Back in August was an Oakland Heritage Alliance tour that may sound familiar to those of you who have been on the city walking tours in Downtown. It's no coincidence, because New Era, New Politics started out as an OHA tour but is now done most often as a city walking tour. The tour was led by Cameron Wilson and the city walking tours director Annalee Allen.
I've been on the city walking tours version twice, once in 2011 and again back in February for Black History Month, so I was familiar with many of the people and places the tour covers, but I still learned some new things.
For example, I learned about Thomas L. Berkley, who the section of 20th Street between Broadway and San Pablo Avenue is named for. (How many times have you gone past those signs and wondered who Berkley was?) He was a remarkable man: a lawyer, an athlete, founder and publisher of the Oakland Post and other papers, real estate developer, and more. Of all those things, he's probably best known for being the first African American to serve as a Port of Oakland commissioner, and being instrumental in converting the port to a container port. Berkley died in 2001. Read more at the Strategic Urban Development Alliance website, and an obituary in the LA Times