Culture

New exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California celebrates untold queer history

“The future is queer, because the present is not enough” —  that’s the opening line on the description for the Oakland Museum of California’s new exhibit called “Queer California: Untold Stories.” The exhibit is a celebration of the queer people, art, and events that have been otherwise sidelined in California history. “The show doesn’t really highlight the usual stories. We know about Pride parades, Harvey Milk, discrimination, the pride flag,” said Lisa Silberstein, the exhibit’s experience developer. “This goes beyond…

Faced with budget cuts, the future of school libraries in Oakland is uncertain

While the teachers’ strike ended weeks ago, the Oakland Unified School District’s financial troubles are far from over. Less than 24 hours after the strike, on March 4, the school board narrowly voted to cut $22 million dollars from next year’s budget. The move was to keep the district from financial ruin, but school libraries are among the programs being affected by the cuts. We focused on the story of just one library at Frick Impact Academy in East Oakland…

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…

In wake of Christchurch shooting, Oaklanders stand against Islamophobia

In the wake of the recent mass shootings in New Zealand, on Monday Oakland residents came together as one at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater for a candlelight vigil against Islamophobia. Hundreds of Oaklanders and citizens from across the Bay Area came out to mourn the 50 people who lost their life on March 15 in two different attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand: The Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre. San Francisco’s Arab Resource and Organizing Center…

HIV rates rise among Latinx men who have sex with men

When Oakland resident Eddie Velasquez was growing up, he was frequently taunted by his peers for being gay. They called him derogatory slurs and told him to be a “real man.” He was raised in a traditional Latino household, and his cultural identity made little room for homosexuality. To stop the bullying, Velasquez even dated a woman for a short period of time, but he knew he wasn’t being honest with himself, he said. Velasquez’s experience is representative of the…