Alissa Greenberg

Oakland’s unconventional third Youth Poet Laureate finds her voice

17-year-old Sophie Elkin, named Oakland’s 3rd Youth Poet Laureate in August, writes about what she knows: the grit and grandeur of Oakland’s people and places and the less tangible but no less real world of adolescence. After a childhood struggling to come out to herself and her parents, Sophie hopes her poetry will help other women to find their voices the way she has.

Oakland Black Cowboys parade celebrates 40 years

Some historians estimate that as many as one third of cowboys in the old West were black, but black cowboys are largely absent in mainstream pop culture. As the Oakland Black Cowboys Association celebrates 40 years, its members reflect on what being a black cowboy means to them and their families.