Capers & Casper (East Oakland, CA. Black Disabled Legends)

Capers & Casper (East Oakland, CA. Black Disabled Legends)

November 12, 2017 by Leroy Moore

East Oakland can I shake your hand
Black, disabled & proud, do you understand
Our history goes through our fingers like sand
Capers & Casper they are the man
 
Art & music studios we must know
How much they changed Oaktown
Visuals and sounds
 
The community tried to hold them
Capers & Casper opened their homes
To beautify Oaktown on canvas and in music
1980’s & 1990’s before gentrification
 
Casper’s obsession to bricks
His artistic wall of prejudice licks
Our open wounds of isms
Casper put his all in the bricks and walls
 
While in the Oakland Hills Capers produced Oaktown stars
In the basement where the music-magic happened by far
He heard papers in the booth, “I might be blind but I’m no fool”
We heard him, “remember your lyrics” 
 
Found J-Jam studio, Soul to Hip-Hop that we began to know
Gave the youth refuge from the streets 
Helped build accessible & affordable homes
Banks were waiting for one mistake then turned the tables
 
Capers & Casper both came to tragic ends
Capers, the bank took his house he died on SSI
Casper shot by Oakland PD 
Their art can still be seen and heard all through Oaktown
 
Today we celebrate Capers & Casper
Through books, song, exhibits & film
Their work is found on Bay area’s streets
Their legacy, beautifying East Oakland community
 
Joe Capers with his guide dog, Tenor in his Oakland home in the early 90's.  Joe was a musician and producer. Casper Banjo with a white hat and salt and pepper beard. Casper Banjo was a visual artist. Both Black, gifted and disabled, lived and died in East Oakland, CA.