Oakland is becoming Unrecognizable because of Gentrification
Recently Oakland has been changing in terms of new buildings and demographically with new people of different classes and races moving in. This is causing Oakland to become unrecognizable in terms of rent, citizens, and neighborhoods. Therefore, Oakland is not what it used to be, and it’s hurting the Oakland community.
One of the greatest changes are housing prices. In an interview with K’chelle Fuller, a high school student in Oakland at Life academy, she said, “I feel that raising prices for rent is very frustrating because not a lot of people can afford high rent homes. I feel like they should be a more reasonable price, even though I haven’t had an experience with high rent I have an idea of what the struggle is like…it’s comforting the middle class taste of how their home is renovated or improved” (Fuller). This matters because we can see that people living here see that the prices of housing are astronomical. A lot of families don’t have the money to afford the housing already and if gentrification is making the prices even more unreasonable then the families would be forced to move out or be evicted. The houses may be old but if renovations and improvements are forced on the house, that would obviously increase the prices because the houses will become newer. To add on, as the rent and housing changes to be unrecognizable families are being evicted and being forced to move, and that causes the diversity of this area to narrow. “We’re being pushed out : The displacement of black Oakland” by Otis R. Taylor shows how black families are becoming less and less prominent in Oakland. Otis’s interview shows “Rev Thomas Harris III, the longtime pastor at Pleasant Grove Baptist church in West Oakland : While a typical service once brought 75 to 100 congregants, the numbers have dwindled to as little as 25 as black families have been pushed out of the area”(Reverend Thomas Harris III). Families of color are being misplaced which means the variety of Oakland is just dwindling. Oakland used to be a place full of diversity and difference and now it’s being changed to only benefit certain people: people of middle class and people who can afford the astronomical prices of housing. As they move in, Oakland can lose it’s diversity that represents it’s history.
As rent has changed and people have changed, the neighborhoods and streets are changing too wiping away what it used to be to try to make it sound more stylish for the new higher class gentrifiers. “Gentrification Changed the Name of Oakland Neighborhoods” by Darwin Bondgraham unveils “ San Antonio Park District and Reservoir Hills are also established place names with long histories that fell into disuse, but their revival coincides with an attempt to put a more genteel stamp on the map. This is especially true because the commonly used names for this part of Oakland just East of 14th Avenue to Fruitvale Avenue have always been a little too real. Lore has it that in the 1970s this swath of Oakland was called the Rollin’ 20s, a reference to the avenues which span 20th to 29th. In the 1980s the area became the Twomps, referring to $20 sacks of cannabis and also the avenues. In the 1990s it became the Murder Dubbs due to a spike in homicides. But the neighborhood is also simply and lovingly called the Dubbs, which obviously salutes a certain basketball team also”(Bondgraham). Oakland has a lot of history behind its street names and they came up with the names as a community based on their experiences and what happened in that area. Some may feel that Murder Dubbs has a violent history due to drugs and crime, but the Murder Dubbs was a name Oakland’s community gave to itself, and the community holds pride in it. These gentrifiers are trying to change the names from something meaningful to something new just so other people of higher class stray away from the idea that the area is dangerous and it is now a new safer area to live in.
In conclusion, Oakland is becoming unrecognizable and negatively affected by gentrification. The gentrifiers are causing people to be evicted, rent prices to become astronomical and street names changing, disregarding our history and our past.
Fuller, K’chelle. “Interview with Student .” 12 Dec. 2018.
I interviewed K’chelle because she is a junior at Life Academy who has decent knowledge on gentrification. K’chelle is a credible source because she is an Oakland resident which means that her or one of the people she knows has been affected by gentrification.
Royce, Curtis. “Interview with Curtis.” 18 Dec. 2018.
I interviewed Curtis because he is often around Oakland and has experienced being a homeowner / home renter.
Levin, Sam. “’We’re Being Pushed out’: the Displacement of Black Oakland.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 1 June 2018, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/01/from-black-panthers-to-bbq-becky-the-displacement-of-black-oakland.
Sam Levin is a Bay area based reporter for the Guardian and Huffpost. He has written multiple pieces of writing about Oakland. He has a lot of experience as a writer, working for St. Louis Riverfront times’s news blogs, Westword in Denver, Colorado, The Village Voice, and New York Daily News. He has made it onto a lot of radios, such as East Bay Express.
Bondgraham, Darwin. “Gentrification Changed the Names of Oakland Neighborhoods.” East Bay Express, East Bay Express, 19 Sep. 2018, www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/gentrification-changed-the-names-of-oakland-neighborhoods/Content?oid=20313470.
This website shows how gentrifiers want to change street and neighborhood names that have been here for decades in Oakland. This website is trustworthy because it specializes on Oakland and areas around Oakland. They just explain what is happening and show their standpoint on the subject.Tags: #IloveOakland#OaklandHistoryhistoryHousingLife Academy of Health and BioscienceOakland