In this audio soundscape, Youth Radio poet and artist Shyra Gums compares Oakland’s diversity to a giant pot of gumbo, with beautiful, interesting ingredients.
Wind, rain, dirt & sunshine were the only elements
that symbolizes Earth the best.
And the birth of life was an addition,
but who would have thought this pedigree
would explode into indefinable diversity?
It all became a surplus of foundations for the roots
of what went from abnormality to the colors of life
All of the ingredients were contained in this
fluorescent, metropolitan region
In this case it would be a big pot,
set stable and ready for everything to be thrown in
The rice, which represents the agriculture,
and natural growth of crops,
The shellfish, that represents the high access of water,
and the seas, where they came from,
and where natives were able to go to,
and use for the growth of nature that we observe today
The vegetables , which represents the strength of the soil,
where they grew from, and to provide for the birds,
So they can be strong enough to fly through tough winds
The meat, which represents the animals
and their ability to migrate through different habitats
The boiling water, which comes from the skies
and falls into what great bodies of oceans, rivers, and lakes we have,
and finally, the seasonings,
that represents the essence of the different states the environment had had.
So as we walk through streets of buildings and skyscrapers,
we, as residents can taste…and enjoy…..the heart…of Oakland.