Letters



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LETTERS


Racist Overtone
    I took offense at your January/February issue defining “real” Oaklanders—not because I mind scrutiny or criticism leveled at my establishment, but because of the racially chauvinist overtones of the critique.
    Oakland Magazine proclaims that real Oaklanders crave Everett & Jones barbecue; however, not at the “uppity digs at Jack London Square,” but at the “hole-in-the-wall on Fruitvale Avenue.”
    Real Oaklanders know that the family business is owned and run by an African-American family since 1973. The use of “uppity” in reference to the family’s flagship restaurant smacks of not-so-subtle racism. A black family opening up a restaurant in a central entertainment district appears “presumptuous” and “above our station” to Oakland Magazine.
    What is uppity about Everett & Jones barbecue restaurant in Jack London? Would the word “uppity” be used in the magazine to describe Yoshi’s move from a Berkeley neighborhood to a nice upscale location in Jack London Square? We think not.
    The word “uppity” is an Americanism arising between 1875 and 1880. This coincides exactly with post–Civil War Reconstruction and the struggle for full freedoms and rights of all ex-slaves and free blacks. It was originally used specifically in describing African Americans. This word was created by racists as part of their effort to suppress the democratic gains being made by emancipated slaves.
    Your magazine’s racially chauvinist tone toward the Everett & Jones family business and its appeal to an Oakland vs. them attitude does a disservice to everyone in the city of Oakland.

John Jernegan, Co-owner
Everett & Jones Barbeque-Jack London


Ed. Note: We meant fancy and apologize for any offense the inappropriate word choice may have caused.

Love JLS E&J
    Thank you for your January/February issue of Oakland Magazine. I especially enjoyed the “You’re an Oaklander If …” section. Since we are relatively new to Oakland, we decided to take your advice and have dinner at Everett & Jones in Jack London Square. This was the first time my family and I have ever eaten there, and it was great. We may not qualify yet as true Oaklanders; however, we now know where to go to get the best ribs in the East Bay. Thanks for the scrumptious advice.

Joseph Diliberto
Oakland


I’m an Oaklander

    I’m an Oakland native who enjoyed reading your list of ways to measure whether you’re an Oaklander. I have a correction to No. 25: No true Oaklander would deign to refer to Longs at 51st and Broadway as “Super Longs” as if it were akin to a Super Kmart. A true Oaklander still refers to this store as Payless (as it was in its first 30 years). We might concede and refer to it as Longs, but this can get confused with all the inferior Longs stores in the area. Yes, this store is truly a shopping Mecca as described, but it will always be Payless, no matter what name hangs on its sign. By the way, your list didn’t mention that real Oaklanders have grown up at Fentons and by adulthood can actually finish off an entire Black and Tan.

Cindy Neveu
Oakland


Disappointed

    While I appreciate your coverage of the new Sensory Garden at Lakeside Park in the March issue, only one photograph showed some of the volunteers, Tricia Christopher and Charles Dekker, who made the garden what it is. I realize the article appeared in Snapshots and [was] not an article about the garden, but I think you should have shown people who had actually volunteered and worked in the garden and made it happen.
Susan Veit
Project Manager-Sensory Garden


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