In the end of 2018 National Geographic launched a list of 28 best trips for 2019, only 4 US cities were mentioned, Oakland was one of them. This is no huge surprise to most longtime Oakland residents who have witnessed the city become more and more popular, in addition to becoming more hip the accompanying landscape has become ever more expensive place to live. There are lot of people who have had a voice recently in what is occurring in Oakland, Restauranteurs, Developers, City Officials, Business owners, new comers. But there has been a voice that has not really been deeply listened to or addressed in all of this and that is the voice of the Oakland Native, those who’s family ties go back several generations, some even more than a hundred years here.
Oakland did not become a national super star overnight, there were many here who supported this city when no believed in The Town, who were here before it was sexy to be here, who maybe even lost more to the Oakland streets than they ever could afford to give. This is a project to capture the voices of all the folks whose families, ideas and cultural values created what we now fondly call the The Town. This is project is to give voice and visual space to the TOWNFOLK.
My hope is that this blog can help generate a city wide conversation about what the identity of Oakland is, what it stands for moving forward, who created those ideals and how those peoples legacy and lives will be acknowledged and involved in the future of this beautiful city. Hopefully we can reverse Gertrude Steins statement and make sure that the “There,There” and those who created it will always a “Here, Here” moving forward in Oakland.