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West Oakland: No Wonder the Black Panthers Were Pissed Off

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Last week's Ask Curbed SF post on the architects of the Brutalist USPS Distribution Center in Oakland got some interesting responses. The one that most piqued our curiosity was from commenter Mark Pritchard:

To sum up a few decades in a few words: West Oakland was a poor but thriving black community that suffered three calamitous events- the Cypress Freeway in 1957, which cut the neighborhood in half, then the elevated BART along 7th Street, wiping out the main retail stretch along with the jazz clubs, and the Post Office, where the parking lot and facility replaced almost five hundred homes. Much of the demolition on the twenty-acre site was done with a WWII surplus tank. Bobby Seale and Huey Newton founded the Black Panthers in Oakland in 1966, ostensibly to fight police brutality, but that we don't imagine that tank brightened the mood, much.
· Ask Curbed SF: Brutalist Post Office Drive-by In Oakland [Curbed SF Archives]
· Eminent Domain in West Oakland: A Controversial Legacy [Public Health Policy & Law]