Ayodele Nzinga – Community Artist and Devoted “WordSlanga”

Ayodele Nzinga, aka WordSlanga - West Oakland writer, poet, playwright, actor, and theater director. “Art is a necessity, a conscious form of communication.”

By Oakland Voices contributor Cameron Wilson OAKLAND, CA —  On a crisp fall night, in the Sister Thea Bowman Memorial Theater, Ayodele Nzinga portrays mystic heroine Aunt Esther Tyler in August Wilson’s play Gem of the Ocean.  In a cozy storefront gallery with a single mic and an eager, motionless audience, Nzinga sears ears under […]

Boxing with Willie

Flowertown Festival

My life and heart were torn apart three years ago when my son Willie was killed in West Oakland. Now I am raising his 6 year-old son. This blog entry is created out of my struggle to cope with Willie’s death. Now, I pray even harder than I used to for other families when someone gets killed. Their memories live here, in my blog, alongside mine as we struggle everyday with the holes left in our lives.

The Last Day


By Dawneka Akins
This entry is part of my 31-day journey giving up some of the unhealthy eating habits I’ve had for most of my life. Fast food is everywhere – on every corner, on TV, and on huge billboards all over the city. For me, eating well with a low income, no car, and limited time is difficult. Dodging bad food – all I’ve known for 21 years – has become one of the biggest challenges of my life.

Oakland AIDS Missionaries Recount Time in Zimbabwe Jail, Vow to Keep Up Their Work

At the Allen Temple's press conference last week, from left right: nurses David Greensberg and Gregory Miller, Dr. Anthony Jones, ATAM chair Gloria Cox-Crowell, and Congresswoman Barbra Lee. By Sultanah Corbett

By Oakland Voices contributor Sultanah Corbett OAKLAND, CA – In early September, four advocates from Oakland’s Allen Temple AIDS Ministries made their way to Harare, Zimbabwe to continue the work and vision of the late Dr. Robert Scott III, who founded the group a decade ago. “We have over a thousand lives in the balance […]

Mehserle Gets 2 Years: Follow Our Twitter Coverage of Oscar Grant Trial Sentencing

oscar grant

Former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle was sentenced to two years maximum today for killing Oscar Grant III. Mehserle will receive 10 months off of that sentence for time served, and he may end up spending just 70 more days in state prison. Follow us at twitter.com/OaklandVoices for coverage from the streets of Oakland & the courthouse in LA.

Oakland Voices Teaches, Empowers Participants to Report on Their Communities

tribune aglow

By Christopher Johnson, Oakland Voices Project Coordinator (From The Oakland Tribune – Posted 10.29.2010) “Mama once told her youngest brother he was ‘found by grandpa at the poker game.’” Mama is 90-year-old Ruth Dennis — West Oakland resident, Alzheimer’s patient, and the funny, frustrating muse for “The World According To Ruth.” The first line comes […]

Giants Fever Comes… to Oakland?


By Brian Beveridge OAKLAND, CA – It is generally held that Oakland has a professional baseball team. It is called the Oakland A’s. Players wear green and yellow uniforms and they play ball in a Coliseum. But if fashion statements and sports bar enthusiasm are any evidence, home-team loyalty has dropped lower than a dirt ball […]