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Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 19

A 1968 book-length report, titled “A Study of the Manpower Implications of Small Business Financing: A Survey of 149 Minority and 202 Anglo-Owned Small Businesses in Oakland, California,” was sent to the Bay View by its author, Joseph Debro, prior to his death in November 2013, and his family has kindly permitted the Bay View to publish it. The survey it’s based on was conducted by the Oakland Small Business Development Center, which Debro headed. This is Part 19 of the report.

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 17

A 1968 book-length report, titled “A Study of the Manpower Implications of Small Business Financing: A Survey of 149 Minority and 202 Anglo-Owned Small Businesses in Oakland, California,” was sent to the Bay View by its author, Joseph Debro, prior to his death in November 2013, and his family has kindly permitted the Bay View to publish it. The survey it’s based on was conducted by the Oakland Small Business Development Center. The Bay View is publishing the report as a series.

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 15

A 1968 book-length report, titled “A Study of the Manpower Implications of Small Business Financing: A Survey of 149 Minority and 202 Anglo-Owned Small Businesses in Oakland, California,” was sent to the Bay View by its author, Joseph Debro, prior to his death in November 2013, and his family has kindly permitted the Bay View to publish it. The Bay View is publishing the report as a series. This is Part 15 of the report.

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 14

A 1968 book-length report, titled “A Study of the Manpower Implications of Small Business Financing: A Survey of 149 Minority and 202 Anglo-Owned Small Businesses in Oakland, California,” was sent to the Bay View by its author, Joseph Debro, prior to his death in November 2013, and his family has kindly permitted the Bay View to publish it. This is Part 14 of the report.

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 12

As in the ‘30s, the arbitrary policy of herding Mexicans illegally onto buses, trains and airplanes to repatriate them stirred new resentment in many Mexican Americans. Many families were disrupted. Feelings of mistrust, hostility and alienation from the prevailing Anglo society were magnified, especially since violence was not eschewed, even by elderly persons who had lived peacefully in American communities for many years.

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 11

Mexican immigration 1900-1960: The patterns established during the last century continued into the 20th as well. Successive waves of immigrants came to this country from Mexico as a response to American labor demands in the industrial and agricultural sectors. Before 1910, Mexican laborers were employed generally without union status as agricultural workers, as miners, as maintenance and construction workers.

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 10

During this same period, another major change was taking place. The Southern gold mines were running out, and quartz mining filled the vacuum. Wages by the summer of 1851 were $20 and $30 per week including board; now a new type of miner was needed, one who would work for wages. Yankees in California preferred to remain independent in the hopes of becoming owners of rich mines rather than working for others.

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 9

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Americans of Spanish and Mexican descent remained concentrated in what had been the Spanish and Mexican colonial territories in the southwestern United States: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and California. During the Spanish and Mexican colonial regimes, these territorial possessions were only sparsely populated with missionaries, soldiers, a few ranchers and farmers, and very few persons of commerce and trade.

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 8

Negroes in the labor force: Persons who are employed or unemployed but able to work and actively seeking a job are considered to be part of the labor force, whereas persons who are neither employed nor unemployed, such as retired persons, children, non-working students and full time housewives, as well as “unemployables,” are not considered as part of the labor force.

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 7

The history of technology in the United States is inextricably related to Negro labor and business conditions. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the country was characterized by its rural and agricultural nature. With the advent of mass production, a steady and inexorable shift occurred, resulting in an urban, industrial society with many people leaving Eastern and Southern farms and towns and migrating to Northern and Western cities.

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 6

As more and more white unions gained entrance into the AFL, more and more Negroes lost jobs and the opportunity to enter others. Astute observers of the time noted that Negroes were being excluded from occupations which they once held under slavery, that Negroes were being segregated into separate locals in trades where whites and Blacks formerly worked side by side, and that the economic plight of the Black was growing worse while unionism advanced.

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 5

The movement from farm to city forced the proletariat to unite in order to wrest decent pay and working conditions from large corporations, which tended to control entire industries as well as to reduce competition from immigrants and others, including Negroes. The history of the American labor unions, like that of big business itself, is filled with examples of racism, nationalism and exclusionism.

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 4

Black labor and business in the North before 1862: Labor and business conditions were slightly better for Negroes in the North than in the South, but discriminatory practices were far from absent. Unlike the South, where slaves were protected in their crafts through the paternalistic assistance of their white masters, Northern free Negroes were faced with severe competition from immigrant workers who were preferred over native Blacks.

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 3

Here we attempt to trace some of the historical antecedents and current socioeconomic processes that have served to prevent Black and Mexican American entrepreneurs from being assimilated into the mainstream of national business activities. In so doing, we must examine the evolution of Negro and Mexican American labor in the United States and its relationship to white-controlled labor unions, business and government.

Joe Debro on racism in construction: A study of the manpower...

All the ingredients of human bondage and denigration which characterize Anglo treatment of minority peoples in the United States are also present in Oakland, California. A study of Oakland’s socio-economic situation demonstrates, as the Kerner Report and many other similar queries have done throughout the country, that the poor are cut off dramatically from the middle and upper classes.

Joe Debro on racism in construction: A study of the manpower...

“Our nation is moving toward two societies, one Black, and one white – separate and unequal.” And, unless immediate corrective action is taken, “large scale and continuing violence could result, followed by white retaliation, and, ultimately, the separation of the two communities into a garrison state.” These are words from the much publicized and relatively blunt report of the President’s Commission on Civil Disorders.

Joe Debro on racism in construction

In November 2010, Joe Debro sent the Bay View a 200-page “book” he wrote in 1968 on racism in construction. His family has generously agreed that it be published in the Bay View. To begin, here is the prolog he wrote in 2010 to update it. In 1968, three of us undertook a study of the manpower implications of small business financing. In 2010, 42 years later, not much has changed.

Civil rights hero Ray Dones dies

The nation has lost one of its unsung civil rights heroes: Ray Dones was the Martin Luther King of the construction industry. We lost Ray at a time when his kind of leadership is most needed. We all recognize now that the best way to fight violent crime is with a well paying job.

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Menthol milestone, the anniversary no one is celebrating

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Celebrate Dr. Hannibal Williams for making a difference – keep his...

Liberation House, the first residential facility for treatment of drug and alcohol addiction that reached out to Afro-American men, is another example of its founder, Dr. Williams, making a difference. During its 30 years of operation, Liberation House was an extremely successful drug and alcohol rehabilitation program which successfully helped thousands of men from every walk of life attain their sobriety.

Why we love Jeff Adachi

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Celebrate Cultural Landmark designation of the Arthur Coleman Medical Center

You’re invited! Please join us at the Coleman Medical Center on Tuesday, March 26, for an open house from 4:30-6:30 p.m., 6301 Third St. (at Ingerson), San Francisco 94124. Visit this landmark center for Black health! Meet the staff and board of the Bayview Hunters Point Clinic. RSVP please to health@bayviewclinic.org. The event is free.