African American History in Oakland

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Pierce Giants player "Bullet" Hilary Meadows steps up to the plate in this photo taken in 1923.

Mary J. Sanderson with her pupils at the Brooklyn Colored School in 1870. The school served the children from the town of Brooklyn, located east of Lake Merritt, and Oakland from 1867 to 1871. Schools in Brooklyn and Oakland were integrated in 1872.

Source: "Visions Toward Tomorrow" by Lawrence P.Crouchett, et al.

Members of the Beth Eden Baptist congregation pose on a sunny Easter Sunday in 1901. The church was located on Filbert Street between 7th and 8th streeets.

Western Pacific Railroad employee Willie Williams sends best wishes to his "sweet wife" in this 1945 photo. Starting in 1870 railroad employment was a major source of attraction drawing African Americans to the East Bay. Their success as Pullman porters led to their employment in other jobs such as cooks, waiters and railroad workers.

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