A Brief History of Oakland's Madison Square

Madison Square has been home to the Chinese community since the 1860s.

Madison Square, originally called Caroline Square, was one of seven public squares in the early days of Oakland. The residential district that grew up around it makes up the residential end of Tong Yan Fow--Chinatown--and has housed the Chinese community since its earliest days. By 1860, there were 200 Chinese residents out of a total population of 1500 in Oakland. 

In 1882 President Chester A. Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act which prohibited Chinese workers from coming to America and denying citizenship to those Chinese nationals already living and working here. This act suppressed the Chinese population in America for decades; Oakland’s Chinatown was no exception. There was widespread housing and employment discrimination. Few white employers would hire Chinese except as houseboys or agricultural workers. Even the refugee camp along the shores of Lake Merritt after the Great Quake of ‘06 was racially segregated with

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Remembering Ida L. Jackson [1906-1996] A Reflection by Sean Dickerson

Historic Prescott School turns 150 in 2019 and to help celebrate AAMLO will be occasionally blogging about the school's history. Sean Dickerson begins this week with the story of Ida Louise Jackson, Oakland’s first African American teacher, who taught at Prescott starting in 1925.

 

 

On the anniversary of Ida L. Jackson's birth (October 12, 1902), AAMLO celebrates her commitment to progress and empowerment through education.

In 1921, while attending U.C. Berkeley (at the time one of only eight African American women students), Jackson founded the Rho Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the oldest Greek-letter society for African American women in the United States. After being told by the Oakland Public School system that she would need more education, she returned to U.C. Berkeley, earning her Master's degree in 1923. After earning her Master's degree, Jackson was again denied a position with Oakland Public; this time they told her she required more teaching experience. With this in mind, Jackson moved to the Imperial Valley, and began teaching at East Side High School in El Centro, California, where parents

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Scare Your Socks Off

In which we load you up with enough scary books to hold you until NEXT Halloween.

October ends with Halloween, favorite dress-up holiday for the young and not-so-young, season of scary movies and frights big and small. Yes, yes, for you purists, Halloween has its roots in the Celtic observance of Samhain, marking the halfway point between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice, a liminal time when the unquiet souls of the dead must be appeased. A person could go on and on in this vein. But we’re here today to talk about scary books. At the library, we get asked for them a lot. All year long, but especially right around now.

Are you ready for a scary, scary read? Here’s help.

You could start chronologically. There’s agreement among scholars that Horace Walpole’s 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto was the first gothic novel, precursor to horror, with its exploration of fear and the supernatural.

As gothic morphed

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Get to Know Your Grants: Seed Lending Library

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Día de los Muertos: A Top 5

While Halloween is celebrated Oct. 31, Día de los Muertos is celebrated right after, on Nov. 2. Many communities that celebrate Día de los Muertos also celebrate Halloween.

While Halloween is celebrated October 31, Día de los Muertos is celebrated right after, on November 2. Many communities that celebrate Día de los Muertos also celebrate Halloween.

FIVE Facts About Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead)

  1. It’s not the same as Halloween
  2. It originated in Mexico and Central America
  3. It’s a celebration of life, not death
  4. The ofrenda is a central component
  5. Flowers, butterflies and skulls are typically used as symbols

FIVE BOOKS TO READ for Día de los Muertos

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Happy Black Speculative Fiction Month

Celebrate Black Speculative Fiction month with these books at OPL!

October is Black Speculative Fiction month. Oakland Public Library has books to keep you engaged throughout the month and beyond. Highlighed below are  some of the authors, titles and series that you can find on our shelves. 

All descriptions are provided by the publishers.

Octavia Butler: Earthseed Saga

Parable of the Sower               Parable of the Talents

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in October 2018

Clear your October calendar: this month is packed with tempting new novels and story collections.

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Weekends @ OPL!

Looking for free things to do this weekend? Every week, we'll be posting our picks of weekend events at OPL. Don't forget to follow us on social media @oaklibrary for latest updates!

We love weekends here at OPL. Every week, we post up a small selection of events we think you might find useful or enjoy. You can find the full list of events here. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat @oaklibrary!

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Friday 12/7:

Make Your Own Jewelry!image of RPS collective logo

Create a beautiful piece of jewelry
A fun and free workshop provided by artists from Oakland's own Rock Paper Scissors Collective.
All supplies are provided. Ages 12-18.

Friday, December 7th, 2:30pm

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Two opportunities to see Latin Grammy winners 123 Andrés

Andrés and Christina, both native Spanish speakers, incorporate language seamlessly in this high-energy show. 123 Andrés brings beats and rhythms from all over Latin America that will entice kids to dance, discover, and get the whole family moving, en español y en inglés. Come learn or practice Spanish and see why Billboard magazine called 123 Andrés “a rockstar for little language learners!”

We are pleased to present two family friendly shows with 123 Andrés thanks to the Friends of the Oakland Public Library

On Tuesday, September 11, at 1:30 p.m., Latin Grammy winners 123 Andrés will perform at César E. Chávez Branch Library, 3301 East 12th Street, Suite 271. Admission is free

Andrés and Christina, both native Spanish speakers, incorporate language seamlessly in this high-energy show. 123 Andrés brings beats and rhythms from all over Latin America that will entice kids to dance, discover, and get the whole family moving, en español y en inglés. Come learn or practice Spanish and see why Billboard magazine called 123 Andrés “a rockstar for little language learners!”

There will be a second concert on Monday, September 17, at 10:30 a.m., at the

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