Earlier this month the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington, D.C. think tank, reported that the average white family today has net assets of $141,900, compared with the $11,000 for African American families. This hollowing out of the African American family asset base is a nationwide phenomenon that can be explained by the shrinking African American middle class. It’s even more a factor in “strong market” regions like the Bay Area, where housing costs are soaring.

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In honor of Black History Month, the American Red Cross is commemorating the development of modern-day blood banking, pioneered by an African-American surgeon—Dr. Charles Drew. They have organized more than a dozen blood donation opportunities throughout February in the East Bay. “We need people of all ethnicities to donate,” said Sara O’Brien, the external communications…

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In early March, Skyline High School and the Oakland Unified School District resolved a complaint filed by the high school’s Black Student Union nearly a year ago. The resolution could change how students file complaints, allow random audits of students’ class schedules, offer training for teachers on how to deal with complaints of racial discrimination,…

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Meet Oakland resident Katrina Lashea, who leads walks for African-American women in the Bay Area with the goal of improving their health. Lashea is a yoga instructor and works as a program coordinator for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre. She is also one of 10 recipients of GirlTrek’s 2012 Trailblazer Fellowship Award, which will sponsor her…

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Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and a number of famous African Americans ancestors made an appearance at an elementary school in East Oakland on the final day of Black History Month. Ancestor Day 2013 at Ile Omode, a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school in East Oakland, consisted of four and five year-old students dressing up as…

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Bailey's barbershop

“My last trip in the penitentiary, I had to make a decision on what I wanted to do with my life,” said Reggie Bailey, sitting in the swiveling barber chair in his small shop in the heart of downtown Oakland. “I just decided to go to barber college.”

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Martel Price listens to students from his leadership class.

Price has a special vantage point on the Resolution Plan, given the fact that he was once a disobedient student, and now sometimes works with students with behavioral issues. He’s a little ambivalent, he said—because he understands how tough classroom teaching can really be.
On the one hand, he said, monitoring their own disciplinary actions more closely will push teachers to find resolutions to kids’ problematic classroom behaviors, without kicking them out so readily. “It will cause teachers to deal with students,” Price said.
On the other hand, it will leave some students with the opportunity to “steal the education” from their classmates, Price said, referring to students who are disruptive to the point that it disturbs the class and ruins the lesson.

Price grew up in East Oakland, graduated from Montera Middle School and Skyline High – and was a self-admitted troublemaker throughout his teens.

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