African American church

Leila Day

In some churches when the music starts, so does the praise dancing.

Dancers stand near the choir or the pulpit and perform choreographed routines that mix ballet, modern, and jazz. They are often young girls, who practice every movement and their focus is to praise.

Leila Day

In the past few months, one particular issue has become a flashpoint around gentrification in Oakland: noise.  

Alyssa Kapnik Samuel

In many African American communities, mental health issues have a history of being undertreated and underdiagnosed. According to the federal government’s Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population, but less likely to seek treatment.

This is part three of a three-part series addressing mental health care within black communities.

Hands are clapping, children are bobbing their heads and most of the elders are wearing their finest hats and polished shoes at the New Revelation Community Church. Reverend Donna Allen leads a sermon.

“And this notion of law enforcement interacting with people with lethal force? Jesus would cry out, ‘I am the Prince of Peace and I tell you, no justice, no peace, no justice!’”

Google photo

At the intersection of 10th Avenue and International Boulevard in Oakland sits the historic, 74-year-old Williams Chapel Baptist Church. It’s in the heart of the San Antonio East Lake district, and its congregation is predominantly African American. Membership used to average around 800 people, but in the last 20 years, membership has gone down to about 500 as the demographics of the neighborhood have undergone massive change.