Malcom X // Photography by Jarreau L. Cross




Oakland Heroes is a collaborative art campaign against the high rise of violent crime in the East Bay, California. Soul City Movement is teaming up with Bay Area photographer, Jarreau Lucien Cross and a group of talented artists and thinkers in an effort to raise awareness; promoting consciousness, integrity and a sense of responsibility in the streets of Oakland, CA. 

Oakland Heroes will confront the bay area community with serious realities while still calling on the inspiration of heroic individuals past and present by re-creating iconic images of heroes using Oakland youth as both innovators and subjects. 

Each Hero is chosen by the student and must be able to distinguish why this person is heroic to them. These images will be BLOWN UP and wheat pasted on walls in public spaces in and around Oakland, California.

Soul City Movement  partnered with Oakland Charter School, Lighthouse Charter in facilitating a group discussion on heroism and individual initiative in confronting the public with personal opinions and solutions to community issues through art. Students were then given the opportunity to join us in an effort to showcase voices of reason by participating in what Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently articulated as 'creative altruism'. 
Our focus is heroism. Our focus is to encourage youth to identify with heroes; their ideas; their passions; their initiatives; their story; their method and their message. In doing so, we hope to unite a history of deep thought under the blanket of ‘heroism’ while creating a bridge from past to present and into the future. The images portray the relationship between the individual and their hero; a call to action as we ponder the question: what would they do?
And then most importantly, what would I do?