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Oakland streets named after slave owners and supporters of slavery

by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at]
The City of Oakland:
Oakland streets named after slave owners and supporters of slavery

By Lynda Carson - June 24, 2020

Oakland - As thousands of Black Lives Matter protesters have been protesting downtown Oakland recently, often they are traveling on, or are crossing numerous streets that have been named after some historical notorious slave owners from the past.

Consider Jackson St., located downtown, intersecting with 14th St., that was named after the brutal tyrant President Andrew Jackson.

Just try to imagine this tyrannical figure from the trash bins of history who owned 200 slaves or more. Reportedly, Jackson used to have Native Americans skinned so he could use their flesh as bridle reigns for horses.

Jackson is the impeached President Donald J. Trump’s favorite former white supremacist president, and recently protesters in Washington D.C., have been battling with the cops while trying to tear down the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Park, near the White House. The same White House that was built with slave labor, and used slave labor as servants in the White House years ago.

Perhaps it’s time for Oakland to rename Jackson St., and call it “Black Lives Matter St.”

More Streets Named After Slave Owners Or Supporters Of Slavery:

Washington St., located downtown Oakland near the courthouse, was named after George Washington, another notorious slave owner who reportedly owned around 317 slaves, or more. At the least, Washington was known to buy and sell slaves, and reportedly he would even use young slaves (children) as prizes in a lottery.

There is Franklin St., named after former President Benjamin Franklin, who reportedly owned slaves, and would offer slaves for sale in advertisements in a newspaper that he owned.

And what about Jefferson St., named after former President Thomas Jefferson, who reportedly owned over 600 slaves in his lifetime?

During times like these as people across the nation are tearing down statues of glorified slave owners and statues of some notorious pricks who are known for killing off and enslaving the Native Americans, one can only wonder why Oakland has so many streets named after so many notorious slave owners.

Webster St., was named after Senator Daniel Webster, who reportedly was known for attacking so-called radical abolitionists. He is also known for stating that fugitive slaves should be returned to their owners, and that people in the north should respect slavery in the southern states.

Another road in Oakland named after a historical notorious slave owner includes Taylor Ave., named after President Zachary Taylor, the owner of 145 slaves, or more.

Madison St., is named after President James Madison, another slave holder who owned 118 slaves, or more.

Indeed, let us not forget Monroe Ave., named after President James Monroe, the owner 75 slaves, or more.

Van Buren St., is named after President Martin Van Buren, a slave owner, and former Vice President to Andrew Jackson. In his March 4, 1837, inaugural address, Van Buren said, "I must go into the Presidential chair the inflexible and uncompromising opponent of every attempt on the part of Congress to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia against the wishes of the slaveholding States, and also with a determination equally decided to resist the slightest interference with it in the States where it exists."

Clay St., located downtown near the Federal Building is named after a slave owner named Henry Clay, who lost his bid to become president of the United States in a failed campaign.

Also located downtown, Harrison St., is named after President William Henry Harrison, who reportedly owned 11 slaves or more.

Adams St., is named after President John Quincy Adams. Reportedly, as a U.S. Senator, Adams assisted slaveholders to recover fugitive slaves, and he fought to oppose any efforts to bar slavery or the importation of slaves into the the Louisiana Territory.

Additionally, Johnson St., is named after President Andrew Johnson who owned 8 slaves, or more.

Furthermore, Pierce St., is named after President Franklin Pierce. In regards to his beliefs about slavery, during his inaugural address in 1853, Pierce stated, “I believe that involuntary servitude, as it exists in different States of this Confederacy, is recognized by the Constitution. I believe that it stands like any other admitted right, and that the States where it exists are entitled to efficient remedies to enforce the constitutional provisions. I hold that the laws of 1850, commonly called the "compromise measures," are strictly constitutional and to be unhesitatingly carried into effect. I believe that the constituted authorities of this Republic are bound to regard the rights of the South in this respect as they would view any other legal and constitutional right, and that the laws to enforce them should be respected and obeyed, not with a reluctance encouraged by abstract opinions as to their propriety in a different state of society, but cheerfully and according to the decisions of the tribunal to which their exposition belongs.”

The above mentioned streets of Oakland are a stark reminder of the notorious slaveholders and supporters of slavery that are still being glorified by city officials, and the mayor, in a time when Black Lives Matter.

Some people may wonder if the stench of a sulphurous contract with the devil can still be detected in City Hall, after someone decided years ago to name some of the streets in Oakland after the notorious slaveholders, who are still being glorified by city officials at this very moment.

Meanwhile, in these times recently, while there have been many Black Lives Matter protests in Oakland following the death of George Floyd by some killer cops in Minneapolis, it turns out that a neo-Nazi member of a hate group tried to set up the Black Lives Matter movement in Oakland for the killing of a federal officer.

In the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests in Oakland lately, according to the FBI, Steven Carrillo, a member of the Boogaloo Boys (Boogaloo movement) shot two federal officers in Oakland. One of the federal officers was killed, and another was seriously wounded in an effort to frame the Black Lives Matter movement.

Some people believe that the brutal Boogaloo Boys (movement), and the violent Atomwaffen Division got its start with the fascist neo-Nazi group called Iron March, in their secretive online chats.

Pro-Publica was threatened by some members of Atomwaffen for exposing some of its membership, and leaders.

