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Photos by Nia

In 2015, Nia organized Generation of Oakland: The People’s Portrait, which collected the intimate stories of residents of Oakland, California, including families, children, married couples, business owners, church pastors, community organizers, students, and friends.  For generations, Oakland was an urban center that attracted Southern blacks to new beginnings, new dreams, and new lives. Bringing with them their talent, ingenuity, and creativity, they helped to foster the cultural richness that Oakland is famous for. Today a new, unwanted reverse migration—primarily of blacks and other low-income people of color—is taking place in the city due to gentrification.

With a team of volunteers and supporters, the Generation of Oakland project recorded interviews of longtime residents of Oakland to preserve their multi-generational stories of life in the city. Generation of Oakland offers a snapshot of a very special place at a critical moment in its history; we provide a glimpse into the faithful souls, determined minds, and hopeful hearts of those Oaklanders still standing their ground and thriving, as the city transforms before their eyes during these challenging times.

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