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Funktown, which is near Lake Merritt, is rapidly being gentrified. You can still find “Funktown” scribbled on sidewalks here and there when the concrete was fresh. But economic cleansing has taken its toll on the hood. It’s just not the same any more. As the renters of Oakland are being terrorized by skyrocketing rents and greedy landlords evicting them by the thousands, city officials have mostly turned a blind eye to the economic cleansing taking place on their watch.
All of the ills which have aggravated possibilities for economic growth and development in urban centers throughout the nation are present in Oakland, the focus of our study. As in other core American cities, important demographic changes have ushered in significant alterations in Oakland’s stance concerning housing, employment, health, welfare and business environments of its inhabitants and the dependent populations in the Bay Area.
Home of Chicken and Waffles has been in Oakland’s Jack London Square for over a decade, serving up hearty meals family style. Derrick Johnson, the native West Oaklander who owns the establishment, also takes pride in hiring local people who have felonies. This beautiful mix of good business and community service has had the restaurant going strong in the rapidly changing demographics of the city of Oakland.
The Bay is known as a place where people seem to be more politically and socially aware. Souley Vegan owner Tamearra Dyson is only adding to this legacy with her groundbreaking restaurant. Her spot is one of my favorite restaurants in Oakland and the Bay Area. Meet Tamearra “cook like yo’ grandma” Dyson, as she talks about Souley Vegan, veganism and her life’s journey.
Opening night in Jack London Square, Miles smiled on us. The evening temperate, soft breeze and a new moon above – perfect. The club was full, so full the line snaked down the hallway into the kitchen – well, not quite, but use your imagination. My friend had reserved seats, center stage second table from the front – perfect.
The fiery writing of JR Valrey began appearing in the Bay View a dozen years ago. JR made our original vision for the Bay View reality: to inspire Black youth to build a powerful Black community. As the Bay View’s associate editor and one of KPFA’s most popular programmers with his provocative Block Report Radio shows, JR and the youth who grew up on his empowering words and pictures are growing in influence, making a difference every day – and they’re just getting started.
I would like to wish all the fathers a blessed and happy Fathers’ Day 2012. It is a hard time to be a parent of a youngster, not to mention an adolescent or youth. The challenges are great, in direct proportion to the rewards. I’d like to congratulate the young fathers who are stepping up and participating in their children’s lives, especially when society equates parenting with one’s largess or paycheck.
In this manifesto that shows why JR Valrey is rightly called the Minister of Information, he exposes "gentrification journalism" as "the public relations team that is put in place to make gentrifiers feel safe," the media's twisting of the murders of Chauncey Bailey and Oscar Grant to demonize Blacks and the hyper-funding of "hyper-local media" as an effort to drown out community media. Everyone who wants to stop the exodus of Blacks from the Bay must read this.