Dont Let The CULTURE DIE

Based on my research, there are two opinions about sideshows. Some people feel they are part of Oakland culture and good, while others feel they are dangerous and bad. And, while I agree with both sides, I ultimately believe there are always more good intentions than bad intentions in people’s choices. 

Sideshows are ultimately good. There could be different opinions about sideshows like this quote by Sandhya Dirks from the article The birth of sideshows in Oakland where she talks about how Oakland sideshows have evolved over time. She explained, “Sideshows have a bad reputation as illegal, dangerous and occasionally violent street car shows, where gunshots may ring out and people could die. But for those who grew up in the early days, sideshows were not as dangerous as they are innovative. They created a space for self expression and originality that bubbled up on streets of deep East Oakland ” (dirks). For this reason, sideshows show are good because a lot of Oaklanders know how sideshows used to be when they first started in the mid 1980’s and how fun and safe they were because they occurred in small parking lots. But with time, parking lots became streets, which made them more fun to watch and join in. Even though there have been many changes, sideshows were made with good intentions in the streets of Oakland. I interviewed Davian Payton. He is a high school student  in Skyline High School, and he has strong ideas on why sideshows are fun and interesting to watch, Davian has attended many sideshows, He also has videos of sideshows he’s attended, Davian said “Sideshows impact Oakland positively because they’re fun and people get to go and have fun and enjoy watching the cars me personally i enjoy the sound of the engines and its way better to be at a sideshow than to be stuck at home not doing nothing and you could make new friends or see old friends and have fun all together closing the streets for sum time is not good because people won’t be able to get by but their fun and if your a real Oaklander and you’ve gone to sideshows then you know what im talking about”(payton). What Davian just explained is true you have fun at sideshows and can enjoy the sounds hella there’s a lot of evidence to support his claim in sideshows being positive like the article by sandhya dirks where she said how they could be dangerous but how she also said “  But for those who grew up in the early days, sideshows were not as dangerous as they are innovative. They created a space for self expression and originality that bubbled up on streets of deep East Oakland” this means that sideshows are not dangerous their just a way to express how someone is feeling and if your a person that grew up around sideshows and understands them then you know how their fun. 

Sideshows can have bad opinions put onto them because Oakland citizens or people that come to Oakland from other cities don’t understand how sideshows work, so they automatically think they’re bad. I interviewed Miguel Huerta. He is a highschool student from Arise High School, and he has a strong opinion and has been a witness of many sideshows. He also has videos of many sideshows he’s attended. Miguel said, “Sideshows do impact oakland positively but they have become violent to the community because they can be really disruptive and people mess up the streets and leave a mess also at sideshows there has been times where drivers lose control of the wheel and when letting go of the wheel have spun into bystanders, and have also almost hit people on their way out, And have been times where cars have almost driven into houses”(Huerta)” What Miguel said is true, and there’s a lot of evidence to support his reasoning like the article “Outsiders Drive Destructions of Oakland sideshows” where they speak about an accident that happened during sideshows on April 22nd 2019, Otis R. Taylor Jr.said “As sideshows grew in popularity, they outgrew parking lots, Kelly said. In the 1990s, drivers became more daring as they raced through neighborhoods before doing doughnuts at intersections. It became dangerous to attend as spectators, who stood close to the action and got hit by cars spinning out of control”(Otis R. Taylor Jr.said). This article and Miguel both are right about how sideshows are dangerous and how drivers have become really daring over time but not many people understand how sideshows work and why they are important to Oakland and why drivers want to become more noticed for how they drive and how fast their car goes. So, bad things can happen at sideshows but only Oaklanders understand the way they drive and how fast they choose to go, sideshows have become dangerous over time but with more time they could become safe again. 

Sideshows are both good and bad, but they are mostly good because they started in Oakland in the early 90’s and they are still alive and happening. A lot of people enjoy watching sideshows and love hearing the sound of the wheels screeching and hearing the crowd goes crazy over how good the donuts were or how good the car looks. The only obvious solution to minimize the negative effects of sideshows is to build them an arena where they could go and drive how they want so the risks of people to get hurt could go down. This is the best solution because like that they could still do what they love but in a safe place and a lot of Oaklanders could go and see them and enjoy watching and we will be able to keep sideshows alive and not let a part of Oaklands culture die.

In conclusion, sideshows are both good and bad, but if you ask the citizens of Oakland they usually don’t mind them. They actually really enjoy watching them happen, and it’s fun to watch because they happen every Sunday, as Oaklanders say Sunday Funday. If we make sideshows safer, then they should definitely stay around because sideshows have been around for more than 30 years, and that’s a lot of time and a big piece of Oaklands culture to throw away, because Oakland has had Sideshows for more than 3 decades and we should keep Sideshows alive for more time so future generations could enjoy them and understand how they started and why they didnt stop existing because Oaklands culture is our culture and future generations culture.

Annotated Bibliography

Jr, Otis R. Taylor. “Outsiders Drive Destruction of Oakland Sideshows.” SFChronicle.com, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Apr. 2019, www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/otisrtaylorjr/article/Outsiders-drive-destruction-of-Oakland-sideshows-13783861.php

The article explains how drivers have spun-out and hit bystanders that are just watching and how dangerous sideshows can be to the streets and how sideshows have degraded the streets of Oakland. This article is credible because it was published April 2019 and its really recent with a lot of information of how sideshows could contradict the streets of Oakland and how they could disrupt the streets.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Sideshows in Oakland since 1980 by Maribel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

2 Comments
  1. Dominik 4 days ago

    Dear Yamilex, I think your post was interesting because the fact that you wrote, ” Some people feel they are part of Oakland culture and good, while others feel they are dangerous and bad. ” is showing me that there are two opinions on Oaklands Culture. The reason I think that your post is interesting is, “Sideshows are both good and bad, but they are mostly good because they started in Oakland in the early 90’s and they are still alive and happening. A lot of people enjoy watching sideshows and love hearing the sound of the wheels screeching and hearing the crowd goes crazy over how good the donuts were or how good the car looks.” This quote is good for proving sideshows are good because I myself like sideshows and one of my cousins joins some of them as well. Anyways, your post in interiging and makes me more interested.

  2. Omar 4 days ago

    Dear Yamilex, I think your post was interesting because you gave two points of views in the essay. A line that stood out to me was, “Sideshows are both good and bad, but they are mostly good because they started in Oakland in the early 90’s and they are still alive and happening.” I agree with your point because sideshows can be both negative and positive. They can be violent at times and be dangerous but in others they can therapeutic watching cars spin and spin. Thanks for writing and I hope to read your work in the future!

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