Contemporary Oakland

Ryan Coogler

Ryan Coogler was born on May 23, 1986. He is a renowned filmmaker, having made a name for himself through screenwriting, directing, and/or producing nine films...

Hung Liu

Hung Liu was born on February 17, 1948 in Changchun, China. Hung Liu is a Chinese-American painter who focuses on paintings based on historical Chinese photogr...

Rebel Kings

The Rebel Kings were established in 2010 in Oakland, California and are a group of drag kings. They are women and gender-expansive folks who lip sync dressed a...

Favianna Rodriguez

Favianna Rodriguez was born on September 26, 1978. Favianna Rodriguez is a self-identified queer Latina with Afro-Peruvian roots who currently resides in East ...

Hanifah Walidah

Hanifah Walidah was born on October 16 in New York, New York. Hanifah Walidah is an “artist, friend, woman, black, lesbian, shit-talker. In that order.” She cu...

Moshe Kasher

Moshe Kasher is a comedian who was born on July 6, 1979. Soon after his birth in Queens to Jewish and deaf parents, Moshe Kasher’s mother whisked him and his o...

Tom Hanks

Thomas Jeffrey Hanks, also known as Tom Hanks, is an actor, writer, director, and producer born on July 9, 1956 in Concord, California. The Hanks family line i...

Chelsea Peretti

Chelsea Peretti was born on February 20, 1978. Chelsea Peretti is a successful actress, writer, and stand-up comedian; she is best known for her role as Gina L...

Virgie Tovar

Virgie Tovar was born in 1982. Virgie Tovar is an activist and author based in San Francisco, California. She runs a blog that promotes body positivity, showca...

Jess Mowry

Jess Mowry was born on March 27, 1960 in Starkville, Mississippi. Mowry is an author who writes young adult and children’s fiction based on the experiences of ...

Yukmouth

Jerold Dwight Ellis III, a.k.a. Yukmouth, was born on October 18, 1974 in Oakland, CA. Yukmouth is an American Grammy-nominated rapper, documentarian, and foun...

Souls of Mischief

Souls of Mischief is a hip-hop group from Oakland, California that is also part of the hip-hop collective Hieroglyphics. Souls of Mischief’s most famous track ...

Juliana “Jewels” Smith

Juliana “Jewels” Smith is a writer and educator. She is the creator of (H)afrocentric, a comic book series that follows the lives of five undergrads of color w...

Refa One

Refa One, a.k.a. Refa Senay, was born in Oakland on July 16, 1972. Refa One is an aerosol artist (using spray paint), muralist, illustrator, activist, and educ...

Duane Deterville

Duane Deterville was born on March 14, 1960. Duane is an artist, writer, and scholar of visual culture primarily interested in African and African diasporic cu...

Avy Jetter

Avy Jetter was born on December 11, 1968. She has been a professional zine artist since 2012. A zine is an independently or self-published book/comic. In an...

Noh Justice

Turf dancing is a dance form that originated in Oakland, which combines gliding, popping, and waving mixed in with a touch of ballet and breakdancing. Noh J...

Joshua Mays

Joshua Mays was born in 1976 in Denver, Colorado. A muralist and illustrator, his art features black subjects in fantastical settings and is considered by many...

Zakariya Diouf

Dr. Zakariya Diouf was born on February 12 in Senegal, a country in West Africa. Dr. Diouf has taught at San Jose State University, Sonoma State University, th...

Robert Moses

Robert Moses was born in 1963. Robert practices and teaches dance and choreography through RMK Dance Company as well as at Mills as a professor. He incorporate...

MK Chavez

Maria Kaylib Chavez, a.k.a. MK Chavez, was born on June 14, 1964 in San Francisco. MK Chavez is a poet and writer. She said, “Animals are always going to be pr...

Keak da Sneak

Keak da Sneak, a.k.a. Charles Kente Williams, was born on October 21, 1977 in Brewton, Alabama but moved to Oakland, CA when he was a few months old. Williams ...

Malik Seneferu

Malik Seneferu was born on April 7, 1971. A Bay Area native and African-American artist, Malik Seneferu presents a wide variety of representation. His works of...

Andrew Demcak

Andrew Demcak was born on September 23, 1968 in Silver Spring, Maryland. Andrew Demcak is a critically acclaimed novelist and poet. He writes YA novels for LGB...

Walter Hood

Walter Hood primarily focuses on architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. He is currently a Professor of Landscape Architecture & Environmen...

Samuel Getachew

Samuel Getachew was named the 2019 Youth Poet Laureate of Oakland, CA and primarily has been recognized for his poetry: spoken word, which he has performed in ...

Daniel Clowes

Daniel Clowes is a cartoonist, illustrator, graphic novelist, and screenwriter. Recently in interviews Clowes has said that he has lived in Oakland for nearly ...

Goapele Mohlabane

Goapele was born on July 11, 1977 in Oakland, California. Hailed as an original and mesmerizing voice in the new soul genre, singer Goapele has gained national...

Maw Shein Win

Maw Shein Win was born in 1964. She is an artist of many types, including a poet, musician, interpretive dancer, performance artist, and a combination of those...

Yiyun Li

Yiyun Li was born on November 4, 1972 in Beijing, China. She is the author of six books of fiction, including three novels and two short story collections, A T...

Tomas Moniz

Tomas Moniz was born on June 5, 1969 in El Paso, TX. He is an author, activist, and zinester who is known for his work on the parenting zine Rad Dad and activi...

Jeremy Mayer

Jeremy Mayer was born in 1972 in Northern Minnesota. He is an American sculptor who uses typewriter parts, some dating back more than 80 years, making them int...

Oree Originol

Oree Originol was born on September 11, 1984 in Los Angeles, CA. Oree was inspired by gang culture in his neighborhood. He began gaining popularity as a tagger...

Mariko Tamaki

Mariko Tamaki was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1975. She is an LGBTQ activist, artist, and writer best known for her graphic novels Skim and This One Summer, wh...

Karen Seneferu

Karen Seneferu was born on August 6, 1960 in Oakland, California. As a child in Oakland she took part in the Black Panther’s free breakfast program. Having bee...

Liliana Herrera

Liliana Herrera was born on June 3, 1993 in Sonora, Mexico. She is a visual artist, face and body painter, art teacher, and model. Her more recent ventures inc...

Natalia Anciso

Natalia Anciso was born on March 25, 1985 in Weslaco, Texas. She is a contemporary visual artist who focuses on her experience as a child growing up along the ...

Chris Granillo

Chris Granillo was born in the Coachella Valley in 1982 and is a muralist, painter, printmaker, street artist, and sculptor. He is particularly interested in f...

TheArthur Wright

TheArthur Wright is a pointillist bleach artist who expresses the culture of blackness in his paintings. Wright uses the simplicity of his minimal tools to exp...

William Wong

William Wong is an author and journalist with a focus on justice for the Asian-American community, immigration, and the history of Oakland Chinatown. Observati...

Shu Yi Liu

Shu Yi Liu was born in China on January 1, 1941. Mr. Liu’s style of art is Chinese drawing and painting where he also tries to bridge Eastern and Western tradi...

Fred Frith

Jeremy Webster “Fred” Frith was born on February 17, 1949 in the small town of Heathfield in East Sussex, England. Frith describes himself as a songwriter, com...
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