Some of you may be familiar with my diaries about the Village Bottoms neighborhood in West Oakland and the African American community’s struggles and efforts to rise from the ashes […]
Given the history of race relations in this country, a question like “Why not come to West Oakland to get a taste of what it means to be black?” might easily be construed as a threat, and just that thought — however fleeting — should alert us to the continued need for addressing and processing our wounded past. But this is not a threat. This is an invitation. . .an invitation to listen, to remember, to reflect, and perhaps, to heal.
While there is much to be said about the inherent cultural and political conditions that led to the decay of a once thriving working- and middle-class community, this is ultimately a story of how social justice and environmental justice go hand in hand, and how addressing them together can lead to the most unlikely alliances and bring about redemption and transformation.