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Cassady Rosenblum

At historic Black Panthers school, Black teachers were key to student success

In 1973, the Black Panther Party opened an elementary school in an old church on International Boulevard. At its peak, The Oakland Community School (OCS) served around 160 students, and relied on a combination of grants and private donations to give it total autonomy: the Panthers hired whom they pleased, taught how they wanted, and won awards doing it. When the party disbanded in 1982, the school shut its doors. But a generation of its alumni still live—and to hear…

Last-minute gift shopping at Oakland International Airport

If you forget to bring your mother-in-law a gift when you visit for the holiday, you can buy her a set of “Mindful Mandala Cards” for $18 from the souvenir vending machine at the Oakland International Airport. If she’s not that kind of woman, you might get her a “Golden Gate Bridge Flour Sack” for $14 instead (flour not included). For $28, you can win (or lose) several adored auntie points by bringing your nieces and nephews a “Woodland Animal…

Women react to Trump presidency: “Sexism and racism won last night.”

Betsy Butler, Catherine Hooper and Alison Knowles all thought they would turn on the TV this morning to see Hillary Clinton become President-elect of the United States. Instead they woke up to the reality of a Donald Trump presidency, and have spent the day grappling with feelings of shock and disappointment as they pondered how Tuesday night’s results will affect them as women. Butler, who is executive director of the California Women’s Law Center (CWLC) and campaigned for Clinton in…

The Black Panther Party’s Ten-Point Program, 50 years later

The Black Panther Party (BPP) was founded on October 15, 1966 in Oakland, California by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. The party was a political organization that agitated for greater rights for Black people in the United States. Seale and Newton captured the attention of the country (and of law enforcement) through their tactic of openly carrying rifles and shotguns while observing police officers in their community.

Castlemont players find their voice through football

Someone snapped a photo of the Castlemont team kneeling, and it quickly spread on Instagram and Twitter. At the next game against The King’s Academy in Sunnyvale, Castlemont’s players took their protest one step further: they laid down on the ground as if they were dead and raised their arms in the “don’t shoot” position. This time, there was another body in the end zone: Colin Kaepernick’s.

School board candidates introduce themselves to voters, spar on charter schools

Nine school board candidates took the mic Tuesday night at Lighthouse Community Charter School to introduce themselves to Oakland voters. They are vying for four seats in Districts 1, 3, 5, and 7. Each candidate took turns answering the same three questions, which were printed in the audience’s programs in both English and Spanish. Connie “Mama” Williams, a grandmother of a Lighthouse student, moderated the forum. She was joined by several students and a mother who took turns reading aloud…

School board meeting attendees plea for Measure G funds for charter schools

The Oakland Unified School Board meeting Wednesday night was packed—and then it wasn’t. Hundreds of parents and children wearing pro-charter school t-shirts and waving roses filled the left hand side of the gym at La Escuelita Learning Center, spilling over onto the right side where union members from the Oakland Education Association sat. Over twenty cards for public comment had been filed on an item that did not appear on the agenda. But as the board opened the floor to…

Oakland Unified School District celebrates low teacher vacancies

The talent recruiters at the Oakland Unified School District worked around the clock this summer to make sure all students in Oakland would have a teacher waiting to welcome them back to school. They had to. Last year, students returned to find as many as 77 of their classrooms manned by an improvised crew of coaches and librarians as the district scrambled to fill the vacancies with credentialed teachers. This year, as of August 28, there were only three vacancies…

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