Oakland is a city renowned for its diversity, and has deep roots in African American culture. Throughout Oaklands history there have been a number of pioneers and trailblazers who helped make this city as great as it is today. This month we celebrated all of this a little extra, but Oaklands Black History is on display 24/7 365.
Take a trip to the African American Museum & Library in Oakland. This venue is dedicated to the discovery, preservation, interpretation and sharing of historical and cultural experience of African Americans in California and the West. The library has an extensive archive, including 160 collections with diaries of prominent families, pioneers, churches, social and political organizations. The museum also has several exhibits and programs highlighting the historical accomplishments of generations of African Americans. The Oakland Museum of California is also home to several exhibits outlining the history of California's diverse communities. The Museum engages visitors with forums, speakers and interactive events to highlight the social issues and history of California's people.
Oakland's historic Paramount Theatre is now home to top entertainers, including African American comedians such as Sinbad and celebrities such as Shaquille O'Neal. The theatre has also hosted the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition. The competition was initially created in 1986 by theatre artist, Tony Spires, for African Americans and other minorities. Alumni of the event include Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker, Nick Cannon, D.C. Curry, and Mike Epps.
Former Black Panther chief of staff David Hilliard leads visitors through the historical sites of the Oakland-born Black Panther movement, including the building where the party's Ten Point Program was put together in 1966. The tour includes 18 historical sites to visit. No matter the date you can get inspired year-round at the Remember Them monument. It features a number of legendary humanitarians including Maya Angelou, Malcolm X, and Oaklands own Dr. Marcus Foster.
We dont lack good soul-food in The Town. From classic BBQ to California infused Southern cuisine your soul is sure to be fed. Make sure to hit up some or all of these spots before Black History Month ends!
Oakland’s diversity is part of the fabric of Oakland. We’re proud to call this place home and even more proud of our innovative and progressive community leaders. As part of Black History Month, we’re highlighting some of Oakland’s great community leaders. We’re asking them what makes Oakland great, why they chose to live and work here and what a perfect Oakland day would be. Click here for their interview answers.
Dexter Davis, D-Street Media
Dexter Davis is a film producer and distributor and the founder and CEO of D Street Media Group L.L.C.
Toni Adams, Alameda County Board of Education
Toni Adams is a founding member of the Oakland Convention & Visitor Bureau. Former Chief of Staff to Mayor Lionel Wilson