R.O. Self: American Babylon – Part III #acwrimo #nablopomo

Early Voting Receipt

WTF is this receipt madness?! I wanted my ¡yo voté! sticker!

So I voted today. I didn’t have wifi access, so had to switch things up with the technique. Instead of doing step two (looking into other, similar books), I did step 3: reading the introduction.

That whole “read fast” thing? I failed. I got through 18 of 20 pages in about 3 hours. Granted, I was voting, so there’s that. But still… I got some great notes, though. And when it comes to writing the response paper that goes with the reading, that’s a great thing. Copy/paste, mofo, copy/paste. \O/

My wrists hurt a lot, so yeah, I totally posted a picture of my notes about the sources just now. This is what happens when I write a lot. Yay, carpal tunnel syndrome.



Step 3:

Main problem
As more blacks began to move to into Oakland, federal subsidies encouraged the out-migration of whites, pushing them up to middle class status – outside the city. Blacks are not just left out of the equation, they are intentionally and legally barred from being part of it.

Main solution
Even to this day Oakland struggles with economic shortcomings sprouting from racialized politics and policy. That is not to say that there have not been valiant efforts to seek change. The book does not seek to solve the problem, but to provide a detailed, inclusive explanation of what occurred.


These sources are good because they cover parts of the story well. They’re not sufficient, though, so that’s why Self wrote this book!

Chapter List
Part 1 (Ch 1-3 – Postwar, mid 1940s-mid 1960s): Everyone loved “industrial garden” vision for Oakland… sorta. Blacks & whites envisioned things unfolding in different ways, giving rise to conflict.

Part II (Ch 4-5 – mid 1950s-mid 1960s): The epic split. Political struggles ensue as development fails to produce positive results for the black community. None of this is helped by the national shift toward policies such as the War on Poverty.

Part III (Ch 6-8 – mid 1960s-late 1970s): Things blow up. All of Oakland realizes the ‘garden city’ idea is a failure, yet blacks & whites cite different reasons. Local, state, and federal policy work to prevent black success. The Black Panther party pops off.*

*So there’s this other part he mentioned that I want to use, but I had to cut it for brevity’s sake: Building on the political foundation laid by the previous generation,

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