Oakland Post

Tour: Black History (5/10)

Directions to Greenlining Institute

Thomas Berkley was a Renaissance man. He was an Olympic-class athlete, a WWII veteran, he started the largest racially integrated law firm in the U.S., and in 1963 he and his wife Velda Berkley started the Oakland Post newspaper. Later he was the first Black port commissioner in Oakland, twice president of the board, and he helped containerize the Port of Oakland. Following his death, part of 20th St. was renamed in his memory, and Barbara Lee said “The world has lost a giant of a man. A brilliant leader. A champion for justice.”

Paul Cobb purchased the Post from Velda Berkley in 2004, and hired Chauncey Bailey as the editor in chief. Bailey served until 2007, when he was murdered while working on a story about criminal activity at Your Black Muslim Bakery. Yusef Bey IV and Devaunghdre Broussard were eventually convicted of murdering Bailey as he walked down 14th Street to work.

If you move so you can see the left side of the building, you can see the AscenDance Mural. This was painted in 2020 to replace the no longer visible Alice Street Mural, and it features some of the same people and themes. It was also a project of the Community Rejuvenation Project, and the artists include Desi Mundo, Marina Perez-Wong, Elaine Chu, and Priya Handa.

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