Prepare for a visit to AAMLO with these special topic resource guides.
This resource guide is intended to help users locate holdings at AAMLO related to West Oakland's Seventh Street. See also the resource guide on West Coast Blues.
It highlights holdings in the following areas:
● Selected Library Material at AAMLO
● Selected Archival Collections at AAMLO
Other collections may contain relevant materials. Please contact AAMLO (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or to schedule an appointment to view materials in person.
Selected Library Materials
Selected Archival Collections
Harold Jenkins Photograph Collection. Harold "Slim" Jenkins (1890-1967) was born on July 22, 1890 in Monroe, Louisiana. He moved to Oakland, California shortly after World War I, worked as a waiter, and would eventually open his famed Slim Jenkins Cafe at 1748 7th Street in West Oakland on December 5, 1933 the day prohibition was repealed. Jenkins owned and operated a number of West Oakland restaurants, liquor stores, and night clubs which earned him the affectionate title of the mayor of West Oakland. For many years, Slim Jenkins Cafe was the primer nightclub in Oakland with musical performers such as Earl Hines, Louis Jordan, The Inkspots, and B.B. King. View online
African American Museum & Library at Oakland Oral History Collection. Includes an oral history interview with noted businesswoman Esther Mabry (1920-2010) discussing her restaurant and night club, Esther’s Orbit Room, and changes in West Oakland. Also includes an interview with Ralph E. Scott discussing the Golden Gate Key and Lock Company, and other historical African American-owned businesses located on 7th Street in Oakland, California. Other interviews include Odell H. Sylvester Jr. discussing his experiences as an Oakland police officer patrolling the night clubs on 7th Street and Henry Delton Williams discussing Slim Jenkins' nightclub and the music scene on 7th Street.
The Combination Magazine Collection. The Combination was an African American magazine published monthly in Oakland by editor and publisher Brackeen McCarty (1920-2000), owner of the Bay Area Studio Printing Company. The magazine featured photographs and short articles on African American social organizations, entertainment, local politics and advertisements of African American-owned businesses such as Jenkins Original Bar-B-Q, Ray’s Club, and local barbershops. View online
E. F. Joseph Photograph Collection. Photographer Emmanuel Francis (E. F.) Joseph (1900-1979) maintained a thriving commercial photography business and was the official photographer for many East Bay restaurants and clubs, including the Slim Jenkins Club. View online
Cottrell Laurence Dellums Papers. The C.L. Dellums Papers encompass files he maintained as the International Vice-President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Includes photographs of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters headquarters at 1716 7th Street (circa 1934-1978), built in 1889-90, and occupied by C.L. Dellums until his retirement in 1978. View online
The Flatlands Newspaper Collection. The Flatlands newspaper was an independent newspaper printed in Oakland from 1966-1968 that advocated for government accountability and reform for those affected and displaced by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). The paper covered BART's decision-making regarding above ground tracks in Richmond, California, and on Oakland's 7th Street that would require leveling the homes of long-time residents. View online
W. Hazaiah Williams Papers. Include photographs of a 1966 JOBART (Justice on BART) March for Jobs and BART protest at the Lake Merritt gazebo. JOBART was instrumental in pressuring BART for temporary moratorium on evictions related to construction.
Oakland Post Photograph Collection. Includes photographs published in the Oakland Post related to the construction of a postal distribution facility in the heart of the 7th Street business district. Also included are photographs of JOBART (Justice on BART) meetings. Selected images include:
- Managing editor of the Oakland Post standing in a vacant lot overgrown with weeds at 7th and 5th streets in Oakland, caption: 'Weeds are over nine feet high. This is an insult to the Negro community. In the background are businesses on Seventh St. This area was sold to the federal government for an alleged Post Office. Over 500 homes were destroyed, to create this blight," September 25, 1963
- Architect's rendering of the Oakland Post Office at 1675 7th St. Oakland, California, circa 1960s
- Children and managing editor standing in empty lot on 7th St. between Willow and Wood St. (sold by the City of Oakland to the federal government for the new post office), September 4, 1963
African American Museum & Library at Oakland Photograph Collection. Includes portraits of Harold “Slim” Jenkins, interior views of Slim Jenkins' nightclub and liquor store, and an exterior photograph of Esther’s Orbit Room.
Rushing Family Photograph Collection. Includes one photograph of Pullman Liquor Store (1722 7th street Oakland, CA).
African American Museum & Library at Oakland Vertical File Collection. Includes the 2004 Landmark Preservation Advisory Board application form for the 7th St. commercial district. Selected items also include a 1999 report submitted to the Seventh Street-McClymonds Neighborhood Improvement Initiative by the Urban Strategies Council, "Building community in West Oakland: People working together will make the difference."
Search the library using the catalog.
Consult AAMLO's finding aids in the Online Archive of California.
We are working to create new resource guides. Have an idea for a new guide? Contact us at email@example.com.