Stop Black on Black Crime

It’s hard to find anyone who lives or works in Oakland who hasn’t been touched in some way by violent crime, but Roy Northington sees the crime wave’s effects more than most.

For the past 12 years Northington, 39, has been a mortician in Oakland. By his own estimate, he prepares an average of four bodies a month, using wax and cosmetics to repair the faces of people cut down by gun violence on the streets of Oakland.

“I ask myself when I will stop seeing young black men laid out on my table as their parents or grandparents are grieving,” Northington said.

He’s not the only one asking, but there are few visible signs of the community fighting back.

One big sign of resistance now hangs over the doors of the First African Methodist Episcopal church on Telegraph Avenue. A large white banner reading “Stop Black on Black Violence” lets the world know that the church is trying to put an end to the violence. And, the church is about to kick off a year of outreach events to engage neighborhood residents who’ve lost hope that the crime wave will end.



Cathy Parker and Cyrus Bradford

OAKLAND – Three years ago, Duke Johnson, didn’t know a thing about computers.

“I just started learning to turn the computer on and terminology,” said the 65-year-old, retired sheet metal worker.

These days, Johnson spends eight hours a week in an intermediate computer class for seniors at Eastmont Computing Center in the Eastmont Mall . He owns a laptop so he can practice what he and about 25 other seniors are learning.

Eastmont is one of the few computer technology centers in the country that focuses on learners of all ages. And some of its most popular programs are for those who are least likely to be part of the digital age – seniors such as Johnson. The center has been offering senior computing classes for nine years to help boost the economic and social well being of Oakland seniors.

“It’s social. It’s not computers just for the sake of computers. They become family,” said Tony Fleming, director of the center.

Sen. Clinton Campaigns at Laney College

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Thomas J. Orloff is the Alameda County D.A.

His office is at:

1225 Fallon Street, Room 900
Oakland, CA 94612
Telephone: (510) 272-6222
FAX: (510) 271-5157

Oakland-Piedmont-Emeryville-Berkeley Branch
Oakland Courthouse
661 Washington Street
Oakland, CA 94607
Telephone: (510) 268-7500
FAX: (510) 839-0391
Branch Head: Norbert Chu


Markeshia James and Shakora Cowart testify at the Sept. 26 OUSD board meeting.

OAKLAND – Interim state administrator Vincent Matthews was greeted with a raft of bad news about Oakland schools and open hostility from the standing room crowd Sept. 26 at his first public meeting with the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education.

Markeshia James and Shakora Cowart , elected student directors for the board, presented reports from students at nine Oakland high schools of rats, leaking toilets, no heat or air conditioning , no art classes, not enough books, not enough desks, no principal at one school and no library at another.

“There are rats at every school. It’s a big problem that shouldn’t be taken lightly. We have them on my campus [EXCEL College Prep] as well,” said Cowart after her testimony.


American Indian or Alaska Native – 197 (0.4%)
Asian – 6,630 (14.1%)
Pacific Islander – 530 (1.1%)
Filipino – 361 (0.8%)
Hispanic or Latino – 16,381 (34.8%)
African American – 17,945 (38.2%)
White (not Hispanic) – 2,841 (6.0%)
Multiple or No Response – 2,127 (4.5%)

Source: DataQuest.