A Teen’s Letter To Oakland #1

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Fox TheaterBy Catory G.

Dearest Oakland,

Oakland is such a sad place, full of discontent and pain. Oakland, I know you were once a prosperous place. I know because I learned about this in school. What happened to you? that is the question I have.

I feel a lot of sorrow when I think about you. It’s disheartening to see your abandoned buildings, ghost filled neighborhoods, and your gang filled streets. On KTVU, I see your nightly deaths. Such a shame to see your inhabitants disappear. Just the other day, I heard about two children and a grandmother being shot. Why does this happen? Why does the killing keep happening? Most people don’t care. They don’t notice you as an entity, as a living being. You’re disintegrating little by little.
But you’re not all bad. I truly feel like we should be in a renaissance right now.

You’re filled with art galleries, dance studios, and theatre. I love the mix of cultures here. It’s like a gumbo full of history and heritage. I see displays of this truth during the Art & Soul festival, First Friday, as well as other gatherings. I really like that part of you. I also like the communities who try to help your inhabitants. Programs like Youth Radio, The Boys & Girls club, and other afterschool programs. These things are your saving graces. But sometimes I think these things are just not enough.

I love you Oakland. You are my heart. You were originally strong, but now you’re different. Weaker. Dying of that cancer called your community. I love you Oakland but I can honestly say  that I cannot wait to leave this Hellhole.

My warmest regards,
Catory G.

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