Finally Oakland Zoo to close the African village exhibit.
Jul 16, 2015 — On Monday, July 13th 2015 the Oakland Zoo announced its closure of the ‘African Village Display’: Through a reply to a face book post on the Priority African Network page.
“Due to the concerns of some members in our community, the Traditional East African Women’s Dwelling, located at Oakland Zoo has now been closed. The Zoo will re-purpose this location to highlight our efforts surrounding the conservation of African elephants and the ivory trade”.
This marks a major victory for Bay Area community members of the African Diaspora and our allies who have fought for the removal of this exhibit since mid-2014 under the leadership of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Priority Africa Network and Bay Area community members of the African Diaspora.
Recently, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and the Priority Africa Network (PAN) have organized multiple community members and organizations from the Bay Area to sign on to a letter to Oakland Zoo demanding the African Village Display removal. Amidst our organizing efforts, the Oakland Zoo responded to PAN’s Facebook post regarding the campaign and announced the closing of the ‘African Village’ Display.
Oakland Zoo’s closure of the African Village Display is a major step in the right direction. Our community wants to ensure that the Zoo will never again display human material culture. We request the following of Oakland Zoo:
Public Statement, such as the one by San Francisco Zoo denouncing the anti-Black attitudes that contributed to establishment of the ‘African Village’.
* An apology to the African Diaspora for contributing to an the dehumanization of Black Lives.
*Commitment to never displaying human material culture in the Zoo again.
*Commitment to establishing clear channels for community members to engage with the Zoo to share concerns about any displays.
*Commitment to actively engage core constituencies to receive input with all new developments at Oakland Zoo.
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