Alison Alkon

How a Former Black Panther Who's Been Serving Community Meals to Oakland's Poor Has Become a Victim of Gentrification

On Tuesday afternoons, North Oakland’s Driver’s Plaza is a lively place. Neighbors gather to listen to music, play chess, hang out and share a meal. The chef is “Aunti” Frances Moore, a former Black Panther and founder of the Love Mission Self Help Hunger Program, which has been serving a weekly meal for much of the past decade. Those gathering at Driver’s are typical of “the old Oakland,” largely but not exclusively African American, and struggling to get by in this rapidly gentrifying city. Many are visibly disabled. Most are elders, though there are also younger adults and children ranging from elementary to high school-age. Some rent rooms nearby while others are homeless, crashing with friends or living in vehicles.

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