Articles

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...

Darius Milhaud

Darius Milhaud is a composer who was born to a Jewish family in Aix-en-Provence on September 4, 1892. Originally a violinist, Milhaud later focused his musical...

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...

Imogen Cunningham

Imogen Cunningham was born on April 12, 1883 in Portland, Oregon and died on June 24, 1976 in San Francisco, California. A photographer at the center of the 19...

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...

Raymond “Boots” Riley

Raymond “Boots” Riley was born on April 1, 1971 and is a founding member and lead vocalist for the Coup, a radical, edgy, Oakland-based underground hip-hop gro...

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...

Pam the Funkstress

Pam Warren, a.k.a. Pam the Funkstress or Purple Pam, was born on November 11, 1966 in Shreveport, Louisiana and died on December 22, 2017. Warren was a DJ, mos...

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...

Morrie Turner

Morrie Turner was an American cartoonist famous for creating Wee Pals, a popular nationally syndicated comic strip that featured an integrated cast of ethnical...

Yuri Kochiyama

Yuri Kochiyama was born on May 19, 1921 and died on June 1, 2014. She was born in San Pedro, CA while she spent many of her later years in Oakland, CA as well ...

Roman Martinez

Roman Martinez, alternately spelled Ramon Martinez, was born on December 3, 1904 and died on June 8, 1950. He was born in Winslow, AZ but moved to Oakland, CA ...

Nellie Wong

“It’s adversity, being in the heat of the struggle, that moves us forward. Fighting gives me back my energy.” ~ Nellie Wong Nellie Wong’s focus is poetry, s...

Galen Rowell

Galen Rowell was an American photographer and photojournalist whose career was active in the ‘70s but whose life was cut short in a fatal plane crash. He is mo...

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...

Emory Douglas

Emory Douglas was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1943 and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He served as the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther ...

Pauline Oliveros

Pauline Oliveros’s life’s work as a composer, performer, and humanitarian was about deepening her own and other people’s sensibilities to the facets of sound. ...

Pete Escovedo

Pete Escovedo was born on July 13, 1935 in Pittsburg, California. He is a Latin jazz percussionist and a painter who has been making music and painting since h...

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...

Wendy Yoshimura

Wendy Yoshimura works in watercolor paintings and fine-art prints. She “paint the subtle moments when clear morning light illuminates flower petals, fruit, and...

Pharoah Sanders

Pharoah (Ferrell) Sanders was born on October 13, 1940 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Sanders is a world-renowned jazz saxophonist with a sound that ranges fro...

Ishmael Reed

Ishmael Reed was born on February 22, 1938 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Reed is a poet, musician, novelist, playwright, publisher, artist, and more. Reed is acco...

Steven Arnold

Steven Arnold was born on May 18, 1943 in Oakland. He was a surrealist who worked in various mediums: film, photography, painting, illustration, theater, and a...

Casper Banjo

Casper Banjo was considered disabled, black, and gifted. Born in Memphis, TN, Banjo often faced racism growing up in the forties and fifties, which was one of ...

Esther Mabry

Esther’s Orbit Room was a popular jazz club and hub during the Oakland cultural scene of the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. The club transitioned away from being ...

Tower of Power

Tower of Power is a soul and funk band that was formed in Oakland, CA in July 1968. Tower of Power currently has 10 members and has had at least 60 musicians t...

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...

Isadora Duncan

Isadora Duncan, born on May 26, 1877 in San Francisco, California, was a founder of modern dance. Her style emphasizes natural movement and flow. Her main sour...

Delilah Beasley

Delilah Leontium Beasley, born on September 9, 1867 in Cincinnati, Ohio, was a scholar, a pioneer, and a powerhouse. She was a devout Roman Catholic with a str...

Julia Morgan

Julia Morgan, born on January 20, 1872 in San Francisco, is one of the most well-known architects. With international experience, Morgan worked for over 40 yea...

Yonejiro Noguchi

Yonejiro (Yone) Noguchi (野口 米次郎) was a journalist as well as a writer who wrote both poems and prose, including novels and books. What made him especially uniq...

Jack London

John Griffith Chaney was born on January 12, 1876 in San Francisco, and later changed his name to Jack London. He was an American novelist, journalist, and soc...

Ina Coolbrith

Ina Donna Coolbrith was born on March 10, 1841 in Nauvoo, Illinois. Ina was a writer, poet, teacher, editor, and librarian in the SF Bay Area in the 19th and t...

Walter J. Mathews

Walter J. Mathews was born on May 2, 1850 in Markesan, Wisconsin and died on November 20, 1947 in Oakland, California. Mathews was an architect who became the ...

Netta Eames

Netta Eames was born Ninetta Wiley in Delhi, Wisconsin fourteen miles outside of Oshkosh on September 26, 1852, and she passed away on March 6, 1944 at the age...

Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein was born on February 3, 1874 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania and was a writer, poet, art collector, and advocate for the arts. She is known for her l...

Joaquin Miller

Joaquin Miller held many different types of jobs throughout his life: he was a lawyer, judge, conservationist, and poet. He was born on September 8, 1837 as Ci...

Harold Padeo

Harold Padeo (a.k.a. Harold Padio, Harold Patio, and Albert Paddio) was a jazz pioneer and valve trombonist during the Ragtime era. Jelly Roll Morton was recor...
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