Building Faith and Justice on International Boulevard

This Origins and Legacy of Allen Temple Baptist Church…   The area around International Boulevard and 85th Avenue is somewhat typical for East Oakland. There are many local businesses, auto shops, and beauty salons along with the local headquarters for the Boys & Girls Club of Oakland. There are also many of the same the crises that plague this very large neighborhood that borders San Leandro—crime, drugs, and especially prostitution. Here is where the Allen Temple Baptist Church resides. The structure was built without commemorating its ministry with steeples or elaborate architecture, but instead with a legacy of social conscious leaders with an ever growing charitable ministry. The church preaches with actions as much as with sermons as if in adherence to Gospel of James’ declaration that “faith without works is dead.” Here are some of the programs the church offers: Health Education that is focused on physical, mental, emotional, […]

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Chinatown and the Empress of Heaven

A Tour of San Francisco Chinatown and the Tin How Temple…   The Chinese immigrants that built the San Francisco Chinatown wanted to bring their home with them. The goal was to create a city within a city. They had their own businesses, newspapers, governing institutions, commerce centers, and religious spaces. While embracing America and opportunities for fortune, they kept their culture and community. This is why Chinatown is such a culturally rich landscape and beloved community for locals and tourist alike. A perfect example of the rich traditions transposed to America is the Tin How Buddhist Temple.   The Chinese in San Francisco Many Chinese migrated to California for work and fortune hunting. They called California the Gold Mountain. Struggling through hardships and a hostile new homeland, they sought to create a space for themselves in San Francisco. Rising out of the Portsmouth Plaza, in between Clay and Kearny […]

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The Serenity of Lake Merritt

America’s First Wildlife Preserve and Oakland’s Crown Jewel…   Lake Merritt is not a lake. It’s the first thing you should know about Oakland’s urban waterpark. It’s a tidal lagoon or estuary.  Formed roughly 12,000 years ago after the end of the last Ice Age, the lagoon has been reshaped over the last 150 years into a water park. Lake Merritt, originally known as Laguna Peralta, is fed by a canal that flows under the Nimitz Freeway, seeping saltwater between itself and the Bay. For many, Lake Merritt is an excellent way to spend a weekend afternoon. The calm waters of the lake and the dissident of migrating birds create a serene atmosphere amongst the urban sprawl. The depth of the Lake’s history and what it offers Oakland is worth discovering.   A Short History of America’s First Wildlife Preserve Lake Merritt was originally the home of Ohlone Indians that […]

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Jack London and the Valley of the Moon

A History and Tour of Jack London’s Ranch in the Sonoma Valley, California… Jack London was a prolific writer of the early 20th century, composing famous stories about adventure, survival, the Alaskan experience—stories such as “To Build a Fire” and “White Fang.” He was also a fierce advocate for socialism and workers’ rights. What many people don’t’ know is that he was also an avid rancher, and passionate devotee and resident of the Sonoma Valley. North of San Francisco in Sonoma County, west of Napa Valley and adjoining a family winery, resides a large ranch, now part of the Jack London State Historic Park. It is called “Beauty Ranch.”This is where Jack London, the legendary adventure writer, began to take his themes and ideas, which are rooted in his literary work, and put them into action. It would be one of London’s homes and his model for his Jeffersonian ideas […]

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