Hopefully, the Boogaloo Boys (movement) will not try to frame the Black Lives Matter movement in Oakland again, and perhaps the time is ripe for the City Council to rename the streets that glorify the slaveholders, and those who supported slavery.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at]

Add Your Comments

Comments (Hide Comments)
by Larry
hey fyi Benji Franklin wasn't a president, just an jack of all trades kinda kinda guy (including the slave trade). just an fyi! thanks for the article.
by How About Housing the Homeless?
I was stunned to read this obviously false statement above:
"There is Franklin St., named after former President Benjamin Franklin, who reportedly owned slaves, and would offer slaves for sale in advertisements in a newspaper that he owned."

Ben Franklin (1706-1790), a printer, inventor and scientist among many other skills and talents, was president of the Executive Council of Pennsylvania from 1785 to 1788. He died in the second year, George Washington, the first president, was president, his presidency being 1789-1797. Here it is from wikipedia:
President of Pennsylvania

Special balloting conducted October 18, 1785, unanimously elected Franklin the sixth president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, replacing John Dickinson. The office was practically that of governor. Franklin held that office for slightly over three years, longer than any other, and served the constitutional limit of three full terms. Shortly after his initial election, he was re-elected to a full term on October 29, 1785, and again in the fall of 1786 and on October 31, 1787. In that capacity he served as host to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia.[173]

The list of US presidents may be found at:

To the biography of Abraham Lincoln, who only freed slaves in the rebelling states on January 1, 1863, not all states, because the Union forces were losing and freeing the slaves deprived the Confederacy of their labor force, guaranteeing their defeat, must be added that he was just as much an Indian killer as all the other presidents from Washington to Coolidge, when the US Congress conferred citizenship on Native Americans in 1924, at which time the genocide took the form of boarding schools to "Americanize" Native Americans.

Here is a reference on Franklin's transformation to becoming an abolitionist:

Sad to say, this ownership of human beings in the 18th century was common, and those who, like Franklin, became abolitionists, were in the minority.

It is also sad to say that there is no outrage in this backward country to American imperialism, which effectively enslaves and kills millions of people around the world to maximize the profits of the oil companies and the munitions makers, the only reason the 700-1000 US military bases exist outside t his country. There is no outrage to private profit medicine which is currently sickening Americans while Europe, much of Asia and Latin America have socialized medicine resulting in, 0 deaths from COVID19 in Vietnam, for example, because it has socialized medicine. There is no outrage at the homeless crisis which is about to become much worse when evictions are allowed again since 50% of Americans live in poverty in the richest country in the world and therefore cannot afford to pay back rent, and if they have no job, cannot afford to pay current rent on or off unemployment insurance.

Changing the names of streets might make some people feel better, although the people who live on these streets will have to struggle to convince lots of people that they did not move and will be very unhappy. However, it does not eliminate poverty or the private profit system that creates poverty. For that we need a labor movement capable of carrying out a general strike, which REQUIRES organizing the unorganized.
by Let's do this!
Instead of "Jackson St.", how about re-naming it, "Harriet Tubman St."? In particular, because Tubman was supposed to have replaced Jackson on our $20 bills THIS YEAR,until Trump cancelled it! (See: ). Or alternatively, maybe one of the great Native American leaders, since Jackson is well-known for having subjugated this country's indigenous population.
by Lynda Carson
Thanks for correcting me about Ben Franklin

That was my mistake. Sorry about that. However, he was a slaveholder and from what I read, he used to run advertisements in his newspaper for people who were selling their slaves.

By the way, I liked the idea about Harriet Tubman. That's a cool idea!

-Lynda Carson

In San Diego, one of the post offices is currently named for Andrew Jackson. But a campaign is underway to change it, and the President of the San Diego City Council is supporting the name change. Plus, a petition has been started (here: ) that now has over 1,000 signatures on it.

CBS KPIX news followed up on Oakland streets named after slave owners

Da Lin of CBS / KPIX - Channel 5 did a follow up of the story I wrote called Oakland streets named after slave owners and supporters of slavery.

It appeared on the 6:00 pm news - June 26, 2020.

If interested, feel free to click on the link/s below...

-Lynda Carson

Push to Rename Oakland Streets Met With Mixed Reactions

June 26, 2020

Click below for full story by Da Lin…



by Lynda Carson
President Jackson & VanBuren involved in the "Trail of Tears"

June 29, 2020

Whatever lip service the politicians may give to the thought of changing the names of Oakland's streets named after slaveholders and supporters of slavery, it's really up to the people to decide, not the politicians.

A measure should be placed on the ballot to see how people respond in favor of changing the names of streets in Oakland that are named after slaveholders and supporters of slavery, according to an attorney I know.

This sounds good to me.

Below are a few links to some articles about the atrocities the former President Andrew Jackson and President Martin VanBuren were involved in, including the "Trail of Tears."

Not only were they slave holders, but they were involved in genocide against the Native Americans, just like many of the other people named on street signs in Oakland.

As you cruise down Jackson Street or VanBuren Street in Oakland, just try to imagine the "Trail of Tears," what took place in our history, and how we got here.

-Lynda Carson

Will the Nation Reckon with Andrew Jackson’s Enduring Racist Legacy?

Beth Couch

June 29, 2020

President Martin VanBuren was responsible for what became known as The Trail of tears.

Click below full story...

Trail of Tears

Click below...


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