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Downtown Oakland Walking Tour
Item 11 of 12
Many people would not believe how much African American History was created and developed in Northern California. Most people remember a lot of riots and movements that transpired down in the southern California region around Los Angeles. Because of this, a museum was created and build to educate the many people that did not know what had happened in their own backyards. This museum was created to educate the Bay Area on how much has happened there when it comes to the African American lifestyle and struggles in the centuries before. The African American Museum and Library at Oakland was a creation of four people who started collecting oral histories and artifacts and in 1946 and their aspiration became a dream many will never forget.

  • This is the building that is the African American Museum and Library of Oakland. This building was a huge library back in the 1900s and stopped being used until they opened it again for AAMLO.
  • Here is a picture of the inside of one of their Exhibits on the second floor in the Museum Portion of the Building.
Eugene and Ruth Lasartemay, Jessie and Dr. Marcella Ford had no idea that their inspiration to collect historical articles and oral histories would lead to such an amazing place such as the African American Museum and Library at Oakland. There collections were strictly on the artifacts and oral presentations that were solely based on Oakland, The Bay Area and California. In 1965 the collections that were maintained by the Lasartemay's, Jessie and Dr. Ford turned into the East Bay Negro Historical Society. After realizing their success in people wanting to come in and learn more on this issue they decided to get a bigger place and thats how the location and name African American Museum and Library at Oakland developed. 

with 160 collections and 80 years of African American in the East Bay Collected, The Lasartemay's, Jessie and Dr. Ford's once just stacks of information and history became an entire room and an entire building of collections. There are as many as 400 Videos that can be watched and learned through out the Museum and Library which allows room for education purposes and field trips. There is a huge selected of 12,000 books strictly on the collections of African American History in Northern California and the widespread that spread around the world. From Martin Luther King Jr. to Malcom X and many more, so much information has been maintained and collected to create this amazing place. 

As you can tell not all of this place is just a Library of collections but also a huge Museum is presented on the second floor of the building. This museum is unique in the fact that it presents host and original exhibitions that focus on Northern California. A lot of museums focus on many areas of the country but its great to see what has happened to many places that as a Californian you would have never imagined happened where you grew up. Although this building has always been a home to books since it was a popular library in the 1900s, it has kept its purpose as now a historical place in Northern California.