Laurel Bookstore welcomes Gene Anderson author of Legendary Locals of Oakland to read from his book and share with us some of the people of Oakland who have had an influence in our city and all over!
Oakland has been shaped by the transcontinental railroad, freeways, earthquakes, and its location on the shores of San Francisco Bay. But what makes Oakland such an amazing city are the people who have called Oakland home over the years, like Mayor Samuel Merritt, who helped make Oakland the terminus of the transcontinental railroad; Elizabeth Flood, who worked to desegregate Oakland schools in the 1870s; and F. M. “Borax” Smith, who created the Key System. Oakland has been home to game-changing athletes like Don Budge, the “father of modern tennis;” and Curt Flood, who helped bring free agency to sports; artists like writer Jack London, dancer Isadora Duncan, poet Joaquin Miller, and cartoonist Morrie Turner; and culture-shaping movements like the Black Panther Party. The impact of Oaklanders isn’t just historical. From Oscar Grant to Favianna Rodriguez to Marshawn Lynch to Jerry Brown, people in Oakland continue to shape not just “The Town,” but the entire country.
Author and blogger Gene Anderson lives in Oakland, where he can regularly be found exploring different parts of the city. His great-grandfather worked on one of the Southern Pacific ferryboats that plied San Francisco Bay in the 1890s, and his grandfather worked for the Sacramento Northern Railway in Oakland.