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From Blacks to Brown and BeyondRobert Stanley Oden

From Blacks to Brown and Beyond

The Struggle for Progressive Politics in Oakland, California, 1966-2011
By Robert Stanley Oden

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60927-245-6, 350 pages


As a former Oakland resident (1975-1991) working in the political trenches of progressive politics, I present this case study of city politics in Oakland, California. This book spans the time period from the formation of the Black Panther Party in Oakland to the recent Occupy Movement. It details and analyzes the struggle for progressive politics in Oakland.

In Part One, 1966-1998, the power shift from white-led urban regimes to black-led urban regimes of Mayors Lionel Wilson and Elihu Harris is examined. In Part Two, 1998-2011, there is analysis of the struggle to bring about progressive politics, community stability and development to Oakland.

Part Two focuses on the tenures of former and present California governor, Jerry Brown, from 1998-2006, and former Congressman and Oakland native, Ronald Dellums, 2006-2010. Additional analysis and assessment is on the current mayor, Jean Quan, as she completes her first year in office in 2011. This book will be valuable for students—both graduate and undergraduate—and interested readers of urban politics who wish to study the dichotomous struggle between progressive and moderate forces in the arena of city politics.

Dr. Robert Stanley Oden is a lifelong community and political activist from his hometown of San Diego and the Oakland/Berkeley communities in California. He is a former Black Panther Party member. After 15 years of working as a management analyst in city government in Berkeley, he earned a Ph.D. from University of California, Santa Cruz in sociology. He is currently a professor at Sacramento State University. Dr. Oden has several published essays including, “Race, Poverty, and Social Justice” (2007), “Hurricane Katrina, Response and Responsibilities” (2005), and “Introduction to Ethnic Studies” (2004). He is the author of From Blacks to Brown and Beyond: The Struggle for Progressive Politics in Oakland, California, 1966-2011 (2012).

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