Defending Afrika Town: West Oakland’s fight to preserve a space made for and by the community

What's Happening Black Oakland?

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In November 2014, a hundred plus community volunteers took it upon themselves to begin transforming and beautifying an abandoned and polluted lot on the corner of West Grand and San Pablo Ave in West Oakland. For 14 years, the lot remained vacant and desecrated and was an overall public health concern for the community. “It was filled with needles, rats, trash, feces, and weeds as high as the building,” said Linda Grant, a volunteer at Qilombo Community Center.

With the help of many volunteers Danae Martinez-a local college professor- led a revitalization effort which transformed the polluted lot into a thriving community garden. With the assistance of Planting Justice, the Community Restoration Project,and hundreds of student and community volunteers, they were able to unify with the purpose of restoring this neglected lot into a vibrant garden that’s free and open to all members of the community. images-3Afrika Town was officially launched…

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