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Young Gifted and Black

Young Gifted and Black of Oakland was formed in 2010, and featured 4 youth ensembles that perform and teach Black History.  Their performances are usually somewhere between 7 - 18 Minutes and include poetic presentations usually without any musical accompaniment.  Each performance includes choral poems, individual performances, raps, songs and chants designed to uplift African American people and to teach and learn Black history.  The Youth of YGB attend different schools, and come together twice per week to rehearse material, study history and prepare for their presentations.  Throughout the year YGB delivers performances in schools, museums, churches and theaters, at conferences, festivals, ceremonies and special events.  YGB is under the direction of accomplished and dynamic educators and artists with extensive experience in arts education, Black history and youth development.  

YGB is currently welcoming new members grades 2 - 7. We have moved our rehearsals to Berkeley, Ca. YGB is currently operating out of Berkeley, but we remain open to young people from all over the Bay Area. Our spaces are limited, however we are currently open for new participants to join.

Longfellow Middle School in Berkeley, on Tuesdays & Thursdays 430-6p (grades 2 - 7) - Beginning October 1 2019 -

IT ALL STARTED WHEN…

Four black educators recognized that black history and pride education would help black children succeed. They came together in Ithaca New York, in 1981 and formed Young Gifted and Black. 

Fast Forward to 2010, one of these educators, Laroilyn Davis, recognizing the same need in Oakland California, teamed with her son Hodari Davis an original YGB member, and formed Young Gifted and Black of Oakland.  Teaching and learning black history, and pride through historic poetry, hip hop and liberation songs, YGB has been an Oakland community treasure for over 8 years.  This year we have transitioned our work to Berkeley to support the needs of Black students and families in BUSD. We remain open to serving youth from all over the Bay Area.  We have had over 200 youth participants who have performed for thousands of people around California, presented in 4 countries around the world, and performed in national and international events, festivals and broadcasts.  YGB has served as youth ambassadors for the Bay Area and for Black people in the United States for over 15 years.

THE KIDS

Young Gifted and Black of Oakland was formed around a group of elementary and middle school students in 2010.  We currently have 25 members of "The Kids" spanning Berkeley, and Oakland, ages 7 - 14.  These kids attend different Bay Area schools, and rehearse weekly at Long Fellow Middle School in Berkeley.  Over the past six years many of them have performed for thousands of people throughout the Bay Area.

Joining YGB is a simple process that begins with contacting the organization and / or filling out the form, in the navigation bar above.  YGB is currently accepting new members. The kids are currently get restarted for the upcoming year, and need time to develop their skills in rehearsal. They will be working diligently to be available for extensive booking during Black History Month. Until then, we are keeping them in the lab. The YGB Kids are currently available for booking.

THE BLACK SHEROES

The Black Sheroes are the most seasoned of the YGB performance ensembles.  They consist of young women ages 14 - 18 who attend different High Schools in the Bay Area.  These young women have performed for thousands of people, featuring at conferences, festivals, showcases, assemblies, protests, schools, rallies, and other community events.  Their unique presentations feature songs, raps, poetry and compelling individual and choral performances. They are often booked at events celebrating the power and potential of women.  Many of the members have performed with YGB for over 5 years, and carry the legacy of the organization with them. Several of them have traveled with YGB and their performance is a reflection fo their experience as participants. They have performed for Black Heroes and fellow Sheroes including Nikki Giovanni, Mama Charlotte O’neal, Alycia Garza, Melissa Harris Perry, and a host of others. They are not currently available for booking