teacher Val Serrant, teacher and healer with his beautiful drums to so many who also resided on BlackArthur in Deep East Oakland, across from Castlemont high school and was just given notice to leave his home of over 13 years, whose building just like in the case of Frohms, was bought by new residents of East Oakland who under the disguise of “renovations” asked him to leave, “I call it a gentrification tsunami,” Val concluded.


I am worried about our Drum teacher at Deecolonize Academy, Uncle Val, who like Master Frohm and so many more should not have been forced to leave our neighborhood, “ said Tiburcio Garcia and Kimo Umu from Deecolonize Academy who spoke at a recent Oakland City Council meeting which dealt with a proclamation for the powerful Love Life movement and an eviction moratorium.

Youth and adult poverty skolaz from POOR Magazine interviewed Val Serrant and Master Frohm as part of an investigative study Deecolonize Academy’s Revolutionary Journalism class and POOR Magazine reporters are launching on who is buying up BlackArthur and all of East Oakland, which will be part of the launching of an offensive plan we call a DeGentriFUKation Zone meant to help longtime small businesses and families stay rooted in this, a low-income, intentionally blighted, majority African-descendent East Oakland neighborhood.


DONT Sell that Beautiful (Ugly) House


Predatory advertising ( Billboards, Bus shelter and bus bench ads) blanket East and West Oakland telling you to “Sell That Ugly House” ugly and dirty are code words for poor. Us poor and working class peoples are so caught up  and historically lied to about our cultures and languages and spirits and homes and barrios and hoods that we believe they are ugly. We believe the myth of the suburbs and the police created narratives of safety and security. And so countless of us sell and move and leave and don’t ever look back.

Uncle Val Serrant and Master Frohm are just two of the faces of BlackArthur displacement, the speculators and real estate snakkkes and poltricksters, who like Libby Scaaf and Ed Lie invite the corporate developers in to buy these neighborhoods up in one gulp are moving to push us all out. Next door to Homefulness and Deecolonize Academy, at 82nd street two long-term very low-income, disabled elders and all of their extended family of children and families who would stay in their home when there was nowhere else to go, were displaced when 30 something tech workers bought their run-down building which had stayed that way for years while the real estate snakkkes let the property values drop with every year of intentional east Oakland blight.


Frohms Martial Arts has secured another location a few blocks away, which although it is a blessing that they are safe for now, it will be an immeasurable loss to the Seminary neighborhood which, before Frohms Academy came there, was in deep struggle.


From East to West Oakland, these are the tragic, violent and sorrow-filled stories of displacement. As revolutionaries like the E 12st Peoples Plan warriors who fought for Oakland public land to actually be used for the public instead of more devil-opers, we Po folks who have struggled with displacement for years also need to build our own, refuse to leave and demand that the people making money off of our departure support our stability. This is why we are leading  a stolen land tour demanding something we at POOR Magazine call Community Reparations, rooted in interdependence and redistribution of stolen and hoarded wealth.

And for those of us still here while we bang on the poltricksters and government we  also need to stop taking the chump change they give you for “that so -called Ugly House” and move proactively into collective ownership and self-determination like we do at Homefulness.  As Black, Brown, poor and indigenous people across Mama Earth, we need to refuse to keep letting them profit off our destruction.


90 Day Eviction Moratorium in Oakland

After hours and hours of testimony and trying to wait people out to the bitter end causing many of us mamas and children to leave or lose sleep and jobs, an 90 day eviction moratorium in Oakland was won, but to be real the fight to keep us all here has just begun. for more information on the DegentriFUKation Zone, email or come by any thursday from 12-2pm at 8032 BlackArthur at 82nd St to speak with us at the Sliding Scale Cafe at Homefulness. To join us on our stolen land redistribution tour in SF on April 22nd or Okland /Huchin on May 20th email


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