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Love Not Blood Unsung Heroes

By Final Call News | Last updated: Jan 18, 2018 - 1:21:15 PM

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Photos by Jabril Muhammad

OAKLAND—The Love Not Blood Campaign recently honored recipients of its 2017 Unsung Heroes Award here over an inspiring and emotional weekend. The non-profit group is led by Cephus “Uncle Bobby” Johnson and “Aunt B,” Beatrice X Dale. The husband and wife team assist those who have lost a loved one to police violence or community violence. They are sincere, good people and offering help and doing a difficult work, said award recipients.

“Uncle Bobby” is the uncle of Oscar Grant, who was shot to death on a subway platform by a transit officer, laying down and handcuffed in 2009. The couple also worked on and built the Oscar Grant Foundation and then turned it over to Oscar’s mom, who is Uncle Bobby’s sister.

It was a great weekend Dec. 15-16 in Oakland, kicked off with a birthday celebration for Uncle Bobby, followed by an all-day Saturday session with men, fathers, brothers, uncles and others who have lost loved ones and some who have perpetuated violence against their own people. It started with a drum circle and brother after brother came forward and told incredible and touching stories. A few tears, a lot of hugs and a lot of love was shared between these Black men. Almost all of them are taking care of family members, running programs, and speaking out as activists against police and community violence after personal tragedy. They have gone from pain to purpose and show great support and understanding of one another.

Later that night was the awards ceremony where supporters, families, fathers, mothers, and those who have suffered and backed the Love Not Blood Campaign were honored. Final Call editor Richard B. Muhammad was among the honorees. “I felt extremely blessed, not only for the award, but because The Final Call newspaper had told the stories of so many of those who lost loved ones and who are being honored tonight,” he said.

The birthday celebration was at Everett & Jones restaurant and the other events at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, two historic Black establishments in Oakland. The legendary Davey D Cook was the evening’s deejay.

Yusuf Salaam, of the Central Park 5, delivered great words during the Men’s Conference and was the keynote speaker for the banquet. Among other awardees were Mike Brown Sr. (father of Mike Brown Jr.), Ron Davis (father of Jordan Davis, killed because a White man felt his music was too loud), and Nation of Islam Student Ministers Christopher Muhammad of San Francisco and Keith Muhammad of Oakland.

“Whether you have lost a loved one to police terrorism or community violence, or have not lost a loved one, you sacrifice your personal time and finances to make our community better. You did not stop there. You embraced other impacted families with that love you have shared with the Love Not Blood Campaign. Here we are at the close of  2017 still standing,” said the organizers of the weekend. Uncle Bobby and Aunt B are also members of the Nation of Islam.