On March 14, the correspondents of Oakland Voices and Sacramento Voices came together in Oakland to meet and discover the city. While driving through Oakland, we stopped at historic places that contributed to the evolution of what we now know as Oakland.
We saw where the Black Panther’s started the free breakfast program for school children on 29th Street, Mills College, off of the 580 freeway, El Otaez restaurant on International Boulevard, and the area Oaklanders consider deep East Oakland.
On the bus, I tried to have the lens of a tourist and Oakland seemed beautiful and sad to me.
Oakland has a rich history and diverse culture, with murals, the parks, the schools, and the people. Like my Oakland Voices colleague Sergio Martinez said, “the best place to buy tacos is Sinaloas taco truck.”
However while looking through the tourist lens, I saw trash, closed businesses and vacant lots. But this is my home, my new roots and my family.
Going on the tour made me love Oakland even more because the city includes so many ethnicities, from their churches to their temples, from the street to the avenues, from the food to the languages.
Lastly, the tour made me appreciate the opportunity to see Oakland in another light with different people who are having similar experiences as Voices writers.