East Bay Yesterday

From boom town to bulldozers in West Oakland

Aerial view of Moore Dry Dock, located at the foot of Adeline St. [Photo: “The Story of Moore Dry Dock Company” / Windgate Press]
Today’s episode features two segments about the history of West Oakland. The first segment explores how Oakland’s Black population nearly quintupled during the 1940s when tens of thousands of African Americans fled the Jim Crow-era South to work in East Bay shipyards like Moore Dry Dock Company. The backlash to this boom laid the foundation for decades of entrenched inequality and discriminatory housing patterns. This segment explores the rise of one of one of Oakland’s biggest industrial operations ever – and the aftermath of its demise. (Click here to view photos of the shipyard discussed in this segment.)

Featuring interviews with:
-Dorothy Lazard, librarian at Oakland Library History Room
-Ron Moore, son of Moore Dry Dock Company co-owner
-Marilynn S. Johnson, author of “The Second Gold Rush: Oakland and the East Bay in World War II”

The second segment of today’s show features an interview with West Oakland-based archivist Moriah Ulinskas. For the past three years, Moriah has been organizing about 50,000 photographs taken by the Oakland Redevelopment Agency during the 1960s. She recently published an article at Places Journal all about the story that those photos tell. Reflecting on this tumultuous era, Ulinskas explains, “Some people believe urban renewal programs were about the demolition of vacant or derelict neighborhoods, but I think when you look through these photos you see very active communities. The photos do a lot to break apart the story that these were neighborhoods that needed to be taken down.”

Click here to view the photos discussed during this interview.

If you enjoy the episode, please support East Bay Yesterday: www.patreon.com/eastbayyesterday

To listen to back episodes and find links to East Bay Yesterday’s social media, check out: https://eastbayyesterday.com/

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