Sunday, May 18, 2008

Funeral Arrangements...for Reginald Lockett

Reginald Lockett's service will be held on Thursday, May 22 @ 11 a.m. at Bebe Memorial at 3900 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, California. He will be interned at Rolling Hills in El Sobrante. The repast at the Black New World following the burial about 4 p.m. Guests are asked to bring a dish for the repast and a poem, art, a song to share, etc.. The gathering is to be celebratory.

The Black New World. is at 836 Pine St. Oakland CA 94607 Oakland: Jack London Square (510) 451-4661, You can send condolences to Reggie's family's house: 3717 Market St., Oakland, CA, 94608

Reginald's Daughter Maya Lomasi Lockett can be reached (510) 798-8201.

This is from an email exchange Reginald and I had a couple of years ago.

February 16, 2006


This is just a note to thank you for the wonderful introduction and being instrumental in having me as a guest at College of Alameda. I really appreciate it. Here's a poem by Derek Walcott that speaks to all human beings:

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

And say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

Reginald Lockett was born Reginald Franklin Matthis in Berkeley to Rebecca Sue Matthis. To this day I do not know who my biological father was, or is. It is said he was a West Indian merchant marine or a US Navy sailor from somewhere back east. My biological mother left me in the care of three aunts--Alyce Lockett, Marzetta Stearns, and Argie Sloan--and moved to Los Angeles. I was later adopted by Jewell and Alyce Lockett who I always thought were my actual parents. I began school at Pearl Harbor Elementary School in Honolulu. I was later shipped off to Marion County in Northeast Texas to live with my grandmother Sudie Matthis. I attended a segregated country school Macedonia where a great-uncle Levi Matthis was principal. My great-grandfather Paul Matthis, a former slave, was one its founders and later served as principal. His wife Angela was also a former slave and a daughter of her former master who sent her to a normal school to become a teacher. The idea to write about fried bologna sandwiches was inspired by what we were served for lunch. Many southerners consider this a delicacy. I returned to California after my grandmother passed and attended Longfellow Elementary where I was placed in a special education class because white folks assumed black kids from the South lacked scholastic skills. I attended Hoover Junior High School and McClymonds. I earned a BA and MA from San Francisco State University. It was at Hoover that I fell in love with the word and became a voracious reader. James Baldwin's "The Fire Next Time" was the first book by an author of African descent I ever read. Yes, I spent the money on the book, not the Levi's. This lead to the discovery of other Black authors. I was a member of the BSU at SFSU where I would read my poetry with Marvin X, Amiri Baraka, Askia M. Toure, and Sonia Sanchez. My work has been published in over 50 anthologies and periodicals, and I have published 4 books of poetry. As the editor the KPFA Folio in 1978, I had access to an IBM composer that was used to type news print and other graphic arts material. I learned how to use many of the tools and decided to produce a chapbook to sell at open readings. I lived in San Francisco then and hung out with the boyfriend of Diane Brown, sister of Santana bassist David Brown, who dated Cyn Zarco. Cyn gave me a call to inquire about what I was doing. She knew how to produce books because she worked with Ishmael Reed and Al Young producing "Yardbird". Out of this encounter Jukebox Press was born.


At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reggie was a dear friend and inspiration to us all at San Jose City College. My special memory of him when I was President of City College Associated Students he volunteered to accompany us on a Training Conference to Nashville, TN. What fun we had that week, Reggie new how to be an advisor and take care of the students with a gentle touch. I will miss you Reggie, but I know that you have begun another incredible jounrney, sail on sail on Rick Diffenderfer

At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was VERY fortunate to have had him as a teacher at San Jose City College. He is well loved and well respected not only for his work and intelligence, but for the kind man he was within. Not many teachers are well loved, but he broke that mold.

He will be missed and future students will be missing out on such an amazing person.

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked with Reggie at San Jose City College. But, he was my friend and mentor with poetry and life. I will miss him dearly.

At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said... is the correct website and 510-451-4661 is the correct telephone number.

At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reggie was and still is my cousin. He is the person who taught me how to play chess. I believe he was the second person in our family to earn an advanced degree (Masters or higher). I made the mistake of not fully comprehending how an exceptional talent he was. Unfortunately, we take those close to us for granted without fully appreciating just how special of a human being they are. Reggie was always there to support us in anyway that he could and more than willing to engage you in an intellectually stimulating conversation. May he rest in peace and my condolences to all of his family. Bryan Peppers

At 8:26 PM, Blogger speppers said...

Reggie was my cousin. His father, Jewell Lockett, was my mother's elder brother. We grew up seeing each other often and had many wonderful days in their backyard in Oakland. My Uncle Lockett, still alive at nearly 100, and my late Aunt Alyce, were wonderful gardeners and their yard was always a treaasure for a little girl.

We all knew Reggie was gentle and brilliant, but we took him for granted. Now, of course, well........

Much love to Reggie, and admiring respect,

Cousin Shirley Peppers

At 12:29 AM, Blogger portia Cobb said...

Hello, I received this news all the way in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I moved to from the bay area nearly 17 years ago. I was introduced to Reggie when I first moved to Oakland from LA-by Malcolm Morris, an emerging filmmaker back then. He introduced me to Reggie, and told him of my desire to become a writer. Reggie remained close as a friend, confidant and at one time an instructor. I took a poetry class from him at SFSU and he published one or two of my poems in an anthology produced in that class. he was also the first person to tell me that my writing reminded him of Robert Kaufman...a compliment to this day that I cherish. In all these many years away, I have not forgotten Reggie, but didn't stay in touch. I am an occasional poet...they seem to manifest in the short conceptual videos I make. I remember the birth of Juke Box Press and Reggie asking me to create a graphic image for it...that Cyn Zarco later rejected. Reggie always had my back...always tried to encourage me, was always a true friend. I feel fortunate to have been part of his time. Portia Cobb


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