Community

To celebrate a Grammy win, Fantastic Negrito donates to Oakland teachers

After winning a Grammy for the second time, Oakland artist Xavier Dphrepaulez—better known as Fantastic Negrito—came to Oakland’s Impact Hub in early March for a celebration of local talent and to make a donation to support Oakland’s teachers, who had begun a strike a few days earlier. “Feels good, because you know, just four years ago I was playing on the streets right here on Broadway,” he told Oakland North in an interview. “Four years, two Grammys … pretty good.”…

A lesson in Cape Verdean cooking, and a taste of home

Jospefina Gonçalves, 75, knows how to cook—and she does it well. On a Sunday afternoon at her daughter’s home in North Oakland, she was leading a cooking workshop on how to prepare a Cape Verdean delicacy called pastel, an empanada-like pastry with a mix of African and Portuguese flavors. “Everything Cape Verdean, I cook,” Gonçalves said confidently. “I don’t cook nothing that’s not Cape Verdean.” Six women, including Gonçalves and her daughter Nella, are all Cape Verdean Americans—Cape Verde is…

The East Bay in myths and memorials

On an ordinary Monday, we sent the reporters of Oakland North and Richmond Confidential out into our cities with a goal: Capture the spaces that are famous for their legends, their myths, their memorials to the people who made the Bay Area great and to the moments in history that still haunt us. Each reporter took a camera, notebook and pen–and one or two took their audio equipment as well. Their goal was to sit quietly in the space for…

Brewers try to diversify the craft beer industry

Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter, a dynamic duo who are hoping to diversify the craft beer industry, stopped by Temescal Brewery in Oakland as part of a crowdfunding crawl to launch their new beer called Hella Halftones. Ashburn and Hunter founded Crowns & Hops, one of the few black-owned craft beer companies in the nation. Listen to the audio piece below to learn more about efforts to diversify the world of craft beer.

At Oakland school board meeting, debate over school closures and charter schools intensifies

Tensions from the recent Oakland teachers’ strike were still reverberating among attendees during a special meeting for the Board of Education on Wednesday night. Hundreds of people filled the auditorium at La Escuelita Education Complex, holding small green signs that set the theme for the night. One side of the signs read “No new charters.” On the other: “No school closures.” Many in the crowd wore the black and green of the Oakland Education Association (OEA)—the teachers’ union—or red, the…

Tales of Two Cities Podcast: Guilty Pleasures

Welcome back to the Tales of Two Cities podcast!  This episode is all about our guilty pleasures. This week we’ll take you to Zoonie’s Candy Shop in Oakland to relive your childhood, learn about how people who have shopped too much are managing all the stuff they have, and hang out with a group of friends trying to solve a murder mystery — and who want you to know that games aren’t just for kids. And finally, we’ll meet up…

During the teachers strike, “solidarity sites” provided safe places for students

When the Oakland teachers’ strike began, many volunteers joined forces to create “solidarity sites” across the city to support the teachers by giving students a safe place to stay while classes were cancelled. Bushrod Recreation Center was one of the fifteen recreation centers open for parents to drop off their kids so they wouldn’t have to cross the picket lines. Here, children got to play basketball, make crafts, and enjoy free meals provided by Bread for Ed, a food fund…

Oaklanders celebrate Mardi Gras with second line parade

If there is one celebration that cannot be stopped, it’s the Mardi Gras parade in Oakland. Whether there is sunshine or it is raining cats and dogs, the good times have to roll on Fat Tuesday. Despite the gloomy weather, people from across the Bay Area came to Oakland last week to celebrate the rich cultural tradition of New Orleans, twirling their parasols and handkerchiefs, and joining the “second line” in the street as drummers and the brass band, the…