Public talk – FBI, Mario Savio, Reagan, and Clark Kerr

Bay Area investigative journalist Seth Rosenfeld’s long-awaited and controversial book Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power is now out. Please come to a public presentation with the author and fellow traveller journalist Lowell Bergman Wednesday, September 19, 7 PM-8:30 PM

UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism; RSVP suggested.

The book examines the FBI’s covert operations concerning UC during the Cold War, and its activities regarding Clark Kerr, Mario Savio and Ronald Reagan. The book was on the S.F. Chronicle best seller list, and on the New York Times extended best seller list.

Oakland’s 7th Street Jazz and Blues from UC Berkeley Architecture and Journalism

The UC Berkeley Journalism School and Architecture Department have announced an interesting project in online history.  From their website:

Remembering 7th Street is a project of UC Berkeley’s Journalism School and Architecture Department to re-create West Oakland in the 1940s and ’50s when it was a thriving community teeming with blues and jazz clubs.

The virtual world video game takes you back in time to post-World-War-II West Oakland, when the area was bustling with shipyard workers and sailors, musicians and locals meeting up at the soda fountains and soul food restaurants, shops and other businesses that lined 7th Street.

Come dusk, music poured from the nightclubs out into the street. You might catch a performance by one of the big names, Lowell Fulson, Saunders King, Sugar Pie DeSanto or Ivory Joe Hunter, who played in this West Coast mecca for the blues.

Today, little trace remains of this rich history. The once thriving businesses are mostly empty storefronts now. The blues and jazz clubs have given way to a sprawling postal facility and an elevated BART train that runs through the heart of 7th Street.

Now you can explore the neighborhood as it once was and help bring 7th Street back to life. Simply log into the game and adopt an avatar – a musician hungry for a break – and soak up the lost music and culture of West Oakland.

You’ll cut a record with local producer Bob Geddins and convince a train porter to take your record cross-country. You’ll get your music career financed by a notorious local businessman and finally perform your music at the premier 7th Street club – Slim Jenkins’ Place

For background on the Oakland jazz and blues scene see: California Soul: Music of African Americans in the West.

For additional historical background on Oakland during the 20th century see Chris Rhomberg’s No There There: Race, Class and Political Community in Oakland.